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Ear to the Ground

Conservatives Move to Limit Presidential Parks Authority

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Posted on Mar 21, 2014

Photo by ctrlaltdileep (CC BY-ND 2.0)

The House is considering a Republican-sponsored bill that would limit the president’s authority to create new national parks without permission from Congress by restricting such initiatives to one per four-year term.

Ned Resnikoff reports at MSNBC:

Under the proposed law, if the president wants to create more than one park, he needs to seek congressional approval and have a study of the potential maintenance costs drawn up.

In essence, the bill would severely curtail the president’s park creation authority under the 1906 Antiquities Act, which was signed into law by Republican President Theodore Roosevelt. Roosevelt made the most of his new-found power in the year after he signed the act, single-handedly designating eighteen new federally protected regions, including the Grand Canyon.

House Republicans have previously accused President Obama of abusing his park creation authority. Last March, Washington Republican Rep. Doc Hastings criticized the president for spending money on new parks in the midst of across-the-board sequestration cuts.

“The Obama administration not only sees the sequester as an opportunity to make automatic spending reductions as painful as possible on the American people, it’s also a good time for the president to dictate under a century-old law that the government spend money it doesn’t have on property it doesn’t even own,” he said in a statement.

Read more here.

—Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.

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