HERE IS THE STORY - ACTION ITEMS LISTED BELOW:
IN THE SENATE:
The Budget Resolution does NOT include an allowance or "Marker" for S.25, the PORK BARREL LAND GRAB Conservation and Reinvestment Act (CARA)!!! An amendment to include CARA was offered in the Budget Committee by Senator Tim Johnson of South Dakota, but was shelved by a vote of 13 to 9. Once approved by the committee, the Budget Resolution was debated on the floor of the Senate for three days last week. After their defeat in committee, CARA supporters did not know if they had votes on the floor to include CARA in the Budget Resolution. To avoid the possibility of a second defeat, they decided not to propose the CARA amendment. If the $3 billion per year allowance for CARA had been included in the Budget Resolution, then the legislation itself would only need 51 votes to be approved by the Senate. Now it will need 60 votes to override the budget guidelines.
The House also did NOT include CARA in its Budget Resolution. This makes it more difficult, but by no means impossible, for CARA to override the budget guidelines and be approved.
Senator Slade Gorton of Washington and Budget Committee Chairman Senator Pete Domenici of New Mexico led the charge FOR property owners and AGAINST irresponsible pork barrel spending. Thank you Senators! Senator Tim Johnson of South Dakota EXPOSED farmers, ranchers and all property owners in South Dakota to MASSIVE ADVERSE CONDEMNATION OF PRIVATE PROPERTY by power hungry government agents. He supported environmental extremists and animal rights activists who stand to gain MILLIONS in grants of taxpayer funds from Title 3 and Title 7 of CARA. IN THE HOUSE:
A floor vote by the entire House of Representatives on H.R.701 / CARA has been postponed until AT LEAST sometime in May!!! It has now been FIVE MONTHS since CARA was approved by the House Resources Committee, and it will be AT LEAST another month before it moves to the floor. Holding off the CARA PORK BARREL LAND GRAB for this long is a HUGE VICTORY for property owners and federal lands multiple-use advocates!!! Every day that CARA languishes in limbo makes it less likely that this disaster will make it through the legislative process.
A combination of property rights activists opposed to LAND GRABS and budget hawks opposed to WASTEFUL SPENDING have prevented CARA from moving any farther in the legislative process. Several congressmen should be THANKED, in particular:
Agriculture Committee Chairman Congressman Larry Combest of Texas wrote a letter critical of CARA’s impacts on production agriculture. The Agriculture Committee’s Senior Democrat, Congressman Charles Stenholm of Texas, has steadfastly REFUSED to support CARA, even though OVER 90% of the Democrats in the House of Representatives have cosponsored this LAND GRAB!
Congressmen Dave Dreier and Ron Packard of California as well as Cliff Stearns of Florida had cosponsored CARA. However, all three have WITHDRAWN their cosponsorship of the bill!
Budget Committee Chairman Congressman John Kasich of Ohio told the Washington Post about CARA, "I think that kind of major decision about resources ought to be made by the next president."
Congressman Ralph Regula has strongly criticized the LAND GRAB. Regula has pointed out that the the Park Service and other land management agencies have a FIFTEEN BILLION DOLLAR backlog of maintenance projects, and should not grab more land until they can manage the empire they already control. The March 2000 issue of Government Executive Magazine has a lengthy article and descriptions of the multi-billion dollar National Park Service backlog. Seehttp://www.govexec.com/gpp/0300nps.htm for details.
Senators and Congressmen will be at home in their states and congressional districts during most of the last two weeks of April. The House is out of session from April 15 to May 1, and the Senate from April 15 to April 24, and again from April 28 to May 1.
They may be having town meetings, to which the public is invited. Call their offices, find out about these and attend if you can, and speak out against CARA. Visit their local offices if you live nearby. Also, write to your Senators and Congressmen against CARA. The address for Senators is Senator (name), US Capitol, Washington, DC 20510. The address for Congressmen is Congressman (name), US Capitol, Washington, DC 20515. The Capitol Switchboard phone number is 202-224-3121.
Make these points:
The tide is changing AGAINST CARA! Keep up the great work!
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