Our bill will face strong opposition from environmental extremists and their friends in the administration. But the bottom line is that this legislation is just common sense. It simply acts on the recommendations of the agencies that manage these lands and allows the American people to take advantage of their own land.
It’s long past time for Congress to act. Land that isn’t Congressionally recognized as “wilderness,” as well as deemed unsuitable for a wilderness designation by the very agencies that manage them, should be opened up for public use and enjoyment. Washington promised to make this choice more than 30 years ago. The Code of the West says, “When you make a promise, keep it.” Washington might not have read the Code of the West, but we have, and we’re going to hold Washington to its promises. This land is the people’s land. It does not belong to the bureaucrats in Washington.
Sen. John Barrasso (Wyo.) is the Senate Republican Conference vice chairman and Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) is the House Majority Whip
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.