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
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.