This morning, ATR President Grover Norquist testified before the House Waters, Oceans, and Wildlife (WOW) Committee in opposition to H.R. 1326. Sponsored by Congressman Mike Thompson (D-CA), H.R. 1326 bundles a host of conservation programs that were left on the cutting room during the final negations of the recently enacted Lands Package. An overwhelming, bipartisan majority passed the Lands Package and made clear at the time that the provisions included in H.R. 1326 were not significant enough to justify increased spending of taxpayer dollars.
Last month, Congress passed the Natural Resources Management Act (NRMA), which was signed into law by President Trump on March 12, 2019. NRMA was a bipartisan bill that took years in its making. As Norquist testified, “During this time, it was decided by a strong bipartisan consensus that the provisions discussed in this hearing here today would be left out of NRMA. Despite this consensus, these excluded provisions are being considered again here today and taxpayers will be asked to foot the bill.” At a time when federal spending is anticipated to climb as high as 20.8 percent of GDP in 2019, the last thing we need is more unnecessary spending legislation.
Norquist also pointed out that H.R. 1326 contains provisions aimed at region-specific entities and resources, such as the Chesapeake Bay. Tax payers in Oregon should not be forced to pay for conservation efforts in Maryland, and federal legislators should not be responsible for oversight. “When the financing of these programs is not tied to the people who directly benefit from them, it becomes far easier to lose fiscal disciple and spend taxpayer dollars thoughtlessly. It is always easier to spend other people’s money.”
Read Norquist’s full testimony here.