Press ReleaseJun 23, 2011
Natural Resources Democrats Oppose Failing Republican "Self-Report Card"
GOP’s “Activity Report” Proves that Action Doesn’t Equal Achievement; Republicans Rejecting Democratic Bills and Hearings
WASHINGTON (June 24, 2011) - Republican changes for the 112th Congress included switching back to Styrofoam cups, new budgetary restrictions that protect corporate loopholes for oil companies, and biannual self-congratulatory "activity reports." Today the Democratic members of the Natural Resources Committee assailed this first missive from their Republican counterparts as a litany of anti-safety, anti-environment, and pro-industry policies that have little to do with jobs and everything to do with a dangerous agenda for the country.
The Republican report self-approved by a vote of 18-11 in the committee today includes such policy hits as:
- Oil drilling legislation that would expand drilling off both coasts while putting a time clock on the most controversial permits, without any new safety measures following the BP spill.
- Undoing a détente in California's San Joaquin Valley over water management that took decades to reach and flaunts state's rights.
- Short-circuiting the environmental review process for energy production on federal lands.
- Shooting sea lions and importing dead polar bears.
"This failing ‘self-report card' offered by the Republicans won't pass muster with the American people, as it is replete with giveaways to special interests," said Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), the Ranking Member of the committee. "This agenda would be shockingly dangerous if it weren't so empty of any possibility of enactment. Like the backfiring Republican attacks on Medicare, this is a revolting record they should be running away from, not one on which they should be running."
Natural Resources Democrats also say the report shows the lack of engagement with Democrats by the Republican majority. Of the 15 legislative hearings held to date in the committee, 9 have included Republican proposals exclusively.
Many of the hearing requests by Democrats have been denied on the grounds that they would simply be too difficult to schedule. These challenges seem to operate only as hurdles for certain measures.