May 22 2015
Apr 24 2015
Apr 17 2015
Apr 07 2015
Mar 20 2015
Feb 20 2015
Jan 21 2015
Today the Senate voted on an amendment I proposed to the bill to authorize the Keystone Pipeline, which would have limited the amount of fees attorneys can collect when suing the federal government under the Endangered Species Act.
According the Department of Justice, more than 500 ESA-related lawsuits were filed or opened against the federal government since 2009. As a result, federal agencies have to spend their time, energy, and taxpayer-funded resources fighting lawsuits instead of protecting endangered species.
While the amendment received 54 Republican votes, it didn't receive the 60 votes it needed to pass.
There is a lot of work to do to reform the implementation of the Endangered Species Act. This amendment is just one of many reforms that I am developing with my colleagues in the House and the Senate. Hopefully, our future efforts will succeed in providing relief for Americans who have seen their property rights undermined and their economic opportunities diminished by policies that ineffectively protect the environment and disproportionately benefit well-funded activist groups and lawyers.
Dec 09 2014
Oct 01 2014
I was honored that members of my staff could attend the First Annual Utah Fallen Heroes Family Day at Neptune Park in Saratoga Springs. This event was organized by The Patriot Guard Riders of Utah, Blue Star Mothers, Survivor Outreach Service Support, and the City of Saratoga Springs. The event was held to honor and show gratitude to the families of our military and first responders who gave their lives in service to our country and communities.
Sep 18 2014
Today I attended a conference hosted by the National Association of Counties to discuss the importance and future of Payment in Lieu of Taxes funding. I appreciated the opportunity to speak to this group, so I could share my thoughts on how we can ensure that a dispropotionate share of the costs and burdens of federal land ownership aren't concentrated in counties with high levels of federal land.
Materials from the conference that highlight the problematic relationship bewteen PILT and federal lands
In my remarks to this group I identified several areas that we need to focus on as we work together to improve the PILT program and make it more reliable for the counties that rely on the federal government to keep its promise to offset the costs associated with high concentrations of federal land.
I emphasized that PILT is not an entitlement program. It is an affirmative obligation of the federal government. It must not be legislatively partnered with subsidies or other entitlements, because, as we have seen, PILT is being used as a politcal football. I will continue to work toward funding PILT as either a standalone bill or any other vehicle where Congress can focus on fully funding PILT with a long term bill that provides certainty to counties.
I also pointed out that the most important thing we need to focus on in improving the PILT program is to educate those who come from states with little federal land about the nature of this program. Every day I work to educate my colleagues about the unique challenges faced by states with high levels of public land. However, this education effort needs to be promoted by everyone who is concerned with the future of PILT. I am hopeful that those who attended this conference today will join me in this effort.