WASHINGTON, D.C. –Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.J. Res. 69, a joint resolution of disapproval under the Congressional Review Act sponsored by Alaska Congressman Don Young, to overturn a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) rule on “Non-Subsistence Take of Wildlife, and Public Participation and Closure Procedures, on National Wildlife Refuges in Alaska.” The resolution of disapproval passed 225 to 193.
Congressman Young defending House passage of H.J. Res. 69 on the House floor (click here to watch)
“From the beginning, I said I would do everything in my power to overturn this illegal jurisdictional power grab by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Today, we’re one step closer to delivering on that commitment and eliminating a wrongful seizure of Alaska’s fish and wildlife management authority,” House Natural Resources Chairman Emeritus Don Young said after House passage of H.J. Res. 69. “I’m thankful to all those that played a role in moving this important resolution of disapproval, including the countless state and local stakeholders that worked with me to fight a very serious and alarming overreach by the previous administration. I look forward to working with Senators Sullivan and Murkowski to ensure H.J. Res. 69 receives swift consideration in the Senate.”
House Natural Resources Chairman Rob Bishop speaking in favor of H.J. Res. 69 on the House floor (click here to watch).
“This rule violates three Congressionally passed statutes that have precedence on this particular issue. Here’s the bottom line: Alaska Department of Fish and Wildlife know exactly what they are doing. They know the area. They know the animals. This rule only stops the fish and wildlife system of Alaska from simply doing their job as they know how to do it,” House Natural Resources Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT) said during floor debate. “There are some people who might think this only deals with Alaska. Technically it does, but the problem is if this happens to Alaska this could also happen in any one of the lower 48 states. We’re simply one lawsuit away.”
“The Federal Lands subcommittee will spend this Congress working on legislation to restore our public lands from the policy of benign neglect that has plagued our public lands to the point that we are losing our forests in the west and that has strained the relationships between our communities and our federal agencies. The resolution sponsored by Congressman Young is an excellent start,” House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Federal Lands Chairman Tom McClintock (R-CA) said.
On August, 5, 2016, FWS issued its final rule, which seizes authority away from the State of Alaska to manage fish and wildlife for both recreational and subsistence uses on federal lands in Alaska.
Congressman Young has work tirelessly in the U.S. House of Representatives to overturn the FWS a rule, efforts he’s called “an important step to enforcing the law and restoring Alaska’s federally protected ability to manage fish and game.”
- On February 26, 2016, Congressman Young successfully included an amendment within the House passed H.R. 2406, the Sportsmen Heritage and Recreational Enhancement (SHARE) Act, to strike the FWS proposed rule. The amendment passed 236 to 169.
- On July 14, 2016, Congressman Young successfully included an amendment to the FY 17 Department of Interior, Environment and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, that would have prohibited funds from being used to issue the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service rule. The amendment was passed by voice vote.
The Congressional Review Act is a powerful tool being deployed by Congress to overturn politically motivated rules finalized in the waning days and months of the Obama administration. With the passage H.J. Res 69 in the House and Senate and the signature of the president, Young’s resolution would ensure that the final FWS rule would have no force or effect, and that no substantially similar rule can be issued in the future without a subsequent authorization from Congress.
- Click here for additional information on Congressman Young’s efforts to overturn the FWS rule.
- Click here for background information on H.J. Res. 69.