In Nevada, the Obama administration might make another monument in the Heart of the Great Basin because it, supposedly, is a “center of climate change scientific research.”
In Colorado, the government is considering designating the Vermillion Basin as a monument because it is “currently under the threat of oil and gas development.”
Americans should be wary of any plans a president has to seize land from the states without their consent. Any new plans to take away states’ freedom to use land as they see fit must be stopped.
That’s why I sponsored an amendment to block Mr. Obama from declaring any of the 14 lands listed in the memo as “monuments.” Unfortunately, the Senate, led by Democrats, rejected it on Thursday evening by a vote of 58-38.
It was particularly disappointing that the Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, of Nevada, voted against the amendment. The government owns more than 80 percent of the land in Nevada and the unemployment rate there is 12.8 percent. Surely it would help job prospects if more land were open for business.
This is a nationwide problem. The government currently owns 650 million acres, or 29 percent of the nation’s total land.
Federal bureaucrats shouldn’t be wasting time thinking up ways to acquire more, especially in the middle of a recession. Taking the nation’s resources offline will stifle job creation and dry up tax revenues.
If anything, the government should be selling land off, not locking more up. By voting against my amendment, the Democrats tacitly endorsed Mr. Obama’s secret plan to close off millions more acres to commerce.
If enacted, the plan would mean fewer jobs for Americans.
The Democratic Congress refused to stop it, but one sure way Americans could help block it is if they decide some Democrats should lose their jobs on November.
Sen. Jim DeMint, South Carolina Republican, is chairman of the U.S. Senate Steering Committee, a caucus of conservative senators.