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111th Congress                                                   Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 2d Session                                                     111-510

======================================================================

 
  DIRECTING THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR TO TRANSMIT TO THE HOUSE OF 
     REPRESENTATIVES CERTAIN INFORMATION RELATING TO THE POTENTIAL 
                   DESIGNATION OF NATIONAL MONUMENTS

                                _______
                                

   June 23, 2010.--Referred to the House Calendar and ordered to be 
                                printed

                                _______
                                

  Mr. Rahall, from the Committee on Natural Resources, submitted the 
                               following

                              R E P O R T

                             together with

                            ADDITIONAL VIEWS

                      [To accompany H. Res. 1406]

  The Committee on Natural Resources, to whom was referred the 
resolution (H. Res. 1406) directing the Secretary of the 
Interior to transmit to the House of Representatives certain 
information relating to the potential designation of National 
Monuments, having considered the same, report favorably thereon 
without amendment and recommend that the resolution be agreed 
to.

                       PURPOSE OF THE RESOLUTION

    The purpose of H. Res. 1406 is to direct the Secretary of 
the Interior to transmit to the House of Representatives 
certain information relating to the potential designation of 
National Monuments.

                  BACKGROUND AND NEED FOR LEGISLATION

    H. Res. 1406 is a resolution of inquiry that directs the 
Secretary of the Interior to transmit to the House of 
Representatives, not later than 14 days after the date of the 
adoption of the resolution by the full House, copies of all 
Department of the Interior documents, maps, records (including 
electronic records), communications and other information 
dating from July 1, 2009, and later referring to or relating to 
a specific internal draft document of the Department of the 
Interior concerning the potential designation of National 
Monuments. Under clause 7 of rule XIII of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, the Committee must act on such a 
resolution within 14 legislative days or a privileged motion to 
discharge the Committee will be in order in the House.
    Under the rules and precedents of the House, a resolution 
of inquiry is one of the methods used by the House to obtain 
information from the executive branch. According to volume 7, 
chapter 24, section 8 of Deschler's Procedure, it is a ``simple 
resolution making a direct request or demand of the President 
or the head of an executive department to furnish the House of 
Representatives with specific factual information in the 
possession of the executive branch.''
    An earlier resolution of inquiry (H. Res. 1254) introduced 
by Representative Doc Hastings (R-WA) on this same subject, as 
well as other matters, was ordered reported without 
recommendation by the Committee on May 5, 2010. That earlier 
resolution sought numerous documents and significantly more 
broad categories of information. H. Res. 1406 asks only for the 
information related to the specific internal draft document on 
the potential designation of National Monuments.

                            COMMITTEE ACTION

    H. Res. 1406 was introduced on May 27, 2010 by 
Representative Hastings of Washington. The resolution was 
referred to the Committee on Natural Resources. No hearings 
were held on the resolution. On June 16, 2010, the full Natural 
Resources Committee met to consider the resolution. The 
resolution was ordered favorably reported to the House of 
Representatives by voice vote.

            COMMITTEE OVERSIGHT FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

    Regarding clause 2(b)(1) of rule X and clause 3(c)(1) of 
rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, the 
Committee on Natural Resources' oversight findings and 
recommendations are reflected in the body of this report.

                   CONSTITUTIONAL AUTHORITY STATEMENT

    Clause 3(d)(1) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives does not apply, as H. Res. 1406 is not a bill 
or joint resolution.

                    COMPLIANCE WITH HOUSE RULE XIII

    1. Cost of Legislation. Clause 3(d)(2) of rule XIII of the 
Rules of the House of Representatives requires an estimate and 
a comparison by the Committee of the costs which would be 
incurred in carrying out this resolution. The Committee 
estimates implementing this resolution would not result in any 
significant costs. The Congressional Budget Office did not 
provide a cost estimate for the resolution.
    2. Congressional Budget Act. As required by clause 3(c)(2) 
of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives and 
section 308(a) of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, this 
resolution does not contain any new budget authority, spending 
authority, credit authority, or an increase or decrease in 
revenues or tax expenditures.
    3. General Performance Goals and Objectives. As required by 
clause 3(c)(4) of rule XIII, the general performance goal or 
objective of this resolution is to direct the Secretary of the 
Interior to transmit to the House of Representatives certain 
information relating to the potential designation of National 
Monuments.

                    COMPLIANCE WITH PUBLIC LAW 104-4

    This resolution contains no unfunded mandates.

                           EARMARK STATEMENT

    H. Res. 1406 does not contain any congressional earmarks, 
limited tax benefits, or limited tariff benefits as defined in 
clause 9 of rule XXI.

                PREEMPTION OF STATE, LOCAL OR TRIBAL LAW

    This resolution is not intended to preempt any State, local 
or tribal law.

                        CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW

    H. Res. 1406 would make no changes in existing law.

                            ADDITIONAL VIEWS

    Over three months ago, Committee Republicans sent a written 
request to Interior Secretary Salazar seeking documents related 
to an internal memo that revealed the Administration's 
potential plans to unilaterally designate up to 13 million 
acres as new national monuments. Such a designation could have 
a dramatic impact on the livelihoods and jobs of Americans and 
rural communities all across the Western United States.
    Despite repeatedly claiming that there is no ``hidden 
agenda,'' the Interior Department has done nothing but 
stonewall efforts to make these documents public. In fact, the 
Department has failed to produce even one single additional 
page from this memo beyond pages 15-21 that the Committee 
Republicans exposed.
    The night before the Committee's previous markup when the 
first resolution of inquiry was considered, the Department 
released 383 pages of e-mails and documents, but purposefully 
withheld 2,016 pages of documents. While these e-mails 
contained no substantial information--they did not even provide 
the attachments shown in the e-mails--they did raise even more 
questions about the Administration's plans.
    We know that other pages of this document do exist and that 
the Department of the Interior apparently does not want the 
American people to find out what the document says. At this 
point, only pages 15 to 21 have been revealed and they were 
leaked, not released. The Department continues to withhold 
pages 1 through 14 as well as pages 22 and higher. Why is the 
Department refusing to disclose ALL of the pages?
    We now know that other agencies were involved in preparing 
this document--not just the Bureau of Land Management. The e-
mails reveal that other Department of the Interior agencies 
including the National Park Service, Fish and Wildlife Service, 
Bureau of Indian Affairs, and the Bureau of Reclamation were 
involved in contributing to this document. What were the 
proposals for new designations or actions within each of these 
agencies?
    The resolution of inquiry--House Resolution 1406--passed 
with a bi-partisan vote of the Committee on Natural Resources. 
The Committee's favorable vote should result in the American 
public getting answers to these questions. The Department 
should promptly transmit a complete copy of the document along 
with the 2,016 pages of related material they have identified 
and gathered as being responsive to our request but are 
nevertheless deliberately withheld from the public.
    The Resolution is very straight forward. It simply directs 
the Department of the Interior to transmit to the House of 
Representatives material that is specifically identified in the 
resolution as:

          Copies of all Department of the Interior documents, 
        maps, records (including electronic records), 
        communications and other information dating from July 
        1, 2009, and later referring to or relating to the 
        document containing ``Attachment 4 Prospective 
        Conservation Designation: National Monument 
        Designations under the Antiquities Act'' and marked 
        ``Internal Draft--NOT FOR RELEASE'', including that 
        document in full, all attachments in full, and all 
        iterations of that document, and related similar 
        documents.

    This will not require extra work or distract the Department 
from other responsibilities. They have this information readily 
available. It was assembled weeks ago. All they need do is make 
it public. There is no justifiable reason for the Department to 
keep these documents secret. This resolution puts the Committee 
on Natural Resources on the side of full disclosure and 
transparency, principles that Members on both sides should be 
proud to support. It is now time for the Department to make all 
the documents public. If the Department fails to disclose all 
of the documents following action by the Committee to favorably 
report House Resolution 1406, then it will be up to the 
Committee to act again and take what steps are necessary to 
compel the Department to disclosure the documents.
                                                      Doc Hastings.