It was reported over the Thanksgiving weekend that Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) may be hoping to attach controversial wilderness legislation during the lame duck session of Congress. Well, it sounds like it may be time for you to call your members of Congress…
The Heritage Foundation’s Nicolas Loris has this for TheDailySignal.com:
Congress’ Sneaky Tactic to Grab More Land for the Government
Unfortunately, as this year’s lame duck session winds down, some lawmakers are trying to end-run the normal legislative process in a rushed, closed-door approach. This presents an opportunity not only to lard up the NDAA with pork, but also to muddy up defense policy making and force through bad policies in an opaque manner.
In the 2015 NDAA, rumored provisions include designation of 250,000 additional acres of wilderness, four new national parks and seven national park studies (future parks-to-be).
These provisions would lead to more government ownership of America’s land and more restrictive land-use policies that prohibit energy development and economic activity.
If Loris is correct, and some backroom deal is being struck to add this land grab to a defense bill- surely there must be something decent in there for military family members? I mean…this is a defense bill after all. Maybe not.
Check out what the lame duck Congress has in store for military families according to Politico’s Morning Defense: DEAL REACHED ON NDAA
House and Senate negotiators have clinched a deal on the annual National Defense Authorization Act, overcoming a standoff over troop benefits and paving the way to have the measure on the House floor by Thursday. Senate Armed Services Chairman Carl Levin said the compromise with his House counterparts involved his demand that the final bill include cost-cutting measures to increase Tricare pharmacy co-pays and reduce troop housing benefits. The bill is expected to be released today.
“We still have to present it to our bodies,” the Michigan Democrat said. “Obviously that is not a minor issue.”
USA Today: Congress tries to find path through ‘must-pass’ bills
House and Senate negotiators were nearing an agreement on a more than $1 trillion package that includes all 12 annual funding bills until Obama announced his executive action last month to protect up to 5 million undocumented immigrants from deportation.
Some congressional Republicans now want to use the funding package as a vehicle to try to block the administration from implementing the immigration plan. However, any such legislative effort would likely be vetoed by the White House, leaving Republicans with few options to counter Obama’s action.
Lawmakers have essentially three options: approve another short-term, stopgap funding bill; approve the full package of annual spending bills through September 2015; or a hybrid approach that would fund most agencies but provide only short-term funds to agencies that oversee immigration policy in order to buy Republicans more time to craft their strategy without threatening another shutdown.
The Daily Signal also has this: A Taxpayer’s Guide to the Lame-Duck Session