“Failure to understand the distinct and defined roles within our constitutional form of government has significant implications. The federal government’s siphoning of power away from American citizens and the states is a prime example. The 10th Amendment and our Founding Fathers’ concept of federalism clearly define that the majority of the power resides with the people and the states. However, activist courts and power-hungry bureaucrats have sought to undermine this tenet of the Constitution. Over the last fifty years, the federal government has successfully managed to gain influence over nearly every aspect of our daily lives. The solution to many of the problems that our nation currently faces, and the most effective way to ensure personal liberty, is to restore the balance of power as our Founding Fathers intended. Ensuring that the concept of federalism is applied to all decisions made by all three branches of the federal government is perhaps even the salvation of this country.”
Susan Eisenhower, granddaughter of President Dwight D. Eisenhower, wants a simpler design. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call FIle Photo)
After 15 years of planning a memorial to President Dwight D. Eisenhower, the design might move forward without architect Frank Gehry’s name attached to it.
In a Wednesday meeting blocks from Capitol Hill, the Eisenhower Memorial Commission will be presented with two plans for the four-acre site in Southwest Washington slated to become a memorial to the 34th president. There is no guarantee any official action will be taken, but the Eisenhower family, members of Congress and other stakeholders indicate the most recent compromise offered by the Gehry team is not the way forward.
That version includes the 80-foot columns that a member of the National Capital Planning Commission two weeks ago described as reminiscent of the “latter scenes of ‘Planet of the Apes,’” and a stainless steel tapestry featuring scenes from Ike’s pastoral Kansan roots. An alternate version removes the tapestry and columns, and Gehry has indicated that would not be associated with his name.
House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., proposed the second option to the Eisenhower Memorial Commission as a way to steer the long-stalled project out of neutral, after sensing discord from the federal planners that must give their stamp of approval, as well as the Eisenhower family.
After a lukewarm response from the NCPC, mounting criticism over operational costs and stalled funding from Congress, Issa thinks presenting a second option is the best way to move the project forward. He told CQ Roll Call he wrote the “somewhat unprecedented” letter to the EMC knowing that Gehry believes Eisenhower deserves this memorial and “that he’s not going to stand in the way, regardless of others.”
Issa said the modified design presented Sept. 4 meets the technical requirements well enough that it should be approved, but it seems he just wants to see something built. The commission has “an obligation to approve something and not go back to square one, after the millions of dollars invested,” he said.
The Eisenhower family, one of the most vocal opponents of Gehry’s design, supports Issa’s alternative or the complete redesign of the project that the congressman is hoping to avoid.
“They are also consistent with the wishes of our late father, John S.D. Eisenhower,” wrote the former president’s granddaughters, Anne and Susan Eisenhower, in a Sept. 15 letter to the members of the EMC.
Members of the commission, such as Sen. Joe Manchin III, D-W.Va., have remained optimistic that the Eisenhower family and other parties could work through their concerns with the project.
About a year ago, President Barack Obama added more discord to the EMC, when he appointed former National Endowment for the Humanities Chairman Bruce Cole to the mix. Cole testified to Congress in March 2012 that Gehry’s design “not only fails, but fails utterly,” and published scathing commentaries on the project.
On Tuesday, Cole told CQ Roll Call that Issa’s proposal is a “promising development.”
Fellow design skeptic Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah, chairman on the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Public Lands and Environmental Regulation, which published a scathing critique of the EMC, also sounded optimistic about the changes. Bishop has tried to restart the design competition for the memorial but told CQ Roll Call that Issa’s proposal offers “almost everything we want in the first place.”
Bishop planned to meet with the Eisenhower sisters to talk about the design in advance of the EMC meeting. He also hinted that the commission could decide to “wait, let things play out, look at some other ideas, which would be a wise thing to do.”
The current continuing resolution includes a provision extending the EMC’s authority to build a memorial on that site. Bishop cautioned that the House “is not willing to just keep giving them blank checks for funding.”Read More
For Immediate Release
Contact: Eric Reller 202-314-2073 or Eric.Reller@NFIB.org
WASHINGTON, D.C., Sept. 17, 2014 – The National Federation of Independent Business, the nation’s leading small business association, today named U.S. Rep. Rob Bishop (UT-1) a Guardian of Small Business for his outstanding voting record on behalf of America’s small-business owners in the 113th Congress.
NFIB President and CEO Dan Danner praised Rep. Bishop for “standing up for small business.” In presenting the group’s coveted Guardian of Small Business Award, Danner said, “Small-business owners are very politically active – paying close attention to how their lawmakers vote on key business issues and stand by those who stand for them.”
“The record shows that Rep. Bishop is a true champion of small business, supporting the votes that matter in the 113th Congress,” said Danner. “This award reflects our members’ appreciation for supporting the NFIB pro-growth agenda for small business.”
NFIB’s “How Congress Voted,” which serves as a report card for members of Congress, was also unveiled this week. The report presents key small-business votes and voting percentages for each lawmaker. Those voting favorably on key small-business issues at least 70 percent of the time during the 113th Congress are eligible for the Guardian award.
In all, NFIB will present Guardian awards to 232 Representatives who stood up for small business.Read More
The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) is reviewed and voted on annually by the U.S. House of Representatives to provide funding for the U.S. Department of Defense’s budget. The bill provides funding for vital national defense capabilities, including our troops, essential infrastructure, weapons systems, the operations of the Pentagon, and cost of living pay increases for the military. Congressman Bishop and the HASC Members selected by the Chairman to negotiate the final NDAA with the U.S. Senate will work to ensure that this vital legislation is enacted so that our national defense capabilities may continue.
“The instability and unrest occurring today around the globe emphasize our need to have robust national defense systems in place throughout every branch of our military and our intelligence agencies. The U.S. Department of Defense has suffered draconian cuts over the past five years that have jeopardized the safety of our troops and the readiness of our forces. Ensuring that we address the needs of our troops and the Pentagon in the NDAA is a priority and I look forward to joining with fellow HASC Members to ensure that we get this bill passed in the Senate and signed into law,” said Congressman Bishop.Read More
For more than forty years, the regulation of water quality throughout the United States has been achieved through collaboration between states and the federal government. This partnership was established under the 1972 Clean Water Act (CWA) and limited the extent of the federal government’s oversight authority to “navigable waterways.” The defined responsibility of states and federal agencies resulted from the fact that not all waters need federal oversight and subsequently, that states should have the primary responsibility for the waters within their boundaries.
“The EPA is aggressively working to expand its regulatory and rulemaking authority. Decisions about water quality, use, and management are best made in coordination with officials at the local and state levels, and should not be decided solely by federal bureaucrats. The notion that water quality in our states would somehow be in jeopardy without the overreach of the EPA is bogus and unsubstantiated. States, many of which are leaders on research regarding water quality, are equally capable of ensuring that waters upstream and downstream have proper oversight,” said Rob Bishop.
The Supreme Court has twice reaffirmed the defined roles of states and federal agencies. The current presidential administration, however, has sought to “clarify the scope” of the federal government’s oversight jurisdiction under the CWA, which would ultimately expand its regulatory and rulemaking authority. The Waters of the United States Regulatory Overreach Protection Act would limit federal agencies from having the ability to unilaterally expand their power over waters in the United States.Read More
Deseret News editorial
Officially, it’s called the Utah Public Lands Initiative, but it’s more commonly referred to as “Bishop’s public lands initiative,” in deference to championing Rep. Rob Bishop. The Utah congressman also is chairman of the House Subcommittee on Public Lands and Environmental Regulation.
Now in its second year, the initiative continues to carry an oft-heard tag.
Built on the belief that conservation and economic development can co-exist in a locally driven effort, the public lands initiative proposes solutions for some 18 million acres in eastern and southeastern Utah, with possible wilderness designations reaching 2 million acres and creating well-defined areas for recreation, oil and gas development, mining interests, potash extraction and more.
It’s also built on the ideals of compromise and creativity — that trade-offs trump face-offs and that bargaining while giving up a little in a win-win situation for all sides is better than digging in with a defiant all-or-nothing attitude.
In theory, the initiative could and should work. In reality, it’s an uphill battle. A long shot.
Consider the expanse of the 18 million acres and the seemingly equally numerable stakeholders invested in the land. You’ve got county commissioners and cattlemen, politicians and petroleum corporations, fishermen and four-wheelers, landowners and lawmakers, Native American tribes and wilderness foundations, and developers and drillers. All are interested and all are invested in their own interests.
The challenge is getting the stakeholders all invested in the public lands initiative — and it’s no surprise the stakeholders often use that “long shot” label themselves.
There’s varying investment in the public lands initiative on the various local fronts. Emery County has had its give-and-take proposals finalized for quite some time now. Meanwhile, some counties — including those with less land involved in the initiative — are talking about stepping away from the negotiation table. It seems like for every step forward, there’s either a hesitancy to step ahead or the likelihood of stepping back.
Understandably, stakeholders who are communicating, considering and offering proposals of compromise are simultaneously continuing on with “business as usual” — individual efforts to further their objectives and protect their turfs. Because if the initiative doesn’t come through, they don’t want to be left alone or left behind. An example: while the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance has been negotiating in good faith with other stakeholders in initiative talks, they’re still pursuing support for the proposed America’s Red Rock Wilderness Act, a bill proposal to protect BLM-administered wilderness areas laden with red-rock features throughout the West.
Initiative versus act — negotiating with initiative stakeholders versus pushing for singular wilderness designation? Those aren’t conflicting efforts as much as they are being ready for either scenario — committed to the initiative if it goes through, but also being ready to move in a specified direction if it doesn’t.
Looming on the horizon is a proposed Greater Canyonlands National Monument, which would not only gobble up a tenth of the initiative’s 18 million acres but squelch many of the stakeholders' interests. In other words, the more expansive possibility of “likely land uses” suddenly becomes the much-narrower reality of “protected land use.”
The monument proposal flared up again last month when 14 U.S. senators — none from the state of Utah — wrote President Obama, encouraging him to use the Antiquities Act to establish the monument, similar to what President Clinton did in 1996 with the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.
Most stakeholders don’t use the monument proposal as a threat when negotiating with each other nor as a ticking time bomb to prompt their own actions. But it’s like a nagging reminder of what could happen if all parties don’t come together to help the initiative become a reality.
As summer gives way to fall and with Bishop hopeful to introduce the initiative to Congress early next year, now’s a good time to have stakeholders check their progress. Are they committed to breaking new ground or retreating to the status quo? Are they willingly testing these new alliances in the initiative or turning back to protecting their own turf?
While the “locally driven” initiative relies heavily on the involvement of individual counties, might a cooperative gathering of county leaders to discuss efforts and successes help the individual efforts? Might the state offer assistance in a “big brother” role of counsel and encouragement for the counties?
And do negotiations (or the lack thereof) in similar current land-use/wilderness conflicts — such the RS 2477 road access lawsuits involving stakeholders such as the state of Utah, most of the state’s counties, SUWA and numerous landowners — serve as a foreshadow of what might and might not happen as the public lands initiative heads from the back stretch, around the final turn and toward the finish line?
That last phrase sounds like a horse-racing analogy — and rightfully so. Everyone’s excited when a long-shot racing horse overcomes big odds and wins. And with this long shot, the stakeholders and the public can be excited with win-win results.
Copyright 2014, Deseret News Publishing CompanyRead More
The legislation makes updates and improvements to the Endangered Species Act (ESA), which has struggled to accomplish its core mission due to outdated policies. Since the bill’s creation in 1973, more than 1500 species have been listed and the current rate of recovery stands at just 2%. It has been 26 years since updates were made to ESA. Excessive litigation by special interest groups has been an albatross around the neck of ESA, and has prevented it from achieving the results for which it was intended. Today’s legislation seeks to address this challenge, improve transparency of the program, bring greater state involvement, and reduce the taxpayer-financed litigation.
“The Endangered Species Act isn’t working. The ultimate goal is to ensure that threatened and endangered species are successfully recovered and that long-term management plans are put into place. This legislation puts us on a path to do that. Without updates we will maintain the status quo, which has had a success rate of just two percent. In every classroom in America, that counts as a failing grade. We have to do better,” said Congressman Bishop.
The following are key improvements to ESA included in H.R. 4315:
· Data used by federal agencies to support an ESA listing will be made available to the public through the internet.
· The federal government will disclose to affected states data used prior to an ESA listing decision.
· The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will be required to track, report to Congress, and share online federal taxpayer funds as well as personnel hours required to respond to ESA related lawsuits.
· Placement of reasonable caps on attorneys fees to make the ESA consistent with existing federal law. Through ESA-related litigation, attorneys are being awarded large sums that often include rates as much as $600 per hour. In most other areas of the federal government, attorneys’ fees are limited to $125 per hour in most circumstances.
Supporters of this legislation include:
· American Logger’s Council
· U.S. Chamber of Commerce
· Family Farm Alliance
· National Rural Electric Cooperatives Association
· National Endangered Species Act Reform Coalition
· National Association of Conservation Districts
· National Association of Counties
· Western Energy Alliance
· American Farm Bureau Federation
· Americans for Responsible Recreational Access
· American Council of Snowmobile Associations
· BlueRibbon Coalition, Inc.
· Motorcycle Industry Council
· National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council
· Off-Road Business Association
· Recreational Off-Highway Vehicle Association
· Specialty Equipment Market Association
· Specialty Vehicle Institute of America
· The Public Lands Council
· National Cattlemen’s Beef Association
· Washington Farm Bureau
· Oregon Farm Bureau
· Idaho Farm Bureau
· Colorado Farm Bureau
· The Public Power Council
· Northwest River Partners
· Wyoming County Commissioners Association
· Wyoming Stock Growers AssociationWyoming Association of Conservation Districts Read More
The bill specifically facilitates the exchange of approximately 20,000 acres of state-held mineral rights within the Hill Creek Extension of the Ute Indian Reservation for mineral rights on approximately 20,000 acres of land located within the northern portion of the reservation. This new law protects cultural lands in the southern part of the reservation and provides new opportunities for energy development elsewhere.
“This legislative effort is an example of the successes that are possible through collaboration. So much uncertainty exists with the way areas of our public lands are managed and used. Here we were able to take interests of different entities, the Ute Tribe and the State of Utah, and reach an agreement about an equitable exchange that protects sensitive cultural lands while also providing opportunities to generate revenue for public education. This bill is an important part of our ongoing efforts to successfully address the decades old challenges that have prevented us from reaching agreements about land use, management, and conservation. It is my hope that this is among many future successes on this front,” said congressman Bishop.
Congressman Jim Matheson (UT-04), Congressman Jason Chaffetz (UT-03), Congressman Chris Stewart (UT-02), and Senator Mike Lee (Utah) are original co-sponsors of the legislation.
Utah Rep. Rob Bishop (R) has long butted heads with conservation leaders and the Obama administration over land-use policies that he says hamper domestic energy production and destroy jobs.
But Bishop and Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) drew praise from conservation groups yesterday, the day after the Senate approved legislation sponsored by Bishop and Hatch that would authorize the state of Utah to relinquish certain school trust or subsurface mineral lands in order to benefit the Ute Indian Tribe of the Uintah and Ouray Reservation.
The House approved the bill in May; President Obama is expected to sign the bill into law.
The "Hill Creek Cultural Preservation and Energy Development Act," H.R. 356, calls for the exchange of roughly 20,000 acres of Utah's mineral rights from ecologically and culturally sensitive lands in the Desolation Canyon region of the Uintah and Ouray Reservation for federal mineral rights in another, less environmentally sensitive part of the reservation.
Utah's School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration, or SITLA, has long wanted to swap state lands for mineral-rich tracts managed by the Bureau of Land Management, though the idea is controversial.
Bishop has been working for months with a large number of different stakeholders in the state, including conservation and local county leaders, on a number of public lands proposals that strive to balance energy development with other uses, including new wilderness designations (Greenwire, Oct. 22, 2013).
Environmentalists praised Bishop and Hatch for championing H.R. 356.
The Desolation Canyon area has long been a target of oil and gas development. BLM in 2012 approved a plan to drill as many as 1,300 natural gas wells in the next 15 years across more than 206,000 acres of mostly federal land. BLM's plan calls for using directional drilling techniques to stay away from sensitive areas, but critics say it will still harm the Desolation Canyon wilderness study area.
The Wilderness Society is part of a coalition of conservation groups that filed a federal lawsuit in Salt Lake City this year challenging the Interior Department's approval of the project (E&ENews PM, Jan. 22, 2013).
"This legislation will help protect one of the most ecologically critical and culturally sensitive lands in the country," Paul Spitler, director of wilderness campaigns at the Wilderness Society, said in a statement. "At the same time, it will increase revenue for the Utah schools and the tribe. It is a win for the environment, the tribe and the state.
"We applaud Congressman Bishop and Senator Hatch for their leadership and commitment in securing passage of this important bill," Spitler added.
The Bishop-Hatch bill was one of a slew of natural resources bills approved this week by the Senate, including measures that would increase the size of an Oregon national monument and create a national park in Maryland (E&E Daily, July 10).
Bishop said in a statement that he was happy the bill found favor with Democrats and Republicans alike.
"I am pleased that we are finally able to get this long-sought exchange to the President's desk. Today, that's not such an easy endeavor," he said in a statement. "This bill importantly takes into account the interests of both the Ute tribe and the State of Utah. It offers necessary protection to sensitive cultural lands while providing new opportunities to generate revenue for Utah's public education."
123 Cannon HOB
Washington, DC 20515
A public school teacher turned public servant, Rob Bishop represents Utah’s First Congressional District in the U.S. Congress.
Rob Bishop is a life-long resident of the First District, with the exception of two years he spent in Germany while serving a mission for the LDS Church. He was born and raised in Kaysville, Utah, where he graduated from Davis High School with High Honors. He later graduated magna cum laude from the University of Utah with a degree in Political Science. He has been a resident of Brigham City since 1974.
Rob is married to Jeralynn Hansen, a former Miss Brigham City. They have five children: Shule, Jarom, Zenock, Maren, and Jashon. They have six grandchildren- three boys and three girls.
Before coming to Congress, Rob was active in community theater, which is how he met his wife many years ago. As an avid baseball fan, Rob is a season ticket holder to the Salt Lake Bees and has coached in multiple leagues.
Rob is a devoted public servant. He has served his community in the State Legislature. During his sixteen years representing the Brigham City area, Rob distinguished himself as a leader. His last two years he was unanimously elected to serve as Speaker of the House. He also co-founded the Western States Coalition, a multi-state organization dedicated to protecting states’ rights and promoting Western interests and values.
Rob has served his political party for more than thirty years. Rob has worked at nearly every level of the Republican party, from precinct chair to member of the Republican National Committee, and has spent years working in every corner of this District. He has gone from Vice-Chair of the Davis County Teenage Republicans in 1968 to the advisor of the Utah Teenage Republicans in 1996. In 1997, he was elected Chairman of the Utah Republican Party. He served for two terms.
Rob has dedicated his life to teaching. He started teaching at Box Elder High School (BEHS) in Brigham City in 1974. From 1980 through 1985 he taught German and coached debate at Ben Lomond High School in Ogden, Utah, before returning to BEHS. Before retiring in December of 2002, he taught advanced placement courses in government and U.S. History, while serving as the Chair of the History Department at BEHS.
On January 7, 2003, Rob Bishop was sworn in as the new Congressman from Utah’s First Congressional District, replacing the retiring Representative Jim Hansen. For his first term, he was appointed to serve on his top three choices for House Committees – the Armed Services Committee, the Resources Committee, and the Science Committee – all three of which handle critical issues for Utah’s First District. In January 2005, Rob was sworn into a second term. He was subsequently appointed by the Speaker to serve on the powerful House Rules Committee, the legislative “gatekeeper” for all bills coming to the House floor. During the 111th Congress, Rob was instrumental in founding the10th Amendment Task Force- a coalition of House Members committed to working toward disbursing power in Washington back to the people and states.
Rob is now in his sixth term in the House. During the 113th Congress, Rob will serve on the House Armed Services Committee and the powerful House Rules Committee. Rob will also continue serving on the Committee on Natural Resources where he is Chairman of the Public Lands and Environmental Regulation Subcommittee.