WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Cresent Hardy (NV-4) today introduced the Land Acquisition to cut National Debt Act, or LAND Act, which would prohibit the Departments of the Interior and Agriculture from using federal dollars to purchase land resulting in a net increase in acreage, during years in which the federal budget is not balanced.
The LAND Act prohibits the Secretary of Interior from using federal dollars to purchase land resulting in a net increase in acreage under the jurisdiction of the National Park Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, or the Bureau of Land Management, unless the federal budget is balanced for the year in which such land would be purchased.
The Secretary of Agriculture is likewise prohibited from using federal dollars to purchase land resulting in a net increase in acreage under the National Forest System, in years without a balanced federal budget.
“Simply put, this bill tells the federal government that responsibly and efficiently managing the 640 million acres of land it already controls must be a higher priority than acquiring even more private, state and tribal land,” Congressman Hardy said during a speech on the House floor today.
“The federal government has bitten off more than it can chew, and it cannot be trusted to serve as a responsible steward of even more of our lands and resources,” Hardy continued. “I’m a Nevadan. The federal government controls more than 81 percent of my state, and I think I speak for most of my constituents when I say, enough is enough.”
“The Departments of the Interior and Agriculture like to tout how important land acquisition is for conserving species, providing spaces for recreation, and preserving culturally significant sites. My bill would allow them to continue to use land acquisition as a tool for these purposes, but it would require them to focus their efforts on lands that truly need their oversight by turning over unnecessary land to those who are best able to manage it: the states.”
“At a time when our debt continues to soar, we can ill afford irresponsible budgets like Interior’s $13 billion request.”
“We need to get our fiscal house in order, and we can help that process along by passing my bill. Let’s allow state, local and tribal governments to invest in developing their lands, creating jobs and growing their economies instead of letting them fall into disrepair on the federal government’s watch.”
The LAND Act:
Prioritizes responsible, efficient management of lands currently under federal jurisdiction over further acquisition
Emphasizes the need for states to have increasingly greater control over the lands inside their borders
Asks that the federal government live within its means rather than borrowing to expand its land holdings
VIDEO: Hardy introduces LAND Act on floor of U.S. House of Representatives (http://youtu.be/ZFI2Ah9RXpw)
Congressman Cresent Hardy represents Nevada’s 4th Congressional District. He serves on the House Committee on Natural Resources, the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, and the House Small Business Committee.