February 6, 2014
UPDATE: U.S. House passes
Jones bill to overturn ORV plan
By IRENE NOLAN
U.S. House of Representatives today voted to pass HR 2954, a package of
bills called the Public Access and Lands Improvement Act that includes
U.S. Rep. Walter Jones’ proposal to overturn the Park Service’s ORV
plan on the Cape Hatteras National Seashore.
The vote was
220-194 along party lines in the Republican-controlled House. Six
Republicans voted against the bill, and six Democrats voted in favor.
speaking on the House floor, Jones said that the ORV plan and final
rules puts “excessive restrictions on public access to Cape Hatteras
National Seashore, which he said has damaged the economy in the area.
urged a return to the Park Service’s 2007 The Interim Management
Strategy that was supported by a 113-page Biological Opinion issued by
the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which found that it would not
jeopardize piping plover, sea turtles, or other species of concern.
last thing we need in Eastern North Carolina is unnecessary government
regulation stifling job creation and economic growth,” said Congressman
Jones in a news release after the vote. “I am grateful to my
colleagues in the House for voting to approve this common-sense
measure, which strikes the appropriate balance between protecting the
species that live in the Cape Hatteras area and protecting the
taxpayers’ right to access the recreational areas that they own.
Now it is time for the Senate to act.”
This is the
second time that the House has approved Congressman Jones’ Cape
Hatteras access proposal. It first passed the House in 2012 as
part of H.R. 2578, but the Senate took no action on that bill.
In this Congress, a Senate committee has favorably reported an amended version the bill, but no floor vote has been scheduled.
The bill is likely to have much more opposition in the Democrat-controlled Senate.
Also, the Obama administration has issued a statement that it opposes the package of measures passed today in the House.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Click here to read HR 2954.
Click here to read the amended version of S 486.
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