House Republicans Vote To Make Bureau Of Land Management Less Transparent, More Bureaucratic
For a long time, Republicans claimed to be opposed to government bureaucracy. The strange thing is that, since the election of Donald Trump, Republicans in Congress have been trying to make the federal government more bureaucratic. With bills like the REINS Act and the Regulatory Accountability Act, the new GOP Congress has been creating arcane new requirements for massive amounts of paperwork, delays, and obstacles designed to thwart a friendly, responsive relationship between the federal government and the American people.
This week, Republicans in the House of Representatives have passed yet another measure to make a federal agency more bureaucratic. H.J. Res. 44, introduced by Representative Liz Cheney, will destroy a key Resource Management Planning reform from the Obama Administration. The Obama-era reform specifically addressed citizen concerns about a lack of responsiveness at the Bureau of Land Management.
The Federal Register documents that the BLM reform “responds to concerns that, at times, the process can be cumbersome, slow to complete, and not adequately transparent or responsive to State, local, tribal or general public input. These concerns are addressed by increasing public access at earlier stages in the process, including public input on the scope of the resource management plan.”
The Republican resolution, H.J. Res. 44, will destroy the reform’s enhanced responsiveness, speed, transparency, and public involvement, bringing the Bureau of Land Management back to the bad old days of unresponsive, overextended, opaque bureaucracy.
Why are the Republicans seeking to make it more difficult to people to work with the federal government? Their strategy is to make the process so difficult that only large corporations with experienced teams of lawyers can make it through the bureaucratic maze. Grassroots activists who lack the resources and the inside knowledge to navigate Republicans’ bureaucratic obstructions will be shut out of the process.
Thus, under Republican legislation such as H.J., Res. 44, federal regulations will move forward exclusively with corporate input, to serve the needs of powerful corporations, ignoring the needs of everybody else.