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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  January 20, 2016 4:00am-6:01am EST

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i'm a numbers guy. if you look at the federal budget, the most important factor is economic growth. since world war ii, our economy has grown, on average, 3.3% a year: if we don't turn around what i call the obama stagnation, if we stay at 1 and 2% growth, we can't solve these problems. on the other hand, if we get back to historic levels, that enables us to grow. it enables us to rebuild our military, to strepgten and preserve social security and medicare. growth is priority.
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j.f.k. campaigned on 5% economic growth. he got in, cut taxes, limited regulations and small businesses took off and he achieved economic growth of 5%. j.f.k. would be a republican today. he stood for religious liberty and he would be tarred and feathered by the modern democratic party. some men see things as they are and ask why. i see things that never were and ask why not? these are the principles that work. we get booming economic growth and take on the cartel and reigning government. that's the only way to turn around our national debt.
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two final questions, yes, from right here. a great question. can you get my autograph? absolutely yes. in one second, when when we finish up, i promise, i'll be happy to do it. >> how do you intend to get some of those things done? or what are the realistic ones that you could do even without support? >> it's a great question. her question was, i heard the things you want to do on day one. what is realistic to get accomplished? how do we actually turn things around? >> there's nothing we can do. we can't win. we can't turn the country around. and, even if we win, we can't change.
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it's complete nonsense. any president coming in has three pins pl levers to change the direction of government. the first is executive power. now, we've seen president obama abusing executive power over and over and over again. here's the silver lining. everything done with executive power can be undone with executive power. so if you look at the first three things i promised to do on day one, rescind every unconstitutional kpiktive action, a president can do that. you don't need congress. you don't need anybody else. all you need is a pen with an eraser. the second, again, within full executive power. a president can and i will do that on day one. and the third is protecting
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religious liberty. so a president can. and, as president, i will end that assault on day one. every one of those can be accomplished before midnight on the very first day. the second avenue is foreign policy. foreign policy, likewise, can change over night: that's the difference a strong commander in chief can make. so the next rips to shreds this nuclear deal. a president can do that on his own. he never submitted it to congress. so you can undo it as president.
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congress passed some time go legislation mandating that. so each president keeps waiving that. well, on day one, i'm going to unwaive it and we're going to start moving the embassy to jerusalem. it had final lever of presidential powers legislation. now, it takes time. it's why, for example, i don't promise to repeal obamacare on the first day. as much as i would like to, and there's no one who wants to repeal obamacare more than i do, but a president doesn't have the power to do that on day one. that's not a question of executive power. the two major ledge slative niche tifrs, and we talked about
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this just minutes ago, are repealing obamacare and passing a syrup flat tax. if you ask the questions can we get obama to two along, no. if i tried to do that today, it wouldn't happen. the only way to change it, think of the last time we beat the washington cartel. it was 1980, it was the reagan revolution. and it was because there's this massive grass roots movement from the people that changed the incentives from washington. there's an old joke that politics is hollywood for ugly people. my wife says i resemble that remark. but the way you change the dynamic, think about it. in 1981, reagan comes into office. tip o'neil, told ronald reagan,
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do not even bother sending your tax plan over to the house. it is dead on arrival. he said i've got 20 democratic votes to kill your tax plan. now, reagan didn't head over to the capitol and pour a drink and used legendary irish wit. that wasn't going to move tip. he went to the congress and the american people and the america. and suddenly, tip's 20 votes became 19 votes, became 18 votes, became 17 votes. and we ended up under reagan's leadership, because the american people rose up, going from a top marginal rate of 70% cutting it all the way to 28%. that's the only way you repeal obamacare and get a flat tax, is if you have a mandate from the people so that it becomes politically more dangerous for the politicians to do the wrong thing than it is to do the right thing.
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yes, ma'am. >>. [ inaudible ] how do we who have family members who are on the t, not ted team, how do i convince these people to stop looking at the shiny objects and to understand who is the constitutional candidate? >> proven conservative right there. >> so it's a great question. okay. so it's a great question. which was how do we, if there are folks, family members, friends, who are supporting mr. trump, how do you convince them to come over to this side? and let me give you a very simple question that i would suggest you pose them. have you ever been burned by a politician? >> barack obama. >> have you ever seen a politician who says one thing and does another? and every one of us has seen that over and over again.
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it's why we're frustrated out of our minds. now how do you distinguish between politicians who are follow through on what they're saying and those who are just talking a good game? listen, a republican primary, everyone says they're a conservative. you notice nobody on that debate stage stands up and says, "i'm a squishy establishment moderate. i stand for nothing." [ laughter ] nobody says that. every one of them claims to be a conservative. so how do we distinguish? and the way to distinguish -- you know, the scripture says "you shall know them by their fruits." so i would suggest that you urge your friends who are looking at any other candidate, don't listen to what they say or what i say. ignore what all of us say on the campaign trail. look to our actions. so, for example, every candidate says they oppose obamacare. in 2013, we had as reagan would
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put it, a time for choosing. a major dragout, knockdown battle on obamacare, where millions of americans rose up. i was proud to lead that fight. and i will point out, the other folks on that stage, none of them were anywhere to be found. so if they say today they oppose obamacare, the natural question is, where were you in 2013 when the fight was being fought? also in 2013, after sandy hook, when barack obama and harry reid came after our second amendment right to bear arms, millions of us rose up to protect the second amendment. i was proud to lead that fight. we defeated their gun control proposals on the floor of the senate. if you look at the other individuals on that debate stage, none of them were anywhere to be found. they didn't stand and fight to defend the second amendment. let's take immigration. there are candidates today who say they care deeply about immigration. they care deeply about amnesty. well how do you test that?
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also in 2013. we had a knockdown, dragout fight. barack obama and chuck schumer and the democrats joined with a bunch of establishment republicans in pushing a massive amnesty plan. now that plan made it through the senate and republican leadership was prepared to take it up in the house, pass it with the democrats and barack obama would have signed it. we were on the verge of losing amnesty. amnesty would have been granted to 12 million people across this country. the only reason it was beaten is because millions of americans rose up. i was proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with jeff sessions and steve king, and we led the battle to defeat it, and defeated it and stopped amnesty. now i'll if i have give a very
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simple point you can make to your friends. the other individuals on that stage were nowhere to be found. it was like they were in witness protection. and let me tell you something. if when the battle is being fought, when it's on the verge of amnesty being passed, you don't stand up and show up to fight, then your credibility when you're a presidential candidate, when you say, gosh, i really care about amnesty, becomes a little suspect. and that is what is so encouraging is what we're seeing. and it's the great thing about new hampshire. it's the great thing about iowa and south carolina. listen, you all take this seriously. the responsibility to vet the candidates, to look them in the eyes. say, all right, who is telling the truth, who is blowing smoke? and to distinguish who has a record of having walked the walk. let me close with this. if you all agree with me, that it's now or never, that we are
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at the edge of a cliff, and if we keep going in this direction, for another four, eight more years, we risk losing the greatest country in the history of the world. if you agree with that, then i want to ask each of you to do three things. number one, join us. commit tonight to stand up and vote in the new hampshire primary and stand with us. the second thing i want to ask of each of you. is that you volunteer. you sign up tonight. we have volunteers who can take names. sign up to be a precinct leader. sign up to be a county leader. commit tonight to pick up the phone and call your mom. that's actually a good idea anyway.
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call your sister, your son, your college roommate for your business partner. and say this election matters. it matters for me, for my future. it matters for my kids. it matters for my grandkids. i want to ask everyone here to vote for me ten times. now listen, we're not democrats. i'm not suggesting voter fraud. but if every one of you gets nine other people to show up on voter primary day, you will have voted ten times. and those of you who aren't 18, if you get ten people to show up and vote who are, you will have voted ten times.
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and the third and final thing i want to ask of each of you is that you pray. that you lift up this country and pray and commit today each day from now to election day. spend just one minute a day. when you get up in the morning, when you're shaving, when you're having lunch, when you're putting your kids down to sleep. when you're laying down to go to bed, simply say, "father god, please continue this awakening, this revival. awaken the body of christ that we might pull back from this abyss." we are standing on the promises of second chronicles 7:14. if my people, which are called by my name shall humble themselves and pray, and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then i will hear their prayer. and will forgive their sins. and i will heal their lands.
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let me tell you a bit of history. that our friends in the media will never share with you. in january 1981, when ronald reagan took the oath of office, his left hand was resting on second chronicles 7:14. a very concrete manifestation of those promises from scripture. we have done it before, the american people, pulling this country back from the abyss. we have done it before. and if we stand together, we will do it again. thank you.
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>> let me turn around a little bit and squeeze in here. excellent. thank you very much. god bless you.
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how are you doing, sir? thank you. god bless you. >> i just want three single -- >> thank you very much. >> thank you. >> i just want to understand your position on second amendment. with the cullen decision, i think it appears the second amendment is not unlimited. and it does open up, you know, opportunity for the state to have some regulations. i'm an independent. and i'm actually -- i'm
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considering you, because i like your position about reigning in spending, i like your position about iran. with that is there any regulation on the second amendment you would be in favor of? >> well, for example the supreme court points to the prohibition on felons. and if you look at the history, we have had prohibition from selling felons. the supreme court concluded that is a permissible regulation and needs to be enforced. it's an example where i think the obama administration gets it wrong. where every time there is violence, their approach, you know -- is to go after the constitutional right to keep and bear arms falls by the wayside. i think that's the wrong focus. we ought to focus on the murderer or terrorist and protect the constitution. >> i agree with that too. very good. thank you very much. thank you.
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>> thank you so much. >> i have a question for you, sir. >> this way. >> thank you. >> i'm a tenth amendment guy. if the state decides to adopt it -- i don't support it, but i can i think it's legitimate for each state and i trust the people in the state. >> senator cruz, this is my mom. >> oh. great to see you. >> nice to meet you. >> hey, guys.
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>> tell your name. >> rosie, r-o-s-i-e. . >> excellent. >> i'm the dad. >> i kind of figured that. but what's the matter, your dad doesn't merit an introduction? i understand. being a dad, half the time -- >> thank you so much. i'll see you later this week. >> excellent. >> this is bruce.
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>> are you missing any teeth? just lost two -- sudden hee the teeth start falling out. i'm glad you're here. >> thank you for coming out. >> thank you. what's your name? and how old are you? excellent. here, you guys want to get a picture? all right. >> thank you. good luck. >> thank you, bonnie. >> hi! >> how are you doing? >> good, how are you? thank you. >> who is the kid? >> hello. i'm mary. >> hi, mary. >> i'm a member of your strike force.
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i wanted -- [ inaudible [ inaudible ] nice to meet you. >> thank you. >> yeah, of course. no problem. >> can i get a photo? >> yeah, of course. bruce. excellent. thank you very much. >> how are you doing, sir? what's your name? >> christian. >> christian. good to meet you. matt, good to meet you. thank you very much. god bless you. how are you doing, sir? >> great. how are you? >> i'm doing terrific. what's your name? >> mike. >> mike, good to see you. >> same here. listening to you on mark levin all of the time. good luck. give them hell. >> you've got my word on it.
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>> thank you, sir. thank you very much. >> thank you, sir. >> thank you. >> i loved when you were speaking. >> thank you. >> those are the notes, he said. the things to do. >> excellent. >> thank you, sir. >> good to see you. >> good to see you is too. >> thank you for being here. >> thank you! >> thank you very much. >> thank you, sir. >> thank you, sir! >> absolutely. >> good to see you. thank you for being here.
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thank you, sir. >> you've got to get in there. are you ready? >> we love you, ted. thank you. >> thank you very much. god bless you. thank you so much. god bless you. >> if you can back right up. >> right here. >> go right out the door. right out the door. >> interstate reciprocity. >> tell me your question real quick. [ inaudible question ] >> my job has been outsourced three times overseas, insourced by my work. so there's no united states. >> you are absolutely right. it's why i focus on economic growth and the two levers of tax reform and regulatory reform. so if you look at for example
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the simple flat tax i've introduced. go to the website and read the details. there are a lot of aspects. for individuals, it's a 10% tax for a family of four. everything else goes away. >> all right. >> on business side, if we get rid of the corporate income tax, the death tax and payroll tax, the biggest tax, and the obamacare tax. and replace it with a 16% business flat tax that applies universally to everyone. here's a piece that's really important for what you're facing with this job being outsourced. the business flat tax is what's called border adjustment. which means if you're exported, they're tax-free. any exports -- if you're manufacturing goods or sending abroad, they're tax-free, which gives u.s. manufacturers a huge advantage in competing on the world stage. and the flip side of that is all influence. >> right. >> so that they're competing on a level playing field. what that will do --
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particularly combined with dealing with obamacare and regulations is allow small businesses to grow and it is the middle class, the working men and women who are getting hammered right now. >> yeah. >> and those are the jobs we'll bring back. and you're right. if we don't bring it back, the economy doesn't turn around. >> right. >> and so that is my single-minded focus is bringing back the middle class to working men and women who felting getting hammered. >> all right. young conservative. >> thank you for being here. >> i have a question for you. what do you think about this cold weather? >> well, al gore promises global warming, but it hasn't been happening. >> thanks a lot. good luck. >> thank you! >> i'll give it to my dad and he'll love it. >> got a new jacket. >> thank you very much.
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c-span takes you on the road to the white house. best access to the candidates at town hall meetings, speeches, rallies and meet and greets. we're taking your comments on twitter, facebook and by phone. and always every campaign event we cover is available on our website, c-span.org. with io governor terry bran instead's announcement he wants to see senator cruz lose the iowa caucuses and sarah palin's endorsement of donald trump, a busy day two weeks before the iowa caucuses. joining us is catherine lucey, ap reporter for government and politics. thank you for being with us. >> great to be here. thanks. >> walk us through the events of the day and how both of these events unfolded. >> yes. busy day, obviously. earlier today, the io governor, br
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bransted who traditionally does not make any endorsement in iowa, it a press conference with some reporters at a conference about -- for renewable fuel. so like ethanol. it's a conference dealing with that industry. and he said that iowans should reject cruz because cruz supports phasing out a federal standard for the fuel. when he was directly asked would he like to see cruz defeated in iowa, he said yes. so this -- not an endorsement. he's not making an endorsement, oh, but -- sending a strong signal about who he doesn't want to see elected here in iowa. >> so is this as much an issue about the renewable fuels for iowan voters or a larger issue of ted cruz and the republican party? >> you know, i can't see inside his heart and mind, obviously. what he is officially talking about is his concern for renewable fuels.
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that said, bransted is someone who certainly identifies more with the establishment wing of the republican party here who really hasn't coalesced around a candidate and there is hand-wringing about the fact that trump and cruz are battling it out here to win the caucus it at the moment. >> will governor bransted endorse anyone before the caucuses on monday, february 1st? >> as far as i know, he has repeatedly said that he will not make an enforcement, and he did not say anything different today, so i would be surprised if he did. but we're in a very weird year so it's not impossible. but he has not traditionally endorsed. >> catherine lucey, after days of speculation, it's now official. sarah palin supporting donald trump in iowa. does this in any way affect the caucuses? >> you know, that's a big question, and i think we're going to have to see how it plays out. you know, i think endorsements only mean so much.
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you know, obviously, she's somebody who has support and interest here, and you know, trump is hoping this will kind of push him over the edge. i think it's going to continue to be a tight race between cruz and trump here as we go into the final days. >> you are following the candidates on the ground across iowa. what are you sensing in this republican field? >> you know, i think there really is a lot of frustration and anger and people who really want to see a change. and so i think both -- in different ways, both trump and cruz are tapping into that. i mean, the thing that's different about them and i think will be interesting to see on caucus night is they have approached this in different ways, and they're going to some different audiences. so if cruz has a more traditional caucus campaign, he spent a lot of time trying to reach out to churches, to pastors, to build a very traditional and impressive
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ground operation whereas trump is holding giant rallies, huge events, and is really pulling in lots of people who don't traditionally participate at all in these events. so his success is predicated on getting new people out to caucuses. >> and, of course, as you well know, political experts saying there are essentially three, maybe four tickets out of iowa. so right now, who is that third candidate? >> you know, the more interesting thing going on right now in iowa is the race for third, or the so-called i guess establishment race. right now, rubio -- senator marco rubio appears to be in a good position. he is coming in third in the polls. but certainly chris christie, jeb bush, and then carson are all pushing here, trying to see if they can -- perform better than expected. >> and, of course, as we have seen in the past, the last two weeks before the caucuses, can
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see some significant changes in the polls. >> absolutely. the polls -- polls can change. iowa voters tend to break late, so there's definitely give still in the field. and in addition to the three or four tickets out, there is sort of the expectation. so someone could come in, but if they -- there is a little bit of that going on too. you do perform better than people think you will. >> catherine lucey, who is covering this presidential campaign and the iowa caucuses specifically, she writes for the associated press, joining us from des moines. thank you for being with us. we appreciate it. >> thank you. wednesday, a panel of mayors, including rahm emanuel of chicago, mitch landrieu of new orleans, and baltimore's stephanie rawlings blake talk about policing in their cities. live coverage at 1:00 p.m. eastern. on monday, the c-span bus is
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at the jefferson street baptist church in nashville, tennessee, for a rally commemorating the life of dr. martin luther king jr. harold love toured the bus during community events on martin luther king day in nashville. find out when the c-span bus will visit your community online at c-span.org/bus. as i've been watching the campaign this year, it's far more interesting to look at the republicans than it is to look at the democratic side. and that may have some -- that may have something to do with why there's more interest in these candidates and their books. >> sunday night on q & a, carlos lozata discusses books written by the 2016 presidential candidates. >> so many of them -- everyone i think does have interesting stories in their lives, and politicians, you know, who are
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so single-minded in this pursuit of power and ideology. could have particularly interesting ones. but when they put out these memoirs, you know, they're just -- they're sanitized. they're vetted, you know. they're there for sort of minimum controversy. >> sunday night at 8:00 eastern on c-span's "q & a." utah's house speaker joins a panel on federal land management in the west. roughly 65% of utah's land is owned by the federal government. this is about an hour and 20 minutes, and took place at the heritage foundation. so we have to push -- push in to speak, he guess.
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>> good afternoon. welcome to the heritage foundation, and our douglas and sara allison auditorium. we welcome those online and all of these occasions. i would ask for a courtesy check that cell phones have been sometimes silenced. it is appreciated. our internet viewers are simply reminded you can e-mail speaker heritage.org. opening our discussion is becky norton dunlap, vice president for external relations. she oversees heritage as strategic outreach and communication and both nationally and internationally to conservative policy organizations, our leadership organizations, as well as policy activists. prior to joining heritage, she served in the cabinet of governor george allen, as secretary of natural resources. she has also been a senior official in the reagan
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administration, servesing in the office of presidential personnel as deputy assistant director and special assistant to the president for his cabinet office. she has been a special assistant to attorney general ed meese, and for purposes of today's program as well, she was deputy undersecretary of the department of the interior, and an assistant secretary for fish wildlife and parks. please join me in welcoming becky norton dunlap. bucky? [ applause ] thank you very much, john, and let me add my words of welcome to the group we have here today on behalf of the heritage foundation. of you know, the heritage foundation is an organization, a research and education organization, that finds its policy roots in the constitution of the united states of america. and i think that's a very important point when it comes to having a discussion, such as the one we're going to have today. we think that if you're an originalist, that you don't look
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to prior court decisions. you look to the constitution. and what does the constitution say how we should behave and act in this country today? we have a great conversation that we're going to have today. it's -- it's one we need to have more often these days. given the challenges that we're facing and given the opportunities that we have. it's certainly particularly timely, and it's my privilege to introduce the person who is going to it moderate the discussion today, stan rasmussen from the southerland foundation. southerland has been active in the discussion and legal background on this very important issue of who should be in charge of the lands in the several states. the southerland institute has hosted a number of conferences
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on this and also done a lot of the support of the legal work. it also is the home of our -- let's say the face of this battle these days, ken ivory, who is also with us. but stan directs the southerland institute's legislative efforts on utah's capitol hill, and coordinates the actions with the governor's office and other state and local leaders. he has a tall order today, because we have a whole table full of wonderful speakers. but let me introduce stan, who will take over from here and introduce our various speakers and then make sure we have a robust discussion. stan rasmussen, welcome to the heritage foundation. >> thanks to john and to becky. and to your heritage foundation colleagues for welcoming us here today. and for hosting this important and timely discussion, as you mentioned. america is a land of promise.
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the american promise asserts that government exists to secure equal opportunity, fundamental fairness and the inalienable rights of freedom. the right and control of property and the right of individuals to determine their own destiny. to protect life and liberty, but to take away the right and control of property, which is the fruit and the badge of that liberty, is to shatter this promise, leaving states and their peoples as second-class citizens. at this point in time, in january 2016, the federal government still controls more than 50% of all the lands west of the rocky mountains. but less than 5% of the lands east of this continental divide. this inequality and fundamental unfairness breeds political exploitation, harms the environment, depresses western communities, stifles national opportunity and undermines our constitutional system where self reliant states provide a double security to the rights of the people. our history atests that until we
quote
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realign the american promise with the american promise, there will always be dissonance, d discord and frustration. the solution is for congress to transfer to willing states all multiple use federal lands for more effective, local care, management and leadership. today, presenting overviews of the legal, environmental, economic and taxpayer impacts of this inequality and fundamental unfairness, we will be hearing from dr. robert nelson, mr. matthew anderson, professor ronald rotunda and from mr. george wentz. speaker of the utah house of representatives, gregory hughes, will describe efforts undertaken to date and the remaining work necessary to be done to redress these harms. following speaker hughes, we will take a few minutes for question and answer for those of you who are with us here in the allison audit sore tore yum. we will force look at the environmental elements. a long standing pattern of
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prioritizing policy over people. as is particularly evident in the state of utah, and throughout the west. among the most articulate and persistent voices addressing these issues is dr. robert h. nelson, professor of environmental policy in the school of public policy at the university of maryland. professor nelson. >> i'm pleased to be here. this is an important meeting, and seems as though we might be on the verge or hopefully on the verge of some, now you know, mainly new developments on public lands. i'm going to talk, actually, more about history than economics, even though i'm an economist by training. but i've long had the view that a historical perspective is critical to public policy making. so i'll start with a little personal history, and then
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present some broad picture of overall public lands history. it will have to be very broad, given the amount of time i have. and anyway, i came to the interior department as a young staff economist in the office of the secretary of interior in 1975. and one of my first assignments was to study the blm grazing program. and not having been raised in the rural west, i was surprised to discover that the federal government was deciding the specific pastures where cattle should graze in various specific months of the year over tens of millions of federal acres in the west. as i thought -- as it struck me, it hardly looked like a federal question. i was wondering, what we were doing. and then later i looked into another thing that influenced my thinking was the financial aspects of western public land management. i looked at the grazing program.
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grazing fees were bringing in about 15 million a year, while the costs of the grazing program easily exceeded $100 million a year. and this was symptomatic of the whole federal land presence in the west. so by the early 1980s, i was arguing, still in the interior department, and a surprising number of my economist colleagues in the interior department agreed with me that we should simply get rid of much of the federal lands in the west. not the national parks but the vast areas of what you might call ordinary public lands and multiple use public lands. since public recreation was the most valuable use of these lands, i proposed to give them away to the states. this is in the early 1980s. where easy public access could be maintained. privatization, i came to understand, was a sure loser.
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at that time, westerners complained that saudi sheikhs, then rolling in money, would become their new landlords. and so i was encouraged when ronald reagan declared that he was a sage brush rebel in 1980. this is when i started learning, however, that things could be complicated. i did not interact much personally with james watt, but the head of my office did. and so i had access in that way to watt himself. but to my surprise, watt was not interested. he said, based on his information, that the states did not really want the lands. they were concerned that the management costs would be too high, and so the land transfer ideas and privatization proposals of the early 1980s went nowhere. so i decided to take a longer
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strategy of thinking and writing about the future of the public lands. if any major public land reform was going to happen, a lot more public knowledge and understanding apparently would be necessary. so i've been working on this project now for more than 30 years, including three books. one in 2000, with the title "a burning issue: a case for abolishing the u.s. forest service." and by then i had moved to the school of public policy at the university of maryland, where i'm still based today. besides the books, 20 or 30 articles and other publications, over 30 years are posted at my school website. i would also like to say, the recent developments in the west -- this goes back to the old fiscal impact issue of the 1980s. have brought me back to the old question, the fiscal impacts on the federal government and the
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states of transferring much of the ordinary public lands to the western states. fortunately, the state of utah issued a 732-page report in november 2014 that made it possible to answer this question with a brand-new degree of accuracy. at least for utah. the bottom line is that -- and despite the arguments of -- and even the fears of many people, assuming all the federal minimal rights are transferred to utah, but the federal government continues to pay for wild fire suppression and protection, the fiscal impacts come close to a wash. about a plus $20 million from a comprehensive land transfer for the federal government, and a minus $20 million for utah. so there are no major financial obstacles to a comprehensive
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land transfer. and i think this is a very important point to make clear in the continuing public debate. so the question of federal lands really comes down then to a basic question of american federalism. and i think the answer is pretty obvious that the federal government owning 66% of utah is not exactly compatible with traditional american federalism thinking. so i'm going to turn now to the broader issue of the history of the public lands. which i've spent a lot of time thinking and writing about over the last 40 years. on the whole, i've -- some time ago, came to recognize that federal land management over the past 200 years has been a history of failure.
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the roots of that failure lie in american national ignorance of the real circumstances in the west. time and again, members of congress and the wider american public have projected utopian fantasies on the west, and then enacted laws supposedly designed to realize these fantasies. then being left to westerners to try to find a way of living with these misguided laws. the first washington fantasy concerns the disposal of federal lands in the 19th century. federal officials wanted a publicly planned, orderly process of land settlement. another key idea was that since the lands were federal property, their disposal should raise large revenues to fund the federal government. but even then, washington was dysfunctional. it's not a new thing. and the whole federal officials
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were very slow to work out their plans and put them into action. at the same time, millions of americans, many recent immigrants wanted some hand land of their own. i'm willing to wait for a cumbersome federal government to act. they simply moved on to the lands in large waves of occupancy. large parts of the midwest and the west in the united states were settled by squatters. congress would then engage in fierce debates about whether illegal acts should be rewarded by granting the squatters retroactive property right. in the end, they always capitulated to the squatters. with the homestead act, congress effectively gave up. you might call it the legalized squatting act of 1862. but as so often has been the case, official washington got it
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wrong again. in the aftermath of the homestead act, settlement was moving into the arid, wild areas of the west where 160 acres, which was a limitation in the homestead act, was all together unworkable. westerners in fact late 19th and early 20th century were dealing with new forms of the federal land laws. the next utopian fantasy projected on the west was shaped by the progressive movement the at the end of the 19th and early 20th century. its guiding theme was the scientific management of american society. displacing the crude interest group politics of the gilded era. a core idea was that american governments could be separated into two distinct domains. one of democratic politics to set the broad directions and another of expert implementation of the politically determined goals.
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american universities then were gearing up to provide the technical knowledge and professional personnel to put it into practice. the yale school of forestry, for example, was created in 1900 to supply the federal forests with the necessary forestry professionals. on the federal lands, all this meant the year of disposal and arrival of a new era of progressive management. the forest service was created in 1905. the first wildlife refuge was established in 1903. the federal government ceased disposing of oil and gas and coal rights in 1910, and the park service was created in 1916. by the 1950s, however, leading american scholars were describing the progressive governing scheme as unworkable in practice. public land management, as a leading example, turned out not
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to be scientific management, but political management. the leading land agencies sought to create appealing images designed to maximize their political support. smoky bear was a great public relations success, although prominent scientists even then were warning of the problems of total fire suppression. we're dealing with the consequences now, but the forest service itself as always finds a way to survive, now spending half its budget on wildfire suppression and prevention. by the 21st century, it was daung on increasing numbers of americans that federal scientific management really meant dysfunctional management. in his recent grand treatise, political order and political decay, the forest service was
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offered a leading case example. the most recent of the great public land fantasies took shape in the 1960s, as reflected in the wilderness act of 1964. instead of the old progressive movement, we now saw the emergence of the environmental movement. the core idea was that pristine nature was being trampled by the american headline pursuit of industrialization and other forms of growth and economic progress. the resulting harms were seen as essentially a moral evil committed against nature itself. implicitly, a part of nature little touched by human hand was a remaining part of god's creation. in disturbing the natural areas, human beings were stepping into the role of god. divine retribution, typically in
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the form of an environmental calamity, was sure to follow. it was all very biblical. a secular duty ron me, you might see. the same power of christian fundamentalism. they both agreed on one thing. the god of economic progress, as had won so many converts in the 20th century, was a false god. the triumph of environmentalism was symbolized in the 1990s by a fundamental shift in the official management goals of the federal land agencies. for decades, reflecting progressive era thinking, the federal lands had been guided by the utilitarian goal of multiple use and sustained yield. from the 1990s, however, the new
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purpose would be ecosystem management. focused on new objectives, such as protecting the intrensic value of wild nature and biodiversity from human impacts or, quote, assaults in the language of the environmental movement. instead of new ski resorts, instead of new recreational roads easily accessible to most americans, the clinton administration would commit itself to doubling the size of roadless areas in the public -- in the national forests. secular environmental religion never had enough public support to win official approval from congress. instead, ecosystem management was put into practice in both the clinton and obama
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administrations by aggressive executive action. but even more influential was the american judiciary, which in the 1970s, effectively replaced the forest service and the vlm as the leading driver of public policy. the clash of environmentalism with scientific knowledge is now increasingly recognized even by many american environmentalists themselves. we live in what is increasingly being recognized as an anthropacine age. so this has all been something of a very happy illusion. the obama administration sees itself as the virtuous spokesperson for american higher values. the rest of us are country bumkins.
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but it is the obama administration that fails to recognize that the grounds of its supposed high ideals have been crumbling in the 21st century. but projecting fantasies on the west is admittedly nothing new. as i've been describing. the most recent example of all this was the announcement just last week by the obama administration that is suspending federal coal leasing. it was under pressure foryñc[ñ current environmentalists who increasingly demanded america must soon become fossil fuel-free. and they are also pressing to keep it in the ground in the west. halting coal leasing is a symbolic incremental step towards the realization of that goal. as always, the public lands in the west are a guinea pig for projection of the latest idealistic fantasies of the
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truly natural world. such projections are easier to make when the land is public, and subject to federal decisions in washington. they -- it would be much more difficult to try to put these fantasies into effect if the land is privately owned. but in the west, i don't see any prospect for privatization. so the state transfer is what we have to look for. in conclusion, i remain an optimist that a new dose of reality can be introduced into federal land management. about 30% of federal lands are now being managed for the protection of their supposed character. it may be a fiction, but a lot of people still believe it. it's a political compromise i would be willing to accept their continued federal ownership. in fact, the utah proposals essentially do that, exempting the natural parks and wilderness areas.
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for the rest of the land, it seems to me quite compelling -- of course, i've been saying this since the early 1980s, so it's not exactly -- i've given you sort of the rationales of how i came to the conclusion, but it seems rather obvious that if we were to apply any normal understanding of american federalism principles, we would simply transfer the ordinary or the multiple use public lands to the states. orue-.q multiple use public lans to the states. [ applause ] >> thank you, dr. nelson. next examining the revenues associated with federal land management and comparing them with state trust management in several western states, we'll hear from mr. matthew anderson, a policy analyst with the coalition of self-government of the west, an organization based in salt lake city.
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he'll briefly describe the experiences in western states when the importance of absentee bureaucrats are compared to those whose livelihoods depend on the care and management of lands. mr. anderson. >> hi, everyone. it's an honor to be here today at the heritage foundation and at our nation's capital. today i've been charged to talk about the economic impacts that federal lands have on the united states. 90% of all federal lands are located in the western united states with one out of two acres being managed and controlled by the federal government. that's one out of every two acres being controlled by bureaucrats 2,000 miles away from people who own the land. dr. nelson just talked about the
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environmental impacts that has. polluted skies, smoke, decimated wildlife a reality, but the economic ramifications are just as real. we see our oil and gas industry as well as our other energy development industries are languishing under heavy federal regulation. what's this doing? well, those in our rural communities are experiencing a mass exodus out of our state to other communities where jobs are abundant westerne westerners, especially in their pocketbooks. to begin with -- got to make sure this works. there we go. from 2008 to 2014, pennsylvania experienced a 2,000% increase in the production of national gas. my home state of utah 1%. this isn't a matter of geology
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in pennsylvania compared to utah. the federal government only controls 2% of the state of pennsylvania. my home state of utah 66%. huge difference. so when we consider that, we also need to consider how long it takes for these oil and gas wells, their permits to be approved. in 2011, it took an average of 307 days to approve a new oil or gas well permit. 307 days, almost an entire year. that's when permits do get approved. that's just when it actually happens. so when we combine this backlog with all the federal lands that are considered off-limits by the federal government, isn't it any surprise that utah is
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languishing? let's ask ourselves the question what if the federal government loosened its grip and we had the opportunity to use these lands? in his 2013 study, he proposes three scenarios based on the amount of oil and gas well lease permits that are up as well as the economic impacts it would have if the federal government were to approve these. he gives a high, medium, and a low scenario as you can see over there on the powerpoint. underneath the medium scenario, the approval of permits would go back to the original level they were at before 2008. 2008 saw a huge shift in the amount of permits that were being approved. and under that we would see a huge increase to the economic benefit to states in the rocky mountain region. over 600 gas and oil wells will be drilled every year. that would be $10.6 billion in
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increased revenue from oil and gas. 87,000 jobs and more than $3 billion in tax and royalty payments to state and local governments. that is an exorbitant amount of money that's being backlogged by the federal government. this is unlikely to happen under federal management. we're unlikely to see this become a reality. last march, there was a study released examining the revenues of state managed lands versus the federal government. pardon me. montana, idaho, new mexico, and arizona. they have very different economies, very different state management agencies as well as natural resources.
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came as no surprise that lands managed their lands more effectively than the federal government did. the federal government lost $2 million every year on their land management in the western united states. states on the other hand were producing substantial amounts of revenue. as you can see on my powerpoint over here, for every dollar that the state spent on land management, they produced $14.51 whereas the federal, well, they were losing 27 cents on every dollar only producing 73 cents. that's amazing. the federal government does not have the same insentives that states do to produce economic benefits. they don't control for costs the way states do. they don't produce the revenue. the reason for this they cannot keep the revenues that they generally produce. you can see the federal government spends nearly six
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times as much per acre as states do for their management. so there's huge economic ramifications that occur here. oftentimes in the federal lands debate we hear the question, if these lands were transferred over to the state, how would you manage them? how could you afford to do it? i think the real question should be asked how the feds managing to do this? the simple answer? taxes. this isn't just a western problem. this is a problem that impacts all of us. utah is paying for this. arizona, colorado, sure, but maryland, florida, new york and other eastern states are as well. the simple fact is these lands need to be transferred to the states, states that have the capability, know-how and the desire to manage these lands responsibly and economically. thank you. >> thank you, matt. focusing now on the legal dimensions, on december 9th, 2015, an acclaimed team
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presented a landmark legal analysis on utah's claims to compel the federal government to transfer multiuse federal lands to the state. the exhaustive analysis of the history, constitutional construction, concluded the intent of the property clause of the u.s. constitution was to dispose of public lands, not to forever retain them. we will now view a brief videotape message by a member of that legal team, eminent constitutional scholar. we will be pleased to hear from mr. robert -- pardon me, mr. george r. wence. >> i want to thank the good people at heritage for inviting
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me. i'm sorry i can't be there in person, but i can't be in two places at once. i've been involved in constitutional law since i graduated from law school in 1970. this is one of the most exciting cases i've worked on because it relates to a basic principal of states rights. in a way it's not to give rights to states. it's a way to give rights to us the people. some states had very little land, rhode island. virginia claimed land from the eastern shore all the way to the west coast. in fact, part of california was originally part of virginia according to the title it got from the king. well, people did not want that to happen and they didn't want some states to be unequal to others. they should be equal in sovereign powers. they should have the same powers
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over their land that other states had, so they had this principle which the supreme court has called the equal footing doctrine. all states come in on equal footing. we knew how to acquire land, but the framers wanted to make sure that there was this power, indeed, obligation to dispose of the land as a way of developing the nation. the idea was that they would turn over the land to the federal government, the unappropriated land, the public lands to the federal government so it could give clear titles. everyone understood that the federal government would engage in the regular disposition of the land and they did that at first. they did this for 38 states. maine, texas, tennessee, vermont, kentucky, hawaii. in all of those the federal government turned over to the states the public lands when they became states.
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not so for utah, oregon, and other states. 12 are distinctly orphan like position. they're less equal than others. if you drew a lodge tud nal line through denver, you'd find to the right of that line the federal government owns hardly anything. to the left of that line, the federal government owns at least half or substantially more than that in the states. if you subtract from all that land the national parks, that's minuscule. for example, in utah the federal government owns more land than the entire state of new york. one of the counties owns an amount of land greater than the entire state of kconnecticut.
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the legislature agree they could not string a fiberoptic cable across the state without getting permission from a bunch of faceless federal bureaucrats in washington, d.c. that's not what the framers intended. it's not the way it was in this country until about 1976. people don't seem to understand that. now what the federal land policy and management act tells us in 1976 is that 12 of the 50 states are going to be treated second rate, not on equal footing. we didn't know that at first. the way it's been interpreted we have figured out that the federal government is not about to allow these 12 states to be like all of the others. here we have this problem. what needs to be done? what we don't have to do is what they're doing in oregon now, which is take over a federal building. the constitution has given us a remedy provided the states have
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the power to see the federal government for violation of their rights. i'm pleased to be working with a great team of lawyers. there's john howard, who is a lawyer in california, who has been working on land problems for years, has a tremendous knowledge of the early history and the case law in this area. jim jardean. richard simmons, professor at the university of idaho. he's argued over a dozen cases, 15 or more cases, before the u.s. supreme court and an expert on supreme court practice. george wince, who has his law firm in louisiana, very knowledgeable about the areas. then there's little ole me. there is a good solid case. and what the federal government is going is wrong. the western states uniformly object to the federal control. they know how to take care of the land and they can do a
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better job than people several thousand miles away. >> so they went back to my high school year back for that picture. i'm george wince. if i get that to work, i'll start rocking and rolling here. there we go. okay. >> law school 1970. >> all right. they gave me 15 minutes to cover 400 years of history and jurispruden jurisprudence. i think the professor has shined a light on what's going on here very well. utah is treated very, very differently than 38 other states. today, we're going to talk a lot about the equality of the states, the sovereignty of the states, and the way the state's governments interact with the federal government, the federal government that the states themselves created.
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but we know nobody ever went fishing with a state. nobody ever sat down to dinner with a state. when it comes down to it, what we're talking about is the issue of kids, their future. this is my son rob. when we talk about these legal theories, i want you to understand that all of these legal theories that we're going to discuss are designed to protect the life, liberty, and property of kids like my son rob. you know, over the course of my lifetime the biggest change i've seen is the progressive growth of the federal government. at this point i think the concentration of power in washington, d.c. is probably the largest threat to my son's future. so when i talk about federalism, the structure of the constitution, a lot of thought went into that by the founders to protect that kid's future. so let's talk about the equal sovereignty principle. according to an unbroken line of
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supreme court cases, the states of the union -- you can see the states there -- they created the federal government in order for the system to work. the states have to be equal in sovereign power. here's how chief justice roberts put it in 2013 in shelby county v. holder. not only the states retain sovereignty under the constitution. there's also a fundamental principle of equal sovereignty among the states. over 100 years ago this court explained this nation was a unity of states. the constitutional equality of the states is essential to the scheme of which the republic was organized. it remains highly pertinent in
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subsequent disparate treatment of states. it makes perfect sense when you consider we are a federal republic. we are a federation of states. the central government was created by independent sovereign states that had fought long and hard and defeated the most powerful military in the world to get their independence and their sovereignty. they were not about to go into a union where they had to give that up. they were going to be equal. now, the government takes the position that dominion over land within the borders of a state has absolutely nothing to do with state sovereignty. nothing to do whatsoever. so let me show you where this thing all started, where the states started first arguing about equal sovereignty. you got it. dominion over land. under its 1609 charter, virginia
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claimed a massive swath of land all the way out to california. and maryland was this little land bound locked state over to the right. maryland said, we're not joining a state where we're going to be swallowed up by this behemoth virginia. we're also not willing to join a union of states where virginia can create subsequent vessel states. you vote the way i tell you to vote. they could stack the deck in congress. so maryland was extremely worried about this. they held out in joining the union over this. six states had western land claims. not just virginia. they were conflicted. they were all over the place. tod france was standing by to join the fight against the british, but they were not going to join until the united states got their act together and formed an
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effective government. so maryland insisted that the states with western land claims give those up. the question rose, give them up to whom, to what. the only answer out there was to give them up to the new central government they were formed to be divided out into new states that would become equal members of the union. so in 1780, maryland held out long enough to get congress to pass this resolution. that the unappropriated lands that may be relinquished to the united states shall be disposed off for the common benefit of the united states and be settled and formed into distinct republican states and have the same rights of sovereignty, freedom, and independence as the other states. maryland finally relented in march of 1781 after virginia and the other states with western
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land claims agreed to this resolution. almost immediately after that, france sent over 20,000 troops. they sent over their fleet. and within five months of maryland signing the articles of confederation, guess what. the war was over. i don't know how many men died while maryland held out for the principle of equal sovereignty, but it is a fundamental funding principle of our nation. it's in the fabric of the way we were constructed. equal equality of the states. in addition to the rulings of the supreme court that i read to you, history also dictates that the states must be equal in sovereign power and the states from the beginning have seen that equality as having an awful lot to do with dominion over the land within their borders. so as a matter of history, the government's position that dominion over the land within our borders has nothing to do with sovereignty is wrong, but i
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believe they're also wrong as a matter of constitutional law. in a federal system, as you can see on the screen, the states create the central powers i've said. it only works if each one of those states when they're bargaining with each other can protect their interests. and that only works if they have equal sovereignty. if you have weak states that can't protect their interests, they would be ganged up by the larger states. once again the deck gets stacked up in congress. is utah weaker than new york because utah does not have dominion over its land when new york does? the answer is absolutely. absolutely. let's talk about two rights the supreme court has recognized as fundamental sovereign state rights. taxes and self-governance.
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taxes are the fuel of self-governance, but utah can't tax 66.5% of its land, so it gets a welfare check called p.i. l.t. payment in lieu of taxes. do you think there's any political pressure in congress associated with congress issuing those welfare checks to utah? that maybe some strong arming going o goes on? here's what he said. here's the beginning of the quote. congress lauds its power over western communities to extort political concessions from them like some two bit racket. nice school your kids have. be a shame if anything should happen to it. these states and communities are looking for nothing more than certainty and equality under the law. yet congress treats these not as rights to be protected, but as
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vulnerabilities to be exploited. closed quote. this is not what the framers had in mind. our federal system simply can't work as designed where some states are weak and their votes in congress can be controlled by the strong states. the citizens of the weak states will never be equal to the citizens of the strong states. and this is happening now throughout the west. so second, the federal system is based on a concept called dual sovereignty. you see the federal government up top. the states down below. there's a duality in this system. what's that all about? that's all about protecting the citizens of the states from tyranny and protecting their individual liberty. once again, it comes down to protecting the people. here's how the roberts court put it in the first obamacare case. i'm sorry for the density of that slide. state sovereignty is not just an
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end of itself. federalism secures to citizens the liberties that derive from the defusion of sovereign power. because the police power is controlled by 50 different states instead of one national sovereign the facets of governing that touch on citizens' daily lives are administered by smaller governments closer to the governed. the independent power of the states also serves as a check on the power of the federal government. by denying any one government complete jurisdiction over all the concerns of public life, federalism protects the liberty of the individual from arbitrary power. so how does that work when you've got the federal
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government owning 66.5% of your state? well, you know what? it doesn't work. the dual sovereignty is swept away. unelected federal bureaucrats thousands of miles away exercise police power over far more of utah than governor herbert. and the citizens of utah can't vote out unelected federal bureaucrats if they don't like what they're doing, so utah citizens do not have the same protection from arbitrary sovereign power that new york citizens do. it's a huge problem. utah is also denied the same sovereign power to take lands. you've heard of condemnation proceedings. you want to build a road. well, you know, utah is 66.5% is federal land. you can't throw a stone without hitting federal land. you can't condemn it. try to build a highway. try to string a broadband
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system. you can't do it. you can do it in new york. you cannot do it over here in utah, so that's another sovereign right taken away, but think about that right. commerce attracts industry, population growth, okay? highways and broadbands make commerce. now let's ask this. how is federal political power doled out among the states? the way it's doled out among the states is through the census every ten years on the basis of population. so we increase our population, we get more house seats and we get more votes for the president in the electoral college. but because we have no sovereign power and we can't create highways and broadband and other things to attract commerce and industry, we can't increase our population. no population. no political power. no dominion over land. no ability to develop commerce. no commerce, no population.
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no population, no political power. so it's a vicious cycle. if you look at this map, if you wanted to gerrymander the nation so that the west would be permanently denied political power in washington, d.c., you'd do exactly this. so the government, i believe, when it says dominion has nothing to do with sovereign rights, i believe they're wrong. there's another doctrine that we rely on called the equal footing doctrine. it stems from the equal sovereignty principle that i discussed in the shelby case earlier. it's only logical if everybody in the club has to be equal, if you bring a new member into the club, they've got to be equal
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too, right? that's a pretty simple concept i think we can all agree. those western states, do they look equal? let's go through the equal footing doctrine. let's talk about it with relationship to dominion over land. one, we know historically in every instance ownership of the unappropriated lands are an inherent right of sovereignty that they get. sovereign gets the unappropriated lands. the crown and all the unappropriated lands in the 13 colonies is an inherent incident of sovereignty. upon independence the original 13 states succeeded the ownership of the unappropriated lands within their borders as an inherent incident of sovereignty. i can quit right now. utah gets its land, right? there's no way utah didn't get its land, but utah didn't get its land. so what happened?
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what went wrong? what we're missing is a little piece of history called the compact theory. the deal was that the federal government was holding the land in order to dispose of it and dole it out into states, right? so the new states were brought in with the explicit understanding that they would get the land over time through the disposal of the land and grow to become equal. here's what the supreme court said. whenever the united states shall have fully executed these trusts -- they were holding it in trusts. that's the trust the supreme court is talking about -- the municipal sovereignty of the new states will be complete throughout their respective borders and they the original states will be upon equal footing. that is exactly what happened from 1785 until about 1913.
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do you know what happened in 1913? we passed the 16th amendment and we created income tax. we gave the feds a new source of revenue and suddenly they last all interest in liberating western lands. but not only did they lose interest in liberating western lands, congress somehow discovered instead of holding the land in trust it was really theirs and congress owned it and they were going to keep it and not give it out. the admission compact they made with the 12 western states went out the window and the mechanism for doing it, the compact clause, was breached. we have now united states will never fully execute these trusts. the sovereignty of these 12 states will never be complete. they and the original states will never be upon an equal footing in all respects. whatever. we talk about three theories, but it's really one theory. you've got the base equal
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sovereignty. if they're equal, they've got to be equal and they come in. the compact theory is at the top. it means we're going to allow the new states to grow into equality. if you breach the compact, then you have violated two bedrock constitutional principles, the equal footing doctrine and the equal sovereignty doctrine. utah deserves to allow this come bacteria to go forward and to grow into an equal sovereignty. >> thank you, mr. wince. as they have explained, there is no constitutional authority for the federal government to treat western lands like second-class citizens. the legal analysis makes clear that congress lacked the authority to halt land disposal. the framers of the constitution intended to grant the power to regulate public lands only in
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the context of their disposal, not to permanently retain the majority of the land in their state. in a moment we will have the opportunity to listen as gregory h. hughes, speaker of the utah house of representatives, explains what has been done and where do we go from here. under the leadership of speaker hughes, the utah legislature has led the way in addressing lands-related issues. in the interest of time, we will forego the introduction by his colleague and acknowledge his persons here today. ken was the sponsor of the utah transfer public lands act enacted in 2012 and has continued to be the champion of it. we're pleased to welcome speaker grant hughes. [ applause ] >> thank you, stan. thanks for -- i want to thank the heritage foundation for
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formats like this and the opportunity for us from utah come out here and talk in the beltway and talk about things that impact this whole country. i have to admit i'm not originally from utah. i grew up in pittsburgh, pennsylvania. my mother is a single mother and went out west to go to college. i met my wife from utah and that made me a utahan. i only bring that up to give you the perspective i'm a city boy. utah, our issue are about lands and land sovereignty that have come from our rural folks. these are the folks that are out there trying to interact with the bureau of federal land management. i'm here to tell you the impact of a growing federal government in our states, particularly as you saw that map the western states, it hits us and impacts our communities down to our urban districts of house
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districts and your suburban districts. there's a guy in here from mt. lebanon high school. when i was a little kid, mt. lebanon high school was like the swanky high school. they were the first high school to have artificial turf for their football field. we're all playing on dirt in the middle of the 50-yard line. mt. lebanon had artificial turf. why was that the case? it was because the property tax in the mt. lebanon school district afforded them the ability to have football fields with artificial turf. if you look at this country, most of education funding is from our property tax. it's the fuel that drives the classrooms and these teachers' salaries. when you get to a state like utah and shows there's very little property that is available to be taxed, how does a state like ours fund our public education system in the throes of the depression because
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there wasn't a lot of available funds the state legislature enacted a state income tax. our state income tax is devoted to our state education. so we see -- we feel the impacts of not being able to access the land or use some of the other practices and other policies that other states are able to use to fund something as critical as our public schools. if the environment is something that you care passionately about and i believe much of the stewardship or the idea we would stop disposing of land, i think the 76th legislation was done in regards regards in trying to improve or protect the environment. today we can show you that the
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state management of lands protects the environment, makes sure that those forest fires don't rage beyond innumerable acres that are damaged. on environmental concerns, you can make an absolute verifiable argument that we can better stewards of the land when the local states are able to control and manage those lands. you can show for our case, at least in utah, our education system would be turned around overnight with the ability to do what 38 states in our country have already done. why does this matter to anyone here that doesn't live necessarily in utah or even live in a western state? it was mentioned in here we have these payment in lieu of taxes. when they decided we're going to stop these rules, we're going to stop doing it the way we've always done it, we'll give you some money for your trouble. there's an acknowledgment that we should han't, but we're not. they're pennies on the dollar.
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the question becomes, the reason why you saw a lot of that disposal of land over the time is because the treasury in the federal government needed those dollars. you see at some point with a new federal income tax that came on the books and other sources the need for the treasury to see those lands disposed of in the pace and in the way that they were had become not so urgent. with $19 trillion of debt, i think this treasury might not need to send p.i.l.t. payments to states any longer. taxpayers across this country no longer need to send to states what they're sending in payments in law of taxes. there's a way for the states that manage their lands to see resources from those lands and revenue. we're losing -- the federal
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government loses dollars as they attempt to manage our lands. my point today -- and i'll try to be brief -- is that i think we're all in this together. i was elected in 2002 into a state legislature. i served as a public education standing committee chair for two terms. i was our majority whip for two terms. last year i became the speaker of the house. i will put my money on the states and their legislatures of this country every single time and i'm not just talking the republican states. i'm talking every state, republican majorities, democrat majorities, they balance their budgets. they manage the tasks, the policies in front of them, and we, as a nation, need to look at our states wherever we live and say we know those dually elected representatives, assembly members, senators, they can do this job. they do do the job. i look at the 38 states and i
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see in the state that i grew up in a great opportunity, tools in the tool box, to be able to do the job of representing the people and letting the people enjoy those things that an organized government would provide, public education, public transportation infrastructure. we have worked with other states that have been impacted this way, but this is a conversation that has to be much broader. you heard from mr. rotunda on the video. you've heard from george. what we did as a state, we said we've had this political discussion for a long time, before i ever arrived in the legislature. we needed to do something different. we did it through an rfp. we asked for requests for proposals to propose a way to review in a dispassionate and scholarly way.
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if these issues that we've brought up today is something we should pursue. you've seen the product of that in our discussions today that we have an exhaustive body of work and a case to be made that in fact there is something we should be doing as a country on this front. so our commission -- let me get to the name. the commission for the stewardship of public lands is a -- it has republicans and democrats that serve on this commission in our state legislature. there was an rfp that was done. i think it's a dream team. i think this is one of the strongest cases legal cases you'll ever hear about why 12 states in this country are not on equal footing and are not having the opportunity and citizenry are not having the same opportunities afforded them as 38 other states and that's just not the way it was designed. so we're moving forward in that case and this is broad.
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i'll just say this. you don't know what you don't know. i am absolutely convinced that the stakeholders in this issue are a lot more than we realize. i really believe that if you're an advocate for good and quality public education, you should be paying attention to this issue. if you care about the stewardship and being good stewards of our environment, you should care about this issue. if you believe in the transportation -- we've got to get fiber. we have to get these technology nativ natives, kids born where they don't know a world without technology. we have to be able to get the information technology infrastructure to these schools. that's something the federal lands keep us from doing. there's so many different stakeholders in this that i don't see this as a partisan issue. i think this is bipartisan.
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i think any state in this country regardless of the makeup of their state legislatures would do well to have this kind of autonomy and be a state on equal footing, and that's why i'm here today. and truly as you go back wherever you're from, i think a robust discussion about this even in the questions and answers we've had today challenging what we've spoke about today, let's do that because i think there's critical issues that face all of us and i thank you for your time. [ applause ] >> thank you, speaker hughes. in just a moment we'll talk the opportunity for those of you here in the auditorium to pose some questions, but join me in thanking our panelists. [ applause ] >> becky, you can indicate how long we can go here, but we'll open it up to some questions. questions anyone here might want to pose to members of our panel. right here.
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>> you mentioned on the federal lands of oil and gas [ inaudible ] 306 days or something. what would be the average day on, say, utah lands, state lands in utah? >> could you clarify? average day if it was changed over or as it currently sits? >> yeah. you were saying how long that was with the feds to get a simple permit through. how long would it take on your lands today? >> i don't know that. that study didn't break it down. it just had that 307 days total for all permits regardless of which state it was in, so i don't know the answer for utah specific. >> got a question right here.
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>> i read your legal report. it's great and it's very convincing. i would like to ask you another legal aspect about the federal lands, which is the assertion by the federal land managers that they have police power on the federal lands, this seems to me to be a huge problem and it's a growing problem and their police power to me seems to be -- their claim seems to me to be illegitimate. i wonder if you can discuss that and perhaps discuss how the state of utah might somehow reassert its own police powers on the federal lands through the state legislature and the governorship. >> that's probably in my court. okay. good question. you know, the case the federal government is always going to for property clause issues --
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thurgood marshall right there was a plenary power to regulate. they've never addressed our issue, but even in that case justice marshall recognized the extent of the property clause has not been fully supported by the court. he also said that there was an overlap of jurisdiction and that the states had co-terminus jurisdiction over federal lands as well as the federal government. so if i look at the case law, there is an indication that the power that you've discussed is not legitimately exercised. if i look at the case law discussing the federal system and the way it works for the protection of individual liberty that the roberts court has everyone sized so frequently, i don't see how in the world the federal government exercises police power.
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it's the dual sovereignty issue that i discussed. it's an illegitimate exercise. you go to mexico city. you'll see federal police. they carry guns and they're policing. their system is very, very different from ours. we have never had federal police. show us your papers, mr. vince? that's not how we do it. but now you go in -- when i moved from louisiana out to idaho after katrina and i went to the west, you see vehicles on the side and it says federal police. never had i seen that. i don't believe that power should exist. i don't know it's been challenged, but the exercise of the police powers has always been reserved to the states. why? so we can vote them out if we don't like what they're doing. every bureaucrat i've met has a
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fa face, but unelected bureaucrats should not be exercising police powers within in tthe borders o state. in a sovereign state, no can do. >> thank you. another question back here. >> hi. so i guess the question is you've got this great legal analysis, this document, what are the next steps either legally and/or legislatively? where is this going? >> i'm going to continue to refer to our council, but i will say that there is a legal path that needs to be pursued. there is a legal path. i'll let george talk about that, but the critical thing for us is
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we absolutely have to have that game plan. not just speaking about how important this issue is, but how do we get something different than what we've already had. let me give you the opportunity to describe that. >> this matter is current -- >> do you have a live mike? thank you. >> this matter has basically been referred to the attorney general by the legislature and the attorney general and the governor of the state of utah are the executive officers that would make the decision as to whether a suit is filed. the ball is in their court. the recommendation has been made that they seriously consider this by the legislature. now, if they were to do it, what would they do? if the attorney general was to say, yeah, i'm for it, it's a go, the path that would make sense is to file a motion for
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leave. that would be the fastest route. it would probably be referred to a special master. it could take several years. it's not an easy clean shot, but that's probably the way that the state would move were it to move forward with litigation. >> i think as a legislative body we think the ball is in our court. this is a responsibility for legislators and the house and the senate to come together. we think it's our duty to do this. we would love some friends. we would love to have other states and others that are interested in this issue and understand its broader ramifications to join our efforts in going to the supreme court and making this case. >> at this point in time we're working with members of other states. i was in boise on friday meeting with state legislators as well as our senators in idaho and our
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state representatives in idaho. we have some folks here from idaho today. but it really needs to a coalition of western states to bring this to the attention of the nation, but when the federal system isn't working, you've got a problem. it needs to be corrected. it impacts the entire country. not just the west. if you want to do a study of the last farm bill, that's not how we want to see things go. that's not the way it was designed to work. and we need to fix it. it's a national problem. >> thank you. another question right here down toward the front. >> my name is bob white. i came back to washington. my name is bob wider. i came to washington in 1982 with utah senator jake garn, one of the original supporters of the heritage foundation, i should say. i now represent 35 counties in
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five western states all of whom are the recipients of this disconnect between the federal government and local governments all of whom are dependent upon p.i.l.t. payments. what i'm hearing here is that this issue is not ripe yet for congress to weigh in and act with legislation. we haven't educated congress. we haven't had these kinds of discussions with each member of congress. we need to do that in order to succeed in something this complicated. however, i think there are things that congress can be doing in the meantime while this new legal strategy plays out. one of the ideas that i've had that's received some good feedback and would be interested in your take on it, i have learned the united states government has never done a
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formal audit of its land holdings in a comprehensive way. we have oil and gas figures offshore and onshore and those numbers are pretty good, but we don't have all of the comprehensive information that comes from national park entrance fees, from grazing fees, from power line corridor fees, from all these remote places that the federal lands are supposed to produce. i'm a believer that if you paint a picture of the situation, the next questions will automatically come forward. for example, i think this audit, if done in a comprehensive bipartisan way and conducted by the general accounting administration, could paint the picture of lands that are grossly underutilized,
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mismanaged, and those eastern friends of ours who always say they have ownership of the western lands, they would have a dog in the fight in the mismanagement, the lack of management, would all of a sudden become an important thing for them to weigh into. i think that's something we do over the next couple of years while we're waiting for the legal strategy to play out. i think we can confidently assume that the results, if we do it in a bipartisan request, will paint that picture of the disconnect between federal land management and private land management. anyway, i think that's an idea to set the table for the political debate that ultimately has to occur here in the congress. just throw that out. >> thank you for the question. speaker hughes or mr. wince, would you like to respond? >> i have one question. what planet did you want this

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