President Obama has pledged to veto the entire defense spending bill set for passage in the House on Friday, because it forces the government to postpone for a decade the listing of the sage grouse as endangered.
We kid you not.
The White House issued their list of demands Tuesday, stating that unless the grouse and numerous other provisions were removed, Obama would just kill the whole bill that pays for our military defense.
The Administration strongly objects to section 2862, which would mandate a delay until 2025 in listing or deciding not to list the Greater Sage-Grouse under the Endangered Species Act and would effectively override longstanding principles of major Federal land management statues, including the Federal Land Policy and Management Act and the National Forest Management Act. Such unprecedented delays undermine science-based decision-making, are unnecessary for military readiness, and are ill-advised for purposes of public land management. Such delays create uncertainty for landowners and businesses, and effectively suspend unprecedented collaborative conservation efforts that have been developed with extensive public input. Additional provisions would divest stewardship of Federal land from Federal agencies, requiring these lands to be managed consistent with State-approved management plans. Moreover, existing law already allows the Secretary of Defense to obtain an exemption of any action from the requirements of the Endangered Species Act for reasons of national security.
Is that a load of bunk, or what?
Essentially, the Obama administration is calling the states a bunch of liars when officials out here say we need the time to further ongoing conservation efforts to save the damn bird in order to prevent the listing. According to Obama, states would just drop everything, wasting the tens of millions of dollars we’ve already spent.
U.S. Reps. Jared Polis and Diana DeGette tried to do Obama’s dirty work for him through an amendment to the bill stripping the grouse language.
Despite Polis’s seat on the powerful Rules Committee, he couldn’t even get his own committee to approve their amendment and it was kicked to the curb last night.
The grouse language is in the defense bill because a recent Army report revealed that listing the bird would severely cripple nearly a dozen military facilities throughout the West.
Other provisions that Obama’s veto missive found offensive was the allowance of the Gitmo detention facility for terrorists to remain open, and the refusal of Congress to include another round of base closures in the fiscal year 2016 funding.