Republicans give away federal lands and buildings for free

Yes, that's a sensational title, but it's the essence of what House Republicans just did with their outrageous rule change, which waves a magic wand and skips the assessment of costs and benefits usually required for legislation. Congress could theoretically sell the White House to tRump for $1.

Read on for details...

(image from USCapitol, modified)

From The New Civil Rights Movement:

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Republicans in Congress Set Value of All Public Lands and Buildings to $0 for Easy Sell Off at Taxpayers' Expense

Change Could Ultimately Benefit Energy Companies, Forever Destroying America's Vast Wilderness

by Brody Levesque
January 08, 2017 1:54 PM

The Republican-controlled U.S. House of Representatives passed a rules change this past week by a ... that would allow Congress the ability to essentially give away federal lands and buildings for free. The new rule... codifies that any legislation to dispose of federal land and natural resources would [be automatically considered to] have a net sum zero cost to taxpayers. As the rule applies only to the House legislative rules, it is... effective immediately.

All Democrats in the House voted against the measure, while only three Republicans joined them in opposing it, USA TODAY reports. The Wilderness Society said "this move paves the way for a wholesale giveaway of our American hunting, fishing and camping lands that belong to us all. Make no mistake, the giveaway is for the benefit of the drilling and mining interests that have a lock-grip on Congress and the rest of Washington."

...This means that the House does not need to render an assessment or cost analysis of estimated financial losses resulting in legislation giving away public lands or buildings.

A Democratic Congressional source on Capitol Hill told NCRM Friday that this procedural rules shortcut will apply equally to all types of public land.

“For example, the national parks like Yosemite - even federal buildings and facilities in Washington like the FBI's J. Edgar Hoover headquarters building, could all be given away without consideration of the cost to American taxpayers.”

In an statement to NCRM via email Arizona Democratic Congressman Raul Grijalva of Arizona castigated House GOP leadership over the rules change.

“The House Republican plan to give away America’s public lands for free is outrageous and absurd. This proposed rule change would make it easier to implement this plan by allowing the Congress to give away every single piece of property we own, for free, and pretend we have lost nothing of any value. Not only is this fiscally irresponsible, but it is also a flagrant attack on places and resources valued and beloved by the American people,” Grijalva said....

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Ellipses, bolding, and bracketed text are mine. Read the entire article.

This news was also reported in other sources such as the Washington Post, which buried the giveaway under headlines like "House GOP rules change will make it easier to sell off federal land".

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The Greedy Old Party continues to horrify ever more, day by day. Will they give away our military capital resources next?

But Republicans have long upheld the military as sacred! Jeezus said so himself in the Book of Armaments! (while toting an AK-47 and dictating the Constitution to the Founding Fathers from astride a velociraptor :) Of course, with impulsive, mercurial tRump about to take the helm, we can't take anything for granted...

GC, did you find this story in The Onion?

Damn, I'm 86 and wanting an afterlife so I can watch what happens.

wish it were only satire!

(I had trouble believing it myself, and did check for other reporting on it before sharing it.)

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