Presidential Preservation: How Obama’s Latest Executive Action Enraged House Republicans

obama conservation


If President Barack Obama is for it, the Republican Party is against it, and it doesn’t matter what it is.


In another obvious example of blind Republican hatred for our president, House Republicans this week proposed House Resolution 1459, which would limit the amount of times a sitting president could establish new national parks and monuments. The resolution seeks to amend the Antiquities Act of 1906, which was established by then president Teddy Roosevelt, who is seen as the face of the American conservation movement of the early 1900s. The resolution is a direct response to President Obama from Republican Representative Rob Bishop, who believes that the president overstepped his executive authority last week when he expanded the California Coast National Monument to protect more than 1,600 acres off the Mendocino Coast. Bishop released a press release in support of the bill which read:


“The President’s use of the Antiquities Act to expand the Coastal California National Monument is disappointing to say the least. It is also purely political and undermines sincere efforts to reach consensus on questions of conservation. The House passed legislation to incorporate these public lands into the national monument with bipartisan support- both at the committee level and on the House floor. The fact that this bill hasn’t yet been considered in the Senate is not an oversight, it was intentional. The legislation was held up in the Senate so the President could usurp the congressional process. In other words, the House was punked by the President. There is no immediate urgency to make this a national monument. Had the Senate done its job, the bill would have been considered and passed under regular order. There was broad support for the measure. The President seems to view the legislative process as relevant only when it is politically convenient. Unfortunately, that is not how our founding fathers intended for the federal government to operate. I am troubled by the way President Obama and Harry Reid misuse the powers entrusted to them by the American people. This only hurts our country as we move forward tackling some of the biggest issues facing the American people.”


Leave it to modern-day Republicans to spit on the legacy of Teddy Roosevelt in order to spite Barack Obama.


Designating national monuments is nothing new to sitting presidents. In his State of the Union address, President Obama stated, “I’ll use my authority to protect more of our pristine federal lands for future generations.” The 112th Congress was the first one since World War II to not protect a single new acre of public lands as, all of a sudden, preserving our wilderness became a political issue. In fact, it wasn’t until early March of this year that Congress decided to protect Michigan’s Sleeping Bear Dunes, marking the first time in Barack Obama’s presidency that Congress actually decided to do its job and protect our national treasures.


President Obama was not about to sit around and wait a few more years for Congress to do its job. So he acted by bypassing Congress exactly as he said he would do.


The Mendocino Coast became the 10th national park or monument designated by President Obama. Compare that with 19 national parks and monuments designated by President Bill Clinton and 5 national parks and monuments designated by President George W. Bush. Not only is it not an abuse of power that Representative Bishop claims it to be, but, in fact, it is something that the American people highly support. In November of 2013, the Center for American Progress found that by a margin of greater than 3-1, the American people believe that a president should be creating new national parks and monuments. Compare that with a February 2014 survey from Colorado College that found that 69% of western voters would be more likely to support a political candidate who wanted to enhance national park protections.


So if it follows in the tradition of a great Republican president such as Teddy Roosevelt, is not an abuse of power, is supported by the American people, and is a winning campaign issue why are Congressional Republicans against it?


Simple: They are against it because Barack Obama is for it.


The vote is scheduled for next week, exactly one year after President Obama designated five national monuments including one of Harriet Tubman and one for Charles Young of the famous Buffalo Soldiers, a regiment of African American soldiers who fought during the Civil War. It’s as if Congressional Republicans aren’t even trying to hide their overt racism anymore. This vote, much like the 50+ votes to repeal the Affordable Care Act, is done purely for show. House Republicans know the resolution will more than likely get defeated in the Senate and they undoubtedly know that President Obama would veto it, should it somehow get that far. And yet, they have again chosen to take something so common as designating national parks and monuments, turned it into a divisive issue, and used it to attack our president all while wasting tax payer dollars.


History will not look kindly upon the Republican Party of this era. The party offers nothing in the way of substantive policy ideas. The “Party of No” might seem like a good short-term political strategy, but it is going to ultimately cause the demise of the Republican Party. Just look at what they are against: Affordable health care, reasonable background checks for weapons, unemployment insurance, services for veterans, national park conservation, equal pay for women, equal treatment for LGBTs in the workplace, immigration reform, voting rights, and the list goes on and on. By repeatedly submitting these asinine resolutions on the floor of the House of Representatives such as House Resolution 1459, Republicans are literally documenting their own demise simply to try and score cheap political points against our sitting President. The American people continue to see what Republicans are against and have yet to hear what they are actually for. As Teddy Roosevelt once said, “A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues.”


For Republicans running in an election year, that is an especially risky strategy.

25 Replies to “Presidential Preservation: How Obama’s Latest Executive Action Enraged House Republicans”

  1. President Obama should say to Republicans: breathing air is good.

    Have fun, Republicans, while your brain explodes.

  2. From the words of their god Ronald Reagan “Trees cause more pollution than automobiles do.” They want to do away with the National Parks system so they can park oil rigs on them.

    Yet another waste of time toting around another bill that is DOA. How about a bill on immigration reform or violence against women or veteran benefits. I could go and on.

  3. So to summarize, when the house punks America its ok. When Obama punks the house its awful.

    Got news for you house, you are punking yourself.

  4. The House Republicans are the biggest group of do-nothing whiners I have ever heard or read about. All they care to do is to earn huge salaries while trying to make Barack Obama’s presidency a failure by opposing anything he proposes. No matter how many times they might be being told how stupid they make themselves look, they just can’t help themselves.

  5. The racist bastards in Congress STILL can’t get over the fact that a black man is President. It’s just that simple.

  6. Reagan also reportedly said, “What’s so special about a tree- you see one, you’ve seen them all.”

  7. Of course the Republicans spit on the legacy of Teddy Roosevelt. There’s a reason the official name of the Bull Moose Party was the Progressive Party. Because he was a progressive!! Read the party’s campaign platform — almost everything on it is an anathema to today’s Republican Party, not just the conservation planks.

  8. The President should be able to protect land from the greedy frackers and the corporations that are not concerned about the safety for Americans. That is why we will fight against all the anti-American policies the GOP can think up. Thinking taxes are terrible would not change these republicans minds. They are hateful, but there are more that are not complete lunatics.

  9. Ah yes, we are dealing with conservation here, protecting nature and pristine wilderness for future generations to enjoy. It is a well known fact that Republicans hate anything having to do with conservation, except of course their own brand of conservatism.

  10. More power to the Republicans, let them keep bring up ideas like this. Sometimes all you need do is allow the ignorant and hate filled to yap on. People are not as dumb as one would think, they can and will see the truth. Besides I think November is going to be interesting…. (or sometime this year?)

  11. “The vote is scheduled for next week, exactly one year after President Obama designated five national monuments including one of Harriet Tubman and one for Charles Young of the famous Buffalo Soldiers, a regiment of African American soldiers who fought during the Civil War.”

    The Buffalo Soldiers were established in 1866 as the U.S. Army’s first peacetime, all-black regiments. They did not fight in the Civil War. However, many men, if not most, of the original Buffalo Soldiers did come from the all-black regiments that saw action during the Civil War.

  12. “Brain?” We’re talking about repubes here. Brains not included.

    I’d like PBO give a nationally broadcast warning about eating yellow snow.

  13. I’ve read the article and the responses. So why are all mainstream/lame stream pundits all saying that the Republicans have a good shot at winning the Senate? tybandit is correct. It’s stupid but he is. And they’re about to double down by consolidating 2010 and the Senate. Rewards for their actions and behavior. Says something about the mainstream/ lame stream Beltway media that they don’t have the guts to say even that much.

  14. Remember when Ted Cruz shutdown the government that forced the national parks to closed down, Republicans literally howling in deep rage. Now this?

  15. Rethugs have no desire to improve our economy, save our parks or wildlife, help the poor, help our vets, keep women safe,feed hungry children or any other decent act. They are completely focused on attempting to destroy our President out of spite & racist hatred! If they were to put as much energy into improving our country, it would be running like a well oiled machine making total progress on all fronts! Instead, we are stuck with these losers creating nothing and wasting millions of taxpayer dollars on lost causes! We MUST get them out of office!!!

  16. Ronnie Raygun also claimed that “Trees cause more pollution than automobiles do.”

    Shortly thereafter, when Reagan arrived at a campaign rally he was confronted by a tree decorated with this protest sign:

    “Chop me down before I kill again.”

  17. The republican party is the political party of hate and lies. The pure hate and disgusting sickening lies from the GOP is toxic slime puke. When a political party has nothing for 99 percent of the population of the country and want political power at any cost, then they lie, and then they hate, when their lies are no longer believed. The toxic stench of the lies and hate of the republican party need cleansed from this country. November of this year, the GOP must be wiped from existence in the voting booth.

  18. Yes… Well, Obama’s guilty of being PWB (President While Black). The Repubs/tea partiers pillory our President for doing nothing, then go ballistic when he does anything that’s legally within his power! They are beyond outraged that a black(!!) man is occupying the White House, which is rightfully the domain of the Repugliklowns/TP’ers, as ordained by god and validated by their righteousness! The evangelicals are determined to achieve hegemony over all other religions and non-religions, and will establish strict rules for conduct (no sex, primarily), prayer (perhaps 6 hrs. per day), glorification of of $$Money.

  19. You see the real problem here is that President Obama snubbed Myth Romney and did not also include Willard’s beach house and Auto elevator in this protected land action. Perhaps President Obama could give them a bone and make the motel room that Martin Luther King’s assassin’s shot from as a REPUBLICAN/White Christian Conservative God Lovin National Monument. Now THAT they could stand behind…that is until they find a way to crap on that executive action because it was done by Obama.

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