The Relief Report

A newsletter covering regulatory reform efforts in Washington and across America, published by The National Center for Public Policy Research, 20 F Street NW, Suite 700 , Washington, D.C. 20001 (202) 507-6398, Fax (301) 498-1301.

Issue #30 * October 25, 1995 * David A. Ridenour, Editor

Hill Watch - Regulatory relief initiatives on Capitol Hill

Stokes to Offer Motion to Delete EPA Riders

When the Veterans Affairs, HUD and Independent Agencies appropriations bill (H.R. 2099) goes to conference next week, Representative Louis Stokes (D-OH) will offer a motion to instruct House conferees to delete all of the 17 riders approved by the House in July that limit activities of the Environmental Protection Agency. Republican and Democrat Members of the House who support common-sense regulatory reform plan to offer an amendment to Representative Stoke's motion that would instruct conferees to consider each rider separately. This would enable them to retain those riders that would improve environmental quality and those that would have a positive impact on the economy -- if they so chose.

Full Committee Mark-Up on Heritage Areas Bill Possible Next Week

The National Heritage Areas Act (H.R. 1280) could be marked-up by the full House Resource Committee as early as next week. The grassroots private property movement vehemently opposes the bill because, among other things, it would give the National Park Service de facto land-use planning powers over private land. As Kraig Saunders of Allied Owners Inc. put it in the September issue of the Land Rights Letter, "The program is a deliberate, calculated attempt by the Park Service to get around the Doctrine of Residual Powers (9th and 10th Amendments) which prohibits federal planning or zoning of private lands." For more information, contact the American Land Rights Association at (202)546-2545 or Kraig Saunders at (719)256-4595.

Representative Clinger to Introduce Bill to Bar Lobbying by Federal Agencies

Representative William Clinger (R-PA) has written the "Federal Agency Anti-Lobbying Act" to clarify already existing laws that restrict use of public funds for lobbying activities. The bill would bar the use of public funds by federal agencies for purposes of organizing grassroots efforts to aid or hinder legislation pending before Congress. According to bill sponsors, the proposed measure was prompted by Executive Branch conduct, "which has increasingly resulted in the expenditure of appropriated funds in an attempt to create public opposition to pending legislation. Many of the actions in question appear to have violated the criminal provisions of 18 USC § 1913. However, the present and previous Administrations have interpreted §1913 narrowly in a manner which, effectively, eviscerates its restrictions."

Action Items - What you can do to promote the regulatory relief agenda

Support Amendment to Stokes Motion, Regulatory Relief Advocates Urge

Regulatory relief advocates are urging grassroots activists to call, fax and e-mail House members in support of amending the Stokes motion. If the motion is not amended all the EPA riders -- including those that have significant positive impact on the environment and public health -- will be removed from the Veterans Affairs, HUD and Independent Agencies appropriations bill (H.R. 2099). The procedure, according to regulatory relief sources, will be as follows:

  1. Representative Stokes will offer his motion.
  2. Supporters of the Stokes motion will move the "Previous Question" -- a non-debatable procedure that if approved would bring the Stokes motion to an immediate vote. The "Previous Question" must be defeated, according to relief advocates, if an amendment is to be offered.
  3. If the "Previous Question" is defeated, an amendment (described in "Hill Watch" above) will be offered and then debated for 60 minutes.
  4. Members will vote on the amendment.
  5. Members will vote on the motion as amended. According to regulatory relief advocates, the correct votes should be: "No" on the "Previous Question," "yes" on the amendment. They say grassroots activists should call the Capitol Hill early and often.

Urge Young to Kill Heritage Areas Bill, Property Rights Advocates Say

A full Resource Committee mark-up of the National Heritage Areas Act (H.R. 1280) could be scheduled for as early as next week. Property rights advocates are urging grassroots activists to place calls to Resource Committee Chairman Don Young (R-AK), (202)225-5765, (or Dan Kish, Resource Committee majority staff director, (202)225-2761), and ask that he allow H.R. 1280 to die in committee. Alternatively, they suggest that activists urge Chairman Young to amend the bill to include a takings provision and to allow private property owners to opt-out of the Heritage corridors the bill would establish.

Victims' Corner - Stories of personal tragedy or government folly

Making a Victim of Communism Feel at Home

Jaro Baranek, a Czechoslovakian refugee who immigrated to the United States in 1982 has discovered only a slight difference between American bureaucrats and the Czech communists of the old country. After purchasing land to build a home, local officials informed him that his property is on an "alluvial fan hazard section" and therefore building would be forbidden. Not only are there other homes in the same area, but to add insult to injury, Baranek is required to pay taxes on his now worthless property. "The communists used to take land without compensation, but at least there you didn't have to pay taxes," said Baranek. "Here they take your land and you have to pay for it."

Bulletin Board - News from Regulatory Relief Groups

Public Wants Bold Endangered Species Act Reform, Poll Finds

The American people want bold reform of the Endangered Species Act, according to a poll released by the Competitive Enterprise Institute last month. According to the survey of 1,000 randomly-selected Americans and conducted by The Polling Company, 35% of public favors the adoption of a non-regulatory, incentive-based species protection plan while 37% favor ESA regulations that would provide compensation to landowners for "any loss" in property values due to application of the law. Only 11% favored keeping the law as it is. For more information, contact the Competitive Enterprise Institute at (202)331-1010.

"Putting People Back Into the Regulatory Equation"

All correspondence to The Relief Report should be directed to:

The National Center for Public Policy Research * 20 F Street, NW #700 * Washington, D.C. 20001
Tel. (202) 507-6398 * Fax (301) 498-1301 * E-mail [email protected]

©1995, The National Center for Public Policy Research. Coverage of meetings, activities or statements in The Relief Report does not imply endorsement by The National Center for Public Policy Research. Excerpts may be reprinted provided that original source is credited.

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