During a short legislative week, the House continued to use its authority under the Congressional Review Act to undo certain poorly-crafted regulations the previous administration had pushed through at the last moment. It is important that any regulations enacted are thoroughly thought through to ensure no unintended consequences are incurred by the American people.
A Bigger Washington Isn’t the Answer
House Joint Resolution 44 passed the House with my support to roll back a Bureau of Land Management (BLM) rule that intended to improve the BLM’s ability to administer public lands. The rule, however, unnecessarily increased Washington’s power by centralizing control over large parcels of land in the federal government. We are not talking about a small amount of land. The rule consolidated BLM’s authority to prepare and implement resource management plans for more than 175 million acres of lands in 11 western states! According to the National Association of Counties, the BLM management controls more than 90 percent of the land in some counties. The rule blocked county commissioners and others who know their land best by giving additional control to unelected officials who are given authority to manage resources. Our resolution stops this overreach and returns control of the land to local governments where it belongs.
Keeping Parents’ Best Interests in Mind
We also passed House Joint Resolution 57 which addresses a regulation that stripped accountability authority away from the states as written in the Every Student Succeeds Act. This regulation violated current law. The Every Student Succeeds Act, which passed Congress and was signed into law in 2016, empowered states to develop systems for holding schools accountable to parents and taxpayers. Unfortunately, the regulation dictated prescriptive accountability requirements from the federal level and violated prohibitions on the Secretary of Education’s authority. This regulation needed to be overturned. Passage of this resolution is a needed step in the right direction towards restoring local control of our schools.
Advancing a Drug-Free Missouri
A priority of mine is working with anti-drug efforts in Missouri to rid our district of the scourge of narcotics damaging lives and leading to the deaths of so many of our citizens. This week, I was able to meet with a number of groups on the frontlines of this fight in Missouri.
I appreciated meeting with staff from the Midwest High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA). The HIDTA is a federal drug control program that uses their funds to support enforcement as well as treatment programs. Currently they support 56 initiatives, including 40 drug task forces, 6 domestic highway interdiction programs, and 5 intelligence initiatives as well as a number of prevention and support initiatives. It was great to learn of how they are combating drug trafficking threats and trends affecting our citizens.
An important element in addressing issues related to drug use is the role law enforcement officers play within our communities. Two groups working in Missouri on this issue is the Multi-County Narcotics and Violent Crimes Enforcement Unit, and the Missouri Narcotic Officers Association. I was thankful to have them visit my office and update me on how law enforcement is combating the drug epidemic in Missouri.