UPDATE: One of the pieces of legislation we are watching is called the SCRUB Act. Passed by the House this bill is currently in the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs. It has yet to be given a number for the Senate and is still referenced as H.R. 998.
Read this to the end because the mechanism to rid the federal government of it’s “wild horse problem” has already been put in place.
SCRUB in a nutshell is part of the “for every new regulation, cut two” soundbite many of you have heard. This bill establishes a commission to identify what it deems redundant or obsolete regulations and cut them. The bill requires the dropping of an existing regulation in order to create a new one, no matter how urgent the new regulation may be to public health or safety, the process of cutting one must transpire before the new one is put into practice.
This process is defined by weighing costs to industry as a primary focal point, regardless of the benefits of the oversight provided. This process is in addition to the provision to cut a regulation for every new one. The goal of the commission is to cut the cost of “overly burdensome” regulations by 15%.
We find H.R. 998 overly broad. Any cuts to regulations must be engaged with open debate and narrow in scope. We are watching this bill and will have an action alert when it comes out of committee to give you a deeper look at SCRUB and a number of other bills all hitting the floor in rapid fire succession.
Some of the bills we are tracking deal with land grabs by states, end rounds to cut environmental protections and actions that may threaten the existence of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Wild Horse and Burro Program and the Wild Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act. We also have movement to reopen horse slaughter plants on US soil.
But it seems open debate and bill tracking in this political quagmire may be an exercise in futility to exercise our rights to engage in open government.
In the Oval Office the President essentially gave himself and his advisers the power to eviscerate the federal agencies. Yes, it’s exactly what it sounds like. “Comprehensive Plan For Reorganizing The Executive Branch” is the broad brush that can make every other bill we are tracking that threatens our wild horses an exercise in chasing our tails.
This order is much broader than our wild horses and public land and the implications are immense. But we are going to focus our conversation on wild horses and public land.
For years we have been warning about this agenda that includes turning over the management of wild horses to the states and negating every intention of the Wild Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act. The major intention of the Act was to create federal jurisdiction to manage Americas wild horses for the American public as a resource, not a profit driven use.
So do we have to worry about regulations being cut that protect our public land and wild horses or is the real threat that the program itself will be axed? Why SCRUB through all those pesky regulations when you can just geld the BLM?
Comments will be accepted after posting in the federal register and we are working on ours. We smell it on horizon and have been preparing since 2012. However we want to inform you of areas of major concern.
Sec 2 (d) In developing the proposed plan described in subsection (c) of this section, the Director shall consider, in addition to any other relevant factors:
(i) whether some or all of the functions of an agency, a component, or a program are appropriate for the Federal Government or would be better left to State or local governments or to the private sector through free enterprise;
(ii) whether some or all of the functions of an agency, a component, or a program are redundant, including with those of another agency, component, or program;
(iii) whether certain administrative capabilities necessary for operating an agency, a component, or a program are redundant with those of another agency, component, or program;
(iv) whether the costs of continuing to operate an agency, a component, or a program are justified by the public benefits it provides; and
(v) the costs of shutting down or merging agencies, components, or programs, including the costs of addressing the equities of affected agency staff.
Everything we feared is in the language above. Arguments will be made that the Wild Horse and Burro program is an overly burdensome expense to the federal government and is on a unsustainable track. We are well aware of the multiple factions and much of what they will present to argue that the program should be turned over to states.
We are not projecting. We have been at the front line of this movement against our wild horses, on the ground, and have seen the agenda in action many times. Think back to all we have written about the Grass March, Fish Creek, the NACO litigation and much, much more. This move was “set up” at the Congressional hearing last year, remember that fiasco? This danger is very real.
We are also very aware that staffing in the wild horse program is minimal in comparison to other programs run by the BLM. Often those employed by the program spend considerable time engaged in activities outside the scope of wild horses and burros (ie mining and livestock). Assimilation would not be difficult.
We are actively creating an outline of how the agency can create fiscal solvency, and create jobs in the private sector. We will submit the outline with our comments. This project is a massive task and we are working as fast as possible.
The most disturbing paragraph comes at the end of the order: “This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.”
In other words we can do what we chose and you can not even take us to court to defend yourself or the things you hold dear?
For wild horses, no matter how many bills we track and calls we make, it could be “game over.”
Steve Bannon outlines his plan to deconstruct Washington http://www.cnn.com/2017/02/23/politics/steve-bannon-world-view/
2.0 is gone, What Next? https://wildhorseeducation.org/2017/03/08/2-0-is-gone-what-next/
You can join our webinar this Thursday March 16. https://wildhorseeducation.org/2017/03/14/wild-horses-101/
We are in for the fight for their lives. Help us today.
You can add your name to the “We Will NOT be Silent” list to receive alerts as this machine moves full steam. Many alerts may require you to pick up a phone and make calls, fast.
Categories: Wild Horse Education