Washington DC, Day Two – reporting from the office of Congressman Buck McKeon –
Today, a group organized by KHTS that includes City Councilman Bob Kellar and members of the Santa Clarita Chamber of Commerce, met with Chairman of the Natural Resources Committee Doc Hastings to discuss the legislative efforts of Congressman McKeon to block the opening of the CEMEX mine.
At the onset of the 112th Congress, a moratorium on all earmarks was adopted in the House Rules, applying to all Representatives of both Chambers, regardless of party. Congressman McKeon’s bill to stop the CEMEX mine, H.R. 4332, has been determined to constitute an “earmark” according to House Rules, thus prohibiting the introduction and consideration of the bill.
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On November 4, 2011, Chairman Hastings wrote Congressman McKeon stating: “It is my official determination that H.R. 4332, as introduced in the 110th Congress, violated the earmark definition in the House rules and thus, the earmark moratorium… In making this determination as Chairman, please know that I do so with respect for you and your efforts on this matter. Having served as the top Republican on the Committee on Natural Resources for the past several years, your deep commitment to resolving this matter is well known to me. You’ve been dedicated to communicating the importance of this matter to you and those you represent.”
In a continuing effort to fight the CEMEX mine, McKeon arranged a one-on-one meeting with Chairman Hastings and the Santa Clarita delegation to discuss the Chairman’s ruling that McKeon’s CEMEX legislation constituted an “earmark.”
The KHTS/Chamber delegation members explained in great detail the city’s position regarding the mine, and had a thorough discussion with Hastings about the roadblocks currently facing legislative solutions.
“Since this issue first hit my desk in 1999, I have fought the opening of this mine. Not one shovel of dirt has been turned at the CEMEX mine since I have been in office, and I will not stop fighting this mine until we find a solution.”
In addition to this meeting, McKeon staff and the Santa Clarita/KHTS group met with staff from the offices of Senator Dianne Feinstein and Senator Barbara Boxer.