Congressman Tom McClintock

Representing the 4th District of California

Producing Want from Plenty - In Opposition to HR 803

February 25, 2021

Is it any wonder that the more they extend their domain, the worse the human conditions that they produce?

Congressman McClintock delivered the following remarks on the House floor in opposition to HR 803:

Opposition to HR 803
Producing Want from Plenty
February 25, 2021
Mr. Speaker:
Everything that we touch in our daily lives; everything that makes our lives possible; everything that makes us more comfortable and more prosperous; comes to us in only two ways.  It is either grown or it is mined.   
That is a universal truth.  Everything is either grown or mined.  Fortunately, nature has given us a superabundance of resources and left it to us to responsibly reap and manage this bounty.
But it is precisely these resources that the left has waged war against for a full generation.  The very things that make us prosperous and comfortable are the things the left attempts to put off limits.  Is it any wonder that the more they extend their domain, the worse the human conditions that they produce?

This bill declares another 1.5 million acres of public lands, mostly forests – an area about the size of Delaware – a wilderness area, off-limits to forest management, timber harvesting and even many forms of public recreation.  An untended forest is like an untended garden – it will grow until it chokes itself and succumbs to disease, pestilence, and ultimately catastrophic fire.  These restrictions have abandoned our forests to neglect and produced the paradox of a severe national lumber shortage while the government sits on vast timber reserves.    
This bill places 1,200 more miles of rivers under similar restrictions that create water shortages in some of the most water-abundant regions of our country.
It prevents mineral extraction and energy production from another 1.2 million acres – killing jobs, crushing the economy, and empowering our international adversaries.  
And at a time when the federal government’s bad management practices have created a $12 billion maintenance back-log, this bill takes another half-million acres of land into federal mismanagement.  Understand what that means to local communities: this is land that is producing no taxes and little commerce.  Much is being seized over local objections in states where the federal government already controls more than half of their entire land area.  
Mr. Speaker, this is a direct attack on working Americans who depend on the resources of our nation to put food on their tables and a roof over their heads.  It is an attack on the prosperity and security of our people.  And it is what we have come to expect from the greens-gone-wild on the other side of the aisle.
The result will be more dead forests, more water shortages, increasing costs for energy and consumer goods, lower wages, and fewer jobs.  These policies always produce want from plenty – and they will continue until the American people finally demand we restore the land of abundance that we once took for granted.