December 11, 2017

Capitol Hill’s Dirty Little Secret

Recently, the American people have learned of yet another gross misuse of their taxpayer money. Numerous Congressmen have given “hush money,” funded by taxpayers,¬†to victims that claim to be sexually harassed or assaulted. This fund, which was created over a decade ago, has been used in over 200 cases totaling more than $17 million. The U.S. Treasury has paid out $1 million in this year alone, yet the public was not notified of these cases, nor that they would be paying this amount back with interest.

Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) introduced H.R. 4494 this week which would ban any taxpayer funds from paying these claims against members of Congress. It would also require a disclosure of the settlement payments and Congressional Members involved be released within 30 days. This is a bipartisan effort that currently has 75 co-sponsors.

Eagle Forum will continue to monitor this legislation and urge Congress toward complete transparency of the use of taxpayer money.

Returning Federal Lands

President Trump made a big announcement in Utah this week regarding federal lands. After reviewing recommendations from Secretary of the Interior, Ryan Zinke, the President adjusted the boundaries and management of Bears Ears National Monument by fifty percent and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument by eighty-four percent, therefore freeing up land to give back to the citizens of Utah.

President Trump signed an Executive Order in April asking for the DOI to review and provide recommendations of twenty-seven monuments claimed under the Antiquities Act. Shortly after, Eagle Forum signed a coalition letter urging the President to rescind or reduce the number of federal lands. He is doing just that.

This is not just a one-and-done victory. Just one day after Bears Ears was scaled back, Secretary Zinke recommended that President Trump shrink Cascade-Siskiyou in California and Oregon and Gold Butte in Nevada. Additionally, he is recommending that changes in management be made to six other monuments to allow for timbering, fishing, grazing, and for the implementation of better security measures.

Eagle Forum applauds President Trump and Secretary Zinke’s efforts in returning federal land back to the public. We will continue to work closely with the DOI in support of these measures.¬†

Tabitha Walter is the Washington, D.C. Executive Director for Eagle Forum.