Sealaska Multi-billion Dollar Earmark Slipped into House Omnibus Bill

 

The House Rules Committee on Monday, June 18 will consider the Conservation and Economic Growth Act (H.R. 2578).  Among the provisions contained in the wilderness omnibus package is a controversial bill that would allow Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s (R-Alaska) most generous corporate supporter to clear cut old-growth trees in the Alaska’s Tongass National Forest.

The Southeast Alaska Native Land Entitlement Finalization and Jobs Act (H.R.1408) is one of 14 measures currently included in the bill. If passed, H.R.1408 will grant portions of Alaska’s Tongass National Forest to Sealaska Corporation of Juneau, allowing them to chop down trees that started growing before the Revolutionary War. Unless an amendment it introduced before Friday, H.R.1408 will be included in the proposal when it goes to the House floor for a vote.


H.R. 1408 is bad news for Republicans and conservatives for several reasons.

For starters, as I have written elsewhere, the measure is clearly payback for Sealaska’s pivotal help during Murkowski’s write-in bid. Conservatives must decide whether we will reward Murkowski’s nefarious undermining of the Alaskan GOP and her secretive attempt to earmark in an allegedly post-earmark era.

Read more at RedState.com HERE.

Editors note:  Please contact the following Republicans on the Rules Committee:

Position
Name
State
Party
Chair
CA
R
Vice Chair
TX
R
Member
NC
R
Member
UT
R
Member
GA
R
Member
FL
R
Member
SC
R
Member
FL
R
  • wagerwiththe wind

    Tea Party stand for defeat of the omnibus spending bill…

    “I grew up on a horse farm. They behave differently after they’ve been broken.”

    so why are Republicans sponsoring an omnibus lands bill of their own containing HR 1408?

    • anotherwayne

      Lisa Murkowski would not be in the U. S. Senate had the native corporations not spent a huge bundle of money vilifying Joe Miller the Republican candidate in the last election. As one who voted for Miller, I am incensed at this payback of federal assets and funds by the Senator and her cronies on the liberal side.

  • Pete Johnson

    Multi-billion dollar earmark? Is this true – that taxpayers will be paying multi-billions for timber harvesting? Paying the lumber companies to cut trees in the Tongass? Really? Is that what this means, or is this politispeak for simply allowing trees to be harvested in the Tongass? Please clarify this for me.

    • Joe Miller

      I think what the author means is that Sealaska, one corporation, gets an estimated $5.5 billion transfer of public roads, raw land of 156 square miles, and the best timber in Alaska. No one knows the exact amount, because no one has cruised all the timber. But it is recognized this is the best timber in the Tongass.

      So it seems the characterization of an earmark is accurate because this value is transferred to one corporation. It also appears to be an appropriation of public assets (including roads, other improvements) to that one corporation.

    • wagerwiththe wind

      The towns are arguing that the loggers who live in them will be displaced by carpet baggers. Why is that? A lot of smart people have argued that for a variety of reasons, logging in the National Forest will not survive. Plenty of people in the towns run small saw mills, log themselves, or work for small outfits. Sealaska cuts and runs. They have gone through about 281 square miles so far. And it won’t take them long to go through 155 square miles. They use outside labor, so no families and extra employment like the people in the existing towns.