"The fact that the DOI is calling the premise of this article ‘silly' is further evidence of how out of touch they are on this issue. The problems that existed three years ago still exist today. Criminal activity along the border continues, and as a result, our public lands are being destroyed. Secretary Salazar and his staff need a strong dose of reality because their lack of action on this issue continues to place our national security at risk," said Congressman Rob Bishop, author of legislation
"Contrary to what the President said yesterday, this violence between rival drug cartels is further evidence that the situation along the border is worsening. Furthermore, the smuggling routes that cartels are fighting over are almost certainly on U.S. federal lands, which provide the most undetectable route into the U.S. While this may be one of the most severe incidents regarding turf wars, drug cartels are constantly fighting over which organization has domain over routes on U.S. federal lands, solely because they know the U.S.
President Obama blamed Republicans Thursday for the impasse on immigration reform, as he called the new Arizona law "divisive" and claimed the border was "more secure today than at any time in the past 20 years."
Republicans responded quickly after Obama's first major address on immigration reform, saying the speech was heavy on rhetoric and short on specifics.
By Judson Berger
Republican lawmakers are calling on the Interior Department to stop charging what they describe as "extortion" money from the Border Patrol -- millions of under-the-radar dollars meant to cover environmental damage stemming from their everyday duties along the U.S.-Mexico border.
Border Patrol agents must navigate a patchwork of environmental regulations dating back decades in order to police for drug cartels, smugglers and illegal immigrants -- often on foot-and-horseback in some of the most vulnerable areas of the southwest border.
To unlock the legislative handcuffs, a group of House lawmakers are pushing a bill that would prohibit the Departments of Interior and Agriculture from taking any action that would "impede border security" on public lands.
"They're not allowing the Border Patrol to do the job that they know they need to do...," Bishop said. "It's intensifying…" The Utah Republican is one of the co-sponsors of a bill, H.R. 5016, that would allow border agents to patrol parkland without worrying about the environmental restrictions. He described that bill as the solution to the problem.
Federal environmental regulations that prevent border agents from expanded patrols of national wildlife parks appear to have had a hand in the government's decision to declare an 80-mile stretch of Arizona-Mexico border a virtual no-man's land.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has closed about 3,500 acres of Arizona border lands -- including parts of the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge -- warning Americans that it cannot guarantee their safety in the face of increased violence from drug gangs and illegal immigrants.
Jacqui Goddard, The Times-London
Nasa has begun to wind down construction of the rockets and spacecraft that were to have taken astronauts back to the Moon — effectively dismantling the US human spaceflight programme despite a congressional ban on its doing so.
"This latest attempt by the administration to force an early termination of the Constellation program is nothing more than a disingenuous legal maneuver to circumvent statutory language that was put in place to prevent this very type of action," said U.S. Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah. "Hurting our national defense capabilities and industrial base are examples of the long-term collateral damage that will come as a result of this administration's destructive and dangerous political agenda."