Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska) on Tuesday said President Obama’s executive order regarding the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge could be summed up as: “Up yours.”
Young claimed the executive order announced earlier this year to recommend designatingnearly all 20 million acres in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) as wilderness to prevent oil and gas drilling is reflective of President Obama’s general attitude toward the legislative branch.
“We have a president that says ‘up yours’ to the Congress," Young said on the House floor, bringing his hand to his nose and wiggling his fingers for emphasis. "That’s not the way to run this business. We have a responsibility as congressmen to do our job."The Alaska Republican offered an amendment to prohibit the use of funds to implement the revised conservation plan for the Arctic refuge during debate on the 2016 Interior Department appropriations bill. His amendment was adopted on a voice vote in the GOP-controlled House.
“When the president oversteps his bounds, we should take and accept our responsibility. And this is a law he cannot do, but he says, ‘I can do it,’ ” Young said.
“Between EPA and the Department of Interior, they’re trying to cripple this nation — trying to cripple my state,” Young added.
A wilderness designation would require congressional approval. But the Fish and Wildlife Service has already begun to manage the area as wilderness pending lawmakers’ consideration.
Rep. Betty McCollum (D-Minn.) defended the executive actions as a means of environmental preservation.
“The coastal plain of the Arctic Refuge is one of the few places in our nation that remains pristine and undisturbed,” McCollum said.
— Timothy Cama contributed.