H.R. 3990

Posted on

National Monument Creation and Protection Act, HR 3990

Back in October of 2017, Congressman Rob Bishop, chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, introduced the “National Monument Creation and Protection Act.” Unlike what its name suggests, the legislation would only serve to undermine the Antiquities Act and weaken the protections offered to our public lands and waters. If passed, this bill would allow the president to shrink existing national monuments without consulting Congress, limit the size of new monuments, and stop the creation of new marine monuments.

Tell Congress to Vote NO on H.R. 3990
We must urge our representative to oppose this bill to protect our public lands and waters for present and future generations to come.

Rep. Greg Gianforte
Washington, DC Office: (202) 225-3211
Billings District Office: (406) 969-1736
Great Falls District Office: (406) 952-1280
Helena District Office: (406) 502-1435

Summary: H.R.3990

Introduced in House (10/06/2017)
National Monument Creation and Protection Act

This bill amends the Antiquities Act of 1906 to allow the President to declare by public proclamation an object or objects of antiquity (currently, historic landmarks, historic and prehistoric structures, and other objects of historic or scientific interest) that are situated on lands owned or controlled by the federal government to be national monuments. “Objects of antiquity” means relics, artifacts, human or animal skeletal remains, fossils, and certain buildings constructed before enactment of this bill.

The bill prescribes limits on land that may be declared to be a national monument based on acreage, proximity to other national monuments, whether it has been reviewed by the Department of the Interior or Agriculture (USDA) under the National Environmental Policy Act, and whether it has been approved by each county and state within whose boundaries it will be located.

Such limitation shall not apply to a designation made to prevent imminent and irreparable harm to the object or objects of antiquity to be protected. Such exception shall end after one year and may be used only once.

The President may reduce the size of any declared national monument: (1) by 85,000 acres or less; or (2) by more than 85,000 acres only if the reduction has been approved by each county and state within whose boundaries the monument will be located and reviewed by Interior or USDA under the National Environmental Policy Act. The bill prohibits any land from being declared as a national monument in a configuration that would place non-federally owned property within the monument without first obtaining the owners’ written consent.


10/06/2017 Introduced in House
10/06/2017 Referred to the House Committee on Natural Resources.
10/11/2017 Committee Consideration and Mark-up Session Held.
10/11/2017 Ordered to be Reported (Amended) by the Yeas and Nays: 23 – 17.
12/19/2018 Reported (Amended) by the Committee on Natural Resources. H. Rept. 115-1081.
12/19/2018 Placed on the Union Calendar, Calendar No. 840.

Floor Action

1. Legislation is placed on the Calendar
House: Bills are placed on one of four House Calendars. The Speaker of the House and the Majority Leader decide what will reach the floor and when.
Senate: Legislation is placed on the Legislative Calendar. There is also an Executive calendar to deal with treaties and nominations. Scheduling of legislation is the job of the Majority Leader. Bills can be brought to the floor whenever a majority of the Senate chooses.
2. Debate
House: Debate is limited by the rules formulated in the Rules Committee. The Committee of the Whole debates and amends the bill but cannot technically pass it. Debate is guided by the Sponsoring Committee and time is divided equally between proponents and opponents. The Committee decides how much time to allot to each person. Amendments must be germane to the subject of a bill – no riders are allowed. The bill is reported back to the House (to itself) and is voted on. A quorum call is a vote to make sure that there are enough members present (218) to have a final vote. If there is not a quorum, the House will adjourn or will send the Sergeant at Arms out to round up missing members.
Senate: debate is unlimited unless cloture is invoked. Members can speak as long as they want and amendments need not be germane – riders are often offered. Entire bills can therefore be offered as amendments to other bills. Unless cloture is invoked, Senators can use a filibuster to defeat a measure by “talking it to death.
3. Vote
The bill is voted on. If passed, it is then sent to the other chamber unless that chamber already has a similar measure under consideration. If either chamber does not pass the bill then it dies. If the House and Senate pass the same bill then it is sent to the President. If the House and Senate pass different bills they are sent to Conference Committee. Most major legislation goes to a Conference Committee.