The White House issued a statement this morning threatening a veto of Rep. Mac Thornberry’s (R-Texas) bill, H.R. 2130, the Red River Private Property Protection Act. National Cattlemen’s Beef Association President Philip Ellis called the veto threat another example of egregious federal overreach.
“The President’s threat to veto the Red River Private Property Protection Act is par for the course for this Administration, and it is yet another example of our Executive branch’s blatant disregard for private property rights and commonsense compromise. This bill would settle the dispute over 90,000 acres land along a 116 mile stretch of the Red River the Bureau of Land Management claims may be considered public domain by requiring a survey of the contested area to be completed within two years and approved by the states of Texas and Oklahoma. For more than 100 years, private land owners have owned, successfully managed, and paid property taxes on lands along the Red River. This veto threat is no more than the White House asserting another federal land grab, usurping private property rights. If left unchecked by Congress, it sets a precedent that the Secretary of Interior can lay claim to private land without legal consequence, due process or just compensation.”
Public Lands Council President Brenda Richards echoed Ellis’ thoughts:
“Once again, this Administration is erroneously arguing that the Secretary of the Interior has the unimpeachable authority to tell Americans where their private property rights begin and end. Ranchers in the West have dealt with this type of federal overreach for years and it’s distressing to see the Administration attempt to expand federal estate in areas of clear private property ownership.”