by Steve Sexton
Elko Daily Free Press
|U.S. Rep. Jim Gibbons, R-Nev. -- now knowing from firsthand experience the troubles facing Elko County in trying to get federal officials to answer to a legislative body -- has reiterated his commitment to hold a congressional hearing in Elko to force U.S. Forest Service officials to appear before the lawmakers.|
who is making a swing through Nevada in a series of town
hall meetings, came to Elko seeking local concerns and
solutions but talked mostly about the problems he's found
in Washington, D.C.
He said the House Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources was forced to subpoena Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt after the Department of Interior refused to provide documents at a hearing last week on reclamation bonding regulations.
"We decided, right then and there that from now on, we will subpoena these people and those documents and put them under oath," Gibbons said to a hearty round of applause from the 30 people at Elko City Hall Sunday.
Elko County was rebuffed by federal employees when the grand jury empaneled to investigate public lands crimes subpoenaed a forest service supervisor. The issue ended up before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals when the agency invoked an internal regulation prohibiting the employee from testifying.
"We are trying to get back to Congress creating the laws instead of these regulatory agencies," Gibbons said.
Gibbons said one way is
through a bill he has
cosponsored, the Congressional Responsibility Act, which
says any new regulation emanating from an executive
branch agency must be submitted to Congress for approval
before it can be enacted by the agency.
"We need government
to run smarter, smaller and more efficient," Gibbons
said. "There's a dark future awaiting our kids if we
don't do something about it.
tape" of certain
federal agencies, especially the Social Security
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