Monday, April 7, 2014

PL93-620 U2e Jul 1974: The Committee Does Its Work

The House Interior & Insular Affairs Committee met the morning of 31 Jul 1974 to debate and vote on HR5671/S1296. The rules allowed the action to be witnessed by an audience, and we were there in the first row, the committee ranged on its dais in an arc facing us, Democrats on our right.  In an earlier post, I listed the names, states, and parties of all 41 members. Of course, not all voted, spoke, or even attended.

I would like this entry to try to capture the flow of argument, taken as it is from the notes I wrote in my journal while watching the proceedings. Their statements show which arguments of the many offered by partisans of all sides were considered strong enough to be used. Writing the notes as they were talking; some ambiguities do arise; also I skipped some boiler plate. First, here is a list of those who did speak.

Haley (Fla): Committee Chair
Taylor (N.C.): Parks Subcommittee Chair 
Udall (Ariz): sponsor of the bill
Meeds (Wash): pro-Havasupai spokesman
Foley (Wash): anti-Havasupai spokesman

Burke (Calif)
Burton (Calif)
Kazen (Tex)
Mink (Haw)
Runnels (NMex)
Seiberling (Ohio)

Steiger: spokesman for Havasupai and dam
     The Grand Canyon is in his congressional district.
Dellenback (Ore): anti-Havasupai spokesman

Clausen (Calif)
Ketchum (CA)
Lujan (NMex)
Regula (Ohio)
Ruppe (Mich)
Towell (Nev)

As subcommittee chair, Taylor led off with a statement summarizing the bill and action to date.
Udall spoke of the Park expansion as a "long-sought" goal, and that should not be forgotten even though there are two heated issues: the dam & the Havasupai.
Camp asks if the map shows the areas added?
Udall says yes.
Haley now states his position that the Havasupai are being paid twice.
Taylor agrees with him.
Steiger wades in that the ICC compensation was not accepted by the Havasupai.
Haley says that the money was taken.
Steiger denies this again.
Foley lays into the Havasupai transfer. (Club's McCloskey had suggested compromising, but Foley was determined to go head-on.)
Dellenback spoke of the jeopardy the National Forests would be put in, as well as the danger to the Indian Claims Commission process, now covering 400 cases.
Meeds asks if there were any way for them to get land.
Foley replies ICC did compensation only. Congress can give them public land,  but I hope they wont. 

They start on the provisions of the subcommittee amendments to the bill. The Paria is accepted as the starting place, but Udall asks to defer the main designation in section 2 because there are changes in the acreages. 
Steiger o.k.'s the state land section (3), but wants to come back to the boundary if the dam fails. 
The subcommittee provision on the Havasupai is explained, and 
Udall offers his subsitute actually transferring the land with conditions and protections.
Tayler reminds the committee that subcommittee provision was Udall's too.
Udall replies that he had not looked with "enough specificity", and those backing just a study will not include giving them land. He presents his case, says he "hates to see Washington split", and then suggests ICC was not a final word.
Regula asks if the ICC could award land.
Udall replies no.
Kazen argues ICC in its judgment had given the compensation in money instead of land. So this is a double dip.
Udall replies no. 
There was then "a big back & forth on the ICC and the claims process", with Foley in the lead. 
Dellenback  says there was a finding of fact about the acreage involved.
Kazen says the Havasupai claims were covered in the ICC process.
Steiger replies that Congress cannot be barred from taking further action. Dellenback asks him to yield, but Steiger (not so polite in battle as in his office) says no; I want you to listen to me. He then accuses the Sierra Club of passing around a specious list of affected areas. "Their list is a phoney." They fear that the Park System will lose ground. He then says that the Havasupai will give the compensation back.
Udall says Meeds will amend the language to get the money back. The point is that the land is needed for its economic potential. 
Burke: Were the Havasupai told they could get land?
Steiger says "better ask me", and yes they were.
Foley says policy of ICC is to provide compensation.
Dellenback answers Burke by reading from ICC material.
Foley re-emphasizes precedent.
Clausen asks Meeds if "we are setting a precedent"?
Meeds then makes the pro-Havasupai statement for 10 minutes: There was aboriginal occupation for 2+ million acres. He then goes through the standard Havasupai history (of being promised and always fobbed off). There are no precedents, but then he suggests some.
Udall reads from Havasupai Chair Kasca's statement and the Senate report.
Steiger insists a precedent has already been established.
Runnels says Meeds convinced him. This is trying to correct a wrong. Cites the life expectancy figures.
Udall: question is not whether they are on the land, (they are), but whether we should legitimize use.
Kazen asks why not leave the situation alone.
Lujan says the question is to give them 250 kac or to continue lease system or to study. He says they do have a way to make a living. 
Steiger replies that they cannot get (BIA) money to develop land if it is not theirs. 
Lujan: Others have.
Kazen: I cannot follow .
Steiger: then how will anything change?
Burton asks if they can do anything on the land.
Taylor: I do oppose title transfer.
Udall: What would be the difference, if they use the lands the same in either case.
Burton: What powers does the Secretary have?
Steiger: Only residences would be allowed. 
Mink: Permanent rights are not good enough; the only issue is whether there is a bar to development.
(At this point, Foley beckoned me to come up to his seat, but in fine Steiger style, the latter got Haley to put me back down -- only committee members can be involved.)
Mink: They would be better off under the BIA.
Ketchum was impressed by Runnels statement; we are here to set precedents. The reason to make this gift is Havasupai pride.
Foley says he is amazed at Ketchum; most US land had belonged to the Indians.
Ketchum rejoins that it would be better if they got more of it back.
Foley argues that economic programs could be directed in the legislative report, but the lands are in trust for all: The Grand Canyon is the Grand Canyon. He then attacked the BIA, concluding that if we want to start destruction, accept the Udall amendment.
Taylor agrees with Foley, arguing times have changed. The Havasupai cannot return to what they were.
Kazen (in a whisper): it is a very serious argument.
Dellenback suggests the values are ridiculous; the Forest Service says 40 million acres are involved.
Clausen says he has an open mind, but wants to hear more about precedent from both sides, and asks Udall what the impact on the Park would be.
Udall: No main canyon is being taken; the reservation would be set back from the rim. There is a Secretarial plan to prevent bad development. We have a list of government programs that they cannot get to use without having the land in their reservation.
Steiger: Are we more concerned about Park Service acquisitive interests or helping the Havasupai? Precedent already set. 
Clausen concerned about precedent and wants committee to take this as comprehensive, best doing it piecemeal. 
Haley, as chairman: There is an education conference on the floor. Lets recess this and return at 2.
Udall, lets vote.
Burton: most are ready, but I want to perfect the subcommittee amendment so I can oppose. There are rights in conflict: US is trustee of Indians and of all American people to see that National Parks are protected. 
Udall says that if his amendment fails, he will support other forms of help. 
Ruppe asks if this bill on transfer of lands is unique?
Haley brings up Taos acquisition of Blue Lake from National Forest, but they had refused the dollar settlement. The Havasupai accepted money. He then said the committee will rise, and
Udall moved the question (whether to accept the subcommittee bill as amended by the new Havasupai language).
Here is the vote: 

Democrats aye no
Taylor x
Udall x
Burton x
Foley x
Kastenmeier x by proxy
Mink x
Meeds x
Kazen x
Vigorito x
Melcher x by proxy
Roncalio x
Bingham x by proxy
Seiberling x
Runnels x
Burke x
Won Pat x
Owens x by proxy
de Lugo x
Jones x by proxy
11 8

Hosmer x by proxy
Steiger x
Clausen x
Ruppe x
Camp x
Lujam x
Dellenback x
Sebelius x
Regula x by proxy
Steelman x
Martin x by proxy
Ketchum x
Cronin x by proxy
Young x by proxy
Bauman x by proxy
Symms x by proxy
13 3

The Havasupai cause had triumphed in committee 24-11. 
Then Steiger tried to help his ranching friends by removing Pasture Wash from the land transferred, but this was defeated by voice vote.

The afternoon was a different matter. Coming back to deal with the dam questions, there were 14 present, half as many as in the morning.
Steiger showed a map and talks, starting off by saying "reason is not prevailing. We are not in the Grand Canyon." He then goes from this lie to twitting Udall for being in favor of the dam in 1965. Udall replied that he was a man of principle and his first principle was flexibility. Then he brought up evaporation.
Lujan asks if that water was allocated to Arizona.
Udall: to the lower basin. 
Towell opposes, and speaks of his float trip.
Steiger asserts there is no evaporation problem. He talks about his son as an oarsman, and of his Republican boat-man ally Burke who is pro-dam. This way, he says, the last day would be on a fishing lake. And when asked, says this is his district.
Taylor speaks of his float trip and Udall pointing out damsite.
Clausen & Udall bring up the many alternatives. 

There is a vote and the dam is defeated 12-22, but many of these are proxies. One Democrat, Johnson of Calif, votes aye, the rest no. Steiger has 3 live Republican votes, but 4 no votes. However, there is no quorum, so the vote doesnt count, and they decide to leave this question until later. 
Udall argues for reporting the bill, but the committee adjourns, to finish the business another day.

Not happy, I thought this cartoon appropriate to my mood.

Source: My journal

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