Utah House asks President Trump to rescind Bears Ears

Salt Lake City, Utah- (ABC4 Utah) – It was a heated debate in the State House as lawmakers took up the issue of public lands.

House Republicans want President Trump to back track on two national monuments in our state.

Democrats say their counterparts are ignoring the will of most Utahns.

It's a battle over Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante. Morning floor time in the House started with H.C.R. 11 and 12.

"We can work together within this state to get this right. We don't have to lean on and we don't have to accept the decrees from afar," said Speaker Greg Hughes, (R) Draper.

Hughes took a spot on the floor to present H.C.R. 11. It asks President Trump to rescind the national monument designation of Bears Ears.

"Utah has some how, because of it being public lands state, it's turned into this ATM for exiting democrat administrations who want to pay the political paybacks to special interest groups."

H.C.R. 12, sponsored by Representative Mike Noel calls on the president to reduce the size of the Grand Staircase-Escalante.

"There's a reason why, and you can read this in the proclamation, why we lost almost 2/3 of our kids in Escalante High School, there's a reason why the overall unemployment rate is down," said Noel, (R) Kanab.

House Democrats argued against both resolutions. Representative Joel Briscoe says the Bears Ears designation was decades in the making.

"I look forward to a national monument in which the people who have lived there for thousands and thousands of years will be able to help us, the rest of us understand its value, its importance and its spirituality," said Briscoe, (D) Salt Lake City.

House Minority Leader Brian King says the resolutions are not reflective of what most Utahns want.

"The will of the people of the state of Utah is far different than the unanimous, nonsupport of Grand Staircase-Escalante and Bears Ears by our congressional delegation. Those individuals who claim to represent us are not doing so," said King, (D) Salt Lake City.

Both resolutions passed the House by a wide margin. They will now be considered by the Senate.

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