WASHINGTON — The House has approved a Republican bill to limit the president’s ability to designate new national monuments, a step President Barack Obama and other presidents have taken to protect historic or ecologically significant sites.
The bill, sponsored by Utah Rep. Rob Bishop, would require an environmental review — including a public hearing — before designation of monuments larger than 5,000 acres. Only one monument per state could be created in a president’s four-year term. The bill was approved Wednesday.
Bishop and other Republicans have complained that Obama has designated a half-dozen monuments in the past year without input from Congress.
Opponents said the bill was unnecessary, noting that presidents have had authority to create national monuments for more than a century.
The legislation is unlikely to pass the Democratic-controlled Senate.