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McGovern: GOP Bill is Giveaway to Trump’s Polluting Friends

Republican Mining Bill Directly Benefits Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump’s Foreign Billionaire Landlord

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Washington, November 29, 2017 | comments
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today U.S. Congressman Jim McGovern (D-MA) slammed the latest anti-environment bill from House Republicans, H.R. 3905, The MINER Act, which would do irreparable harm to federally-protected land by allowing a foreign company to use a half-century-old lease to mine right next door to the Boundary Water Canoe Area Wilderness. Click here for video of Congressman McGovern’s speech.

“H.R. 3905 would allow a Chilean mining company, which is facing tens of millions of dollars in fines from the Chilean government for their failure to protect nearby water resources, the ability to mine just upstream of pristine U.S. protected land.

“My colleagues in the majority will claim that this bill will help create jobs, but what about the 22,000 jobs that the local protected land already supports? What will happen to those jobs when the water is so polluted no one can visit the recreational area around the mine? The truth is, this isn’t about jobs, it’s about helping a few rich owners of mining companies line their pockets at the expense of the environment.

“In fact, the recipient of this Republican handout is a subsidiary of the Chilean company Antofagasta, which is controlled by Chilean billionaire Andronico Luksic.

“And get this: Mr. Luksic just happens to be the landlord of Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner – President Trump’s daughter and son-in-law, and senior advisors to the Trump White House.

“You cannot make this stuff up.



“This is part of a pattern of sketchy deals and questionable business contacts involving the President, his family, and their closest advisors.

“Earlier this month, we learned that President Trump and his family made millions through a hotel in Panama financed by Colombian drug cartels and the Russian mafia!

“We still don’t even know how these new deals will boost President Trump’s income or how his family profits off the presidency – because we’re 312 days into his presidency, and we still haven’t seen his tax returns!

“Worse yet, this bill makes these mining leases impossible to overturn – ever – even should the Bureau of Land Management conclude its environmental assessment and rule against further mining in this protected national forest.

“This is a slippery slope. If we continue to allow corporations to pillage our federally protected wilderness areas, then we are opening the door to irreversible damage. What’s next? Clear-cutting in Yellowstone Forest? Oil drilling off the coast of Acadia National Park?

“I beg my Republican friends to drop this assault on our public lands and urge the leadership of this House to bring up the urgent bills and priorities that we need to deal with before adjourning in less than three weeks’ time.”

Click here for video of Congressman McGovern’s speech

Full Text of Congressman McGovern’s Speech:

“This rule brings to the floor legislation that will do irreparable harm to our federally-protected land by allowing a foreign company the ability to use a half-century-old lease to mine right next door to the Boundary Water Canoe Area Wilderness.

“H.R. 3905 would allow a Chilean mining company, which is facing tens of millions of dollars in fines from the Chilean government for their failure to protect nearby water resources, the ability to mine just upstream of pristine U.S. protected land.

“This is all based on a 50-year-old lease. A lease that didn’t go through any environmental review because NEPA didn’t exist yet! There are Members of this chamber who weren’t even born when this lease was signed.

“My colleagues in the majority will claim that this bill will help create jobs, but what about the 22,000 jobs that the local protected land already supports? What will happen to those jobs when the water is so polluted no one can visit the recreational area around the mine? The truth is, this isn’t about jobs, it’s about helping a few rich owners of mining companies line their pockets at the expense of the environment.

“In fact, the recipient of this Republican handout is a subsidiary of the Chilean company Antofagasta, which is controlled by Chilean billionaire Andronico Luksic.

“And get this…Mr. Luksic just happens to be the landlord of Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner – President Trump’s daughter and son-in-law, and senior advisors to the Trump White House.

“You cannot make this stuff up.

“This is part of a pattern of sketchy deals and questionable business contacts involving the President, his family, and their closest advisors.

“Earlier this month, we learned that President Trump and his family made millions through a hotel in Panama financed by Colombian drug cartels and the Russian mafia!

“We still don’t even know how these new deals will boost President Trump’s income or how his family profits off the presidency – because we’re 312 days into his presidency, and we still haven’t seen his tax returns!

“Imagine if this were Hillary Clinton. Imagine if this were Barack Obama. Imagine the screams on the other side of the aisle demanding transparency and an open process. But when it comes to covering up all these sketchy deals, on behalf of this president of the United States, silence.

“President Trump promised to drain the swamp, but instead he’s created a cesspool. There are so many conflicts of interest; this administration is on a collision course with corruption.

“We have only 6 legislative days left before the government runs out of money, but Speaker Ryan thinks another corporate handout – this time, to Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump’s landlord – is the most pressing issue that needs to be resolved in Congress this week?

“If the Speaker wants some suggestions as to things we ought to focus on this week, I know Democrats in this chamber have a few.

“Democrats think we should be debating a funding bill to avert the coming shut down on December 8th, when the temporary spending bill expires.

“Democrats want to debate and pass the Dream Act, ending the turmoil this President has caused by upending the lives of 800,000 young immigrant DREAMers and their families.

“Democrats want to extend the Children’s Health Insurance Program – known as CHIP – and Community Health Centers whose authorizations expired two months ago.

“Democrats think we should debate Flood Insurance reauthorization which also expires on December 8th.

“Democrats want to pass additional hurricane relief to help those who are still recovering from devastating hurricanes in Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico.

“Democrats want to address funding for the Vets Choice program – which is set to run out of money before the end of the year.

“But instead, here we are considering yet another ridiculous, extreme anti-environment bill.

“My friends on the other side of the aisle love talking about returning this country to the way it used to be. I’ve seen the “Make America Great Again” stickers on many of their cars. I can think of no pastime more important, more significant to our national heritage and identity, than our wilderness and protected areas.

“My friends and colleagues who have spent time in the Boundary Waters tell me how stunning it is. They say it’s one of the most beautiful places in our country. And we’re going to risk polluting this national treasure with copper sulfide acid drainage running into the streams that feed the Boundary Waters?

“Worse yet, this bill makes these mining leases impossible to overturn – ever – even should the Bureau of Land Management conclude its environmental assessment and rule against further mining in this protected national forest.

“This is a slippery slope. If we continue to allow corporations to pillage our federally protected wilderness areas, then we are opening the door to irreversible damage. What’s next? Clear-cutting in Yellowstone Forest? Oil drilling off the coast of Acadia National Park?

“I beg my Republican friends to drop this assault on our public lands and urge the leadership of this House to bring up the urgent bills and priorities that we need to deal with before adjourning in less than three weeks’ time.

“I urge my colleagues to oppose this rule, and to oppose efforts that will further degrade our natural resources.”

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