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Congressman Steve Russell

Representing the 5th District of Oklahoma


Congressman Russell Continues Attack on Government Waste

March 30, 2017
Press Release

Washington, DC – On Tuesday, Congressman Steve Russell (OK-5) introduced H.R. 1768, the End NHA Earmarking Act, which would prevent approximately $20 million annually in government waste.  H.R. 1768 will block any new federal funds from being appropriated for the National Heritage Areas Program (NHAP). National Heritage Areas (NHAs) are large segments of land that are generally not owned by the federal government, and yet receive numerous grants that are not available to the rest of the country. NHAs have been arbitrarily designated by Congress over the last 30 years in a variety of standalone and omnibus bills.  While funds that were already appropriated are exempt, this bill will save millions of taxpayer dollars moving forward. The National Park Service (NPS) has already petitioned Congress to cut funding for NHAs by at least half, stating that it needs to focus on other activities that align more closely with its core mission.

Congressman Russell spoke of the National Heritage Areas Program, saying: “This program is not about preserving history, but rather has become an ‘earmark’ in a Trojan Horse. The National Park Service has begged Congress to fund vital historic sites only to have them decay further while needed funds have been funneled to useless projects. In one year, the NPS was forced to spend nearly $20 million of needed funds on these earmarks, while the Lincoln Memorial renovation was only saved by an $18 million gift from a generous philanthropist. The NHAP must come to an end, and we must drag this Trojan Horse outside of our fiscal gates.”

H.R. 1768 is the seventh cost cutting bill Congressman Russell has introduced in 2017. Congressman Russell continues to highlight government waste in his Waste Watch series.

You can view all six editions here:

Waste Watch No. 1

Waste Watch No. 2

Waste Watch No. 3

Waste Watch No. 4

Waste Watch No. 5

Waste Watch No. 6