House GOP along with 15 Dems Vote to Give Texas a Big Valentine’s Day Present

Yesterday, amidst setting up votes on more Congressional Review Act-enabled resolutions of disapproval to repeal federal regulations finalized late in Obama’s presidency, the House GOP voted to strip the Bureau of Land Management of survey authority along a 116-mile stretch of the Red River and transfer that authority to the State of Texas General Land Office and Oklahoma Commissioners of the Land Office.

The Red River has been the formal border between Texas and Oklahoma since a 1923 Supreme Court ruling, which gave Oklahoma control of the northern half of the Red River and designated the bottom half federal land. Due to erosion, that bottom boundary has changed. And in July 2013, the Bureau of Land Management issued a Notice of Intent to work on a revision to the Oklahoma, Kansas, and Texas Resource Management Plan in order to clarify where the borders are and who owns what land.

The bill, the Red River Gradient Boundary Survey Act (H.R. 428), would nullify all previous surveys on the matter conducted by BLM and give a state agency the ability to define the boundaries of federal lands and the responsibility for consulting with Native American tribes about the boundaries of their lands.

H.R. 428 also authorizes $1 million for state agencies to redo work that BLM has already done and interferes with the litigation currently taking place in federal district court about the boundary dispute.

The bill passed 236 to 189, with 15 Democrats voting with the GOP.

That 15 consisted of 11 Democrats from Texas and 4 from other states:

Joaquin Castro (TX-20)

Charlie Crist (FL-13)

Henry Cuellar (TX-28)

Lloyd Doggett (TX-35)

Vicente Gonazlez (TX-15)

Josh Gottheimer (NJ-05)

Al Green (TX-09)

Gene Green (TX-29)

Sheila Jackson Lee (TX-18)

Eddie B. Johnson (TX-30)

Beto O’Rourke (TX-16)

Scott Peters (CA-52)

Collin Peterson (MN-07)

Marc Veasey (TX-33)

Filemon Vela (TX-34)

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