A Florida Republican lawmaker is proposing to end the Department of Interior’s land management program in the United States, saying that the agency is over-reaching and wasting taxpayer dollars.
Rep. Keith Covington, R-Florida, introduced a bill Monday that would remove $3 billion in federal land management grants that have been awarded to states and cities, arguing that the program is overspending by $2.4 billion.
He said the program has allowed local governments to spend money to build roads, schools, libraries, parks, recreation centers and more, but has been overly focused on protecting public lands and other resources.
Covington’s bill has attracted bipartisan support, but he has been unable to gain the support of House Republican leaders, who have called the proposal “a waste of taxpayer dollars.”
Rep. Steve Scalise, R -Louisiana, said he had not yet spoken with Covingtons office about the bill, but said he supported its goals.
“I support the idea of reducing the federal land portfolio to where it’s not needed to support our communities,” Scalise said.
“I think it’s a fair thing to do.”