Energy & Environment

House votes to strip funding from Obama’s ocean zoning policy

The House on Wednesday night voted to strip funding for President Barack Obama’s new ocean zoning policy to effectively block the contentious plan from moving forward.

The amendment passed on a 246-174 vote, and is now part of a larger bill that will fund the Commerce and Justice Departments for the 2013 fiscal year.

Human Events reported April 17 that Obama’s ambitious plan would put Washington bureaucrats in charge of oceans off the U.S. shore, and with it control over much of the nation’s fisheries and recreation.

Rep. Doc Hastings (R-Wash.), chairman of the House Resources Committee, and Rep. Bill Flores (R-Texas) led the defunding effort, and the amendment passed with bipartisan support.

“Mandatory ocean zoning has already proven to be an excuse for the administration to block economic activity,” Hastings said in a statement after the vote. “Without knowing the potential jobs and economic ramifications of the policy, nor the amount of time, money and resources it will cost to implement, it is imperative that we halt funding so that these questions can be answered and proper Congressional oversight can be conducted.”

Obama is trying to implement the plan through an executive order, but Republicans have vowed to block it from moving forward by stripping the necessary funding.

“The National Ocean Policy was formed without congressional authority and would be run by unaccountable and unelected Washington bureaucrats,” Rep. Flores said. “It is imperative that we first understand the effects this policy will have on jobs as well as the vast coastal and inland economies, which collectively impact almost 80 percent of our entire country.”

The entire bill is expected to pass the House this week, and then moves to the Senate for passage.

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