Reps. Rehberg and Labrador: Congress should approve national monument decisions

Rehberg said his bill is needed because it was revealed last year that the Department of the Interior was planning to declare millions of acres in Montana as a national monument.

"This 'Treasured Landscapes' plan relied heavily on input from a few special interest groups and seeks to abuse the Antiquities Act for the presidential designation of National Monuments across the west, including Montana," Rehberg said.

Rehberg and Labrador also said their bills are needed to fight back against an Interior Department order last year that allows the federal government to create "wild lands" classifications for public lands said. Labrador said the administration released this order just before Christmas, without congressional oversight.

"Clearly, the administration was attempting to hide this project from congressional oversight in general and Idaho officials in particular," Labrador said. "If the program is so benign, then why the secrecy from such a self-proclaimed open and transparent administration and, if they hid the development of this program from Idaho, what else about it are they trying to keep from us?"

Both Rehberg's bill, H.R. 845, and Labrador's bill, H.R. 846, were referred to the Committee on Natural Resources.