Coburn: Expanding national parks is ‘disastrous’

Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) launched his attack against the land use package included in the defense bill.

“Expanding the national park service is a disastrous idea,” Coburn said on the Senate floor Friday. “And the reason it is disastrous is our parks are falling apart.”

{mosads}Later Friday, the Senate will vote on a $585 billion National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which authorizes Pentagon spending for 2015. Negotiators included 68 land use bills in the authorization, much to the protest of some Republicans.

Coburn has blocked efforts to expedite consideration of the defense bill because of the land measures, which designate 250,000 acres of new wilderness. Coburn said Congress should “fight for what we’ve already invested in,” rather than opening more national parks.

The Oklahoma senator, nicknamed Dr. No, is expected to offer a motion in attempt to derail the defense bill, but it will likely fail.

On Thursday, the Senate voted 85-14 to end debate on the defense bill.

The land use portion of the defense bill also includes some western Republican priorities, such as opening some federal lands to drilling and mining.

Tags National Park Service Tom Coburn

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