What They Are Saying...Support for House Democrats’ Radical Anti-Mining Legislation Crumbles in the Senate

October 5, 2021

Democrat and Republican Senators on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee oppose House Democrats’ attempt to change mining law through partisan budget process. 

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, members of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources (ENR) came out in opposition of House Democrats’ attempt to change mining law through a partisan budget process. The ENR committee members’ remarks were during a full committee hearing to examine and consider updates to the Mining Law of 1872.

What They Are Saying about House Democrats’ Anti-Mining Legislation: 

“I so appreciate you holding this hearing at my request because I oppose the reform proposal that was put forward in the House of Representatives because, one, the legislation would have an unfair, outsized impact on the state of Nevada, where most of the land is owned by the federal government and it imposes taxes on federal land. But more importantly, moving this type of reform through a short-term budget process would create uncertainty for the industry and uncertainty that supports thousands of jobs across the country,” said Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV).   

“The president and House Democrats want to make it more difficult to get to these minerals we need. And they seek to eliminate all mining on federal lands. Last month, House Democrats advanced partisan budget legislation –their reckless tax and spending spree – that would impose punishing royalties on existing and new mines on federal land. House Democrats also plan to raise fees and impose a tax on mining firms. The fees are based on the amount of dirt they moved. You can’t make this stuff up. House Democrats are planning to tax dirt,” said Ranking Member John Barrasso (R-WY). 

“Madame Chair, my time is expired but I would urge us to not take quite the zealous approach that the House of Representatives took but to find a fair and transparent way for taxpayers to be compensated for these minerals,” said Senator Martin Heinrich (D-NM). 

“Mr. Chairman, I want to thank you for having this hearing today and Sen. Cortez-Masto for encouraging it. This is where these conversations should happen. It should not be happening in a reconciliation bill on the House side or on any side, where you just kind of shove something in and hope we get it right,” said Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK).

“This is clearly an example where the legislation will help China and hurt the United States and make us more dependent on China and potentially other adversaries for critical minerals that we need, including for our national defense,” said Senator John Hoeven (R-ND). 

“We know that the House version of the bill raises taxes on family owned businesses like Wyo-Ben. It places new royalties on your products. And it makes it harder for you to support jobs in your communities. Mr. Brown, the if the House Democrats get their way and they pass this sweeping anti-mining legislation, what would that mean to the Montana jobs that you provide and your ability to mine and supply the United States with bentonite,” said Senator Steve Daines (R-MT).