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house Bill H. Res. 575

Condemning the Occupation of a Wildlife Refuge in Oregon

Argument in favor

Congress should make clear that no one is allowed to take armed control of public property. It is important to set aside federal land and protect it from deforestation, mining, and ranching.

Chase's Opinion
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01/28/2016
This is a terrorist act. The only reason these people aren't being called out is because they're white. Think about it. If it would have been someone of color, everyone would be crying for the punishment of these people.
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Tiana's Opinion
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01/29/2016
This is domestic terrorism at its best. No one is above the law. This speaks volumes to the privilege that SOME receive in this country.
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Steven's Opinion
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01/31/2016
Someone had to propose a bill to vote on whether or not armed insurrection is wrong???? Are you kidding me with this?? Am I being punked right now?? Should they publicly speak out against the armed takeover of government property, that should be a no brainier. That it needed to proposed in a bill instead of a few congressman just grabbing a microphone in front of some reporters shows me the level of dysfunction currently in congress,
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Argument opposed

The federal government has too much control over public lands — making life difficult for farmers and ranchers. This resolution doesn't address the real problem and the root of this occupation.

BTSundra's Opinion
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01/29/2016
Nobody tried to condemn Occupy Wall Street. The Left just tries to condemn things when it doesn't play to their unconstitutional agenda.
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Richard's Opinion
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01/29/2016
The Federal Government has been overreaching for years and the recent occupation in Oregon calls attention to it.
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Charley's Opinion
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01/29/2016
Why waste the time with this bill? Is it a feel-good measure by Congress?
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simple resolution Progress


  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands
      Committee on Natural Resources
    IntroducedJanuary 5th, 2016

What is House Bill H. Res. 575?

This resolution announces Congress' official condemnation of the “unlawful, armed occupation” of a federal wildlife refuge in eastern Oregon. An armed group of men took control of the refuge on January 2, 2016 in protest over the prison sentences for two local ranchers convicted of arson. The resolution calls on the self-proclaimed “militiamen” to surrender.

The occupation, led by Ammon Bundy, was sparked by the October re-sentencing of Dwight and Steve Hammond. The father and son pair — who have fought the government for decades over grazing and water rights on public lands — were convicted of arson on federal land. In 2012, the Hammonds received abbreviated sentences, after arguing that the federal five-year minimum for arson is unconstitutional. In October 2015 — after both men had returned home from prison — an appeals court ordered them to complete the federally required five-year sentences. They returned to prison on January 2, 2016.

Two days later, Ammon Bundy, his brother Ryan, and a group of approximately 20 armed followers seized and occupied the refuge in protest of the Hammonds’ new sentences. They also protest what they see as the federal government’s excessive control over federal lands.

Rep. Raúl Grijalva’s (D-AZ) bill points out that the occupation has:

  • Prevented twenty refuge employees from reporting to work;

  • Resulted in the death of one militant;

  • Prevented employees who live on the refuge from accessing their homes;

  • Forced local officials to close public schools for security reasons (students did return to school one week after the occupation began).

Impact

The Bundy family, other occupiers, people who work at the refuge, people who live in the area, supporters and critics of the militia men, and Congress.

Cost of House Bill H. Res. 575

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In Depth: 

On January 25, 2016 the Ammon brothers and several other occupation organizers were pulled over by state police and the FBI while driving to a community meeting. Shots were fired, killing group spokesman Robert “LaVoy” Finicum and injuring Ryan Bundy after the two men allegedly resisted arrest.

Ammon Bundy and others face federal charges of felony conspiracy to impede federal officers. From custody, Ammon Bundy released a statement praising Lindicum and calling on his friends to “take this fight from here. Please stand down…Please go home.”

By the end of January 26, 2016, the FBI announced that eight more occupiers had left the compound, three of whom were arrested. It is unclear exactly how many people remain.


Of Note: 

Several major GOP presidential candidates—including Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, and Ben Carson—have condemned the occupation while expressing understanding for the ranchers’ frustrations over federal land.

Ammon and Ryan Bundy’s father, Cliven Bundy, had a nationally followed dispute with the federal government of his own in 2014 over grazing rights on federal land.


Media:

Summary: Katie Rose Quandt

(Photo Credit: YouTube screenshot)

Official Title

Expressing disapproval of the occupation of Malheur National Wildlife Refuge by a group of armed individuals.

    This is a terrorist act. The only reason these people aren't being called out is because they're white. Think about it. If it would have been someone of color, everyone would be crying for the punishment of these people.
    Like (59)
    Follow
    Share
    Nobody tried to condemn Occupy Wall Street. The Left just tries to condemn things when it doesn't play to their unconstitutional agenda.
    Like (52)
    Follow
    Share
    This is domestic terrorism at its best. No one is above the law. This speaks volumes to the privilege that SOME receive in this country.
    Like (35)
    Follow
    Share
    Someone had to propose a bill to vote on whether or not armed insurrection is wrong???? Are you kidding me with this?? Am I being punked right now?? Should they publicly speak out against the armed takeover of government property, that should be a no brainier. That it needed to proposed in a bill instead of a few congressman just grabbing a microphone in front of some reporters shows me the level of dysfunction currently in congress,
    Like (29)
    Follow
    Share
    The Federal Government has been overreaching for years and the recent occupation in Oregon calls attention to it.
    Like (24)
    Follow
    Share
    Why waste the time with this bill? Is it a feel-good measure by Congress?
    Like (12)
    Follow
    Share
    I feel that these people and similar groups are forgetting that their claim of " this land belongs to all of us" really means that the majority of Americans do not want their economic interests put above the welfare of the land.
    Like (11)
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    Terrorists are terrorists regardless of their race, nationality or religion and ALL should be treated like threats
    Like (9)
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    It's federal land that belongs to all Americans. They broke the law. Additionally, they can't plan for crap. Press charges. #OldWhiteManPrivilege
    Like (9)
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    Armed occupation is not the medium through which thoughtful and lasting change can occur. We should formally denounce this group.
    Like (8)
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    Why should anyone be allowed to forcibly take control of a government building? Strikes me as emboldening people who like to walk around with guns.
    Like (7)
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    It was a peaceful protest, until the FBI sent in agents provocateurs disguised as protesters! I believe it's no thanks to the FBI that more lives weren't lost! IMO, the FBI should've stayed out of it!
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    These people are breaking the law by trespassing and holding this land from the owner (US Government). They are also threatening the safety of the people around the reserve and causing civil unrest.
    Like (5)
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    I dislike it when people utilize the right of assembly when the First Amendment also uses the word "peaceably" these guys seized a building and encroached the rights of others who live in Oregon. Being an Oregonian myself, they costed the county thousands of dollars because of the occupation and an overwhelming majority of them came from a different state. In addition, there was a news story on how Oregon Farmers testified how the current system works. Also, I believe this to be worthy of the title treason or insurrection and is the right of the President to suppress them (Article 1/2 of the Constitution, Congress creates procedure to suppress insurrections and enforcement of the laws). Also, the two people who were arrested for the fire and got double jeopardy resented these guys and did not support them.
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    The key words, public land, not ranch land.
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    There's a way to protest peacefully and there's a way not to do it. This is a great example of how it should not be done, at least in this country. We have a standard to uphold and a way of life that makes us better than most. Martin Luther King, Jr. did it right to mostly good result. Let's keep doing it the peaceful way. The moment you bring a gun you change the situation from protest to standoff. Borderline terrorism. Which in my mind is defined as using the threat of violence to get your way. And in this country that should be deeply discouraged. Let's be adults here. And please remember that just because it doesn't go your way doesn't mean it's gone wrong. We all have different priorities and passions in life and in life it doesn't always go your way. Leave the bullying to lesser men in lesser countries and let's learn to make this world a better place. Thanks for listening.
    Like (4)
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    Anyone taking armed control of anything that doesn't belong to them is wrong
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    No, condemning them legitimizes them, it's exactly what they want. Ignore them, let their juvenile act be forgotten and ignored.
    Like (4)
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    These people have no grounds to stand on. Armed nut jobs are not allowed to take control of Federal land under any circumstances. They are criminals and belong in jail. And, by the way, they should be prevented from ever buying guns of any kind again.
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    No duh we should. These are people who don't understand that they never had the rights to that land to begin with and violating laws concerning federal lands will have consequences
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