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GOP bills would block new monuments on public land
Western lawmakers rails against new national monuments on public lands
By The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) ' House Republicans say a 105-year-old law that allows the president to designate national monuments on public lands represents a threat to jobs and rural communities.

GOP Rep. Denny Rehberg of Montana says the 1906 Antiquities Act can be used to lock up public land without guidance from Congress or the public.

Rehberg, who is running for U.S. Senate against Democratic Sen. Jon Tester, sponsored one of six GOP bills to overturn or limit the Antiquities Act.

The bills respond to outrage expressed throughout the West last year after a draft Interior Department plan to designate14 new national monuments in nine states was made public. The plan was never formally proposed, but opponents said its existence showed the need to reform the law.

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