WASHINGTON — The Republican-controlled House is moving toward approval of a bill that would allow the U.S. Border Patrol to circumvent more than a dozen environmental laws on all federally managed lands within 100 miles of the borders with Mexico and Canada.
Supporters say the measure is needed to give border agents unfettered access to rugged lands now controlled by the Interior Department and Forest Service. They say laws such as the Wilderness Act and Endangered Species Act prevent agents from driving vehicles on huge swaths of land — leaving it to wildlife, illegal immigrants and smugglers who can walk through the territory undisturbed.
Opponents, including hunters, conservationists and Latino advocacy groups, call the bill a heavy-handed fix that guts important environmental protections.
The measure faces dim prospects in the Democratic-controlled Senate.
- Heroes 2014: Ex-CIA officer uses...
- Bad Santa? 5 tips to tackle your holiday gift...
- On Christmas, Obama marks end of Afghan combat
- Photo gallery: Christmas around the world
- How to help find a cure for Ebola from the...
- New Russian military doctrine says NATO top...
- Father of pilot captured by Islamic State...
- Protesters rally for 2nd night after shooting...
- Obama 's Christmas in Hawaii: Carols,... 16
- Going it alone, Obama rocked the boat... 14
- Officer kills armed 18-year-old near... 11
- On Christmas, Obama marks end of Afghan... 10
- Pope in blistering critique of Vatican... 9
- Senate, CIA agree torture program was... 6
- Sony announces limited release for 'The... 5
- Judge seems skeptical of challenge to... 4