If new federal rules prevent use of land or take away property, Rep. Jim Hansen, R-Utah, says the government should pay restitution.

He is pushing - along with a dozen other House members - legislation to require just compensation in such cases, and to avoid violating property rights when imposing new regulations."It is a shame that a federal entity can now tell a farmer that he can't farm a field that has been farmed for generations simply because the agency declares that the field is wetland. That's the type of unfairness that this bill intends to stop," Hansen said.

The bill is a part of a continuing battle between environmentalist members of Congress and members who want fewer restrictions on land - such as Hansen.

Hansen said $1 billion in property-rights-violation claims against the government have already been filed. He said, "I believe that this measure is an important commitment to private property rights and should be addressed as soon as possible."