Washington, D.C. – — A Utah congressional delegation comprised of Representative John Curtis (R-UT) and U.S. Senators Mike Lee (R-UT) and Mitt Romney (R-UT), issued the following statement regarding President Biden’s recent public appearance in which he misrepresented expansion of the Bears Ears National Monument support in Utah.

“It is acceptable to have policy disagreement, and robust debate is vital. However, it is wrong for President Biden to misrepresent support in Utah for his divisive actions around Bears Ears National Monument. When asked for a correction of the President’s inaccuracies, the White House simply gave us an article containing even further inaccuracies. This article referenced a county that contains no part of the Bears Ears National Monument, and has no mention of Republican support in Utah to back up his claim. The White House shows a complete lack of understanding of Utah’s national monuments, and we call on President Biden to correct the record on his false statement.

Our initial goal, however, remains unchanged: We ask the President to come to the negotiating table to work with Utah’s congressional delegation, as well as state and local stakeholders, to find a permanent, legislative solution to the boundaries and management of Utah’s national monuments. Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante cannot continue to be used as political footballs.”

BACKGROUND:

On October 8, 2021, President Biden signed a declaration expanding the size of two National Monuments in Utah: Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante. In response, the Utah congressional delegation wrote an op-ed criticizing this decision.

During a public appearance this April, in reference to support received about these proclamations, President Biden said: 

And we did.  Bears Ears.  Forests like the Tongass Forest.  (Applause.) 

And, by the way, we got some of the conservative Republicans to support it in their state.  We got some support for it.

When the Utah delegation asked the White House for more details about their alleged conservative support, the delegation received an article which referenced Democratic lawmakers, in a different county, further proving the point that the statement by the President was false. 

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