Congressman sets legislative priorities

January 04, 1997|By FRANCA LEWIS

Staff Writer

U.S. Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, R-Md., said Friday he plans to introduce legislation that would allow national parks to sell scenic easements to generate much-needed money for park improvements.

The legislation would open the sale of land along the C&O Canal to homeowners with the intention of restoring the view along canal, Bartlett said.

He said he expects the legislation to be welcomed by homeowners who have vacation homes along the canal. Many of those homeowners lease the land from the government, and those leases are running out, he said.


Many previous home sites taken over by the government on the canal have been bulldozed and presently are weed infested with unsightly concrete foundations jutting from the ground.

Bartlett said he looks forward to beginning his third term in office as the 105th Congressional session convenes Tuesday.

He said priority issues this year include:

  • Passing a balanced budget.

  • Medicare and Social Security, which he said must be approached in a bipartisan manner.

  • Highway fund payout formula to states.

  • Tax reform.

  • Campaign finance reform.

  • Political term limits.

Bartlett said he will continue his work on the National Security Committee and was recently selected to chair the Small Business Committee's Subcommittee on Government Programs and Oversight.

At a time when Congress will be considering the reauthorization of the Small Business Administration, Bartlett said his work on the committee will focus on bringing attention to problems faced by owners of small businesses.

He also said he will work closely with state leaders to maintain low unemployment and to improve Maryland's poor image as a high-tax state.

Coming soon to the Sixth District is a $550 million vaccine center with a 10-year program that will open jobs and be a boon, Bartlett said.

At least one of the center's buildings is expected to be located at Fort Detrick in Frederick, he said.

Relief from area flooding is expected by the clearing of clogged streams, he said, adding that he hopes to bring in the Army Corps of Engineers to do the work.

Bartlett said Americans are most concerned with getting a balanced budget and reducing the national debt.

"A child born today will pay $187,000 in his lifetime just to pay interest on the debt," he said.

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