Utah lawmakers took a first step Friday to formally ask President Donald Trump to erase the new Bears Ears National Monument and also to rescind large sections of the 20-year-old Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.
The House Rules Committee approved separate resolutions, HCR11 and HCR12, to proceed for floor debate with only the two Democrats on the committee opposing them.
The Rules Committee rarely holds hearings on legislation, and usually just assigns bills to other committees. But its chairman is Rep. Mike Noel, R-Kanab, whose district includes the national monuments, and he is a leading opponent of them. To show the importance lawmakers give the Bears Ears resolution, House Speaker Greg Hughes is sponsoring it even though speakers traditionally sponsor few bills.