PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Congressman Earl Blumenauer introduced a bill Wednesday that would force Ammon Bundy and his fellow Malheur National Wildlife Refuge occupiers to pay for the cost of the takeover.
“It would allow the federal government to go after the armed people who started it,” Blumenauer tells KOIN 6 News. “But in the meantime, the people of Harney County shouldn’t have to suffer twice — had the disruption and then have to pay the bill.”
Blumenauer estimates the takeover, which started more than a month ago, is costing $100,000 a week. The Democrat places some of the responsibility of the tab on the federal government, blaming their decisions on “timing and manner of putting a stop to this ordeal” as contributing to the cost. That is why Blumenauer’s bill would require the federal government to reimburse Oregon taxpayers.
“The state and local government shouldn’t have to pick up the tab…it’s not their fault…the feds need to reimburse and then go after the people who caused it,” he says.
He says forcing the militants to pay “will send a strong signal that an armed takeover of federal land is unacceptable, and not without consequences.”