Oregon lawmaker wants armed refuge occupiers to pay standoff bil - KPTV - FOX 12

Oregon lawmaker wants armed refuge occupiers to pay standoff bill

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Occupation at Malheur National Wildlife Refuge (file image) Occupation at Malheur National Wildlife Refuge (file image)
Ammon Bundy during occupation of Malheur National Wildlife Refuge (file image) Ammon Bundy during occupation of Malheur National Wildlife Refuge (file image)
SALEM, OR (KPTV) -

Rep. Earl Blumenauer introduced legislation Wednesday that would force the group of armed occupiers at a rural Oregon wildlife refuge to pay the bill for the standoff.

 Blumenauer said the occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge has cost state and local law enforcement agencies around $100,000 per week.

The occupation, led by Ammon Bundy of Idaho, began Jan. 2 as a protest against federal land policies.

The FBI and Oregon State Police arrested seven people, including Bundy, on Jan. 26. Group spokesman LaVoy Finicum was shot and killed in a confrontation with law enforcement.

Others have subsequently been arrested in connection to the occupation, while several people remain at the refuge despite Bundy's repeated calls from jail for them to go home.

On the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday, Blumenauer said his legislation would require the Department of Justice to quickly reimburse law enforcement agencies up front for costs associated with the takeover of the refuge.

Following the reimbursement, Blumenauer proposes allowing the U.S. Attorney General to recover the federal government's costs by bringing civil action against the group.

"Placing the burden of these costs on these armed militants will send a strong signal that an armed takeover of federal land is unacceptable, and not without consequences," according to a statement from the congressman.

"For this small community, a few hundred thousand dollars has a significant impact on the local taxpayer. They shouldn't be made to pay the bill," Blumenauer said on the House floor.

RELATED
Jan. 26: Standoff spokesman LaVoy Finicum dead; Ammon Bundy arrested 
Jan. 27: Affidavit outlines alleged threats, details of FBI investigation 
Jan. 27: Sheriff on deadly confrontation: 'There doesn't have to be bloodshed'
Jan. 28: FBI says video shows LaVoy Finicum reach for pocket containing loaded gun
Jan. 28: Ammon Bundy issues statement, pledges to 'continue to educate'
Feb. 3: Woman says she was feet away when shots killed LaVoy Finicum

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