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WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Bob Gibbs, joined by Senator Rob Portman, Speaker John Boehner, and 10 other members from Ohio, sent a letter to President Obama on Wednesday raising questions regarding the process and authority of Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell to unilaterally rename Mount McKinley.  Secretary Jewell announced on Sunday evening she used a ‘Secretarial Order’ to change the name of Mount McKinley, overriding the Board of Geographic Names and ignoring pending legislation in the House of Representatives.

After sending the letter, Congressman Gibbs made the following statement:

“The Secretary’s action is disrespectful to the legacy of President McKinley, our 25th President, 39th Governor of Ohio and an officer in the Civil War. I object to this change because of the separation of powers issue this action raises, as it was an Act of Congress that named Mount McKinley. This letter requests the President delay any action in changing the mountain’s name until the administration can answer the questions asked.”

The Mount McKinley National Park was designated by an Act of Congress in 1917.   The Board of Geographic Names has a long-standing policy of not taking up any petitions for name changes while there is pending legislation in Congress. On January 21st of this year, Congressman Bob Gibbs introduced H.R. 437 to provide for the retention of the name of Mount McKinley.

A copy of the letter is available below:

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