program to monitor and control, if necessary, that development.153
The prospect for enacting national land use legislation was seriously diminished on February 26, 1974, when, much to the surprise of many, the 15 member House Rules Committee voted to indefinitely postpone consideration of H.R. 10294.154 That vote came after the White House withdrew its support for the bill, favoring instead a version proposed by Senator Steiger, H.R. 11325, that did not provide any state oversight of local planning decisions, but allocated $200 million over five years to local governments.155
Udall was dismayed at the vote in the Rules Committee and quickly scheduled additional hearings on the Interior and Insular Affairs bill, H.R. 10294, to allow that bill's opponents to voice
(James A. Noone, Land Use Planning Bill Headed for House Floor Vote, National Journal, February 2, 1974 at 183.
(James A. Noone, Land Use Bill Derailed After White House Ends Support, National Journal, March 9, 1974 at 368. "The Rules Committee vote caught environmentalists and others who supported the bill off guard. These groups include[d] the National Governors' Conference, the National League of Cities - U.S. Conference of Mayors and the National Association of Counties." at 369.
(Id. at 368. Several theories have been advanced to explain why the White House withdrew its support for the national land use planning bill. Jackson and Udall charged that Nixon had changed his position to gain conservative support in an attempt to escape impeachment. Lyday, supra note 33, at 40. John Whitaker, a former Nixon Administration official wrote, "the President would not have been so naive as to think that by dropping land use, or even by taking a series of actions to please conservatives, he could influence votes on the impeachment issue. It is more likely that Nixon had never had any genuine commitment to land use but had gone along with Ehrlichman... . When Nixon heard charges from conservative lawmakers that the bill did in fact threaten constitutional rights, Ehrlichman was gone, and the President had no one to turn to whom he implicitly trusted on the matter." Whitaker, supra note 66, at 165-166.