Omnibus Public Lands bill held up in U.S. House

Paleontology provisions threaten bill-

This is a big surprise.

Because the House leadership wants to pass the bill under suspension of the rules, it requires a 2/3 majority. If it can’t muster that, it goes to regular order, perhaps pushing the bill’s consideration months into the future.*

Folks will recall that the massive measure recently passed the U.S. Senate.

Story: Paleontology provisions threaten bill that includes Dominguez conservation area. By Mike Saccone. Grand Junction Sentinal.

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* Major bills in the U.S. House must obtain a rule (a set of procedures for debate) from the House Rules Committe) before they go to the floor, unless they are brought up under suspension of the rules. Under suspension,  a bill is debated for only 20 minutes with time divided equal between for and against. No amendments are allowed, but the bill must get 2/3 or better in favor. If it does not get this, the bill is not dead, but it must then first get a rule from the House Rules Committee and be considered in the way the “rule” specifies. This can be done quickly, or if there is a long stack of legislation of higher priority, it can take a long time to get a rule.

Giant omnibus public lands bill to be voted on soon in new Congress

Looks like Harry Reid is keeping his promise to bring the bill back up-

This is a really big thing, much larger than the two parochial stories below, even though a lot of it deals with “cannonball parks.”

Here is s.22, ” The Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009.” This replaces the 2008 version I had up. They are debating it this weekend. Republicans are filibustering.

Last Congress the omnibus measure passed the House, but failed due to Senator Coburn’s filibuster at the last minute in the U.S. Senate. Majority Leader Reid said he would bring it up again without having the bills inside this “omnibus container” having to start at square one back in the committees of the two chambers of Congress.

Regarding Idaho, this contains the controversial Owhyee Initiative.

Omnibus public lands bill carries Craig’s water

In October, Ralph commented on Larry Craig dropping his opposition to protecting the Snake River in Wyoming.  A change of heart from an Idaho politician renowned for his anti-environmentalist zeal ?  Not quite.  The bill is lumped with a bunch of bills in the massive Omnibus public lands bill.  The motivation for Craig’s “turnabout” is perhaps made more clear with a blog post Rocky Barker wrote that I missed but is worth posting even a week later.  Craig has slapped onto the bill $3 million for the environmental & economic studies necessary to initiate new dams on the Snake, Boise, and Payette rivers, including the potential to rebuild the historic Teton Dam :

Craig leaves water studies hidden in omnibus billLetter from the West, Rocky Barker

Craig himself put out an editorial in November outlining all the good things he included in the omnibus bill including compensation for ranchers who lose livestock to wolves, more thinning of national forests to reduce wildfire danger and even the Wyoming bill he first opposed. But he left out the authorization of the water feasibility studies.

Read the rest of this entry »

Omnibus public lands bill is not truly dead.

Early resurrection planned in the next Congress-

Although it was supposed to move in the lame duck session, that session fizzles and the bill was pulled under threat of filibuster by Tom Coburn (R-OK).

Senator Reid, the major leader, has announced that an unrevised version of the massive public land bill (pieces of public lands legislation all over the United States inside) will be brought up early in the next Congress.

This is good news. This is also horrible news because of the the content of the various individual items. One of the worst is the Owyhee canyonlands a.k.a. Owyhee Initiative in SW Idaho.

Rocky Barker traces its origins in his blog today and Begreen has a fine response.