What: All Issues : Government Checks on Corporate Power : Oil & Gas Industry : HR 1299. (Travel promotion) Motion to waive a Senate rule and allow an amendment to be offered that would seek to prohibit 10 million acres of Western land from being designated as a national monument /On the motion (2010 senate Roll Call 27)
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HR 1299. (Travel promotion) Motion to waive a Senate rule and allow an amendment to be offered that would seek to prohibit 10 million acres of Western land from being designated as a national monument /On the motion
senate Roll Call 27     Feb 25, 2010
Progressive Position:
Nay
Progressive Result:
Win

This vote was on whether to waive the rules of the Senate to allow an amendment by Jim DeMint, R-S.C., that would have blocked the Department of the Interior from declaring certain areas as a national monument. DeMint said the department is seeking to do this to prohibit mining, logging and energy development in more than 10 million acres of land in nine Western states. DeMint wanted to offer his amendment to a bill that would create a non-profit corporation to attract foreign tourists to the United States. It also would stipulate that the Capitol Police, the special force that guards the U.S. Capitol, is an agency of the legislative branch.

DeMint said a whistleblower’s leaked memo has shed light on a plan underway at the Interior Department.

“This is a priority for what we are talking about today because the President and the Congress have said our top priority is jobs. This action by the Interior Department will hurt jobs. It will dry up tax revenues in local communities and States. It will restrict energy supplies in this country,” DeMint said.

Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M., said the document in question was an internal planning memo that identified “several areas throughout the country as areas that may be appropriate for potential national monument consideration.”

“The Secretary of the Interior has stated that the document was simply a brainstorming exercise to identify sites on public land that might merit more serious consideration for possible management options, and that no decisions have been made about which areas, if any, might merit more serious review and consideration,” Bingaman said. “I don’t think it makes sense to try to legislate every time an article appears in a newspaper.  Apart from the substantive problems with the proposed DeMint amendment, the travel promotion bill is not the appropriate legislation to consider this issue, and waiving the Senate rules to allow for consideration of an amendment that would not otherwise be in order is, in my view, not appropriate.”

By a vote of 38-58, the motion was rejected. All but four Republicans present voted for the motion to waive the rule and allow DeMint to offer his amendment. All but three Democrats present voted against the motion to waive the rule and allow DeMint to offer his amendment. The end result is that the motion to waive the rule was rejected, thereby killing an amendment that would have prohibited the Interior Department from specifying as a national monument some 10 million acres of Western lands.

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