What: All Issues : Making Government Work for Everyone, Not Just the Rich or Powerful : Civil Rights : HR 2642. (Fiscal 2008 Military Construction-VA appropriations) Salazar of Colorado amendment that would prohibit the Army from expanding a site in southeast Colorado for one year/On agreeing to the amendment (2007 senate Roll Call 314)
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HR 2642. (Fiscal 2008 Military Construction-VA appropriations) Salazar of Colorado amendment that would prohibit the Army from expanding a site in southeast Colorado for one year/On agreeing to the amendment
senate Roll Call 314     Sep 06, 2007
Progressive Position:
Yea
Progressive Result:
Win

This vote was on an amendment by Ken Salazar, D-Colo., that would prohibit the Army from purchasing 418,000 of private ranch land in Colorado for the purpose of expanding a facility known as the “Piñon Canyon Maneuver Site.”  Salazar said the Army announced in early 2007 that it wanted to acquire a land mass roughly the size of Rhode Island near the current site, angering ranchers who could be forced to sell land that has been in their families for generations.  The Army has said it needs this land in order to have a suitable place to train troops for desert warfare, such as that experienced in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“If my colleagues care about private property rights, vote for this amendment. If they care about the ranchers of America and the ranchers of southeastern Colorado, I ask for a ‘yes’ vote. And if they care about national security and making sure we are fiscally responsible in how we invest our money, vote yes on this amendment,” Salazar said.

The amendment was offered to the bill that funds military construction and veterans programs in fiscal 2008.

Republican Wayne Allard, the other senator from Colorado, spoke against Salazar’s amendment, saying the amendment is so restrictive that the Army could not even hold meetings or provide information to the community about possibly buying the land in question.

Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas, said the Secretary of the Army called her that morning and said that if they are not able to continue planning for expanding that site, “that it will hamper their efforts in training. It will require them to go to other places for training. It will cause the troops to have to train longer periods,” Hutchison said.

By a vote of 47-45, the Senate adopted the amendment.  All Democrats present voted for the amendment.  All but two Republicans present voted against it (Sam Brownback and Pat Roberts, both of Kansas).  The end result was that the measure went forward with an amendment that would prohibit the Army from purchasing land to expand the Piñon Canyon Maneuvering Site for one year.

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