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03/12/2009

House Doesn't Muster the Votes to Pass Wilderness Bill

S. 22 The Omnibus Public Land Management Act was defeated yesterday in the House of Representatives.  It was brought up under suspension and 426 members voted.  We needed 2/3 of those to vote in favor of it for the bill to pass.  Unfortunately, we missed that mark by two votes.  282 members voted for it and 144 voted against it.  Of those who voted against it, only three were Democrats.  Of those who voted for it, 34 were Republicans.

While this is somewhat disheartening, the fight continues.  Nothing is definite in terms of timing but we expect that the bill will be brought to the floor again under a rule.  In that likely scenario we may have to defeat a motion to commit; you can guarantee that Republican members will try to make this motion as controversial as possible.  But no matter, even if the motion causes us to lose 20 or more Democrats, we are confident that we can win.  It's been a long battle but the war is far from over.

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