Wilderness Bill Bounces Through Congress

After being two votes shy of passage a week ago, the large land use bill that includes the Eastern Sierra San Gabriel Wild Heritage Act, also known as the Boxer-McKeon Wilderness Bill, has shifted back and forth through the halls of Congress.

congress.jpgBundled up into a larger collection of bills known as the Omnibus Land Management Act of 2009, the larger bill has passed the Senate once but was two votes short in House a week ago.

The bill then went back to the Senate, where Thursday, 77 Senators approved tacking the omnibus bill onto yet another bill that will go back to the House of Representatives as the Revolutionary War and War of 1812 Battlefield Protection Act. The vote was 77 in favor to 20 who opposed.

With the bill sent back to the House, it will take a simple majority, or 218 votes, to pass this new conglomeration of bills. When the land use bill came up for a vote last week, it required a two thirds vote to pass, a higher threshold, but at a level that gets the bill passed without debate or changes. Last time the bill received well 282 votes, two shy of the two thirds, but well over the 218 votes that are needed to pass this time around.

The bill is now listed as H.R. 146. You can track this bill through the system online at opencongress.org.

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