Amanda Carpenter
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Majority Leader Harry Reid was successful in corralling enough votes to advance his $10 billion land grab, despite 17 Republicans who protested the bill by skipping the vote altogether.

Basically, by using "federal wilderness" laws and other environental designations, the Democratic Congress is locking-up energy-rich domestic lands. Instead of putting a new energy ban in place, they are just going to let the federal government absorb them so they'll never be developed.

66 senators supported the bill over 12 who voted "nay" on it. Not a single Democratic senator voted against it.

Here is the link to the roll call vote.

Yesterday, I wondered how Republican, and usually conservative, Sen. John Barrasso of Wyoming would vote on the bill. He supported a provision to prohibit energy exploration in state. He DID  vote for the bill. So did Barrasso's fellow Wyoming Republican Sen. Mike Enzi.

Other Republicans who crossed party lines with Barrasso and Enzi to help Reid pass the omnibus were:
Bob Bennett
Thad Cochran
Susan Collins
Mike Crapo
Orrin Hatch
Richard Lugar
Lisa Murkowski
Jim Risch
Olympia Snowe
Roger Wicker

Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell urged his colleagues oppose the bill, protesting the way Reid rushed the bill through. His Communications Director Don Stewart told Townhall, "Sen. McConnell is disappointed this parks bill restricts development of energy resources at a time when we should be doing much more to become energy independent. And less than a week after the CBO announced a staggering $1.2 trillion federal deficit, he questions the merits of rushing a bill that commits to spending billions more of taxpayer dollars."

The bill will now be sent over to the House where it could be significantly amended by House Republicans although they'll be forced to be very creative. Democratic Speaker Nancy Pelosi recently passed a new rules package that took powerful tools away from the minority when it comes to amending legislation.
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Amanda Carpenter

Amanda Carpenter is the author of “The Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy's Dossier on Hillary Clinton,” published in October 2006.
 
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