Feb. 7, 2016 SIGN IN | REGISTER

Lands Bill Rearing Its Head Again

Coburn has a number of amendments, Hart said, adding that if Coburn is given a chance to offer them, he would not try to block the bill. Reid has indicated that he won’t allow amendments to the measure and is prepared to jump through whatever procedural hoops necessary to get the bill passed a second time.

Though the Senate already passed the measure, it failed to garner the two-thirds support of House Members to clear it on suspension last week.

House Republicans are balking over provisions in the measure setting aside lands that might otherwise be used for energy exploration. Some GOP Members, including Coburn, also oppose authorizing pet projects such as a $3.5 million plan to help the city of St. Augustine, Fla., celebrate its the 450th birthday six years from now.

Now that House Republicans successfully blocked the bill, Coburn hopes the Senate retread will give him more momentum with his colleagues.

“Sen. Reid has spent months describing this bill as noncontroversial, but 144 Members of the House have a different view,” Hart said.

Reid is bringing the bill back up only because of House GOP opposition and the House Democratic leadership’s desire to avoid a vote on gun rights that Republicans would offer, Senate Democratic aides said.

So Reid agreed to use procedural maneuvers to repass the bill — with new language allowing hunting on the new public lands —in a way that will allow House Democrats to avoid the gun vote.

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