Senate Votes to Move on Lands Bill

Posted March 16, 2009 at 5:14pm

The long-running battle between Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) over the Public Lands Act moved one step closer to a conclusion Monday evening, as the Senate voted 73-21 to cut off debate over the omnibus legislation.

Coburn, who promised Monday to use every parliamentary tool at his disposal to delay and obstruct the bill, found himself on the short end of the stick thanks to an overwhelming number of Democratic votes in the affirmative, plus 16 Republican yes votes.

The bill, a big priority for Reid, was shepherded through the Senate by Energy and Natural Resources Chairman Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.) and ranking member Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska).