What: All Issues : Environment : (H.R.3123) On passage of a measure that would have directed the Bureau of Reclamation in the Interior Department to remedy public health and environmental problems that had been caused by a collapse in the Leadville, Colorado Mine Drainage Tunnel (2009 house Roll Call 689)
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(H.R.3123) On passage of a measure that would have directed the Bureau of Reclamation in the Interior Department to remedy public health and environmental problems that had been caused by a collapse in the Leadville, Colorado Mine Drainage Tunnel
house Roll Call 689     Sep 08, 2009
Progressive Position:
Nay
Progressive Result:
Win
Qualifies as polarizing?
Yes
Is this vote crucial?
No

This vote was on passage of H.R 3123, the Leadville Mine Drainage Tunnel Remediation Act of 2009. It directed the Bureau of Reclamation in the Interior Department to remedy problems that had been caused by a collapse in the tunnel, which carries water from old mines to a treatment plant north of Leadville, Colorado. These problems related to the possibility that blockage resulting from the collapse in the tunnel could give way, releasing a flood of water and built-up toxic debris. The uncertainty as to whether the Bureau of Reclamation or the Environmental Protection Agency was responsible for dealing with the blockage had prevented an agreement being reached on a long-term solution to the situation. This bill was intended to clarify that uncertainty.

Rep. Lamborn (R-CO), in whose district the tunnel is located, sponsored the legislation. No opposition was expressed to it. However, earlier in the week, Lamborn had successfully led the opposition to an unrelated bill supported by the Democratic leadership that was designed to establish the Santa Cruz Valley National Heritage Area in Arizona. A staffer in Lamborn’s office, who declined to be identified, said he believed that, in retaliation, many Democrats had decided to vote against this Leadville tunnel bill.

H.R. 3123 was brought up under a procedure that suspends the normal House rules and requires a two-thirds vote for passage. The vote was 206-191. One hundred and fifty-six Republicans and fifty Democrats voted “aye”. One hundred and eighty-four Democrats and seven Republicans voted “nay”. As a result, the measure that would have directed the Bureau of Reclamation in the Interior Department to remedy problems that had been caused by a collapse in the Leadville, Colorado Mine Drainage Tunnel was not approved. The result did not prevent the measure from being brought up again under regular House procedures, which would require only a majority vote for passage.

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