What: All Issues : Environment : (H.R. 4823) Final passage of legislation preventing land exchanges (in which the federal government trades publicly owned land with states, local governments, or private entities) within 160,00 acres of the Coconino National Forest in Arizona (2010 house Roll Call 538)
 Who: All Members : New York, District 2 : King, Pete
[POW!]
 
(H.R. 4823) Final passage of legislation preventing land exchanges (in which the federal government trades publicly owned land with states, local governments, or private entities) within 160,00 acres of the Coconino National Forest in Arizona
house Roll Call 538     Sep 23, 2010
Member's Vote
(progressive
or not)
Progressive Position
Progressive Result
(win or loss)

This was a vote on a motion to suspend the rules and pass legislation establishing the “Sedona-Red Rock National Scenic Area” on 160,000 acres of land in the Coconino National Forest in Arizona. Designating that land as a “scenic area” prevents land exchanges (in which the federal government trades publicly owned land with states, local governments, or private entities) on those acres.

Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (D-AZ) argued the bill would create jobs in her district at no cost to taxpayers: “…This is a low-cost jobs project. There is no cost to this. It is a project that I have been looking for that creates jobs that requires federal action, not Federal spending. It's appalling, but not surprising, that my esteemed colleagues on the other side of the aisle oppose a low-cost jobs project. They clearly do not understand what's happening to the American people who do not have a job.”

Rep. Doc Hastings argued that the “scenic area” designation had no basis in current law. Thus, he contended, the bill would lead to frivolous litigation and more federal bureaucracy: “…I have concerns about how this ``National Scenic Area'' designation will affect the safety, welfare, and economic livelihoods of those who live and work within this 160,000-acre proposal….there is no underlying act [law] for national scenic areas…[the bill] is silent on everything but the fact that land exchanges are prohibited. This sort of vague and open-ended delegation of authority is an invitation to litigation and bureaucratic overreach.”

The vote on this bill was 244-174. All 246 Democrats and 12 Republicans voted “yea.” 160 Republicans voted “nay.” While a majority of members voted in favor of this bill, motions to suspend the rules require a two-thirds majority vote for passage. Since this legislation did not receive a two-thirds majority vote, the measure failed.  As a result, the House rejected legislation preventing land exchanges within 160,00 acres of the Coconino National Forest in Arizona. Democratic leaders, however, remained free to bring the bill up again under a different process requiring only a simple majority vote for passage.

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Key: Y=Yea, N=Nay, W=Win, L=Loss