What: All Issues : Environment : (H.R. 1) On an amendment that would have prohibited federal funds from being used to designate national monuments on federal land. (2011 house Roll Call 139)
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(H.R. 1) On an amendment that would have prohibited federal funds from being used to designate national monuments on federal land.
house Roll Call 139     Feb 18, 2011
Progressive Position:
Nay
Progressive Result:
Win
Qualifies as polarizing?
Yes
Is this vote crucial?
Yes

This was a vote on an amendment by Rep. Dean Heller (R-NV) that would have prohibited federal funds from being used to designate national monuments on federal land. This amendment was offered to a continuing resolution funding the federal government through September 2011, and cutting $61 billion in federal funding for many government programs.

Heller (R-NV) urged support for his amendment: “I rise today to offer an amendment…to prohibit funds from being used to designate national monuments…Roughly 85 percent of Nevada is federally controlled. So I am sensitive to any actions that could close access to public lands. New national monuments would limit access, threaten grazing rights, end mineral exploration of mining, and even impact private property. And this is the last thing we need in this dire economy.”

Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA) opposed the amendment: “Monument designations do not take non-Federal land. The Antiquities Act [which authorized the president to designate monuments] only allows monument designations on land the federal government already owns….There is nothing improper about these designations….Monument designations do not lock up resources. Monument designations…grandfather valid, existing rights so any mining or other claim existing before the designation can still move forward….This amendment is based on an extreme ideology that the federal government should divest itself of the stunning national treasures…enjoyed by millions each year.”

The House rejected this amendment by a vote of 209-213. Voting “yea” were 204 Republicans and 5 Democrats. 179 Democrats and 34 Republicans voted “nay.” As a result, the House rejected an amendment that would have prohibited funds provided by a continuing resolution from being used to designate national monuments on federal land.

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