Sunday, January 11, 2009

Congress Actually Does Something!

In an unusual Sunday session today, the Senate passed a Wilderness Protection Act that has been languishing for at least a year.

From the AP:

The measure — actually a collection of about 160 bills — would confer the government's highest level of protection on land ranging from California's Sierra Nevada mountain range to Oregon's Mount Hood, Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado and parts of the Jefferson National Forest in Virginia. Land in Idaho's Owyhee canyons, Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in Michigan and Zion National Park in Utah also would be designated as wilderness.
Besides new wilderness designations, the bill would designate the childhood home of former President Bill Clinton in Hope, Ark., as a national historic site and expand protections for dozens of national parks, rivers and water resources.
Reid said about half the bills in the lands package were sponsored by Republicans. Most had been considered for more than a year.
"I am happy that after months of delay we will finally be moving forward," Reid said.

This is the part that especially cracks me up:

The bill's chief opponent, Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., denounced what he called Democratic bullying tactics.
"I am disappointed the Senate majority leader has refused to allow senators the opportunity to improve, amend or eliminate any of the questionable provisions in his omnibus lands bill," Coburn told fellow senators.

"When the American people asked Congress to set a new tone, I don't believe refusing to listen to the concerns of others was what they had in mind," Coburn said. "The American people expect us hold open, civil and thorough debates on costly legislation, not ram through 1,300-page bills when few are watching."
Coburn and several other Republicans complained that the bill was loaded with pet projects and prevented development of oil and gas on federal lands, which they said would deepen the nation's dependence on foreign oil.

Translation: Democratic bullying tactics-means Democrats have a majority and they're not afraid to use it.

Translation: Asked Congress to set a new tone-means we want you to actually do something.

Translation: Complained that the bill yada yada yada-means that it's loaded with someone else's pet projects and we didn't get what we want.

I'll call you a waaahmbulance.*

*A term that is fast becoming almost as annoying as 'in the tank'.

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