According to Yahoo! News, the Dems on Capitol Hill have decided to challenge the Republicans to a duel of sorts.
Congress is considering whether to set aside more than 2 million acres in nine states as wilderness in an early showdown that threatens to derail pledges by Senate leaders to work cooperatively as a new administration takes office.
The largest expansion of wilderness protection in 25 years has bipartisan support and would include California’s Sierra Nevada mountain range, Oregon’s Mount Hood, Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado and parts of the Jefferson National Forest in Virginia.
The bill was scuttled last year after objections from Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., who said spending in the bill was excessive — nearly $4 billion over five years. Now Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is seeking a rare Sunday vote in an apparent effort to punish Coburn and antagonize his GOP colleagues.
The scheduled Sunday session would try to limit GOP stalling tactics and move the bill forward.
Sen. Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M., chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, said the measure represents years of work by lawmakers from many states and both parties. The legislation combines about 160 bills covering nearly every state.
Besides new wilderness designations — the highest level of government protection for public lands — 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.
In a statement, Coburn said the “earmark-laden” measure “makes a mockery of voters’ hopes for change.”
For example, Coburn said, the bill includes $3 million for a “road to nowhere” through the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska; $460 million for a water project designed to save 500 salmon in California; and $3.5 million to help celebrate the 450th birthday of St. Augustine, Fla., in 2015.
Environmental groups also oppose the Alaska road. The rest of the bill, they say, would be a huge accomplishment for Congress.
At a time when we are trying to become less dependent on foreign sources of energy, the Democrats are doing what they can to further restrict our ability to locate and make use of our own energy resources. It is also par for the course for Democrats to cobble together 160 different bills to form one singularly huge bill and muscle through a massive amount of unrelated pork. So much for fiscal responsibility in times of travail.
Let’s not forget the decision on the part of the Democrats to issue a Sunday vote. Most Christian Conservatives will be in Church on Sunday. This struck me as an intentional affront to Christians in particular, especially due to the lack of emergency status for the bill. I can fully understand a true emergency requiring a Sunday debate and vote. I cannot stomach a highly rare Sunday debate and vote for a non-emergency concern. I consider this action to be a blatant affront to any true Christians in Congress and in the public at large.
The bill itself is an affront to restraint and an affront to national independence. The tactics used are an affront to all conservatives and all Christians nationwide.