Last week, an Omnibus Budget bill died in the Senate. It was not the end of efforts by Democrats to put together wide-ranging legislation, as they unveiled a new Omnibus dealing with public lands bills.
This 1,003 page bill was given the nice name of "America's Great Outdoors Act of 2010," which certainly doesn't sound like something that might be opposed in the waning days of a Congressional session.
"These are bipartisan bills," said Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) in a statement issued on Friday. "There is nothing divisive about protecting historic battlefields, improving our most critical water sources, or making sure that our best wildlife habitat remains wild and healthy."
But to Republicans in the Senate, this bill is a perfect example of what's wrong on Capitol Hill right now, as it combines over 100 different public lands bills which authorize action on a host of National Parks, Interior Department and Bureau of Land Management actions.
And as you might guess, not all of them are considered bipartisan in nature.
The American Motorcyclist Association was one group demanding that the bill go nowhere, arguing that "the bill contains multiple land designations that threaten to end responsible motorized recreation across the country."
For example, the bill states "no motorized access shall be allowed" to volcanic domes and other peaks and no mechanized travel on areas adjacent to the Santa Clara Indiana Reservation.
As you can see, these bills are almost all very local in nature.
I won't even try to list the subjects involved, but I'll roll off a few here: Valles Caldera National Preserve, Waco Mammoth National Monument, Oregon Caves National Monument Expansion, Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore Visitor Center, Petersburg National Battlefield Boundary Modification, Cane River National Historical Park Curatorial Center and many more are in this bill.
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