OUCH! Public Lands Package Vote Fails in the House

The US House of Representatives voted today on the Ominibus Public Land Management Act (S.22), which would protect two million acres of Wilderness, 1000 miles of rivers, and prohibit new oil and gas leases on 1.2 million acres of the Wyoming Range. The bill passed the Senate in January by a wide 73-21 majority. House leadership brought the bill to the floor under "suspension", which meant it needed a 2/3 majority to pass. A suspension bill cannot be amended, hence the 2/3 requirement. The final vote was 282 in favor and 144 opposed, two votes shy of the necessary margin. So, while support for the bill remains strong, it was not strong enough to push it over the top today. Fortunately there are other options that will require only a simple majority, but they will take some time to develop. We'll keep you all posted on this important conservation legislation.

Here's the full story from the Associated Press.