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Public Lands Bill Comes Up Short

March 12, 2009 - by Avelino Maestas

House members defeated a huge public lands bill on Wednesday, when the Omnibus Public Land Management Act fell two votes shy of approval. Conservationists called the bill "landmark legislation" because it would have protected more than 2 million acres of federal land as wilderness. It was a procedural move by House leaders, however, that led to the bill's failure.

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The Senate kicks off the week with a busy start, as Democratic leaders attempt to keep the caucus in line on the omnibus spending bill. In the House, a vote on D.C. voting rights legislation is probable on Tuesday, and House members may be required to approve any changes made to the omnibus spending bill. In addition, the Employee Free Choice Act will be introduced in both chambers Tuesday.

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