Omnibus Lands Bill Brings Out RINOs

by Sal on January 12, 2009

in Politics

Sen. Harry Reid kept the Senate in session over the weekend to invoke cloture on an Omnibus Lands Bill.  The bill, as described by the Heritage Foundation, would create 10 new protected areas, all overlapping with potential oil drilling sources.  It designates 2 million acres as “Heritage Areas” which would make them effectively wilderness that cannot be developed or used.  That’s 2 million acres.  Additionally, the bill gives the Parks service the authority to regulate other, non-protected lands through the use of zoning.  It effectively eliminates the possibility of domestic drilling.  Additionally, the bill is laden with earmarks (as is typical).  The controversy surrounding the bill, besides its obvious shortcomings, was that the Republicans were not allowed to propose and vote on amendments for the bill.  Sen. Tom Coburn had objected to the idea of an Omnibus bill that did not allow debate, and he was pushing for a filibuster unless a normal, full debate with amendments was held.

The bill will most likely be passed this week.

Where are the Republicans in all of this?  Well, most didn’t bother to show up for the vote (as it was held on a Sunday).  Twelve Republicans (yes, 12) voted with the Democrats to invoke cloture on this massive expansion of Government power.  They are:  Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY), Sen. Bob Bennett (R-UT), Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS), Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), Sen. Mike Crapo (R-ID), Sen. Mike Enzi (R-WY), Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT, this one surprised me), Sen. Richard Lugar (R-IN), Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Sen. Jim Risch (R-ID), Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME), and Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS).

Only twelve Republicans opposed cloture vote, they were Sen. Brownback (R-KS), Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK), Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN), Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC), Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA), Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK), Sen. John Isakson (R-GA), Sen. Mike Johanns (R-NE), Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL), and Sen. John Thune (R-SD).  Fifteen Rebublican Senators were not even present, including Minority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnel (R-KY).

Sen. DeMint had some choice words to say about the Republicans who went along with the Democrat cloture vote:

If my colleagues on my side continue to accept this, there’s going to be no such thing as a Republican Party.

If this is how the Republicans plan to capitulate in this congress, it is going to be a long time before the party regains power again.

H/T: Michelle Malkin

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