I shall post videos, graphs, news stories, and other material there. We shall use some of this material in class, and you may review the rest at your convenience. You will all receive invitations to post to the blog. (Please let me know if you do not get such an invitation.) I encourage you to use the blog in these ways:
To post questions or comments about the readings before we discuss them in class;
To follow up on class discussions with additional comments or questions.
To post relevant news items or videos.

There are only two major limitations: no coarse language, and no derogatory comments about people at the Claremont Colleges.

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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Minority Gets a Say in the House

Republican lawmakers slammed the door on a proposal to limit development on millions of acres of public land. Brought up under a rule requiring a 2/3s majority because the measure was expected to pass by a wide margin, Pelosi found herself six votes short of the requisite number. Now Republicans will likely have a chance to amend the bill's content.

House GOP derails public lands bill
House Republicans temporarily derailed a land-use bill Wednesday that had become a top priority for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) after a contentious yearlong back-and-forth with conservative Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.).

GOP leaders corralled enough votes to force the Democrats to bring the legislation back to the floor under a process that would allow them to amend it. The legislation fell six votes short on Wednesday because Democrats brought the legislation up under rules requiring a two-thirds vote for passage. They didn't hit that mark, so Democrats will have to bring the bill back up under a normal procedure.

The bill would set aside million of acres of public wilderness and create more than 1,000 miles of scenic river designations. Some Republicans have opposed this legislation — which is actually a combination of many public lands proposals — because it would lock away so much land for development.

It's meant to be a non-controversial bill, but it created a huge public fight — and a weekend Senate session — back in January when Reid used a variety of Senate procedural tactics to force Coburn to back down after blocking the lands bill for more than a year. The bill passed the Senate on Jan. 15.

House Democrats are expected to bring the bill back next week in a manner that would allow Republicans to tweak it.

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