1986 Scorecard Vote
The Hawaiian H-3 highway -- a 10-mile, $1 billion expressway -- is expected to be the most expensive highway ever built. Ironically, H-3 is designed to run along the boundary of a wilderness park named Ho'omaluhia, or "Place of Peace and Tranquility." The 300-acre wilderness park will be directly impacted by noise, sedimentation and the visual intrusion of the highway. H-3 will destroy a 30-acre archaeological site and will threaten the habitat of the federally endangered Oahu Creeper (an indigenous Hawaiian bird) and the Oahu tree snail in North Halawa Valley.
Because of these impacts, the highway must be exempted from the environmental protection provisions of the Federal-Aid Highway Act, setting a dangerous precedent for exempting any proposed project that is in violation of federal law.
In this vote, Sen. Stafford (R-VT) offered a motion to table (kill) and amendment offered by Sens. Inouye (D-HI) and Matsunaga (D-HI) to exempt H-3 from a 1984 injunction issued on environmental grounds by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Motion rejected 16-78; September 23, 1986. YES is the pro-environmental vote. The Inouye-Matsunaga Amendment subsequently was adopted. (Stafford Motion to table Inouye-Matsunaga Amendment, S. 2405, Omnibus Highway Authorization.) Although the highway bill was not passed in 1986, the provision exempting H-3 was attached to the Continuing Resolution for FY '87, an overall federal spending bill, and signed into law on October 18, 1986.