1994 Scorecard Vote
Conservationists have long sought adequate protection for roadless areas in Montana's National Forests. Over the years, 16 different bills have been introduced; in 1988, Congress did pass a Montana wilderness bill, but it was vetoed by President Ronald Reagan.
In May, the House considered -- and eventually passed -- a bill introduced by Rep. Pat Williams (D-MT) which would protect about 3 million acres of Montana's remaining 5 million acres of roadless lands. Many environmental organizations supported the bill (H.R. 2473).
During debate on the House floor, Rep. Tom DeLay (R-TX) offered an amendment designed to weaken the bill. It called for deleting provisions establishing an independent scientific panel to study ecosystem protection and economic issues associated with Montana's federal lands. While conservationists considered the study panel's scope narrow, they believed it did represent an important first step toward undertaking a long-overdue study of the broader Northern Rockies ecosystem; as a result, they opposed the DeLay effort to eliminate the panel.
On May 17, 1994, the House rejected the DeLay amendment by a vote of 182 - 244. NO is the pro-environment vote.