1996 Scorecard Vote
Congress attached a "rider" to the 1995 Budget Rescissions Act that allows timber companies to purchase and log parcels in our national forests without regard to federal environmental laws. Logging without adequate environmental safeguards has ravaged old-growth and healthy, green trees under the guise of "salvaging" dead or diseased timber. It imperils fisheries, destroys habitat for endangered wildlife, degrades water quality in streams and rivers, and undermines commercial and sportfishing industries. The rider blocked all environmental challenges to these timber sales.
H.R. 3019, the Fiscal Year 1996 Omnibus Rescissions and appropriations bill, continued the dangerous precedent set by the salvage rider, extending indefinitely the time for old-growth timber sales directed by the rider language. Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) offered an amendment to suspend the salvage provision, permit environmental challenges, allow the government to buy back timber contracts and authorize the sale of diseased, fire-damaged, or wind-damaged trees.
On March 14, 1996, the Senate rejected the Murray amendment, 42 - 54. YES is the pro-environment vote.
On April 26, 1996, President Clinton signed H.R. 3019 into law with the 1995 logging language intact.