1996 Scorecard Vote
Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Frank Murkowski (R-AK) compiled more than 30 park-related provisions into an omnibus parks bill, H.R. 1296. Included in this largely uncontested bill, at the request of Sens Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Robert Bennett (R-UT), was the very controversial S. 884 -- the Utah Public Lands Management Act. The Utah legislation would designate only 2 million acres of wilderness out of 22 million acres of Bureau of Land Management land in the state; environmentalists support a bill designating 5.7 million acres as wilderness. S. 884 would create exceptions to the Wilderness Act, roll back environmental protections, and prevent future protections of currently undeveloped lands.
To stop Chairman Murkowski from including S. 884 in the omnibus parks bill, Sen. Bill Bradley (D-NJ) began a filibuster. Senate debate can continue indefinitely during a filibuster unless 60 senators invoke cloture to cut off debate. On March 27, 1996, Sen. Murkowski's cloture motion failed, 51 - 49, and the bill was withdrawn from floor consideration. NO is the pro-environment vote.
On May 1, 1996, H.R. 1296, minus S. 884, was passed by the Senate.