1994 Scorecard Vote
As in the Senate (see Senate votes 6, 7, & 8), House debate on legislation to protect California's fragile desert lands was marked by controversy and frequent attempts at amendment. During the 11-week debate, in fact, lawmakers filed 43 amendments to the California Desert Protection Act (H.R. 518) introduced by Reps. Richard Lehman (D-CA) and George Miller (D-CA). Many amendments were offered by opponents as part of a strategy to prevent passage of the bill through extensive delays.
Recorded votes were taken on most of the proposed amendments, including the following:
In what was widely perceived to be a rehearsal for future efforts to gut the Endangered Species Act, Rep. Billy Tauzin (D-LA) offered an amendment to require federal land appraisers to ignore the presence of threatened or endangered species when determining the fair market value of private lands being considered for purchase and inclusion in one of the National Parks or wilderness areas. Opponents noted that the Tauzin amendment would set a dangerous precedent by manipulating time-tested methods of assessing fair market value, force taxpayers to pay artificially high prices to protect critical habitat, and hinder efforts to prevent conflicts over declining species.
On July 14, 1994, the House accepted the Tauzin amendment by a vote of 281 - 148. NO is the pro-environment vote.