OK

Rep. Jim Gibbons (R-NV) posted on his website today that he is withdrawing the amendments related to mining attached to the Budget Reconciliation.  Unless something really stinky gets pulled behind closed doors, the provision is off the table for the Conference committee on the budget reconciliation.

The Congress may take up reform of the outdated 1872 Mining Act over the next year.  But it won't be attached to the budget, it might be subject to substantive airing of the issues and debate, and it will be subject to filibuster in the Senate.  No way around it, this is GOOD NEWS.

Here it is from the horse's mouth:

After extensive negotiations with the Senate Budget Committee, unfortunately it has become clear that the integrity of the mining law modernization policy I authored in the House could not be maintained while also complying with Senate procedural rules of the reconciliation process. While I am disappointed that procedural rules in the Senate will prevent us from moving forward with these provisions in the budget reconciliation process, I remain committed to modernizing the mining law to meet our 21st Century needs.

I'm not familiar with "Senate procedural rules of the reconciliation process".  But my guess is that what Gibbons is really saying is:  There was flat-out too much opposition.  They couldn't get the votes to pass it.  At least for the moment, we're safe from this bad idea.

Pombo's still in office, and there's more to say about him.  His horrible initiatives as Chairman of the House Resources Committee will continue to gurgle forth like the Creature from the Black Lagoon.  But we've won one.

Congratulations to everyone's efforts, especially in the West, who worked towards this success.  As the Sarasota (FL) Herald Tribune put it in an editorial:

Senators should use an ax on the snake.

Thanks to admirable activism & coalition work, the Senators were convinced to do exactly so.  Nice to know democracy is not entirely dead yet.  Really good to see the bad guys with their tails between their legs.

I could go on with lots more quotes, but why bother?  It's time to celebrate.  Hooray!!!

Originally posted to Land of Enchantment on Tue Dec 13, 2005 at 08:40 PM PST.

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