Friday, March 13, 2009
Bingaman spokesman: Land bill is "certainly alive"
An omnibus lands bill that included a controversial land exchange in Cañoncito east of Santa Fe failed to pass the U.S. House of Representatives by two votes Wednesday. The massive bill also included a measure approving a critical Navajo water rights settlement, a measure to establish the new, 17,000-acre Sabinoso wilderness in San Miguel County, and money for a water pipeline to serve eastern New Mexico communities. The House voted 282 to 141 in favor of the omnibus bill, but it failed because it didn't receive the required two-thirds majority to pass. The bill passed the Senate by a 73-21 vote in January. Jude McCartin, spokeswoman for Sen. Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M., the bill's sponsor, said the House could revote on the measure, but could also send it back to committees for further hearings. "This bill is certainly alive," she said...Santa Fe New Mexican