Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK), a consistent fiscal conservative who is expected to retire at the end of the current Congress, came out in opposition to the public lands package included in the NDAA compromise.
In a Nov. 19 letter to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), obtained by CQ Roll Call, Sen. Coburn wrote:
I am writing to inform you of my intent to utilize all procedural options at my disposal as a United States Senator, including objecting to any unanimous consent agreements or time limitations, if NDAA contains extraneous public lands provisions such as authorizing new National Park units, expanding wilderness areas, creating new National Heritage Areas, or expanding the federal land base.
Critics have accused Republicans of leading the charge of including the public lands package in the NDAA.
The NDAA agreement includes close to 100 natural resources provisions from across the nation, including eight Nevada public land provisions that have been priorities for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and his Republican counterpart Dean Heller.
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