Three of Oklahoma’s members of the House voted against the Great American Outdoors Act as it was passed Wednesday on a 310-107 vote.
Reps. Tom Cole, Kevin Hern and Frank Lucas cast no votes. Fellow Republican Rep, Markwayne Mullin did not vote on the measure that Democrats hailed as one of the most significant conservation legislation pieces in decades.
Oklahoma’s lone Democrat in the House, Rep. Kendra Horn sided with fellow Democrats in passing the measure, known as H.R. 1957 that would provide mandatory annual funding of $900 million to the Land and Water Conservation Fund and offer billions to fixing the nation’s parks and public lands.
“This is an emotional moment for me,” said Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.), whose late husband, Rep. John Dingell, helped pass the original LWCF statute in 1964 reported POLITICO. “The permanent, full funding in this legislation is the culmination of decades of work by the conservation community and my late husband and our wonderful current dean, [Rep.] Don Young.”
Versions of the legislation have been chewed over in Congress for years ultimately failing to gain legislative traction. That changed this year when President Donald Trump tweeted praise in March for the LWCF — reversing his previous plans to virtually eliminate it — as a means of sending support to two endangered GOP senators: Cory Gardner of Colorado and Steve Daines of Montana. Trump reiterated that praise in a separate tweet on Wednesday.