U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet introduced amendments to a multi-bill appropriations measure with four agricultural and lands-related pieces of legislation.
Among the amendments were the CORE Act, a proposal to protect 400,000 acres of public land in Colorado; the Agricultural Export Expansion Act, which will more easily allow farmers and ranchers to sell products in Cuba; the establishment of a repair program to help the Forest Service maintain trails and roads; and mandating greater public participation in oil and gas lease sales in National Parks.
Bennet also supported the addition of two more amendments, the first of which would double the amount of money for a forest landscape restoration program to $80 million, and the second would capture fees from ski areas and keep them within their National Forest. The latter piece of legislation was also supported by Colorado's other senator, Cory Gardner, in their second bipartisan partnering of the day.
Roll Call reports that the appropriations bill is proceeding without a military construction and Veterans Affairs component because of disagreement over whether to fund President Donald Trump’s desired border wall.
The current bill contains measures with general bipartisan support. After the Senate completes its work, it will move on to further funding measures for defense, education and opioid treatment.