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House Dems' assault on mining

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Senate Dems rattled by House Dems' assault on mining in budget bill

Democratic senators from mining-heavy states appear to be rattled by their House of Representatives counterparts’ assault on the mining industry in their $3.5 trillion budget bill.

Two Democrats on the Senate's Energy and Natural Resources Committee have spoken out about a provision in the behemoth budget bill that would make mining operations on federal lands costlier by imposing new taxes and royalty fees on those operations.

Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev., expressed her opposition to the "reform proposal" as the legislation "would have an unfair, outsized impact on the state of Nevada," whose land is mostly "owned by the federal government" and also "imposes taxes on federal land."

"But more importantly, moving this type of reform through a short-term budget process would create uncertainty for the industry and uncertainty that supports thousands of jobs across the country," Cortez Masto said during a committee hearing on Tuesday morning.

New Mexico Sen. Martin Heinrich, another Democrat on the committee, urged for the Senate to take a more measured approach than the House when it came to the mining measure.

"Madame Chair, my time is expired but I would urge us to not take quite the zealous approach that the House of Representatives took but to find a fair and transparent way for taxpayers to be compensated for these minerals," Heinrich said.

The two committee Democrats join their Republican colleagues in opposition to the provision.


Edited by Dakota Slim
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Everyone wants a fair and transparent way to be compensated for the minerals.

The key here is we want to be compensated for the minerals.

Our Sen. Heinrich is the very model of a moderate and understands the balance that must be struck between the environment and the economy. I don't often agree with any politician but I am in agreement with him on this issue. 

He is often the voice of reason when both sides of the issue are so incredibly partisan.

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