By Jacob Fischler | Arizona Mirror
Endangered Republican senators such as Arizona’s Martha McSally provided key backing for the public lands bill the U.S. Senate passed June 17, a possible indication the issue holds increasingly bipartisan appeal.
The legislation would provide $9.5 billion over five years to pay down the National Park Service’s maintenance backlog and permanent funding at $900 million per year for the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which provides support for natural areas and recreation activities.
All Senate Democrats present, including Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, and 28 of 53 Republican senators, including McSally, voted for the bill. The bill could be particularly helpful for the reelection chances of lead sponsor Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) and Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont.), who reportedly lobbied for President Donald Trump’s support for the measure earlier this year. The chamber passed the bill by a 73-25 vote.
Overall, eight of the nine most vulnerable GOP incumbents running for re-election this year — as rated by the nonpartisan newsletter Inside Elections — voted for the bill. Texas’s John Cornyn was the exception.