By Mila Besich Lira
Copper Area News
On Thursday, Sept. 26, 2013, several members of the Arizona Congressional Delegation debated the Southeast Arizona Land Exchange and Conservation Act, H.R. 687, on the House floor in Washington, DC.
The bill received a lengthy debate and two amendments to the bill were suggested. The amendment requested by Rep. Raul Grijalva from Tucson required the company to locate their remote operations center in Superior. The other amendment was proposed by Ben Ray Lujan, who represents the fourth district of New Mexico. Lujan’s amendment would have protected Native American sacred and cultural sites that are located in the proposed land exchange areas. The amendments received recorded votes by the members of the House of Representatives but were not approved.
Company officials and those following the legislation had expected that the debate would continue and a vote on the legislation would be scheduled that day. Following the votes on the amendments to H.R. 687, there was no further discussion on the legislation and the House of Representative began another floor debate on the budget continuation and the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare).
Resolution Copper officials released an email to their stakeholders explaining that the vote was pulled from the floor of the House of Representatives to allow the House to further its debate on the federal budget to avoid a federal government shutdown. At press time, it is reported that Congress has not approved a federal budget continuation and the Federal Government has been shut down.
The bill was introduced earlier this year by Representatives Ann Kirkpatrick (CD1) and Paul Gosar DDS (CD4). There is no official word on when or if the land exchange will be scheduled for a vote in the House of Representatives.