Defense Bill Passes, Giving Sacred Native American Sites To Mining Company: [huffingtonpost.com] -- The $585 billion National Defense Authorization Act of 2015 is one of the must-pass pieces of legislation that Congress moves every year. But like they did in attaching extraneous riders to the must-pass government funding bill, lawmakers used the defense bill as a vehicle to pass a massive public lands package.
The bill sailed through on a vote of 89 to 11.
Many of the land measures were popular. But one, the Southeast Arizona Land Exchange and Conservation Act, had twice failed to win support in the House of Representatives, blocked both by conservationists and conservatives.
The deal gives a subsidiary of the Australian-English mining firm Rio Tinto 2,400 acres of the Tonto National Forest in exchange for several other parcels so it can mine a massive copper deposit.
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