Before leaving Washington, DC, for August recess, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) wrapped nearly a dozen pieces of legislation into a massive measure to expand federal research on ocean acidification, climate change, and coastal observing. The legislative package included S.1498, which would amend the "Lacey Act Amendments of 1981" to prohibit trade of non-human primates as pets, the Federal Ocean Acidification Research and Monitoring Act of 2007 (S. 1581), the Ocean and Coastal Exploration Bill (S. 39), the Coastal and Ocean Observing Systems Act of 2007 (S. 950), and six other similar pieces of legislation geared toward climate change, renewable energy, and coastal issues. Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) objected to the high cost of the proposed package, put a hold on most of the bills included, and forced debate on the Senate floor. The measure was eight votes short of cloture and Republicans joined with Senator Coburn in their fight to focus on oil and gas prices. The package will likely not be addressed again in this Congress.
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