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Sen. Jim Risch slows budget bill in fight over forest name

Posted: 6:03 AM, Mar 23, 2018
Updated: 2018-03-23 12:08:34Z

By ALAN FRAM
Associated Press

   WASHINGTON (AP) -- A Republican Idaho senator slowed passage of Congress' huge spending bill because the measure renamed a wilderness area in his state after a deceased Democratic governor.

   Language renaming the area after the late Cecil Andrus appears on page 786 of the 2,232-page spending bill Congress completed early Friday. But aides and lawmakers from both parties said that for hours Thursday, objections by Idaho Sen. James Risch helped delay its passage.

   The battle played out behind the scenes, with no debate on the Senate floor.

   Eventually, the Senate approved language preventing the renaming of the area after Andrus. But the change required approval by the House, which had already left Washington for a recess.

   No. 2 Senate GOP leader John Cornyn of Texas told reporters that the House rejected Risch's effort.