Sen. Slade Gorton said Wednesday he probably will try to exempt President Clinton’s Northwest forest plan from U.S. environmental laws to allow more logging this year.
And he said he doubts Clinton would veto the idea.
“I believe anything of this nature that is passed as part of a larger bill would be signed by the president,” the Washington Republican said.
Gorton, chairman of the Senate Appropriations subcommittee on the interior, said he likely would offer the exemption as an amendment to the Interior Department-Forest Service spending bill that will come before his panel this year.
Sen. Mark Hatfield, R-Ore., chairman of the full Appropriations Committee, said last week he wouldn’t attempt such a controversial legislative move without the president’s support.
But Gorton told reporters Wednesday he has had several discussions with Hatfield and is garnering support for the so-called “appropriations rider” intended to insulate the logging from legal challenges.