1. PUBLIC LANDS
In rare burst of productivity, Senate passes more than a dozen wilderness, river, energy bills
With the words "without objection," the Senate last night took its first major step of the 113th Congress to pass public lands bills, sending a total of 14 measures from Democrats and Republicans to the House. By unanimous consent, the Senate quietly passed more than a dozen bills to designate wilderness in three states, protect new wild and scenic rivers and to accelerate drilling permits in the oil-rich Bakken Shale, among other provisions.