Eminent Domain Reform Bill Passes the House

The Private Property Rights Protection Act of 2012 passed the House yesterday on an overwhelming voice vote. I wrote about the bill in this post. As I explained there, the PRPA is far from a panacea for eminent domain abuse. But it takes a modest step in the right direction by cutting off some types of federal subsidies from local governments that engage in Kelo v. New London-like economic development takings.

This is not the first time that the PRPA passed the House by an overwhelming margin. The same thing happened in 2005, when a previous version of the bill won a lopsided 376-38 vote in the House only to die in the Senate without ever getting to a floor vote. Hopefully, we can avoid a repeat performance this year. But the Senate rarely moves quickly in an election year, and there are plenty of organized interest groups that are likely to lobby the senators to drag their heels until the 112th Congress expires – thereby forcing the bill’s proponents to go back to square one.