The House yesterday decisively voted down a conservative attempt to curb President Clinton’s ability to create and manage new national monuments. Forty-six Republicans joined Democrats in voting to kill an amendment sponsored by Rep. Jim Hansen (R-Utah) that would have prohibited the Interior Department from spending money to design or manage the eight national monuments that have been designated by Clinton this year. Since 1996, Clinton has protected 3.9 million acres in the West by creating or expanding national monuments. He is expected soon to create another monument at the Missouri Breaks in Montana and expand the Craters of the Moon National Monument in southern Idaho. There are rumors that the administration is also considering monument designations for the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and other areas in Alaska.