In a victory for the Clinton administration, the U.S. Senate narrowly rejected an effort yesterday to block the president from designating more national monuments. By a 50 to 49 vote, the Senate defeated a budget bill rider proposed by Sen. Don Nickles (R-Okla.) that would have required the White House to get congressional approval for monument designations. Western Republicans are angry that Clinton has set aside nearly 2 million acres of land as national monuments so far this year, and they are upset by rumors that he may designate part or all of Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge as a monument after the November elections. Still, some Republicans seem to be aware that monuments are popular with the public; of the six GOP senators who voted against the rider, five are up for reelection this year.