Rep. Bob Skarphol, R-Tioga, said the state Commerce Department already has a budget for tourism infrastructure fundingÂ that could be used for this project.
He said the Appropriations Committee did not see it appropriate to allocate money to a specific project.
Rep. Keith Kempenich, R-Bowman, defended the bill, saying individual legislators should be able to promote an idea out of their district.
Rep. Nancy Johnson, R-Dickinson, said the goal is to build a museum addition to house a large collection given to the Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation by the Harold and Sheila Schafer family.
There are many items that would be valuable to have on display for visitors, she said.
The bill died on a 38-55 vote.