Sportsmen’s Act of 2012 Runs Out of Congressional Time
Sportsmen’s Act Stalls in the 112th Congress
On December 6, Senator Jon Tester (D-Mont.) said that the Sportsmen’s Act of 2012 was on its last breaths within the U.S. Senate. KeepAmericaFishing™ is disappointed that this hugely bipartisan package ran out of time in the Senate.
The widely supported bill hit difficulty on November 26 when, in a surprise upset, the U.S. Senate failed to advance the Sportsmen’s Act of 2012 (S. 3525). After months of discussion with Senate members by a diverse coalition of angling, hunting and conservation organizations to create a historic bill containing 17 key provisions for anglers, hunters and fish and wildlife conservation, the bill failed to pass over a party line vote on a procedural motion.
The bill ran into trouble when a point of order was raised about whether the bill violated a 2011 budget agreement and a motion to waive the point of order failed by 10 votes. Budget related disputes are not uncommon when large pieces of legislation come to the Senate floor. It is however very uncommon for a budget point of order challenging a provision that would modestly increase revenues to sink a bill. Six senators were not present and the vote on the procedural motion to waive the point of order fell along party lines with the exception of two senators. To see how your Senator voted, please visit the voting results.
Senators Tester (D-Mont.) and Sessions (R-Ala.) had reached an agreement regarding the budget point of order; however, because of the short time remaining in the 112th Congress the odds of finding floor time for a vote are minimal. Staff members for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid agreed that there are several high priority issues left for the Senate and floor time is at a premium.
Senator Jon Tester (D-Mont.), along with fourteen co-sponsors, introduced the Sportsmen’s Act of 2012 on September 10. Individual bills of particular importance to the sportfishing community in the Sportsmen’s Act of 2012 include:
The Hunting, Fishing and Recreational Shooting Protection Act (S. 838) – Blocked ongoing attempts to federally ban lead in recreational fishing equipment and ammunition by amending the Toxic Substances Control Act.
National Fish Habitat Conservation Act (S. 1201) – Authorized the National Fish Habitat Partnership, the most comprehensive effort ever attempted to conserve, restore and enhance fish habitat on a range-wide scale.
Making Public Lands Public Act (S. 901) – Increased access for angling, hunting and recreational shooting on federal lands by directing 1.5 percent of the Land and Water Conservation Fund to ensure access to fishing, hunting and other recreational activities.
KeepAmericaFishing thanks those that sent fax messages and called their Senator’s offices in support of this package. We are working diligently with the national angling, hunting and conservation groups to have the bill reintroduced in the new 113th Congress.