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Sportsmen’s Act of 2012 Stalls in Senate over Budget Dispute

Federal Duck Stamp

Although the Sportsmen’s Act of 2012 was expected to pass the Senate on Monday, November 26, the bill stalled because some senators decided it violated previously made budget agreements.

Among other provisions, the bill would have allowed the Department of the Interior to implement a $10 increase to the federal duck stamp at its discretion, increasing the price from $15 to $25. The price jump would raise an estimated $132 million to $140 million in new spending for the next 10 years.

Politico reports that there would be no adverse effect on the federal deficit, according to the Congressional Budget Office. However, Senator John Sessions (R-Alabama) argued that passing the bill would violate certain agreements made under the Budget Control Act of 2011.

“We are highly disappointed that the largest piece of sportsmen legislation in our lifetime was killed on a procedural vote. Especially when Senator Sessions made the Duck Stamp his focal point,” said Land Tawney, Senior Manager for Sportsmen Leadership with the National Wildlife Federation. “Waterfowlers first asked to tax themselves back in 1934 with the creation of the Duck Stamp. Today it is again duck and goose hunters who are asking for the increase, knowing the money raised will be used for habitat conservation and hunting opportunities. The Sportsmen’s Act of 2012 received large bi-partisan support on every step of the way and to have it killed on a procedural vote epitomizes the gridlock in congress. Sportsmen issues should be bi-partisan.”

Sportsmen’s groups are working overtime to resurrect the bill and get it passed. The National Shooting Sports Foundation has provided a tool for contacting your local senators to give the legislation another shot.

Image from Robert Bealle of Waldorf, Maryland (USFWS Pacific Southwest Region) on the flickr Creative Commons

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  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Dan-Ess/100000666571492 Dan Ess

    Why have they halted the approval of this bill? What ulterior motives might there be within the minds of those in power? It just might be that they don’t want to improve opportunities for hunters . . . but choose to discourage them?