Political Gamesmanship Sinks Sportsmen's Bill
Bipartisan Sportsmen's Act fails in Senate for second time as sparring legislators derail bill WASHINGTON – Broad public support, strong advocacy by hunting and angling groups, and 45 bipartisan cosponsors couldn’t save the Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act of 2014, a commonsense package of measures intended to enhance sportsmen’s access and opportunity that failed to advance in the Senate this morning.
The Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership and others in the sportsmen’s community were deeply invested in advancing the bill, and the TRCP lambasted today’s actions as an “opportunity lost” due to political gamesmanship.
“The Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act, an historic piece of legislation comprising some of the most important measures in years to benefit America’s 40 million sportsmen, has failed due to political infighting, a dysfunctional amendment process, and the extreme wings of both parties, who are more interested in scoring points than legislating on behalf of America’s hunters and anglers and the values of the population at large,” said TRCP President and CEO Whit Fosburgh.
“We are deeply disheartened that a bill with 45 bipartisan cosponsors and the support of the national sporting community could fall victim to a fundamentally broken Senate, where some legislators’ support for sportsmen is only a talking point,” stated Fosburgh. “While we support an open and deliberative legislative process – including Congress’ right to engage in debate and offer amendments – we believe that this process should not come at the expense of advancing commonsense legislation that benefits natural resources conservation, public access and the nation’s outdoors economy.” A similar package of sportsman-focused legislation likewise failed to advance in the Senate in 2012. Future opportunities for the bill to advance are highly uncertain, although the bill’s sponsors have indicated that they will try again to pass the bill before year end. The Remington Outdoor Company, a TRCP corporate partner, reiterated the bill’s value and urged its passage.
“The Remington Outdoor Company fully supports the Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act of 2014,” said Teddy Novin, Remington director of public affairs. “This legislation will enhance the experience of America’s sportsmen by preserving the rights of hunters to choose their own ammunition, providing state fish and game agencies greater flexibility to build and maintain public shooting ranges, and improving access to public waterways and lands for hunting, recreational fishing and shooting.” Read more about the Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act. Read the TRCP 2014 Conservation Policy Agenda. For more information on the TRCP visit our website.
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Inspired by the legacy of Theodore Roosevelt, the TRCP is a coalition of organizations
and grassroots partners working together to preserve the traditions
of hunting and fishing.
Contact information: Katie McKalip, Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, 1660 L Street NW, Suite 208, Washington, DC 20036