July 10, 2014
UPDATE: Bipartisan sportsmen's bill
suffers serious setback in Senate
By IRENE NOLAN
Bipartisan Sportsmen's Act suffered a serious, perhaps fatal, setback
in the Senate this morning when it failed to win the 60 votes needed to
bill, which now has more than 100 amendments, including one which is
identical to a Senate bill, S 486, which would modify the National Park
Service's ORV plan and final rule for the Cape Hatteras National
Seashore that became effective in February 2012.
amendment, introduced Tuesday by U.S. Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., would
set rules and parameters for the Park Service to follow when it
considers limiting public access to beaches, including off-road vehicle
The sportsmen's bill, S 2363, was introduced in May by
U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C., and has bipartisan support from 43
the bill, which would expand hunting on public lands, "succumbed to
political gridlock today, failing to win the 60 votes needed to move
forward in the Senate," according to an article in E&E, which
covers environmental and energy policy issues.
published accounts refer to the sportsmen's bill as a popular bill that
was a "win-win" for Republicans and Democrats. However, E&E
reports, "it could not overcome an ongoing fight between Democrats and
Republicans over the amendment process."
E&E (http://www.eenews.net/) also reports:
cloture vote to end debate on the bill failed today, 41-56, with 11
Democrats joining all Republicans to shut the bill down. Among the 'no'
votes: Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), who had drafted the bill with
Sen. Kay Hagan (D-N.C.).
bill's death was all but guaranteed yesterday when Majority Leader
Harry Reid (D-Nev.) "filled the amendment tree," blocking unwanted
amendments from coming to the floor. That angered Republicans, who
wanted to force politically tough votes on a slew of amendments,
including ones on gun rights and environmental regulation.
bill's failure is a blow to Hagan, who faces a tough re-election bid.
The act was seen as a potential boon to endangered Democrats, proving
their moderate views with the expansion of hunting, fishing and
shooting opportunities on public lands."
the more controversial amendments were Sen. John Barrasso's (R-Wyo.)
effort to prevent U.S. EPA from finishing its Clean Water Act
jurisdiction proposal and Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) amendment to
ensure gun access on Army Corps of Engineers land.
In a statement today, Hagan said:
worked with Senator Murkowski to craft a package of bills that would
garner strong support within the Senate in addition to a wide range of
stakeholders, and the fact that this bill is cosponsored by 44 other
Senators from both parties speaks to the overwhelming support for the
policies in the Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act of 2014. I believe the
Senate should have considered sportsmen-related amendments, including
those dealing with gun issues important to sportsmen and women, and I
am disappointed that politics prevented us from reaching an agreement
I will continue working with Senator Murkowski and my colleagues to
find a path forward so that this bill that benefits hunters, anglers
and outdoor enthusiasts in North Carolina and across the nation doesn’t
fall victim to political posturing.”
is true that the vote for cloture on S 2363 failed today," David
Scarborough of the Outer Banks Preservation Association said today in
an e-mail. "But do not give up hope. S 2363 and the
amendments, such as ours, are still on the table. It remains to
be seen if they will be brought back up for cloture and eventual vote
on the Senate floor in the future, but we should all continue to call
ours Senators, Reid, Murkowski, etc. to urge them to work out a
compromise and move forward. S2363 may never see the light of day
again, but it is still our best shot at success for this year."
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Click here to read the Bipartisan Sportsmen's Act of 2014.
Click here to read S 486 on modifying the Park Service's ORV plan.