After sailing through the U.S. Senate with overwhelming votes of 84-7 in September and 92-5 earlier this month, Democratic Sen. Jon Tester’s Sportsmen’s Act looked like this week it was going to get the final vote the senator was so eagerly awaiting.
But on Monday, in a mostly party-line procedural vote, the Associated Press said that Senate Republicans blocked the legislation “on principle” in objection to its spending, though they said they agreed with many of the bill’s provisions.
Gannett reports that Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., argued the legislation “would breach the spending caps in the 2011 debt limit law by authorizing $142 million in spending over the next 10 years.” The story also says the bill has come under fire from environmental groups recently.
Tester introduced the measure and touted it as a bipartisan effort to increase public access for hunting and fishing, while also addressing a wide range of other outdoors issues. The package consisted of 20 different bills.
The senator’s office says the Sportsmen’s Act is supported by more than 50 conservation and wildlife groups, ranging from the NRA to The Nature Conservancy, and would reduce the deficit by $5 million. Tester is chairman of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus.
After the Nov. 26 procedural vote, Tester said he was “disappointed” but would not give up his efforts to get the bill through the Senate.
“Along with 90 million sportsmen and women, I’m disappointed that Republicans and Democrats couldn’t work together today to pass this bipartisan bill,” Tester said. “Protecting our outdoor traditions and strengthening our outdoor economy shouldn’t be a partisan issue. This bill will create jobs and strengthen our small businesses, and I will continue pressing to get it through the Senate on behalf of every sportsman and woman around the country.”
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