July 1, 2019

House of Representatives Passes Funding Bill for Agriculture, Interior, Commerce Departments

On June 25, the House of Representatives passed an appropriations bill (H.R. 3055), which will fund the Departments of Agriculture, the Interior, and Commerce, among others. 

During the floor amendment process, the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) was heavily involved in working with Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus (CSC) Members to incorporate several pro-conservation amendments into H.R. 3055. Specifically, CSF praises the inclusion of two amendments that provide financial resources to combat Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD).

The first amendment, led by CSC Co-Chair Congressman Marc Veasey (TX) and CSC Members Congressmen Paul Gosar (AZ), Ron Kind (WI), and Ralph Abraham (LA), provides a total of $15 million to state wildlife agencies to combat CWD in deer, elk, and moose populations. The second amendment, led by Reps. Gosar and Abraham, provides $1.72 million to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to conduct research on CWD.

CSF also praised an amendment that prevents National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration from using any funds that would violate the national standards of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, which was led by CSC Member Congressman Garret Graves (LA).

Unfortunately, a short-sighted, emotionally-driven amendment was included, which prevents the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service from using funds to issue permits for the importation of elephant or lion trophies from Zimbabwe, Zambia, and Tanzania. This amendment fails to recognize the contributions of international hunting and the conservation benefits associated with the financial contributions of these activities. Despite strong opposition from the sporting conservation community, this amendment passed on a vote of 239-192.

The Senate has not yet released its appropriations bill, but CSF will work to ensure the pro-sport amendments are included while working to defeat the inclusion of short-sighted amendments.

Studies conducted at both the state and federal level have found that the number of hunters and trappers have been on a generally declining trend over the past several decades. To increase recruitment, retention, and reactivation (R3) of hunters and trappers, which initiative do you think would have the greatest impact?

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