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Murkowski Faces Difficulties with Sportsmen's Legislation

A hunting and fishing bill has unexpectedly advanced straight to the US Senate Floor, before any Senators could offer amendments.  KDLG’s Chase Cavanaugh has more.

Senator Lisa Murkowski, working with North Carolina Democrat Kay Hagan, has introduced the Murkowski-Hagan Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act.  The legislation contains a variety of measures related to granting hunting and fishing access to public lands.  Examples include regulations on duck stamps, marksmanship training opportunites, opening BLM and Forest Service lands to hunters and fishermen, and protections for farmers who hunt migratory birds on farm land.  It also reauthorizes several conservation acts.   However, Murkowski is upset because Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid used a special rule to bring the bill forward.

“I will remind you that the measure in front of us is a measure that has not gone through the full committee process. This is a measure that has advanced to the floor through a process known as Rule 14, where it hasn’t had the benefit of members advancing their amendments through the committee process.”

Murkowski argues that sportsmen’s legislation has been historically bipartisan, and without an amendment process, her colleagues will not be able to address measures unique to their states.

“I want to have an amendment process. I want to have the debate on some of the measures we have in front of us. I want to stand and tell people why I think it’s important that we provide additional access for our sportsmen and sportswomen on public lands.”

So far 46 amendments have been filed for the Act.