Millions in New Spending Blocks Tester Bill

Aaron Flint posted on November 27, 2012 11:38 :: 837 Views

Although the Republican controlled House has already passed a sportsmen’s bill, a bill in the US Senate with Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) posing as the front man continues to get bogged down due to millions of dollars in new spending for federal land acquisition. 

The Billings Gazette sums up the AP story with this headline:  “GOP blocks Tester bill to give hunters more land access.”

You’ll have to go somewhere else to hunt for the rest of the story.  

As Tom Depuydt shared, a conservative magazine, Human Events, shed much more detail on the real debate in their article headlined, “Senate blocks sportsmen bill due to millions in new spending.”  Depuydt added, “This bill violates the Budget Control Act, and would have removed land from private ownership into government ownership.” 

Senate Republicans killed an omnibus bill Monday night that was intended to allow sportsmen greater access to federal property for hunting and fishing, but was loaded up with $14 million in new spending by Democrats in violation of the Budget Control Act.

Similar legislation passed the House earlier this year on a 276-146 vote, but did not include the additional spending. The Senate version was rushed to the floor just weeks before the November election, in the hopes it would help the reelection efforts of its sponsor Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.).

One of the contentious measures would have used 1.5 percent of funds from the Land and Water Conservation Fund to purchase 35 million acres of private property to be added to the federal inventory.

Gannett Newspapers also noted:

Sessions also opposes a provision that would increase to $15 the cost of duck stamps, saying all revenue measures must originate in the House.

Furthermore, why hasn’t the Senate adopted some of the other provisions included in the House bill, such as protections from national monument designations and a requirement for recreational shooting to be open on national monument lands?

What’s the bottom line?  The GOP already passed a sportsmen’s bill in the House.  They also appear poised to pass a sportsmen’s bill in the Senate, as long as the contentious provision to spend millions of more dollars toward more government land acquisitions is removed.  Seems like a pretty straightforward way to seal the deal on this one, unless of course all of the truly popular provisions in the Senate’s sportsmen bill are merely window dressing for the author’s real intent. 

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