Despite bipartisan support, a bill to increase protections for fishing and hunting failed to get through the Senate Thursday.
The Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act of 2014 had 46 co-sponsors from both parties and had advanced in the Senate by an 82-12 vote on Monday, but died as Senators attempted to make amendments to the bill.
Many groups in the boating industry and fishing community supported the act as well.
The bill was voted down 41-56 in a procedural vote. It had needed 60 votes to advance after Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) blocked changes to the bill. Senators from both parties had proposed numerous amendments, many focused on either loosening or tightening gun restrictions.
Sen. Kay Hagen (D-N.C.), who introduced the bill along with Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) said in a statement that she would continue to work to try to move the act forward.
“I 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,” she said. “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 this week. However, 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.”
Sen. Murkowski urged her colleagues to allow an “open amendment process” for the bill. (The video of her speech appears below.)
“We have to return to regular order. We have to have a fair and healthy debate on legislation, especially legislation that has not gone through the committee process,” Murkowski said. “A lot of hard work has gone into crafting this bipartisan package, but unfortunately that work is once again at risk of being cast aside because of political concerns.”
Watch the full video below: