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U.S. Senate Kills Sportsmen's Act of 2012 Over $10 Duck Stamp Increase

November 28, 2012
U.S. Senate Kills Sportsmen's Act of 2012 Over $10 Duck Stamp Increase - 18

Ten bucks. That’s what killed the progressive, popular, good-government Sportsmen’s Act of 2012 yesterday.

Ten bucks, or the increase of the cost of a federal duck stamp from $15 to $25.

But that $10 created a partisan divide large enough to kill something that hunters and anglers have been asking for: congressional help to provide public access to public land, end the nonsense of lead-ammo restrictions, and allow a few polar bears to be liberated from their importation purgatory.

Here’s the fact: On Monday, November 26th, the United States Senate beat a well-worn path of partisanship and pettifoggery (look it up!) by voting down the Sportsmen’s Act of 2012. They did it in such a manner that they avoided being labeled anti-sportsman by the NRA, while ultimately catering to the whims of fringe environmental groups like the Center for Biological Diversity, and anti-hunting groups like the Humane Society of The United States.

On a procedural motion to waive the budget rules and allow for an increase in the cost of the federal duck stamp from $15 to $25, the United Sates Senate proved once again that no good deed goes unpunished.

If you follow all the technicalities, the $10 increase violated a provision from 2011 that was supposed to prevent fee increases. Forget that those of us who buy the duck stamp do it gladly and voluntarily, and know that at $15, it hasn’t kept up with the rate of inflation. It was time to raise the cost of the stamp. But the no-new-taxes faction of the Congress used it as their lever to kill the entire Sportsmen’s Act, which would have been the biggest public-lands bill in a generation. The sad fact is that most Republicans are still smarting over the re-election of the bill’s sponsor, Montana Sen. Jon Tester. That’s the real reason they killed the bill, behind the guise of procedural posturing.

Are you upset? You should be. Congress is broken, and the place to begin fixing it would seem to be the U.S. Senate, where this little dalliance into partisan bickering and parliamentary gamesmanship is the best example of why, even when everyone in America (with exception to a few cranks and eco-fascists) comes together and expects something done, Congress finds a way to fumble on the 5 yard line.

There is a glimmer of hope that the bill might be resurrected. You can help resuscitate it by calling the Senate hotline at (202) 224-4124 or find your Senator’s contact info here.

If enough of us howl, maybe Congress will get the message that we actually care about what they don’t do as much as we care about what they do.

Comments (18)

Top Rated
All Comments
from Big Bob wrote 1 year 34 weeks ago

To Auhunter - yes, it is a tax. License fees are a form of taxation. The model goes all the way back to the taxes such as the Sugar and Stamp Acts that led to the American Revolution. They are a form of excise tax. Not all taxes levied are based upon income, a percentage of purchase price, value of property, or other more familiar forms of taxation. Most of the taxes we pay are what I call hidden taxes. The Pittman-Robertson Act is an example of a "hidden" tax as a percentage of the retail price goes into the P-R fund.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from auhunter wrote 1 year 34 weeks ago

"no-new-taxes faction" what does any of this have to do with taxes. It is a license fee, just like all states have for hunting and fishing licenses. I have bought a migratory bird stamp every year since I first started hunting, probably bought the first one, would have to check and see, since I have them all. Most years I don't hunt ducks. I also buy a hunting license every year sometimes I don't hunt, but every dollar goes to maintaining F&G departments, wildlife and habitat, so I contribute. 10 bucks that's less than 2 packs of butts. If this was a political thing over the reelection of Tester, get over it and move on. My members of Congress are fixing to get a reaming. The Senate hasn't passed a budget in four years, and they spend time haggling over something like this, totally idiotic.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dcast wrote 1 year 34 weeks ago

On a procedural motion to waive the budget rules and allow for an increase in the cost of the federal duck stamp from $15 to $25, the United Sates Senate proved once again that no good deed goes unpunished.

If you follow all the technicalities, the $10 increase violated a provision from 2011 that was supposed to prevent fee increases. Forget that those of us who buy the duck stamp do it gladly and voluntarily, and know that at $15, it hasn’t kept up with the rate of inflation.

Sorry, but once again idiocy reigns supreme around here! What is it about not breaking rules that people don't understand? For God sake people your asked to follow rules every GD day yet the highest powers in the nation should break them because you don't agree with the outcome after breaking the rules. Do away with all rules period all that protect us and all that hurt us that way you guys can't freaking whine! Heck why we are at lets do away with the Constitution because it is outdated, developed by a bunch of old dead guys that never read OL!

Since when has buying a Federal Wetlands Stamp been voluntary? Last I checked you either buy a stamp to hunt migratory birds or don't and do not hunt them, hardly voluntary. Also $10 is alot of money to some of us maybe not you, but you could always foot the extra money for those of us who can't afford it. Yes it may not have kept up with inflation but neither has most peoples paychecks. Have you been to the groceries in the past several years or filled you vehicle with gas, or went to McD's, Wendy's, Tacoh3ll, or anywhere else you buy something? Apparently not because if you want to talk inflation go buy something at the grocery store or gas!

It's simple do away with the last second price increase and pass the d@mn bill, then all will be ok. I won't be calling my REP. because he did what was asked of him, now it's time that the rest who voted for it to do the same. Get rid of the increase then pass it. If you want to give more make a donation.

-1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bootheel Hunter wrote 1 year 34 weeks ago

Good question, huntfishtrap, and one that is easily answered. The Senate voted 84-7 on Sept 22 to bring the Sportsmen's Act to a vote of the full Senate.
Now, IF there were no politics involved here and IF they were "just following the rules," wouldn't that have been the time to announce that this rule would be applied in a very unusual way, back when there was still time to address the supposed problem and fix it?
Keep in mind the rule they are calling out applies to tax revenues, and applying that rule to a dedicated user fee separate from the general fund makes no sense whatsoever.
In my opinion Ben is right on and this is nothing more than a cynical attempt to deny a victory to a Senator from the other side of the aisle. And we should not let it stand.

We need to call bs on this, not just because it stinks of politics as usual. We need to call bs on this because tying our dedicated wildlife funding to the general fund is a dangerous precedent. Visionary sportsmen of the past worked long and hard to get our money SEPARATED from those general funds so that we know EXACTLY how much we each pay and we know exactly where it goes, and so we can stay at least somewhat removed from the political battles that plague everything else. The politicians who voted against the Sportsmen Act are using a thin excuse that's true, but they are also trying to drag sportsmen opportunity and wildlife conservation issues into their bigger political fights--that is what's most scary of all.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from huntfishtrap wrote 1 year 34 weeks ago

I am going to play devil's advocate here, and ask Mr. Lamb how exactly he knows that Republicans blocked it in a fit of spite over Senator Tester's reelection? Unless his day job is a Washington insider, I'm guessing he doesn't know anything at all about their motives for blocking it.
It may have just been a "technicality", but the fact is raising the price of the stamp would've been against the rules. If you want to complain about the rules, have at it, but don't criticize our elected leaders for following them.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from RealGoodMan wrote 1 year 34 weeks ago

And this is all because of some pledge to Grover Norquist? A measly $10 stamp increase? These people are insane.

jh45gun- The ol' "sets a dangerous precedent" card is a bogus cop-out.

This has absolutely nothing to do with raising taxes on firearms and ammo or putting some financial burden on sportsmen. Again, the NRA publicly supports the Sportsmen's Act.

Trying to equate the stamp increase with those other issues is unfounded and nothing more than paranoia-driven hogwash and fear-mongering.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from jh45gun wrote 1 year 34 weeks ago

https://bay147.mail.live.com/default.aspx?n=1570456888&fid=1&fav=1#n=166...

you can use the above link National Shooting Sports Foundation to contact your Senators.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from HuntingEditor wrote 1 year 34 weeks ago

Hey All - stay tuned for another post on this. I've learned today that there's a chance the act will be revisited this week - IF there's enough outcry. I'll be posting a list of all the Senators who voted against it later this afternoon, along with their contact info. It would be great - nay, essential! - if you can call or email your Senator and tell them to get behind the bill. Or you will consider them anti-hunters. Stay tuned!
mckean

+5 Good Comment? | | Report
from jh45gun wrote 1 year 34 weeks ago

I also have to add that giving the politicians the idea that we would be all for raising funds on the sportsman's back sets a dangerous precedent. They have already proposed in places higher taxes on guns and ammo. I could see this administration wanting to raise fees and add taxes to pay for their anti gun communist/socialist agenda. Taxing guns and ammo and raising fees for outdoor activities would be right up the current administrations alley.

-1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Drew YoungeDyke wrote 1 year 34 weeks ago

I find it hard to believe that the Republican senators who voted this down were "catering to the whims of fringe environmental groups." If the GOP ever wants to win back independent conservationists, they have to stop this nonsense. I don't know how they avoided being labeled "anti-sportsman," but that's exactly what they are.

-1 Good Comment? | | Report
from jh45gun wrote 1 year 34 weeks ago

Too bad they killed the bill but I would have totally been against raising the duck stamp to 25 dollars. Duck hunting in WI is a dying sport in a lot of the state due to the major flyways shifting west and east of us. We do not have the great duck hunting like down south or in the Dakotas. I buy the fed stamp and the state stamp and goose permits on the chance I might kill a duck or goose. I did not see a duck or goose I could shoot during the season. That goes for quite a few years. If the fed stamp went up an other ten bucks I doubt I would ever buy them again. Rewrite the bill and try again. The Gov is going to try to collect enough of your money with out raising fees on Fed Duck Stamps.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from Joel Gay wrote 1 year 34 weeks ago

Also voting against Was Democrat Barbara Boxer.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Joel Gay wrote 1 year 34 weeks ago

Who voted against the bill? Every Republican senator except Olympia Snowe of Maine.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from RealGoodMan wrote 1 year 34 weeks ago

I believe Senator Jeff Sessions was one of the brains behind stonewalling this. Just sad..

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Orange Grove wrote 1 year 34 weeks ago

Straight down party lines. The Republicans - the party that sportsmen notoriously vote for citing their protection of hunters, hunters’ rights, and the right to bear arms without every holding them accountable for the way they actually vote – killed this over a $10 hike that the majority of Sportsmen said they could live with.
Makes me sick.
Both parties do.
When will we as a collective group acknowledge that neither party has our interests at heart? Neither!
Both parties have helped us and both have hurt us – about 50 / 50. Do your research.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Roderick K. Purcell wrote 1 year 34 weeks ago

Mr. Lamb -- name the names. Who are the pols who voted the wrong way on this? They should hear about it, especially from folks in their home states.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Roderick K. Purcell wrote 1 year 34 weeks ago

This vote was a pathetic example of petty politricks trumping the common good. The sportsmen's community has put way too much effort into this bill to let this roadblock stop us.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ceg60 wrote 1 year 34 weeks ago

Sad what our government does. I live in upstate NY and already deal with license price increases. Whats 10$ more? I guess because it went against the decisions made in 2011 they had a reason but really its kind of harsh. I am an avid waterfowler and would pay 100$ more to do what I love. I have'nt followed this bill too closely but from what I have kept up with I was routing for it. But in the end this is the US and put a "$" sign behind anything and it can change everything.

+5 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment (200 characters or less)

from Ceg60 wrote 1 year 34 weeks ago

Sad what our government does. I live in upstate NY and already deal with license price increases. Whats 10$ more? I guess because it went against the decisions made in 2011 they had a reason but really its kind of harsh. I am an avid waterfowler and would pay 100$ more to do what I love. I have'nt followed this bill too closely but from what I have kept up with I was routing for it. But in the end this is the US and put a "$" sign behind anything and it can change everything.

+5 Good Comment? | | Report
from HuntingEditor wrote 1 year 34 weeks ago

Hey All - stay tuned for another post on this. I've learned today that there's a chance the act will be revisited this week - IF there's enough outcry. I'll be posting a list of all the Senators who voted against it later this afternoon, along with their contact info. It would be great - nay, essential! - if you can call or email your Senator and tell them to get behind the bill. Or you will consider them anti-hunters. Stay tuned!
mckean

+5 Good Comment? | | Report
from jh45gun wrote 1 year 34 weeks ago

Too bad they killed the bill but I would have totally been against raising the duck stamp to 25 dollars. Duck hunting in WI is a dying sport in a lot of the state due to the major flyways shifting west and east of us. We do not have the great duck hunting like down south or in the Dakotas. I buy the fed stamp and the state stamp and goose permits on the chance I might kill a duck or goose. I did not see a duck or goose I could shoot during the season. That goes for quite a few years. If the fed stamp went up an other ten bucks I doubt I would ever buy them again. Rewrite the bill and try again. The Gov is going to try to collect enough of your money with out raising fees on Fed Duck Stamps.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bootheel Hunter wrote 1 year 34 weeks ago

Good question, huntfishtrap, and one that is easily answered. The Senate voted 84-7 on Sept 22 to bring the Sportsmen's Act to a vote of the full Senate.
Now, IF there were no politics involved here and IF they were "just following the rules," wouldn't that have been the time to announce that this rule would be applied in a very unusual way, back when there was still time to address the supposed problem and fix it?
Keep in mind the rule they are calling out applies to tax revenues, and applying that rule to a dedicated user fee separate from the general fund makes no sense whatsoever.
In my opinion Ben is right on and this is nothing more than a cynical attempt to deny a victory to a Senator from the other side of the aisle. And we should not let it stand.

We need to call bs on this, not just because it stinks of politics as usual. We need to call bs on this because tying our dedicated wildlife funding to the general fund is a dangerous precedent. Visionary sportsmen of the past worked long and hard to get our money SEPARATED from those general funds so that we know EXACTLY how much we each pay and we know exactly where it goes, and so we can stay at least somewhat removed from the political battles that plague everything else. The politicians who voted against the Sportsmen Act are using a thin excuse that's true, but they are also trying to drag sportsmen opportunity and wildlife conservation issues into their bigger political fights--that is what's most scary of all.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from Orange Grove wrote 1 year 34 weeks ago

Straight down party lines. The Republicans - the party that sportsmen notoriously vote for citing their protection of hunters, hunters’ rights, and the right to bear arms without every holding them accountable for the way they actually vote – killed this over a $10 hike that the majority of Sportsmen said they could live with.
Makes me sick.
Both parties do.
When will we as a collective group acknowledge that neither party has our interests at heart? Neither!
Both parties have helped us and both have hurt us – about 50 / 50. Do your research.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Joel Gay wrote 1 year 34 weeks ago

Who voted against the bill? Every Republican senator except Olympia Snowe of Maine.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from auhunter wrote 1 year 34 weeks ago

"no-new-taxes faction" what does any of this have to do with taxes. It is a license fee, just like all states have for hunting and fishing licenses. I have bought a migratory bird stamp every year since I first started hunting, probably bought the first one, would have to check and see, since I have them all. Most years I don't hunt ducks. I also buy a hunting license every year sometimes I don't hunt, but every dollar goes to maintaining F&G departments, wildlife and habitat, so I contribute. 10 bucks that's less than 2 packs of butts. If this was a political thing over the reelection of Tester, get over it and move on. My members of Congress are fixing to get a reaming. The Senate hasn't passed a budget in four years, and they spend time haggling over something like this, totally idiotic.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Roderick K. Purcell wrote 1 year 34 weeks ago

This vote was a pathetic example of petty politricks trumping the common good. The sportsmen's community has put way too much effort into this bill to let this roadblock stop us.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Roderick K. Purcell wrote 1 year 34 weeks ago

Mr. Lamb -- name the names. Who are the pols who voted the wrong way on this? They should hear about it, especially from folks in their home states.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from RealGoodMan wrote 1 year 34 weeks ago

I believe Senator Jeff Sessions was one of the brains behind stonewalling this. Just sad..

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Joel Gay wrote 1 year 34 weeks ago

Also voting against Was Democrat Barbara Boxer.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from jh45gun wrote 1 year 34 weeks ago

https://bay147.mail.live.com/default.aspx?n=1570456888&fid=1&fav=1#n=166...

you can use the above link National Shooting Sports Foundation to contact your Senators.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from RealGoodMan wrote 1 year 34 weeks ago

And this is all because of some pledge to Grover Norquist? A measly $10 stamp increase? These people are insane.

jh45gun- The ol' "sets a dangerous precedent" card is a bogus cop-out.

This has absolutely nothing to do with raising taxes on firearms and ammo or putting some financial burden on sportsmen. Again, the NRA publicly supports the Sportsmen's Act.

Trying to equate the stamp increase with those other issues is unfounded and nothing more than paranoia-driven hogwash and fear-mongering.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from huntfishtrap wrote 1 year 34 weeks ago

I am going to play devil's advocate here, and ask Mr. Lamb how exactly he knows that Republicans blocked it in a fit of spite over Senator Tester's reelection? Unless his day job is a Washington insider, I'm guessing he doesn't know anything at all about their motives for blocking it.
It may have just been a "technicality", but the fact is raising the price of the stamp would've been against the rules. If you want to complain about the rules, have at it, but don't criticize our elected leaders for following them.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Big Bob wrote 1 year 34 weeks ago

To Auhunter - yes, it is a tax. License fees are a form of taxation. The model goes all the way back to the taxes such as the Sugar and Stamp Acts that led to the American Revolution. They are a form of excise tax. Not all taxes levied are based upon income, a percentage of purchase price, value of property, or other more familiar forms of taxation. Most of the taxes we pay are what I call hidden taxes. The Pittman-Robertson Act is an example of a "hidden" tax as a percentage of the retail price goes into the P-R fund.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Drew YoungeDyke wrote 1 year 34 weeks ago

I find it hard to believe that the Republican senators who voted this down were "catering to the whims of fringe environmental groups." If the GOP ever wants to win back independent conservationists, they have to stop this nonsense. I don't know how they avoided being labeled "anti-sportsman," but that's exactly what they are.

-1 Good Comment? | | Report
from jh45gun wrote 1 year 34 weeks ago

I also have to add that giving the politicians the idea that we would be all for raising funds on the sportsman's back sets a dangerous precedent. They have already proposed in places higher taxes on guns and ammo. I could see this administration wanting to raise fees and add taxes to pay for their anti gun communist/socialist agenda. Taxing guns and ammo and raising fees for outdoor activities would be right up the current administrations alley.

-1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dcast wrote 1 year 34 weeks ago

On a procedural motion to waive the budget rules and allow for an increase in the cost of the federal duck stamp from $15 to $25, the United Sates Senate proved once again that no good deed goes unpunished.

If you follow all the technicalities, the $10 increase violated a provision from 2011 that was supposed to prevent fee increases. Forget that those of us who buy the duck stamp do it gladly and voluntarily, and know that at $15, it hasn’t kept up with the rate of inflation.

Sorry, but once again idiocy reigns supreme around here! What is it about not breaking rules that people don't understand? For God sake people your asked to follow rules every GD day yet the highest powers in the nation should break them because you don't agree with the outcome after breaking the rules. Do away with all rules period all that protect us and all that hurt us that way you guys can't freaking whine! Heck why we are at lets do away with the Constitution because it is outdated, developed by a bunch of old dead guys that never read OL!

Since when has buying a Federal Wetlands Stamp been voluntary? Last I checked you either buy a stamp to hunt migratory birds or don't and do not hunt them, hardly voluntary. Also $10 is alot of money to some of us maybe not you, but you could always foot the extra money for those of us who can't afford it. Yes it may not have kept up with inflation but neither has most peoples paychecks. Have you been to the groceries in the past several years or filled you vehicle with gas, or went to McD's, Wendy's, Tacoh3ll, or anywhere else you buy something? Apparently not because if you want to talk inflation go buy something at the grocery store or gas!

It's simple do away with the last second price increase and pass the d@mn bill, then all will be ok. I won't be calling my REP. because he did what was asked of him, now it's time that the rest who voted for it to do the same. Get rid of the increase then pass it. If you want to give more make a donation.

-1 Good Comment? | | Report

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