WASHINGTON — Senate Republicans blocked approval of legislation aimed at promoting recreational hunting and fishing Monday.
The Senate failed to waive a budget point of order raised by Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., over concerns that the bill included $140 million in new spending over the next decade.
Sessions said the additional spending violated caps established in 2011 and could be easily fixed by finding an equivalent level of reductions in the budget.
Sen. John Boozman, R-Ark, voted with Sessions to sustain the objection, leaving in doubt whether the otherwise popular bill will be approved before the end of the year.
Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark., had voted to waive the budget point of order which would have set up an immediate vote for passage of the bill.
The Sportsmen’s Act of 2012 that among other things would allow hunters to purchase federal duck stamps online.
The House passed a similar bill in April.
The National Shooting Sports Foundation strongly supports the legislation, saying it would: set aside conservation funds to secure public access to public lands for hunting and fishing; encourage maintenance of shooting ranges on federal land; and exclude ammunition and fishing tackle from environmental regulations.
Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., the key sponsor of the bill, said that enhancing recreational hunting and fishing would help increase the economy in a “very, very positive way.”
Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., voted against the bill in part because it would allow lead shot to be used in some ammunition and fishing tackle.