By Ramsey Cox
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said he hoped senators would put aside their differences on amendments and pass a bipartisan sportsmen’s bill this week.
“This bill is ready and the opportunity is now,” Reid said on the Senate floor Tuesday. “Now is the time to consider and pass this legislation. … It is as much a Republican bill as a Democrat bill so why should this bill be killed for procedural reasons?”
Despite the overwhelming vote, Republicans could drop their support if Reid refuses to allow an open amendment process.
Hagan's bill aims to preserve federal lands for hunting, fishing and shooting. It is meant to help several red-state Democrats in tough reelection races this year. Co-sponsors include four other Dems who, like Hagan, are facing difficult reelection races this year: Sens. Mark Pryor (Ark.), Mark Begich (Alaska), Mary Landrieu (La.) and Mark Udall (Colo.).
The sportsmen's bill would also reauthorize wetland and fishing conservation programs and would allow online sales of duck stamps. The Senate is expected to continue debating the legislation this week.
Some Democrats oppose the bill because it doesn’t include gun control reforms.