By Ramsey Cox
Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) is sponsoring the Sportsman Act, which would increase access to federal land for hunters and fishers while also supporting conservation measures.
“This week we have an opportunity to play politics as usual or we have a chance to do something,” Tester said on the floor Wednesday. “Some folks here in Washington are asking me why is this important, but hunting and fishing is a way of life in Montana.”
Reid tried to pass the package by unanimous consent to save time, but Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) objected.
The Senate still has to pass the spending resolution that would keep the government funded for six months. The House passed H.J.Res. 117 last week; thus far, the Senate has made it through a procedural vote on the measure.
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) is filibustering the Senate, which requires that the maximum amount of time be spent on each vote, holding up legislation such as the spending resolution until he gets a vote on his own bill to cut funding for Pakistan.
Tester referenced Pauls’ obstructionism when speaking about his sportsman bill.
“Let’s actually do something,” Tester said. “As long as we’re going to play political games and hold stuff up we’ll never do right by the American people.”
Democratic Sens. Max Baucus (Mont.), Mark Begich (Alaska), Michael Bennet (Colo.), Kay Hagan (N.C.), Joe Machin (W.Va.), Claire McCaskill (Mo.), Debbie Stabenow (Mich.) and Mark Warner (Va.) are all co-sponsors of the sportsman legislation.