Sessions: Sportsmen's bill violates budget point of order

The Sportsmen’s Act, introduced by Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.), would increase access to federal land for hunters and fishermen while also supporting conservation through a package that combines nearly 20 bipartisan measures.

Sessions said an amendment offered by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) increases spending by $140 million over 10 years.

“The agreement was that the whole area of spending would be capped at a certain level ... or else you’ve taxed and spent,” said Sessions, the ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee. “It’s just a tax and spend.

“[Democrats] say we can’t save $14 million a year — that’s not true. There are plenty of ways to save.”

Sessions said the bill would also violate the Constitution because all revenue-generating bills have to originate in the House. If the bill passes the Senate first, it then has a “blue slip” when it heads to the House.

“If we fixed this matter, I’d support it,” Sessions said. “The proper remedy for this situation is to allow amendments or send the bill back to committee to figure out how to keep it in budget limits.”

The Senate invoked cloture on the Sportsmen’s Act, S. 3525, on a 84-12 vote Thursday morning.

Reid said he hoped to get an agreement with Republicans to hold a final vote on the bill Thursday night, so the Senate could recess until after Thanksgiving.

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