Dems try again to increase price of duck stamps

A group of Senate Democrats on Thursday introduced legislation to increase the price of duck stamps from $15 to $25.

Sen. Mark BegichMark BegichRyan's victory trumps justice reform opponents There is great responsibility being in the minority Senate GOP deeply concerned over Trump effect MORE (D-Alaska) is the lead sponsor of the bill. It is also supported by Sens. Max BaucusMax BaucusGlover Park Group now lobbying for Lyft Wyden unveils business tax proposal College endowments under scrutiny MORE (D-Mont.), Jon TesterJon TesterSenators weigh in on FCC's business internet reform plans Senate Dems push Obama for more Iran transparency Bayh jumps into Indiana Senate race MORE (D-Mont.) and Chris CoonsChris CoonsDEA decision against reclassifying marijuana ignores public opinion Dems ask Cruz to hold hearing on Trump's Russian hacking remarks Top Dem: ‘I don't believe for a minute’ Trump was joking about Russia MORE (D-Del.).

The legislation allows the first increase in the duck stamp since 1991 and would pave the way for a $30 stamp in five years. It also contains a waiver for subsistence hunters.The stamps, purchased by duck hunters, are used to pay for wetlands conservation.

Last year, the Senate killed a similar proposal in the lead-up to the December fiscal-cliff fight when supporters were unable to win a budget point of order against the fee increase brought by Sen. Jeff SessionsJeff SessionsSessions: 'I can be supportive' of Trump's immigration plans Hard-liners shrug off Trump’s softer tone on immigration Trump vows to protect jobs, wages for Hispanic voters MORE (R-Ala.).

“Ninety-eight cents out of every dollar generated by the sale of Duck Stamps goes directly to purchase or lease wetland habitat for protection, successfully raising hundreds of millions of dollars for conservation efforts. But since the price of a stamp hasn’t changed in over twenty years, it’s lost over half of its value,” Begich said in a press release.

The legislation is supported by the conservation group Ducks Unlimited.

“We are committed to seeing this legislation signed into law and look forward to working with Senators on both sides of the aisle to enact this," said CEO Dale Hall.

Established in 1934, the Duck Stamp program has raised $750 million and preserved over five million acres of wetlands critical for waterfowl conservation.

The wetlands also support the activities of sportsmen, birders and subsistence users.