July 10, 2014
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today joined with 55 of her Senate colleagues – from both parties – to reject an effort to end debate and prevent votes on any amendment offered to her Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act.
“Today’s vote is another unfortunate illustration that good, meaningful legislation is being stopped in its tracks because the majority leader refuses to allow any sort of amendment process,” Murkowski said. “My colleagues on both sides of the aisle are fed up, and rightly so, with the ongoing blockade of a fair and healthy debate on legislation. It is deeply frustrating that the majority leader steadfastly refuses to allow that to happen.”
After Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., blocked amendments from either party, 11 Democrats and 45 Republicans voted against prematurely ending debate on the Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act.
“Sen. Reid guaranteed the failure of this bill, just as he has guaranteed the failure of so many others this year. This time, he wound up with a bipartisan rejection. Only 41 members voted with him, compared to 56 who did not – including 11 Democrats,” Murkowski said.
Murkowski crafted the Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act (S. 2363), with Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C. The package of bills, which has 44 cosponsors, aims to protect access to public lands for sportsmen and women.
“What is especially frustrating is that this legislation would have had an immediate positive impact for Alaskan sportsmen and women,” Murkowski said. “I put together the Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act with Sen. Hagan because hunting and fishing are so important to Alaskans.”
“What we are seeing is no way to run the Senate – it’s a way to ruin the Senate,” Murkowski said. “We are no longer ‘the world’s greatest deliberative body.’ We have a majority leader that actively seeks to block debate, to stifle amendments, and impose his will on everyone else. And we have a lot of complicit Democrats going along with him. I’m frustrated by it, I’m sick of it, and Alaskans deserve to know the truth.”
Murkowski, the top Republican on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, also spoke yesterday on the Senate floor about the critical need for a fair amendment process on the Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act.