Senators block election-year bill aiding hunters - KAUZ-TV: Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

Senators block election-year bill aiding hunters

Posted: Updated:
  • NationalMore>>

  • Ocean crash kills teen pilot seeking world record

    Ocean crash kills teen pilot seeking world record

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 6:41 PM EDT2014-07-23 22:41:08 GMT
    A family spokeswoman says an Indiana teenager was killed when his plane crashed while trying to set a record for an around-the-world flight.
    An Indiana teenager who was attempting to set a record for an around-the-world flight was killed when his plane crashed in the Pacific Ocean, and crews were searching Wednesday for his father, who was also on board.
  • Montana US senator's thesis appears to plagiarize

    Montana US senator's thesis appears to plagiarize

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 6:35 PM EDT2014-07-23 22:35:55 GMT
    Montana Sen. John Walsh's thesis written for the U.S. Army War College contains unattributed passages that appear to be taken word-for-word from previously published papers.
    Montana Sen. John Walsh's thesis written to earn a master's degree from the U.S. Army War College contains unattributed passages taken word-for-word from previously published papers.
  • Calls for troops at border echo previous pushes

    Calls for troops at border echo previous pushes

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 6:26 PM EDT2014-07-23 22:26:59 GMT
    Texas Gov. Rick Perry was speaking to voters in Iowa as much as Texas when he deployed as many as 1,000 armed National Guard troops to the Mexican border in South Texas.
    When Texas Gov. Rick Perry announced the deployment of up to 1,000 armed National Guard troops to the Mexican border he was speaking to voters in Iowa as much as Texas.
By ALAN FRAM
Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) - Republicans and liberal Democrats on Thursday derailed a Senate bill to help hunters and potentially aid Democratic senators seeking re-election in GOP-leaning states. It's the latest bipartisan measure to fall victim to election-year maneuvering.

The broadly popular legislation would have opened more federal lands to hunters and other sportsmen, increased funds for shooting ranges and blocked government curbs on bullets and fishing gear containing lead. It also would have renewed some conservation programs.

But senators voted 56-41 against ending debate on the bill as the measure became enmeshed in gun politics. Supporters fell 19 votes short of the 60 needed to move to a final vote, effectively derailing it.

All 45 Republicans voted against moving ahead on the legislation - enough to block the bill - as did 11 Democrats.

In May, a bipartisan bill promoting energy efficiency crumbled after Republicans demanded votes on the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline and proposed Obama administration restrictions on greenhouse gas pollution from coal-fired power plants. That same month, a bipartisan effort to renew more than 50 expired tax breaks also died amid a dispute over amendments.

Thursday's collapse of the sportsmen's bill came after Republicans complained that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., had blocked them from offering amendments, including some expanding gun rights.

Democratic opponents said they wanted to add new gun curbs. Opposition to the bill also came from groups including the Humane Society of the United States and the Natural Resources Defense Council, an environmental organization.

The measure was co-sponsored by 26 Republicans, 18 Democrats and one independent, an unusual show of bipartisanship at a time of sharp polarization between the two parties. The chief sponsors were Sens. Kay Hagan, D-N.C., and Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, and it had strong backing from groups including the National Shooting Sports Foundation and the American Sportfishing Association.

The bill's demise was telegraphed Wednesday after Reid blocked all amendments, saying Republicans were refusing to narrow theirs down to a manageable number in an effort to kill the legislation.

"They're so tangled up with the tea party here, the tea party there, the people running for president," Reid said after Thursday's vote. "So what do they do? They block everything."

The National Rifle Association had said little about the bill whose lead Democratic author, Hagan, has an "F'' rating from the group. But in a written statement Thursday, the NRA blamed "Sen. Harry Reid's political agenda" for the measure's downfall.

"By refusing to allow a reasonable amendment process, Sen. Reid effectively killed this legislation - a bill with substantive measures that would have enriched America's hunting and sporting heritage," said Chris W. Cox, executive director of the NRA's legislative arm.

Hagan and several other Democratic co-sponsors in competitive re-election races were hoping the bill might enhance their appeal to pro-gun voters. Those races will be crucial in determining which party controls the Senate next year.

Reid may have helped them by blocking votes on amendments. His move meant senators didn't have to vote on GOP proposals to expand gun rights, such as carrying firearms into post offices, votes that could have been difficult for Democrats in states with many gun owners.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • InternationalMore>>

  • European carriers suspend more Tel Aviv flights

    European carriers suspend more Tel Aviv flights

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 6:41 PM EDT2014-07-23 22:41:16 GMT
    Germany's largest airline, Lufthansa, says it is cancelling all flights to Tel Aviv for at least another 24 hours because of ongoing safety concerns.
    Air France and Germany's two largest airlines on Wednesday canceled more flights to Tel Aviv because of safety concerns amid the fighting between Israel and Hamas.
  • Iraq: al-Maliki rejects Iran's urging to step down

    Iraq: al-Maliki rejects Iran's urging to step down

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 6:33 PM EDT2014-07-23 22:33:43 GMT
    Iraqi officials say the death toll from a late night suicide attack targeting a police checkpoint in Baghdad has climbed to 31 people, most of them civilians.
    Iraq's Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki rejected an attempt by Iran to persuade him to step down, senior Iraqi politicians said Wednesday, underlining his determination to defy even his top ally to push for a third term...
  • US pushes for truce as Gaza battle rages

    US pushes for truce as Gaza battle rages

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 6:25 PM EDT2014-07-23 22:25:47 GMT
    Dozens of Palestinian families trapped by clashes between Hamas militants and Israeli troops are scrambling to flee a southern Gaza Strip neighborhood as Israel reported that two more of its soldiers have died in...
    The United States announced signs of progress in cease-fire talks Wednesday, but prospects for a quick end to the fighting were dim as Palestinian families fled fierce battles in southern Gaza and the death toll rose to...