Politics at work.
Although widely accepted earlier this week, the pro-gun Sportsmen’s Act was defeated on Capitol Hill Thursday after Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) refused to allow a flurry of 81 amendments from both sides.
The bill, which encompassed some 20 sweeping changes to the use of federal lands and resources for hunters, anglers and target shooters, had been called a “once-in-a-generation” piece of legislation by the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF).
However, just two days after a bipartisan 82-12 vote to proceed with debate, Senate members on both sides rushed to attach a myriad of often contradictory amendments to the act.
Reid, who Tuesday stated he would allow amendments, subsequently backpedaled and “filled the tree” on the bill, a parliamentary procedure in which he refused all amendment branches to the trunk of the act itself. Since the bill was subject to a pending anti-filibuster vote in cloture, it needed three-fifths of the full Senate (60 votes) to pass, and sufficient support was not available.