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Issue Position: Outdoors

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There is nothing I enjoy more than spending an early morning with my two sons sitting in a duck blind or on the river with a fishing pole in hand, and I have worked hard to protect the rights of hunters and anglers across the country to pass the sporting tradition on to future generations. I am a longtime member of the Congressional Sportsmens Caucus and have previously served as both the vice chair and co-chair of the caucus.

Legislatively, I authored the House version of the Electronic Duck Stamp Act of 2005, which established the online sale of federal duck stamps. In addition, I have authored and introduced to Congress several bills that benefit sports enthusiats in western Wisconsin, including:

National Fish Habitat Conservation Act

An avid fishermen, I authored and recently reintroduced the National Fish Habitat Conservation Act, H.R. 2565, to ensure that our nation's fish and aquatic communities are conserved for everyone to enjoy. This legislation would address the problems of the nation's most important fisheries by building partnerships that protect and enhance fish habitat.

Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act

A life-long resident of La Crosse, I have always appreciated the beauty of these birds and understand the importance of preserving their natural habitat. This year, I reintroduced legislation, H.R. 2213, that would reauthorize the Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act through fiscal year 2015. This legislation will ensure the preservation of the natural habitat of migratory birds in countries throughout the Western Hemisphere.

America's Wildlife Heritage Act

America's Wildlife Heritage Act, H.R. 2807, is a commonsense bill that takes a balanced approach to sustaining fish, plants and wildlife on America's public lands. Sportsmen and women across the country have seen how irresponsible management of public lands has degraded wildlife habitat and damaged wildlife populations. This bill brings the management of our federal public lands into the 21st century, preserving our wildlife and the hunting and fishing opportunities they provide for years to come.

Fire Arms Excise Tax

Prior to August 2010, firearm and ammunition manufacturers are required by the Internal Revenue Code to make burdensome bi-weekly excise tax deposits. Now, under the Firearms Excise Tax Improvement Act of 2010, H.R. 5552, legislation I authored, firearm and ammunition manufactures are allowed to make quarterly deposits, as other manufactures do. These deposits contribute to the Pittman-Robertson (PR) conservation fund. This simple change in payment structure increases the amount of money available in the PR conservation fund while allowing firearms companies more flexibility to grow their business. I am happy to say this legislation passed both the House and Senate and was signed into law by President Obama in August 2010.

The Firearms Excise Tax Improvement Act is supported by the entire firearms industry including the National Rifle Association supports this legislation, as well as all major conservation groups, including the Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation, Delta Waterfowl, Ducks Unlimited, National Wild Turkey Federation, North American Wetlands Conservation Council, and Pheasants Forever. The bill is also fully supported by the Director of the Fish and Wildlife Service.


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