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Public Statements

Freedom to Fish Act

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. COOPER. I thank the gentlelady for yielding.

This is a completely bipartisan measure, and I hope that we have an overwhelming vote in support of it.

The Freedom to Fish Act is a very responsible piece of legislation put forward in the Senate by my colleague, Senator Lamar Alexander.

In the hearing on the Senate side, Senator Feinstein pointed out to the Army Corps of Engineers' witness how reasonable Senator Alexander was trying to be, how reasonable this approach was. So I think we can say with some certainty that this is something that should be overwhelmingly supported by this House.

For my colleagues, the Cumberland River is perhaps unknown to you. It's a beautiful river. Every elected official that I'm aware of in our area, Democrat and Republican, supports this legislation.

Safety is an issue, but so is overreaching by our friends at the Corps. Occasionally they're a little bit tone deaf, especially if they get transferred in and out a little bit too quickly.

This is an amazing little way to fish here, below the dams. Some of you not realizing, you think fish is this big or this big. Some of these fish are 30 and 40 pounds.

This is a magnificent recreational resource that has been unfairly harmed by proposed Corps actions and by, really, an official who will be soon moving away from our area and living in another part of the country. He's a fine gentleman, but this is an opportunity for us to reclaim our local rights, our traditions, our freedom to fish.

I would urge colleagues on both sides of the aisle to have a little common sense here. Support S. 982. It's a very reasonable approach to trying to solve this problem, solving this dispute with the Corps. Support S. 982.

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