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Congressman Olver Votes to Protect Medicare, Federal Lands

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

Today, Congressman Olver voted against H.R. 4089, the Sportsmen's Heritage Act of 2012. This bill, sponsored by Rep. Jeff Miller (R-FL) requires federal public land management officials to open federal public lands and national monuments to recreational shooting, sport hunting and fishing. It also amends the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) to prevent any firearm component, including shot, bullets and other projectiles, propellants, and primers or any fishing equipment from being defined as a chemical substance. "Given that the vast majority of federal lands are already open to hunting, fishing, and recreational shooting, our time today might have been better spent voting on matters of more pressing importance such as keeping the interest rates on student loans from doubling or taking up the transportation bill recently passed by the Senate," Congressman Olver remarked.

In addition to taking control out of the hands of local land managers and preventing the EPA from restricting or even requiring reporting on a range of hunting-related pollutants in order to open a small amount of additional land to hunting, House Republicans opted to attach another completely unrelated measure, H. Res. 614, "deeming" the Ryan budget as passed.

By pretending that their budget has passed both the House and the Senate, Republicans hope to push, through fast track procedures, even more devastating cuts to key programs, a clear violation of the Budget Control Act agreement reached earlier this year. In fact, this measure instructs to 6 committees to cut $261 billion from programs like food stamps, Medicaid, the Social Services Block Grant. This Rule (H. Res 614) is yet another vote on the Republican budget - a plan that places the burden of deficit reduction onto seniors, the middle class, working families, and the most vulnerable by refusing to ask the wealthiest among us to contribute.

"I opposed the Ryan budget the last time it came before the House and I oppose it again today," said Congressman Olver. "This plan gives tax breaks to the wealthiest Americans while doing away with the most vital protection for our nation's seniors, the Medicare guarantee."

"With millions of seniors relying on Medicare to keep them out of poverty, I cannot fathom why the Ryan plan has received such consistent support from my colleagues in the House. This plan undermines the fundamental goal of Medicare, to provide a failsafe protection for our nation's seniors."

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