Another year has passed and I sit here and wonder: where did it go?
Another year has passed and I sit here and wonder: where did it go? And, more importantly – why didn’t I catch more fish?
As in years past, our combined efforts to affect fishing policy change through KeepAmericaFishing had its victories and losses. However, with the midterm elections behind us, what can we expect in 2015?
It’s no secret that Congress didn’t do much more than limp along in 2014. Most legislators were either in elections; were wary of working with anyone in an election or wary of working with anyone on the other side of the aisle – which meant nothing really got started, let alone finished.
We narrowly survived the threat of another fiscal cliff and another government shutdown. A national newspaper stated that this Congress went out the way it came in, in complete disarray. I don’t want to jinx myself, but can it get any worse? I certainly hope not. In fact, I am, perhaps, naively hopeful. With the same majority controlling both the House and Senate maybe the rusted wheels of Congress will get a shot of WD-40 and start to move this term.
Congress runs in two-year increments, so the upcoming 114th will run for 2015 and 2016. During the next two years of the 114th Congress there are big ticket items for the recreational fishing community that need to be accomplished. One is the reauthorization of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation Act, better known as MSA, and the reauthorization of the Sport Fish and Boating Trust Fund which expires in May. We also hope that a package of sportsmen’ conservation bills will be introduced and that the National Fish Habitat Conservation Act might finally gain momentum.
If you read our blogs, you will know that these bills and ideas have been in the works for years, but one has to realize that gaining traction in Congress for any of them is a slow, grueling process.
Please remember that while bill text may be the same from year to year, bill numbers change and your support is just as important – and needed now – as it was the first time you wrote to your Congressional member. They all need to hear from you why it’s so important to support certain bills or to hear your opposition to certain bills.
Remember to stand up and voice your opinions!
The 113th Congress has ridden into the sunset, but maybe the 114th Congress will see some new light? We can only hope.