On a voice vote last night, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill increasing the price of a duck stamp.
If passed by the Senate and signed by the president, it would raise the price of the federal endorsement from $15 to $25, the first hike since 1991, and bring in an estimated $119 million a year.
According to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, 98 cents out of a every buck spent on duck stamps is plowed right back into the wetlands. The agency reports that since 1934, stamps have raised north of $800 million and have helped buy or lease 6 million acres of quacker habitat across the country.
Unfortunately, in these overpolicized times, the increase (the Times-Picayune reports that $15 in 1991 dollars equals $26.21 today, meaning it’s a decrease) was instantly attacked.
I was alerted to the vote by an email from Politico, which I neither read nor subscribe to. They wanted to cackle that the Koch Brothers had been end-arounded.
Responding to the vote, the website Americans For Prosperity blogged, “Just weeks after voters repudiated the liberal agenda of high taxes and out of control spending, the scrooges in Congress want to ask American families for even more of their paycheck to help fund a bloated, oversized government that cannot properly do the few things it is supposed to be doing, never mind all of the things it is not supposed to be doing.”
The vote in the House was a voice one, so no names were recorded for political cat-o-ninetailing.
Ducks Unlimited called the legislation “critically important” and strongly supported it.
“The additional duck stamp funding provided by waterfowl hunters and other conservationists will not only conserve critical waterfowl habitat, but will also help ensure the future of our waterfowling traditions,” said DU president Chris Hall.
The Senate is expected to take up the bill this year.
Yo, USFWS, sign me up for two stamps.