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Sept. 30 congressional deadline looms

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The full U.S. Congress came back to Washington, D.C., yesterday after a month-long recess to visit constituents in the legislators’ home states and districts.

Foreign relations will likely be consuming much of Congress’ attention this month, but the Sept. 30 deadline for two Ducks Unlimited policy priorities is quickly approaching.

  • The U.S. fiscal year ends on Sept. 30 and Congress will need to pass a bill before then to keep the government running. The House Appropriations Interior, Environment and Related Agencies Subcommittee has proposed severely cutting – or in some cases, completely eliminating – important conservation programs such as the North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA). We understand that in our economic climate, conservation must be evaluated during the budget-cutting process, but completely cutting programs that are also economic drivers doesn’t make sense. Thank you to everyone who has already sent a message through the DU action alert to tell Congress not to disproportionately cut conservation funding. There’s still time to send a message, if you haven’t already.
  • The one-year farm bill extension expires on Sept. 30. The Senate has passed a five-year farm bill, and the House of Representatives has passed a “farm only” bill. The House and Senate versions of the farm bill must go to a conference committee to reconcile the differences between the two before it can become law. Members of Congress must hear that farm bill conservation programs are the most important tools we have to do conservation work on private lands, and that the five-year farm bill must include a national Sodsaver program and must re-couple conservation compliance to crop insurance.

Staff in DU’s Governmental Affairs Office continues to educate legislators about the importance of conservation programs to waterfowl, wildlife and all American citizens. Help us communicate that message through a phone call, email or social media message to your members of Congress.

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