In response to the 2016 presidential election, the American Sportfishing Association released a statement regarding the recent election. There is also information about the Congressional elections.
Recreational fishing is one of our nation’s most popular traditional outdoors sports with 46 million Americans fishing every year – and that includes members of the Trump family.
In addition, America’s anglers generate more than $48 billion in retail sales with a $115 billion impact on the nation’s economy; creating employment for more than 828,000 people.
While it is hard to predict what will transpire over the next four years, our industry is comprised of small businesses that depend on solid fisheries conservation management and public access to public fishery resources.
Our industry also supports a fairer tax burden and less federal business regulation. We are optimistic that a Trump administration will be supportive of these concepts.
We are also pleased that many sportfishing champions were re-elected to the House and the Senate. In our experience, support for recreational fishing and conservation is bipartisan.
While at the Presidential level voters clearly voted for change and against Secretary Clinton’s government experience, the lesson at the Congressional level appears quite different. Voters across the country largely voted for stability, experience and reelection of the Congress. For example, in the Senate the Republicans had to defend 24 seats and the Democrats 10 seats.
It appears at this time that the Republicans prevailed or are likely to prevail in 22 of those seats, and the Democrats in 12. Most of ASA’s champions in the House and Senate – like Marco Rubio (R FL), Brian Schatz (D HI), Garret Graves (R LA), Rob Wittman (R VA), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R FL), and Jared Huffman (D CA)—won reelection. Below is a summary of the pre- and post-election balance of both the U.S. Senate and House.
2016 U.S. Senate Results
114th Congress Make-Up: 54 R, 44 D, 2 I
115th Congress Make-Up: 51 R, 46 D, 2 I, 1 Still Undecided (La.)
2016 U.S. House Results
114th Congress Make-Up: 248 R, 187 D
115th Congress Make-Up: 241 R, 194 D
Congress returned to session post-election on November 14, for the final portion of the 114th Congress, referred to as a “Lame Duck Session,” which will likely last through mid-December.
Congress may come to an agreement on the Water Resources Development Act to forward to the President for signature, which would authorize important restoration projects for the Florida Everglades. Similarly, Congress could agree to a final Energy Bill which incorporates elements of the Sportsmen’s Act, such as authorization of the National Fish Habitat Partnership, protections against unwarranted federal regulation of lead fishing tackle and language preventing the National Park Service from instituting a no fishing zone in Biscayne National Park.
Congress must decide what to do with Fiscal Year 2017 funding for the entire Federal government. The current funding bill expires on December 9.