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C.A.S.H. Courier - Fall-2000


CARA IS DEAD

But ....it’s too early to celebrate

By Peter Muller

Normally we celebrate life, but not this one:

The Bill pending in the Senate as S.25 and passed in the House as HR 701, The Conservation and Reinvestment Act of 1999, known as CARA, is among the most pernicious pieces of pro-hunting legislation ever proposed.

Few people outside the State and Federal Fish and Game Agencies know about it. Its enactment would be tantamount to quadrupling  the already considerable annual federal contribution to hunting programs of the various states agencies from about $400 million per year to $1.6 billion per year. 

This bill would be tantamount to increasing in the total funding of up to 150% of every state's Fish and Game agencies budget.

Congress is expected to end the current session on Friday October 20th 2000. As of the time of this writing -- CARA is dead. It has no chance of coming to a vote in the Senate --this according to Senator Barbara Boxer's office. Barbara Boxer who frequently votes on our side of animal-related issues, was evidently totally misled on CARA. She wound up being the main sponsor and cheerleader for CARA in the Senate.

We were able to confirm the apparent demise of CARA with various members of the House of Representatives.

Cara passed in the House

5/11/2000 4:03pm:

On passage Passed by recorded vote: 315 - 102 (Roll no. 179).

5/11/2000:

Received in the Senate and Read twice and referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.

In the Senate it ran into opposition from various groups in spite of the ardent support of the hook and bullet gang. Some of the opposition to CARA came from groups that we would not normally consider to be on our side -- but as we all know -- politics makes for strange bedfellows.

Late last week, Congressional leaders and the Clinton administration drafted a "Lands Trust" proposal as part of the Interior Appropriations bill that could mean more short term funding for land and wildlife protection programs. This proposal is promoted as a substitute for the Conservation and Reinvestment Act (CARA), HR 4578.

The appropriation bill for the Department of Interior HR 4578 was passed and signed into law by President Clinton

10/3/2000 2:33pm:

On agreeing to the conference report Agreed to by the Yeas and Nays: 348 - 69 (Roll no. 507).

10/5/2000:

Senate agreed to conference report by Yea-Nay Vote. 83 - 13. Record Vote Number: 266.

10/11/2000:

Signed by President.

10/11/2000:

Became Public Law No: 106-291

There evidently was a "deal" struck between the CARA proponents of the House of Representatives and the Senate and the Executive Branch that if HR4578 passes then CARA would not come to a vote in the Senate.

The good news is that CARA is dead and will not be revived.

The bad new is that some of the CARA elements have been incorporated in HR4578 which does provide considerable additional funding for the Department of Interior.

HR4578 includes a $776 billion (with a b) allocation to the US Fish and Wildlife Service for FY 2001

For necessary expenses of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, for scientific and economic studies, conservation, management, investigations, protection, and utilization of fishery and wildlife resources, except whales, seals, and sea lions, maintenance of the herd of long-horned cattle on the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge, general administration, and for the performance of other authorized functions related to such resources by direct expenditure, contracts, grants, cooperative agreements and reimbursable agreements with public and private entities, $776,595,000, to remain available until September 30, 2002

A quick read of HR 4578 shows no restrictions on the allocation to USFWS that is of interest to us. There appears to be no direct mandated distribution of funds (beyond Pittman-Roberts) to the various state Fish and Game agencies. That had been our main concern with CARA.

We have to study the bill further assess its full impact on issues of interest to us and will report on this in our next newsletter.


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