Earlier this week the Senate voted 82-12 to open debate on the Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Bill, a measure introduced by Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan that “aims to preserve federal lands for hunting, fishing and shooting” and had over 20 Republican co-sponsors. It also would “amend the Toxic Substances Control Act, preventing the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating ammunition and fishing equipment that may contain lead.” Sounds… lovely. What it really is, though, is a vehicle for an endangered red-state Democrat such as Kay Hagan to bring something home to brag about.
And that’s why it had to die on Thursday, in a spectacularly cynical yet all-too-common flameout during amendment.
Republicans, who agreed with the bill in spirit but, more pertinently, knew that it might help Kay Hagan win re-election, pulled off a typical trick: trying to attach a number of insane gun lobby amendments to the bill that would force Hagan and other red-state Democrats to cast difficult votes.