On June 26, the U.S. House of Representatives passed bipartisan sea lion legislation, H.R. 2083, by a strong 288-116 vote. Every member of the U.S. House from Oregon, Washington, and Idaho voted for the legislation – Democrats and Republicans alike. Nearly identical legislation introduced in the Senate by Senators Jim Risch (R-ID) and Maria Cantwell (D-WA), S. 3119, has been scheduled for a committee vote on Wednesday, August 1. This is great news!
S. 3119 and H.R. 2083 are the product of months of negotiations and represent the best (and likely last) chance to pass sea lion legislation this year. It is critical that they receive the support of Oregon’s senators. In a recent town hall meeting, Senator Jeff Merkley said he was drafting an alternative proposal, which may include additional tribal provisions that could threaten the passage of sea lion legislation this year.
Senator Merkley and Senator Ron Wyden have both acknowledged the need for action this year, but we need their support for the compromise sea lion legislation (S.3119/H.R. 2083) before it is too late. Congressional inaction is not an option as salmon and steelhead populations like Willamette River winter steelhead face extinction – a sentiment shared by a recent editorial from the Seattle Times.
We need your help!
CLICK HERE to send Senators Merkley and Wyden a pre-drafted email (you can personalize it to increase its effectiveness).
ALSO, please call their Portland and Washington, D.C. offices with a very simple message: “Please support S. 3119 and H.R. 2083, compromise sea lion legislation, before it is too late to pass the legislation this year – we can’t let disagreements over unrelated issues threaten the legislation and the survival of endangered salmon and steelhead.”
Senator Wyden – 503-326-7525 (Portland); 202-224-5244 (D.C.)
Senator Merkley – 503-326-3386 (Portland); 202-224-3753 (D.C.)