January 24, 2012
U.S. House Passes e-Duck Stamp Bill
By Chad Love
The ability to buy your federal duck stamp online is one step closer to reality after a bill seeking to make the program permanent passed the U.S. House this week.
From this story in the Washington Post:
The e-Duck Stamp would become a permanent part of federal law under legislation passed by the House Monday. Since 1934, migratory waterfowl hunters over the age of 16 have been required to buy the federal migratory bird hunting and conservation stamps, or duck stamps, at post offices or sporting goods stores. But four years ago, eight states joined a pilot program allowing them to sell temporary duck stamps through the Internet. The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Rob Wittman, R-Va., said that program has been a success and it was time to make it federal law.
The bill passed 373-1. If passed by the Senate, it would give the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service authority to make that program permanent and extend it to all states. The electronic stamps are valid for 45 days, giving hunters and other purchasers time to get their actual stamps through the mail. The program also makes it easier for hunters to go online to buy their federal stamps and state hunting licenses at the same time.
That's great news and all, but it passed 373...to one? Seriously? Someone actually voted against it? Who? Is there some sort of designated, official House contrarian a**hole position? One whose sole job is to ensure there's at least one opposing voice to every vote, no matter how bipartisan, non-controversial or sensible said vote may be? God forbid that everyone actually agree on something, right? It makes you wonder what it would take to get a truly unanimous vote on a House bill. What would it take? How dangerously sensible would it have to be? Any suggestions?