On June 26, the U.S. House of Representatives passed bipartisan Columbia River basin sea lion legislation sponsored by Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-Battle Ground), H.R. 2083, by a strong 288-116 vote. Every member of the U.S. House from Washington, Oregon 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 this 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 Columbia River sea lion legislation this year. With the growing statewide recognition about the impact of pinniped predation on endangered salmon and available prey for Southern Resident Killer Whales, it is critical that Congress take this important step.
Sign on below and send your two U.S. Senators and U.S House member a pre-drafted email (you can personalize it to increase its effectiveness) thanking them for their support and reminding them about the importance of passing the legislation this year - a sentiment shared by a recent editorial from the Seattle Times.