Alexandria, VA – Last week, members of the American Sportfishing Association’s Government Affairs committee traveled to Washington, D.C. for the annual spring government affairs meeting. The meeting provided sportfishing industry leaders with a chance to engage with Congress and federal agency leaders about policy issues affecting natural resources and the industry.
During the committee sessions, some of the issues discussed included legislative priorities such as the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act (RAWA), federal excise tax issues, import duty relief and conservation initiatives around the country.
Additionally, ASA members traveled to Capitol Hill to meet with a bipartisan group of members of Congress that serve on committees overseeing fisheries and natural resources. In total, the committee held briefings with five members of Congress: Representatives Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.), Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.), Jared Huffman (D-Calif.), Garrett Graves (R-La.) and Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.).
ASA and the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation co-hosted an evening reception, attended by approximately 150 individuals including Members of Congress, Congressional staff, partner organizations and sportfishing industry leaders.
“After two years of being unable to meet in person in D.C., it was great to reconvene and share our message with members of Congress and federal agency officials,” said Mike Leonard, ASA’s Vice President of Government Affairs. “We had a productive two days in Washington and were able to advance our priorities while advocating on behalf of sportfishing before federal officials. Our committee is made up of leaders across the sportfishing industry, and we were able to ensure that we are heard on Capitol Hill. I would also like to thank Representatives Dingell, Huffman, Graves, Westerman and Senator Heinrich for their participation.”
Beyond government affairs issues, the committee discussed ASA’s communications efforts and new angler retention initiatives. We look forward to working with our members on both.
The ASA Government Affairs Committee is comprised of 35 individuals, representing a wide array of industry members from across the country. The committee meets twice a year to discuss key legislative and regulatory issues affecting the industry and to guide ASA’s positions and activities regarding these issues.
The American Sportfishing Association (ASA) is the sportfishing industry’s trade association committed to representing the interests of the sportfishing and boating industries as well as the entire sportfishing community. We give the industry and anglers a unified voice when emerging laws and policies could significantly affect sportfishing business or sportfishing itself. ASA invests in long-term ventures to ensure the industry will remain strong and prosperous, as well as safeguard and promote the enduring economic, conservation and social values of sportfishing in America. ASA also gives America’s 55 million anglers a voice in policy decisions that affect their ability to sustainably fish on our nation’s waterways through Keep America Fishing, our national angler advocacy campaign. America’s anglers generate more than $50 billion in retail sales with a $125 billion impact on the nation’s economy creating employment for 825,000 people.