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Leslie Garrett
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A Decade in the Making  Omnibus Bill with CSF Priorities up for Consideration; Leaves Additional Bipartisan Opportunities on the Table 

December 22, 2022 (WASHINGTON, DC) – This week, Congress has been debating a comprehensive bill to fund the U.S. Government through Fiscal Year 2023, commonly known as the Omnibus. If passed and signed into law, which is expected to occur in the coming days, the Omnibus will deliver two priorities for the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) –the Chronic Wasting Disease Research and Management Act (H.R. 5608/S. 4111) and the Driftnet Modernization and Bycatch Reduction Act (H.R. 404/S. 273). Throughout 2022, CSF has worked with leaders in the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus (CSC) to implement science-based legislation on behalf of America’s sportsmen and women, and as a new Congress dawns, CSF is well-positioned to lead the charge toward a brighter future for America’s wildlife conservation.

“CSF extends our thanks to Congress for including the CWD Research and Management Act as well as the Driftnet Modernization and Bycatch Reduction, two longstanding and critical conservation priorities,” said CSF President and CEO Jeff Crane. “While we are disappointed to see the omission of other top priorities, we believe there is significant bipartisan momentum behind many of our issues and we look forward to working with the 118th Congress to move them forward.”

The inclusion of the Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) Research and Management Act in the Omnibus is a significant victory for sportsmen and women. This bipartisan bill is championed by CSC Members Rep. G.T. Thompson (PA) and Rep. Ron Kind (WI) as well as CSC Co-Chair Sen. Martin Heinrich (NM) and Sen. John Hoeven (ND). For nearly a decade, CSF has worked with our partners in the sporting community and wildlife professionals to develop one comprehensive bill to address the ever-increasing challenges of CWD. As a result of these negotiations, led largely by CSF, the CWD Research and Management inclusion marks the first time that all interested CWD stakeholders have collectively supported one bill.

Currently, the Federal government provides roughly $10-15 million in funding for CWD, and 32 states currently funding CWD efforts spend an average of $500,000 each on CWD; Texas alone spends more than $2 million annually. Given the limited financial resources available to state wildlife agencies, the CWD Research and Management Act authorizes $70 million from FY22 – FY28 to be split evenly for research and management efforts.  This investment is critical to reducing the prevalence of CWD and reducing its presence on the landscape.

Secondly, Congress has teed up one of CSF’s top fisheries priorities to finally become law. This legislation, known as the Driftnet Modernization and Bycatch Reduction Act, will phase out the use of indiscriminate, wasteful, and antiquated large-mesh drift gillnets that target swordfish off California’s coast over a five-year period. These gillnets are a passive method of commercial fishing in deep waters that entangles not only swordfish but also results in the mortality of other important sportfish species, as well as marine mammals and sea turtles. For example, for every 3 swordfish landed, there is 1 marine mammal caught, and for every 1 swordfish landed, there are more than 8 fish discarded.

Additionally, CSF was successful in defeating short-sighted, anti-hunting language that would effectively prohibit the Department of the Interior from issuing permits for the importation of elephant and lion trophies from Zimbabwe, Zambia, and Tanzania. This is a perennial effort, which CSF has successfully defeated for years, that ignores sound science that clearly demonstrates the conservation of existing hunting programs. These same programs enable local host countries to support some of the largest elephant and lion populations in the world.

Despite this success, CSF is disappointed to see the exclusion of several bipartisan and crucial bills for sportsmen and women, including the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act, a fix to the Cottonwood Decision, the America’s Outdoor Recreation Act, and the Reinvesting in Shoreline Economies and Ecosystems (RISEE) Act, among others. These unaddressed pieces of legislation maintained impressive bipartisan and bicameral support and passed their respective Committees of jurisdiction. With a new Congress slated to begin January 3, 2023, CSF will again be hard at work, advocating for lawmakers to work across the aisle in support of America’s original conservationists, the millions of sportsmen and women who utilize and support our country’s world-renowned resources. 

In spite of the lack of final action by Congress to address a number of top priorities for sportsmen and women, with the 117th Congress expected to conclude in the coming days, CSF reflects on a largely successful Congress that resulted in the inclusion of more than $40 billion for conservation and access in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, enactment of the MAPLand Act, and the pending enactment of the CWD Research and Management Act and the Driftnet Modernization and Bycatch Reduction Act. We thank Congress for addressing these important issues. CSF looks forward to working with the 118th Congress, including a new Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus Leadership, to address CSF’s unfulfilled priorities.



Founded in 1989, the Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation (CSF) is the informed authority across outdoor issues and serves as the primary conduit for influencing public policy. Working with the Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus (CSC), the Governors Sportsmen's Caucus (GSC), and the National Assembly of Sportsmen's Caucuses (NASC), CSF gives a voice to hunters, anglers, recreational shooters, and trappers on Capitol hill and throughout state capitols advocating on vital outdoor issues that are the backbone of our nation's conservation legacy. For more information on CSF's policy work, visit


Working with Congress, governors and state legislatures to protect and advance hunting,
angling, recreational shooting and trapping.
For more information on the Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation go to

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