In the past two weeks, America has experienced what can only be described as whiplash as Congressional leadership, the Senate, House and President Trump bicker over funding priorities and principles. The President has flip-flopped on his insistence for border wall funding and his threats of government shutdown. On December 13, the day we recorded part 1 of this two-part Lame Duck series, we were still optimistic that a handful of important public lands bills—including the Land and Water Conservation Fund reauthorization—would get attached to a large omnibus funding package. We were also optimistic Congress and the President would avert a shutdown. Unfortunately, hope for the omnibus package—and with it public lands bills—eroded early this week. As of the time we recorded this episode, a continuing resolution hadn’t yet been reached. OIA Government Affairs Manager Jess Wahl again helps us understand how the disagreements in Washington stymied progress for critical public land policy that, ironically, has more bipartisan support than almost anything else on Capitol Hill.
When the calendar turns over to January 2019, we'll welcome many new faces on Capital Hill. Likewise, we'll say goodbye to any legislative measures on Congress's docket that do not get passed before the Senate and House of Representatives adjourn for the year. In this episode, OIA's Jessica Wahl talks to Deborah Williams about the work that OIA is doing to get bills passed before the finish line and how this will impact the outdoor industry.