CONGRESSWOMAN ELISE STEFANIK
On Monday, June 3, 2013, the House will consider H.R. 1206, the Permanent Electronic Duck Stamp Act of 2013,under a suspension of the rules. The bill was introduced on March 14, 2013 by Rep. Robert Wittman (R-VA) and referred to the Committee on Natural Resources, which reported the bill by unanimous consent.
H.R. 1206 permanently authorizes states to sell electronic Federal duck stamps to supplement printed duck stamps. Specifically, the bill also outlines state obligations in making electronic stamps available and requires states to submit to the Secretary of the Interior a detailed plan prior to making them available. Finally, H.R. 1206 includes a provision allowing the Secretary to terminate a states’ authority to issue electronic stamps if it violates the terms of its application.
In 1934, Congress established the Federal Duck Stamp Program as a way to provide funds for the purchase or lease of lands important to the protection of migratory waterfowl. Under the program, any hunter over the age of 16 who wishes to hunt migratory waterfowl must purchase an annual Federal duck stamp. The price has increased from $1 in 1934 to the current cost of $15.
While the number of duck stamps sold in any individual year varies, in recent decades the number of ducks stamps has declined. In 2006, Congress passed the Electronic Duck Stamp Act of 2006, which established a pilot program to evaluate the feasibility of electronic duck stamps. A 2011 report from the Fish & Wildlife Service concluded that “The E-Stamp Program has proven to be a practical method that is readily accepted by the stamp-buying public. The increased sale of E-Stamps, coupled with few complaints about the process through the three-year pilot, suggests customers are satisfied with this method of acquiring their Duck Stamps…”
H.R. 1206 permanently allows the Fish & Wildlife Service to sell these Electronic Duck Stamps. Similar legislation passed the House in the 112th Congress by a recorded vote of 373-1 (Roll no. 5).
Because the legislation authorizes the receipts from the sale of Duck Stamps to be spent without future appropriation, the legislation would affect direct spending and revenues. As such, pay-as-you-go procedures apply. However, CBO estimates that, “the net effects of enacting the bill would be insignificant for each year and over the 2014-2023 period because the legislation would not have a significant impact on the number of federal duck stamps purchased.”