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HABs Wins! HABs Wins! HABs Wins!

On Wednesday, H.R. 3650, the Harmful Algal Bloom and Hypoxia Research and Control Act (aka Toxic Tides) was passed out of the House Science and Technology Committee!  Chairman (and ocean champion) (D-TN) and ranking Member Ralph Hall (R-TX) both praised the bill as an outstanding bi-partisan collaboration. 

This is Washington, D.C. after all, so the minority proceeded to offer three amendments aimed at preventing unfunded mandates. Ocean champion (D-WA) debated well and showed that his bill already had appropriate flexibility and that the amendments were unnecessary.  Chairman Gordon then proved to be an extremely effective quarterback by marshalling the support necessary to defeat each challenge.  After dispensing with the amendments, bi-partisan harmony returned, and the bill was passed unanimously!

Getting to this point hasn't been easy.  It has taken strong leadership from our congressional champions, and a lot of inside work.  We're proud that both Members and staff have told us that H.R. 3650 wouldn't be moving without Ocean Champions.  Of course, this means YOU as much as us, since these same people go on to tell us about the thousands of letters, faxes and emails they received from you!  Your efforts were big, they were timely, and they worked - thank you!

Our focus now moves to Leadership and to securing the Floor time needed to pass the bill out of Congress.  We continue to believe that with a little luck and some hard work it can be passed this year.  When that happens, we'll all have reason to be very proud.

8 October 2009, 8:00 pm