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Sportsmen's bill clears a Senate hurdle

(AP) Sportsmen’s bill clears a Senate hurdle
Associated Press
Congress is back in town after the election to find a way around automatic tax increases and spending cuts in January. But first, lawmakers are dealing with 41 polar bear carcasses.

In its first roll call since September, the Senate voted 92-5 on Tuesday to debate a bill to ease restrictions on hunters and fishermen and allow 41 American hunters to bring home polar bear carcasses trapped in Canada because of a ban on trophy imports.

Senate Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) immediately moved to block Republicans from amending the bill, potentially stalling further action on it for days.

Republicans had blocked the bill before the election, fearing that passage would have boosted the re-election prospects of its Democratic sponsor, Montana Democratic Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT). He won re-election last week.

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