Rep. Kelly Leads Bipartisan Effort to Combat Asian Carp on House Floor
WASHINGTON — Representative Mike Kelly (R-PA), co-chairman of the Northeast-Midwest Congressional Coalition, introduced a bipartisan amendment in the House of Representatives yesterday to H.R. 2609, the Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, to allow the Army Corps of Engineers to combat Asian Carp in the Ohio River Basin and tributaries.
Rep. Kelly’s remarks in support of combating Asian Carp:
“This is about protecting our regional economy, the fishing industry, and the livelihoods of all of us who rely on the water for jobs. These invasive species significantly alter the habitat and crowd-out native fish — and are also a threat to boaters.”
“Under just one measure, Great Lakes fisheries generate U.S. economic activity of approximately $7 billion annually. … Our native fish populations – like walleye, perch, and lake herring – would be devastated by Asian carp establishment, threatening this industry and the livelihoods of all those who depend on the ecosystem’s health.”
“All of us who represent the Great Lakes area understand the danger that this fish is bringing into our Great Lakes and to the fishing industry. It is unbelievable, the amount of damage that’s being done. … This is a fish that actually comes out of the water and goes after boaters — it gets very easily aggravated. I have seven grandchildren who I take out with me from time to time; the oldest one is eight years old. These are small people. This fish is 70 pounds when it reaches its full maturity. It is a voracious eater. It is going to totally take over the Great Lakes. It will ruin our fishing industry.”
“This is not a Republican or a Democrat issue. This is an American issue that has to be looked into.”
Rep. Kelly’s remarks were immediately praised by Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH), Ranking Member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy & Water Development:
“Literally, the gentleman is right … I thank the gentleman so much for coming to the floor today. You have my full support, and I know the chairman of the full committee, [and] Mr. Frelinghuysen, will work with us in any way possible.”
NOTE: Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ), chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy & Water Development, reserved a point of order on Rep. Kelly’s amendment, which was considered non-germane to H.R. 2609. Rep. Kelly expectedly withdrew his amendment and proceeded to raise awareness for the issue in his remarks on the floor.