The U.S. House passed legislation Tuesday to block the Biden administration from cutting federal funding from schools with archery and hunting programs.
The House approved the Protecting Hunting Heritage and Education Act in a 424-1 vote. Rep. Veronica Escobar, D-Texas, was the only vote against the bill introduced by Rep. Mark Green, R-Tennessee, according to Fox News.
“This is a win for our nation’s students who choose to participate in shooting sports,” Green said in the press release. “Defunding shooting sports in schools would be a disservice to students. These extracurricular activities are keeping kids out of trouble, making them more focused at school, helping them build community, and giving them scholarship opportunities. Sports like archery and trap shooting are some of the fastest-growing sports in the country.”
Wednesday the U.S. Senate passed the bill unanimously.
President Biden is expected to sign the legislation into law, reversing his own administration’s decision, a spokesperson for the White House confirmed Thursday.
“The President supports a legislative solution to ensure ESEA funding can be used for valuable school enrichment programs, such as hunter safety and archery,” the spokesperson said, according to Fox News.
In July, Biden’s Department of Education announced federal guidance that stripped funding from schools with archery and hunting programs in accordance with the 2022 Bipartisan Safer Communities Act.
The BSCA prohibited the use or training in the use of “dangerous weapons” in federally funded school programs.
Several lawmakers accused the Biden administration of misinterpreting the BSCA and using it to target specific programs.
“If applied equally, this interpretation of this law should also restrict funding for other school activities like fencing, track and field activities, and even the culinary arts,” Green said in a press release. “But instead, shooting sports are being targeted. This isn’t right or fair.”
Sen. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, said he voted against the BSCA for this very reason.
“This is a problem that should’ve never happened, but I’m glad we have fixed it,” Sullivan said in a press release. “I opposed the 2022 Bipartisan Safer Communities Act based on serious concerns I had about how the bill’s vague language could be used by the Biden administration to impede Alaskans’ Second Amendment rights. Unfortunately, that is exactly what happened.”
After the DOE began withholding funding earlier this year, several schools cut their archery, hunting education and wilderness courses to meet federal guidance.
“In Tennessee, this decision would have impacted 600 schools and 50,000 students. Imagine what that number is nationwide,” Green said. “It would be a shame to see the kids who are pursuing something worthwhile – instead of trapped behind a screen – lose something they love and that is genuinely good for them. That’s why I’m glad the Education and the Workforce Committee passed my legislation out of Committee.”