On Tuesday, Rep. Mark Green gave the following speech on the House floor before a vote on his bipartisan Protecting Hunting Heritage and Education Act:
“Thank you, Mister Speaker, and thank you Chairwoman Foxx for the opportunity to speak about my vital piece of legislation.
“I rise today as an avid hunter and fisherman and as someone who wants to see these timeless skills passed down to the next generation. My bill, the Hunting Heritage and Education Act, will prohibit the Department of Education from withholding federal funds from school archery programs, hunting safety courses, and culinary classes.
“The Biden administration’s reckless misinterpretation of the Safer Communities Act unfairly targeted archery and shooting sports in K-12 schools. Democrats and Republicans agree, the Biden administration missed the target—by a long shot. Under the Department of Education’s current interpretation of the law, other school activities like fencing and the culinary arts would also be at risk. This is unacceptable.
“For my family and those in my district, hunting and fishing are more than just hobbies; they are a way of life. The early mornings and long hours I’ve spent hunting and fishing, first with my father and now my son and son-in-law, are extremely important to me. I cherish these memories, and I know many families across the country feel the same way. I’ll tell you this, you can really get to know someone after spending hours with them in a hunting blind.
“Hunters and fishers are also the best conservationists. As Psalm 24:1 says, “The earth is the Lord’s and all it contains; the world, and those who live in it.” I believe we are called to steward God’s creation, and this is part of what we teach our kids when we take them hunting.
“The truth is, being out in nature is good for kids. Education policies oriented towards K-12 schools should place a larger focus on getting kids out from behind screens and into the great outdoors. Our nation is blessed with beautiful lands and waters, and we need more kids to put down the controller and to take up a rod or a bow.
“And despite this administration’s flawed ruling, many are! Across the country, thousands of students participate in shooting sports and archery. In fact, 9,000 schools belong to the National Archery in the Schools Program, and many of these students go on to receive college scholarships. It would be cruel to take these opportunities away from these students.
“I am glad to lead this charge, and I thank all those who are behind me such as 24 State Attorneys General, including my own Attorney General from Tennessee, the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, the Council to Advance Hunting and the Shooting Sports, the Boone and Crockett Club, the National Shooting Sports Foundation, Backcountry Hunters & Anglers, and the National Wildlife Federation. Let’s get this done.
Thank you, Mister Speaker, and I yield back.”