Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) is keeping an eye out for the sea lions.
At Wednesday's House Natural Resources Committee markup, the panel considered H.R. 3069, a bill that would allow Columbia River sea lions to be killed when they eat endangered salmon in the Pacific Northwest.
Markey was not happy. He proposed an amendment that would change the bill's short title from the "Endangered Salmon and Fisheries Predation Prevention Act" to the "Shoot Sea Lions for Eating Fish Act."
"Let's stop beating around the bush here," Markey said. "Eating fish is actually what sea lions do naturally. It is their ecological role."
Markey got a few laughs from the committee members, but the bill's sponsor, Chairman Doc Hastings (R-Wash.) was unimpressed.
"I appreciate the gentleman's sense of humor, but this is a serious issue, and he is making light of that," Hastings said. "I'm going to save you from yourself by not adopting this amendment."
Markey withdrew his amendment and the bill was reported favorably to the House floor.