WASHINGTON — A bipartisan group of Wisconsin lawmakers is pushing the federal government to make more money available for the fight against chronic wasting disease.

U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold, a Democrat, and Republican U.S. Reps. Mark Green and Paul Ryan have introduced legislation in Congress to create $20.5 million in new grants for states and American Indian tribes trying to stave off the disease that affects wild deer herds.

“With this bill, we’re plowing more federal dollars into the areas where they can be used best — by the states on the front lines of the battle against CWD,” said Green, whose district includes most of Appleton and Outagamie County.

CWD was discovered in Wisconsin in 2002, the first time the disease has been seen east of the Mississippi River.