House Leaders Affirm Place on Either Side of Extinction

The Congressional Western Caucus today announced a suite of bills that would severely undermine the Endangered Species Act at a time of unprecedented global mass extinction and biodiversity loss. This move comes as Democratic leaders in the House hold a hearing on legislation that would restore protections to our most imperiled species, by repealing the Trump administration’s reckless regulations to eviscerate the Endangered Species Act.

When the administration released their final regulations rolling back critical protections under the Endangered Species Act last month, the public response was resoundingly negative. More than 50 members of Congress including Democratic leadership released statements opposing the regulations, and media stories condemning the rules outnumbered those in favor 8 to 1.

This public outcry should come as no surprise: 4 out of 5 Americans support the Endangered Species Act and want to see its protections upheld.

Americans see the facts for what they are: They accept the grim reality that 1 million species will soon be facing extinction due to human activity. They understand that the Endangered Species Act is our most effective law for saving species in danger of extinction. And they recognize that these rollbacks are simply part of President Trump's “mandate to scale back government regulations on corporations, including the oil and gas industry, that want to drill on protected land.”

In sponsoring legislation to further undermine the Endangered Species Act—including by codifying parts of the administration's rollbacks—the Western Caucus makes perfectly clear where their allegiance lies.

Today’s disparate actions underscore the stark juxtaposition between those leaders in Congress who are representing their constituents in working to save at-risk species—and those who are doing industry’s bidding in trying to accelerate their decline.

About the Authors

Nora Apter

Deputy Director, Federal Affairs, Center for Policy Advocacy

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