Center for Biological Diversity

For Immediate Release, July 17, 2018

Contact: Brett Hartl, (202) 817-8121,

Congressional Republicans Wage War on Endangered Species

More Than a Dozen Legislative Attacks to Advance in Congress This Week

WASHINGTON— Congressional Republicans this week will launch a slew of attacks targeting the Endangered Species Act and the 1,800 imperiled animals and plants protected by the landmark law.

Today the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee will hold a hearing on draft legislation that would virtually obliterate the Endangered Species Act and push hundreds of species toward extinction, including grizzly bears, wolves and Pacific salmon.

Meanwhile the U.S. House of Representatives will vote on partisan legislation to fund the U.S. Department of the Interior, which includes 13 separate policy riders that attempt to gut the Act and the protections it provides.

These attacks come on the heels of a nine-bill package introduced last week by the most conservative members of Congress that seeks to eviscerate the Act in its entirety.

“Rep. Bishop and Sen. Barrasso are demonstrating how much they hate wildlife and love to serve wealthy special interests,” said Brett Hartl, government affairs director at the Center for Biological Diversity. “This legislation is deeply out of touch with the values of most Americans, who are proud that the bald eagle and gray whale were saved from the jaws of extinction.”

So far this Congress, Republicans have launched more than 105 attacks on the Act, and are on pace to be the most anti-wildlife Congress in history. Sen. Barrasso — chair of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee — has sponsored or cosponsored 10 bills attacking the Act since 2015 and voted against the Act nearly a dozen times since 2011. 

“Since the Endangered Species Act was passed nearly unanimously and signed into law by a Republican president, the law has prevented hundreds of extinctions,” said Hartl. “Only massive greed and cynicism would motivate a member of Congress to push legislation that would roll back all those successes.”

The Endangered Species Act is the most successful wildlife conservation law in the world. It has staved off extinction for 99 percent of the species under its care and put hundreds on the road to recovery. Changes to the Endangered Species Act are deeply unpopular. A 2015 poll found that 90 percent of the public supports the Act.

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1.6 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

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