The House Appropriations Committee passed legislation with a provision that would have blocked protections for new species under the Endangered Species Act, along with slashing funds for several other environment and wildlife programs.
In the final crucial week before the July 27 vote, more than 4,000 Change.org members joined Defenders of Wildlife and other conservation organizations in opposing cuts to wildlife protection in the Interior appropriations bill. Rep. Norm Dicks (D-WA) introduced an amendment to strike the so-called "extinction rider," supported by Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Rep. Mike Thompson (D-CA) and Rep. Colleen Hanabusa (D-HI). The amendment passed with strong bipartisan support to uphold the Endangered Species Act.
Rodger Schlickeisen, president of Defenders of Wildlife, said: "This is a strong signal to Congress and the Obama administration that the American people continue to support the Endangered Species Act and will not allow it to be destroyed on our watch."
UPDATE: Congressmen Norm Dicks (WA) and Mike Thompson have offered a vital amendment that would remove the Extinction Rider from the Interior Appropriations Bill -- and a vote could come any day. Take action now: Urge your U.S. representative to support a critical amendment to strip the Extinction Rider from the House Interior Appropriations Bill.
The powerful House Appropriations Committee has passed legislation that would mean fewer protections for species at risk of extinction, more pesticides in our waters and less funding for our national wildlife refuges and other crucial conservation priorities.
This bill would stop new protections for animals at risk of extinction and the places they live. This could be disastrous for species like walruses, which are struggling to survive.
It would also prevent legal action to challenge Wyoming’s shoot-on-sight wolf plan and prevent the Environmental Protection Agency from doing more to protect our waters and the wildlife and communities that depend on them. Pesticides are already a major threat to salmon, frogs and other wildlife. Congress should be doing more – not less – to protect our waters.
If these members of Congress have their way, grant programs that provide funding to states to protect declining and imperiled species would be significantly reduced. And the funding for national wildlife refuges, habitat restoration and other key conservation spending would be slashed.
The committee approved billions in spending cuts, which would damage our already underfunded refuges and undercut environmental protection. Take action now! Urge your U.S. Representative to OPPOSE the House Interior Appropriations bill when it comes to the floor of the full House of Representative.