November 29, 2017

Van Hollen, Senate Dems Urge Leadership to Protect Endangered Species Act in Spending Bill

U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), joined 30 of his Democratic colleagues today in urging Senate leadership to protect endangered species in the end of year spending bill being negotiated ahead of next Friday's government funding deadline.

The letter comes a week after the Senate Committee on Appropriations released its FY2018 recommendations for the Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies, which included a number of provisions - such as funding cuts and court overrides - that would weaken the Endangered Species Act.

"As the Senate considers FY 2018 spending bills, we urge you to flatly reject any riders that would undermine the Endangered Species Act, including those that would block protections for particular species," the Senators wrote in a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.

"Now, more than ever, we need a strong, fully funded, and thoroughly enforced Endangered Species Act - a law which has prevented 99 percent of the species under its care from going extinct," the Senators added.

Full text of the letter is here.

Today's letter was signed by the following Senators:

Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ)

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI)

Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL)

Senator Tom Carper (D-DE)

Senator Ed Markey (D-MA)

Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT)

Senator Tom Udall (D-NM)

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)

Senator Martin Heinrich (D-NM)

Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA)

Senator Mazie Hirono (D-HI)

Senator Gary Peters (D-MI)

Senator Brian Schatz (D-HI)

Senator Jack Reed (D-RI)

Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT)

Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR)

Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH)

Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ)

Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA)

Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)

Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA)

Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT)

Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR)

Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD)

Senator Chris Coons (D-DE)

Senator Patty Murray (D-WA)

Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH)

Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH)

Senator Bob Casey (D-PA)

Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO)