Hearing will focus heat and light on new GOP wildlife bill

By Michael Doyle | 03/04/2024 06:26 AM EST

House Republicans are putting the legislation on the fast track.

Republican wildlife press conference.

House Natural Resources Chair Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.) speaks alongside (left to right) Reps. Dan Newhouse (R-Wash.), Buddy Carter (R-Ga.) and Matt Rosendale (R-Mont.); Del. Amata Coleman Radewagen (R-American Samoa); and Rep. Celeste Maloy (R-Utah) during a press conference on wildlife legislation last week. Francis Chung/POLITICO

A new Republican-authored habitat conservation bill that recasts the Endangered Species Act will be batted around by a House panel this week.

Introduced by Rep. Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.), the “America’s Wildlife Habitat Conservation Act,” veers away from the bipartisan “Recovering America’s Wildlife Act” that lawmakers have championed since 2016.

H.R. 7408 had 21 GOP co-sponsors as of Friday afternoon. It offers a lot less money to states than RAWA, as the latter bill is commonly known.


The funding for state-level conservation programs is not guaranteed, unlike RAWA, and the Endangered Species Act revisions change the overall tenor of the bill.