Republicans move to restore Trump-era ESA reforms

By Scott Streater | 05/17/2024 06:39 AM EDT

The lawmakers filed a series of Congressional Review Act resolutions this week.

Sen. Cynthia Lummis attends a Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing.

Sen. Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.) is sponsoring legislation against Biden administration rulemaking on the Endangered Species Act. Francis Chung/POLITICO

Senate Republicans have filed resolutions to overturn Fish and Wildlife Service and NOAA rules restoring Endangered Species Act protections scrapped by the Trump administration.

The three Congressional Review Act resolutions sponsored by Senate Western Caucus Chair Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming, Vice Chair Dan Sullivan of Alaska and Sen. Pete Ricketts of Nebraska aim to restore the Trump-era ESA revisions that they say increased public participation and allowed the bedrock environmental law to work more efficiently.

FWS and NOAA Fisheries in March reversed standards adopted in 2019, including reviving a “blanket rule” that automatically extended the strictest level of protection to species listed listed as threatened.


Lummis said the CRA resolutions, which include 12 other Republican co-sponsors, are needed to fix a “failed and flawed” Endangered Species Act and that the Trump-era revisions “represented a real and meaningful step in the right direction.”