Republicans release draft ESA bill, schedule hearing

By Michael Doyle | 07/08/2024 06:45 AM EDT

House GOP lawmakers have been working on proposed changes to the Endangered Species Act since last year.

House Natural Resources Chair Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.).

Draft Endangered Species Act legislation from House Natural Resources Chair Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.) is up for a hearing this week. Francis Chung/POLITICO

The Endangered Species Act will go from the backrooms to center stage Tuesday when a House panel takes up draft legislation intended to update the 1973 law.

Roughly a year in the making, the 38-page discussion draft is a product of a working group established last July by Natural Resources Chair Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.).

“The ESA is a well-meaning bill. We don’t want to do away with ESA; we want to make it something that actually works for endangered species,” Westerman said at the time.


Rep. Dan Newhouse (R-Wash.), who chairs the Western Caucus, was also behind the working group. He has introduced several House measures to roll back Biden administration endangered species regulations.