The House last week passed by a vote of 229-193 legislation overhauling the 1973 Endangered Species Act, which aims to make the process more efficient and also give back some of the private property rights that were lost in the original legislation.
The bill, years in the making, swiftly passed out of the House Resource Committee (see Daily GPI, Sept. 26), and just as swiftly powered through a floor vote. Its original sponsors were a bipartisan team, mainly from California, including Committee Chairman Richard W. Pombo (R-CA), Reps. Dennis Cardoza (D-CA), Greg Walden (R-OR) and George Radanovich (R-CA).
The bill now goes to the Senate, where there is likely to be more argument over modifications. Senator James M. Inhofe R-OK, chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee, applauded House passage of the bill and said he hoped to produce endangered species legislation in the Senate before the end of the year. The bill will start in the Fisheries, Wildlife and Water subcommittee led by Sen. Lincoln Chafee, R-RI, who has expressed doubts over some of the reform provisions.
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