ENDANGERED SPECIES ACT REPORT RESTORATION ACT
(House of Representatives - May 02, 2000)

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[Pages H2358-H2359]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




             ENDANGERED SPECIES ACT REPORT RESTORATION ACT

  Mr. HANSEN. Mr. Speaker, I move to suspend the rules and pass the 
Senate bill (S. 1744) to amend the Endangered Species Act of 1973 to 
provide that certain species conservation reports shall continue to be 
required to be submitted.
  The Clerk read as follows:

                                S. 1744

       Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of 
     the United States of America in Congress assembled,

     SECTION 1. CONTINUATION OF SUBMISSION OF CERTAIN SPECIES 
                   CONSERVATION REPORTS.

       (a) Annual Cost Analysis.--Section 18 of the Endangered 
     Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1544) is amended by striking 
     ``On'' and inserting ``Notwithstanding section 3003 of Public 
     Law 104-66 (31 U.S.C. 1113 note; 109 Stat. 734), on''.
       (b) Effective Date.--The amendment made by this section 
     takes effect on the earlier of--
       (1) the date of enactment of this Act; or
       (2) December 19, 1999.

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from 
Utah (Mr. Hansen) and the gentleman from California (Mr. George Miller) 
each will control 20 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Utah (Mr. Hansen).
  Mr. HANSEN. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Mr. Speaker, the Senate bill was introduced by the late Senator from 
Rhode Island, Senator John Chafee. It restores the report under the 
Endangered Species Act.
  The Endangered Species Act requires all Federal agencies to use their 
authorities for the protection and conservation of those species listed 
as threatened or endangered under the Federal Endangered Species Act. 
In 1988, section 18 of the ESA was added to require the Secretary of 
the Interior to send to Congress a report on the amount of taxpayer 
funds spent by each Federal agency in carrying out the mandates of the 
ESA.
  Since 1990, the Committee on Resources has been receiving these 
reports which detail Federal spending on endangered and threatened 
species. The last report indicates that over $300 million has been 
directly spent by over 20 Federal agencies to protect endangered and 
threatened species. The reports tell us the amount spent on each listed 
species so we know where those Federal resources are going and can 
determine whether this spending is achieving the desired results of 
recovery of listed species.
  Section 3003 of the Federal Reports Elimination and Sunset Act of 
1997 terminated a long list of reports to Congress contained in the 
report of the Clerk of the House. The Clerk's report lists statutorily 
required reports to Congress from various Executive Branch agencies. 
Unfortunately, in the zeal to eliminate unnecessary reporting by 
Federal agencies, this very important and useful report was 
inadvertently eliminated as well.
  S. 1744 simply retains the existing requirement of the Secretary of 
the Interior to provide Congress with this important information 
currently required by the Endangered Species Act. It does not affect 
any other provision of the ESA and does not address any substantive 
concerns regarding the ESA. I urge Members to support S. 1744 and send 
this important legislation to the President for his signature.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. GEORGE MILLER of California. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such 
time as I may use.
  (Mr. GEORGE MILLER of California asked and was given permission to 
revise and extend his remarks.)

[[Page H2359]]

  Mr. GEORGE MILLER of California. Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong 
support of this legislation. As explained by the gentleman from Utah 
(Mr. Hansen), this was an inadvertent mistake when this report was 
terminated by the Federal Reports Elimination Sunset Act of 1995, and 
it is right for us to reinstate it.
  It is obvious to all Members of Congress that the Endangered Species 
Act has been one of our Nation's keystone environmental laws to protect 
biodiversity and recover threatened and endangered species from the 
brink of extinction. This better helps us target our efforts to 
restoring endangered species.
  Section 18 of the Endangered Species Act requires the Secretary of 
the Interior to report annually to the Congress on ``reasonably 
identified'' expenditures for the conservation and recovery of 
threatened and endangered species under the ESA. This report includes 
an accounting of expenditures from all Federal agencies and from all 
States that receive section 6 grant funding for conservation 
activities. Over the years this report has been a valuable tool to 
discern priorities and trends in how and where ESA funds are spent.
  Unfortunately, the section 18 report was included in the list of 
unnecessary report requirements when Congress passed the Federal 
Reports Elimination and Sunset Act of 1995. Consequently, this report 
requirement was scheduled to sunset on December 21, 1999, provided that 
Congress does not act to reauthorize it.
  This bill would correct the initial oversight and simply reauthorize 
this valuable report requirement. It is my understanding that the 
Administration did not include this report in the initial list that was 
forwarded to the Clerk of the House in 1994, and it is my further 
understanding that the Administration does not oppose its reinstatement 
at this time.
  The Endangered Species Act has been our Nation's keystone 
environmental law to protect biodiversity and to recover threatened and 
endangered species from the brink of extinction. This bill would 
restore a helpful report and do no harm to the Act itself. I support S. 
1744 and urge all members to do likewise.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. HANSEN. Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The question is on the motion offered by the 
gentleman from Utah (Mr. Hansen) that the House suspend the rules and 
pass the Senate bill, S. 1744.
  The question was taken.
  Mr. GEORGE MILLER of California. Mr. Speaker, on that I demand the 
yeas and nays.
  The yeas and nays were ordered.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to clause 8 of rule XX and the 
Chair's prior announcement, further proceedings on this motion will be 
postponed.

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