May 2, 2000 - Issue: Vol. 146, No. 52 — Daily Edition106th Congress (1999 - 2000) - 2nd Session
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. ____________________