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Speeches and Floor Statements

Beyer: Republicans “Heading Into A Six-Week Recess Focused On Stripping Protections From Bats And Prairie Chickens”

Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA), a former member of the House Committee on Natural Resources and co-chair of the House Endangered Species Caucus, spoke during floor debate today in opposition to bills to strip Endangered Species Act protections from the lesser prairie chicken and the long-eared bat. Republicans put the measures on the floor in place of a bill to fund the Department of Agriculture and related agencies after failing to garner enough support to pass the latter, then canceled votes for Friday, beginning a scheduled six-week recess one day early.

Beyer’s remarks as delivered follow below.

“Mr. Speaker, I stand in steadfast opposition to both S.J. Res. 9 and S.J. Res. 24. These resolutions represent a deeply concerning, misguided attempt to undermine the Endangered Species Act.

“These partisan resolutions are also out of step with what Americans care about. Our constituents are looking to us to lead, to take action to restore a healthy, biodiverse, and climate-stable planet. 

“We took important actions in the last Congress and we’re seeing the results now. Funding for cities to transition to electric school buses, like Alexandria, that are healthier for kids. Creating jobs for Climate Ready Coasts so these communities are resilient to extreme weather. New clean energy manufacturing so that people have jobs in healthier workspaces for a healthier planet for all of us.

“These resolutions are part of an agenda that puts polluters over the people.

“Americans don’t want to see politicians interfering to reverse science-based endangered species protections, cementing species’ path to extinction. Just like they don’t want to see us cementing us on a path of more fossil fuel pollution causing extreme weather and the overheating that is destroying the country right now.

“My colleagues on the other side of the aisle spent two years shouting about things like inflation and public safety, but now, in power, they’re heading into a six-week recess focused on stripping protections from bats and prairie chickens.

“How does that help inflation? How does it help make people safer? It doesn’t.

“I urge my colleagues to see that these resolutions are misguided, even silly, and vote no.”