Lawmakers seeking to ‘modernize’ Endangered Species Act

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A group of federal lawmakers known as the Western Caucus has filed a series of bills to “modernize” the Endangered Species Act.

The package includes nine bills that the lawmakers say would cut down on environmental litigation, making it easier for land development and farming while also protecting endangered species.

“We have an 8-track law in a Spotify world,” said Rep. Bruce Westerman (R-AR) about the Endangered Species Act that was originally passed in 1973.

But environmental groups are criticizing the proposal.

“Anti-public lands and anti-wildlife Republicans in Congress cannot stop with their dangerous agenda to get rid of one of the most effective environmental laws in American history, the Endangered Species Act,” said Jordan Giaconia, Sierra Club federal policy associate, in a statement.

The Western Caucus is made up largely of Republican lawmakers, although the group pointed out during a Thursday press conference that there is at least one Democratic co-sponsor to the legislation.

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