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Public Statements

Threatened and Endangered Species Recovery Act of 2005

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Date:
Location: Washington, DC


THREATENED AND ENDANGERED SPECIES RECOVERY ACT OF 2005 -- (House of Representatives - September 29, 2005)

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Mr. REHBERG. Mr. Chairman, I want to thank the gentleman from California for keeping this issue on the front burner.

I have come to learn in my time in Congress that people support reform, as long as it does not change anything, and that is what we find with the endangered species reform.

I thought I was given a great honor when I first got here in the year 2001. The gentleman from Alaska (Mr. Young) of the Committee on Resources put me on the study group to talk about the Endangered Species Act, to try and finally get it off the dime. The gentleman from West Virginia (Mr. Rahall), the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Dingell), and the gentleman from California (Mr. George Miller) were the Democrats; and the gentleman from Alaska (Mr. Young) and the gentleman from California (Mr. Pombo) and myself were the Republicans, and, unfortunately, it took us literally 6 months to finally agree what time to meet and where.

The difficulty with the Endangered Species Act is it is failing endangered species. Anytime you start getting T-shirts and bumper stickers and jokes about a law, you know you have got a problem. I brought along a shovel today because the biggest joke in Montana is shoot, shovel, and shut up.

The problem is there are those that want to protect species. They do not want them to become extinct. They want to do the right thing. But this Congress many years ago created a disincentive to do the right thing, rather than an incentive; and if you learn anything about public administration or government, when you create a disincentive, usually you are pretty successful.

We are not saving the species we need to. We need to get off the dime. We need to finally solve this issue. Everybody recognizes it is broke. We can no longer use the excuse that it is just not exactly what we want. It is time to end the joke of shoot, shovel, and shut up.

I want to thank the gentleman from California for bringing this issue forward and finally getting off the dime and giving us an opportunity to vote for a reform package that truly does what we need to do, and that is save the species of this country.

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