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25 Senators, Led by Booker and Boxer, Tell Administration to “Veto Extinction”


November 5, 2015

Contact: Melanie Gade: mgade@defenders.org (202) 772-0288

25 Senators, Led by Booker and Boxer, Tell Administration to “Veto Extinction”

WASHINGTON – Today, Senator Booker (D- N.J) and Senator Boxer (D-Calif.) and 23 other senators submitted a letter to the Obama administration urging it to steadfastly reject all legislative proposals or amendments known as “riders” that undermine the Endangered Species Act (ESA).  Over a dozen have been proposed or added as riders to the 2016 House and Senate bills funding the Department of the Interior and other federal agencies and, with a Continuing Resolution funding the government set to expire on December 11, the administration will soon begin negotiating final 2016 spending legislation with Congress.

As one of our nation’s most important bedrock environmental laws, the ESA has been able to protect close to 99 percent of listed species from extinction. Yet, anti-environmental Members of Congress have already proposed more than 85 bills, amendments and policy riders that would dramatically weaken the law. Together, these proposed measures would block or remove protections for America’s most imperiled wildlife and undermine the strength and effectiveness of the act.

Jamie Rappaport Clark, President and CEO of Defenders of Wildlife, issued the following statement:

“Congress’ efforts to undermine our bedrock conservation law is disgraceful and runs contrary to the wishes of the vast majority of American voters. We elected our leaders to be stewards of our natural heritage, not to overturn our proud tradition of protecting our air, lands, water and wildlife. I am grateful to Senators Booker and Boxer and the 23 other senators who signed the letter and for their leadership on this vital issue and for standing strong to protect the Endangered Species Act (ESA).  The diverse array of senators that have signed this letter sends a clear signal that President Obama will have strong support in keeping these damaging anti-ESA riders out of the final FY 2016 spending legislation.”



  •  A national poll released in June of 2015 found that 90 percent of American voters support the ESA. Further, 68 percent said they are more likely to vote for a member of Congress who supports environmental safeguards like the ESA, the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act.
  • List of more than 85 bills, amendments and policy “riders” introduced since January that undermine the ESA
  • Link to the letter