Report tallies all-time low for votes to protect the environment
Current members in the U.S. House of Representatives have cast the most anti-environment votes of any Congress in history. That was the take-home message of a minority report from the House Committee on Energy and Commerce commissioned by Reps. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and Howard Berman (D-Calif.).
According to the report, the 112th Congress cast at least one anti-environment vote for every day it was in session—a total of 191 anti-environment votes were recorded. Those votes undermined many of Defenders’ priority issues such as upholding vital Endangered Species Act protections, demanding careful review of offshore drilling proposals, and taking strong action to combat climate change.
Here’s a further breakdown taken from the report:
The report notes a sharp partisan divide in votes to undermine environmental protections—94% of votes cast by House Republicans were anti-environment while 86% of votes cast by House Democrats were pro-environment. But as we saw with the Extinction Rider and a handful of other conservation votes, a number of Republicans have demonstrated their willingness to join with most Democrats and stand up for America’s wildlife. After all, statutes like the Endangered Species Act, signed into law by President Richard Nixon, were enacted with strong bipartisan support.
Still, the overall record of the 112th Congress does not bode well, especially as we head into a tough election year. We’ll be working double-time to make sure that America’s imperiled wildlife doesn’t fall victim to petty party politics and to encourage those Republicans who support this nation’s wildlife heritage to make their voices and votes heard.
Learn more about the 112th Congress’ dismal voting record using the Defenders Action Fund’s Conservation Report Card.