1996 Scorecard Vote
In 1995, Congress imposed a one-year moratorium on listing endangered and threatened species and critical habitat for protection under the Endangered Species Act. The Fiscal Year 1996 Omnibus Rescissions and Appropriations Bill (H.R. 3019) included language continuing that moratorium for another year and provided no funds for Fish and Wildlife Service staff to resume listing species.
Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) offered an amendment, supported by Environment and Public Works Committee Chairman John Chafee (R-RI), to lift the moratorium and restore funds for listing activities. Sens. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) and Dirk Kempthorne (R-ID), supporters of the moratorium, offered a weak substitute amendment to the Reid amendment, allowing only "emergency" listings and authorizing a single dollar for listing activities.
On March 13, 1996, Sen. Reid's motion to table (kill) the Hutchison-Kempthorne amendment failed, 49 - 51. YES is the pro-environment vote.
After passing the Senate, the Hutchison-Kempthorne provision was weakened by House-Senate Conference Committee language allowing the President to waive the moratorium. President Clinton signed the bill on April 26, 1996, with the waiver, and the moratorium expired. However, the $4 million the committee restored to the Fish and Wildlife Service remains inadequate to complete listing actions for the backlog of threatened and endangered species.