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Today U.S. Rep. Peters Will Debate his Amendment to Stop GOP from Exempting 41 Polar Bear Trophy Hunters from the Endangered Species Act

Press Release

Date: April 17, 2012
Location: Washington, DC

Today U.S. Rep. Gary Peters will debate his amendment to H.R. 4089, the House Republican's so-called "Sportsman's Heritage Act." On May 15th, 2008 under the Bush Administration, polar bears were first listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act which outlawed their importation as trophies. This protection was not implemented overnight, in fact trophy hunters were warned by federal agencies and hunting associations for more than a year that the final listing was coming and that it would immediately cut off imports. Despite these warnings, 41 wealthy trophy hunters went ahead and killed polar bears for sport. In the years since, they've fought to import their sport kills but have been denied by both the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and federal courts. In response, they did what any wealthy special interest would do - they asked House Republicans for an exemption from the law.

And so today, U.S. Rep. Gary Peters will debate his amendment that would remove a Republican Endangered Species Act exemption for these polar bear trophy hunters from H.R. 4089. In addition to this exemption, the GOP's radical anti-environmental bill would also open all federal lands to hunting and restrict the EPA's ability to regulate lead content in ammunition.

"By trying to exempt 41 polar bear trophy hunters from the Endangered Species Act, House Republicans are setting a dangerous precedent," said U.S. Rep. Gary Peters. "When polar bears were first listed as endangered during the Bush Administration, the importation of these sport kills became illegal and federal courts have upheld this law. The GOP clearly has the wrong priorities by working to bail out 41 wealthy trophy hunters, so I call on my colleagues to support my amendment and fight back against this anti-environmental agenda."

Debate is expected to occur on the floor of the House at approximately 4:15pm.