It appears that Senator Kempthorne and Representative Don Young (R-AK) have struck a deal allowing S. 1180, the Anti-ESA bill to be added to the Omnibus Appropriations bill. This bill just does not seem to go away. But we have defeated it in the past and with your help we can continue to stop the Kempthorne bill.
The deal is that the ESA would be re-authorized for one year by using the Kempthorne bill word for word. Kempthorne threw in the one year provision to convince Young to accept the deal. Most of the congressional leadership will go along with the deal since Young has signed off. Although the White House is saying that it opposes Kempthorne as a rider, our sources tell us that it is with a wink and a nod to Kempthorne, as Secretary Babbitt it rabid still in his support of the bill.
However, not everyone on Capitol Hill supports the deal. Word has it that both Representatives Richie Pombo (R-CA) and Helen Chenoweth (R-ID) are running around Capitol Hill fighting against the deal. It even appears that Pombo is strategizing with Representative Miller's (D-CA) office on how to stop the Kempthorne bill. Its not the first time that Property rights folks and conservationists have worked together to defeat bad legislation in the waning days of a Congress. In 1994, the bad Montana Wilderness bill was defeated in this manner.
Yesterday, Representatives Miller and Saxton (R-NJ) sent a joint letter to the Speaker of the House Gingrich and Minority Leader Gephardt opposing the rider.
If the house is going to keep the government running, they must pass this final bill by midnight TONIGHT. The pressure is on. Time is so short that contacting your own House Member is not the top priority.
The best targets are the Speaker Newt Gingrich and Rep. Ralph Regula. In addition, contacting the White House, especially Vice-President Gore's office, to make sure they stop Kempthorne in any form will also help.
Please also continue to urge your Congressional delegation to oppose the bill in any form.
Speaker Newt Gingrich
202-225-4501 fax: 202-225-0351
Rep. Ralph Regula
202-225-3876 fax: 202-225-3059
The White House
Phone: 202-456-1414, Fax: 202-456-2883
Ron Klain, (Vice-President Gore's Chief of Staff): (202) 456-6605)
Katie McGinty at the Council for Environmental Quality
Phone: 202-456-6224, Fax: 202-456-2710
Thanks in advance for any help you can provide on this issue!