The bill would require the government to compensate property owners if steps to protect species thwarted development plans. It also would make political appointees responsible for some scientific determinations and would stop the government from designating critical habitat, which limits development.
The bill sets a dangerous precedent that private individuals must be paid to comply with an environmental law, said Rep. Nick Rahall of West Virginia, the committees top Democrat.
Whats next? Paying citizens to wear seat belts? ... This bill will not improve species ability to recover, he said.
What happened to the fiscally responsible Republicans? You won't pay teachers but this? Its insane.A White House statement on Thursday supported the bill. But it noted that payments to private property owners could have a significant impact on the budget.
The Congressional Budget Office estimated that those payments would run less than $20 million a year. The bills opponents predicted a much higher total.