Heavy hand of federal government


On August 8, President Joe Biden once again bowed to climate extremists by unilaterally designating nearly 1 million acres of public lands surrounding the Grand Canyon as a national monument. This federal takeover is strongly opposed by local farmers, businesses, and mining operations but a major win for radical environmentalists. Whether it’s the Grand Canyon or southeast Missouri’s Upper St. Francis River Watershed, the Left will use any tool they can to expand the power of government over the lives of rural Americans. And that’s especially true when it comes to the Endangered Species Act (ESA).
For too long, decisions about which species are protected by the ESA have been made by Washington bureaucrats without any consideration about how local communities are impacted. These heavy-handed regulations that are put in place because of these listing decisions often hinder critical infrastructure investments and stifle economic growth.
I’ve been sounding the alarm on the damaging impact of the ESA for years. Last month, I helped the House of Representatives pass a measure to overturn the northern long-eared bat’s endangered listing under the ESA. Listing this bat as endangered only creates significant challenges for landowners and stifles construction of critical infrastructure projects. With this designation, radical environmental groups have more tools to block the harvesting of timber in our region.

Washington Democrats’ one-size-fits-all approach fails to address what many believe is the primary cause of the long-eared bat’s decline: a disease called White Nose Syndrome. In other words, listing this species as endangered is nothing more than an attempt by the Left to expand government command and control over the lives and livelihoods of Missourians.
Here in Missouri, we’re no stranger to the damaging impact ESA listings can have on our communities. For years, I led the fight to prevent two types of crayfish found in the Upper St. Francis River Watershed from being added to the list of species protected under the ESA. Why? Because invasive species – not humans – are the ones threatening the future of these crayfish. While I’m very disappointed that the crayfish were ultimately listed as threatened under the ESA, I’ll never stop fighting to protect our communities from absurd regulations that create significant harm and do nothing to actually protect wildlife.
This month, I will be traveling around the district on my annual Farm Tour. Every year, farmers around the district share with me their concerns about how federal regulations are making it harder for them to put food on our tables. Many times, the issue of endangered species has come up, and I expect this year to be no different.
It’s incredibly maddening that time and again, the Left has used environmental regulations as a tool to expand command and control over rural areas. Rural communities already face unique economic challenges. The last thing they need is the heavy hand of the federal government making these challenges more difficult. As your voice in Washington, I will never back down in the fight to get the government off the backs of Missouri farmers, families, and small businesses.


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