For Immediate Release, November 15, 2023
Brett Hartl, (202) 817-8121, email@example.com
House Republicans Target Center for Biological Diversity in Appropriations Rider
WASHINGTON— House Republicans are expected to pass an appropriations bill amendment today or Thursday that singles out the Center for Biological Diversity, attempting to zero out funding that would go to the organization in the coming fiscal year.
The amendment by Rep. Andy Ogles (R-Tenn.) is the first time an environmental group has ever been targeted under the Commerce-Justice-Science spending bill for disparate treatment under the law. Historically, the only other organization that has been targeted through the appropriations process has been Planned Parenthood.
“This attack on the Center for Biological Diversity is a badge of honor. It shows just how effective we are in protecting the environment and that we’re a thorn in the side of fossil fuel companies and Republicans in their pockets,” said Brett Hartl, government affairs director at the Center. “The last few weeks have shown that the clown car is now running the House, and Ogles’ amendment is another example of how unserious Republicans are about legislating.”
A bedrock principle of the U.S. Constitution is equal treatment under the law. Rep. Ogles’s amendment singles out the Center — without any justification — for unequal treatment. It likely violates the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment, due process protections, and the Constitutional prohibition on Congress passing any Bills of Attainder.
Ogles, a first-term congressman representing central Tennessee’s 5th District, has falsely claimed to have worked in law enforcement addressing human trafficking and falsely claimed to be an economist. He made his mark in right-wing circles working at the Koch-led Americans for Prosperity.
“I don’t know why Rep. Ogles is obsessed with the Center, but it makes me chuckle to know we’re living rent free in his head,” said Hartl.
The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1.7 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.