Oversight: Hearing titled, “Examining Policy Impacts of Excessive Litigation Against the Department of the Interior”

Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations Date: Wednesday, June 28, 2017 Time: 10:00 AM Location: Longworth House Office Building in Washington, D.C. 1324


  • Settlement agreements, which have been used by both Republican and Democratic Administrations, are an efficient way to achieve resolution to conflict without the associated costs and time commitment of going to trial. By avoiding trial and settling, the federal government can save taxpayer money and federal employee time. 
  • ESA lawsuit settlements do not mandate U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) list new species, they only require FWS to review listing petitions and make listing determinations within the timeframes established by the settlement. 
  • Chronic underfunding, not listing petitions, lawsuits, or settlements, is hindering FWS’s ability to implement the ESA and collaborate with states, localities, and landowners on the listing and recovery of endangered species.