Feb 4, 2014 11:38 AM by AP
BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) - Republicans in Congress say a 40-year-old law meant to protect animals and plants from extinction has become bogged down by litigation and needs to be updated.
A group of 13 GOP lawmakers released a report Tuesday detailing their proposed changes to the Endangered Species Act, one of the nation's cornerstone environmental laws.
Proponents credit the act with staving off extinction for hundreds of species - from the bald eagle and American alligator to the gray whale. President Richard Nixon signed it into law in December 1973.
Republicans say only 2 percent of protected species have been declared recovered, despite billions of dollars in federal spending. They want to curtail lawsuits from environmentalists and give states more say over proposed protections.
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