Nevada Republican Sen. Dean Heller wants to rewrite the Endangered Species Act to ban any new listings without specific approval from Congress and governors of the states where the fish or wildlife live.
The measure he and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul reintroduced in the Senate this week also would automatically remove a species from the protected list after five years unless Congress voted to keep it there.
Heller says the dramatic changes are needed because environmentalists increasingly use the act as a tool to block development of public and private lands at the expense of jobs and economic growth.
Critics include Nevada Democratic Rep. Dina Titus. They say the proposal would dismantle the landmark legislation President Richard Nixon signed into law in 1973, and put hundreds of species on a path to extinction.