Lautenberg, Leahy, Sanders: Save the bats!

On Tuesday, Sens. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), Patrick LeahyPatrick LeahyOvernight Tech: TV box plan faces crucial vote | Trump transition team to meet tech groups | Growing scrutiny of Yahoo security Leahy wants Judiciary hearing on Yahoo Overnight Cybersecurity: FBI probes possible hack of Dems' phones | Trump's '400-pound hacker' | Pressure builds on Yahoo | Poll trolls run wild MORE (D-Vt.) and Bernie SandersBernie SandersOvernight Finance: Congress poised to avoid shutdown | Yellen defends Fed from Trump | Why Obama needs PhRMA on trade Trump mocks Clinton for stumbling while sick with pneumonia Brent Budowsky: Sanders and Warren shine MORE (I-Vt.) co-sponsored the Wildlife Disease Emergency Act, legislation that would provide a fund within the Interior Department to respond to epidemics that affect wildlife. At the top of their list? White-nose syndrome, which affects bats. 

Leahy has long had an association with bats. He appeared in cameo roles in the 1997 film “Batman and Robin” and the 2008 hit “The Dark Knight.”

In a statement, Lautenberg said, “Bats play a vital role in our ecosystem by preying on insects that destroy crops and carry disease. There is an urgent need to research this problem so that bat populations in New Jersey and throughout the country are not decimated. Without a quick response, white-nose syndrome could have a ripple effect that hurts the economy, environment and public health.” 

For those unfamiliar with bat diseases, white-nose syndrome is named for a fungus that grows on bats’ noses and fatally spreads to the rest of their bodies.