'Swamp creatures' follow Interior head into second hearing

'Swamp creatures' follow Interior head into second hearing
© Miranda Green

A pair of protesters dressed as "swamp creatures" made an appearance at a hearing featuring Interior Secretary David Bernhardt on Wednesday.

Bernhardt spoke in front of the House Natural Resources Committee in his first hearing since becoming Interior chief, with two protesters wearing swamp creature masks seated behind him.

The Trump Cabinet member was testifying in front of the House panel about Interior's 2020 budget proposal, which calls for a 14 percent cut in the department's funding.

The protestors were part of Clean Water Action (CWA), an environmental group that promotes clean waterways. T-shirts worn by supporters in the hearing also promoted the Land and Water Conservation Fund, funded by Congress.

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The group has in the past criticized the Interior Department for failing to protect species and keep federally managed waterways clean. CWA has also equated Bernhardt to a swamp creature, due to his various lobbying ties with energy and agriculture groups.

This is the second time protesters have made their way into a committee hearing for Bernhardt wearing the masks. Two creatures sat behind Bernhardt during his Senate confirmation hearing earlier this year. They were later removed by security.