House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said Friday that the House will vote in July on a bill to ease environmental regulations in response to raids on Gibson Guitar factories last year.
Federal agents seized seized raw materials, electronic files and guitars as part of an investigation into whether the guitar-maker had imported illegal wood in violation of the Lacey Act.
The Lacey Act makes it a crime to import plants or wildlife into the United States if those goods were obtained in a way that breaks the laws of another country. In Gibson’s case, U.S. Fish and Wildlife said the company is suspected of obtaining illegally logged ebony and rosewood from Madagascar and unfinished wood from India. Gibson has denied the charges.
But the famous guitar-maker became a symbol for conservatives and Tea Party groups who said it was outrageous that an American company could be punished for violating another country’s laws.