In The News


You can't handle the truth about terror: Column

Another homegrown attack involving an American killing other Americans. This comes at a time when police officers are being killed, government properties occupied, and immigrants threatened. And the response is predictable. We are fixated on a foreign threat instead of the diverse ideologies breathing life into their adherents, and we ignore the fact that American citizens have committed 80% of the terrorist attacks in the U.S. since 9/11. Before the tragic massacre in Orlando, Democratic Reps.… Continue Reading


After Republicans Refuse, Democrats Hold Their Own Hearing On The Oregon Wildlife Refuge Takeover

Democrats from the House committees on Natural Resources and Homeland Security this week held a joint forum that focused on the steps that need to be taken to confront violent extremism on America's public lands. The forum comes five months after Ammon Bundy and a group of anti-government extremists took over the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Harney County, Oregon and held it for 41 days. The forum addressed the recent threats to federal lands and land management officials, as well as dom… Continue Reading


Democrats blast GOP inaction against extremists

House Democrats' leading voices on natural resources and homeland security yesterday raised concerns about the threat posed by groups against federal control of public lands and decried Republicans' reluctance to criticize the growing fringe movement. Such groups are driven by "an extreme anti-government philosophy that rejects the rule of law and seeks to overturn more than a century of American conservation achievements," Natural Resources Committee ranking member Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz… Continue Reading


House Dems examine right-wing domestic terrorism; hit GOP for not combating ‘growing threat’

House Democrats, frustrated by Republicans who are too cozy with anti-government radicals, convened a congressional forum Wednesday to explore "violent extremism on America's public lands." The informal hearing was driven by the refusal of the majority Republicans to fully investigate the 41-day siege of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon earlier this year. The session also looked at this type of domestic terrorism more broadly. While the rise of right-wing extremist groups was a … Continue Reading


Arizona Rep. Grijalva targets extremism on public lands

"There is a war simmering in this country, centered in the West," said Richard Cohen, head of the liberal advocacy group Southern Poverty Law Center, in a House Democratic forum hosted by members of the House Natural Resources and Homeland Security Committees this week. Cohen was referring to the increase in incidents of violence and intimidation targeting federal land agencies. The 41-day armed occupation of Oregon's Malheur National Wildlife Refuge and the Cliven Bundy standoff in Nevada in 20… Continue Reading


House Dems to host forum on extremism

House Democrats on Wednesday will host a Capitol Hill forum to discuss extremism on public lands in the wake of the 40-day occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon. The forum, led by House Natural Resources ranking member Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.) and Homeland Security ranking member Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), comes months after the liberal Center for American Progress released an analysis highlighting five armed uprisings on public lands in the past two years in Nevada… Continue Reading


Legislation To Help Puerto Rico Manage Its Crippling Debt Advances In The House

WASHINGTON - Legislation giving Puerto Rico the ability to restructure its $70 billion in debt overcame a major hurdle on Thursday, passing out of committee in the House. The House Natural Resources Committee approved the bill, which would establish an oversight board to help the commonwealth restructure its un-payable debt and craft an economic recovery plan, in a 29-10 vote. It's a significant step for proponents of the bill, who had to write multiple versions of the legislation and abruptly… Continue Reading


Rep. Raul Grijalva: Imperfect Puerto Rico Bill is a Lifeline

Don Young, a Republican congressman from Alaska, summed up how challenging it has been for members of Congress to wring a potential solution from the messy layers that make up Puerto Rico's debt problem. "It's been a headache," Young said in the brief meeting of the House Natural Resources Committee that was limited to members making their opening statements. The committee planned to reconvene Wednesday to go over the bill and possibly vote on it. "Luckily we've taken some Aleve and we'll get … Continue Reading


On Puerto Rico Bill, a Victory for the Middle

Facing a debt crisis in Pu­erto Rico and op­pos­i­tion from the Left and the Right to a com­prom­ise bill, House lead­ers look poised to pass it any­way-prov­ing that even in a deeply po­lar­ized elec­tion year, the cen­ter can hold. The bill, which seeks to cre­ate a fed­er­al over­sight board to help the is­land ter­rit­ory re­struc­ture its debt, is be­ing panned by pro­gress­ive pres­id&s… Continue Reading


It's our duty as Americans to protect our national parks for the next hundred years

Just over eight years ago, I completed a free solo ascent - unroped - of the one of the most beautiful and challenging climbs in the world: a 350 metre crack called Moonlight Buttress in southwestern Utah's Zion national park. At the time, Alpinist magazine called it "one of the most impressive free solos ever achieved." While I find it hard to articulate exactly why I'm drawn to this type of exposed, unroped climbing, the setting certainly plays a big role. Zion is aptly named: it's a promised… Continue Reading


Puerto Rico bill drops GOP’s wildlife refuge transfer

Lawmakers working on a bill to help Puerto Rico with its debt crisis have dropped a Republican-backed provision from the legislation that would have transfered ownership of part of a federal wildlife refuge to the Puerto Rican government. Republicans on the House Natural Resources Committee, the main panel working on the Puerto Rico bill, had originally included the transfer of 3,100 acres of the Vieques National Wildlife Refuge to the territory's government in an earlier draft of the legislat… Continue Reading


Communities on the front lines seek help from Congress

U.S. communities that describe themselves as being on the front lines of climate change are seeking help from Congress for relocating and cleaning up after natural disasters. Sea-level rise, erosion and new ice patterns are causing some U.S. tribal island communities to start the process of relocating to the mainland and cities. Other minority communities, particularly in the Gulf Coast region, face the threat of more frequent and severe storms and associated cleanup costs. At a Capitol Hill b… Continue Reading


Obama pressed to create new Grand Canyon monument

Democrats and American Indian tribes are ramping up their pressure on President Obama to bypass Congress and unilaterally designate a new national monument to protect 1.7 million acres near the Grand Canyon. The backers of the proposed Grand Canyon Heritage National Monument, led by Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.) want to indefinitely protect the area from uranium mining that they say would hurt the Colorado River watershed, spots sacred to Indian tribes and recreation activities. But to… Continue Reading


Tribes, Grijalva ask Obama to protect 1.7 million acres at Grand Canyon

WASHINGTON - Tribal leaders joined Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-Tucson, on Tuesday urging President Barack Obama to designate 1.7 million acres around the Grand Canyon as a national monument, bypassing Congress in the process. Grijalva said he was calling on the president to invoke the Antiquities Act after becoming convinced that his bill to create the same monument would not get "a real, honest, rational hearing" from a Republican-led House. Grijalva specifically cited opposition from Rep. Paul Gos… Continue Reading


House Democrats Are Seriously Sick Of This, Paul Ryan

In celebration of Earth Day, House Democrats released a video expressing their anger, frustration, and sadness over environmental issues in America and calling for action. "Speaker Ryan, as we celebrate Earth Day, it's clear that we need to protect our natural resources, which are so precious to our generation today and to our children's generation tomorrow," Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), the ranking member of the Natural Resources Committee, says in the video. He and a half-dozen other House me… Continue Reading


Seven Things Forces Opposing Grand Canyon Monument Don’t Want You to Know

Supporters of the monument say it will permanently protect an ecologically fragile and historically significant area from uranium mining, while those opposing the plan say it's part of a "radical environmental" agenda that will only end up hurting the economy. Both sides of the debate have harsh words for the other, but those pushing for monument designation say their opponents are purposefully spreading false information and distorting facts. Here are seven things supporters say the oppositio… Continue Reading


After Bundy Clashes, House GOPers Push Bill To Kneecap Feds On Public Lands

With dozens of anti-government extremists facing criminal charges over their roles in the two high-profile Bundy showdowns over public lands, Republicans in Congress have rolled out proposed legislation that would diminish the authority of federal agencies to enforce federal public lands law. The bill, the Local Enforcement for Local Lands Act of 2016, was introduced last week by Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) along with the rest of Utah's Republican delegation: Reps. Mi… Continue Reading


House panel blasts FWS refusal to use, fund agency database

The Fish and Wildlife Service refuses to use a multimillion-dollar law enforcement records system that the Interior Department has spent more than a decade developing. The House Natural Resources Committee highlighted the standoff at a hearing yesterday of its Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee. Both Republicans and Democrats criticized Interior's handling of the database, which is meant to be a departmentwide repository for criminal investigations. Interior conceived the Incident Manag… Continue Reading


Obama Administration Withdraws Plan for Offshore Oil Drilling in the Atlantic

The Atlantic Ocean will remain off-limits to oil and gas drilling. As part of a drilling plan covering from 2017 to 2022, the Obama administration is reversing a proposal that would havepermitted energy development at sites more than 50 miles from the shores of Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. "We heard from many corners that now is not the time to begin leasing off the Atlantic Coast," Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said in a call with reporters, citing conflict… Continue Reading


MONUMENT USES: What the stroke of a president's pen has meant for region's monuments

What does monument status mean for a landscape? It's a question that has spurred passionate debate since Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-AZ, introduced legislation to create a Grand Canyon Heritage National Monument. Grijalva's bill would encompass 1.7 million acres to the north and south of Grand Canyon National Park. Proponents say monument status will provide added protections for landscapes, water sources and sacred sites surrounding Grand Canyon that are intricately connected to its ecosystem. O… Continue Reading

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