Grijalva Welcomes Democratic Committee Members, Looks Forward to Promoting Solutions and Blunting GOP Environmental Attacks

Washington, D.C. – Ranking Member Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) today welcomed the newly announced Democratic members of the House Natural Resources Committee. Grijalva said he looked forward to working with them and returning members to promote conservation and stop what are expected to be two years of constant Republican attacks on America’s bedrock environmental laws.

New members Reps. Colleen Hanabusa (Hawaii), Nanette Barragán (Calif.), Darren Soto (Fla.), Jimmy Panetta (Calif.), A. Donald McEachin (Va.) and Anthony Brown (Md.) join “what has already proven to be one of the busiest and most important Committees in this Congress,” Grijalva said. “When Republicans promise to roll back successful environmental standards, hide data from the public on the consequences of deregulation, give away millions of acres of federally protected land and unnecessarily prevent our federal land management agencies from doing their jobs – all before we’ve held a single Committee meeting – we know we’re on the front lines, and we’re all proud to be here for the American people.”

Republican Chairman Rob Bishop has already dismissed a House Republican vote to count the public value of federally protected land as “zero” – a move that makes it much easier and less financially transparent to give federal land away to state and local agencies that cannot afford to manage them – as “a silly process of an accounting rule.” In a Jan. 3 article headlined “House GOP rules change will make it easier to sell off federal land,” the Washington Post laid out the many ways in which Bishop’s statement is misleading and how his campaign will likely lead to giveaways of previously public property.

Grijalva yesterday introduced legislation with Rep. Patrick Meehan (R-Pa.) to permanently reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund, an enormously popular and successful conservation program that Chairman Bishop refused to renew when it came up for routine authorization in 2015. Congress, including House Republican leadership, approved a three-year reauthorization over Bishop’s objection as part of a larger bill, but the program will lapse in 2018 without Congressional action.

Grijalva called the bill introduction a preview of the fights to come.

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