Press Releases


Following Unusual White House Meeting With Big Oil, Chair Grijalva and 15 House Democrats Urge Sec. Bernhardt to Reject Calls for Royalty Cuts

Washington, D.C. - Chair Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) and 15 other House Democrats wrote to Interior Secretary David Bernhardt today urging him to reject Republican and fossil fuel industry calls for royalty cuts on oil and gas taken from federal lands and waters. Such a move, the authors write, would be illegal, unnecessary, and disconnected from the realities the country faces during the COVID-19 pandemic. The full letter is available at Regardless of the Trump a… Continue Reading


Chair Grijalva: Trump’s Meeting Today With Fossil Fuel Interests Tells the Country Everything it Needs to Know About His Priorities in a Crisis

Washington, D.C. - Chair Raúl M. Grijalva released the following statement on President Trump's meeting at the White House today with fossil fuel industry executives. "The president's choice to hold a high-profile meeting with oil and gas interests today tells the country everything it needs to know about his priorities in the middle of a crisis. He won't be meeting with any of the millions of Americans filing for unemployment. He won't be meeting with renewable energy workers. He's spen… Continue Reading


Chair Grijalva: Trump Admin Has No Explanation for Waiting Several Days to Close Grand Canyon National Park After Explicit Call From Health Officials

Washington, D.C. - Chair Raúl M. Grijalva today said the timeline of the Interior Department's recently announced decision to close Grand Canyon National Park to visitors - several days after a case of COVID-19 was reported near the park and five days after local health officials first pleaded for the park's closure - makes no sense and raises new questions about the Trump administration's priorities. The closure announcement, according to a press release from Interior Department spokesw… Continue Reading


Chair Grijalva, Rep. Sablan Write to FEMA Chief for Assurances on Virus Response in U.S. Territories in Light of Natural Disasters, Weak Finances

Washington, D.C. - Chair Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) and Rep. Gregorio Sablan (D-CNMI) sent a letter this morning to Pete Gaynor, administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, seeking more information on the administration's COVID-19 response plans in U.S. territories, where weak economies and recent natural disasters are now putting hundreds of thousands of Americans at particular risk. In the letter, available at, the lawmakers ask Gaynor for a briefi… Continue Reading


Chair Grijalva, Rep. Haaland Lead Letter to Interior Secretary Urging Closure of Grand Canyon, Other Parks and Public Lands at Risk of Coronavirus Spread

Washington, D.C. - Chair Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) and Vice Chair Deb Haaland (D-N.M.) sent a letter today with eight House Democratic colleagues to Interior Secretary David Bernhardt urging him to close Grand Canyon National Park and other national parks and public lands at risk of spreading coronavirus due to continued crowding and high visitation levels. The National Park Service and the Department of the Interior have left parts of Grand Canyon National Park open to visitors despite … Continue Reading


Chair Grijalva: National Park Service Must Close Grand Canyon National Park Immediately, Interior Dept. Must Act to Prioritize Public Health

Washington, D.C.­ - Chair Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) today released the following statement on reports that National Park Service officials have blocked urgent requests from the acting superintendent of Grand Canyon National Park and from tribes around Northern Arizona to close the park until further notice. Grijalva called on Interior Secretary David Bernhardt on March 20 to "prioritize the health and safety of visitors to national parks and public lands during this crisis" - a step … Continue Reading


Chair Grijalva Hails Coronavirus Relief Package – Highlights Financial Assistance for Indian Country and U.S. Territories, Urges More Support in Future Bills

Washington, D.C. - Chair Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) today said the passage of the CARES Act is a good step forward in the federal government's ongoing effort to build up health care capacity in historically underserved and at-risk communities, including Native American tribes and U.S. territories, and urged his colleagues to include further financial and logistical support for hard-hit communities in upcoming legislation. Grijalva has been a leading voice in Congress since the beginning o… Continue Reading


Chair Grijalva, Rep. McEachin Lead Letter From 43 House Democrats to Congressional Leaders Urging Environmental Justice Support in COVID-19 Response

Washington, D.C. - Chair Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) and Rep. A. Donald McEachin (D-Va.) today sent a letter signed by 41 of their House Democratic colleagues to House and Senate leaders of both parties urging them, as they craft current and future COVID-19 response efforts, to account for underlying and already present health and economic disparities across the country. In the letter, available at, the authors write in part: The effects of COVID-19 are being fel… Continue Reading


Chair Grijalva Statement on New Ruling That Army Corps of Engineers Must Conduct Substantive Environmental Review of Dakota Access Pipeline

Washington, D.C. - Chair Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) released the following statement on the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia's new ruling that the Army Corps of Engineers must conduct a substantive environmental review of the Dakota Access pipeline. Judge James Boasberg found that the agency's previous review had several glaring shortcomings, including a failure to consider the fact that the pipeline's leak detection system was unlikely to work, that it was not designed to… Continue Reading


Following Administration Briefing, Chair Grijalva and House Dems Call for Congressional Relief Bill to Address Desperate Health Needs in Indian Country

Washington, D.C. - Chair Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.), Vice Chair Deb Haaland (D-N.M.) and Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.), chair of the Subcommittee for Indigenous Peoples of the United States - all of whom received a briefing from senior Indian Health Service (IHS) officials earlier today - jointly called on Senate negotiators and House leadership this afternoon to ensure the upcoming congressional coronavirus relief bill and any future relief measures adequately address the growing health n… Continue Reading


Chair Grijalva, Natural Resources Committee Launch New Coronavirus Resource Center, Seek Impact Information from Indian Country

Washington, D.C. - Chair Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) and the majority staff of the House Natural Resources Committee are seeking information from Native American communities impacted by coronavirus on the level of governmental response they've seen, the status of their health and social safety needs, and how Congress and other agencies can better serve them during the pandemic. The Committee has set up an online form available at and is now welcoming input from tribe… Continue Reading


Chair Grijalva Statement on Interior Secretary Bernhardt Encouraging Public Lands Visits During Coronavirus Pandemic

Washington, D.C. - Chair Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) released the following statement today on Interior Secretary David Bernhardt's recent message to the American people encouraging visits to public lands during the coronavirus pandemic. "While I understand the appeal of outdoor recreation during a difficult time, Interior Secretary Bernhardt needs to prioritize the health and safety of visitors to national parks and public lands during this crisis. The Trump administration must establish… Continue Reading


Chair Grijalva, Rep. Cartwright Urge Congressional Leaders Not to Bail Out Coal Industry as Part of Coronavirus Response

Washington, D.C. - Chair Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) and Rep. Matt Cartwright (D-Pa.) today wrote to Democratic and Republican leaders of the House and Senate urging them to reject the National Mining Association's (NMA) campaign for a taxpayer-funded bailout of the coal industry. In a recent letter to President Trump and congressional leaders, the NMA pressed for the suspension or reduction in coal royalties to the public, a reduction in the Abandoned Mine Land fee on coal production on f… Continue Reading


Chair Grijalva Pushes for Clarity on Federal Coronavirus Response in Indian Country – Asks for Documentation of Testing Equipment at Tribal Centers

Washington, D.C. - Chair Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) today sent a letter to Rear Admiral Michael Weahkee, principal deputy director for Indian Health Services (IHS), citing a number of concerns about the pace and scope of the Trump administration's response to the spread of coronavirus in Indian Country and at urban Indian health centers. Grijalva's letter, available at, asks for documentation of the availability of intensive care unit beds, ventilators and other resp… Continue Reading


Ahead of Thursday Hearing, Chair Grijalva Speaking at Wednesday Capitol Hill Rally on Ariz. Mining Project That Threatens Native American Sacred Site

Washington, D.C. - Chair Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) will speak at approximately 2:15 p.m. Eastern time on Wednesday, March 11, at the Save Oak Flat rally on the southeast lawn of the U.S. Capitol, across the street from the Cannon House Office Building. The event will feature Native American tribal leaders, advocates and lawmakers united in opposition to the proposed Resolution Copper mining project east of Phoenix, which would destroy the Chí'chil Bi?dagoteel (Oak Flat) Historic D… Continue Reading


Natural Resources Committee Threatens Subpoena if Seven-Day Deadline for Interior Department Document Production is Unmet – New Letter Sets Timeline

Washington, D.C. - In a new letter to Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt today, Chair Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) says the Natural Resources Committee will begin issuing subpoenas unless the Interior Department hands over a variety of documents the Committee has requested - some for more than a year - as part of its legislative and oversight responsibilities. The letter caps the Committee's longstanding effort to learn more about a series of scandals and reports of mismanagement thr… Continue Reading


GAO Contradicts Trump Admin on Forced BLM Move – Finds Interior Officials Failed to Follow Basic Practices, Resulting in Damaging Staff Attrition

Washington, D.C. - The Government Accountability Office (GAO) today released a highly anticipated report finding that the Trump administration's attempt to move Washington, D.C.-based Bureau of Land Management (BLM) employees to Grand Junction, Colo., and elsewhere across the West failed to follow a number of widely accepted best practices for agency reform and has already resulted in a damaging level of staff attrition. Chair Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) said the findings confirm widesprea… Continue Reading


Hearing This Wednesday Will Focus on Interior Department Budget Request, Severe Costs of Admin Attacks on Agency Missions and Professional Staff

Washington, D.C. - The House Natural Resources Committee is holding a hearing at 10:00 a.m. Eastern time on Wednesday, March 4, examining the Interior Department's budget request for fiscal year 2021 and assess the impacts of the Trump administration's ongoing attacks on agency missions and career staff morale. The administration witness will be Assistant Secretary for Policy, Management and Budget Susan Combs. The hearing comes shortly after the Trump administration - without adequately consu… Continue Reading


Democrats Holding March 19 Field Hearing in Santa Barbara, Calif., on Public Health, Environmental Impacts of Expanded Oil and Gas Drilling

Washington, D.C. - The House Natural Resources Committee will hold a field hearing in Santa Barbara, Calif., on Thursday, March 19, to explore the environmental and public health impacts of oil and gas development, and how the Trump administration's efforts to open new drilling in California have impacted local communities. The hearing is at 10:00 a.m. Pacific time at the headquarters of Direct Relief at 6100 Wallace Becknell Rd. Speakers will include Reps. Salud Carbajal, Alan Lowenthal and Ja… Continue Reading


Grijalva Says “Maintaining Status Quo Isn’t Enough” as Center for American Progress Releases Report on House Dem Conservation Successes

Washington D.C. - The Center for American Progress (CAP) released a new report today highlighting the efforts of House Democrats "to reverse a decade of legislative obstruction and stagnation in U.S. land, water, and wildlife conservation." The report contrasts the actions taken by the Democratic majority in the 116th Congress with the efforts by Republicans in previous Congresses, underscoring the many ways in which Democrats prioritize natural resource conservation for the benefit of the Ameri… Continue Reading

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