Natural Resources Committee Releases Report Reviewing Accomplishments in 116th Congress, Announces Feb. 18 Organizing Meeting for 117th Congress

Washington, D.C. – Chair Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) today announced the Natural Resources Committee will hold its organizing meeting for the 117th Congress at 11:00 a.m. Eastern time on Thursday, Feb. 18. The event, which will be livestreamed at http://bit.ly/2ZbBmRZ (Facebook) and https://bit.ly/3tWlqRJ (YouTube), will include a vote on the full Committee rules package for the upcoming Congress.

The meeting comes as President Biden begins to implement a series of executive orders strengthening federal climate standards, creating new environmental justice coordinating positions at the federal level, and returning scientific integrity to the federal policymaking process after years of Trump mismanagement and costly favors to polluters. The Natural Resources Committee played a key oversight role in the 116th Congress in revealing the need for these steps, and looks forward to working with the Biden administration in overseeing their implementation at the Department of the Interior and other agencies in its jurisdiction.

The Committee today also released a new staff report, Resources at Work, documenting the legislative and oversight accomplishments of the Democratic majority in the 116th Congress and outlining its major priorities in the coming year. The report is available online at http://bit.ly/3qpvgtv.

Among other findings, the report notes that the Committee saw 50 bills signed into law, including:

• Billions of dollars of CARES Act funding for Tribal communities, U.S. territories, and at-risk populations to save lives and stop the spread of coronavirus

• Two bills to combat the crisis of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women (Savanna’s Act and the Not Invisible Act, both of which became law in October 2020)

• Chair Grijalva’s bill to expand Saguaro National Park

• The Great American Outdoors Act, which included Chair Grijalva’s long-sought goal of securing permanent full funding for the Land & Water Conservation Fund

• Chair Grijalva’s Colorado River Drought Contingency Plan Act, which preserves water for 40 million Americans while long-term negotiations continue

• America’s Conservation Enhancement Act, which improves protections for wildlife and habitats and includes Chair Grijalva’s Murder Hornet Eradication Act

• Several western water bills that improve water supply reliability for communities and ecosystems and legally affirm and secure water rights for tribes

Chair Grijalva has already indicated that advancing the Environmental Justice for All Act, the bill he authored with Rep. A. Donald McEachin (D-Va.) through a historic public input process, will be a central priority in this Congress. Other priorities are expected to include oversight of economic recovery and reconstruction in Puerto Rico, as well as addressing the island’s political status; strengthening the federal government-to-government consultation process with Native American communities; reducing climate-warming emissions from fossil fuel activities on public lands and waters; and protecting sensitive, at-risk areas like the Grand Canyon from future mining or other industrial pollution.

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