Press Releases


Chair Grijalva Statement on President Trump’s Decision to Submit Members of Puerto Rico Financial Oversight Board for Senate Consideration

Washington, D.C. - Chair Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) released the following statement on President Trump's recently announced decision to nominate the seven members of the Financial Oversight and Management Board for Puerto Rico for Senate approval. The decision comes in the wake of a First Circuit Court of Appeals ruling invalidating the direct appointment of the Board's membership. The Board was created by thePuerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act (PROMESA) of 2016… Continue Reading


After Months of Delay, Chair Grijalva Presses Interior Sec. Bernhardt to Testify on the Record – New Letter Outlines Pattern of Stonewalling

Washington, D.C. - In a letter today, Chair Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) pressed Interior Secretary David Bernhardt to testify before the House Natural Resources Committee on May 15 as previously requested. The letter comes after months of stonewalling and failed staff-level outreach to Bernhardt, who has only indicated an interest in private, off-the-record, one-on-one meetings with individual lawmakers on the Committee. The full letter is available at Several week… Continue Reading


Chair Grijalva: Administration Withdrawal of Five-Year Drilling Plan Shows Power of Bipartisan Opposition – Permanent Protections Are the Next Step

Washington, D.C. - Chair Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) released the following statement on the Trump administration's decision to halt development of the five-year plan for offshore oil and gas leasing, which has been in development since the spring of 2017. The news, first reported by the Wall Street Journal, comes in the wake of a federal ruling in Alaska reinstating a ban on oil and gas drilling across much of the Arctic Ocean. "This administration has treated public waters like a botto… Continue Reading


The Colorado River Drought Contingency Plan, Explained – Read More on How Chair Grijalva’s Recently Enacted Bill Helps the West

Washington, D.C. - Last week, President Trump signed Chair Raúl M. Grijalva's (D-Ariz.) Colorado River Drought Contingency Plan Authorization Act into law, marking a new chapter for 40 million western water users who rely on the Colorado River to support their communities, farms and economies. In a new Medium post, the House Natural Resources Committee lays out the many ways in which the plan improves prospects for the seven Colorado River Basin states and makes it possible to begin the e… Continue Reading


After Democratic Site Tour of Chaco Culture National Historical Park, Chair Grijalva Declares “No Compromise” on Protecting Sacred Sites From Trump Agenda

Santa Fe, N.M. - After touring Chaco Culture National Historical Park, which included hearing from tribal and elected leaders about the risks to the site from nearby oil and gas drilling, Chair Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) vowed aggressive, continuous oversight of the Trump administration's industry dominance agenda and its impact on sacred Native American sites around the country. The visit, Grijalva said, underscored the need for the Chaco Cultural Heritage Area Protection Act, which wi… Continue Reading


Chair Grijalva Invites Secretary Bernhardt to Testify by May 15 on Interior Policies and Ethical Concerns, Says Delays No Longer Acceptable

Washington, D.C. - Chair Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) today sent a letter to Interior Secretary David Bernhardt inviting him to testify before the Committee on May 15 on the Department of the Interior's (DOI) policies and priorities, as well as issues raised by recent revelations regarding the Secretary's schedule and record-keeping. The letter comes after several months of correspondence and staff-level discussion between the Committee and Bernhardt's office. "Secretary Bernhardt has bee… Continue Reading


After New Mexico Witnesses Speak Out Against Health, Environmental Impacts of Runaway Oil and Gas Industry, Chair Grijalva Eyes New Federal Limits

Santa Fe, N.M. - Following a recently concluded public hearing at which New Mexicans from all walks of life testified to the severe health and environmental damage being done by fossil fuel companies, Chair Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) said new federal restrictions on oil and gas may be necessary given the industry's wasteful practices and continued appetite for extraction at any cost. As Chair Grijalva, Assistant Speaker Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.), Committee Vice Chair Deb Haaland (D-N.… Continue Reading


As Questions Mount on Interior Handling of FOIA Requests, Grijalva and Cummings Lead Letter to Appropriators Pushing for More DOI FOIA Staff

Washington, D.C. - Chair Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) and House Oversight and Reform Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) today sent a letter with Rep. TJ Cox (D-Calif.), chair of the Natural Resources Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, and Rep. Harley Rouda (D-Calif.), chair of the Oversight and Reform Subcommittee on the Environment, to top House appropriators urging a funding increase sufficient to hire at least 10 new full-time employees dedicated to FOIA response. The… Continue Reading


Livestream Link Available for April 15 New Mexico Field Hearing on Air Quality, Public Health, Sacred Sites Impacts of Oil and Gas Development

Washington, D.C. - The livestream link for the April 15 field hearing in Santa Fe, N.M. - Oil and Gas Development: Impacts on Air Pollution and Sacred Sites - is now available. Watch live at 10:00 a.m. local time at Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) will be among those testifying at theSubcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources field hearing. Ahead of the hearing, Committee lawmakers will meet with local environmental advocates, tour Chaco Culture National Historical Par… Continue Reading


Grijalva, Huffman Push Interior Dept. on Refusal to Cooperate With GAO Inquiry on Water Issue Dating to Acting Secretary Bernhardt’s Previous Tenure

Washington, D.C. - Chair Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) and Rep. Jared Huffman (D-Calif.), who chairs the Subcommittee on Water, Oceans, and Wildlife, sent a letter to Acting Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt today calling for immediate cooperation by the Department of the Interior (DOI), which has refused to discuss unusual financial transactions between the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation; Westlands Water District, a former lobbying client of Bernhardt's; and several other California wat… Continue Reading


Grijalva Introduces CECIL Act to Limit Importation of Lions, Other Threatened Species to the U.S. – Urges Bipartisan Action Against Destructive Trophy Hunts

Washington, D.C. - Chair Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) today introduced the Conserving Ecosystems by Ceasing the Importation of Large (CECIL) Animal Trophies Act, a bill that restricts the importation of African lion trophies and other sport-hunted species that have been proposed for listing under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The bill is titled after Cecil, an African lion lured out of protected territory and killed in an illegal hunt by American dentist Walter Palmer in Zimbabwe in 2… Continue Reading


Grijalva Hails House Passage of Drought Contingency Plan Bill He Introduced Last Week – Endorsed by River Basin States, Tribal and Other Stakeholders

Washington, D.C.­ - Chair Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) today hailed House passage of the Colorado River Drought Contingency Plan Authorization Act, which he introduced April 2. Thanks to Grijalva's leadership, the House approved the bill - formally designated H.R. 2030 - by a voice vote, expediting passage and avoiding procedural hurdles to get the bill closer to President Trump's desk as fast as possible. During a related debate in the Senate this afternoon, it was agreed that as soon… Continue Reading


Chair Grijalva Announces House Natural Resources Committee Senior and Professional Staff for the 116th Congress

Washington, D.C. - Chair Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) has announced his senior and professional staff team for the House Natural Resources Committee during the 116th Congress. This is not a comprehensive staff list. Staff Director - David Watkins Chief Counsel - Sarah Lim Deputy Chief Counsel - Luis Urbina Chief Clerk - Nancy Locke Deputy Staff Director - Steve Feldgus, Chris Kaumo Director of Investigations - Vic Edgerton Director of Public Engagement - Chris Espinosa Office of I… Continue Reading


Chairs Raúl M. Grijalva & Jared Huffman Request Documents on Acting DOI Secretary Bernhardt’s Ties with Westlands Water District

Washington, D.C. - Natural Resources Committee Chair Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) and Water, Oceans, & Wildlife Subcommittee Chair Rep. Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael) launched a new inquiry today seeking documents associated with David Bernhardt, the current Deputy Secretary and Acting Secretary of the Interior, and California's powerful Westlands Water District, a former client of Bernhardt's. Serious questions have been raised in filings with the Department of the Interior Inspector Gen… Continue Reading


VIDEO: Chair Grijalva Speaks on ‘Violence Against Women Act’ Amendments to Protect Native Women, Reverse Lack of Federal Prosecutions

Washington D.C. - Chair Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) yesterday introduced two bipartisan amendments to the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2019, which just passed the House of Representatives. Video of Grijalva's remarks in favor of both amendments is available at Grijalva's first amendment expands the definition of domestic violence in the Indian Civil Rights Act of 1968, as amended by the bill, to include violence against or witnessed by a child und… Continue Reading


Grijalva, Cox Request Funding Bump for DOI Oversight Office as Sec. Nominee Faces Conflicts of Interest, Complaints Up 48 Percent Over Past Four Years

Washington D.C. - Chair Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) and Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chair Rep. TJ Cox (D-Calif.) sent a letter to the House Committee on Appropriations today requesting a $2.5 million funding increase for the Department of the Interior's (DOI) Office of the Inspector General (OIG) for fiscal year 2020. In today's letter, available at, the lawmakers highlight the 48 percent increase in complaints received by the OIG since FY2015. The OIG … Continue Reading


Chair Grijalva Will Introduce Colo. River Drought Contingency Plan Authorization Act Today – Vows Swift Committee Movement, Urges Senate to Act Fast

Washington, D.C. - Chair Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) today will introduce the Colorado River Drought Contingency Plan Authorization Act, a bill to approve the water management agreement recently reached by the seven states in the Colorado River Basin to reduce to impacts of drought and climate change-induced water shortages across the West. Grijalva has vowed to move the bill - available at - quickly through the Natural Resources Committee, which oversees the U.S. Bur… Continue Reading


Chair Grijalva Hails Pair of Court Rulings Reversing Trump Environmental Overreach - “Not the Last Reckoning He’ll Face”

Washington, D.C. - Chair Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) today hailed a pair of new federal rulings in Alaska finding President Trump's environmental attacks not just legally void, but illustrative of the wider illegality of the administration's deregulatory approach. The rulings - both by Sharon Gleason, U.S. District Judge for the District of Alaska - reversed a Trump executive order that opened the Arctic to oil drilling and a separate Trump administration order authorizing the construction… Continue Reading


Chair Grijalva Denounces Racist, Pro-Trump Attack on Oklahoma Native Americans, Calls for GOP Leadership Pushback & Policy Response

Washington, D.C. - Chair Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) said today that yesterday's racist, pro-Trump attacks on the Chickasaw Nation and the Oklahoma Democratic Party headquarters need to result in a substantive policy response and comprehensive pushback from Republican Party leadership. Grijalva thanked Oklahoma Republican Reps. Tom Cole and Markwayne Mullin for their joint statement Thursday evening condemning the attacks, which included racist graffiti and threats of violence. The messag… Continue Reading


Democratic Chairmen Request Interviews to Investigate Acting Interior Secretary’s Calendar Omissions and Compliance with FOIA

Washington, D.C. (Mar. 28, 2019)- Today, Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva, the Chairman of the Committee on Natural Resources, and Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, the Chairman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform sent a letter to Department of the Interior (DOI) Acting Secretary David Bernhardt requesting that he make four top Department officials available for transcribed interviews. "Recent testimony from a senior official at DOI, as well as recent press reports, raise questions about whether you … Continue Reading

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