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Bishop Locks in Navajo Utah Water Rights Bill in Omni, Praises Bipartisan Wins

WASHINGTON, D.C., December 21, 2020 | Committee Press Office (202-225-2761)

Today, Ranking Member Rob Bishop (R-Utah) released the following statement regarding the Consolidated Appropriations Act (H.R. 133). Provisions in the package within the jurisdiction of the House Committee on Natural Resources include prioritizing renewable energy development on federal lands, securing a domestic critical minerals and materials supply chain, and Indian water rights settlements and related provisions that have been neglected in recent years.

“An omnibus appropriation is a bad way to legislate. Working within this flawed process, there were areas where bipartisan consensus was found and good policy can now advance.  

“One of these was the inclusion of a bipartisan Indian water rights settlements package that passed the Senate by voice vote in June, yet had been held hostage by House Democrats. I am particularly pleased with the inclusion of the Navajo Utah Water Rights Settlement Act of 2019, introduced as H.R. 644 at the start of this session. Enactment of this settlement will bring much needed relief to the Navajo Nation and certainty for the State of Utah going forward. The package also includes a fix to the flawed Aamodt Water Rights Settlement, passed by the Democrats in 2010 over the concerns of the Obama Administration.

“This legislation will also lay the foundation for a secure and robust critical minerals and materials supply chain in the United States. This body has neglected the threat posed by our overreliance on foreign sources of critical minerals for decades and this bill is a long-awaited step in the right direction.

“Our members also prevented a large number of provisions from being included in this package that didn’t pass the smell test and should be required to advance under regular order in a future Congress.  I am equally proud of this accomplishment.”

Read the full bill text HERE.

Read the list of included Natural Resources provisions HERE.