Rob Bishop

Bipartisan lands bill protecting millions of acres and 650 miles of river to get House vote
The bill is expected to remain identical to what the Senate passed Feb. 12

Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-Ariz., left, and Del. Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan, I-N. Marianas on Tuesday, February 12, 2019. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A public lands bill that the Senate passed two weeks ago with overwhelming bipartisan support will get a vote in the House on Tuesday.

The bill is expected to remain identical to what the Senate passed Feb. 12. House Natural Resources Chairman Raul M. Grijalva of Arizona had promised Senate supporters that he would urge House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to quickly bring up the package in the House if the upper chamber passed it without significant changes to a deal agreed to last year.

After narrow victory in 2018, Rep. Rob Woodall won’t run in 2020
Woodall barely prevailed in Georgia 7th District recount last fall

Georgia Rep. Rob Woodall recently lost his father, which he said was a consideration in his decision not to run again. (By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Georgia Rep. Rob Woodall barely survived 2018, and he’s decided not to try again in 2020. 

The 7th District Republican told the Atlanta Journal Constitution on Thursday he will not seek a sixth term.  

Grijalva’s moment arrives as he takes Natural Resources gavel
New chairman brings progressive focus to often contentious committee

The new House Natural Resources Chairman Raúl M. Grijalva, D-Ariz., has served on the panel since he first came to Congress in 2003. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

As climate change and immigration lead priorities for the new House Democratic majority, Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva may just be the man for the moment.

The question however is: Did Grijalva find this moment or did the moment finally find him?

Republicans in Congress Are Coy About Whether They Would Take Interior Post
Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers said this week she is not interested in the job

Several senators praised outgoing Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., and endorsed his capacity to take on the secretary of the Interior job. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

In anticipation of the appointment of a new Department of the Interior secretary this week, one member of Congress on the reported shortlist has confirmed his interest in the post, but most rumored candidates have shied away from public statements.

President Donald Trump said on Twitter Saturday that he would nominate a replacement to outgoing Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke this week. 

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers ‘Not Interested’ in Interior Post
Members in line to replace Ryan Zinke include Labrador, Denham, Heller

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., leaves a meeting of the House Republican Conference in the Capitol on Nov. 28. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Despite being a speculative frontrunner to lead the Department of the Interior when President Donald Trump first appointed his cabinet, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers is not interested in the post.

Since Trump announced that Department of the Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke will depart his administration amid corruption charges on Saturday, speculation about who will replace the former congressman has centered on a handful of Republican members or former members of Congress from western states.

Amid Corruption Charges, Zinke Is Leaving as Interior Secretary
Trump had expressed concern about allegations against former House member

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke will be leaving his post at the end of the year. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated 12:35 p.m. | Embattled Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke will be the latest senior official to leave the Trump administration after months of being dogged by corruption charges.

President Donald Trump made the announcement on Twitter, saying the former Montana congressman would be leaving his post at the end of the year.

James Hansen, Long-Serving Utah Republican, Dies at 86
Former Ethics and Natural Resources chairman served from 1981 to 2003

Rep. James V. Hansen, R-Utah, on Feb. 19, 1989. (Laura Patterson/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Former Rep. James V. Hansen, a Utah Republican who served in the House from 1981 to 2003, died on Wednesday. He was 86. 

“With Congressman Jim Hansen’s passing, Utah has lost a true statesman. Whether it was in the Navy, in the state legislature, or in the halls of Congress, Jim served with honor and distinction, always putting principle before party and others before self. Utah would not be what it is today without Congressman Jim Hansen. I’m grateful to have known such a remarkable man and even more grateful to have called him a friend,” Utah GOP Sen. Orrin G. Hatch said in a statement announcing the news. 

Mounting Urgency, Bills Drive Environmental Lobbying Surge
Nature Conservancy: ‘Our science shows that we have a limited time to make big changes’

Sen. Lisa Murkowski supports a public lands package before the end of the year. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Environmental groups that focus on land conservation ramped up spending in 2018 to back major public land bills that moved out of committee in October and September.

The increases show heightened bipartisan attention on two public lands initiatives pending on the House and Senate floors, including bills to permanently reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund program, and to use fees for mining and drilling for energy resources on federal lands to attack the Interior Department’s $12 billion deferred maintenance backlog at the nation’s national parks.

Ocelots, Butterflies in Path of Border Wall
As DHS waives its way across Texas, Congress is rethinking a thirteen-year-old law

Barriers at the southern border hem in more than people, environmentalists say. Wildcats, tortoises and other animals can get trapped. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images file photo)

When rains pushed the Rio Grande River to flood stage in 2010, an existing border wall acted as a flood barrier, protecting some lowlands but also trapping some animals. A 2011 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service report obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request by the Sierra Club noted the discovery after the flooding of shells from “hundreds” of Texas tortoise, which that state lists as a threatened species.

“Animals caught between the river and the flood wall that could not escape around the edges of the floodwalls likely perished,” said the report. Endangered species like the ocelot and jaguarundi, both small wildcats, also might have died, according to the report.

Trump Tweet Jeopardizes Bipartisan Puerto Rico Bill
Grijalva: ‘It makes people that want to work on compromise become really suspicious’

Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-Ariz., said the president’s Puerto Rico tweets have fanned the flames of suspicion. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump’s comments defending his administration’s response to the hurricane that hit Puerto Rico last year may have stymied chances for a bipartisan bill to reduce politicization and patronage at the territory’s publicly-owned electric utility, which some see as a key impediment slowing modernization of the island’s grid.

House Natural Resources Chairman Rob Bishop of Utah and ranking member Raúl M. Grijalva of Arizona both say that action is needed to create safeguards to protect the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority from political influence.