House Committee on Natural Resources

Chair: Raúl Grijalva

A

Projected Grade for the 116th Congress*

* Adjustments have been applied so that committees' grades are not lowered by the constraints on hearings caused by Covid-19 [oversight-index.thelugarcenter.org/covid-19-statement]

5 Investigative Oversight Hearings

75 Policy/Legislative Hearings

113 Total Hearings

Last updated: June 30, 2020, 9:36 a.m.

With jurisdiction over the Interior Department and the vast federal lands in the west, the National Park system and the National Wildlife Refuges, as well as mining policy on federal lands and off-shore, the committee tends to be dominated by members from western states. Once known as the Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs, it also has jurisdiction over American Indian maters and American overseas territories; it thus usually includes members from the Northern Marianas, Guam, American Samoa and Puerto Rico. (The House does not have a separate Indian Affairs committee like the Senate, and the territories do not have Senate seats.) Its membership is often split between pro-energy development conservatives and environmental liberals. It shares some energy responsibilities with the House Energy and Commerce committee. The committee often rearranges and renames its subcommittees. It currently has five: energy and mineral resources; National Parks, forests and public lands; indigenous peoples of the United States; water, oceans and wildlife; and one on oversight and investigations which was established in 2015 by new Chair Rob Bishop (R, Utah).

Since Republicans took over the House in 2011, the committee has maintained a fairly steady overall hearing schedule, averaging about 121 hearings each session. However, the number of policy and legislative hearings has varied more widely, from a high of 97 in the 114th Congress (2015-2016) to a low of 56 in the 112th (2011-2012). The fairly robust schedule of investigative oversight hearings that Republicans had maintained since the 112th Congress plunged to just one in the 115th Congress (2017-18) under Chair Bishop. That one, entitled, “Oversight hearing on the need for transparent financial accountability in territories' disaster recovery efforts,” was held in November of 2017, after Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands were devastated by back-to-back hurricanes. The committee wanted to assess how much disaster aid the islands needed, and how to ensure the proper use of whatever money would be provided.


Chairs

111th Congress: Nick Rahall (D-WV)

112th Congress: Doc Hastings (R-WA)

113th Congress: Doc Hastings (R-WA)

114th Congress: Rob Bishop (R-UT)

115th Congress: Rob Bishop (R-UT)

116th Congress: Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ)


Current Congress

We are 82% of the way through the 116th Congress

House Committee on Natural Resources

5 Investigative Oversight Hearings; 52% historical maximum
75 Policy/Legislative Hearings; 89% historical maximum
113 Total Hearings; 98% historical maximum

Committee History

Number of Hearings
Committee Hearing Performance
Investigative/Oversight Policy/Legislative Total Hearings Score Grade
111th Congress 1 24 66 30% F
112th Congress 4 56 115 63% D
113th Congress 9 70 120 80% B-
114th Congress 11 97 133 100% A
115th Congress 1 80 118 71% C-
116th Congress* 5 75 113 103% A
Historical average 5.2 67.0 110.8

* Adjustments have been applied so that committees' grades are not lowered by the constraints on hearings caused by Covid-19 [oversight-index.thelugarcenter.org/covid-19-statement]

Number of Hearings

--- Historical Average

Hearings held by the
House Committee on Natural Resources

Date Hearing Title Committee Category