House Committee on Natural Resources

Chair: Raúl Grijalva

B

Projected Grade for the 117th Congress

3 Investigative Oversight Hearings

30 Policy/Legislative Hearings

46 Total Hearings

Last updated: Sept. 14, 2021, 9:12 p.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).

In the 116th Congress (2019-20), leadership of the committee shifted from the conservative, pro-development Bishop to Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ), one of the House’s most liberal members and an ardent environmentalist. Despite the pandemic-shortened schedule, he maintained a vigorous pace of hearing activity, with the second most total hearings and legislative/policy hearings of the past six Congresses.

The committee under Grijalva held five investigative oversight hearings, roughly average for a period that has seen wide fluctuations in investigative activity. In March of 2019, it held a hearing into the Trump administration’s decision to cut back sharply the size of the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments in Utah. In April, it held two separate hearings examining the missions and priorities under the Trump administration of the National Park Service, the U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management. In October 2019 it looked into allegations of sexual harassment at the Interior Department. And in February 2020 it held a hearing into allegations that construction of President Trump’s border wall had destroyed Native American sacred sites.


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)

117th Congress: Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ)


Current Congress

We are 39% of the way through the 117th Congress

House Committee on Natural Resources

3 Investigative Oversight Hearings; 28% historical maximum
30 Policy/Legislative Hearings; 32% historical maximum
46 Total Hearings; 36% 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 84 130 103% A
117th Congress 3 30 46 84% B
Historical average 4.9 63.0 104.0

* 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