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Raul in the News

The Washington Post: The Judge Trump Disparaged as "Mexican" Will Preside Over An Important Border Wall Case (2/5/2018)

The federal judge whom President Trump disparaged as a “Mexican” during his campaign will preside over a case brought against one of the president’s most highly touted initiatives: the U.S-Mexico border wall.

District Judge Gonzalo P. Curiel, who was targeted by the president while he was the judge of a class-action lawsuit against the president’s now-defunct Trump University, will on Friday hear the case brought by the state of California, some environmental groups and Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.). It challenges waivers that were given to the federal branch more than 10 years ago to bypass some federal and state laws for border security. Read more here

Arizona Daily Star: U.S. Rep. Raúl Grijalva: Colleague's "illegal aliens" tweet a "pathetic" stunt

U.S. Rep. Raúl Grijalva says fellow Congressman Paul Gosar is showing his true colors when he asked Capitol police to arrest any undocumented individual trying to attend tonight's State of the Union address.

Unfortunately, Gosar’s comments are part of a pathetic pattern of right-wing stunts that have come to characterize his public career. Whether falsely linking DACA students to violent crime or branding Pope Francis as a ‘leftist politician’ for his stance on climate change, Gosar once again showed the true nature of his character with his latest extremist comments," Grijalva said.

“Perhaps when he takes a break from enabling the dangerous behavior of Donald Trump, he can educate himself on the DACA program, stop his baseless attacks on DACA recipients, and stop spreading false information that only deepens misunderstanding and sows fear," he added. Read more here.

KGUN 9 - Grijalva: Budget standoffs hurt health centers (1/26/2018)

Arizona Congressman Raul Grijalva is worried the sort of budget brinkmanship that led to a short government shutdown -- will jeopardize health centers--  millions of low income people depend on.

Grijalva wants issues like immigration to be handled separate from less contentious budget items. Read more here

Science Magazine: U.S. Interior Department to put academic, nonprofit grants through political review (1/9/2018)

The U.S. Interior Department will now funnel certain grants through a political screening intended to ensure the federal dollars "better align" with the administration's "priorities," according to a newly revealed memo.

The move invests considerable power in a senior Interior Department adviser named Steve Howke, who will be reviewing grants including those above $50,000 for universities, land acquisition purposes and nonprofits that can engage in advocacy.

"I'm reviewing this new grant approval regime, but I'm immediately skeptical given the administration's track record," Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ) said in a statement."This grant approval process looks like a backdoor way to stop funds going to legitimate scientific and environmental projects." Read more here.

McAllen Monitor: Negotiations ongoing, Rep. Vela warns of 'damaging' environmental impact border wall poses (1/8/18)

In a letter to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin, Vela and U.S. Reps. Bennie Thompson, D-Mississippi, and Raul Grijalva, D-Arizona — Ranking Members of the House Committee on Homeland Security and of the House Natural Resources Committee, respectively — urged leadership to consider the preservation of ecosystems and wildlife habitats during funding negotiations for the border wall.

Grijalva added, “The border wall is not a bargaining chip, it’s a catastrophe. Anyone who bases their immigration policy on destroying entire ecosystems has no idea how the world works. The American people have lost their patience with President Trump’s ridiculous demands and lack of basic policy knowledge. This border wall fantasy is unpopular. It’s time for it to end." Read more here

Indianz News: Only one tribal leader invited to hearing on GOP bill to gut Bears Ears National Monument (1/8/18)

Republicans in Congress are moving quickly with a bill they say will establish the "first" tribally managed national monument in the United States.

But none of the tribes who already thought they had a role at the Bears Ears National Monument in Utah are supporting the effort. Instead they want President Donald Trump, his administration, and everyone else for that matter, to recognize and maintain the boundaries of the original 1.35 million-acre monument.

“Mr. Trump seems to take a perverse joy in ignoring federal law and dismissing the wishes of Native American tribes, conservation leaders and millions of everyday Americans," said Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-Arizona), the top Democrat on the House Committee on Natural Resources. Read more here

Vice News: Trump Wants to Open Nearly All US Offshore Waters to Drilling (1/4/18)

The Trump administration intends to open nearly all offshore waters to oil and gas drilling. A proposal unveiled by the Interior Department today cites leases in Pacific, Arctic, and Atlantic waters—spanning 90 percent of the US outer continental shelf.

The decision is already an unpopular one, and has been condemned by environmental groups that fear unfettered drilling will also harm human communities.

“This will do nothing to put us on a sustainable energy path or decrease prices for Americans. Trump’s plan means more oil drilled here and then sold overseas. Oil companies get the profits while towns from Washington to California and Maine to Florida bear the enormous costs we know are coming,” Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ), Ranking Member of the of the House Natural Resources Committee, said in a statement. Read more here

Salt Lake Tribune: National parks need money — but raising entry fees could backfire (1/2/18)

“Congress never intended for entrance fees to become a priority revenue stream for national parks,” the House Natural Resources Committee wrote in comments prepared by ranking member Raul Grijalva. The Arizona Democrat knocked Interior for proposing a 13 percent budget cut to parks, while proposing a steep hike that covers only 2 percent of the 17 parks’ maintenance backlog.

“The administration should be working more closely with Congress to fund the National Park System as it was intended to be funded, not shifting the burden onto visitors,” Grijalva wrote. Read more here

Newsweek: Will Trump Start Deporting Dreamers If No Deal Is Reached In 2018? (12/31/17)

But as the deadline draws nearer, many immigration advocates worry that mass deportations of Dreamers will begin shortly after March 5, considering Trump has given federal immigration agencies the green light to arrest anyone, anywhere, including a 10-year-old girl with cerebral palsy straight out of emergency surgery.

As reported by the Arizona Daily Sun, Democrat Rep. Raul Grijalva, a staunch immigrant rights advocate, called Trump’s negotiation posture “extortion," adding that Democrats should ignore the rhetoric and work toward a permanent solution like the DREAM Act, which would provide a path to citizenship for the Dreamers. Read more here

The Hill: Dems say tiny fraction of sexual assault charges against DHS are investigated (12/18/17)

A group of House Democrats are calling on the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to do a better job of investigating physical and sexual assault allegations against employees handling immigrant detainees.

In a letter signed by 71 Democrats, Reps. Judy Chu (D-Calif.) and Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.) demanded that the DHS install new safeguards to protect immigrants in the custody of the department.

“DHS and its partner agencies must be held accountable for rampant complaints of sexual assault, abuse and harassment within their immigrant detention facilities,” said Grijalva. Read more here.

Washington Post: 'Large and unprecedented' Alaska oil sale falls flat as Congress readies Arctic refuge drilling (12/8/17)

On Thursday, Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva (Ariz.), the ranking Democrat on the House Natural Resources Committee, asked the Congressional Budget Office to reassess how much revenue ANWR oil drilling could generate in light of the NPR-A lease sale. Appropriators had instructed the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee to raise an additional $1 billion in revenue over 10 years, and Murkowski's committee proposed trying to do so though leasing ANWR. Read more here.

Tucson Sentinel: Ports of entry in Arizona face infrastructure and staffing challenges (12/8/17)

It says the DeConcini Port of Entry “needs modernization to facilitate the growing volume of daily crossings,” the Douglas Port of Entry is “in desperate need of investment” and the San Luis I Port of Entry “has not had significant investments in over 30 years.”

Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-Tucson, said in a written statement to Cronkite News: “Updating and modernizing our infrastructure at ports of entry is a necessary investment not only for our state but also for the millions of constituents who benefit from it. To continue to militarize our border by focusing solely on enforcement mechanisms is a great disservice.” Read more here.

Arizona Daily Star: S. Arizona's congressional delegation split on moving US embassy to Jerusalem (12/6/17)

U.S. Rep. Raúl Grijalva, who represents District 3, called the announcement by the Trump administration a provocation that will serve as a roadblock to the Mideast peace process.

“This approach is opposite of moving toward a solution for peace between Israel and Palestine, and only serves as an act of provocation, fueling an already dangerous situation in the Middle East,” the Tucson Democrat said. “His decision harms decades of work to make Israel and the region more secure and should be immediately reversed.” Read more here

Arizona Public MediaGrijalva: Politicians Have a Responsibility to 'Right the Ship' (11/24/17)

“To be there to try and right the ship, so to speak, is something I consider part of the responsibility,” said Grijalva.

Recently, the website FiveThirtyEight rated Grijalva as voting with President Trump 9.8 percent of the time.

“Nine-point-eight percent, some of my staff questioned what I did wrong, which votes I took that caused that to happen,” Grijalva said with a chuckle. Read more here

Tucson Sentinel: Grijalva on Grand Canyon uranium mining: 'No boundaries to Trump's spite' (11/1/17)

U.S. Rep. Raul Grijalva dug in Wednesday against an administration proposal to reopen areas around the Grand Canyon to uranium mining: "President Trump wants to turn one of the world’s greatest natural wonders into a strip mine... there are no boundaries to his spite."

The Tucson Democrat reacted to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's report to Trump released Wednesday, which recommended – among other measures – rescinding the 20-year uranium mining moratorium around the Grand Canyon. Read more here.

Salt Lake Tribune: Championing ‘American energy dominance,’ feds to scrap master plans for leasing public lands (11/1/17)

Former Interior Secretary Sally Jewell’s signature master plans for use of public lands in Utah and across the country are to be officially sent to the regulatory scrapheap, according to a new report from her successor, who is instead targeting “actions that potentially burden domestic energy.”

Critics fear the regulatory rollback will come at a cost to the climate and treasured resources, such as ancient artifacts, night skies, recreation, wildlife habitat and scenic vistas.

“Apparently eight years is exactly how long it takes to forget just how dysfunctional the leasing system was under the Bush administration,” said Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-Ariz. “The BLM leasing reforms didn’t come out of thin air. They were a reaction to a lease-it-all-sight-unseen policy that cut the public and even other land managers out of the process, resulting in illegal leases being issued and a firestorm of well-deserved criticism.”

Grijalva said Zinke’s latest report “just confirms that everything in the Department must conform to the single-minded goal of letting the polluting oil and gas industry do whatever it wants, whenever it wants.” Read more here.

KVOA: Crews finish emergency repairs along Nogales Wash (10/31/17)

Months after a sewage leak was first reported construction crews have finished emergency repairs along the Nogales Wash.

Both Representative Raul Grijalva and Congresswoman Martha McSally have toured the area where the break occurred.

Grijalva has already called for a more permanent solution.

"There has to be a permanent fix so that we can go forward for the next couple of decades without having this worry that every time we have a monsoon, every time there's a heavy rain, every time there's flooding, this this is jeopardized," said Grijalva. Read more here.

Buzzfeed News: Trump Plans To Shrink Two National Monuments, Setting Up A Showdown Over Public Lands (10/27/2017) 

President Trump reportedly plans to shrink two national monuments in Utah, delivering a major victory to some westerners but enraging conservationists who have vowed to battle the White House in court.

Others condemning potential modifications to Bears Ears and Grand Staircase Escalante Friday included the Natural Resources Defense Council, Earthjustice, the Escalante and Boulder Utah Chamber of Commerce, the League of Conservation Voters, and Arizona Rep. Raúl Grijalva, who in a statement described shrinking the monuments as "illegal, unpopular, and unwise." Read more here.

New York Times: Puerto Rico, Whitefish Defend Controversial Power Contract 

Whitefish was awarded the deal without a competitive bidding process, and despite the facts that it had just two full-time employees and was established only two years ago. That drew criticism from legislators who suggested cheaper options might have been available. 

Rossello's comments followed criticism from lawmakers like Democrat Raul Grijalva, the ranking member of the U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources, who said in a statement on Tuesday that "Congress needs to understand why the Whitefish contract was awarded and whether other, more cost-effective options were available." Read more here.

The Hill: Interior proposes raising fees at popular national parks (10/24/17) 

The Interior Department is considering increasing entry fees at more than a dozen of the country's most popular national parks as a way to raise new revenue for infrastructure improvements.

President Trump proposed cutting the National Park Service’s budget by 12.9 percent this year, despite concerns from officials within the department and in Congress about the state of the Park Service’s infrastructure.

“Secretary Zinke would rather take money directly out of the pockets of hardworking Americans instead of coming up with a serious budget proposal for the National Park System,” said Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.), the ranking member of the House Natural Resources Committee.

“We should be encouraging more people to get outdoors and enjoy our great natural wonders instead of discouraging them by raising park entrance fees.” Read more here.

Buzzfeed News: October 13th, 2017

A federal survey of National Park Service employees released on Friday reveals a toxic workplace culture for the stewards of some of America's most beloved public lands.

Some 39% of the broadly dispersed National Park Service (NPS) workforce has experienced harassment or discrimination on the job, employees reported to the Interior Department.

“Dumping this news on a Friday afternoon, without any clear next steps, suggests this administration still isn’t taking this problem as seriously as it should," Rep. Raúl Grijalva, ranking member of the House Committee on Natural Resources, and Rep. Donald McEachin, ranking member of the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee, wrote in a joint statement following the announcement from Interior. Read more here.

Politico: October 13th, 2017 

Democrats are demanding a GOP proposal to authorize a border wall between the U.S. and Mexico move through each committee with jurisdiction before the bill comes to the House floor for a vote.

Reps. Raul Grijalva of Arizona, ranking Democrat on the Natural Resources Committee, Adam Smith of Washington, Armed Services Committee ranking member and Peter DeFazio of Oregon, top Democrat on the Transportation panel, all signed onto the letter. Read more here.

Associated Press: October 9th, 2017 

The demands have left pro-immigration activists alarmed. And some are scratching their heads, given that the president appeared to sign off on a more palatable deal with Democrats just weeks ago.

"To stall the progress that Democrats and Republicans have been fostering in giving permanent relief to more than 800,000 DREAMers is sabotage," said U.S. Rep. Raúl Grijalva, an Arizona Democrat and frequent Trump critic. Read more here.

The Salt Lake Tribune: October 5th, 2017

Rep. Raúl Grijalva, an Arizona Democrat and ranking minority member of the Natural Resources Committee, and 25 Democratic colleagues are sponsoring the resolution that requires the Trump administration to provide a final version of the monument review and all underlying documents.

“The Trump administration wants to wipe out our national monuments without an explanation or plan,” Grijalva said in a statement. “The truth is that Secretary Zinke is choosing to appease his special interest friends instead of listening to the American people, and the [resolution] will prove just that.” Read more here.

Bloomberg: October 4th, 2017 

Democrats are urging the White House and Congress to use the rebuilding of Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria to address the U.S. territory’s broader debt crisis.

“Everything needs to be suspended, there needs to be loan forgiveness, including and or suspension of any repayment,” said Representative Raul Grijalva of Arizona, the top Democrat on the Natural Resources Committee, which has jurisdiction on Puerto Rican debt. “The rebuilding is going to require we look at the fiscal demands on Puerto Rico. We need to suspend, waive or delay” debt payments. Read more here.

Washington Post: September 26, 2017

A Democratic congressman is calling for Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to apologize for comments indicating that nearly one-third of employees at his department are not loyal to him and President Donald Trump.

Rep. Raul Grijalva of Arizona says Zinke should “apologize to the public servants he is supposed to be leading.”

Grijalva, the top Democrat on the House Natural Resources Committee, said that as a former Navy SEAL, Zinke “should be well aware that loyalty is earned. And you don’t earn it -- or deserve it -- with divisive comments like these.” Read more here.

Vox: September 11, 2017

The 800,000 young immigrants made vulnerable to deportation by President Donald Trump’s administration didn’t get any relief from Congress last week.

On Friday, the House approved a bipartisan bargain to raise the debt ceiling, fund the government, and send emergency funding for Hurricane Harvey victims after Democrats struck a deal with Trump. Congress has not passed any protections for the recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program that President Donald Trump decided to sunset.

Now, immigration activists and their allies on the Hill are seeking to find some leverage point to force Congress to either vote on the DREAM Act (or any of the other possible legislative vehicles for protecting DACA beneficiaries). Read more here.

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