Chair Grijalva urges House to pass bill forward unto President Biden’s desk – KYMA

Group of 20 representatives whom seek to protect U.S. Wilderness and Public Lands

Washington D.C. (KYMA, KECY) – Chair Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.)  with 19 House Democratic colleagues to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) urging them to advance the House-approved Protecting America’s Wilderness and Public Lands Act to President Joe Biden’s desk for his signature.

Chair Raul M Grijalva
Courtesy of House of Natural Resources Committee

The bill, which passed the House with bipartisan support on February 26, is the result of decades of effort by communities across the nation. It would protect millions of acres of land from development in Arizona, California, Colorado, Washington, Maine, Oregon, Virginia and the Virgin Islands; while also supporting thousands of sustainable jobs.

“Turning this great bill into law is crucial to President Biden’s ambitious conservation agenda,” Chair Grijalva shared. “We can support the administration’s America the Beautiful initiative, and address the climate crisis at the same time. Local communities and organizations around the country want long-term federal support for the lands and waters on which we all depend; and we need to take this opportunity while we have it.”

Major conservation packages have enjoyed broad bipartisan support in recent years, including from current Senate Republicans. During the 116th Congress, Chair Grijalva and the Natural Resources Committee worked with partners in the Senate to pass two major conservation bills, the John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act and Great American Outdoors Act. The latter included unprecedented permanent funding authorization for the Land and Water Conservation Fund.

An earlier version of the bill at issue today, called the Protecting America’s Wilderness Act, passed the House on multiple occasions last Congress, but stalled under the then-Republican Senate majority. New leadership in the Senate and bipartisan improvements to the bill give Senate leaders a new opportunity to reach across the aisle and work together to tackle the climate crisis.