Rob Bishop

House GOP Targets Natural Resources Defense Council
Committee probe latest example of going after group with opposing views

Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah, and his GOP colleagues on the Natural Resources Committee are targeting an environmental group, saying its business practices are suspicious and are of use to the Chinese. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Natural Resource Republicans say they are launching a probe into the relationship between China and the Natural Resources Defense Council, one of the country’s leading environmental groups.

The investigation marks the latest probe by the committee into private groups or non-government organizations that oppose the GOP and Trump administration environmental and public land agenda.

Florida Delegation Playing Hardball to Extend Offshore Drilling Moratorium
Sunshine State Democrats and Republicans may target NDAA

Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Fla., says he doesn’t see “any light between Republicans and Democrats” on the issue of offshore drilling in the eastern Gulf of Mexico. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Emboldened by a Defense Department report that expressed worries about unfettered offshore drilling in the eastern Gulf of Mexico, Florida’s House delegation is preparing to throw its weight around to win a multiyear extension of a moratorium off its coasts.

The bipartisan commitment from the third largest congressional delegation, reached last week, may affect the $708.1 billion defense authorization bill that is being considered by the Rules Committee Monday and Tuesday ahead of a vote as soon as Wednesday.

Ryan’s Retirement Timing Adds Complications to Leadership Battle
Midterm results will factor into GOP race dynamics

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, center, left, and Majority Whip Steve Scalise are declining to publicly say if they’re interested in succeeding Speaker Paul D. Ryan, who announced his retirement Wednesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Speaker Paul D. Ryan’s decision to “run through the tape” and wait until the end of his term to exit Congress makes an already complicated race for his leadership position even more so.

With rumors about Ryan’s potential exit from Congress circulating for the past few months, potential successors like House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California and Majority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana had begun quietly positioning themselves for a leadership battle.

Picture This: A ‘Perfecto’ Final Tax Bill
As House, Senate negotiate, president raises expectations

Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, speaks with reporters about the GOP tax bill between votes in the Capitol on Nov. 30. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The House and Senate are not even in formal conference negotiations on a tax overhaul measure yet, but the expectation from the White House is clear: It’s got to be “perfecto.”

On a day of increasing uncertainty over how to fund the government past Dec. 8, President Donald Trump hosted a small group of Senate Republicans at the White House and placed his marker. 

Trump Reduction of National Monuments a Rare Move
Antiquities Act has primarily been used to increase, not reduce protected areas

Part of the Bears Ears monument in Utah. (Wikimedia Commons)

President Donald Trump on Monday signed two executive actions that drastically slash the boundaries of the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments, and criticized former presidents for their use of the Antiquities Act to designate such monuments.

Trump called former President Barack Obama’s designation of Bears Ears an overreach of executive power, even as he unilaterally undid much of the designation himself. President Bill Clinton first designated the Grand Staircase-Escalante national monument in 1996 .

Summer of Storms Tests Energy Resilience
Lawmakers, administration battle over what it means to rebuild

A downed electric pole sits in mud in Jayuya, Puerto Rico, on Oct. 9, more than two weeks after Hurricane Maria hit the island. Puerto Rico experienced widespread damage including most of the electrical, gas and water grid. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

While the Trump administration proposes to make the nation’s electric grid more “resilient” by propping up nuclear and coal-fired power plants, a wide range of energy advocates say there are better — and greener — ways to achieve the same goal.

And they are urging leaders to heed the lessons provided by the massive storms that took down electricity lines in parts of Texas and Florida and left U.S. island territories in the Caribbean in the dark for weeks.

Natural Resources Chairman Has Questions About Zinke’s Travel

Secretary of the Interior nominee Rep. Ryan Zinke returns to his seat after greeting chairwoman Sen. Lisa Murkowski before the start of his confirmation hearing in the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee in January. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

 The Republican chairman on the House Natural Resources Committee has joined Democratic lawmakers who have taken an interest in the travel expenses incurred by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke.

In a letter sent late Tuesday, Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah, whose committee has oversight of Interior, asked the agency chief to provide details about its travel policies and travel records for Interior secretaries over the last eight years. The letter, which was also signed by the panel’s Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Bruce Westerman, R-Ark., also suggested that Bishop believes Democrats may be trying to draw attention to the issue for political purposes.

Word on the Hill: Warner and Kaine Honor Police From Baseball Practice Shooting
Look out for dinos and learn procedure

Virginia Sens. Mark Warner, left, and Tim Kaine, right, pose with police officers at the Alexandria Police Department on Tuesday. (Courtesy Warner and Kaine’s offices)

Sens. Tim Kaine and Mark Warner spent some time in Alexandria, Virginia, on Tuesday night to honor the police officers who responded to the shooting at the congressional Republicans’ baseball practice in June.

They presented copies of a resolution adopted unanimously in the Senate in June to Alexandria Police Department officers. The resolution, led by Kaine and Warner and co-sponsored by the entire Senate, commended the department, Capitol Police and first responders for their heroism during the attack. It also recognized the survivors of the incident.

Rob Bishop Says His Next Term Will Be His Last
Bishop is facing a term limit as head of Natural Resources

Utah Republican Rep. Rob Bishop  was first elected to the House in 2002. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Rob Bishop said if he is re-elected for a ninth term in 2018, it would be his last term in Congress.

The Utah Republican said at a town hall meeting on Friday that he would leave Congress after one more term, the Salt Lake Tribune reported.

Monuments Review Spurs Call to Overhaul Antiquities Act
Interior Department does not recommend overturning any designations

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has concluded his review of national monuments, which might give Congress the impetus to review the Antiquities Act. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Interior Department's conclusion of a contentious review of national monuments might give Congress some impetus to revisit the Antiquities Act of 1906, which presidents of both parties have used to designate monuments through executive action. 

House Natural Resources Chairman Rob Bishop on Thursday called for Congress to overhaul the Antiquities Act to place “reasonable limits” on the way presidents use the statute. Bishop’s statements came shortly before the Interior Department submitted recommendations to the White House after an executive-ordered review of monument designations made over the last two decades.