Rep. Grijalva wants top Dem spot on House Natural Resources

Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.) formally put his hat in the ring to lead Democrats in the House Natural Resources Committee, to replace Rep. Peter DeFazioPeter Anthony DeFazioDemocrats to probe Trump's replacement of top Transportation Dept. watchdog Donald Trump is proposing attacks on Social Security and seniors; here is what we should do instead House committee investigating Carnival cruise line's response to coronavirus MORE (D-Ore.).

Grijalva was the first Democrat on the panel to declare his candidacy for the ranking member position.

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He said his decision is dependent upon DeFazio giving up his spot to become ranking member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. That panel’s top Democrat, Rep. Nick Rahall (W.Va.), lost his reelection bid Tuesday.

Grijalva called himself “a life-long proponent of responsible environmental stewardship,” and “someone with the experience needed to effectively check threats to vital protections that are sure to come under the Republican-led Congress and Senate” in a statement.

DeFazio has not publicly said whether he would seek to lead the Transportation committee’s Democrats, though he is next in line for the position after Rahall.

This is the second time Grijalva has sought the ranking member title, having withdrawn his bid two years ago. Grijalva sits in the ranking spot on the public lands and environmental regulation subcommittee.

Multiple Democrats rank higher than Grijalva on the committee.

Next in line would have been Del. Eni Faleomavaega (American Samoa), but he lost his election. Reps. Frank Pallone (N.J.), Grace Napolitano (Calif.) and Rush Holt (N.J.) also enjoy more seniority than Grijalva.