Subpoena For BLM Could Be Coming From Arizona’s Grijalva

Published: Wednesday, September 11, 2019 - 1:11pm
Updated: Thursday, September 12, 2019 - 10:56am
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Rep. Raul Grijalva in 2017.

Arizona Rep. Raul Grijalva may subpoena documents from the Bureau of Land Management, as he and other Democrats who oversee the bureau want more information about its proposed plan to disperse Washington, D.C., employees to the West

The acting head of the Bureau, William Perry Pendley, went before the House Natural Resources Committee on Tuesday. 

At the hearing, Grijalva, who chairs the committee, said “I’m assuming any analysis dealing with the loss of institutional knowledge or memory relative to the moves … [that] there has been no analysis done in terms of what impact that will have?”

Pendley confirmed Grijalva’s assumption. No analysis had been done, “simply because we’re hoping these people will stay with us.”

After the hearing, Grijalva told reporters he may subpoena documents about planning and relocation costs because the BLM hasn’t provided them. 

The plan would spread about 300 jobs across multiple states, including 39 in Arizona. Pendley said 97% of BLM employees are already outside of Washington. 

Democrats argue the move is designed to dismantle the bureau and move career BLM employees away from decision makers in Washington. As evidence, they point to a 2016 opinion piece Perry wrote advocating the federal government sell public lands. Perry has said those past positions are irrelevant.

Republicans on the committee, like Arizona’s Paul Gosar, say the relocations would bring additional BLM staff closer to the people.

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