As the Chairman of the Congressional Western Caucus, I want to welcome you, invite you to learn more about the Caucus and encourage you to support our efforts.
The Western Caucus is the voice for local communities, pursuing the interests of the folks on the ground and people who feel betrayed by a federal government out of touch with our values. The Caucus consistently reminds Members of Congress while they were elected in the first place, fighting for the priorities of the American people in the process.
The Western Caucus has established itself as the most effective Congressional entity on Capitol Hill. 2018 marked a significant accomplishment as the Western Caucus celebrated its 25 year anniversary. The Caucus has never been stronger in its quarter-century history and is a dominant force, currently comprised of 75 bipartisan members from 34 different states and territories.
Initially, the Caucus was born in the West, out of concerns of undue federal interference with rural, agricultural, timber, water, energy and hunting values that had been a part of American society for centuries. The Caucus was founded to fight this federal overreach, promote rural values and preserve our uniquely American way of life. Over time, the Caucus has grown beyond the geographic West, allying with Members of Congress throughout the country that share our values, issues and vision of a stronger America.
The Western Caucus was very successful in the 115th Congress, securing a significant number of major wins under the leadership of Chairman Gosar in his first term.Western Caucus hit the ground running in 2017 introducing a package of 14 bills on the first day possible to overturn job-killing rules from the previous administration utilizing the Congressional Review Act (CRA). In total, the House passed 15 CRA bills, four of which were spearheaded by the Western Caucus. Eight other overreaching regulations targeted by the Western Caucus through legislation have subsequently been addressed by executive action and three of our CRA bills were signed into law.
The Caucus has an aggressive agenda in 2019. Given the new dynamics of the 116th Congress, the Caucus has placed a larger emphasis on coordinating with the Administration on the local priorities of our Members and communities. The Caucus has rolled out another important package to modernize the Endangered Specie Act. Click here to read more about the package.
In 2018, the Western Caucus rolled out an important bipartisan ESA modernization package comprised of nine bills that earned the endorsement of 170+ industry groups and individuals. The package addressed the shortcomings of the ESA by fixing the listing process, adding framework for a clear de-listing process, addressing the petition backlog issue, removing unnecessary impediments to economic development, involving state and local input and creating a mechanism that facilitates voluntary conservation efforts. All nine of our bills received a hearing and four bills passed Committee. Click here to read more about the package.
Some of our other victories in the 115th Congress included: Securing an additional $576.5 million for wildfires and active forest management language; Blocking the power-grabbing BLM Planning 2.0 rule through public law; Passing active forest management provisions and a budget fix into law; Spearheading efforts that cancelled a 425,000-acre land grab in Northern Minnesota; Passing a bill into law to protect the Pacific Northwest Fisheries; Leading effort to scrap the 10-million-acre Sage Grouse mineral withdrawal; Preventing the sale of the transmission assets of three of the Power Marketing Administrations and the Tennessee Valley Authority; Opening up Section 1002 for responsible energy production via law; Passing the Electricity Reliability and Forest Protection Act into law; Preventing a new “dirt tax” and new fees for hardrock mining; Leading the Congressional effort on monument reviews that shrunk the footprint in Utah by more than 2 million acres; Authoring and passing a provision into law that expanded Good Neighbor forest management authority to counties in order to better manage our nation's forests; Blocking outrageous fee increases that threatened whitewater rafting and outfitter jobs; Passing a bill through House to protect the operations of the four Lower Snake River Dams and vital water storage; Authoring and passing a provision through the House to modernize ESA habitat requirements; Blocking an overreaching rule via law that harmed hunting and wildlife management in Alaska; Authoring a House-passed amendment redirecting $32.5 million to reclaim abandoned mines; Passing legislation and convincing the Administration to build a life-saving road in Alaska; Passing legislation that creates a one-stop permitting process for new water storage projects. Click HERE to see our full 115th Congress in Review.
I am filled with optimism and will continue to work with our Members, staff, committees, industry, the Administration and the American people to make sure the 116th Congress is the most productive yet. My door is always open and I look forward to connecting with you in the near future.
Paul A. Gosar, D.D.S.
Chairman, Congressional Western Caucus – (AZ-04)