ARIZONA

Rep. Paul Gosar back on House committees, including powerful investigatory panel

Tara Kavaler
Arizona Republic
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Rep. Paul Gosar has been reinstated to his previous House committees after being kicked off in 2021 for his conduct online.

Gosar, R-Ariz., is rejoining the House Oversight and Accountability and the Natural Resources committees after being stripped of his assignments for briefly posting an anime style video attacking Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y.

Republicans last year won control of the House from the Democrats and are now in charge of running committees.

The oversight committee is the House's primary investigative body over the federal government. Gosar already called for an investigation into the Joint Chiefs of Staff Chair Mark Milley for telling his Chinese counterpart that he would warn him if the U.S. was planning to attack. He also has said that former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's conduct surrounding the Jan. 6, 2021, U.S Capitol riot should be given more scrutiny.

Gosar said in a written statement on rejoining his previous committees: "I further look forward to restoring government accountability that has been absent under the Biden regime beginning with the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability thoroughly investigating Biden’s support for an invasion along our southern border in which my great state of Arizona and my district are both ground zero. I also look forward to working with my colleagues on the committee to conduct rigorous oversight over Joe Biden and end the Biden Administration’s unchecked one-party rule and rooting out waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement in the federal government."

The Natural Resources Committee crafts laws about, other things, national parks, indigenous people, and energy production.

With Republicans now in charge of the committee, Rep. Raúl Grijalva, D-Ariz., the ranking Democrat on the panel, anticipates that GOP leadership, including Gosar, will be the "most pro-oil and gas majority that I've seen in my time in Congress."

"In basically every policy, they promote privatizing our public lands to oil and gas. ... That's been Gosar's agenda from the time I've been sitting there in that same committee for 14 years," Grijalva told The Arizona Republic. "I don't see him changing his tactics. He's going to continue to say and do things that are ... counter to how our committee should work."

Grijalva, who has been in Congress for two decades, is concerned about what the committee will do on mining on public lands and how Native Americans will be treated.

"With Gosar's connection to the mining industry, I see a big push on the part of the resources committee to open up the Grand Canyon and (Pinal County's) Oak Flat to uranium mining. And those are key areas in which Indian country ... wants to preserve and protect," he said.

Gosar's office did not immediately respond to The Republic's request for comment.

Gosar, who is in his seventh House term, represents Arizona's 9th Congressional District, which includes the majority of the state's western border, including parts of La Paz, Maricopa, Mohave, and Yuma counties.

Tara Kavaler is a politics reporter at The Arizona Republic. She can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter @kavalertara.

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