It’s not easy being a ranking member on a congressional committee, where any major legislative and policy decision is made primarily at the discretion of the chairman.
That struggle is particularly potent for Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva, the top Democrat on the Natural Resources Committee. The Arizona lawmaker, who is also the co-chairman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, wants to pass bills that address climate change. He wants to reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which uses federal oil and gas leases to pay for public parks and historic sites and is operating on a three-year extension secured in the 2015 year-end omnibus bill. He wants to shield Native American tribes from congressional interference.