WASHINGTON, D.C. — Congressman Jamie Raskin (MD-08), Committee on Natural Resources Chair Raul Grijalva (AZ-03) and Vice Chair Deb Haaland (NM-01) led 28 House Members in urging President Trump to withdraw his nomination of William Perry Pendley to serve as Director of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and to immediately revoke Pendley’s authority as Acting Director. Pendley’s fundamental opposition to the mission of the BLM, multiple ethical transgressions, and inflammatory rhetoric on matters of racial justice and social inclusion render him unqualified for this position and unfit for public office.
The Members wrote: “Pendley is emphatically unqualified to lead the Bureau of Land Management, whose mission is to ‘sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.’ Pendley’s decades-long career demonstrates not only a contempt for the value of protecting public lands but an active interest in exploiting public lands and dismantling the federal agencies charged with their protection. In 2016, he wrote an article for the National Review falsely arguing that ‘The Founding fathers intended all lands owned by the federal government to be sold’ and has urged the government to ‘Sell all lands E. of the Mississippi.’ He also previously opposed the bipartisan reauthorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), taking a stunningly extreme position which makes him unsuited to oversee the BLM’s implementation of the recently-enacted Great American Outdoors Act.”
The Members continued: “Compounding his ethical transgressions and ideological commitment to sell off our public lands is his inflammatory rhetoric on matters of racial justice and social inclusion. In the Washington Examiner, he argued that the Black Lives Matter movement ‘was built on a terrible lie.’ He has claimed that ‘Islam is at war with the United States,’ compared undocumented immigrants to ‘a cancer’ and blamed them for spreading disease, argued that LGBTQ awareness programs do not belong in public schools, and publicly lambasted diversity-based inclusion initiatives. He also has a history of dismissing tribal sovereignty and questioning the religious importance of sacred lands to Native American communities. These positions render Pendley a bizarre choice to lead a diverse federal workforce at a time when we are working to confront systemic racism and inequality in our country. The American people deserve a leader at the BLM who will represent all Americans.”
A copy of the letter is available here.
In addition to Reps. Raskin, Grijalva and Haaland, the letter is also signed by the following Members: Barragán, Bonamici, Clarke, Cox, Gallego, Gomez, Engel, Hastings, Horsford, Huffman, Johnson (Hank), Lee, Levin (Andy), Lowenthal, Lynch, McEachin, Nadler, Napolitano, Norton, Ocasio-Cortez, Omar, Stanton, Thompson, Titus, and Wasserman Schultz.