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Congressional Western Caucus Names New Leadership

January 26, 2011
Press Release
Today, Members of the Congressional Western Caucus joined together to unanimously name Congressman Steve Pearce (R-NM) as the new Chairman and Congressman Dean Heller (R-NV) as Vice-Chairman of the Caucus for the 112th Congress.  Outgoing Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT) announced that he is stepping down to fulfill his duties as the new Chairman of the House Resources Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands. 

"I thank my colleagues for the honor of leading this caucus," Congressman Pearce stated. "For too long, many Members of Congress, the Executive Branch, and other groups and organizations have chosen to ignore the fundamental principles that are so important to our constitutional liberties. Nothing is more western than private property rights and the ability to work for a living, and these very freedoms have come under fierce attack. As chairman, I will defend the values that are the building blocks of the Republic.  In my frequent travels around New Mexico, I am always reminded of the suffering faced by New Mexicans as jobs are taxed out of existence. I am absolutely convinced that now is time to take back our economic and constitutional rights. The time has come to lead the charge, rebuilding the industries and economies obliterated by overregulation, and speaking out for hard-working Americans. As Chairman, I will work diligently to unite Members who will focus the policy debate on common-sense environmental and natural resource policy."

Congressman Heller stated that, "With nearly 85% of Nevada federally controlled, federal public land policies and management have a direct impact on my constituents.  There will be many issues impacting western states over the next two years.  Whether we are fighting for public land access or responsible resource development for job creation, it is essential that western Members of Congress stand together and work for our common interests."

"For nearly two decades, the Congressional Western Caucus has provided advocacy and leadership in Congress on issues that impact western and rural communities and industries.  My decision to step down as Chairman comes as I take on new responsibilities with the House Rules Committee and as Chairman of the House Resources Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands.  I am grateful to have had the opportunity to serve as Chairman and am proud of our ongoing and collective efforts to protect the livelihoods of all westerners.  While I will no longer serve as Chairman, I will continue to be actively involved in the Western Caucus as we continue to fight for improved access to our public lands, increased research and development of our abundant energy resources and job creation for all.  As both Chairman of the Subcommittee and a Member of the Western Caucus, I will continue to advocate that economic growth and responsible stewardship of our natural resources are not mutually exclusive and can be accomplished through balanced reforms.  I am confident that both Rep. Pearce and Rep. Heller will provide exceptional leadership," said Congressman Bishop.

The Congressional Western Caucus was established in 1993 during the 103rd Congress to enhance, sustain, and preserve the West's dynamic and unique culture, and to find innovative solutions that address the distinctive concerns facing western and rural communities.