Less than two months since being sworn in, Congressman Cliff Bentz, R-Oregon, was given a leadership position on the Natural Resources Subcommittee on Water, Oceans and Wildlife, as the ranking member Wednesday.
Bentz, who was elected to the U.S. House in November replacing Greg Walden in Oregon’s Second Congressional District, is a member of the full House Natural Resources Committee and has been appointed to the House Judiciary Committee.
As the ranking Republican on the subcommittee, Bentz, of Ontario, is in a central position to have a voice on water resources, federal irrigation projects, hydro projects, interstate water issues and fisheries management, according to a news release.
“I will take an active role in the consideration of all water issues coming before the panel,” Bentz said in a statement. That could include advocating against dam removal, he said, which would put him up against Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson, who has proposed the removal of four dams on the lower Snake River to save the endangered salmon.
In a statement, state Sen. Lynn Findley, who replaced Bentz in both the Oregon House and Senate, said, “Congressman Bentz is beyond qualified for this leadership position and the depth of his experience in these policy areas will greatly benefit Oregon and the country.”
“Through his man years in the Oregon Legislature, Congressman Bentz knows first-hand the important of bridging the urban-rural divide and supporting common-sense solutions regardless of party, April Snelk, executive director of the Oregon Water Resources Congress, said in a statement.
“His thoughtful and deliberative approach to complex policy is needed now more than ever, and we are grateful to have him in Congress working on Oregon’s behalf.”