Interior Department Nomination Hearing Begins Tuesday For Hill Staffer With Idaho Ties

Dec 4, 2017

Arrowrock Dam is one of the dams in the Bureau of Reclamation system that feeds the Treasure Valley in southern Idaho. A staffer in Sen. Jim Risch's office could soon oversee the Bureau if he is selected for an Interior Department post.
Credit Troy Maben / AP Images

Tuesday morning, a Senate committee will hear the nomination of someone who – if approved – would move from his role on an Idaho politician’s staff to a prominent Interior Department post.

Tim Petty has been with Sen. Jim Risch’s (R-Idaho) Washington D.C. staff for eight years. Last month, President Donald Trump nominated him to be the assistant Interior secretary for water and science.

According to Mike Roach with Risch’s office in Boise, Petty is a great fit for the Department job.

“He’s just a real good down-to-earth guy," Roach says of Petty. "He was raised on a farm in Indiana. So he’s been learned from the ground up.”

Petty has worked for the Interior Department before – under then-Secretary and former Idaho governor Dirk Kempthorne. He also has experience in the field as a geologist and hydrogeologist.

Roach says if his nomination goes through, Petty will be missed on the senator’s staff, but:

“We’re not losing him. We’ll have certainly a working relationship with him going forward.”

The Interior Department post oversees both the Bureau of Reclamation and the U.S. Geological Survey.

Find reporter Frankie Barnhill on Twitter @FABarnhill

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