Seizing Momentum

With Donald Trump in the Oval Office, places like Gillette and Campbell County have some real momentum, and now is the time to take advantage of it because it won’t last forever.

That was the message U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney had for Campbell County Commissioners on Tuesday.

“We have a period of momentum now that we need to take advantage of,” Cheney said, noting that it won’t last long “because pretty soon we’re going to be into 2018 mid-terms and the 2020 presidential election.”

Taking advantage means putting things into law that can’t be simply undone by an executive order, as well as “cutting the size of these (federal) agencies,” said Cheney.

“At the end of the day, I think that’s one of the most effective things we can do is reduce their size and their funding, and get more authority back to the local level,” she said.

Health care

Last week, the House of Representatives passed the GOP health care bill by a 217-213 vote. Cheney said she’s glad it got passed.

“I think the fundamental approach of trying to move away from the mandates and this one-size-fits-all approach is absolutely right,” she said. “One of the things I was constantly struck by was the Democrats who were arguing that we keep Obamacare, No. 1, were ignoring the fact that the system’s collapsing and No. 2, they were acting like we haven’t been living under it the last seven years.”

The bill now goes on to the Senate.

Cheney admitted that it will go through some changes, but just how much she doesn’t know.

“One of the most effective things we need to do is introduce competition and market principles into the system,” she said, noting that one of the best ways to do that would be to allow people to buy out-of-state health care plans.

Wyoming tried doing that a few years ago, she said, but it didn’t work because insurance companies “don’t have an incentive to come in because our costs are so high.”

“If nationwide we lift those restrictions, I think that can have a much more effective outcome,” she said.

She added that there is a lot of misinformation floating around that the bill will allow insurance companies to kick people who have pre-existing conditions. That, she said, is not true.

Coal

There’s a lot of optimism in Campbell County because of what the president has promised to do for the coal industry. Cheney said Trump is “really committed” to coal, and that she’s pleased to see the president has kept his campaign promises in that regard.

 
Changing the way people view coal is going to be critical moving forward, she said. That includes highlighting technological advances made in the industry.

“I believe the coal industry has not gotten credit for what they’ve done. Dry Fork (Station power plant), for example. That’s tremendous technology,” Cheney said.

And instead of incentivizing companies to only focus on green technology, Cheney believes that “we’ve got to level the playing field.”

“I’m not against renewables. I think they have an important role to play. But they have to prove their economic viability without requiring massive amounts of taxpayer money,” she said.

 

To read the full article by Jonathan Gallardo at the Gillette News Record click here: https://www.gillettenewsrecord.com/news/local/article_08e1cbd4-ec7b-5738-8d8b-b9d91a2fb54b.html