Happy 4th of July! I hope everyone had an excellent and safe day celebrating our nation’s independence. It’s been a busy couple of weeks at home and in D.C. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to update you on what’s been happening in the House of Representatives.
I had the privilege of meeting with President Trump and some of my Republican colleagues in Congress to discuss crucial national security issues that currently face the U.S., including the threat China continues to pose to our communications networks. I also attended a discussion with President Trump at the White House on immigration issues. I remain committed to ensuring we secure our border and enforce our immigration laws.
The House passed a resolution urging the Justice Department to release documents subpoenaed by the House Judiciary Committee related to the Russia investigation. There are serious questions that have been raised about the FBI’s alleged bias while investigating Russia meddling in the 2016 presidential election. The DOJ must allow the House Judiciary Committee to do their job without interference and most cooperate with congressional document requests.
Congratulations to Wyoming’s Congressional Award recipients for achieving their goals in service work, physical fitness, and exploration. I’m very proud Wyoming ranked second in the nations for the most gold medals achieved. It was an honor to present gold medals to so many participants with Senators Enzi and Barrasso. Thank you for making Wyoming proud!
It was an honor to be with Wyoming’s American Legion auxiliary in Cheyenne as they celebrated their 100th anniversary.
I was pleased Secretary Zinke moved quickly to name Cam Sholly as the new Superintendent of Yellowstone National Park. Superintendent Sholly’s extensive resume and background within the Park Service will serve him well as he transitions into his new role. We had a good meeting discussing the issues facing Yellowstone and I’m looking forward to working closely with the Superintendent to keep Yellowstone one of the Nation’s most beloved parks.
I want to congratulate Chuck and Mary Engebretsen, along with several Lost Springs residents who received the Wyoming Pioneer Association’s Historical Restoration Award for their volunteer work renovating the Prairie View cemetery. I also want to thank Chuck and Mary for sending me a picture of the American flag requested from my office for the Prairie View cemetery.
Natural Resources Committee
The Natural Resources Committee reviewed several bills including the Removing Barriers to Energy Independence Act that authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to recover the cost of processing administrative protests for oil and gas lease sales, applications for permits to drill, and right-of-way applications. The energy industry, the lifeblood of our economy in Wyoming, has been severely burdened by lengthy and often frivolous protests on energy projects. I’m proud my bill will help stop the abuses of this system by charging a nominal fee for protests of oil and gas lease sales, applications for permit to drill, and right of way applications. The Removing Barriers to Energy Independence Act brings much needed and long overdue relief to Wyoming oil and gas operators.
In addition, the Natural Resources Committee reviewed the Ending Duplicative Permitting Act that prevents the BLM from requiring oil and gas permits on non-Federal surface estates that access subsurface mineral estate that is less than 50 percent Federally owned.
I’m pleased the House Republicans and Senate passed the crucially important Farm Bill that protects and strengthens programs Wyoming’s farmers and ranchers depend on to provide food to communities across the country. This comprehensive legislation included an amendment I offered that safeguards ranchers who legally graze on federal lands from frivolous lawsuits that force ranchers off their allotments leaving them no choice other than to sell their livestock at fire-sale prices. I also voted last month to defeat an amendment that would have devastated Wyoming’s sugarbeet industry. The Farm Bill also strengthens and improves the work requirements for work-capable adults without dependents to receive food stamps. Wyoming relies on crucial Farm Bill programs, and I’m proud to have voted in support of this legislation.
The Rules Committee reviewed the Endangered Salmon and Fisheries Predation Prevention Act that protects salmon and steelhead populations in the Pacific Northwest by managing the sea lion population. The committee also reviewed the Strengthening Fishing Communities and Increasing Flexibility in Fisheries Management Act that allows commercial and recreational fisherman to access to our oceans to provide fresh, sustainable seafood for consumers.
The rules committee reviewed several bills to help combat America’s opioid crisis, including Stop the Importation and Trafficking of Synthetic Analogues Act to quickly and efficiently remove dangerous drugs from drug traffickers’ hands and the THRIVE act that supports transitional housing for individuals recovering from opioid addiction. The committee also reviewed the Securing the International Mail Against Opioids Act that directs the U.S. postal service to collaborate with other federal agencies to develop technology to detect opioids in the mail.
Armed Services Committee
I had the pleasure of managing the rule on the House floor for the Department of Defense Appropriations Act for 2019. The Department of Defense Appropriations Act provides the funding needed by our men and women in uniform to defend this great nation, and it is by far the most important responsibility we have as members of the United States Congress. For far too long, Congress has failed in this regard. For nearly a decade, we have forced our men and women in uniform to operate under continuing resolutions each year, and the threats we face as a nation are real and growing. It’s critical that we end this cycle of dysfunction to give our troops the resources they need on time and I’m pleased the Department of Defense Appropriations passed the House on Friday.
The House also voted for the National Defense Authorization Act to go to conference with the Senate to finalize the text of the bill. The House version of the NDAA authorizes funding at levels that will begin to restore our readiness, replace aging equipment and weapons and develop the next generation of military technology. I’m hopeful the conference process and passage in both the House and Senate will move quickly for President Trump to sign into law.
I had the pleasure of participating in a national security forum focused on countering ISIS 2.0 and the future of the Middle East with Representative Adam Kinzinger, Honorable Jane Harman, and Ambassador Ryan Crocker. The discussion, moderated by NBC’s Courtney Kube, focused on the preventative action the U.S. and our allies can take to deter ISIS and other malicious terrorist organizations.
I had an excellent time meeting with Wyoming students from Teton County 4-H, an incredible organization that provides participants with valuable life and leadership skills.
It was great to meet with the Wyoming History Day participants. They’ve done an incredible job representing Wyoming and demonstrating their critical thinking and problem-solving skills as they competed in the National Contest.
I had the honor of meeting with remarkable students from Big Horn Middle School. It was great speaking with you and thank you for bringing Wyoming values to Washington, D.C.
I want to thank Holly Frontier CEO and President George Damiris for a great meeting to discuss a wide-range of important issues regarding the oil and gas industry.
It was a pleasure meeting with Wyoming Music Educators Association President Lila Kennah, President-Elect Steve Scofield, Collegiate Representative Michealla Dukart, and Collegiate Representative Nick Hoskins to discuss the importance of music and visual arts education in our state.
It was an honor meeting with all the excellent and hard-working students from Niobrara high school at the Capitol.
The Department of Interior announced funding for the vital 2018 PILT program. I encourage everyone to read more about how the program helps Wyoming communities that rely on PILT.
“PILT program eligibility is reserved for local governments that contain non-taxable Federal lands within their boundaries. These jurisdictions provide significant support for national parks, wildlife refuges, and recreation areas throughout the year. PILT seeks to compensate local governments for the inability to collect property taxes on Federally-owned land.”
Read the full article here
I sent a letter with my colleagues in Congress to urge Google to stop their partnership with the Chinese telecom company Huawei. I would encourage everyone to read this article from Fox about our letter.
“On Wednesday, the lawmakers sent a letter to company CEO Sundar Pichai about its “strategic partnership” with Huawei, an apparent reference to a Google agreement to roll out a next-generation SMS technology called RCSwith the Chinese firm.
“Chinese telecommunications companies, such as Huawei, have extensive ties with the Chinese Communist Party,” the letter says. “As a result, this partnership between Google and Huawei could pose a serious risk to U.S. national security and American consumers.”
Read the full article here