I began this term with President Trump as he signed my bill to overturn BLM Planning 2.0 into law. As we recessed last week for the last time before the election, I was again honored to be at the White House as President Trump signed another crucial piece of legislation, the defense funding bill to fully fund our troops, on time, for the first time in nine years.
These bill signings, coming near the beginning and end of my first term in Congress are especially meaningful because they represented two of my most important priorities as Wyoming’s lone representative in the House: rolling back the overreaching federal regulations of the Obama years that targeted Wyoming’s farming, ranching, and energy industries and providing needed resources for the defense of our nation. We have accomplished much during the last two years and we have much work ahead.
In other news, I recently introduced the Grizzly Bear State Management Act, which directs the Department of the Interior to re-issue the rule delisting grizzly bears in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, and prohibits any judicial review of this decision. This year, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) determined that, “The population has rebounded from as few as 136 bears in 1975 to an estimated 700 today and meets all the criteria for delisting.” Additionally, USFWS biologists determined the grizzly bear currently exceeds the carrying capacity of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem and now occupies more than 22,500 square miles. The decision by a Federal District Court Judge in Montana to re-list the grizzly ignores science, and disregards the important work done by the state of Wyoming to establish an effective grizzly bear management plan. My bill will stop this abuse of the court system and put management of the grizzly back in the hands of experts in Wyoming.
I also introduced the H.R. 6939, the Restoring Local Input and Access to Public Lands Act at the request of Big Horn, Lincoln, and Sweetwater County Commissioners. This legislation lifts the restrictive Wilderness Study Area designations, which Congress never intended to be permanent, in these counties. While the Wyoming Public Lands Initiative is underway in some counties across our state, these three counties opted not to participate in that process and have requested that Congress act to release their WSAs. H.R. 6939 will finally address this long-standing WSA issue and provide citizens and local officials in Big Horn, Lincoln, and Sweetwater counties more authority to determine how best to manage the federal land within their counties. Additionally, over the last few years, federal land management agencies have abused their authority under the Federal Land Policy and Management Act to classify land as having wilderness characteristics then restrictively managing that land based on the agencies’ arbitrary standards without local input, support or any real justification. My bill also ends this deeply flawed practice.
I have heard from constituents across Wyoming in support of this legislation:
“We want to commend Congresswoman Cheney for bringing this bill. We have lived far too long in Wyoming with these Wilderness Study Areas that were supposed to have been disposed of many years ago. We are supportive of all efforts to get the WSAs moved out of the interim status they have been in. The interest of our members, as ranchers, out on these lands, has been negatively impacted by the WSA designation because these lands have been managed as de facto wilderness. We are very pleased to see an effort to move out of the WSA status and into multiple use management which was the original recommendation of the BLM for many of these areas.” – Jim Magagna, Wyoming Stock Growers Association Executive Vice President
“Advocates for Multiple Use of Public Lands (AMPL) is pleased to support Congressman Cheney’s Restoring Local Input and Access to Public Lands Act of 2018. Protecting access for responsible mechanized and motorized recreation on our public lands in Wyoming is of key importance to the citizens of Wyoming and our visitors who enjoy and cherish these public lands.” – Advocates for Multiple Use of Public Lands
“We, the Lincoln County Commissioners fully support the release of the WSA’s in Lincoln County. We appreciate all the work that Congressman Cheney has done to help us with an important issue.” – Robert King, Chairman Lincoln County Commission
“I was very pleased when Rep. Cheney was willing to step forward and step up to take on the challenges of these WSAs. I sincerely hope Congress can make the change in Sweetwater county, since roughly 80% of the people I represent depend on the quality jobs that stem from mineral development.” – Wally Johnson, Sweetwater County Commissioner
View the full list of endorsements here.
This week, I had a great time touring the Cheyenne Magpul facility where I had the opportunity to put together PMAGs for our troops. KGWN accompanied me as I met with the hardworking Magpul employees and learned about the work they are doing to support both our armed forces and the local economy in Cheyenne.
Please watch my tour of Magpul below:
The Roosevelt fire in Sublette County has been among the most catastrophic in Wyoming’s history causing widespread destruction with the loss of 55 homes. Thankfully no lives were lost, but the property loss has been tragic. On Tuesday, I had the opportunity to hear about this situation from county commissioners, state representatives, the USFS, BLM, woodland firefighters, Interagency Fire Task Force, Governor Mead’s office, State Forester, the Wyoming Department of Homeland Security, and most importantly landowners who lost their homes in the fire. I am committed to helping residents recover from this disaster. We must also do more to prevent these fires from happening in the first place. When it comes to forest management and emergency response, one size fits all solutions don’t work in Wyoming. Forest management should be left to the states and I will continue to work on solutions like the Resilient Federal Forests Act to ensure Wyoming’s forests are being properly managed so we can better protect against the threat of wildfire in our state.
On Thursday morning, I had the pleasure of joining Fox & Friends to discuss the Senate Democrats attempt to defeat Judge Kavanaugh’s confirmation. Please watch my full interview below.
This week, I also joined The Story with Martha MacCallum on Fox to discuss Judge Kavanaugh’s confirmation. Please watch my full interview below.
Natural Resources Committee
The Natural Resources Committee reviewed several pieces of legislation that focused on improving the Endangered Species Act (ESA). As evidenced by what our state has experienced with the delisting of the gray wolf and now the grizzly, the ESA is clearly not working and must be reformed. States are best suited to manage their wildlife by implementing an approach that is most effective to their landscape and habitat. I proudly voted to approve the EMPOWERS ACT, which requires the USFWS to consult with states before making decisions on ESA petitions, and the Endangered Species Transparency and Reasonableness Act, which requires the USFWS to make scientific data used to make listing determinations publicly available.
Most importantly, the committee considered the Manage our Wolves Act, which is very similar to a bill I introduced last year. This bill hands management of the gray wolf back over to the states by removing protections under the ESA that are no longer necessary. We are fortunate in Wyoming that the gray wolf has finally been delisted, but the wolf is still listed in many other states throughout the country. I voted for this bill and am pleased that it passed out of the Natural Resources Committee, and I look forward to it passing out of the House.
My colleagues and I reviewed three bills collectively known as the Tax Cuts 2.0 package to ensure the GOP tax plan continues to help American families put more of their hard-earned money back in their pockets. My colleagues and I voted to send the American Innovation Act to promote business innovation, Family Savings Act to encourage retirement and family savings, Protecting Family and Small Business Tax Cuts Act, and the American Innovation Act to the House floor, and I was proud to vote for them when they were considered on the House floor on Thursday and Friday. Thanks to President Trump and the tax cuts passed last year, our economy is finally beginning to grow again. These bills will build upon that success and I hope they will be considered and passed by the Senate.
The committee also voted to send to the House floor a resolution that criticizes the City of San Francisco for allowing illegal immigrants to vote in local elections. I supported this resolution and certainly agree that allowing illegal immigrants to vote devalues the voting power of U.S. citizens.
Armed Services Committee
As a member of the Air Force Caucus I was honored to join my colleagues at a meeting with Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson and Air Force Chief of Staff General David Goldfein. We had an important discussion about the future of the Air Force and the importance of our continued investment in order to strengthen our military. Secretary Wilson also discussed the awarding of a contract to replace the aging Huey’s at F.E. Warren. This contract award was an important and long-awaited step towards ensuring the men and women serving at F.E. Warren have the resources they need to accomplish the critical mission of keeping our missile sites safe and secure.
I had the honor of visiting the terrific new spaces of the University of Wyoming Marna M. Kuehne Foundation Veterans Services Center in Laramie. It’s a great facility that is providing important services and support to the veteran community at UW. Congratulations to the terrific team, thank you for the tour, and, most importantly, thank you for all you are doing for our UW veterans.
It is always great to be in Cody for the Buffalo Bill Center of the West Patrons Ball. I had the privilege of spending time with some of the wonderful folks from Northwest Battle Buddies and the best VP.
I had an excellent meeting with several of Wyoming’s superintendents and teachers from across the state whose schools participate in the Impact Aid program. We discussed the ways these funds are implemented to best benefit the students who attend these schools.
It was great to meet with Brian and Peach Tyrell from Cheyenne, Kevin Ward from Rawlins, Scott Cargill from Gillette, Dick Hammer from Sheridan, and Marsha Allen from the Wyoming Automobile Dealers Association and discuss several important issues facing their industry.
I want to thank everyone from Wyoming Wranglers who met with me about supporting ongoing initiatives at F.E. Warren and the work their doing to help strengthen the economy of Cheyenne.
Thank you, Dale and the Greater Cheyenne Chamber of Congress for hosting the Wyoming delegation on Wednesday. I was honored to provide Dale with a copy of a statement I submitted to the Congressional Record honoring Dale, his great work for the City of Cheyenne and his well-deserved award as Wyoming Chamber of Commerce’s Director of the Year.
I encourage everyone to read this article about legislation I introduced to allow our state to properly manage the grizzly bear population.
“The debate over the first grizzly bear hunts in decades is far from over. Congresswoman Liz Cheney introduced the Grizzly Bear State Management Act yesterday, which directs the Department of the Interior to de-list the Yellowstone grizzly population once again.”
Full article here.