On Thursday, I was honored to speak in Cheyenne with the Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert Wilkie and Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon at the dedication ceremony for the new Cheyenne National Cemetery, the first national veterans cemetery in the state. It’s because of the selfless service of our veterans that we live in freedom. We must conduct ourselves in a way that’s worthy of their sacrifice.
Click on the video below to watch my remarks from the ceremony and see the transcript below.
REP. LIZ CHENEY: It’s really a tremendous honor to be able to be here today with Secretary Wilke and Under Secretary Reeves, Governor Mark Gordon, and all of you, and a special honor and privilege to be here to help dedicate this sacred ground. There is really nothing that I do as Wyoming’s Representative that is more important to me and more important to our state and our country than the work that we do on behalf of our veterans and on behalf of those who are currently serving in our Armed Forces. Across the country, certainly in Washington, we all know and recognize that the freedoms that we enjoy, the freedoms that we are able to exercise every single day, we only are able to do that because of brave men and women like you who have stepped forward, who have answered the call, and who put on the uniform of this nation. There are many veteran cemeteries across this country, including cemeteries on battlefields, particularly Civil War battlefields, and there’s one in particular at Antietam. At the cemetery at Antietam, there’s a statue of a Union soldier who stands at rest and he looks out over the graves of his colleagues, his brothers who fell in that battle. And the inscription on that statue says, “Not for themselves, but for their country.”
I think that is something that we all need to pause every day, and particularly on a day like today when we’re here to commemorate, to dedicate this cemetery, that it is because of the selfless service of all of you that we live in freedom. It’s a call that generations since the beginning of our Republic have answered, the call that future generations will have to answer. I know that I, and all of Wyoming’s elected leaders, certainly, Secretary Wilkie, Under Secretary Reeves, all of us who are here, our Cheyenne mayor as well, all of us know that our task and our responsibility in representing all of you is to make sure that we conduct ourselves in a way that is worthy of the sacrifices that so many have made and continue to make. So, I am very honored to be here, pleased to be able to be here on such an important day and such an important moment, and proud of all that we are able to do everyday to help to support and remember our veterans and those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Thank you very much for your service, thanks for what you do for all of us, and it is my honor now, I believe, to turn things back over to Sam for Governor Gordon’s remarks. Thank you very much. This morning, the size of the Mullen Fire in southeast Wyoming is 127,503 acres. More than 1,050 personnel are assigned to the effort to slow the fire’s spread while also protecting values at risk all over the fire area. Thank you to all the firefighters and hotshot crews battling the fire. Our thoughts and prayers are with all affected by this devastation.
Pictured above from left to right: Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert Wilkie, Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon, Under Secretary for Memorial Affairs Randy Reeves, and Congresswoman Liz Cheney unveil a plaque honoring veterans during the dedication ceremony for the new Cheyenne National Cemetery.
Construction of the first phase of the cemetery provides space for more than 1,600 interments including caskets, in-ground burial of cremains, columbaria space for cremains and a memorial wall. At full capacity the cemetery will be able to accommodate just over 7,000 interments.
Until now, the closest burial option was Fort Logan National Cemetery located 114 miles away in Denver, Colorado. The only in-state Veterans cemetery is Oregon Trail State Veterans Cemetery, run by the State of Wyoming, located 176 miles away in Evansville. The 5.02-acre cemetery is expected to serve a population of more than 55,000 Veterans, their spouses and eligible children within a 75-mile radius of Cheyenne. This number includes over 15,000 Wyoming Veterans who will now be served with a VA burial option for the first time.
At the cemetery dedication, I was honored to be with 100-year-old veteran Gerry Meyer (pictured below). Gerry served in the Navy during WWII and later as Dean of the University of Wyoming’s College of Arts and Science. We owe Gerry our gratitude for his patriotic service to our state and country.
President Trump Signs Executive Order to Secure Our Critical Minerals Supply Chain:
Earlier this month, President Trump signed an executive order on addressing the threat to the domestic supply chain from reliance on critical minerals from foreign adversaries.
The president’s actions supporting the mining industry is a critical step toward reducing our nation’s reliance on the Chinese Communist Party and bolstering our nation’s security. The CCP deceived the world about coronavirus and threatened to withhold critical medicines from the United States; there can be no doubt that China also views U.S. reliance on its critical minerals as a potential source of blackmail.
Fortunately, Wyoming is blessed to have an abundance of resources, including the largest deposit of trona in the world. The Administration’s actions will allow our producers to expand their operations, create much-needed jobs in the state, and protect our domestic supply chains from predatory foreign adversaries like China and Russia. Click here to read more.
Wyoming’s Poder Academy & Slade Elementary Earn Blue Ribbon Award For Excellence:
Congratulations to Cheyenne’s Poder Academy and Laramie’s Slade Elementary for receiving the National Blue Ribbon Award for excellence in academic performance. Thanks to our dedicated teachers, principals, parents, and education communities who make Wyoming’s schools great! Learn more here.
Judge Barrett Is An Excellent Choice To Serve On The Supreme Court:
This month, President Trump announced the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit to the United Supreme Court. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced that the confirmation hearing for Judge Barrett will begin next week.
Judge Barrett is an excellent choice to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court. She is exceptionally qualified and her record demonstrates an unwavering fidelity to the Constitution. Throughout her career, she has adhered to the fundamental principle that, ‘Courts are not arenas for politics. Courts are places where judges discharge the duty to uphold the rule of law.’ The people of Wyoming and the nation will be well-served by Judge Barrett and her commitment to interpreting the Constitution and defending the rule of law. I applaud President Trump for nominating her and urge the Senate to move expeditiously to confirm her.
Speaker Pelosi Refuses To Help The American People, Once Again:
Across America families are suffering due to the coronavirus pandemic and Speaker Pelosi refuses to deal with this crisis. Time and again, we have watched her block relief, refuse to negotiate, and delay progress. Instead, she repeatedly introduces partisan bills that have no chance of passage. The Democrats are wasting invaluable time and turning their backs on the American people.
We should be providing assistance to families, workers, small businesses, agriculture and energy producers in Wyoming and across America. Instead, Speaker Pelosi has introduced legislation layered up with trillions in runaway spending that funds Green New Deal-style programs, sends taxpayer-money to illegal immigrants, and changes election law to rig the process for Democrats.
While throwing money at a slew of far-left proposals, the Speaker still managed to find a way in this bill to cut money for our law enforcement officials, building on the Democrats’ commitment to defund the police. Speaker Pelosi has fundamentally failed America and her decision to stand in the way of a commonsense relief bill is the latest example of that.
On Thursday, I joined “Cheyenne Today” with Reece Monaco on KFBC Radio to discuss a number of topics including Speaker Pelosi’s refusal to negotiate in good-faith on a COVID-19 relief package that would provide critical assistance to the American people.
Listen to the interview here, and see an excerpt of the transcript below:
REECE MONACO: With the coronavirus relief and stimulus, the President earlier this week said, ‘You know what, we’re going to stop talks until after the election,’ and now he’s saying ‘Okay, well if you can bring me maybe a standalone type of bill or something, stimulus that might include the $1,200 payments’ — that’s something that he would sign. Is that something that needs to be done or is this going to be shut down until after the election?
REP. LIZ CHENEY: You know, I hope not. I think that what we’ve seen over the course of the last 36 hours or so since the President said the negotiations were going to stop, it reset things. I think Speaker Pelosi is facing real pressure from a number of her [Democrat] members who are in vulnerable seats, who have had to go home and explain to their constituents why it is they haven’t been able, with the majority, to pass the additional necessary relief. So, I am hopeful that the combination of putting additional pressure on Speaker Pelosi, being able to pull out some of the discrete standalone kinds of assistance programs people need, and the work, of course, of Leader McConnell over on the Senate side, that we will be able to get something moving, I hope. The Speaker at every opportunity has chosen the partisan approach over actually getting something done which is one of the biggest reasons why we’ve got to make sure she’s not Speaker for very much longer.
The China Task Force Report Recognizes The Choice Between Freedom & CCP Totalitarianism:
Last week, the House Republican China Task Force unveiled our final report that will help end America’s dependence on China and rebuild our economy.
Since May, the China Task Force has been addressing key issues the nation must confront in order to defend against the threat posed to our freedom and security by the Chinese Government. The final report, which includes more than 400 policy recommendations, highlights the importance of ongoing increased funding for the U.S. Department of Defense, including for a modernized nuclear triad, sea and air power, cutting edge capabilities in space, cyberspace, and other emerging technologies, and acquisitions and military construction projects necessary to deter the CCP’s malign behavior on the world stage. The full report can be found here and an executive summary can be found here.
Watch remarks I gave at the press conference unveiling the report here, and see the transcript below:
REP. LIZ CHENEY: Thank you very much, Whip Scalise. I want to join in thanking our leader, Kevin McCarthy, for putting this task force together and the leader of the task force Chairman McCaul in leading us, the staff who helped us make sure that in such a timely fashion we were able to put together a report that touches on every aspect of the threat this nation faces with respect to China. At a moment where we are facing, I think, what is a generational threat, it is too bad that the Democrats refused to join us on this report. As the Leader said, two-thirds of the recommendations in here are bipartisan, and in order for us to defeat the threat from China, we’ve got to work in a bipartisan fashion. So, we call on Speaker Pelosi and the Democrats once again to stop putting their personal political interests ahead of the interests of the security of this country and join us in helping to put in place some of these recommendations.
I want to say just a few words specifically about the defense portion of this report. China is rapidly developing a military force that is capable of winning regional conflicts and they’re expanding their military footprint globally. The government of China and the Chinese Communist Party have gone to school on the United States – they’ve looked at our capabilities, they’ve looked at the particular assets that we have that enable us to project our power, that enable us to make sure that we maintain our military supremacy and they have developed capabilities to counter those. In particular, this report points out the importance of sufficient continued funding for our Defense Department. We have heard repeatedly from the military leadership and the civilian leadership of the Department over the course of many years that we must have three to five percent annual real growth increases in the defense budget in order to maintain our supremacy, and that was pre-COVID. It’s crucially important that we continue that resource of funding.
We must modernize our nuclear triad. It’s crucial to deterring the Chinese Communist Party and we must also develop and field conventional capabilities that are critical to countering the Chinese Communist Party in the Indo-Pacific in particular. This includes ground launched cruise and ballistic missiles. The People’s Republic of China is now the leading theater range missile power with both dual and conventional nuclear delivery capabilities – we must counter that. We must modernize our sea and air power, we must procure long range precision fires and strategic fires, we have to build contested logistics capabilities, and we’ve got to develop new operational concepts – joint operational concepts that allow us to counter the threat, that allow us to truly do what’s necessary to defend this country. Congress must fund military construction, prepositioning, strategic airlift, tanker support, and surge capacity. And we must counter the Chinese Communist Party globally as it seeks to establish more robust logistics and basing infrastructure around the world as it seeks to project its own military power.
In conclusion, it is very important for everyone to note that we are in the midst of a battle between freedom and totalitarianism. The question we all face is whether the United States and our allies will set the rules of the road into the future or whether the Chinese Communist Party and that authoritarian, totalitarian regime will set the rules of the road. The proposals that we have offered in this report recognize the gravity and the significance of this moment that we face and if followed these proposals will help ensure that freedom and the U.S.-led global order prevail.
Mullen Fire Update:
On Friday morning, the size of the Mullen Fire in southeast Wyoming is 173,747 acres with 18% containment. More than 1,050 personnel are assigned to the effort to slow the fire’s spread while also protecting values at risk all over the fire area. Thank you to all the firefighters and hotshot crews battling the fire. Our thoughts and prayers are with all affected by this devastation.
If you need emergency assistance: Call 911
Assistance with evacuations: Albany County Emergency Management Agency: (307)-721-1815
Carbon County Dispatch: (307) 324-2776 (Option 0)
Evacuations in Wyoming:
Albany County Emergency Management Agencyand Albany County Sheriff’s Officehave announced the following mandatory evacuations:
- East of HWY 11 along Sheep Mountain, from Fox Creek Road, North to Hecht Creek
- Fox Creek Road including areas west of Hwy 11 south of the Middle Fork Canyon
- Yankee Road towards Woods Landing, including a few properties on Fox Cabin Trail
- Fox Park
- Woods Landing
- Graham and adjacent areas
- Lower Keystone
- Moore’s Gulch
- Meadow Plains Road south to Yankee Road
- Areas near Sheep Mountain to Lake Hattie Reservoir and North of Hwy 230
A printable PDF version of the latest Public Information Map is linked here and posted to the Maps section. If a new perimeter measurement is available, you can access an interactive Story Map here. This map shows the most recent perimeters of both the Mullen Fire and Cameron Peak Fire, and includes features to look up your address and measure the distance to the fire – or between the fires.
Please follow this newsletter and the coronavirus page on my website for continued updates about COVID-19 and how government is responding to protect both the country’s health and our economic security.
Congresswoman Liz Cheney