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After another productive and busy week in Washington, I remain committed to working on behalf of our state. Through introducing legislation to make telehealth technology more readily available, pushing back against President Biden’s energy policies, supporting F.E. Warren, and more, I will continue to stand up for the values that we in Wyoming hold dear.

Introducing Bipartisan Legislation To Allow Americans To Take Advantage Of Telehealth Services:

On Tuesday, I joined Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI) in introducing the “Advancing Telehealth Beyond COVID-19 Act of 2021,” legislation that will codify critical telehealth policies implemented during the pandemic while also making it easier for seniors – especially those in rural areas – to access emerging health care technologies.

This bill will allow Americans to utilize telehealth services even after the emergency declaration has ended. COVID-19 presented unprecedented challenges, including the facilitation of a safe environment for our seniors to receive high quality health care. Fortunately, Congress was able to remove many of the barriers that prevented seniors from utilizing telehealth services from the comfort and safety of their homes. As a result, telehealth use among seniors has continued to rise and this legislation would continue this successful trend well after the pandemic is over by permanently cutting burdensome red tape, while allowing Medicare to adapt to the ever-changing innovation in medical technology.

I am proud this legislation has the support from a number of medical associations and health care affiliated groups. These groups include the American Medical Association, the Connected Health Initiative, the Wyoming Hospital Association, and the Wyoming Primary Care Association.

Additionally, I released a new video detailing the “Advancing Telehealth Beyond COVID-19 Act of 2021.” You can watch the video here:

Highlighting The Importance Of Telehealth Bill, Overturn Of Leasing Ban, & F.E. Warren For Wyoming:

This week I sat down with “Good Morning Wyoming” to discuss my new legislation to codify critical telehealth policies put in place during the COVID-19 pandemic, the overturn of the land leasing ban, and more. 

You can see clips of the segments and excerpts of their transcripts below:

Rep. Liz Cheney Joins Good Morning Wyoming To Discuss The Advancing Telehealth Beyond COVID-19 Act

REP. CHENEY: This is an issue that has really been important for some time. And what we saw during COVID was the — Medicare was willing to change some of the rules to provide some exceptions, to provide reimbursement for telehealth medical treatment. And because that’s such an important issue for us in Wyoming, because people in too many cases have to travel long distances to see doctors, I began thinking about and looking at ways that we could make those exceptions permanent.

SILVERSTEIN:How important is it to have a strong telehealth system, God forbid there should be a disease like COVID-19 again, or if there were a natural disaster as they’re prone to be in this state?

REP. CHENEY:When you have a situation like we had with COVID where you worry about exposing people, you worry about contagion, this also helps. And you know, in too many cases, we saw, unfortunately, during COVID, people decided that they weren’t going to go get treatment for other things that might be bothering them, other issues they might be having because of concern about being exposed. And so, telehealth is a technology that we really do need to use.

Rep. Liz Cheney Joins Good Morning Wyoming To Discuss Overturning Biden’s Oil And Gas Leasing Ban

REP. CHENEY: I was really pleased to see the judge rule the right way, and make clear that there are real questions about, you know, the permissibility of the Biden Administration imposing a ban on all oil and gas leasing on public lands. We know, certainly, how damaging from a policy perspective, that kind of a ban is for us in Wyoming, and we know how important it is that we’re able to get access to those resources, you know, not just because they power the nation, which they do, and we’re very proud of that, but also because it makes such a difference for our communities. And so I think, the judge affirmed that, you know, when you’ve got these leases that have been signed, and when you’ve got, you know, the applications for permit to drill that these companies have secured, and in some instances are looking for exceptions for those, you know, you really cannot, as an Executive Branch just simply come in and say, “We’re going to institute a ban across the board.” So, it was the right decision from a legal perspective and the right decision from a policy perspective. And we’re working — I just was yesterday working with representatives of a number of companies in Wyoming to talk about what that means, and how we make sure that that decision now gets translated into action, you know, on behalf of the agencies, so that we can — these companies can move forward, can have confidence that their APDs are going to be extended, and certainly hope that this will mean the end of the ban itself.

Rep. Liz Cheney Joins Good Morning Wyoming To Discuss Wyoming’s Role In National Security

REP. CHENEY: The big topics of that hearing was the new replacement for the Minuteman missiles that are at Warren Air Force Base and really have to push to make sure the funding for the GBSD, which is the next generation of those missiles, that funding stays in the budget, that we modernize, and that we ensure that Warren, which was selected as the first place for those missiles to be deployed. We’re very proud of that and we want to make sure we stay first in line. And so, on the national security front, we’ll have a lot of work going on for Wyoming and for the country, generally, as well.

Pressing Military Leaders On GBSD & Afghanistan; Affirming Gen. Milley For Saying What Happened On Jan. 6th Was An Attack Against The Constitution:

During Wednesday’s House Armed Services Committee hearing on the FY 2022 Budget Request made by the Department of Defense, I questioned Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin about the importance of investing in the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD) for F.E. Warren Air Force Base in Cheyenne and questioned Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley about withdrawing our forces from Afghanistan while our enemy is advancing. 

I also used my time to affirm Chairman Milley’s comments earlier in the hearing that what happened on January 6th was an attack against the Constitution. See video clips below of my questions, along with transcripts of my comments: 

The GBSD Is Less Expensive & More Effective Than Doing A Life Extension Of The Minuteman

REP. LIZ CHENEY:Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman, and thank you, General Milley and Secretary Austin for being here. Secretary Austin, I wanted to ask you about GBSD. We’ve had consistent testimony, as I’m sure you know, in front of this Committee this year, and in prior years, that the extent to which GBSD will save the taxpayer money moving forward with it is 38 billion dollars in cost savings over life extension of the Minuteman. And, obviously, it also has significantly increased capabilities over the Minuteman. I’ve listened to you today — it sounds like there may be some question about whether or not you agree with those assessments or whether or not a change will be made. As you look at the Posture Review, could you elaborate what factors might lead you down the path of not going with the less expensive, more effective and capable GBSD system? 

SECRETARY LLOYD AUSTIN:If I conveyed that I already made some sort of decision, Congresswoman, that’s absolutely not the case. I think the right thing to do if we’re going to conduct a Nuclear Posture Review — which we are going to do that —  is to make sure that we have the right pieces in place, the right balance, and to make sure that we continue to evaluate the GBSD in the context of that Nuclear Posture Review. But again, my intent was not to convey a preference or a decision. You know, that is not where I am.

REP. CHENEY: Thank you. I appreciate that. And again, just looking at the cost that we have seen, the consistent testimony, and the effectiveness, it would be some concern, obviously, if we move towards trying to do a life extension at this point. 

It’s A Significant Concern That We’re Withdrawing Forces From Afghanistan As Our Enemy Advances

REP. LIZ CHENEY:General Milley, I wanted to ask you about Afghanistan. You know, it does seem that we have now seen the Taliban taking 50 to 60 more districts. I know the government moves its district centers at some point, but it does seem that we’re withdrawing from the battlefield as our enemy advances. So, could you talk about both what the actual specifics are — we haven’t really heard anything in terms of over the horizon basing and whether or not you think this is good policy to withdraw as our enemy is advancing. 

CHAIRMAN MARK MILLEYCongresswoman, in terms of the district centers in the provinces and, as mentioned earlier, there’s 419 district centers, 81 of them or so are in the hands of the Taliban, about 50 were done previously and about 30 or 40 in the last ‘X’ amount of months. In addition to that, no provinces have fallen to the Taliban yet. There’s a 300,000 plus or minus security force consisting of the army and the police forces for the Afghans. We have not done Train, Advise, Assist in quite some time down at the tactical level. So, they have been out there shouldering the burden of that fight for well over a year. And in terms of what we are doing, what we are doing is a deliberate, responsible drawdown, a retrograde, to bring out U.S. military forces, and we’re going to keep a small number of forces there to maintain the Embassy open and to keep capabilities there and keep the money going for the ANSF and the government. Now, what happens in the future? There’s a wide variety of possibilities. The worst case, a civil war, breakdown, fracturing the government, fracturing of the army — that’s very possible, and that would be a very bad outcome. There’s also a possibility, not high on the probability list, but a negotiated settlement between the government and the Taliban — that’s possible. And then the alternative is an outright takeover of the Taliban, which I also think that is unlikely but possible. So, there’s a variety of outcomes here that could happen. We are executing the orders that we’re given in a very professional way, and thus far things are relatively stable on our end.

REP. CHENEY:Thank you, General Milley. I think it’s obviously just a significant concern as we do watch the Taliban advance and we know we’ve got a counterterrorism mission we have to conduct and we don’t have any basing agreement secured for over the horizon. 

January 6th Was An Attack Against The Constitution & We Do Need To Understand What Happened

REP. LIZ CHENEYI want to just end with the continuation of this topic that’s been discussed. A couple of my colleagues suggested that there were service members who were being somehow persecuted because of their political beliefs or their ideological beliefs. I want to, first of all, thank you for noting that the attack on the Capitol on January 6th was an attack on the Constitution. We do need to understand what happened. It was an attack provoked by the Commander-in-Chief. He could have immediately intervened to stop it, and he didn’t. I think it’s very important for us to recognize and understand who was in the Capitol that day and why. And we have to protect the First Amendment rights of our service people, no doubt. But it’s also critically important that we remind everybody that the UCMJ makes it a crime to engage in sedition or mutiny or to seek the violent overthrow of the United States government. So, I would urge, as you are focused on getting to the bottom of what happened, we need to do the same here, but we really need to focus on that piece of this as well. With that I yield back. 

My above comments about January 6th were made in response to earlier testimony offered by Chairman Milley. An excerpt of that testimony can be seen below: 

Chairman Milley: I Want To Find Out What Caused Thousands Of People To Assault This Building & Try To Overturn The Constitution

GENERAL MILLEYSo, what is it that caused thousands of people to assault this building and try to overturn the Constitution of the United States of America? What caused that? I want to find that out.

Discussing The Importance Of Soda Ash To Wyoming’s Economy:

Soda ash is Wyoming’s top export and a critical part of our state’s economy.

This week I met with Oz Erkan and Mike McGrady from Ciner Resources for an update on the Pacific Soda project’s new facilities in Green River that will bring new high-paying jobs into our state.

Please follow this newsletter for continued updates about my work in Washington on behalf of the great people of Wyoming.

Congresswoman Liz Cheney

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