On Wednesday, I spoke to Wyoming reporters and answered questions from them following Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s moving and powerful remarks to Congress as his country faces down an unprovoked invasion from Russia and Vladimir Putin. My opening remarks from the press call can be found below:
REP. LIZ CHENEY: It was, I think, a very important and unprecedented speech this morning to have a foreign leader address the Congress virtually. And I will say, it really hit home in a number of ways: the assault that the Ukrainian people are facing and just also the nature of President Zelensky as a leader. When he finished his remarks, it was clear he seemed to be running his own tech. He stood up out of his chair to go and basically turn things off in the same way that all of us do when we’re on Zoom meetings. And it’s just really — the combination of sort of the human aspects of hearing from him and seeing him, knowing the threat that he’s under.
And then he also, in the middle of his remarks, stopped and showed a video that really illustrated very clearly what major cities in Ukraine looked like, three or four weeks ago and a video that featured young children and young families. You know, I was just speaking to Susan Anderson a few minutes ago from Casper — and it looks like the parks in towns all over Wyoming. People living their lives. And then the contrast is the images of those sort of everyday life moments from a few weeks ago with the unbelievable deaths and tragedy and just attack that has now confronted cities across Ukraine. He asked for our support, and asked for the United States to do more than we’ve been doing.
I think that there are many things that we can do. I think that we have seen a West that is united in response to these attacks — the assault by Russia. But I think that the response could be much faster than it has been and much more complete than it’s been. I’d like to see us, for example, impose sanctions against the top 100 oligarchs and their families. I’d like to see us not have selective restrictions put in place with respect to the SWIFT system, for example. I think those ought to be complete with respect to all the banks in Russia. I think it’s a very good thing that we — the Administration moved to stop the import of Russian oil. But I think that the Administration needs to couple that with unleashing America’s own domestic energy production. And, right now, we’ve got a situation where the Administration is continuing to engage in negotiations with Iran — negotiations that are being led by the Russians to try to re-enter the Iranian Nuclear Deal. That is really inexcusable, at this moment, to be contemplating providing Iran with a pathway to a nuclear weapon, providing Iran with sanctions relief, and providing the Russians with the potential economic benefits of that kind of relief. And doing so at a time when Russia really — it ought to be clear that Russia has made itself a pariah state. They shouldn’t be engaging in these — the Administration shouldn’t be continuing to engage in those kinds of discussions and negotiations.
I also think that we need to be moving much more quickly. I was disappointed when the Administration blocked the transfer of the MiG Aircraft to the Ukrainians. I think that that is something that should go forward. So, there are a whole range of things we can do and we should do to make sure that we are providing support for the Ukrainians in this battle. And I think you’ll see bipartisan support for those things. It’s not a partisan issue.
The U.S. Should Unleash Domestic Production So We Can Be The World’s Energy Arsenal:
Last week, President Biden announced that the United States will ban the import of Russian energy.
President Biden has made the right decision to ban the import of Russian oil, coal, and LNG as Russian President Putin wages a violent assault on the people of Ukraine.
After banning the import of Russian energy, the United States should unleash domestic production so that we can be the world’s energy arsenal, instead of allowing our adversaries like Iran or Venezuela to step into this void. We should authorize new leases and permits for oil and gas drilling on federal land and cease the development of new regulations that limit energy production. In Wyoming and across the country, we have the resources and capabilities to increase production so we can return to American energy independence, provide crucial resources for our allies around the world, and mitigate the higher gas prices and energy costs that hardworking families are facing. This is an economic and national security imperative.
America Must Be An Arsenal Of Energy For The World To Counter Russia And Continue Working With NATO To Defend Freedom:
I recently joined CBS’s “Face the Nation” from Casper to discuss the United States’ response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
You can watch the full interview here and see part of the transcript below:
MARGARET BRENNAN: Have we reached the limit of what is possible to do here with sanctions, or is there something more you think would make a difference?
REP. LIZ CHENEY: Oh, we certainly haven’t reached the limit. I think that we have seen impressive progress. I think the fact that we’ve had European countries and NATO united with the United States as we go forward is a very positive thing. I do think we need to do more. I would like to see us move, with respect to the Russian Central Bank completely. I’d like to see SWIFT sanctions that don’t leave any carve outs. I’d like to see the oil industry affected. I’d like to see very clear that, you know, the United States ought to be looking at ourselves, frankly, as an arsenal of energy for the world, in the way that in World War II we were an arsenal of democracy. We ought to be an arsenal of energy, so we ought to be unleashing our own energy resources, our own energy production. We have to stop the import of Russian oil to the United States. So, there is certainly more we can do. We ought to be sanctioning not just Putin, not just Lavrov, not just the oligarchs, but all of their families. This behavior, this aggression against Ukraine is something the world simply cannot tolerate. So, the sanctions ought to go further. As I said, we’ve made good progress so far.
We Must Get Back To Energy Independence & Stop Importing Russian Energy:
I joined Mac Watson on KODI Radio’s “Mac In The Morning” program recently to discuss additional steps the United States can take to counter Russia and bolster our energy production. Listen to an excerpt of the interview here and see part of the transcript below:
MAC WATSON: We continue our conversation with Representative Liz Cheney, who’s taking time out of her busy day to talk to us here on KODI. Ms. Cheney, we talked a little bit about how nervous are we about Russia. What do you want to hear from the president for his State of the Union address? Do you want to hear more sanctions? Do you want to hear more responsibility taken for the Ukraine people? What is it you want to hear tonight?
REP. LIZ CHENEY: Well, I want to hear him say that, you know, in the same way that America was the arsenal of democracy in World War II, that, you know, now, we’re still the arsenal of democracy, but we also need to be the arsenal of energy for the world. And I want to see the Biden Administration reverse course on their energy policies that are trying to put bans on oil and gas leases on our public lands, the energy policy that is trying to completely eliminate fossil fuels. It’s just — it is absolutely irresponsible. Even before what we see happening in Europe, it was absolutely irresponsible for them to be going down a path of rejecting our fossil fuel industry. And now, watching Europe, watching the extent to which Vladimir Putin, you know, his source of income are his energy exports, and that’s also his source of power and blackmail. The United States ought to stop importing Russian energy, Russian oil. We also ought to be in a position where, you know, we get back to being energy independent. I want to see the Keystone Pipeline open up. I want to see us moving as quickly as we can to authorize and get approved the export terminals for our LNG. So, you know, I think that — and I will say, it’s interesting, because the Administration is facing now, bipartisan pressure to do this. I’ve talked to a number of my Democratic colleagues in the last 24 hours, who have said, you know, they also cannot believe the Administration would continue down this path of trying to stop the fossil fuel production in the United States. It’s absolutely counter to our national security interests, absolutely counter to our economic interests. So, that’s one of the big things that I really want to hear him talk about tonight, not pushing this, you know, green energy agenda that, frankly, is not capable of meeting our needs in this country, economically, or from a national security perspective.
Calling On U.S. To Stop Russian Oil Imports; Emphasizing Danger Of Making A Deal With Iran:
I joined “The Guy Benson Show” on Fox News Radio recently to discuss America’s response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the Biden Administration’s dangerous negotiations with Iran.
Listen to the full interview here and see a portion of the transcript below:
GUY BENSON: I saw a clip, during the commercial break actually, of Jen Psaki, the White House Press Secretary, being pressed earlier on the issue of importing oil from Russia, which we are still doing hundreds of thousands of barrels a day, millions of dollars. The question was, “Aren’t we funding this war? Aren’t we helping Putin in that respect?” Doing plenty on the other side, of course, but what gives here? And Psaki’s response in part was, “Well, it’s only 10% of what we’re importing.” “Why is it not 0%?” I guess is the follow up. They don’t seem to have a great answer to that. They also don’t have good answers about domestic oil production, which they are hostile toward as a matter of ideology. I just wonder what you make of what seems to be a pretty significant contradiction here and this pickle that they’ve put the United States in, by virtue of their so-called green policies.
REP. LIZ CHENEY: Well, you’re exactly right, Guy. And what we’re watching happen is – it’s absolutely clear that we ought to stop all imports of Russian oil, and we ought to unleash our own domestic production here. You know, during World War II, FDR described America as the “arsenal of democracy” for the world. We ought to be the arsenal of energy for the world, and we know we can. And the problem the Biden Administration has right now is that their policies with respect to the Green New Deal are directly at odds with being able to unleash our own domestic production. So, several colleagues of mine and I have sent a letter to President Biden just today laying out the series of steps he needs to take, you know, to roll back, for example, to lift his ban on leases on public lands, to lift some of the just overwhelming regulatory, the heavy-handed regulation that the domestic fossil fuel energy is facing. And it’s a national security issue, and it’s an economic security issue. So, we absolutely ought to be doing far more in terms of our own production. And we should not continue to import Russian oil, which, as you said, funds the unbelievable and horrific assault on the Ukrainian people right now.
Urging Biden To Unleash American Energy:
I recently joined members of the House Energy Action Team (HEAT) in sending a letter to President Biden urging him to unleash American energy. The letter outlines the actions taken by the Biden Administration that have been harmful to the energy sector and how reversing these steps can help counter Vladimir Putin by making America less reliant on Russian oil.
The full letter can be read here and seen below:
Co-Sponsoring The American Energy Independence From Russia Act:
I signed on as a co-sponsor to H.R. 6858, the American Energy Independence from Russia Act.
The Biden Administration’s energy policy has been wrong from day one. Now, as Vladimir Putin conducts an unprovoked and unjustified assault on a sovereign nation, the United States must stop importing Russian energy and block their access to this revenue source.
The legislation I co-sponsored would offset these Russian imports by ramping up domestic energy production, specifically allowing for oil and gas leasing to resume on federal lands and ensuring that oil and gas lease sales must take place in Wyoming moving forward. Just as the United States was an arsenal of democracy during World War II, we need to be an arsenal of energy for the world today and this bill is an important step toward achieving that.
Introducing Bipartisan ‘Ukraine Democracy Defense Lend-Lease Act of 2022’:
I recently joined Representatives Joe Wilson (R-SC), Steve Cohen (D-TN), Tom Malinowski (D-NJ), Mike Waltz (R-FL), and Elissa Slotkin (D-MI) in introducing the bipartisan ‘Ukraine Democracy Defense Lend-Lease Act of 2022.’ This legislation would enhance the President’s current lend and lease authority to simplify bureaucratic barriers with regards to military equipment for Ukraine.
The United States must take aggressive and decisive action to aid Ukraine as they fight Putin’s brutal invasion. I’m proud to join Senator Cornyn and Rep. Wilson in introducing legislation that will ensure the United States can continue to provide equipment and armaments without delay.
Renewing Calls For The Biden Administration To Drop WOTUS Expansion:
Last week, I joined 203 of my House Republican colleagues in sending a letter to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Michael S. Regan and Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works Michael L. Conner renewing calls for the Biden Administration to drop its plan to expand the scope of “waters of the United States” (WOTUS).
Beyond our opposition to the unnecessary burdens a broader WOTUS definition would have on businesses, communities, and private citizens, we strongly oppose such a move until the recently announced WOTUS-related Supreme Court case (Sackett) is decided. In the letter, we argue that a premature rulemaking would cause more confusion for impacted parties, waste taxpayer resources, and hinder efforts to improve U.S. infrastructure and protect clean water.
We detailed our firm opposition to the current WOTUS rulemaking:
- A Supreme Court ruling on WOTUS later this year will have significant impacts on any rule the Agencies put forward. A premature rulemaking will compound existing uncertainty and confusion for stakeholders, who have already experienced years of uncertainty over WOTUS definition and scope changes.
- The Agencies have stated their rulemaking will take into account “updates to be consistent with relevant Supreme Court decisions.” With such a significant decision pending, refusing to push pause on their current rewrite rather than wait for the Supreme Court’s action could lead to another complete rewrite just months down the line, wasting taxpayer resources.
- A broader WOTUS rule will delay, obstruct, and drive up the costs of improving U.S. infrastructure, and ultimately diminish the value of funding for projects across the country, including those funded by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.
- Due to the WOTUS rulemaking’s anticipated negative impact on small businesses, the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy has already requested the Agencies pause and a Small Business Advocacy Review (SBAR) panel be held.
The full letter can be read here and seen below:
Legislation To End U.S. Dependence On Chinese-Manufactured Pharmaceuticals:
On Thursday, I joined Reps. Mike Gallagher (R-WI), Elise Stefanik (R-NY), Ted Budd (R-NC), Vicky Hartzler (R-MO), and Bill Posey (R-TN), in introducing the “Protecting our Pharmaceutical Supply Chain from China Act,” which would end U.S. dependence on China for pharmaceutical manufacturing.
We cannot live in a world where the Chinese Communist Party sets the rules of the road globally. Protecting our supply chains and reducing our dependence on them for pharmaceuticals is an important step we must take to strengthen our national security interests.
Hearing How WY Upward Bound Program Is Empowering Students:
There’s a bright future ahead for these young leaders.
I enjoyed hearing first-hand how the Wyoming Upward Bound Program is helping to empower students with the skills to succeed in college and to make a positive difference in their communities.
Learning How Impact Aid Is Helping Students & Schools In Wyoming:
Appreciated the chance to talk with Chairman Hudson and WY Impact Aid Representatives about how the program helps students and schools in our state.
As a member of the bipartisan Impact Aid Coalition in Congress, I’ll continue to support the mission and work of this critical program.
Discussing How WCDA Helps Wyoming Families Finance Their First Home:
This week, I met with Scott Hoversland, Mike Martin, David Caplan, Doug Chamberlain, and Susan Anderson from the Wyoming Community Development Authority Board. Great to hear about the work WCDA does to help Wyoming families finance their first home.
Working To Move Forward With Supplying The National Uranium Reserve:
Uranium is an essential resource for Wyoming and it’s vital that we move forward with supplying the national uranium reserve.
I’ll continue to work with Wyoming producers and the Uranium Producers of America (UPA) to push for these important policies to ensure our national security and energy independence.
Ensuring Our Kids Have Access To Adequate Nutrition:
It was a pleasure to meet with Linda Martin from Uinta County School District #1 and the WY School Nutrition Association. Thank you for your commitment to ensuring our kids have access to adequate nutrition.
Discussing The Important Services Community Banks Provide:
Great to meet with Wyoming bankers — Gary Crum from Laramie and Bob McBride from Buffalo — to discuss the important service that community banks provide and the regulatory concerns we’re seeing from the Biden Administration.
Hearing About The Impact “Manufacturing Works” Has Had In Wyoming:
I visited with Rocky Case, Kevin Kershisnik, and Steve Farkas with Wyoming MEP, a public-private partnership at UW that drives innovation for manufacturers and entrepreneurs.
It was great to hear about the impact “Manufacturing Works” has had in our state.
Talking About The Challenges We’re Facing As A State & Nation:
It was a pleasure to meet with Robb Hicks from the Buffalo Bulletin this week and talk about the challenges we’re facing as a state and nation. And I’m so glad his son, Aidan, could join us!
Meeting With One Of Wyoming’s Future Ag Leaders:
I met with Baylee Shoopman, a senior from Wind River High School, about her passion for agriculture education as she shared her goals for the future.
The future of agriculture in Wyoming is in great hands with bright leaders like Baylee.
Learning How NASA Programs Are Increasing STEM Opportunities For Students:
From the Space Grant’s high-altitude balloon satellite program to EPSCoR research at the University of Wyoming, NASA programs continue to increase key STEM learning opportunities for students.
I met with Dr. McBride, the Director of NASA’s STEM Engagement in Wyoming for an update.
Discussing The Important Work Local News Outlets Do To Keep Our State Informed:
Always great to see Al Harris, Rita Conners, and Laura Grott with the Wyoming Association of Broadcasters. Thanks for the important work you and so many local news outlets do to keep people across our state informed.
Sitting Down With Credit Unions To Hear The Work They’re Doing To Overcome Challenges:
Wyoming’s credit unions play an important role in our communities. Honored to sit down with leaders from different credit unions across the state to hear first-hand about the work they’re doing to overcome challenges.
Hearing About Issues Facing Community Financial Institutions & The Importance Of Cutting Regulations:
For 80+ years, Western Vista Credit Union has served credit union members and our Casper and Cheyenne communities.
I enjoyed visiting with Steven Leafgreen to discuss a variety of issues facing community financial institutions and the importance of cutting regulations.
Speaking With Wyoming Principals:
Great to speak with the WY Association of Secondary School Principals and WY Association of Elementary and Middle School Principals.
Thanks for your leadership and all you do for Wyoming students!
Talking About Challenges Facing WY Airports And The Importance Of Keeping Our Communities Connected:
I appreciated hearing from WYDOT Aeronautics Administrator Brian Olsen and Directors from SW Wyoming Regional Airport, Jackson Hole Airport, NE Wyoming Regional Airport, and Casper-Natrona Co. International Airport about the challenges they’re facing and the importance of keeping our communities connected.
Please follow this newsletter for continued updates about my work in Washington on behalf of the great people of Wyoming.
Congresswoman Liz Cheney