Congressman Cheney's November 13th Newsletter
Natural Resources Committee
This week the Natural Resources Committee marked up three bills: H.R. 3905, the Minnesota's Economic Rights in the Superior National Forest Act, H.R. 4239 the SECURE American Energy Act, and H.R 2907 the Planning for American Energy Act, of which I'm a proud cosponsor. The Planning for American Energy Act directs the Secretary of the Interior to develop and establish an all-encompassing federal onshore energy production strategy to meet domestic energy needs and I'm very pleased that the Natural Resources Committee passed this crucial bill.
The SECURE American Energy Act is the result of multiple hearings within the House Natural Resources Committee. This bill encourages allows states to establish their own regulatory and permitting processes for oil and gas operations on federal lands. The federal 'one-size-fits-all' regulatory and permitting process is insufficient in meeting the needs of Wyoming and has resulted in egregious APD delays and redundant regulations. This bill also ensures that operations occurring on private land and accessing less than 50% of federal minerals do not require a federal permit, a provision that would be crucial for folks in Wyoming. H.R. 4239 also included my language from the States Mineral Revenue Protection Act which returns a 2% "administrative fee" that the federal government has been keeping from our state. These funds are crucial for our schools, and I am pleased that we are one step closer to making sure they return to the state. Finally, this bill included my amendment which clarifies the Migratory Bird Treaty Act to ensure oil and gas operators, wind operators, home-builders, and folks performing every-day activities are not held criminally liable for the accidental take of a bird.
The Natural Resources Committee also held a hearing to discuss federal assistance to Puerto Rico in the aftermath of the damage caused by Hurricane Maria.
House Armed Services Committee
The Conference Committee for the annual National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) completed its work this week. As the representative for the Natural Resources Committee on the NDAA Conference Committee, I was pleased to sign off on the final report which is the culmination of months of work to authorize programs necessary to support our troops and defend the nation. The final conference report included three amendments I added to the bill to ensure we have the ICBMs necessary to defend the nation and deter attacks from our adversaries, prepare for a potential Russian violation of the New START Treaty, and strengthen our deterrence posture in the Asia-Pacific region to address increasing threats from North Korea. The bill also contains a number of provisions that are important to our state. These provisions include language that: gives the Department of Defense authority to reimburse states for the costs of fighting wildfires caused but DoD actions such as the 2012 fire at Camp Guernsey; ensures the needed replacement of the Vietnam-era Huey helicopters defending the missile fields in Wyoming remains on schedule; prevents the immediate return of the Bells of Balangiga to the Philippines; and supports efforts to modernize our ICBM force.
The House Committee on Rules met several times to discuss and set parameters for floor considerations for a number of bills that were considered such as, H.R. 3411, the Save Local Business Act. J.R. 3043 Hydropower Policy Modernization Act, and H.R. 2201 Micro Offering Safe Harbor Act.
The House has continued to work on legislation aimed to reform our code and cut taxes. The current tax code, put in place in 1986, is overly complicated and burdensome. We need a tax code that lets people across Wyoming and the nation keep more of their hard-earned money. As conservatives and Republicans, we know that people know better how to spend their money than the federal government does. We have an obligation to reform our code and cut taxes for everyone and I will continue to work on this issue as the House bill comes up for consideration in the coming days and weeks.
A big congratulations to Lois Van Mark for her appointment as Wyoming's Farm Service Agency State Executive Director and to Chad Rupe for his appointment as USDA Wyoming State Director for Rural Development. I'm very pleased President Trump appointed two terrific individuals from Wyoming who have real on the ground experience. I'm looking forward to working with Lois and Chad to change the policies from the past eight years that have adversely affected our state. Read more here: https://goo.gl/8Aocx4
This week Wyoming State Legislator Bill Henderson from Cheyenne stopped by my office and we got a chance to discuss our state's workforce development, infrastructure, and the Healthy Forest Initiative.Thanks for the great discussion.
NOLS Environmental Stewardship & Sustainability Director Aaron Bannon from Lander, NOLS Operations Director Deborah Nunnik and I had a great meeting. As a NOLS parent I know the important and life-changing work of this group. We discussed our state's outdoor recreation industry, access legislation, and recreation permitting.
I want to thank Chris Taggart from Cody and National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors for coming by to talk about the impact of tax reform and the impact of legislation on folks in Wyoming. Thanks for sharing stories of families who have achieved financial and retirement security.
It was a pleasure meeting with Air Force Veteran Dick Shuptrine from Jackson and the National Parks Conservation Association. We were able to address the National Park Services maintenance backlog and address potential solutions to solve the problem.
United States Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer from Wilson was nominated by President Trump and sworn in by the Senate this year. Today, I got a chance to catch up with him. It's always a pleasure to spend time with our Nation's and Wyoming's finest.
It was an honor to speak at the Cowboys Against Cancer Sparkles & Spurs 23rd Benefit and Banquet fundraiser in Sweetwater. Cowboys Against Cancer is an incredible charitable organization that raises and provides funds to county residents who have been diagnosed with cancer. Thank you for putting on an amazing event and keep up the great work!
Check out this article from the Casper Star-Tribune about the need to modernize F.E. Warren Air Force Base's intercontinental ballistic missiles system.
"But despite the increased efficiency of the weapons, proposals to improve the ICBM force call for maintaining the current number of missiles: 400. Wyoming's U.S. House Rep. Liz Cheney successfully inserted an amendment into a defense spending bill in Congress earlier this year that requires the military to maintain at least that many ICBMs, a move that helps maintain F.E. Warren's important role in Cheyenne's economy."
Read the full article here: https://goo.gl/JRiZdX