Congresswoman Liz Cheney's February 16th Newsletter
All of our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and their families in the horrific school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida. We need to do everything possible to keep our kids safe. This must include significantly increasing security at our schools and ensuring we address issues connected to mental health.
Senators Enzi, Barrasso and I met with VA secretary Shulkin this week regarding the Cheyenne VA’s complexity level and its potential change. Secretary Shulkin assured us that the Cheyenne VA’s services and funding will remain the same regardless of complexity level. Secretary Shulkin also agreed to put a far less bureaucratic system in place to address and explain the complexity level ratings. We also discussed the unacceptable situation for our veterans in Wyoming, and across the country, where HealthNet, the Choice contractor, is failing to pay private providers for services they have provided to our veterans. Senators Enzi, Barrasso and I made the point that, although Wyoming may not have as many unpaid claims in dollar amounts that more urban areas do, we face an even greater challenge. Because we have fewer providers, if even one provider decides not to provide care because of unpaid bills, that could mean our veterans have no place to go in the Choice program. Secretary Shulkin and his staff committed to addressing this issue and moving quickly to resolve the current situation.
I'm proud to be an original co-sponsor of the Cardiac Arrest Survival Act. In a cardiac emergency, a person should not hesitate to use an automatic external defibrillator (AED) to provide emergency medical assistance for fear of being sued. This legislation will provide reassurance to persons providing lifesaving medical assistance and promote the implementation of AED’s in more locations. Fear of litigation should not stand in the way of saving someone’s life.
Congressman Conaway (R-Texas) and I authored a letter to our colleagues explaining the danger of allowing Chinese telecom companies like Huawei and ZTE to have access to America's telecommunications infrastructure. Our legislation, introduced recently, will prohibit companies that do business with these Chinese entities from doing business with the U.S. Government.
Natural Resources Committee
The Natural Resources Committee considered three bills this week, H.R. 835 a bill that modifies the acreage for the Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument, H.R. 4134, a bill to re-designate Idaho’s White Clouds Wilderness in the Sawtooth and Challis National Forest, and H.R. 4895, a bill that establishes the Medgar Evers National Monument in Mississippi. All three bills were voted on and passed out of the Natural Resources Committee.
I joined Rep. Steve Pearce, Rep. Vicente Gonzalez, Rep. Doug Lamborn, Rep. Scott Tipton, and Rep. Paul Gosar in sending a letter to U.S. Department of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross this week in support of the uranium industry’s Section 232 petition that asks the Federal Government to amend their current uranium trade policies. The national security risks of foreign dependence on uranium merit an expedited investigation and effective response. The United States was once a global leader in uranium production, domestic uranium concentrate production is on track to hit the lowest level since 1952. The domestic uranium industry currently supplies less than five percent of our domestic uranium needs, leaving the United States dependent on foreign sources—largely from Russia and Kazakhstan—for a mineral that is a critical component of our electric grid and our national security. The section 232 petition would encourage the Federal Government to purchase the abundance of uranium that is in the United States.
Armed Services Committee
The House Armed Services held a member retreat this week at the National Reconnaissance Office where we heard from speakers including, Deputy Secretary of Defense, Patrick M. Shanahan, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Dunford, Deputy National Security Director Nadia Schadlow and Betty Sapp, director of the NRO.
The House Armed Services Committee held a hearing with U.S. Pacific Commander Admiral Harris. Admiral Harris gave an assessment of the U.S. military's priorities and readiness in the Asia Pacific, specifically with respect to China and North Korea.
This week the Rules Committee held hearings and voted on H.R. 620 the ADA Education and Reform Act of 2017, H.R. 3299 the Protecting Consumers’ Access to Credit Act of 2017, and H.R. 3978 the TRID Improvement Act of 2017. All three bills passed the Rules Committee and passed on the House floor.
The ADA Education and Reform Act of 2017 amends the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 to clarify the requirements for business owners and operators. It protects against drive-by lawsuits and provides business operators the opportunity to cure areas of non-compliance prior to facing legal action.
H.R. 3299 the Protecting Consumers’ Access to Credit Act of 2017 amends the Revised Statutes, the Home Owners' Loan Act, the Federal Credit Union Act, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Act. This legislation would ensure the interest rate on certain loans would remain at the same percentage after a transfer of a loan.
H.R. 3978 the TRID Improvement Act of 2017 amends the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act of 1974 to modify the requirements relevant to mortgage loan transfers.
Tuesday was Special Olympics on the Hill Day. I had the pleasure of meeting with WY Special Olympics President Pricilla Dowse and Champion Tess Robinson. Tess is a gold medal athlete that has competed in sports such as golf and basketball. Thanks for showing off your medals, Tess!
Over the weekend, I had the honor to speak in front of our state legislators in Cheyenne. I wish them the best of luck as this year’s budget session begins. Thank you for all the work you do for our state.
I want to thank Wyoming State Forester Bill Crasper for stopping by this week to discuss priority issues for our state forests.
Wyoming Small Business Development Center Network met with me this week. State Director Jill Kline and Associate State Director Greg Jordan provided me with an update of the success and impact the network has accomplished.
I want to thank Patrick Harrington of the Wyoming Conservation Corps for meeting with me this week. He stopped by to share the work and impact the WCC has had in our state.
Laramie’s Taylor Rosty from ServeWyoming came to Washington D.C. this week to give me a general update on the Serve Wyoming Annual Report.
Wyoming ranchers, rodeo competitors, and 4-H participants could face serious unintended and burdensome consequences as a result of new HOS regulations and that is why I’m working with my colleagues in the House to find a solution because one-size-fits-all does not fit all.
“Twenty-seven representatives, including Gianforte and fellow Republicans Liz Cheney, of Wyoming; and Kristi Noem, of South Dakota; have asked DOT’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to clarify that a recreational exemption for horse trailers still applies when the trip involves an event with prize money.
There’s money for the economy in equine events, too, said the American Horse Council Foundation. The foundation reports that nearly 4 million horses are used in recreation events and $39 billion is spent in the process.”
Read the full article here: https://goo.gl/G9mJsk