Last week Rep. Lummis voted for an amendment to Department of Defense (DOD) Appropriations that would have limited funding for operations against ISIS through March of 2016 unless President Obama presents a plan that is then approved by Congress to authorize use of military force before that time.
“Despite having no clear strategy or direction from the White House, our troops on the ground and in the skies over Iraq and Syria have been helping stall the ruthless ISIS forces,” said Rep. Lummis. “To simply pull these trainers and pilots out and stop all assistance for our allies in the region would not only leave our allies in a dangerous lurch, but would encourage ISIS fighters throughout the Middle East to push harder. In contrast, the DOD appropriation amendment I supported last week was a responsible way to ensure Congress debate and decide on authorization for these operations. Congress needs to debate and decide on operations against ISIS but we should not abandon our allies or leave ISIS unchecked while doing so.”
“The science has spoken: the gray wolves in Wyoming and the Western Great Lakes are recovered and will continue as such under the capable management of the states,” said Rep. Lummis. “I am pleased to be a part of this bipartisan effort to uphold this true conservation victory. It is time we treated this as the win it is and return management to the states.”
H.R. 1992: the American Soda Ash Competitiveness Act will prevent an increase of the soda ash royalty rate to 6 percent at the end of this fiscal year. Instead, the bill lowers the rate to 2 percent for five years to help level the playing field between Wyoming and other American soda ash producers who must compete with synthetic, state-subsidized soda ash produced in China. The soda industry directly employs over two thousand workers in Wyoming, in addition to supporting thousands of jobs in the transportation, port, and manufacturing sectors.
H.R. 2358: the Electricity Reliability and Forest Protection Act will streamline and improve management of electricity rights-of-way on federal lands, which are crucial to power delivery but threatened by beetle killed trees and other hazards. This bill will enhance the reliability of the electrical grid in Wyoming, reduce the threat of wildfire, and protect ratepayers.
H.R. 2647: the Resilient Federal Forests Act of 2015 expedites the National Environmental Policy Act to improve forest management activities. This will ensure forest health and resilience by efficiently managing fire-prone forested lands. The bill bolsters what we know works to prevent catastrophic wildfire through proactive management of forests and encouraging state and local collaboration on management projects. It also cuts unnecessary red tape and takes a measured step to prevent unproductive litigation that has held up responsible and environmentally sound projects on our federal forests.
“I am pleased we have passed out of committee these bipartisan bills critical to Wyoming, her forests, and her working families, and the next stop is the House floor,” said Rep. Lummis. “Two of these bills will improve what has been poor federal management of our forests and the energy transmission corridors over federal lands that help keep the lights on in Wyoming. I was particularly pleased to work with Representative Cook on the soda ash bill to keep Wyoming’s soda ash industry globally competitive. This is a jobs bill, ensuring Wyoming’s workers and natural soda ash feed global demand instead of the state-subsidized, artificial soda ash synthesized in China.”
“I’m glad to see my bill was passed out of committee with strong support,” said Rep. Cook. “This is an important bill that will protect a vital industry, grow jobs, and do this with little impact to the federal budget. This $1.8 billion industry within the U.S., employs over 3,000 workers directly, 700 of which are in my district. Additionally, it provides around 20,000 indirect jobs. I appreciate the support of my colleagues on this vital issue, particularly Vice-Chair Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), who joined me in sponsoring this bill.”
“After six years of misleading statements on Obamacare, failed foreign policy, and power grabs over water and land, this president has proven to be untrustworthy at every single turn. I could not bring myself to cast Wyoming’s vote in support of President Obama’s politically driven agenda. I don’t trust him with a clod of dirt, let alone international trade deals.”
This executive order, issued in February of 2014, established a new $10.10 per hour minimum wage for contractors with the Federal Government. Despite the Forest Service advising the Department of Labor (DOL) that outfitters and guides operating with permits on public lands are not contractors, the DOL wrote guidance to include guides and outfitters operating on federal lands under the order.
Throughout the hearing serious concerns were raised on the effects this order will have on outfitters and guides since the requirements to pay overtime will run the businesses into the ground. Furthermore employees will now be required to keep careful logs in the backcountry of whether the activities they engage in are covered under a certain contract, log time under that contract, be careful not to log that time if it does not fall under a given contract, track time sleeping, time eating, value of meals eaten, and other excessive details.
“Leave it to President Obama and his Administration to turn the backwoods and wilderness into a sea of red tape,” said Chairman Lummis. “Even the Forest Service commented on this rule stating that outfitters operating under permit are not federal contractors and should be exempt from this rule. The Department of Labor decided to ignore the Forest Service, despite its familiarity with these small businesses, and has decided to impose this federal order on public land outfitters and guides. We have to fight these excessive regulations that can put these businesses under and would make accessing federal lands even more difficult. That is why I am proud to have joined Rep Stewart on his bill to address this issue.”
U.S. Representative Chris Stewart (UT-02) testified in the hearing regarding his bill H.R. 2215: the Outdoor Recreation Enhancement Act, of which Rep. Lummis is a cosponsor, to clarify and expand an existing exemption to wage and hour laws for ski resorts to include businesses involving rafting, horseback riding, hiking, cycling and other seasonal recreational business.
“My bill is a simple fix that will allow these businesses to continue to operate on federal lands and will allow all of us the opportunity to enjoy extraordinary experiences in our National Parks and other public lands,” said Rep. Stewart.
The DOL justified the overtime payment requirements citing the need to raise morale for guides and outfitters. In response Mike Cottingham, owner of Wilderness Ventures, testified:
“I’ve been in business for 43 years…I’ve never met a mountain guide on Mount Ranier, Grand Teton, Mount Shasta, I’ve never met a river guide on any of the rivers I’ve run who had low morale engaging in those kind of activities…,” said Mike Cottingham. “I didn’t just start a company and hire a bunch of people, I actually led. I led for nine straight years with my wife. And those were the finest the most rewarding summers I ever had in my life. And when I hire a young person today as a leader I am so thrilled that they have an opportunity to have the experience that I had...they are people who are doing this because they just love the opportunity to share their enthusiasm. It’s a pretty amazing group of people.”
“Legislation shouldn’t even be needed for U.S. citizens to purchase perfectly legal and regulated firearms especially in this case with storied, American made rifles that are pieces of U.S. military history,” said Rep. Lummis. “This is simply a political stunt on the part of the State Department to deny law-abiding citizens, firearm collectors, and competitive marksman the exercise of their Second Amendment rights. The State Department has no business blocking domestic firearm ownership and my bill will make sure it stops.”
In recent years, the Department of Energy has flooded the uranium market with excess federal uranium, driving down the price of uranium and flouting the law’s requirement that transfers do not adversely impact the American uranium industry. The bill responds to numerous flaws in the uranium program identified by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), which found that federal uranium sales lack transparency, are highly inefficient, and have generated returns for the taxpayer far lower than their market potential.
“Light disinfects and this bipartisan bill seeks to shine disinfecting light on DOE uranium transfers by promoting both transparency and accountability,” said Rep. Lummis. “Past DOE transfers have hurt uranium producers and cost taxpayers an estimated $195 million in potential additional revenue on excess uranium sales. This act, however, would establish a robust public process to help ensure that future transfers maximize returns for taxpayers on these resources. It would also codify Secretary Moniz’s most recent cap on uranium transfers, preventing DOE from disrupting uranium markets in the meantime. Past unchecked federal uranium sales have given no regard to their market impacts, wreaking havoc on the men and women of Wyoming’s uranium industry who are working to alleviate our almost 90 percent dependence on foreign uranium for American electricity needs.”
“It is a simple question of fairness,” said Rep. Hinojosa. “Insisting on transparency and accountability in regards to how the DOE manages federal excess uranium inventory is not a controversial position to take. It is a responsible one. The DOE has consistently failed to manage its excess uranium inventory, violating not only its own policy, but federal law. I believe this legislation is long overdue.”
For the bill text please click here or go to: http://lummis.house.gov/UploadedFiles/LUMMIS_020_xml.pdf
Additional House co-sponsors:
Rep. Michael Burgess (R-TX)
Henry Cuellar (D-TX)
“This bill is the best opportunity we have to prevent a deal with Iran that allows them to develop a nuclear weapon,” said Rep. Lummis. “A nuclear armed Iran cannot be an option. With this bill, Congress will at least get a look at the deal President Obama is negotiating with Iran before any sanctions can be lifted. It is not a perfect bill, and stopping a bad agreement will still be difficult. We need to ensure any agreement between the US and Iran prevents Iran from getting the bomb and protects our national security as well as our primary ally in the Middle East: Israel.”
“America’s ICBM forces are at the ready, ensuring security for our nation 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” said Rep. Lummis. “The U.S. is not facing fewer threats today. If anything we are facing more threats and we should keep our defense systems, especially the three legs of our nuclear triad, in readiness. This force helps reassure allies and remind enemies that America remains a powerful, prepared military force. I am pleased that our amendment supporting the ICBMs passed the House by voice, showing the bi-partisan support for our keeping our strategic deterrence on alert.”
Thursday, May 14, 2015
11:00 a.m. to Noon
Sundance Town Hall
213 E. Main Street
Thursday, May 14, 2015
1:00 p.m. to1:30 p.m.
Pine Haven Town Hall
24 Waters Street
Area residents are encouraged to come to discuss issues or views, questions or concerns regarding the federal government. These comments and concerns will be relayed to Senator Enzi, Senator Barrasso and Congressman Lummis.
If residents are unable to attend at that time, but would like information or assistance, please contact these offices at:
Senator Enzi’s Gillette office at 307-682-6268
Senator Barrasso’s Sheridan office at 307-672-6456
Congressman Lummis’ Sheridan office at 307-673-4608
113 Cannon HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Cynthia Lummis (pronounced “Luh-miss”) was elected to represent the people of Wyoming in the U.S. House of Representatives in 2008. She was raised on her family ranch in Laramie County and graduated from the University of Wyoming with bachelor degrees in Animal Science and Biology. In 1979, Cynthia became the youngest woman ever elected to the Wyoming Legislature. She returned to the University of Wyoming for a law degree, which she received in 1985.
Cynthia then clerked at the Wyoming Supreme Court, practiced law in Cheyenne, and served a total of fourteen years in the Wyoming House and Senate, concentrating on natural resource and taxation issues. She completed her legislative service in 1994 and then chaired Governor-elect Jim Geringer’s transition team. She continued to work in the Governor’s office for two more years, primarily on natural resource issues. Cynthia also served as the interim Director of the Office of State Lands and Investments.
Cynthia was elected Wyoming State Treasurer in 1998. In eight years (two terms) as Wyoming State Treasurer, she converted Wyoming’s primarily fixed income investment portfolio of $3.5 billion to a fully diversified portfolio of equities, real estate and fixed income investments, public and private, domestic and international, totaling $8.5 billion. Her term of office as State Treasurer ended in January 2007.
Cynthia continues to be involved in the daily operations of the Lummis family ranch. She and her husband, Al Wiederspahn, a former Wyoming legislator and Cheyenne attorney, have one daughter, Annaliese.
As the sole House Representative for the state of Wyoming, Cynthia is a staunch advocate for fiscal responsibility, limiting the size and scope of the federal government and developing our nation’s domestic energy capabilities. Cynthia is a member of the House Natural Resources, Oversight and Government Reform and Science, Space and Technology Committees.
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Bill prevents federal agencies from requiring citizens to relinquish state endowed water rights to use public lands https://t.co/eYgGPbf8xY