Cynthia Lummis

Cynthia Lummis

WYOMING

Campbell County Office Hours

2015/04/24

DeAnna Kay, Oaklee Anderson, and Matt Jones, Field Representatives for U.S. Senators Michael Enzi and John Barrasso and Congressman Cynthia Lummis are scheduled to hold “Office Hours” in Gillette and Wright at the following times and places:

Wright

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

10:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.

Wright Town Hall

395 Lariat Drive

 

Gillette

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Campbell County Library

2101 S. 4-J Road, Room II

Area residents are encouraged to visit with Kay, Anderson and Jones on an individual basis to discuss issues or their views, questions, or concerns regarding the federal government.  These comments and concerns will then be relayed to Senators Enzi and Barrasso and Congressman Lummis.

If residents are unable to attend at that time, but would like information or assistance, please contact:

Senator Enzi’s Gillette office at 682-6268;

Senator Barrasso’s Sheridan office at 672-6456; and/or

Congressman Lummis’ Sheridan office at 673-4608.

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Lummis Examines Energy Department Uranium Transfers

2015/04/22

Today U.S. Representative Cynthia Lummis, Chairman of Oversight and Government Reform’s Subcommittee on the Interior, held a hearing to investigate the Department of Energy’s (DOE) uranium sales used to fund the cleanup of federal nuclear enrichment sites.  The DOE has on several occasions in recent years flooded the uranium market with excess federal uranium to generate cash to spend outside of Congress’s appropriations process.  The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has found that the Department lacks the statutory authority to conduct these sales.  These unchecked sales disrupt the uranium market and cost uranium miners their jobs.  The uranium sales are also highly inefficient and have generated returns far lower than their market potential, denying taxpayers the returns they should expect from such a valuable asset. 

“The DOE’s uranium transfers have hurt Wyoming’s uranium industry, deprived the American people of the best value for these assets, and bypassed Congress’ control of the purse,” said Chairman Lummis.  “For too long, the Department has abused this asset, using shady contracts to generate quick cash without regard for the taxpayer or the American men and women working in the uranium industry.  We aren’t going to lessen our almost 90 percent reliance on foreign uranium so long as DOE uses the uranium inventory as a slush fund and ignores their legal obligation not to disrupt the market.  Wyoming is home to massive deposits of uranium that can help wean us off foreign sources if the federal government would stop standing in the way.  I was pleased to work in a bipartisan fashion today to shed much needed light on this troubled program, which is in dire need of reform.”

Click here for video

Witnesses:

John Kotek

Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary

The Office of Nuclear Energy U.S. Department of Energy

Scott Melbye

Executive Vice President

Uranium Energy Corp

David Trimble

Director

Natural Resources and Environment

U.S. Government Accountability Office

 

Chairman Lummis’ full opening statement:

U.S. Rep Cynthia Lummis, Chairman

Oversight and Government Reform Committee

Subcommittee on the interior

“Good morning and welcome to today’s hearing of the Subcommittee on Interior of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee.  Our purpose today is to examine the Department of Energy’s management of the U.S. excess uranium inventories.  This is uranium of varying grades owned by the federal government that has been declared surplus to the national security needs of the United States.  This uranium has significant value.  Selling it generates revenue for the Federal Government, and displaces uranium produced by private industry in the marketplace.

“The Department of Energy’s management of this uranium has prompted questions by the domestic uranium industry as well as the Government Accountability Office, a nonpartisan agency that investigates how the federal government spends taxpayer dollars.  The GAO found that the Department of Energy failed to consistently value uranium it transferred to third parties in exchange for other services.  The GAO found that other transfers violated the Miscellaneous Receipts statute, which requires government officials who receive money on the government’s behalf to deposit those funds with the Treasury except where otherwise provided by law.  By not depositing an amount equal to the value of the uranium into the Treasury, DOE has inappropriately circumvented the power of the purse granted to Congress under the Constitution.

“Further the GAO found that the Department of Energy’s studies to assess the market impact of proposed uranium transfers as required by the USEC Privatization Act of 1996 failed to show quality assurance guidance to provide detail about the data, methodology, and assumptions made in studies and had other shortcomings. So this raised questions as to the validity of the conclusion that proposed transfers would have no adverse material impact on the domestic uranium industries.  The domestic uranium industry plays an important role in ensuring America is not completely dependent on foreign sources of energy, particularly in the area of uranium where we actually import about 90% of the uranium that we use here.  Completely unnecessary to do so.  While I note that the DOE is in the process of revising its procedures to determine the market impact of proposed transfers of excess uranium, it’s important to discuss previous problems to ensure they are not repeated. 

“Today we will hear from the GAO to discuss their reports. We will also hear from the Department of Energy to learn more about their management of excess uranium and their response to the GAO.  Finally we will hear from a representative of the domestic uranium industry to discuss how these transfers have affected the industry.  A representative of Fluor-B&W Portsmouth, who is the DOE contractor for cleanup at the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant in Piketon, Ohio was invited to the hearing to discuss the importance of the cleanup that some of the transfers have funded, but was unable to attend.  I look forward to hearing the panel discuss ways that the Excess Uranium Management can be improved to eliminate legal concerns and ensure the best value for the taxpayer while not disrupting the domestic uranium industry and continue to meet DOE’s obligation to clean up its legacy sites. 

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Lummis Targets IRS

2015/04/16

This week, U.S. Representative Cynthia Lummis supported and voted for a host of bills that reform the tax code and restrict the IRS.  Two of the more important bills, which Rep. Lummis also cosponsored, are H.R. 622 – State and Local Sales Tax Deduction Fairness Act of 2015 and H.R. 1105 – Death Tax Repeal Act of 2015.  The first of these, H.R. 622, would make the state and local sales tax deduction permanent to keep the field level for states like Wyoming that use a state sales tax instead of a state income tax.  The second bill repeals the death tax to protect family businesses and farms as they are passed from generation to generation.

“Oppressive tax rates burdening hardworking Americans are painful enough, but pile on the maze of red tape and IRS abuse and filing taxes is simply excruciating,” said Rep. Lummis.  “To relieve families and small businesses in our struggling economy we passed legislation to curtail IRS abuse, repeal the devastating death tax, and make deductions for state and local sales taxes permanent.  Our obsolete tax code forces the majority of American to seek professional tax help and software to navigate the mess of forms.  We need to simplify the tax code and relieve the tax burdens on American families wherever we can to grow jobs and our economy.”

Additional legislation this week:

  • Clarifies that a duty of the Commissioner of Internal Revenue is to ensure that IRS employees are familiar with and act in accord with certain taxpayer rights.
  • Prohibits IRS officers and employees from using personal email accounts to conduct official business.
  • Permits the release of information regarding the status of certain investigations.
  • Provides for a right to an administrative appeal of tax-exempt status for certain organizations.

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Lummis’ Condolences on Passing of John Patton

2015/04/06

State Representative John Patton of Sheridan passed away Sunday while hospitalized in Sheridan Memorial Hospital.  U.S. Representative Cynthia Lummis issued the following statement in response:

“John loved the Wyoming Legislature.  He was the visionary for the creation of the Legislative Service Office.  I worked closely with him during my time as State Treasurer as we shaped Wyoming's Permanent Funds into a modern investment portfolio that will serve Wyoming's people for decades to come.  ​I was daily impressed by his dedication to Wyoming and his tireless work for our state.  John leaves behind an inspiring legacy from his two ‘tours of duty’ in the Wyoming state legislature.  Annaliese and I pray Ginnie and their family receive God’s peace in this time of sorrow.  Our deepest condolences.”

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Lummis Applauds Resignation of Embattled Chemical Safety Board Chairman

2015/03/27

Today, Chemical Safety Board Chairman Dr. Rafael Moure-Eraso announced his resignation amidst a flood of scandals, after being called on by Congress and President Obama to resign.  U.S. Representative Cynthia Lummis, Chairman of Oversight and Government Reform’s Subcommittee on the Interior, issued the following statement in response:

“The Chemical Safety Board under the leadership of Dr. Moure-Eraso has been plagued with scandals, accusations and obviously bad management.  The Chairman’s decision to resign, at the request of both Congress and the president, is his one good decision after years of inefficient and scandalous management.  We can only hope that the new leadership for the board will be able to dig this agency out from the ashes and return to work.”  

BACKGROUND

  • On March 18th, 14 House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Members issued a bipartisan letter to President Obama requesting that he remove U.S. Chemical Safety Board Chairman Dr. Rafael Moure-Eraso and two additional senior staff members.
  • On March 04, 2015 the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee held a hearing to review current management issues in the Chemical Safety Board and identify necessary reforms to improve morale and productivity within the agency.

An independent analysis of the CSB found that the agency suffers from: lack of trust in senior leadership, poor communication, ineffective goal setting, lack of standard procedure, and lack of follow up by senior leadership.  Click here for the full report.

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Lummis Bill Opens Endangered Species Act Data to Independent Review

2015/03/26

Today, Rep. Cynthia Lummis joined colleagues from across the country in re-introducing H.R. ##: the 21st Century Endangered Species Transparency Act. The bill would require data used for Endangered Species Act (ESA) listing decisions to be made publicly available and accessible through the internet.  Under current law, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service routinely bases endangered species listing decisions on hidden data and unpublished studies.  Rep. Lummis previously co-chaired a congressional working group that recommended data transparency as a common-sense update to make the ESA more credible and successful in the 21st Century.

U.S. Representatives Cynthia Lummis (WY-At large), Randy Neugebauer (TX-19), Bill Huizenga (MI-02), and Doug Collins (GA-09) issued the following statements:

“The Endangered Species Act was a good idea in 1973 and it’s a good idea today, but the forty year old law is in need of improvement,” said Rep. Lummis.  “Endangered species listings have dramatic effects on local conservation efforts, private and public land use, and the livelihoods of impacted families.  Everyone agrees we should protect species from extinction, but we need to ensure that listing decisions are grounded in data that is public and verifiable.  I am pleased to join my colleagues from regions across the country in introducing this bill.  Our partnership is a reflection of the fact that the ESA is no longer just a major issue for the west, but for the entire nation.”

“ESA listing decisions have major consequences for hardworking farmers, ranchers, and small business owners in the 19th District of Texas and across America,” said Rep. Neugebauer.  “The ESA must be updated and modernized to make it more accountable and transparent.  To address this, the 21st Century Endangered Species Transparency Act would empower the American people and enable them to have access to the data used to justify new listing decisions.”

“Michigan is blessed with an abundance of natural resources, ranging from the Great Lakes to native species such as the gray wolf,” said Rep. Huizenga.  “Striking a balance between conservation and ensuring local communities can develop and prosper is critical.  While the intent of the Endangered Species Act is in the right place, the act itself has not been updated in 25 years.  Congress must continue to update the law and conduct oversight of its implementation to ensure a proper balance is maintained.”

“Communities across Northeast Georgia and the country value the environmental protections of the Endangered Species Act,” said Rep. Collins.  “To increase public confidence that federal agencies are using the best available data to make far-reaching decisions, our bill would make that data open and transparent on the Internet, improving public participation and also species recovery.”

Contacts: Joe Spiering (Lummis) (202) 225-2311

Adam Rice (Neugebauer)
(202) 225-4005

Brian Patrick (Huizenga) (202) 225-4401

Brendan Thomas (Collins) (202) 225-9893 

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Lummis Bill Helps Close Social Security Gap

2015/03/16

Today U.S. Representative Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) was joined by Rep. Doug LaMalfa (R-CA) to re-introduce H.R. 1366: Alex’s Law. This bill, named for a child of one of Rep. Lummis’ staffers, would raise the retirement age for today’s eight year olds from 67 to 70.  This gradual, long-term change could close approximately one-fourth of the Social Security budget gap without affecting anyone currently in or closely approaching retirement.

“With all the advances in medicine and technology, people are on average living much longer, which means their retirements are also getting longer,” said Rep. Lummis.  “This is very good news for retiring Americans, but for those still contributing to social security this means insolvency and drastic cuts to benefits for future retirees.  We owe it to today’s workers who contribute to this program to guarantee continuing benefits but under the current status quo that guarantee is imperiled in just a few short decades.  The modest change I’ve proposed reflects the natural changes in life expectancy of our workforce over the coming years and doesn’t affect anyone in or close to retirement.  The scare tactics on social security reform need to stop and the adult conversation needs to start.  Common sense demands that we start with the retirement age as we work to make social security solvent again.”

BACKGROUND

Social Security is a cash-in, cash-out program, with benefits funded by payroll taxes on workers.  The program currently has a sizable surplus, but sheer demographics will evaporate this surplus over the next two decades.  The reasons for this are simple:

-          In 1950, there were 16 working-age Americans for each retiree.  Now there are about 3 workers per retiree.  

-          In 1950, the average man could expect to live an additional 11.9 years after turning 65—for women it was 13.4.  Now it’s 17.7 years for men and 20 years for women. 

-          Moreover, the program offers more generous benefits and demands higher and higher taxes to pay for them—what was initially a 1 percent tax is now a 6.2 percent tax.

The fact about Social Security that opponents of reform don’t want to admit is that the status quo means severe benefit cuts.  By 2033, the Social Security trust fund will be broke.  If Congress does nothing in the meantime, this will trigger a 25 percent across-the-board cut in benefits.  Alex’s Law by itself won’t fix the program, but it will close one-fourth of the 75 year funding gap without affecting anyone of 55 years or older.

Under Alex’s Law, the retirement age increase would phase-in slowly over time, and these changes are more than justified given changes in life expectancy.  Click here to see how Alex’s law affects people in each age group, or take a glance at these select examples:

Age in 2015

Retirement Age

(current law)

Retirement Age

(Alex’s Law)

55

67

67

50

67

67 and 3 months

39

67

68

23

67

69

15

67

69 and 6 months

8 and younger

67

70

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ATF Withdraws Ammo Ban

2015/03/10

Today, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) withdrew their proposed ban on popular ammo commonly used in AR-15’s.  The bureau cited over 80,000 public comments that were vastly negative.  Last week U.S. Representative Cynthia Lummis joined 236 of her House colleagues to send a letter to the ATF condemning and questioning the ban and 53 Senators joined in this week, sending a letter of their own in opposition.

“When over 230 Representatives are joined by 53 Senators writing in opposition to a rule along with nearly 80,000 negative comments from the public, you know you’ve got a bad rule rolling,” said Rep. Lummis.  “While I am pleased the ATF shelved their proposed ammo ban for now, I am appalled they ever proposed it and are still considering it.  I remain wary and will fight this and any further attempts by federal agencies to limit or restrict Americans’ constitutionally guaranteed 2nd Amendment rights.”

For the full letter, please click here.

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Lummis Statement on the Death of Mick McMurry

2015/03/10

Early this morning, Mr. Mick McMurry passed away in his home in Casper, Wyoming.  U.S. Representative Cynthia Lummis issued the following statement in response:

"Mick possessed an exceedingly rare combination of vision, talent and compassion for his fellow man.  He was one in a million -- and for a state with only half a million people -- he was Wyoming's one in a million.  The loss to our state is impossible to express but for now our primary attention turns to Mick's family.  For Susie and family, Annaliese and I pray that the peace of God will come to them.  We know the comfort that God's love brings in times of sorrow."

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Lummis Votes against Executive Amnesty

2015/03/03

Today U.S. Representative Cynthia Lummis voted against the clean Department of Homeland Security funding bill that funds the agency through September. In response to passage of the bill, Rep. Lummis issued the following statement:

“President Obama has said time and again, and again, and again that he could not act unilaterally on immigration, citing the separation of powers.  Then last November suddenly and completely disregarding the Constitution, President Obama bypassed Congress and legislated by executive fiat, essentially granting amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants.  This unconstitutional action must be addressed and what better place to address it than the DHS funding bill.  Though now, with the disappointing passage of the bill, we must rely on the courts to hold the President’s feet to the fire as one judge in Texas has already done while we find further means to fight this unconstitutional action.”

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Contact Information

113 Cannon HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone 202-225-2311
Fax 202-225-3057
lummis.house.gov

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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