Cynthia Lummis

Cynthia Lummis

WYOMING

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the United States Fish and Wildlife Service routinely bases endangered species listing decisions on hidden data and unpublished studies.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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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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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 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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Lummis Interview with KGAB Radio on the Student Success Act

2015/02/26

Rep. Lummis joined Gary Freeman on KGAB radio to talk about the Student Success act and President Obama's veto of the Keystone XL pipeline. Click here for audio. Read More

The Facts behind the Student Success Act

2015/02/26

This week, the U.S. House is considering H.R. 5: the Student Success Act. Every child in every school deserves access to an excellent education. Unfortunately, the country continues to fall far short of reaching that goal. The federal government’s involvement in local K-12 schools is at an all-time high, yet student achievement remains stagnant. Approximately one out of every five students drops out of high school. Many that do graduate lack the knowledge and skills necessary to pursue a postsecondary education and compete in the workforce. Only 38 percent of high school seniors can read at grade level and a mere 26 percent are proficient in math. The K-12 education system is broken, making it harder for countless children to enjoy a life of opportunity and success. The involvement of parents and education leaders is vital to ensuring every student in every school receives an excellent education. Yet, under the current law, states and school districts are bound by what Washington wants, not by what parents and local education leaders know their children need.

The Student Success Act (H.R. 5) will restrict the Department of Education and its Secretary, cut federal intrusion, eliminate federal coercion, restore local control, and empower parents and local education leaders to return their schools and their students to a path to success. Click here for the full bill text.

H.R. 5 – THE STUDENT SUCCESS ACT: 

  • Ensures parents have the information they need to hold local schools accountable.    
  • Protects state and local autonomy over decisions in the classroom by preventing the Secretary of Education from coercing states into adopting Common Core or any other common standards or assessments and reining in the secretary’s regulatory authority.
  • Empowers parents and education leaders to hold teachers accountable by supporting efforts underway at the state and local level to evaluate teacher effectiveness.
  • Promotes additional educational opportunities for parents and children by supporting a Direct Student Services program, which will allow school districts the option of offering tutoring or public school choice.
  • Returns responsibility for improving underperforming schools to states, parents, and local leaders by eliminating federally-prescribed school improvement and turnaround interventions.
  • Replaces the one-size-fits-all national accountability scheme with state-led accountability systems, returning responsibility for measuring student and school performance to states and school districts. The House wants to ensure new policies put an end to the overuse of standardized testing and over-testing.
  • Replaces more than 65 ineffective, duplicative, and unnecessary programs with a Local Academic Flexibility Grant, helping schools better support students and repeals Adequate Yearly Progress and the Highly Qualified Teacher requirement.                             
  • Reforms the regulatory process to provide the public with greater transparency and accountability over the development of new rules affecting K-12 schools.
                                                                                 
  • Prevents the Secretary of Education from creating additional burdens on states and school districts, particularly in standards, assessments, and accountability plans.
  • Repeals federal requirements governing accountability, teacher quality, and local spending that hamper innovation and hamstring states’ and school districts’ ability to address the unique needs of their students.

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Fact Check on Student Success Act Critics

2015/02/26

Claim: No Child Left Behind has extremely high levels of federal interference in education, and H.R. 5 keeps the federal government intimately involved in educational decisions best left to parents, teachers and states.” (Heritage Action)

FACT:  The authorization for No Child Left Behind expired in fiscal year 2008, and without Congressional action, this Administration has dictated education policy by executive fiat. By refusing to reauthorize the law, Congress allows the Secretary of Education to continue using waivers and impose national policies.  H.R. 5 actually gives states the power to develop their own accountability measures and prevents the Secretary of Education from dictating teacher standards.

Claim: “H.R. 5 does not give states the ability to opt out of the prescriptive programmatic requirements of NCLB and use funding in a way that meets their student’s needs.” (Heritage Action)

FACT:  H.R. 5 eliminates over 65 existing federal programs and turns them into a Local Academic Flexibility Grant which allows local school leaders to determine where funds are most needed.  It also eliminates all “Maintenance of Effort” requirements, allowing states and local school districts to set their own funding levels.

Claim: “It would extend the current testing mandates that are the hallmark of the law.” (RedState)

FACT:  H.R. 5 protects state and local control over testing decisions by preventing the Secretary of Education from coercing states into adopting Common Core or any other common standards or assessments or any other mode of federally sponsored testing.

Claim: “Absent a plan that terminates No Child Left Behind, House members should demand that the bill allow states to completely opt out of the program. Otherwise, in accordance with the 10th Amendment, the bill should be opposed.” (Club for Growth)

FACT:  I was an original cosponsor of the A-Plus Act in the 112th Congress to allow states to opt-out of federal education programs.  If this bill had any chance of passage, I would gladly vote in support.

Claim: “Finally, at over 600 pages, the bill does not reduce spending – it simply reorganizes how the Department of Education spends roughly $25 billion per year.” (Heritage Action)

FACT:  H.R. 5 flat lines funding for K-12 for five years.  This amount is lower than the Title 1 authorization for the last year it was authorized under current law.  More importantly, the bill ensures federal funds go towards helping students, not bureaucrats.  It requires the Secretary of Education to identify the number of full-time employee positions associated with the consolidated 65 programs and reduce the department’s workforce by an equal number.

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Converse County Office Hours

2015/02/20

U.S. Senator Michael B. Enzi, U.S. Senator John Barrasso and Congressman Cynthia M. Lummis are announcing their respective Field Representatives, Kelly Carpenter, Riata Little and Jackie King will be available to visit with Converse County residents on the following date, times and locations:

Douglas Office Hours

Tuesday, February 24th, 2015

Douglas City Hall-101 N. 4th Street-Council Chambers

1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Glenrock Office Hours

Tuesday, February 24th, 2015

Glenrock Town Hall-Council Chambers

2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.


Area residents are encouraged to visit with the representatives of the Wyoming delegation during this time to discuss matters regarding the federal government.  These comments and concerns will then be relayed to their U.S. Senators and Congressman.

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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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