Today U.S. Representative Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.) and a majority of her House colleagues passed H. Con. Res. 96: The Path to Prosperity, the Fiscal Year 2015 House Republican Budget Resolution, by a vote of 219-205. In contrast to the President’s Fiscal Year 2015 budget proposal which increases spending by nearly $1 trillion and never balances, the House Republican Path to Prosperity balances within ten years and cuts $5.1 trillion in federal spending. The Path to Prosperity provides a full repeal of Obamacare, and reforms Medicare and Medicaid to strengthen and preserve those programs for current and future generations.
Importantly, the Path to Prosperity includes pro-growth policies to improve our economy. The budget calls for expanded energy production to strengthen our nation’s energy security and streamlining our complex tax code to create jobs and simplify tax compliance for American families and businesses.
“Once again we have passed a responsible budget in the U.S. House to turn our country around, return it to fiscal sanity, and lead it further down the path of prosperity,” said Rep. Lummis. “I very much appreciate the hard work of Paul Ryan on this budget. This plan takes the difficult and absolutely necessary task of reforming social welfare and certain entitlement programs head-on. It cuts government spending by over $5 trillion as our national debt soars over the $17 trillion debt mark. And it would balance the federal budget within ten years. It is high time we rein in the out of control spending in Washington.”
The Endangered Species Act (ESA) Working Group introduced a suite of bills today that specifically target areas of the ESA that the Working Group found outdated during eight months of field hearings and forums. U.S Representative Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), co-chair of the Working Group with Natural Resources Committee Chairman Rep. Hastings (R-WA), introduced H.R. 4316: the Endangered Species Recovery Transparency Act. The bill would require the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to track, report to Congress, and make available online: 1) funds expended to respond to ESA lawsuits; 2) the number of employees dedicated to litigation; and 3) attorneys fees awarded in the course of ESA litigation and settlement agreements.
The four bills are supported by all the Members of the ESA Congressional Working Group, representing districts across the nation, and are based on the recommendations and findings of their report as well as input from a broad array of stakeholders, including the Western Governors’ Association. The four bills focus on transparency and species recovery.
“The bills we introduced today are modest steps towards improving the ESA by refocusing it on the purpose Congress always intended – conserving and recovering species,” said Rep. Lummis. “Since passage of the law over 40 years ago, ESA policies have been increasingly driven by litigation, which has diverted attention and precious resources away from species recovery. Our legislation starts the reform process in part by increasing litigation transparency for public and congressional review. The stakes for species and taxpayers are too high for there not to be a full and accurate accounting of how many tax dollars are funding courtroom battles instead of species recovery. This is an outdated model, especially when compared to the effective boots-on-the-ground conservation efforts that we see every day in Wyoming and elsewhere at the state and local level.”
The House Natural Resources Committee will hold a Full Committee legislative hearing on these bills on Tuesday, April 8.
H.R.4315, 21st Century Endangered Species Transparency Act (Rep. Hastings, R-WA)
The 21st Century Endangered Species Transparency Act would require data used by federal agencies for ESA listing decisions to be made publicly available and accessible through the Internet. The bill would allow the American people to actually see what science and data are being used to make key listing decisions.
H.R. 4316, Endangered Species Recovery Transparency Act (Rep. Lummis, R-WY)
The Endangered Species Recovery Transparency Act would require the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to track, report to Congress, and make available online: 1) funds expended to respond to ESA lawsuits; 2) the number of employees dedicated to litigation; and 3) attorneys fees awarded in the course of ESA litigation and settlement agreements.
H.R. 4317, State, Tribal, and Local Species Transparency and Recovery Act (Rep. Neugebauer, R-TX)
The State, Tribal, and Local Species Transparency and Recovery Act would require the federal government to disclose to affected states all data used prior to any ESA listing decisions and require that the “best available scientific and commercial data” used by the federal government include data provided by affected states, tribes, and local governments.
H.R. 4318, Endangered Species Litigation Reasonableness Act (Rep. Huizenga, R-MI)
The Endangered Species Litigation Reasonableness Act would prioritize resources towards species protection by placing reasonable caps on attorneys’ fees and making the ESA consistent with another federal law. The Equal Access to Justice Act limits the hourly rate for prevailing attorney fees to $125 per hour. However, no such fee cap currently exists under the ESA, and attorneys have often been awarded huge sums of taxpayer-funded money. This bill would put in place the same $125 per hour cap on attorneys fees for suits filed under the ESA that currently exist under the Equal Access to Justice Act.
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.
Retweeted by cynthialummis
Video: I and a majority of members on the Oversight and Government Reform Committee voted to hold Lois... http://t.co/n0L6rJ8mhx
Retweeted by cynthialummis
Today we in the House passed H. Con. Res. 96: The Path to Prosperity, the Fiscal Year 2015 House Republican... http://t.co/900lt6CKjs
Retweeted by cynthialummis
Retweeted by cynthialummis