By Avery Howe
Northern Wyoming News
Via- Wyoming News Exchange
WORLAND — U.S. Representative Harriet Hageman paid a visit to Washakie County Republicans for her “quarterly report” during their Lincoln Day Dinner fundraiser on Saturday, June 3 at Green Hills Golf Course in Worland.
She spoke strongly in favor of parental rights measures and border security and expressed her views on a variety of other issues.
Parental rights, she noted, are one of hers and the Republican Party’s main focuses.
She referred to an interaction that made headlines in March, wherein she questioned witness Nadine Farid Johnson of the Washington and Free Expression Programs at PEN America during a committee hearing.
“When I had the opportunity to question her, I said, ‘Do you consider it censorship to prohibit teachers from sharing Penthouse Magazine with first graders?’ I had to ask that question three times before she answered. That’s where we are in this country right now, with this administration,” Hageman said.
This comes as Republicans have looked to restrict reading materials as well as classroom discussion on sexual orientation and gender identity in schools and educational spaces, including several failed bills in the Wyoming Legislature this year – such as Crimes of Obscenity Revisions and Parental Rights in Education.
Hageman spoke on the Parental Bill of Rights, passed by the House in March.
“First of all, I think this is a state issue, but as long as the federal Department of Education is going to bastardize Title IX and attempt to use Title IX as a mechanism to impose radical gender ideology, we don’t have any choice but to fight back,” she said. “This radical gender ideology stuff and what they’re doing to our kids … they’re driving kids crazy, and it is really a level of sickness like I’ve never seen before.”
Hageman also said she is preparing to interview John Durham about the Durham Report, which sought to expose FBI misconduct in the investigation of whether the Trump Campaign colluded with Russia during the 2016 election. This proclamation was met with cheers from the audience.
“If you are a federal employee and you violate someone’s … constitutional rights, I want you to be held personally accountable,” Hageman said.
In her work with Native American issues and natural resources, she reported that the issue of human rights was at large.
“Because there’s so much money with the BIA (Bureau of Indian Affairs) and the Department of Interior…it’s in the bureaucrats’ best interest to keep these people in abject poverty,” she said.
Hageman said as Chairman of the Indian Affairs subcommittee, she introduced a bill to allow land held in trust by federally recognized Native tribes to be leased for 99 years.
“There is a law on the books that prohibits tribes from leasing their trust property for longer than 25 years. Well, how the heck are you ever going to have any kind of infrastructure or economic development? You can’t sell the land, it’s trust property, but you can’t bring in gas stations or convenience stores or clothing stores or distilleries or anything else, because there’s this stupid law in the works,” she explained.
Hageman also addressed the Secure the Border Act, which passed the House in May, imposes limits on asylum eligibility and requires employers to use an electronic verification system to determine eligibility of new employees.
She noted this is “the strongest border security bill that has ever come out of the house,” and supported the legislation. “There is a rule on the books: if there is a footprint in your field, they have to … destroy everything within a five-foot radius. Well think about people, all of those fields are right up to the border, and everybody’s walking through. They have millions of dollars in losses of food that had to be destroyed because of the influx of the illegal aliens that are coming in,” Hageman said.
She also told stories of her experiences of death, poverty and lack of health care available to those along the border due to illegal immigration.
“They always tried to tie the border security and immigration together. We have refused to do that,” Hageman said. “Immigration and border security are two different things, and we need to make sure that we do not confuse the two. Border Security is about protecting our country.”
Hageman spoke in support of House Bill 1, which hopes to strengthen the country’s energy security.
“People who push policies that result in energy poverty are immoral,” she said. “They’re talking about being carbon neutral by such-and-such date. We’re not going to be carbon neutral by 2030 or 2050 or whatever date you choose. We’re going to continue to use oil and gas. We’re going to continue to use coal, because you can’t have a civilized society without it.”
Hageman explained that she did not believe pushing green energy would allow for support of American infrastructure.
“…What they’re trying to do is going to collapse,” she said.
“This whole Paris Climate Accord – the nonsense about climate change and global warming is just that: it is nonsense,” she added.
Hageman also relayed her hopes for Wyoming’s home front.
“I’ve been involved with trying to block China from purchasing property in this country, but again, our state legislature needs to take that issue up, and we as the state of Wyoming need to prohibit China or related companies from purchasing land in the state of Wyoming.”
Delisting grizzly bears, Hageman’s pet project, is still in the works as Sen. Cynthia Lummis pushed a bill in February to remove Greater Yellowstone grizzlies from the Endangered Species List.
Hageman informed attendees that she had been appointed to the two committees she most desired to be on: Judiciary and Natural Resources, alongside the Water, Wildlife and Fisheries and Limited Government and the Constitution subcommittees.
She was also named chairman of the Indian Affairs subcommittee.
Hageman also reported that she is the only freshman to have been elected to the Select Committee on Weaponization of the Federal Government.
A theme of both the Judiciary and Weaponization Select Committee discussions has been First Amendment rights, Hageman said.