*Lummis: ‘Congress has relied on 11th hour stop gap measures.’
Wyoming Shout Out: The Wyoming state football championships wrapped up last weekend, ending another great season of fall sports.
Congratulations to Sheridan, Star Valley, Torrington, Big Piney and Burlington for winning state titles in football!
It is always encouraging to see Wyoming youth excel at what they do. Great job to all the Wyoming high school athletes who competed this season!
Rep. Harriet Hageman
College students and recent graduates, are you still figuring out your spring plans?
I am accepting internship program applications for my DC and Wyoming offices! If you would like to learn about Congress and serve your state, apply today.
Applications are being considered on a rolling basis until all spots are filled, so don’t delay! Applications can be submitted via my website, or to Laura.Lee@mail.house.gov for consideration. Applications should list your desired offices (DC, Casper, or Cheyenne) and include a resume and cover letter expressing why you would like to join my team.
Sen. Lummis – Saving Our Nation From Fiscal Disaster: For far too long, Congress has relied on 11th hour stop gap measures to temporarily fund the government before the holidays that are chock full of wasteful spending that increases our national debt.
Instead of repeating Washington’s cycle of fiscal failures, I voted to fund the government through January 19, 2023, to ensure military families continue getting paychecks through the holiday season and our national parks, that Wyoming’s economy relies on, remain open.
During the next few months, Congress must work to craft fiscally responsible appropriations bills that cut government spending and get our economy back on track.
Finding government waste to cut is not difficult. Our bloated federal government is loaded with it.
To start, the FBI does not need a $4 billion new headquarters when it has already have a perfectly good one. Next, we need to examine the State Department where $49,810 was spent to train 40 Nigerian journalists to spot misinformation and $21,050 was spent to train 60 Yemeni artists how to start their own podcast. While I am not sure which expense is a bigger waste of money, one thing is clear – we need to examine the federal budget from top to bottom and make sure Wyoming tax dollars are not being wasted on woke nonsense and burdensome big government regulations.
Washington’s spending addiction needs to be treated like the crisis it is because if our nation continues on the current trajectory, the national debt will surpass $1.5 quadrillion (yes that is a real number, it is $1,500 trillion) in the next 60 years. While it may be hard to wrap your head around the idea of $1.5 quadrillion, what is clear to me is that we cannot leave our grandchildren and future generations in Wyoming with the burden of paying for our generation’s reckless spending.
My top priority as Congress works to pass the 12 appropriations bills is to get Washington to stop spending money we do not have and enact real fiscal reforms that save our nation from fiscal disaster.
Barrasso and Lummis Join Senate GOP’s Demand that DOD Rescind Abortion Travel Policy: U.S. Senators John Barrasso and Cynthia Lummis, both R-Wyo., joined Senator Ted Budd (R-N.C.) and 24 other Republican senators in sending a letter to Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin denouncing the department’s policy of using taxpayer dollars to pay for travel expenses for servicemembers and dependents seeking abortions.
In the letter, the senators highlight how the Department of Defense does not have the authority to issue this policy and demand it be rescinded immediately.
“You have broken your promise to the American people not to politicize the military, and your actions have harmed and threaten to further harm institutional norms within our democracy…,” the senators wrote. “Congress never authorized the Department to expend funds to facilitate abortions and, until the Policy was issued, the military never facilitated abortions except in cases of rape, incest, or where the life of the mother would be endangered if the unborn child were carried to term. Now taxpayers—many of whom have deeply-held religious and moral objections to abortions—are on the hook to facilitate the very abortions they fundamentally oppose.”
Full text of the letter can be found here and below.
You have broken your promise to the American people not to politicize the military, and your actions have harmed and threaten to further harm institutional norms within our democracy. On June 28, 2022, four days after the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, you issued a memorandum to senior leaders in the Department of Defense (“Department”) stating that the Department is authorized to pay for government funded, official travel for active duty personnel to receive abortions outside of the state in which they are stationed.
On October 20, 2022, you issued the memorandum Travel for Non-Covered Reproductive Health Care Services, properly referred to as the Department’s abortion travel policy (“Policy”), which directed the Department to pay travel expenses not only for active duty personnel to receive abortions, but for their dependents to receive abortions as well. Importantly, on July 19, 2023, at a hearing on the Department’s abortion travel policy, the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness confirmed that this policy extends to late term abortions.
All legislative power is vested in Congress, and the Executive branch is responsible for implementing and enforcing the law. While the Department may issue regulations, it can only do so under the laws authorized and enacted by Congress. But, Congress never authorized the Department to expend funds to facilitate abortions and, until the Policy was issued, the military never facilitated abortions except in cases of rape, incest, or where the life of the mother would be endangered if the unborn child were carried to term. Now taxpayers—many of whom have deeply-held religious and moral objections to abortions—are on the hook to facilitate the very abortions they fundamentally oppose. Indeed, a Marist poll in January 2023 found that 60% of Americans strongly oppose the use of taxpayer dollars to pay for an abortion, consistent with polls taken throughout recent years.
Rather than respect the Supreme Court’s decision, you decided to engage the Department, and our men and women in uniform, in a policy debate properly reserved for the legislature. You did so by claiming that Dobbs had “readiness, recruiting, and retention implications for the Force.” By your own officials’ admissions, however, the Department has no data to support that claim, and few servicemembers or dependents have utilized the Policy.
After multiple inquiries from Congress on this question, the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness finally confirmed that “The Department does not have any data on women being deterred from joining the military for fear of being stationed at an installation or base in a state or nation that has restrictive abortion laws.” Finally, a recent letter from the Ranking Member of the Senate Armed Services Committee revealed that only 12 women have taken advantage of the Policy since its inception, which undercuts your argument that Dobbs has significant recruiting and retention implications.
Our men and women in uniform deserve Senate-confirmed leadership but the current situation began with your original sin of promulgating the Policy. Much has been made in the press about one Senator’s decision to try and stop your egregious wrongs, without acknowledging the Senate Majority Leader’s refusal to bring general and flag officer nominations to the floor until forced to by Republicans. Seeking to circumvent the Senate prerogative of the informal “hold” practice without addressing the underlying causes—the novel Policy and the subsequent refusal of the Majority to bring these nominees to the floor—will not ultimately reconcile this matter. It could create a toxic precedent with lasting negative effects on future military nominations.
Your decision to issue the Policy politicized the military and placed the wants of a few over the needs of the entire nation.
Do the right thing. Rescind the Policy now.
Barrasso Bill Cuts Washington Red Tape for Wyoming’s Ranchers
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) introduced legislation to make it easier for ranchers to make range improvements on federal land. The Ranching Without Red Tape Act streamlines the permitting process and ensures a timelier response from federal agencies for America’s ranchers.
Under current law, ranchers who hold a grazing permit on federal lands must renegotiate their permit to make range improvements not outlined in their original agreement. Range improvements can vary from structural changes to fixing a fence, all of which are critical to managing livestock and increasing production. Renegotiating permits is a lengthy and complicated process that delays production and work on ranches.
By removing this restriction on ranchers, this legislation would allow our nation’s producers to continue conducting their operations in a timely manner while still protecting our lands from major, unapproved changes.
“In Wyoming, ranching is a long-standing tradition and a way of life. Our ranchers are proud stewards of our land,” said Senator Barrasso. “Our hardworking ranchers shouldn’t have to waste time and resources trying to navigate burdensome and unnecessary Washington red tape. The Ranching Without Red Tape Act will make it easier for Wyoming’s producers to make much-needed range improvements so they can go back to focusing on keeping their operations running strong.”
This legislation has received support from the Wyoming Stock Growers Association and the Wyoming Farm Bureau.
“The Ranching Without Red Tape Act provides a desperately needed tool for ranchers to install and maintain simple resource improvements that contribute to the success of the ranch while fostering enhanced resource conditions on the public lands.” – Jim Magagna, Wyoming Stock Growers Association
“The Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation appreciates Senator Barrasso’s commitment to the agricultural industry in Wyoming. This legislation is a good first step toward providing common sense solutions for issues facing federal lands ranchers.”
Co-sponsors of this legislation include U.S. Senators Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), Jim Risch (R-Idaho), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), and Mike Lee (R-Utah).
The Ranching Without Red Tape Act would:
Allow permittees to carry out minor range improvements within a short timeline if their request is approved by USFS or BLM, and allow permittees to make improvements if the agencies do not respond within that timeframe.
Instruct USFS and BLM to respond to applicable larger improvement requests within an accelerated period.
Expedite the process of federal agencies making improvements by using all administrative tools and authorities available to them, including categorical exclusions.
A copy of the legislation can be seen at: