U.S. Rep. Harriet Hageman believes that with a potential national fiscal crisis on the horizon, Wyoming will need to lean into its independent identity.
“For Wyoming, you have the ability to be self-sufficient,” the Wyoming Republican told the Wyoming House of Representatives on Wednesday afternoon at the state Capitol in Cheyenne. “We need to fight for it, we need to protect our legacy industries.
“We need to fight for and protect coal, oil and gas.”
She said the Cowboy State should not only stick to its values, but be an example.
“We not only provide energy for this state and this country, but we can do so for the world,” she said.
Hageman also gave a similar speech to the state Senate.
She said she’s worried about the short-term outlook for the U.S. economy.
“We’re headed for a fiscal cliff, and with inflation rising, gas and oil prices, the other challenges we are facing, it’s not going to get back any better unless we make some dramatic, dramatic changes in the way we do business in Washington, D.C.,” she said.
Hageman mentioned conversations she’s already had with government officials who agree that tough choices needed.
In one conversation she had with former Vice President Mike Pence, she said he brought up the example of what New Zealand did when it was facing a serious economic crisis.
“They cut everything,” Hageman said. “It was the only way they were able to turn their economy around, and they’re now the strongest economy in that part of the world.
Hageman vowed that the Republican-controlled House won’t allow debt-limit increases without fiscal reforms and said that party members will push 12 appropriations bills to prevent a future omnibus spending bill.
In December, Congress passed a $1.7 trillion omnibus spending bill that Hageman said many legislators did not read thoroughly.
Takes Effort To Get It Right
Hageman had a positive take on the recent elections for U.S. House speaker, which took 15 votes to elect Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-California.
“Debate is healthy, discussion is healthy,” she said. “It’s OK to have disagreements of how we’re going to move forward and address some of the challenges that we’re going to face.”
Hageman said she kept supporting McCarthy through all 15 votes because of the many concessions he made throughout the process. She also said it was important to support McCarthy for Wyoming to get the most effective representation in the U.S. House.
Hageman said many of the rule changes were positive, specifically mentioning one that requires all legislation be viewed for 72 hours before representatives can vote on it.
There also were rule changes eliminating proxy votings, putting more conservative members on rules committees, allowing for easier removal of the Speaker and remote participation in committee meetings.
“If you’re in Congress, you better show up and do your job,” Hageman said sternly.
On Wednesday, Hageman also announced that she has been named to the Judiciary Committee and the Committee on Natural Resources. Both are of fairly high prominence.
The Committee on Natural Resources is of particular importance to Wyoming. It considers bills about the National Parks system and other public lands, as well as the nation’s energy, mineral and water resources.
The committee also conducts oversight of the Interior, Agriculture and Commerce departments. Wyoming has one of the highest percentages of public land and is home to Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks.
“Being a trial attorney for almost 34 years, Judiciary fits well,” she said. “And with my natural resources background, I’m looking forward to serving on both committees.”
Hageman said she also applied to be a member of a subcommittee on the weaponization of the federal government.
Since taking office, Hageman has voted to repeal an expansion of the Internal Revenue Service and legislation protecting America’s strategic petroleum reserves.
“So much of the SPR that we have been draining over the last six to nine months, a lot of that has gone to China,” she said.
Under the legislation, SPR oil cannot be sold to China.
She’s also a co-sponsor on the Permitting for Mining Needs Act,” “The VA Same Day Scheduling Act,” “The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act and the “The Border Safety and Security Act.”
She’s also signed onto a Constitutional amendment to keep the Supreme Court at nine members.
Hageman also helped pass a bill ensuring that infants born alive after an attempted abortion receive the same protection of law and degree of care as any newborn and a resolution condemning recent attacks on pro-life facilities and churches.
Hageman told the legislators of how her father served in the state House for 24 years.
Although she had been on the House floor many times, she remarked how she had never been on the Senate floor until Wednesday.
U.S. Sen. Cynthia Lummis, R-Wyoming, also met with state lawmakers Wednesday but did not speak publicly.