Guest Column: A Time for Thanksgiving

In a guest column, Rep. Harriet Hageman writes, "Most of all, I’m thankful for my fellow Wyomingites – fantastic, patriotic people for whom I work each day as their representative in our nation’s capital."

November 22, 20235 min read

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2023 has been an exciting, rewarding, exhausting, interesting, and at times, frustrating year. Those who have followed the House of Representatives understand just how unique the 118th Congress has been. And on this Thanksgiving, I am reminded that we live in the finest country the world has ever known, even if its governance is not always pretty, and I have a long list of things for which I am thankful.

There’s no doubt the road has been rough these last few months in Congress.

Two continuing resolutions, 19 ballots to elect two speakers of the House, and ten weeks of chaos have resulted in exasperated constituents, strained tempers, and weary staff.

While acknowledging and learning from the challenges, we must always be willing to recognize the positive and celebrate our successes.  The Republican-led House of Representatives has passed seven strong conservative appropriations bills that together fund 75% of government services and agencies. 

It has been a long time since the House did its job, and I am proud to have been a part of these efforts, while also presenting amendments for the benefit of my Wyoming constituents.  

The House has also passed legislation that addresses some of our most dire concerns: adopting policies to address the inflationary pressures wrought by the Biden Administration’s war on domestic energy production, working to close our porous southern border, engaging on the wars that are raging around the globe, and working to combat the rise in socialism and antisemitism.

And we now approach a national election that holds massive ramifications for our energy market, individual rights, national security, and the future of our nation.  It is imperative that we engage, while continuously recognizing the blessings that we have – to be full participants in a government that is of, by and for the people. 

During all of this, I am constantly mindful of the trust placed in me as Wyoming’s lone congressional representative.

Every day, I have the honor and privilege of speaking on behalf of the state that I love and to fight for our shared future.

I think of my journey, which is not so different from thousands of other Wyomingites – raised on a ranch outside of Fort Laramie, as a fourth-generation Wyomingite, and a double graduate of the University of Wyoming.

I thank God for the opportunities He has given me and the journey that has led me to be Wyoming’s Congresswoman, and I work every day to make sure other people have the same freedoms and opportunities that I did.

Like you, I am thankful for the love and support of my friends and family, the people who make returning home from Washington, D.C. that much sweeter.

I am also thankful for the memories of those who are no longer here, like my father, whose decades-long legacy of public service to Wyoming shaped my life and has made me the woman I am. 

I am thankful for my mother, who turned 100 years old on November 21st, and continues to engage on every issue that is important to Wyoming and to her family. 

I am thankful for the colleagues and friends that I’ve made in Congress this year. It is immensely heartening to work alongside colleagues who share my convictions and vision for this nation, who believe that government exists to serve people and remove obstacles to success.

It truly is a joy to spend each day pursuing our common goal of a robust economy, limited federal government, freedom, liberty, and consecrated individual rights.

I am thankful to call Wyoming my home, a place of captivating beauty and boundless resources. Our state possesses all that is needed for national prosperity, and every day I work to protect the legacy industries that make the Cowboy State so unique.

Our ranching, energy, and mineral production industries, along with our first-class recreation and hunting and fishing opportunities, are integral to the storied character that draws so many to our state.

Most of all, I’m thankful for my fellow Wyomingites – fantastic, patriotic people for whom I work each day as their representative in our nation’s capital.

Each of us, whether in the halls of Congress, a ranch near Wheatland, or a mine in Sweetwater County, seeks to live out the Code of the West, to ride for the brand, to finish what we start, and to take pride in our work.

In Wyoming we still believe in the American dream, and each day holds the potential of a better, brighter future for the next generation if we work for it. And that is indeed a reason to be thankful.

There are many problems facing our country, yet they all have solutions, and our mission is to find them and enact them, so that we all may lead freer, more prosperous lives.

Despite our struggles and challenges, there is so much to be thankful for, and that is what gives us hope and causes us to work to preserve those things that make Wyoming and America so special.

So, I invite you to join me in reflecting this week on the blessing of our lives, and to let that inspire us as we work towards a future that holds even greater blessings than the present.

*Harriet Hageman is the lone member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Wyoming.

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