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Wyoming Delegation Proposes Bills To Halt Biden Lease Moratorium

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By Jim Angell, Cowboy State Daily

Members of Wyoming’s congressional delegation have introduced legislation aimed at stopping the Biden administration’s efforts to halt mineral leasing on federal land.

U.S. Sen. Cynthia Lummis and U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney, have both introduced legislation that would require congressional approval for any executive branch effort to stop energy or mineral leasing and permitting on federal land.

Lummis’ bill, co-sponsored by U.S. Sen. John Barrasso and 24 other members of the Senate, is called the “Protecting Our Wealth of Energy Resources Act” and would require congressional approval for mineral and energy leases on federal land.

Cheney actually introduced two bills, one dealing with oil and gas leases and the second with coal leases. Both would require a joint resolution from Congress to approve any moratorium on leasing on federal land.

Cheney’s bill on oil and gas leases is co-sponsored by 21 other representatives, while her bill on coal leases is co-sponsored by 14 others.

The bills were introduced in response to President Joe Biden’s executive order on Wednesday halting all mineral leases on federal land until the Department of Interior can conduct a thorough review of federal leasing programs.

“The Biden Ban would be nothing short of catastrophic for western states that are already reeling from the decline in energy usage brought on by the pandemic and continued volatility in energy markets,” Lummis said in a statement. “Through the POWER Act, Congress would reiterate that federal lands should serve not the whims of a radical progressive minority, but the needs of all Americans.” 

“The executive actions from the Biden Administration banning new leasing and permitting on federal land endanger our economy and threaten our national security,” Cheney said. “The legislation I am introducing today would safeguard against these damaging orders, and prevent the job loss, higher energy costs, and loss of revenue that promises to come with them.”

Gov. Mark Gordon expressed support for all three measures, citing the economic impacts of a long-term moratorium on mineral leases on federal lands.

“Oil and gas industries across the West are hit hard by the Biden administration’s executive action — eight western states … could lose $8 billion in (gross domestic product) and over $2 billion in tax revenue per year,” he said. “This is a bipartisan issue.“

Since federal laws provide for the leasing of fossil fuels and minerals, it is appropriate that Congress would have to agree to such a departure from the intent of federal law,” he continued. “It is disappointing that such a law is necessary, but it is.”

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Sen. Lummis Thanks Wyoming National Guard For Their Service Following Inauguration

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Sen. Cynthia Lummis on Wednesday thanked 15 National Guardsmen from Wyoming following the presidential inauguration of Joe Biden as the 46th President of the United States.

“I’m so proud of the men and women who serve in Wyoming’s National Guard,” Lummis said, “These dedicated Airmen and Soldiers represent the best of Wyoming. Their personal sacrifices and bravery are inspiring, and I’m humbled by their willingness to serve our country not only on Inauguration Day, but every day, no matter the challenges that arise.”

” They are truly an inspiration, and I wanted to let them know how grateful I am that they rose to the call and volunteered to serve this week,” she said.

Previously, Sen. Lummis tweeted a thank-you to the Wyoming National Guard Airmen and Soldiers who volunteered to help with security in Washington, D.C. this week, writing: “Thank you to the brave men and women of the @wyoguard who have answered the call to come to our nation’s capital in this tumultuous time. We acknowledge and deeply appreciate your dedication and service.”

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Lummis Urges Wyoming to Pray for Nation, President

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

U.S. Sen. Cynthia Lummis celebrated the peaceful transition of power that came Wednesday with President Joe Biden’s inauguration by calling for Wyoming citizens to pray for the country and the new president.

In a post on Twitter as Biden prepared to take the oath of office, Lummis pointed to the difficulties faced by the new president.

“Our nation & state face significant challenges right now and I’m ready to get to work,” Lummis wrote in a tweet on Wednesday morning. “I urge all WY citizens to join me in praying for our nation & our President. #InaugurationDay

Lummis is the first of Wyoming’s Congressional delegation to speak about Biden’s inauguration or the new administration.

One month ago, Fox News host Chris Wallace pressed U.S. Sen. John Barrasso on whether or not Biden had actually been elected to the highest position of power, which the senator confirmed he had.

Lummis hasn’t been a fan of the new president or Vice President Kamala Harris and even voted to contest the results of votes from certain states just hours after a mob stormed the U.S. Capitol earlier this month.

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Barrasso, Lummis Call For Stopping Loans to Planned Parenthood

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

U.S. Sens. Cynthia Lummis and John Barrasso have joined a number of thier colleagues in calling on federal Small Business Administration to stop giving loans to Planned Parenthood.

The senators sent a letter to SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza asking her to specify that Planned Parenthood affiliates employ too many people to be eligible for loans under the Paycheck Protection Program.

“Planned Parenthood employs about 16,000 people nationwide,” the letter said. “The group’s national organization, the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, jealously exercises control over local affiliates, subjecting them to uniform bylaws, accreditation, frequent reviews, and mandates about what services they must provide to remain part of the Federation, such as on-site abortion.

Planned Parenthood affiliates thus are ineligible to receive PPP loans, as part of an affiliated group that employs far more people than the number allowed for an initial or second-draw PPP loan.”

Co-signers of the letter, in addition to Barrasso and Lummis, include U.S. Sens. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, Marco Rubio of Florida and Jerry Moran of Kansas.

Senators sent a similar letter last year to the SBA, after Planned Parenthood organizations were awarded around $80 million. Each of Planned Parenthood’s state and local affiliates is a separate nonprofit, with its own leadership and funding organization, according to the Washington Post.

The SBA said in May that the local chapters are too closely affiliated with Planned Parenthood’s national organization to be considered independent entities. 

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Sen. Lummis Calls For Healing, Smooth Transition of Power

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

Despite political divisions seen in the wake of last week’s storming of the U.S. Capitol, members of Congress need to work together to ensure a peaceful transition of power, U.S. Sen. Cynthia Lummis said Thursday.

During an interview with Glenn Woods on “Wake Up Wyoming” Thursday morning, Lummis spoke about her colleague, U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney, and the fact they differ on whether President Donald Trump should be indicted. She said the more important issue is getting members of Congress working together.

“I take a different viewpoint from [Cheney] a bit,” Lummis said. “I think the better thing is to have a smooth transition of power on Jan. 20. We can try to begin to heal-up, tone down the rhetoric and get people to speak to each other again. Be calm with each other again.”

She added that agitation and hyperbole have gotten people emotional, but that those negative feelings need to be toned down and people should begin talking to each other “in a very civil and kind manner.”

When discussing her post-inauguration plans, Lummis said that she planned to focus on election fraud, natural resources and Bitcoin during her Senate term.

“We used to say that the House plays rugby and the Senate plays golf,” the senator joked. “My concern over the last election is that I spoke to people whose votes literally didn’t count. They showed up to the polls in some states only to be told that they couldn’t vote because they voted by mail when they hadn’t. I’m not saying that the election was stolen.  But some people’s votes were stolen.”

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Cynthia Lummis: Here’s Why I Objected To Pennsylvania’s Electors

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By Sen. Cynthia Lummis, exclusive to Cowboy State Daily

When the U.S. Capitol Police were rushing us out of the Senate chambers at the height of the chaos, a reporter asked me who I thought was leading this mayhem. I said that if it was indeed Trump supporters, I would be heartbroken. 

I am heartbroken.

An attack on our Capitol is an attack on our Constitution and democracy itself. I strongly condemn the violence that occurred, which did more to damage the democratic process than to defend it.

What made this senseless act even more offensive is that it disrupted the constitutional process that myself and other members of the Senate were trying to peacefully use to ensure each and every American’s vote counts.

Despite the attack, in the best tradition of the United States Senate, we fulfilled our Constitutional duty.

Days before this attack on the Capitol, I stated my intention to join a group of colleagues to raise concerns about the constitutionality of Pennsylvania’s new vote-by-mail statute, and that Pennsylvania’s election law may have been applied unevenly by state officials, including signature verification and voter identification requirements.

Even the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s chief justice noted that one of the lawsuits in his state raised “troublesome questions about the constitutional validity of the new mail-in voting scheme.” 

Legislators, election judges, Congressmen and others in Pennsylvania are concerned.  Wyoming citizens are concerned, too. 

The hard truth is, this election rocked the faith of many Wyoming citizens in the integrity of our election system. Polling shows that 39% of Americans believe “the election was rigged.”

We cannot turn a blind eye to American citizens not having trust in the integrity of our election systems. And Congress has a long history of using the Constitutional process of certifying electors to highlight election concerns.

In recent history, Democrats have objected to certifying electors in 2001, 2005, and 2017.

In 2005, Senator Barbara Boxer and the late Representative Stephanie Tubbs Jones objected to the slate of electors from Ohio. They rightfully drew attention to the fact that many African-Americans and other communities suffered disproportionate wait times at the polls, broken voting machines and high ballot rejection rates.

Raising this objection led to some of these issues being remedied and more Americans having the precious opportunity to vote. That’s a legacy every American should value today.

Let me be clear: my objecting to the certification of the votes in Pennsylvania could not have changed the outcome of the election. That was never my intent.

Congress cannot and shall not dictate the results of a presidential election to our states.

That would be the death of our Republic. Rather, my objection was intended to shine a light on serious concerns over voter irregularities raised by Pennsylvania legislators themselves.

Many ask why Congress should be involved in election matters that have been considered by the courts. 

Congress has the right and duty to interpret the Constitution, especially on matters which by the Constitution have been delegated to Congress, like the Electoral Count.

Congress itself interpreted the Twelfth Amendment in passing the Electoral Count Act in 1887.

The very title of the 1887 law says it all: “An act to fix the day for the meeting of the electors of President and Vice-President, and to provide for and regulate the counting of the votes for President and Vice-President, and the decision of questions arising thereon.”

Thomas Jefferson commented in an 1819 letter that “each of the three departments [of government] has equally the right to decide for itself what is its duty under the Constitution.” I consider my actions and the actions of my colleagues as a humble part of that long, storied tradition.

Congress cannot fix this; only state legislatures can fix this.  But Congress can shine a light on election fraud. 

That was the point of my vote on January 6.  My fervent hope is that in state legislatures across the country where irregularities occurred, their lawmakers will consider meaningful election reform to ensure that our election laws are applied uniformly, to ensure the technology we use is accurate and secure, and most importantly, to ensure that all Americans treasure our precious right to vote and feel their voices are heard.

States are at the very center of elections in our country and will remain so. That is a fact I will always fight for.

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Cynthia Lummis is the junior senator from Wyoming.

Cheney, Lummis Send Condolences to Family of Fallen Capitol Officer

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney and U.S. Sen. Cynthia Lummis have both sent their condolences to the family of a U.S. Capitol police officer who died after sustaining injuries in the mob attack on Wednesday.

“There are no words to express my sadness for the friends and family of U.S. Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick,” Lummis wrote in a tweet. “His devotion to his nation will not be forgotten. My prayers are with his friends and family at this difficult time.”

“My deepest sympathies for the family of U.S. Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick,” Cheney wrote in a tweet. “Officer Sicknick was killed defending our Capitol from the violent mob on January 6. Please keep Brian and his family in your prayers.”

Sicknick died Thursday night from injuries he suffered while trying to repulse protesters who stormed the Capitol.

According to officials, thousands of people identified as Trump supporters invaded the Capitol after the rally, forcing its evacuation as members of Congress discussed the certification of the Electoral College’s vote.

Congress reconvened Wednesday night and certified the Electoral College’s vote.

When Sicknick returned to his division office after the riot, he collapsed. He was taken to a local hospital in Washington, D.C., where he succumbed to his injuries.

Sicknick’s death is being investigated by various law enforcement agencies. He is the fifth person and the first law enforcement officer to die as a result of the riots.

Sicknick joined the Capitol police in July 2008 and most recently served in the department’s first responder unit.

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Sen. Lummis Votes to Oppose Pennsylvania Election Results; Certifies Arizona

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U.S. Senator Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) released the following statement on today’s certification of the Electoral College votes:

 “I have serious concerns about election integrity, especially in Pennsylvania, and expressed some of them in a written statement to the Senate. But today’s sickening, un-American attack on the U.S. Capitol overshadowed that debate.

 “Congress cannot fix problems with election integrity, only states can fix these problems.  But Congress can investigate those problems and raise awareness. The allegations of fraud during this election were unprecedented, and left millions of Americans concerned that their votes don’t count.  Discussions of election integrity must occur and I will seek another forum to continue that discussion.”

 Lummis submitted the following statement for the record during the Senate debate over Pennsylvania’s Electoral College votes.

“It is the privilege of a lifetime to represent the people of Wyoming in this great deliberative body. I genuinely look forward to joining each of you to make a difference for the American people and to uphold my solemn oath to support and defend the Constitution.

“Let me be clear: an attack on our Capitol is an attack on our Constitution and democracy itself. I strongly condemn the violence that occurred today, which did more to thwart the democratic process than to protect it. 

“Today, many members of the Senate were trying to peacefully use our democratic process to ensure each and every American’s vote counts. In the best tradition of the United States Senate, we will fulfill our Constitutional duty and complete the Electoral Count tonight.

“In 1833, Senator Daniel Webster said that “duty binds … the conscience of the individual member” in counting the votes for President and Vice President.

“Each of us has a solemn duty to ensure that the slate of presidential electors we certify is beyond reproach, respecting the people’s voice and upholding the Constitution.

“Congress will not overturn the people’s voice. A president will be inaugurated on January 20th. Congress cannot and shall not dictate the results of a presidential election to our states. That would be the death of our Republic.

“In the coming months, Congress must take a fresh look at troubling concerns from the election that simply don’t add up.

“After the 2000 presidential election, millions of voters in Florida felt disenfranchised, and now 74 million Americans deserve the assurance and the dignity that their votes count the same as every other American.

“We owe our first duty to the American people, following procedures–like the Electoral Count Act–used for nearly 150 years.

“It’s my fervent hope that our state legislatures will consider meaningful election reform to ensure that our election laws are applied uniformly, to ensure the technology we use is accurate and secure, and most importantly, to ensure that all Americans treasure our precious right to vote and feel their voices are heard. 

“States are at the very center of elections in our country and will remain so. Many ask why Congress should be involved in election matters that have been considered by the courts.

“Some argue that Congress’ role in certifying our presidential elections is merely ministerial. 

“Under our constitutional separation of powers, it is too often forgotten that Congress has the right and duty to interpret the Constitution, especially on matters which by the Constitution have been delegated to Congress, like the Electoral Count.

“Congress interpreted the Twelfth Amendment  in passing the Electoral Count Act in 1887, and continues to breathe new life into these provisions by its actions today. 

“Our Founders understood Congress would play a key role in debating constitutional issues as a co-equal branch of government.

“Thomas Jefferson commented in an 1819 letter that “each of the three departments [of government] has equally the right to decide for itself what is its duty under the Constitution.”

“I remain deeply concerned that the electoral votes of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania were not “regularly given” under Pennsylvania law, as required by the Electoral Count Act. 

“Serious concerns have been raised about the constitutionality of Pennsylvania’s vote-by-mail statute. Also, Pennsylvania election law may have been applied unevenly by state officials, including signature verification and voter identification requirements.

“In 2005, Sen. Barbara Boxer and the late Representative Stephanie Tubbs Jones objected to the slate of electors from Ohio.

“They rightfully drew attention to the fact that many African-Americans and other communities suffered disproportionate wait times at the polls, broken voting machines and high ballot rejection rates.

“Raising this objection led to some of these issues being remedied and more Americans  having the precious opportunity to vote. 

“That’s a legacy our Senate and every American should value today.

“Thank you.”

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Wyoming Democratic Party Condemns Attack on U.S. Capitol, Criticizes Lummis

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

The Wyoming Democratic Party on Wednesday condemned the attack on the U.S. Capitol building while also criticizing the state’s newest U.S. senator.

Wyoming Democratic Party Chair Joe Barbuto said in a statement that the attack, led by people described as supporters of President Donald Trump who don’t believe he lost November’s presidential election to former Vice President Joe Biden, was the culmination of the last four years of Trump’s presidency.

“These people are not protesters or patriots, they are domestic terrorists who were beckoned by the dog whistle of Trump,” Barbuto said. “The President of the United States is complicit in this violence, as are those who have enabled and defended his actions, conspiracy theories and words over the last four years.”

Barbuto included Wyoming’s congressional delegation as having enabled Trump, primarily newly sworn-in Sen. Cynthia Lummis, who has regularly praised Trump during his presidency, including supporting Trump‘s refusal to concede in the presidential election.

Lummis confirmed recently that she would contest the Electoral College vote confirming Biden as president-elect.

Barbuto criticized Lummis’ choice to contest the Electoral College vote, calling it “disturbing.”

“Her embrace of that rhetoric has only escalated the situation,” he said. “It is a disgrace to democracy, it is a disgrace to our nation and it is a disgrace to Wyoming. Sen. Lummis has no choice but to publicly withdraw her involvement in encouraging the rejection of election results and fulfill her sworn oath and constitutional duties in the peaceful transition of power.”

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Lummis Calls Storm on Capitol “Attack on Democracy”

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

U.S. Sen. Cynthia Lummis condemned the actions of protesters who stormed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday as an “attack on democracy.”

“Call it what it is: An attack on the Capitol is an attack on democracy,” Lummis wrote in a Twitter post. “Today we are trying to use the democratic process to address grievances.”

Protesters stormed the Capitol on Wednesday afternoon in support of President Donald Trump, who believes he didn’t lose the presidential election in November against former Vice President Joe Biden.

The event occurred as members of Congress met in a joint session to certify the results of the Electoral College vote, which appeared to verify the victory of the Democrat Biden.

Lummis was one of 11 Republican senators to announce they would object to the certification of the Electoral College vote until an audit can be conducted in states where Trump has alleged voter fraud occurred.

The invasion of the Capitol followed a “Save America” rally where Trump thanked Lummis for her support and criticized U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney, who has urged fellow Republicans not to object to the outcome of the Electoral College.

Lummis said the invasion hurt the ability of Congress to address complaints about the election.

“This violence inhibits our ability to do that,” Lummis wrote. “Violent protests were unacceptable this summer and are unacceptable now.”

She also retweeted a message from U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise, adding her own note.

“The First Amendment only protects peaceful assembly. Stop the Violence,” she said.

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