Congressional delegation provides insight on work in Washington
Riverton – Wyoming’s congressional delegation has been hard at work in Washington, D.C. to alleviate red tape and regulations while also providing opportunities for Wyoming’s ag industry.
“Sen. Enzi (R-Wyo.) and I are coursing together as a team for Wyoming,” said Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) during a live webchat from Washington, D.C. on June 7. “We do it every day, along with Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), to do what we can for Wyoming people. It’s a privilege to serve and work for Wyoming today.”
Enzi, Cheney and Barrasso addressed the members of the Wyoming Stock Growers Association (WSGA) Summer Cattle Industry Convention, which was held in Riverton.
“Spring in a very busy time,” he said. “We’re working with the administration to fix complicated, burdensome and expensive regulatory processes.”
Enzi touted the passage of tax legislation to improve taxes for both individuals and small businesses.
“The bill not only cut taxes to grow the economy, it eliminated Obamacare mandates forcing Wyomingites to buy specific health insurance or pay a fine,” he said.
Cheney added that she is also working in the House to make some of the provisions permanent to ensure certainty in taxes for Americans.
Appropriations bills in the House include a formal repeal of the Waters of the U.S. Rule, and both bodies are working on repealing electronic logging device and Hours of Service rules, as well.
Cheney also noted that reforms are currently working through the House to address disagreements over immigration in the house.
“We’re working hard to get immigration issues solved – making sure H-2A and H-2B labor isn’t stopped but also working to make sure legal immigration works,” she said. “However, we have a number of members signing a discharge petition, which would force an immigration debate, over the objection of Republican leadership.”
She continued, “It’s a dangerous game. I’m afraid if we don’t come up with an agreement, it’s going to be a problem. Legal immigration is important and something that we will focus on.”
Among hot topics in Washington, D.C. are conversations about the farm bill, which Cheney has also worked hard on.
“I was not pleased that the farm bill didn’t pass,” she said. “But it didn’t fail because of the farm bill. It failed because of our immigration disagreement. We’re working hard to get immigration solved and bring the farm bill back up.”
Cheney also said that Democrats did not support the farm bill as a result of common sense work requirements for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which covers food stamps. “We have to be able to come together to get a bill across the finish line.”
In addition to common sense reform to SNAP, Cheney also said she was pleased with provisions that would prohibit federal courts from issuing injunctions on grazing allotments on public lands without offering alternative allotments.
“Our plan is for the farm bill to come back in June, so we can get critical programs passed for Wyoming folks extended before they expire,” she said.
A topic of concern for WSGA member is the implication from tariffs, and Enzi said, “We meet regularly with the president and the administration to talk about tariffs and their impact.”
“There’s not a lot of support for tariffs, and that message is passed on to President Trump,” Enzi commented, who notes the President has been successful at negotiating, although in a non-traditional fashion. “His negotiating style is making an impact on foreign affairs.”
Barrasso, who was in the White House on June 6 to talk about tariffs, said, “The President knows where Wyoming stands, and he’s asking for time to get a better deal. President Trump says he will not let farmers and ranchers down.”
“We’re working hard to convey the idea of the damage done by uncertainty, because that uncertainty has real market impacts,” Cheney said. “I’d like to see us working with our allies in Mexico and Canada to focus our efforts on trading with China.”
Enzi said, “Uncertainty in the marketplace is not good for the industry. We appreciate the important work that Wyoming’s farmers and ranchers do every day to see that America has the food it needs. We continue to work to promote the state’s livestock industry.”
Saige Albert is managing editor of the Wyoming Livestock Roundup. Send comments on this article to firstname.lastname@example.org.