Cheney ensures strong fight for western issues in Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) was among the featured speakers at the 2019 Public Lands Council Legislative Conference, held in Washington, D.C. at the beginning of April each year.
Cheney, who is third ranking in House leadership, has been described as a “forceful leader in the Republican party,” and Wyoming Stock Growers Association President Jim Magagna noted Cheney is a strong supporter of western issues.
Magagna noted Cheney responds quickly to issues facing western people. Recently, Acting Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt was preparing to issue policy related to migration corridors that Wyomingites were not pleased with.
“Congressman Cheney became aware of this, and she got on the phone with the Secretary’s Office immediately,” Magagna said. “It was just a matter of hours before the Secretary called to say he was not moving forward with policy on migration corridors.”
“The migration corridor issue was tag-teamed by Sen. Enzi and I,” Cheney said. “That was a really good example of how important it is to make sure we hear from our constituents. As soon as we did, we were able to take action.”
Cheney also re-introduced legislation both to de-list grizzly bears and to prevent court review of the decision. However, legislation must also be introduced in the Senate.
“If we can push and combine grizzly bear delisting with other legislation, that is the most likely way we can get something done,” she said.
Cheney commented, “The issue, as ranchers know well, is that litigation is such a problem. Every time we take a step, we make it clear we don’t want to see the court system abused is crucial.”
Further, Cheney reintroduced the Equal Access to Justice Act, which would disclose payments to organizations for attorneys’ fees.
“The other thing that has happened that doesn’t get that much attention are the judges the president is nominating,” Cheney said. “We hear a lot about the Supreme Court, but I think one of the longest-lasting legacies of this administration will be the conservative judges that are being appointed up and down the bench.”
The conservative influence in the courts will have an impact going forward.
“No matter what Department of the Interior – or any other agency or department is doing – that ranchers’ voices are heard and western people have input,” she continued. “It is more important now than it’s ever been.”
With Republicans no longer in the majority across both houses of Congress, education becomes an increasingly important tool, Cheney said.
“Educating our colleagues about all this stuff is a large part of what we do every day,” she explained. “Thank goodness we have a Republican Senate and White House to make sure that things do get blocked. It’s been an interesting three months in Congress.”
“I really did believe, as soon as Speaker Pelosi rose to her speakership, we would see moderation,” Cheney said. “I know she was trying to get speaker votes, but I really thought we would see a move to come to the table and work something out in good faith conversations. That is not what has been going on.”
With measures ranging from the Green New Deal to oversight of nearly every aspect of American life, Cheney said even bizarre principles are concerning.
“I worry they’re planting a flag out on the far left so when we negotiate, it’ll seem like things aren’t quite so crazy,” she explained. “The Green New Deal is one example.”
“We need all of your help to make sure we talk to people about critical land issues, like where our food comes from,” Cheney said, noting that ranchers are critical
To get legislation passed in the next several years, Cheney said putting pressure on Congress and working closely with some of the moderates will be key.
“There are moderates now in the House in the Democratic party, because they sit in seats that they won from us in the last election, unfortunately,” she explained. “In talking to friends of mine on the other side of the aisle, the moderates feel like they are the silent majority.”
Cheney continued, “Unfortunately, the people who are not moderate have control of the caucus right now.”
Issues like trade, prescription drug prices, infrastructure and more may serve as a uniting force, providing the opportunity for Republicans and Democrats the opportunity to work together.
“What I don’t know is if the Speaker will be willing to cut deals or if she doesn’t want to give President Trump any victories at all, which will result in a stalemate,” she described. “As much as possible, when we can find Democratic Senators and House Members who are really to go to the mat to fight these fights, it’s important.”
“The more voices out there speaking on behalf of things that matter, the better,” Cheney emphasized. “We have to put as much pressure on the Democratic Caucus as we can.”
“It’s important that congressmen and women know we don’t want massive, one-size-fits-all land management out of Washington, D.C.,” Cheney said.
Saige Albert is managing editor of the Wyoming Livestock Roundup. Send comments on this article to firstname.lastname@example.org.