When I was campaigning across the state of Wyoming last year for the honor of serving as your U.S. Senator, I had a simple platform – All Wyoming, All the Time.
As your Senator, I consider every piece of legislation, every email, every letter, every meeting, and every commitment on my calendar through this lens. If it is not good for Wyoming, it does not make the cut.
All Wyoming all the time is why my office has responded to 45,333 emails, 2,256 letters, and over 3,400 phone calls in my first year in office. It’s why I’ve met with 171 constituent groups, either virtually or in person. It’s why I’ve introduced 43 pieces of legislation that will directly help people in Wyoming. My team and I have also been proud to help hundreds of Wyoming citizens with challenges they face with federal agencies including the Veterans Administration, Social Security Administration, Postal Service, Citizenship and Immigration Services and many others.
It is a tough time in Washington, no doubt. The Senate is deadlocked, 50-50, and Democrats are in control of the House, the Senate, and the Presidency. This makes passing pro-energy, pro-business, pro-Wyoming legislation especially difficult. However, despite that, I’ve had the opportunity to work with Senators on both sides of the aisle to help the people of Wyoming.
My very first bill, the Protecting Our Wealth of Energy Resources (POWER) Act, was a response to President Biden’s unconstitutional ban on energy and mineral leasing on public lands. The federal government manages over 48 percent of Wyoming’s land. About half of the oil production and 92 percent of the natural gas production in Wyoming happens on federal lands. A federal judge stopped this “Biden ban,” but the President’s administration is still working to stifle oil and gas production on federal lands.
In Wyoming, we cherish the vast outdoors we have access to, but with that access comes the realities of the creatures that live in the forests we love to explore. Wyoming is home to a significant and growing population of grizzly bears, but decisions regarding populations of grizzly bears are being made by bureaucrats in Washington, not the people being affected. The Greater Yellowstone Grizzly has been on the endangered species list since 1975. At the time of their listing, approximately 136 grizzly bears lived in the Greater Yellowstone area. Today, experts estimate their population to be around 1,070. Not only does this make human-bear interactions more common and more dangerous, it also makes bears more susceptible to disease and food shortages due to overpopulation. That’s why I introduced the Grizzly Bear State Management Act. This bill would remove the Greater Yellowstone Grizzly Bear from the endangered species list and return management of the species to state wildlife scientists who live and work among the bears.
As many people across Wyoming return to the office after months of working from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I started to hear from more and more people about the difficulties they were facing as they tried to interface with federal agencies. After some digging, I learned that many federal agency offices were still closed to the public and most federal workers were still working from home. This made it difficult for government employees to access many of the files and resources they needed to help those seeking government services. With Wyoming citizens back at work, I felt strongly that it was time for federal workers to get back to the office as well. To accomplish that, I introduced the Having Employees Return to Duty (HERD) Act. This bill would mandate that all federal employees, with the exception of the Department of Defense, return to their duty station and the hours they worked prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. While allowing for CDC social distancing recommendations, my bill would help constituents in Wyoming get the help they need and address the huge backlog of casework.
My first year in the Senate has been an eventful one, and I am looking forward to five more years of working hard for you, the people of Wyoming. My door is always open, and if you have a concern, or if there is an issue I can help you with, please don’t hesitate to reach out to one of my offices in Wyoming or my office in Washington, D.C. (contact information available at lummis.senate.gov). The people of Wyoming have always been, and will always be, my top priority. I look forward to meeting with as many of you as possible as I travel around Wyoming in 2022. Thanks for giving me the chance to represent you in Washington. Happy Trails, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
U.S. Sen. Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.)