Congresswoman Liz Cheney

Since coronavirus began infecting millions of Americans, Wyoming lawmakers have been critical of President Donald Trump's stance on combatting the pandemic. While they never criticize him directly, one of their attempts to tiptoe around the Trump-sized elephant in the room backfired…as Fox News host Bret Baier told his audience last week.

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After dropping more than $3 trillion and counting on the coronavirus pandemic in the spring, Republicans decided to hide the nation's credit card. But with the pandemic worsening, along with this recession, both parties are recognizing Congress has more work to do. President Trump has called for sweeping infrastructure legislation in the past, so Democrats tried to see if he meant it and passed their $1.5 trillion infrastructure bill earlier this month. Wyoming Congresswoman Liz Cheney and other GOP leaders helped convince all but three Republicans to oppose it.

Liz Cheney
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Wyoming Congresswoman Liz Cheney has been urging people to social distance and to follow health orders ever since COVID-19 became an issue in this country. This sets her apart from some of her Republican colleagues. She joins us to discuss COVID-19 and what we might expect in the future.

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Coronavirus hasn't just upended most of our lives - the global pandemic has upended entire industries. And the oil and gas sector is getting pummeled from multiple fronts: Besides losing workers to quarantining and some who've contracted the virus, the industry's had to watch the price of its products plummet because Saudi Arabia and Russia were locked in a high stakes game of chicken over the price of oil. But to be fair prices have also fallen because fewer people are on the roads or in the skies. Wyoming U.S. Senator John Barrasso says they're bracing.

Coal seam at Peabody's North Antelope Rochelle Mine
Peabody Energy

On March 30, Wyoming Sen. John Barrasso and Sen. Mike Enzi led 10 other U.S. Senate signatories in a request for the U.S. Department of the Interior to administer help to the coal, oil and gas industries amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Representative Liz Cheney signed a similar letter coming from the House of Representatives today alongside 29 other Congressmen.

Liz Cheney
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Wyoming Congresswoman Liz Cheney is seen as a rising star in the GOP, so some in the party were surprised to see her opt to stay in the House and not run for the state's open Senate seat.

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Wyoming senior Senator Mike Enzi is retiring after seeing a lot in Washington, including two of the only three formal impeachments of a sitting president this nation's ever witnessed. Enzi doesn't like talking about impeachment though - especially since he'll soon be a juror in the formal trial of President Donald Trump.

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Liz Cheney is now the number three most powerful Republican in the House of Representatives - and being a member of leadership usually means carrying the President's water and trying to get other Republicans to help do the same. But after Trump announced he was pulling U.S. troops from their posts in Syria where they had been protecting the Kurds from a Turkish invasion, Cheney helped spearhead legislation sanctioning Turkey even as Trump loosened sanctions.

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Two decades ago Wyoming senior Senator Mike Enzi voted to impeach Bill Clinton for obstructing justice and perjury. He's now retiring at the end of his term and when I asked if he had anything to say about these current allegations against President Trump, he offered this.

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U.S. Bureau of Land Management

The Trump administration is trying to relocate the bulk of the headquarters of the Bureau of Land Management from Washington to Colorado, which is getting cheers from Wyoming lawmakers. But Democrats view the move as problematic and a way to gut the agency.

A gas flare, used to burn off flammable gas -- on Highway 59 from Gillette
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House Democrats are taking aim at an issue Wyoming Senator John Barrasso seems to have spent the most time on in the past few years: Exporting American, well - Wyoming energy - abroad.

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United States Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue visited the Thunder Basin National Grassland on Wednesday. He took a horseback ride through the area in eastern Wyoming where ranchers and wildlife advocates have been working to find an amicable solution to the question of prairie dogs.

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A new United Nation's report compiled from scientific data across the globe predicts that if unchecked, manmade climate change could cost around one million species their very existences. That caught the attention of Democrats and Republicans, but that doesn't mean Wyoming lawmakers are changing their tunes.

Wyoming's U.S. Representative Liz Cheney speaking on the RECLAIM act in a committee hearing
Natural Resources Committee

A bill aiming to disperse a billion dollars to help communities with coal mine reclamation has passed through the Natural Resources Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives. The RECLAIM Act would use funds from the abandoned mine land (AML) fund to clean-up mines abandoned from before 1977, as a way to revitalize communities that were once reliant on coal.

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President Trump is now backing a lawsuit that would invalidate the entire Affordable Care Act, and that's promising to make health care a major election issue next year. Wyoming Republicans are fine with that, even though they have failed to repeal and replace when they controlled both chambers of Congress.

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Wyoming now has two lawmakers in Washington who are also Republican Party leaders and they're promising to make the progressive Green New Deal on climate change a major part of the debate going forward, even as Democratic Party leaders are trying to change the subject. 

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Wyoming Republican Congresswoman Liz Cheney turned some heads in Washington last week when she opposed a resolution denouncing all forms of hate. She was one of a mere 23 who voted against the measure.

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House Democrats are pushing an effort to overhaul the nation's election and ethics laws. But Wyoming Republicans say the effort is a smokescreen to help keep Democrats in power.

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This week the U.S. House overwhelmingly passed a measure rejecting President Trump's emergency declaration so he can build his long-desired wall. There also seems to be enough opposition in the Senate to reject it, but neither chamber looks to have enough votes to override Trump's promised veto. But Senator John Barrasso is all in with Trump. 

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This week the U.S. Senate passed a sweeping and historic bill that would make the Land and Water Conservation Fund permanent. A feat many hunters and fisherman, along with environmentalists, had thought was impossible after the GOP allowed it to lapse last year.

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The president's State of the Union address included him laying out his vision for U.S. energy policy, which had Wyoming Senator John Barrasso standing and clapping wildly - in part because he was on the GOP leadership team that spent two years focused on unwinding basically any regulations they could.

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As lawmakers will now try and reach a compromise with the short term lifting of the government shutdown, Wyoming lawmakers are holding firm with President Trump's demand for a wall.

While many pundits are predicting pure gridlock for the next two years, Wyoming's senior senator Mike Enzi senses an opening to completely revamp how Washington spends money. He's the chair of the Budget Committee and he's using that perch to call for overhauling the way both parties dole out cash and blow up the federal debt and deficit, including Republicans over the last two years. That's why Enzi wants to start by changing from an annual to a two-year budget process, like they have in Cheyenne.

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A bill that would lift wilderness study status on lands in Bighorn, Lincoln and Sweetwater counties in Wyoming passed through a Congressional committee with a 19 to 11 vote along party lines. Dozens of these wilderness study areas around the state have been stuck in limbo for decades.

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The federal government released a sweeping report on climate change last week that predicts more wildfires and catastrophic weather across the nation unless lawmakers act, but like most Republicans Wyoming's lawmakers don't take the document too seriously.

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Democrats preparing to take over control of the U.S. House of Representatives in January are gunning for major battles on climate change and energy issues, which could hurt the economic gains witnessed in Wyoming this Trump-energy-era.

Liz Cheney

Wyoming U.S. Representative Liz Cheney admits that Tuesday was a bittersweet night for her. While she says she's delighted to represent Wyoming for two more years, she's disappointed it will be as a member of the minority party. Cheney predicts rough sledding for Republicans as Democrats likely try to put themselves in position to win back the Presidency in two years.

In an effort to keep Wyoming issues on the forefront, Representative Cheney is seeking the number three leadership position among House Republicans. One thing that Cheney says needs to change is discourse that is leading to violent acts. She spoke about that and other topics with Bob Beck.

Willow Belden

Wyoming lawmakers are sticking by President Trump as he escalates his global trade war even as fear is growing that it will soon be felt from the state's oil fields all the way down to the electronics you rely on.

In numerous counties around Wyoming, collaborative committees are meeting to try to decide what to recommend the U.S. Congress do with dozens of wilderness study areas that have been stuck in limbo for over 40 years. These areas lack the permanent protections of wilderness but are also closed to most kinds of recreation or development.

U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit

This week Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh faced a grilling in his Senate confirmations hearings, but those hearings haven't garnered many national headlines about his knowledge of western issues.

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