politics

Updated at 7:55 p.m. ET

At about 7 p.m. ET Monday, House impeachment managers delivered to the Senate an article of impeachment against former President Donald Trump, a move that prompts preparations for a historic trial.

Peabody Energy, Inc.

The Trump Administration did not weigh in on a legal case that could impact the future of coal in Wyoming and Montana, leaving open the possibility for the new Biden Administration to weigh in instead.

smithforwyoming.com


It's been an interesting month for U.S. Representative Liz Cheney. After handily winning reelection in November, she voted to impeach former President Donald Trump and has faced a strong backlash. Cheney has been censured by the Carbon County Republican Party, is likely to be censured by the Republican Central Committee next month, and already has primary opponents for 2022.

It's a list that includes State Senator Anthony Bouchard of Cheyenne. One person that faced off against her the first time she ran is former Laramie County Republican Chairman Darin Smith. Smith actually attended the rally in Washington D.C. protesting the acceptance of the voting results and was shocked to see the riots occur. But he told Wyoming Public Radio's Bob Beck that he was more shocked that Congresswoman Cheney's reaction to the riot was to vote to impeach President Trump.

The Mountain West is home to dozens of far-right extremist groups. In the wake of the U.S. Capitol riots on January 6, lawmakers are mulling how to protect the nation from domestic terrorism. Some have pushed for Congress to create a new domestic terrorism charge.

 

But this week 135 civil rights organizations came out in opposition to expanding terrorism-related legal authority.

Longtime State Sen. Hank Coe has died of cancer. Coe first represented Cody In the State Senate in 1989 and played a big role in issues surrounding economic development, air service and education.

Map of final parcels sold in BLM's Q4 lease sale
Bureau of Land Management

The Biden Administration has handed down a sweeping order that temporarily suspends several agency actions including the issuing of federal fossil fuel leases for the next 60 days, unless otherwise reviewed and approved by leadership.

Updated at 10:00 p.m. ET

Joe Biden became the 46th president of the United States on Wednesday, having defeated Donald Trump in an acrimonious, divisive election last November.

Biden was sworn in alongside Vice President-elect Kamala Harris in an unusual inauguration ceremony, conducted amid the ongoing coronavirus crisis and heightened physical security risks.

Updated at 12:22 p.m. ET

Joe Biden addressed the nation for the first time as its 46th president on Wednesday. Biden spoke at a scaled-down event before a divided nation still reeling from the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol and from the coronavirus pandemic that has now killed more than 400,000 Americans.

But his remarks were ones of hope.

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The Wyoming House Revenue Committee has actually approved a tax bill. Committee members voted to send a 14 cents a pack increase on cigarettes to the House floor. The bill also increases the tax on smokeless tobacco by 12 cents.

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The state Senate Corporations Committee approved a bill that would reform the net metering system for those who use renewable energy to reduce their electricity rates. The vote comes despite opposition from those saying the change would reduce the incentive to install solar.

Updated 7:10 p.m. ET

Gen. Lloyd Austin, President-elect Joe Biden's pick to head the Pentagon, went before the Senate Armed Services Committee Tuesday in a bid to make history by being confirmed as the nation's first Black secretary of defense.

During his opening statement, Austin, 67, addressed the biggest issue hovering over his nomination.

Updated at 3:49 p.m. ET

President-elect Joe Biden's nominee to head the Department of Homeland Security, Alejandro Mayorkas, appeared before a Senate panel Tuesday to begin his confirmation process, vowing to do everything he can so that an attack on the Capitol like the one on Jan. 6 "will not happen again."

Mayorkas, who would be the first Latino and first immigrant to lead that department, was previously the head of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, a DHS agency, during the Obama administration. He then served as deputy secretary of DHS.

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The pandemic has made the position of county public health officer more than just a part-time job: it has become political. So far, two officers in Wyoming have been removed from their positions and one has resigned. Wyoming Public Radio's Kamila Kudelska spoke with Washakie County's public officer, who did the work for ten years until he was removed by the commission this past fall. Dr. Ed Zimmerman said before the pandemic, the position was relatively easy.

Updated at 8:37 p.m.

President-elect Joe Biden outlined his plans for economic relief from the coronavirus crisis on Thursday, citing the need for a more robust vaccination plan as well as for additional direct payments to American families to help recover the U.S. economy. His plan, called the American Rescue Plan, is expected to cost $1.9 trillion.


Last summer, I met up with Ben Barto outside the small town of Dubois, Wyo. He's a huge Trump supporter and we were having a conversation about where he thought America was headed. 

"Revolution," he said. "I think it's headed there."

U.S. House Office of Photography

Wyoming Congresswoman Liz Cheney says her vote to impeach President Donald Trump was done so with a heavy heart, but said she had no choice.

Wyoming PBS

Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon said the state is prepared to protect its energy industry against the Biden administration, but he is concerned that regulations could continue to hurt the state's bottom line.

Annette Elizabeth Allen for NPR

The U.S. House of Representatives is debating an article of impeachment against President Trump following the violence at the U.S. Capitol. The article charges Trump with incitement of insurrection. Watch the debate and vote live.

U.S. House Office of Photography

In a press release sent out Tuesday afternoon, Wyoming Congresswoman and House Republican Conference Chair Liz Cheney announced she would vote to impeach President Trump. She is the first member of the GOP congressional leadership to do so.

 

State lawmakers across the Mountain West are convening for legislative sessions that will focus largely on the fallout of the pandemic. But without significant precautions, statehouses could become hotbeds for COVID-19 spread.

Legislative sessions typically bring together hundreds of lawmakers, legislative staff, lobbyists, journalists, and members of the public. They travel to and from every corner of a given state and gather indoors, sometimes in cramped meeting spaces.

Liam James Doyle/NPR

The U.S. House of Representatives is taking up a resolution that would call on Vice President Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment and take over President Trump's duties. The effort comes as the House is also pursuing a second impeachment against the president over the insurrection at the Capitol on Jan. 6. Watch the House proceedings live.

Updated at 11:29 p.m. ET

The House of Representatives approved a symbolic resolution urging Vice President Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment against President Trump, after the president's No. 2 has expressed that he would not exercise that option. The move comes nearly a week after violent pro-Trump extremists breached the U.S. Capitol.

A newly elected congresswoman from Colorado says she’ll carry a handgun on Capitol Hill.

 



Wyoming Public Radio's Capitol Hill Correspondent Matt Laslo was covering the counting of the electoral votes in the U.S. Capitol when it was stormed by Trump supporters this week. Laslo joined Wyoming Public Radio's Bob Beck and described his experience.

There are a lot of questions about why the pro-Trump mob was able to breach the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday. One pertains to the National Guard: Where were they?


The insurrection in the U.S. Capitol on January 6 stunned the nation and the world. Many lawmakers in the Mountain West played a role in this unprecedented moment in history – whether they have decried President Donald Trump's attempts to overturn a free and fair election or supported his baseless claims.

Prominent Republicans in the region including Sen. Mitt Romney from Utah and Rep. Liz Cheney in Wyoming have condemned the president's conspiracy theories.

Updated at 3:54 p.m. ET

President-elect Joe Biden delivered a blistering rebuke of President Trump on Thursday, a day after a pro-Trump mob breached the U.S. Capitol.

Biden called Wednesday "one of the darkest days" in U.S. history but said: "I wish we could say we couldn't see it coming. But that isn't true. We could see it coming."

Alan Simpson

On Wednesday, pro-Trump extremists stormed the U.S. Capitol in Washington D.C., stopping the counting of the electoral vote and forcing House and Senate members, as well as staff and journalists, to evacuate.

Matt Laslo

Members of Wyoming's Congressional Delegation were quickly moved to safety after a group of pro-Trump extremists overtook the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, Jan 6.

Updated at 6:38 p.m. ET

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi informed House lawmakers that Congress will reconvene Wednesday night to continue its constitutional duty to count and certify the electoral votes after pro-Trump protestors breached the Capitol and forced Capitol Police to evacuate both the House and Senate.

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