politics

A bill to permanently fund conservation efforts and reduce maintenance backlogs across public lands will soon be up for a vote in the U.S. Senate.

As the United States prepares for a general election complicated by the coronavirus pandemic, a new national survey finds that most Americans support making it easier to vote by mail in November.

 


Updated at 11:46 a.m. ET

Former Vice President Joe Biden condemned both police violence and President Trump's increasingly confrontational response to widespread unrest in a Tuesday morning speech delivered at Philadelphia City Hall.

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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The Equality State Policy Center wants the 2020 elections to be safe and widely accessible.

Members of the Senate Banking Committee squabbled Tuesday over how quickly the U.S. economy can rebound from the coronavirus shutdown and whether the federal government is doing enough to support struggling families and businesses in the meantime.

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The 2020 candidate filing period for Wyoming is officially open. And with that, Wyoming's Secretary of State Ed Buchanan has also launched a campaign to keep voters informed and safe during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

As the U.S. Census Bureau resumes some 2020 census field operations put on hold by the pandemic, House Democrats are moving forward with proposals for major changes to the national head count as requested by the bureau.


This story was powered by America Amplified, a public radio initiative.

It's Cinco de Mayo in Sandpoint, Idaho, and a downtown pub is giving away free meals to families in need. Not many people are out. A few are wearing masks. Outside the pub, a teenager is playing the Beatles' song "Yesterday" on his violin.

This image is a work of a Federal Emergency Management Agency employee, taken or made as part of that person's official duties. As works of the U.S. federal government, all FEMA images are in the public domain in the United States.

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.

Updated at 5:11 p.m. ET

The U.S. Senate has approved a measure to add roughly $484 billion in new funds to bolster the already record-breaking coronavirus response legislation.

The Senate passed the legislation by unanimous consent on Tuesday. House leaders were planning a vote for Thursday.

How are wildland firefighters expected to battle blazes during a pandemic? That's not entirely clear, but a bipartisan bill proposed by Mountain West lawmakers aims to help ensure firefighters' safety.

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Former Vice President Joe Biden won Wyoming's Democratic Caucus, which party officials say drew a historic number of Democratic voters.

Bob Beck / Wyoming Public Radio

Wyoming legislative leaders have been told the state may face revenue declines between $555 million to $2.8 billion as a result of the coronavirus.

Perhaps the last thing we needed in this hyperpartisan election year was another reminder of what divides us as a nation. Then the COVID-19 crisis arrived and gave us one.

The virus is affecting everyone, in one way or another, but in terms of actual sickness and death, it is disproportionately afflicting people of color. So far, at least, it is afflicting primarily those people of color who live in the most densely populated cores of our metropolitan centers.

Liam James Doyle/NPR

Even if Wyoming's two senators aren't here in Washington, they're working overtime these days. After helping pass a $2.2 trillion stimulus package last month, this week they tried to give the administration another $250 billion so it could aide struggling or shuttered small businesses. Wyoming Senator John Barrasso says these massive stimulus bills are essential right now.

Senate Democrats blocked a GOP effort to add $250 billion in coronavirus-related small-business loans.

"We need more funding — and we need it fast," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on the Senate floor. "To my Democratic colleagues, do not block emergency aid you do not oppose just because you want something more. We do not have to do everything right now."

Congressional Republicans and the White House want to increase the total amount of loans available through the Paycheck Protection Program from $350 billion to $600 billion.

EPW GOP

Most states have issued stay-at-home orders to slow the spread of COVID-19. Wyoming and Utah are two of the very few remaining without statewide orders.

U.S. Census Bureau

You probably got a letter in the mail recently from the U.S. Census Bureau asking you to fill out its survey. And maybe you're thinking, I don't have time for this! I just lost my job and I don't know how I'm going to pay my mortgage in the next couple of months! My kids are home and they're driving me crazy!

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In an unexpected move, Gov. Mark Gordon vetoed a bill that would have laid the groundwork for a major land and mineral rights deal between Wyoming and Occidental Petroleum.

U.S. Capitol Building
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At the start of the year the U.S. economy was soaring, but now most everything has come to a government mandated halt which is rippling across the economy… which has been a shock for most lawmakers, including Wyoming Senator John Barrasso.

Updated at 5:50 p.m. ET

President Trump has signed a historic $2 trillion economic recovery package into law Friday afternoon, shortly after the House of Representatives approved the bill.

In an Oval Office ceremony Friday, the president thanked Republicans and Democrats "for coming together, setting aside their differences and putting America first" to pass the legislation. Trump was joined by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy. No Democrats were present at the signing.

Updated at 11:47 p.m. ET

The U.S. Senate overwhelmingly approved a $2 trillion relief package Wednesday night designed to alleviate some of the worst effects of the swift economic downturn currently underway as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Ahead of the 96-0 vote, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told lawmakers, "Our nation obviously is going through a kind of crisis that is totally unprecedented in living memory."

Bob Beck

Over the years there's been a conflict between news, advocacy organizations and members of the public versus government agencies when it comes to documents and information. Many times these issues go to court. In an effort to make all sides play better together, the legislature created the position of Ombudsman to settle these disputes. Ruth Van Mark joins Bob Beck to discuss her role in the state.

Bob Beck

The Wyoming Legislature wrapped up its work this week with concerns about the future. A downturn in oil prices and worries about a drop in investment income has lawmakers thinking that they may need to make some difficult decisions in the not-too-distant future.

Savannah Maher

During the legislative session, Representative Andi Clifford's days start before dawn. So, when her friend Representative Sara Burlingame picks her up from her hotel early on a February morning, the first thing on their agenda is getting caffeinated.

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County Clerks in Wyoming could soon be required by state law to accept tribal ID cards for voter registration, provided the ID lists the applicant's driver's license number or last four digits of their social security number.

The deadline is tonight to submit public comment on sweeping changes to one of the nation’s bedrock environmental laws.

In today’s partisan political climate, one thing most Westerners seem to agree on is the need to protect wildlife corridors.

Wildlife corridors are historic wildlife migration routes. And sometimes, those routes need protecting. It could be as simple as restoring some native species, or it could involve building a grassy overpass over a busy highway.

Associated Press

The State Senate has passed a bill that sets up a process for legislators to review the school funding model and take a close look at education requirements.

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