TORRINGTON – Congresswoman Liz Cheney made a stop in Torrington to discuss a variety of topics from the local as well as federal level.
When asked about how best to help the ag community make ends meet, Congresswoman Cheney said stopping bad policies is the first step. Stopping policies that increase taxes is a key step in Cheney’s mind.
“We’ve been successful, so far, for the most part at preventing efforts by Democrats in the Senate,” she said. “Fundamentally, reminding people that we need to be able to keep more of what we earn. Raising taxes is going to create a situation where we don’t have economic growth that we need.”
Cheney also said educating lawmakers in Washington as to the effects their policies have on rural communities is key. She recently proposed a piece of legislation to allow producers to sell state-inspected and USDA-approved meat across state lines, hopefully increasing opportunities for producers to grow their business.
In the case of Jamin Johnson, a Black sheriff’s deputy in Albany County who recently filed a lawsuit against his former superior alleging “racism, bigotry and discrimination [that] almost defies belief,” Cheney said that while she is not familiar with the details of the lawsuit nor the events leading up to it, she does believe in the vision of Martin Luther King, Jr.
“I believe in what [he] said, which is that we all should be judged by the content of our character, not on the color of our skin,” she said. “I think that in too many instances now we’ve gone too far.”
Cheney cited critical race theory, which she said teaches history in the context of judging people based on the color of their skin.
“I think we do need to recognize the extent to which racism should have no place in our country,” she said. “It should have no place in our state, we have to stand against it.”
Cheney addressed the importance of small businesses as the backbone of the nation’s economy and how federal regulations add more challenges.
“When you see efforts that are being made to raise taxes or when you see efforts being made to increase regulation you understand that those are really targeting our small businesses,” Cheney said.
The pandemic has also put more pressure on small businesses to stay open which has combines with rising supply chain issues and transportation issues such as lack of truck drivers.
“We have had a really kind of a perfect storm of bad policy… global economic issues like what we’ve seen with the impact COVID has had on the world that it really created a lot of difficulties,” Cheney said. “And of course, we got labor issues too and very it’s challenging for a whole variety of reasons now to be able to find people who will go to work.”
According to Cheney, President Biden’s administration policies will continue to make it harder for small businesses.
“You have to get the federal government out of people’s lives and the more that you can get decision making at the local level and at the community level the more the policies that are adopted are going to reflect the needs of our individual communities,” Cheney said.
In terms of veteran issues, Cheney said the Choice Act implemented during the Trump administration was very helpful for veterans to get the help they need outside of Veterans Affairs (VA).
“I think making sure the VA is responsive to veterans needs is hugely important,” Cheney said.
With suicide rates also an issue in the veteran community Cheney has focused on encouraging the community to call local veterans and show their appreciation of them as she sponsored a bill for National Warrior Day.
Cheney believes since Operation Iraqi Freedom soldiers are less likely to go to places of support.
“They’ve been more individuals in communities, and I think that’s created some challenges that we got to make sure we have a safety net there and that we’re providing service people have earned,” Cheney said.
Cheney’s stance on the current administration’s push toward less coal production and more renewable energy is one that most Wyomingites can get on board with. Cheney wants to make sure people understand Wyoming has the cleanest coal in the world and we have the ability to get access to oil and gas with new technology to detect emissions and stop them.
“Wyoming’s fossil fuels are a national treasure, and we are unbelievably blessed in Wyoming to have the abundant resources we have,” Cheney said. There’s a real misunderstanding and some of it is probably intentional but you have people who think well, we should just immediately stop using all fossil fuels and we are only using renewable,” Cheney said. “Part of my job is to get the message out about how damaging that is and make sure people understand that the economy has to have access to fossil fuels to run.”
Cheney declared that Wyomingites operate by the Code of the West, care deeply about the Constitution and fundamental values of independence and freedoms. “We are conservative, and I think recognizing and understanding what my oath of office means, and how seriously I take it and why it’s so important for elected officials to abide by their oath,” she said. “And also talking about the stakes in this election, I think that all of these issues we’ve talked about really matter.
Cheney is aware that she needs to attract voters back. “People have to understand they can count on you and trust you, she said. “I’m really proud of my family’s roots in Wyoming and I’m proud of the extent to which, you know, our oath really means something, our word is our bond here, and that’ll be a large part of the campaign and conversation.”