February was a busy month in Washington D.C. that included debate on the debt, the confirmation of a new Defense Secretary and new legislation to increase exports of Wyoming natural gas.
Across the board spending cuts, known as the “sequester,” automatically went into effect March 1. While President Barack Obama refuses to admit it, his administration does have some flexibility to decide where and how these cuts take place.
I’ve called on the President to work in a bipartisan way to cut Washington’s wasteful spending and finally get our fiscal house in order. If we don’t act now, future generations will have more debt and fewer opportunities to achieve their dreams.
New Defense Secretary is Confirmed
On February 26, the Senate confirmed former Senator Chuck Hagel to be our nation’s next Secretary of Defense by a vote of 71-27. His decisions will impact Wyoming in many ways – including the future of Cheyenne’s FE Warren Air Force Base, and its 150 land-based Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBM’s).
I voted against Secretary Hagel’s nomination because I disagree with his judgment on Iran, Iraq, Israel and our nation’s ICBM force.
Opening up Market Opportunities for Wyoming’s Natural Gas
In Wyoming, we’re always looking for new ways to expand markets and opportunities for our natural gas. Over the last month, more colleagues have supported my bipartisan bill called the “Expedited LNG for American Allies Act of 2013.”
This bill would make it easier to export U.S. natural gas overseas to countries that support the national security interests of the U.S. We need to pass this bill and create good paying jobs throughout Wyoming and across America.
Wyoming Comes to Washington
Every week, I meet with folks from all across Wyoming in my Washington office about their ideas and concerns.
This month, I met with Wyoming hospital administrators from Rawlins and Lovell with the National Rural Health Association. We talked about ways to improve our rural health system and ensure that folks in Wyoming have access to quality medical care as close to home as possible.
I also sat down with elementary and middle school principals from Cody Middle School, Gillette’s Twin Spruce Jr. High and Rock Springs’ Walnut Elementary School. We talked about student assessments and how teachers and principals are working to ensure Wyoming students receive the best education possible.
In March, I’ll participate in an important Senate confirmation hearing for Interior Secretary nominee Sally Jewell. This position has a huge impact on policies in Wyoming, where almost half of our land is controlled by Washington. I’m going to ask tough questions about her experience, and her vision for American energy independence.
I’m home in Wyoming nearly every weekend and hope to see you soon.
If you are in Washington during the week, please let me know. Senator Mike Enzi and I co-host a weekly meeting called “Wyoming Wednesday” with people from Wyoming. We would love to see you there if you are in town.
Sen. John Barrasso
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