CHEYENNE, Wyo. – Two of Wyoming’s United States Congressional legislators visited the Wyoming State Captiol building and praised the work of their state counterparts on Friday, Feb. 21.
U.S. Sen. Mike Enzi and U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney both spoke during the Wyoming Senate’s afternoon floor session on Friday, breaking up the discussion of SF, the biennium budget bill.
This will likely be Enzi’s last visit while the state legislature is in session as a state official, as he announced his retirement in May 2019 after 22 years in his position and more than 40 in politics. He will retire this year.
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Former legislator Cynthia Lummis is currently running for Enzi’s Senate seat; he and fellow U.S. Sen. John Barrasso have endorsed her. Other candidates for the seat are Republicans R. Mark Armstrong, Patrick Dotson, Joshua Wheeler and Robert Short and Democrats Merav Ben-David, Yana Ludwig and Chuck Jagoda.
During his speech, Enzi marveled at the renovated Capitol, stating that Washington D.C. offices couldn’t be remodeled as beautifully even with $300 billion, as opposed to Wyoming’s $300 million project.
“It’s just staggering how marvelous it is,” he told the Senate.
But he quickly pivoted from the restored Capitol to the hard work the 30 senators were doing, especially in a short budget session like this one. While he knew it was thankless for the most part, he commended the many hours they were putting in, both during the session and in the interim.
“When I was mayor, I started to get depressed because of the criticism,” he said. “I had a friend who told me the only time I’d find appreciation was in the dictionary.”
Enzi made a few remarks about the life in D.C., criticizing the media for stirring up controversy when he thinks there is none. He told the Senate that for the most part, Democrats and Republicans get along in both the U.S. House and Senate, but that there was an agenda to cause problems between the parties.
“If they can’t find a fight, they’ll start a fight,” he said.
He touched on a tax bill, but noted that he didn’t want to tell his state counterparts how to legislate. The outgoing senator closed his talk stating that Wyoming was great in largely because of the work done by the legislators.
Cheney also commended the Senate on Friday, but while Enzi’s speech touched on the unity between parties, hers were more in the opposite direction.
“It’s a dichotomy right now, because we have an administration that really listens and takes action, sometimes before they’re even asked to do so,” she said. “But the House of Representatives is a battle against what has become a radicalized set of folks in charge. I’m going to help make sure we get a Republican majority back in the House.”
She discussed some bipartisan legislation she’s working on in D.C., but she reiterated that it was “difficult to work with the other side.”