Week of 01.13.2018 

Caucus Fracas: Announcing Membership Changes
Rep. Biggs joins Executive Committee; Rep. Curtis joins membership ranks

On Thursday, the Congressional Western Caucus announced that Rep. Andy Biggs (AZ-05) accepted a position as its Chief Regulatory Reform Officer. The Caucus also announced that the newest Member of the House of Representatives, Rep. John Curtis (UT-03), had joined its ranks as a Member. 

They and Chairman Rep. Paul Gosar released the following statements commenting on the changes: 

“I am honored to accept the position of Regulatory Reform Officer of the Congressional Western Caucus," said Chief Regulatory Reform Officer Andy Biggs. "Chairman Paul Gosar has led the Caucus in an historically effective manner. The Caucus is a strong voice for Westerners who have been burdened by the federal government’s regulatory overreaches. President Trump and members of his Administration have demonstrated that deregulation to achieve economic freedom is a top priority, and they have been incredible allies. In 2017, the administration and the Western Caucus accomplished a lot for hard-working Americans. There is much work to do, though, and I look forward to working with my colleagues to help unleash our economic potential.” 

“I am honored to join the Western Caucus and join the fine public servants that represent some of our country’s most diverse and beautiful places. I look forward to working with all members to advance important issues like rural broadband and other common-sense policies to protect the Western way of life,” said Congressman Curtis.

"My good friend Congressman Biggs is establishing himself as a major player around the Capitol," said Chairman Gosar. "I am excited to announce that he is coming onboard as the newest member of our Executive Committee. Andy has a passion for liberty and free markets and he is turning that passion into a force for change in Washington. We look forward to working with him to grow and improve the Caucus' influence in order to make progress on land, water and energy issues. Congratulations, Congressman," he said. "I am also proud to welcome the newest Member of the House, Congressman Curtis, into the Caucus fold. Congressman Curtis has an impressive record coming into Congress as the successful, longtime Mayor of the great city of Provo, Utah. With these dynamic leaders onboard, 2018 is shaping up to be the most successful year for the Caucus yet," he concluded.

Read the Caucus Year in Review 2017

Last year, the Western Caucus accomplished more than it ever has. 2018 is shaping up to be an even bigger year, but first, we thought we would take a quick breath to recap the most major victories and milestones of the year. 

Click HERE or the picture below to read the Western Caucus 2017 Year in Review.

EPA Launches New Website Tracking Deregulatory Actions

Last week, the United States Environmental Protection Agency launched a new informational page designed to inform the American people of the progress of the Trump Administration's deregulatory agenda, including as it relates to the Executive Order signed by the President in January requiring that the government relinquish two regulations for each new one enacted. 

The Administration and President Trump's stated deregulatoiry intentions were ambitious from the outset, to the extent that many skeptics claimed their goals were overbroad and would be impossible to achieve. These skeptics said we simply had to be content with slowing the acceleration of regulatory overreach - that the problem could no longer be systemically cured. 

Reviewing this website demonstrates that the Administration and President Trump have put in the work and due diligence to enact an impressive rollback of our overregulating federal apparatus, which we have every reason to believe will continue so long as he is in office. The aforementioned skeptics, now, are nowhere to be found. 

Click HERE to see the new page.

Caucus Staff Breakfast Draws Big Crowd
Interior, Agriculture and other agency speakers attend 

On Friday, we had great turnout at the Western Caucus Foundation Staff Policy Breakfast, with over a hundred House, Senate, and Administration staff in attendance. 

We heard from: U.S. Department of Interior's Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management Joe Balash, their Principal Assistant Deputy Secretary Kate MacGregor, U.S. Department of Energy's Jake McCurdy, U.S. Department of Agriculture's Doug Crandall, House Agriculture Committee's Josh Maxwell, former Caucus Executive Director and current Wyoming County Commissioner Association's Executive Director Pete Obermueller, and Akin Gump's Michael Rossetti.

Pictured below: Assistant Secretary Balash and Assistant Deputy Secretary MacGregor.


Rep. Mike Johnson's SEA Act Passes Resources Committee

On Wednesday, the House Natural Resources Committee passed Congressman Mike Johnson's H.R. 3133, the Streamlining Environmental Protections (SEA) Act of 2017. The bill amends the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972 to remove duplicative permitting requirements that inhibit economic development and restoration projects.

“Washington bureaucrats should never have the authority to halt coastal initiatives based on their own politically biased agendas. Yet many permit approvals are prolonged, including coastal restoration efforts and critical naval operations, specifically for that reason. The SEA Act takes important steps to implement strict deadlines for agencies while maintaining appropriate permitting standards, allowing projects to move forward only if they meet the highest requirements. I applaud the Natural Resources Committee for recognizing the importance of this commonsense legislation and my colleagues for moving it forward,” Rep. Johnson stated.

“Dogma and outdated federal mandates are stalling beneficial conservation and economic development activities,” Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT) said. “This bill establishes accountability within the bureaucracy and reconciles conflicting federal requirements to make the law work better for people and the environment. I thank Rep. Johnson for his work on this important bill and look forward to advancing it through the House.”  

Read the full Natural Resources Committee press release HERE. Bill text is HERE.

 Vice-Chair for Indian Affairs and Oceans Don Young Named Dean of the House

On Wednesday, the House officially recognized Congressman Don Young as the new Dean of the House of Representatives, formalizing his stature as the longest-serving Member of the House presently in office. He gained this title as a consequence of the resignation of the last Dean, Democrat John Conyers. 

Rep. Young also serves as the Vice-Chair of Indian Affairs and Oceans for the Western Caucus, where his valuable expertise and formidable institutional knowledge is a major benefit to his colleagues. 


In lieu of a weekly address, the Western Caucus wanted to share this funny video by the Public Lands Council. Their take on the Patagonia Monuments controversy? If you're embarassed about the logo on your jacket, that doesn't mean you can't wear it anymore. Click this link or on the picture below to watch the short video.

  house seal