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In November Americans chose a new president and they said they wanted to go in a different direction.  Most of Wyoming elected to go on this path because they were tired of the top-down style of government that’s become common in Washington. 

Our new president is certainly living up to his promise to make some changes, but I want you to know that I understand your concerns.  I also understand that thousands of you did not vote for the President and believe your neighbors have made a mistake. I know the feeling. I had it four years ago when President Obama was reelected.  I hear you and particularly regret circumstances that have made it difficult for some of you to reach me.  The unusually high volume of calls, most from outside of Wyoming, is sometimes making it difficult for me to receive comments from my Wyoming constituents.  In fact the volume has caused Senate-wide problems with the phone system.  This is an out-of-the ordinary situation. I ask for your patience as the Senate works through these technological difficulties.  Right now, contacting me through my web page seems to work best.  My website allows me to sort through incoming messages easier so I can prioritize Wyoming messages.  Just go to  I also want to assure you that my staff does pass on to me the messages you give them.  I not only appreciate your efforts and willingness to participate in democratic dialogue, I expect it and depend on it.  Thank you.

I am an old shoe salesman and Diana and I always put our customer first.  We believe in customer service and even though we don’t sell shoes anymore we still strive to serve our customers, all the citizens of Wyoming. Never before have I had too many customers all at the same time.

I believe the President of the United States and his administration should be given a chance to lead.  Part of that is allowing him to make hiring decisions.  There have been a few exceptions but I voted in favor of the vast majority of cabinet and other nominees chosen by all presidents since I’ve served, including the nominees for President Clinton and Obama.  I do not blindly do anything and that includes voting with my party.  Throughout my career, I have decided whether to support or oppose positions and policies based on what I believe is right for Wyoming and my country, regardless of the party in charge of the Senate or the White House. I take into account the positions of others for and against whether it is one person or 1,000 people. What I look for is different arguments. The same letter sent by a thousand people shows volume of concern, but it is just a single viewpoint. Then I make up my own mind based on what I think will be best.

I supported Betsy DeVos for education secretary. I think because of our discussions, she has a better understanding of rural and frontier education. She assured me, other members of the Senate and the public that she: does not believe in mandating vouchers, is committed to students with disabilities and to enforcing the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, will implement the laws that Congress passes—including the bipartisan education law that gives more power back to the states—and that she believes in public education.  I believe she will increase the flexibility for parents, teachers and students in Wyoming to control their own destiny. 

Some of the other nominees, Jeff Sessions for Attorney General and Tom Price for Health and Human Services Secretary, for instance, I have personally known and worked with for years.  I know them as colleagues and I know them as people.  I believe in their character and their abilities based on their actions. 

I imagine it seems that all we are doing in DC is fighting over Cabinet nominees, but we are actually accomplishing some things that will help Wyoming.  Congress has already overturned an Obama Administration rule that could have limited surface mining as well as an Obama Administration rule that disadvantaged oil and gas companies.  Repealing these rules could make a real difference for our state.

Virtually every vote I take disappoints someone because I have constituents on different sides of almost every issue, but what I do is listen and carefully make my own decisions.  I believe that even if we disagree sometimes on how to get there, we all want what is best for our state and country and I respect that.  I value input from you and appreciate your position even if it is contrary to my own.  I hope you can appreciate mine even if you think I’m wrong.  I believe we all want what is best for Wyoming.  We also should do our best to set an example for our children and grandchildren by being kind and respectful to each other, especially when we have disagreements.

Thank you again for reaching out to me to share your thoughts and opinions.  I hope you will continue to do so.