Members of the Senate Western Caucus announced today that Senator Steve Daines (R-MT) will chair the Senate Western Caucus for the 115th Congress. Former Chairman John Barrasso (R-WY) will step into the position of chairman emeritus. Barrasso and Daines released the following statements in response to the announcement:
“The Senate Western Caucus has been a great platform for lawmakers who are committed to upholding the fundamental principles of the West. I’m honored to have served as chairman for the past eight years. In that time, we’ve seen our membership and impact grow tremendously,” said Barrasso. “Senator Daines will make a terrific new chairman. I look forward to working with him to continue to advance western solutions related to our environment, as well as to our energy and natural resources.”
“I want to thank Senator Barrasso for his vision, leadership and dedication in forming this caucus to bring important issues facing the West to the forefront,” said Daines “We need a commonsense western approach to solving our nation’s most challenging issues including energy development and balanced use of our public lands. I look forward to taking on these challenges with my colleagues from the West.”
Since founding the Senate Western Caucus in 2009, Barrasso has led the caucus with great pride and commitment to western needs, values, and traditions. During his time as chairman, Barrasso expanded the caucus to include more than half of the Republican conference, and provided a forum for the 27 current members to join forces on western policy issues. The caucus has been a strong Senate voice for energy, environmental, natural resource, and economic issues that directly affect our western states.