Today the Senate passed its version of a “continuing resolution”- legislation that will fund the federal government through September. The vote was 73-26. U.S. Senator Mike Enzi, R-Wyo. voted against the bill because of accounting used to hide spending. This sleight-of-hand, known as “changes in mandatory programs” or CHIMPS, allows money that is not likely to be spent to be listed as a savings, then being used for more spending. The continuing resolution contains $18.8 billion in double counting through CHIMPS.
Enzi was disappointed his “Blueway” amendment wasn’t considered. It would prevent Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar from moving forward with the “National Blueways System”, which Enzi believes could endanger Wyoming economic activity without any vote in Congress or proper public notice. He was pleased however, that some amendments he supported were included in the final bill. Among them was an amendment that would prevent the EPA from imposing on farmers and ranchers regulations that were designed for the oil field. Another would help ensure USDA meat inspections continue and another would restore the tuition assistance benefits for service members.
House leaders have said they are prepared to take a look at the Senate version of the legislation.