June 2015

June 19, 2015

Enzi: Rapidly growing debt threatens America’s economic future

Nation’s interest costs will more than triple in 25 years

During a hearing today on a report by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) focused on the fiscal challenges facing the country, Senator Mike Enzi (R-WY), Chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, said that the nation’s long-term fiscal outlook was threatened by America’s growing debt.

“It is clear from CBO’s analysis that rapidly growing public sector debt threatens America’s economic future,” said Chairman Enzi.  “Congress must take action now to boost our economic growth, reform the programs that drive up the debt, and provide a fiscal future that is secure for retirees and workers alike, as well as for generations yet to come.”

Chairman Enzi noted that the nation’s fiscal future is not worsening because we are starving the federal government for resources. In fact, Congress is already spending more tax revenue than at any point in history.  Currently, government’s revenues equal 17.7 percent of GDP, and that percentage is growing.  Spending equals 20.3 percent of GDP, and will accelerate rapidly as the population ages and health care costs continue their relentless rise.  CBO estimates that federal spending on Social Security and major health care programs will more than double as a share of GDP by 2040, relative to their historical average. Enzi said that unless we choose to cancel the remaining federal spending, most of this additional spending would be funded through debt. That means, according to CBO, the interest expenses of the federal government will more than triple in the next 25 years.

“President John F. Kennedy said the best time to fix the roof is when the sun is shining – that same logic should be applied to boosting our economy and addressing our long-term fiscal challenges,”Chairman Enzi said.  “Instead of waiting for another crisis or recession or watching our debt grow, we should take action on these critical fiscal challenges facing our nation now. By working together on real reforms and real solutions, we can achieve real results, which is what hardworking American families want and deserve.”

March 2015

In a new video, U.S. Senator Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., responded to questions and comments about the Senate’s attempts to overturn the president’s veto on the Keystone XL pipeline bill and the Federal Communications Commission’s vote to put restrictions on the Internet. Wyoming constituents sent question and comments to Enzi during the past couple of weeks through Facebook and Twitter, from phone calls to his D.C. and Wyoming offices, and from email and written letters. 

President’s Keystone XL pipeline bill veto 

“The Keystone XL pipeline did pass Congress, but to override a presidential veto it’s going to take 67 votes. We don’t have 67 votes. In many instances similar to this we might pick up 66 but I guaranty you that the discipline on the other side will prevent them from getting to the 67 point.” 

“It makes sense to do the pipeline. It provides jobs immediately. It provides a way for us to get U.S. energy into a pipeline to get it to refineries. Which, if we increase the supply, will bring down the price. It is an environmentally responsible way to move the oil and we should be building the pipeline. We had the opportunity to do it now for several years. We passed the bill to get it done. The president vetoed it. Of course the president has promised to veto about 20 things already.” 

FCC’s vote putting restrictions on the Internet 

“As you know last month the FCC voted 3-2 to put restrictions on the Internet using burdensome and out of date telecommunication laws. These laws were written back when we had rotary dial telephones. I know a lot of people don’t even remember rotary dial telephones.”

 “One of those concerns is that the FCC is anticipating setting up a bureaucracy, a new utility. And utility restrictions will come into play and that will change the internet as we know it now. It’s been working fine, it can work fine, it should work fine, but the best way to do that is not to have the government get involved. I hope that we are able to overturn that FCC decision to put restrictions on there. We will have some opportunities to do that. I hope you follow the progress on that.”

Senator Enzi records “Collecting Common Sense from Wyoming for Washington” videos periodically when the Senate is in session. He encourages Wyoming residents to continue sharing their thoughts, ideas, and questions. For individual responses, constituents should email him through his web page –

February 2015

February 2, 2015

Enzi answers questions on employers cutting hours, chairing Budget Committee

New Collecting Common Sense from Wyoming for Washington video

In a new video, U.S. Senator Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., responded to questions and comments about Wyoming businesses and employees suffering under Obamacare’s employer mandate, along with questions about his new position chairing the Senate Budget Committee. Wyoming constituents sent question and comments to Enzi during the past couple of weeks through Facebook and Twitter, from phone calls to his D.C. and Wyoming offices, and from email and written letters.

 Obamacare Forcing Wyoming Employers to Cut Hours                                   

“There are a lot of people out there now that are working two jobs because they don’t have the 40 hours…They are working 58 hours and not getting any overtime. That’s one way that the employees are being hurt dramatically. But businesses aren’t allowed to expand without seeing huge fines against them unless they provide exactly what the president wants. So many of them have canceled the kind of insurance they were able to provide before.”

“There could be more jobs out there but we have got to change that 30 hours back to 40 hours, and hopefully eliminate the 50 employee requirement, and allow people to be able to buy the kind of insurance they want to buy, and make sure that everyone can have insurance.”

 Enzi As New Chairman of the Budget Committee

“What I am trying to do is come up with a responsible budget that first of all will be on-time. April 15 is when we are supposed to have it finished…I want to have it resolved with the House and finished by April 15. And the main reason is that once we set those parameters and get the enforcement process for the budget in place, the people on the spending committee can go to work and see that the best projects are done, and the duplication is ended, and that could make a huge difference in our spending.”

Senator Enzi records “Collecting Common Sense from Wyoming for Washington” videos periodically when the Senate is in session. He encourages Wyoming residents to continue sharing their thoughts, ideas, and questions. For individual responses, constituents should email him through his web page –

January 2015

It’s a new year, but we’ve got some familiar problems to contend with, according to U.S. Senator Mike Enzi, R-Wyo. With the new Republican majority in the Senate ready to tackle the most pressing problems facing our country, Enzi took to the Senate floor Thursday to stress the importance of working on real solutions in order to make things better for the American people, not just racking up political points. Enzi discussed his confidence that Congress will finally start making some real progress, especially on key issues such as the Keystone XL pipeline, immigration, Obamacare and more.

The following are excerpts from his speech:

“I intend to work this year to address our nation’s spending problems because I sit up nights worrying about our nation’s debt and how it will affect our children and grandchildren. And I am now the Chairman of the Budget Committee so I will have a hand in handling that, so I will have more responsibility. We have a spending problem in this country, and we cannot spend our way to prosperity. Rather, we must stop spending more than we take in and find a way to start paying down the $18 trillion.”

“We have a spending problem and it is catastrophic in the long run.”

“Additionally, I believe now is the time to deal with the problems we have seen each day since Obamacare was implemented. Premiums are skyrocketing for many people this year, while small businesses continue to hold off on hiring new workers or are keeping more people on part-time schedules…We should repeal this law because it is bad for consumers and bad for businesses. We need real health care reform that gets health care costs under control and ensures that rural health care providers can afford to continue to provide vital services.”

“We need to encourage coal production and prevent the Administration from restricting this low cost, reliable, stockpile able energy source. The coal industry provided – directly and indirectly – over 700,000 good paying jobs in 2010, but since being sworn into office, President Obama’s rule-making machine has released rule-after-rule designed to make it more difficult and more expensive to use coal. Instead of running from coal, America should run on coal, and I hope this Congress will embrace its abundance, in its power and its potential.”

“We also need to challenge the President’s other regulatory overreaches. President Obama has issued more Executive Orders, regulations, and other executive actions than either President Bush, Clinton, or Reagan…This year we need to fight the abuse of executive power, whether it’s used to grant illegal executive amnesty to illegal immigrants, to regulate all bodies of water on public and private land, or to make unconstitutional political appointments."

“I am confident that we can make some real progress for America this year on these and other issues because I believe the Republican Leader will re-establish regular order. I expect that we will use the committee process so that senators can offer constructive amendments and debate bills in that forum. I am hopeful that we will also have an amendment process on the Senate floor so that all 100 members of the Senate have an opportunity to improve the bills we consider. Each of us has a different background, and each of us looks at every proposal from a different point of view.  Working together, we can make things better for the American people, and I hope that we will do that this year.”

Click here for a copy of the full speech.

Click here to download video of excerpts of the speech.

Click here to download the video of the full speech. 

December 2014

In a new video recorded this week, U.S. Senator Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., answered constituent questions on President Obama’s most recent executive overreaches that granted amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants and an EPA proposed rule on ozone limits. The questions and comments are from Wyoming constituents sent to Enzi during the past couple weeks through Facebook and Twitter, from phone calls to his D.C. and Wyoming offices, and from email and written letters.

President Obama’s Illegal Immigration Amnesty

This president has just granted amnesty to over 4 million people with the stroke of the pen, not a single vote from congress and that's wrong. Why haven't we counteracted this? We don't have the votes. After the first of the year we're going to have a majority of Republicans and that will make a difference, it better make a difference.

“But we can’t have the president circumventing Congress and there are ways for a majority to be able to stop those things and part of that is through the appropriations process, cutting off the money for the things that are done illegally.”

EPA Proposed Ozone Limits

“I've seen a map of the United States and this ozone Rule isn't going to go anywhere because the whole east coast of the Mississippi River and all across the southern part of the United States, they have much higher ozone unattainment at the present time than Wyoming does. We have some isolated spots where we're having a problem and again that is largely where there's a concentration of population or concentration of work and I think we'll have a lot of help in overcoming this ozone rule, which will be devastating. So I hope people will comment on it, get their comments in, that does make a difference.”

Senator Enzi records “Collecting Common Sense from Wyoming for Washington” videos periodically when the Senate is in session. He encourages Wyoming residents to continue sharing their thoughts, ideas, and questions. For individual responses, constituents should email him through his web page –

November 2014

November 13, 2014

Touring Admiral Beverages

First opened in 1947 with only two types of soda and two full time employees, Admiral Beverages in Worland is a true Wyoming success story. They now employ 500 employees in Wyoming alone, along with producing and/or distributing Pepsi, Dr Pepper and MillerCoors products across eight states. Thanks to A.J. Jenness for showing Diana and I the bottling facility on October 20. It was interesting to see the state of the art bottling techniques they are using.
July 2014

July 10, 2014

Senate should extend protections to knife and bow users

Majority leader’s rein of procedural error continues with more blocked amendment votes

If you like to hunt or fish or compete in outdoor activities using knives or bows, you better be careful where you go and how you get there, according to U.S. Senator Mike Enzi, R-Wyo.

Enzi wanted a debate on granting the same protections to those traveling with bows and knives on federal land that gun owners enjoy. The Senate majority leader, however, decided to block dozens of amendments from both Democrats and Republicans from being considered as part of a bi-partisan sportsmen’s package of bills.

Enzi said the Senate majority’s blocking of amendments to the sportsmen’s bill does a disservice to hunters and outdoorsmen all over the country.

“I’ve been working on an amendment with Senators Bennet, Flake, Risch, Sessions, Thune and others to allow bows and archery equipment to be transported through national parks. This bi-partisan effort is necessary because some bow hunters need to travel across national parks to get to the land they intend to hunt on. This is also a common sense amendment because it provides parity for bows and firearms,” said Enzi.

Enzi also offered an amendment with Senators Lee and Thune to ensure that those traveling with a properly secured knife are not prosecuted under local or state laws which ban certain knives.

Enzi also joined other senators in filing amendments that would:

  • require the Department of Interior to suspend for 10 years a listing decision in states with approved or endorsed sage grouse management plans.
  • prevent the EPA from regulating all bodies of water, no matter how small and regardless of whether the water is on public or private property.
  • would allow folks to carry firearms on Army Corps of Engineers recreational property.
  • make cabin user fees more affordable and predictable, allowing families to keep their cabins on Forest Service land which some have been for generations.
  • Address the maintenance backlog at the National Park Service.

In his speech, Enzi noted that many of the amendments he sponsored or cosponsored are bipartisan, but the majority leader is insisting on making decisions for the 99 other senators on what ideas should get votes and what shouldn’t. Enzi said many of the senators now in office are new and they may think this is how the Senate is supposed to work, but it isn’t. 

“There is a better way,” he said.

June 2014

June 24, 2014

Enzi on student loans

Responds to constituent questions in new video

In a new video, U.S. Senator Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., discussed the issue of skyrocketing student loan debt. The video addresses a few questions and comments Wyoming constituents sent him during the past couple weeks through Facebook and Twitter, from phone calls to his D.C. and Wyoming offices, and from email and written letters.

Student Loan Debt

“I understand that it’s getting more and more difficult to finance higher education. We have a real advantage being in Wyoming. Wyoming has the Hathaway Scholarships. If you get good grades and you stay out of trouble, there’s some available for University of Wyoming, community colleges, or tech schools, and those can be a tremendous help. Wyoming has actually lower rates than most of the other states.”

“We should not have the government making money off of student loans. Of course, most people don’t realize that the student loan rate was set so that there would be a differential between what the government borrows it for and what the students would have to pay it, and that was to go to Obamacare…So our side of the aisle came up with an idea that it ought to be cut in half…And we got that passed not as a 6 month deal or a 1 year deal, but we got that passed as a permanent deal.

 “There’s not going to be any silver bullet that will take care of all of this, but we are concerned about education. I’m trying through the Higher Education Act to simplify the way that the forms have to be filled out for you to get there, and so that there’s full disclosure of what your costs are going to be as you go there, so that you can see if you can afford it…But it is important to take a look at what that’s going to cost, so if you’ve got any suggestions for ways to make it better for students, I’m into that.”

Senator Enzi records “Collecting Common Sense from Wyoming for Washington” videos every other week when the Senate is in session. He encourages Wyoming residents to continue sharing their thoughts, ideas, and questions and he will address as many of the topics as possible. For individual responses, constituents should email him through his web page –

May 2014

“This Memorial Day people all across Wyoming and this great nation will remember our nation’s veterans and the sacrifices they have made to keep our nation strong and free. We will acknowledge their service and express our appreciation,” said U.S. Senator Mike Enzi, R-Wyo. Monday, May 26, is Memorial Day and Enzi is asking all Americans to take the time to honor those who have fought and paid the ultimate sacrifice to serve and protect our country.

“Freedom isn’t free. It comes to us at a great cost,” said Enzi. “Members of our armed forces gave their lives to protect and preserve our cherished American way of life, to defend the rights and responsibilities that come to us from our Constitution and the Bill of Rights.”

Since the Civil War, Memorial Day has been reserved to recognize, respect and honor America's sons and daughters who died serving their country.

“Diana and I will join all of you on Memorial Day and say a prayer that God will keep those who serve our nation safe and bring them home to us so that they, too, may soon be a part of all the activities of Memorial Day. We will also keep those who have died and their families and friends in our thoughts and prayers. We owe them all a debt we will never be able to repay,” said Enzi.

For more information regarding the history of Memorial Day or for ideas on how to commemorate our heroes, visit

May 21, 2014

The Senate’s Medicine

Senator Enzi prescribes single issue legislation, at least 24 hours of debate, biennial budget to let everyone’s voice be heard

The whole country knows something is wrong with our Congress. This is not because members don’t have ideas, bills or amendments to address the issues of the day, but because the majority leader has sought to silence debate in the Senate and prevent senators from representing their constituents, according to U.S. Senator Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., who spoke on the Senate floor today. Instead of allowing the majority leader to use procedural tactics to stifle debate and block amendments, Enzi recommends that the Senate only consider legislation that addresses a single issue, allow at least 24 hours of debate on bills, and adopt a biennial budget to allow senators to focus on each spending area individually.

“Congress has 535 elected representatives. When each of us looks at every proposal, lots of viewpoints and experience get put into the decisions we make for our country, but if all the decisions are made by the majority leader the vast majority of Americans get short changed. Shortcuts are taken, committees are skipped. Legislation is long, cumbersome and not easily read or understood. Spending reaches all-time highs, but we get less for our money.  This has to change,” said Enzi. “Single-issue legislation, 24 hours of debate, and a biennial budget are some ideas on how to solve these problems. This won't change unless those who are here exercise our rights. That may not happen until those outside Washington demand it. Demand that these and other ideas get considered. Demand your senators be allowed to represent you.”

Click here to watch excerpts of Senator Enzi’s speech.

Click here to watch Senator Enzi’s full speech.

Click here for the transcript from Enzi’s speech as prepared for delivery.
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Six months in the Senate majority

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