Video/Audio

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 – www.enzi.senate.gov.

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 www.usmemorialday.org.

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.

May 15, 2014

Enzi answers your questions on minimum wage

New Collecting Common Sense from Wyoming for Washington video

In a new video recorded this week, U.S. Senator Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., said an increase in the minimum wage would hurt, not help, Americans looking for a job. The video addresses questions and comments Wyoming constituents sent to 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.

Minimum Wage

All of us would like to make more money. I would like everyone to make more money. Money is usually related to your education, your skills, and how long you have been on the job. Just raising them with a federal mandate, one-size-fits-all for the United States, does not work. The problem is it will raise everyone’s wages. If you have someone making $7.25 and they go to $10.10, you have to raise the person making $9 up to about $12. You’ve got to keep that separation based on the amount of training and skills and the work that they do. And it has to go all the way up the chain, otherwise it’s not fair to people who have more skills and have been there longer, and are able to produce more. And that is usually what wages have been given out for.”

“If those factors are what the increase in pay is for, it doesn’t cause an inflationary cycle. But, if you just raise wages, and force that on all the people up the line, everyone makes more, but somehow that has to be paid for. And that means it has to raise the price of the goods that you buy. So if get more, you have to pay more, you didn’t make any improvement in your lot in life. Except the federal government benefits, because the upper ones will move into a higher tax bracket.”

“There are some disadvantages to an automatic raise like that, that isn’t tied to an increase in skills, or productivity, or length of time that you have been at the business. The value to the business is what allows people to pay the wages, not some Washington designed law that says everyone ought to make more.”

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 – www.enzi.senate.gov.

April 2014

April 11, 2014

Enzi answers your questions on EPA’s new water rule, Park Service spending

New Collecting Common Sense from Wyoming for Washington video

In a new video recorded this week, U.S. Senator Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., said he will fight the proposed Waters of the United States rule by the EPA and take a closer look at National Park Service funding in order to see that the money isn’t getting stuck in Washington instead of flowing to the parks. The video addresses 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.

EPA Water of the United States proposed ruling

“The EPA has overstepped their bounds. They have been trying for years to get control of our water, we’ve fought it off every time. The National Blueways System was one of the later attempts and now they’ve got this proposed rule. I don’t know how they can classify some of these things as navigable rivers…most of the waterways that the EPA is trying to take control of don’t have any water in them at all most of the year.

“Yes the EPA should stay out of our water, yes we should cut their funding. In order to cut their funding, we have to have a majority…in the U.S. Senate and a majority in the House. When we send that cut to the president, he’ll probably veto it, but if he vetoes it a couple of times then he’ll be embarrassed to do that…we’ve been blocking them in every way we can, and we’ll continue to do that.”

Accounting of Park Service Spending

“Yellowstone National Park and Teton National Park are two of the gems in Wyoming, and then we have the first national monument, Devil’s Tower. Those all have backlogs of maintenance and what I’m thinking is that a lot of money is getting stuck in the bureaucracy in Washington. I want it to get out to the parks, where it can take care of this backlog. The backlogs are at about 12 billion dollars, and we’re going to have to find a way to take care of that if we’re going to have the kind of national park that we want. We need to get control of every part of the spending.”

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 – www.enzi.senate.gov.

March 2014

March 27, 2014

Enzi responds to constituent questions on veterans benefit bill and child care development bill

Collecting Common Sense from Wyoming for Washington

U.S. Senator Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., said we need to make sure that the benefits promised to our veterans are delivered and we need to weed out duplication in education spending in a new video recorded this week. 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.

Child Care and Development Block Grant Bill

“I really appreciated it when I was in this coffee shop and it had an old stove in there and I saw a dad who was explaining to his first and third grader how the damper and the flue on the stove worked. I went over and I said, ‘Are your kids homeschooled?’. He said, ‘Absolutely. They’re homeschooled from the time they wake up until the time they go to public school, and from the time they get out of public school until they go to bed’. Parents are the ones that have an obligation to make sure that their kids are educated.

“The child development block grant is for children whose parents may not have the ability to do that, or the time to do that, and there used to be 119 of the programs…Most of them have turned into babysitting programs. I was able to get that down to 69 while I was the chairman. Since that time, we’ve worked to get that down to 45, but 45 is still too many.

“The amendment that I put into the child care and development bill, would reduce it still further and would come up with a plan that hopefully would get it down to maybe six, and under one department. Right now those childcare programs may have to put in grants from maybe 12 or 15 different agencies to run the program they’re running right now and each of those requires a whole bunch of paper work, so it will be simpler for them too, but it should save the federal government a lot of money and get this closer to being back to the states.”

Vote on veterans bill

“I really appreciate those questions because what we wound up with was kind of an “omnibus-anything-you-can-think-of” for veterans benefits, with none of it being paid for, and what we were trying to do was close the gaps of the retired veterans who lost a percent on their Cost of Living Adjustments, could get that back. That’s where it all started. And then as it works in government, if it’s worth reacting to, it’s worth overreacting to.

“Senator Bernie Sanders threw in everything he could possibly think of, and just in veterans’ hospital cases alone, the way that he opened it up for veterans who haven’t even been injured before, we would have an overload of the veterans system. And in most states, there’s already a backlog of the veterans services at the hospitals. We don’t want to add to that, we want to make sure that whatever’s done, can be done, and will be done right. We want to make sure that the veterans benefits promised is delivered. That’s not the case now, it needs to be.”

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 – www.enzi.senate.gov.

March 7, 2014

Enzi responds to constituent questions on the president’s budget, voting on amendments

New video: Collecting Common Sense from Wyoming for Washington

President Obama’s budget continues the tradition of more taxes, more debt, more instant gratification at the expense of our nation’s future. The Senate majority leader blocking amendments on bills denies senators from either party the right to legislate. These were just a few comments U.S. Senator Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., made in a video this week responding to Wyoming constituent questions from Facebook, Twitter, phone calls, emails and letters.

President Obama’s budget

“This country is more in debt than the 17 trillion dollars that we talk about. And we need to have a plan. That’s what we were asking for with the debt ceiling. Maybe it’s a seven-year plan, maybe it’s a nine-year plan, but at least have a plan on how we’re going to reduce then eliminate the deficit and then start paying down the debt. I have a penny plan that would balance the budget in seven years, just taking one cent off of every dollar that we spend for a seven-year period…If it’s done in conjunction with sequester, it would balance the budget in two years. And if it’s done right, where we’re eliminating duplication, we wouldn’t feel the pain.”

"Right now we’re paying $220 billion a year in interest alone on the national debt. If it goes up slightly, and it’s predicted to, within 10 years we will be paying $812 billion a year. We only spend $360 billion on the military. So that’s a huge increase in the amount of money we’ll be paying for interest alone on the debt. It doesn’t buy anything, it just pays people in other countries for loaning us money.”

Importance of voting on amendments

“Right now, the majority leader is the only one who can call up a bill…if he gets an amendment that he doesn’t like, he takes the bill down and we don’t get any votes on it. Or he can do what we call ‘filling the tree’, that‘s a parliamentary process that prohibits any amendments to the bill. We have the right to vote against the bill if we can’t have any amendments, and we do. Then the leader says ‘see they are against kids, against veterans, against women’, that’s not the way it is.

“I think that amendments ought to pertain to the title of the bill, and the bill ought to pertain to only one subject. Comprehensive is not the way to go, that makes bills incomprehensible. We need to have bills that the senators can understand and just as importantly that all of their constituents can understand.”

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 – www.enzi.senate.gov.

Click here to download the video and audio.
February 2014
Ever wanted to see the inside Senator Enzi's office? Come along for a video tour of his office in D.C. as he explain all the wonderful Wyoming memorabilia I have collected over the years and the stories that go with them.

February 14, 2014

Enzi responds to constituent questions on Keystone XL pipeline, minimum wage

New video: Collecting Common Sense from Wyoming for Washington

President Obama’s indecisiveness on the Keystone Pipeline is costing jobs and increasing the federal minimum wage isn’t the right solution for growing the economy were just a few of the comments U.S. Senator Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., made in a video response to Wyoming constituents recorded this week. The video addresses a few questions the senator received 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.

Keystone XL Pipeline

“Our delegation is doing all that we can to see that the Keystone pipeline gets finished. You know that has been under study for four years already and it’s just waiting for a decision from the Department of State who gets to make the final proclamation. They keep putting it off and putting it off. It would mean about 42,000 jobs.”

“It’s a shame that the president’s indecisiveness is costing jobs again, and those jobs move into every sector of the economy. I liked to see that pipeline approved. Originally there was an environmental problem with it but they moved the pipeline and they solved that problem to the satisfaction of the environmental community and to the people, more importantly, of Nebraska.”

Minimum Wage

“The programs of food stamps, welfare, etc, would go down if people could get jobs. The problem out there isn’t that there aren’t jobs, and jobs that pay well, it’s that there aren’t the skills to match up with the jobs that are needed out there. That is what we need to do; we got to get people trained for other jobs.

“Everybody would like a raise, but in order to do the raise, the businesses would have to raise the price of the product they are providing, and if you raise the cost of the product, 30%, just like you did the minimum wage, nobody gains. It uses just as much of their money as it did before. What it did is put them in a higher tax bracket. The president’s been wanting another trillion dollars to spend and that’s how he is going to get it, by putting us all in a higher tax bracket.”

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 – www.enzi.senate.gov.

Click here to download the video and audio.

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Enzi urges all senators to join push for Penny Plan

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