A message from Senator Enzi
Last month, as usual, I was back in the state for meetings and events. In Gillette, I had the opportunity to tour the new Veterans Affairs Outpatient Clinic and the new Campbell County Recreation Center and, in Laramie, I checked out the newly renovated Coe Library at the University of Wyoming and the campus of WyoTech. It’s wonderful to see the wide variety of resources Wyoming offers.
Diana and I want to remind you that March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. We encourage Wyoming residents to learn more about the disease, get screened and be aware. A simple screening, as well as carefully listening to your body, could save your life.
In this newsletter, my staff and I have summarized a few of the important issues I have been working on for Wyoming. Thank you for subscribing to my newsletter. More information is available on my Web site. I look forward to hearing from you if you have any questions or comments.
Headlines & Highlights
Health care update
On Feb. 25, Senator Enzi attended President Obama’s White House health care summit. “Ideally we wouldn’t even be talking about the President’s bill, the Democrat’s bill or the Republican’s bill. We should be talking about our ideas and how we can take those ideas, combine them to make our bill in each of these issue areas,” Enzi said. “Unfortunately, following the summit, President Obama released a health care proposal that was still based on the unchanged House and Senate bills that have been overwhelmingly rejected by the American people. I’m disappointed that the President wants to keep the enormous challenge of reforming health care trapped in a bill that won’t work and isn’t winning the approval of the American people. We can find common ground on important aspects like small business health care plans, health savings accounts, medical justice and Medicare waste and fraud. I would also like to concentrate on a bill that makes sure money from Medicare only goes to help pay for Medicare. We can also agree on the need to reform insurance by protecting people with pre-existing conditions and the need for catastrophic care,” Enzi said.
Now the Majority is considering using procedural gimmicks to avoid a vote in the House and to pass a bill in the Senate with 51 votes, and without a full debate. “Health care reform will affect not just the pocketbooks but the lives of every single American, and if it’s done wrong, Congress might not be able to go back and fix it. That’s why we need to roll up our sleeves and work together on a solution that can have the support of 75 or 80 Senators, not just 51,” Enzi said.
Enzi emphasizes importance of K-12 education
On March 9, Senator Enzi discussed ways to improve a bill that directs funds to K-12 schools across the country in a hearing on The Importance of World-Class K-12 Education for Our Economic Success. Enzi discussed how the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) sets the stage to develop legislation that builds upon what we have learned from No Child Left Behind (NCLB), and improves upon what isn’t working. Funds provided through the ESEA Act assist schools in meeting the needs of our most disadvantaged students and providing them with a quality education. “The skills students learn in the earliest grades are the building blocks to their success in high school, college and the workforce. Our country cannot continue to be competitive in the global economy if we do not have an educated workforce,” Enzi said. “Our children deserve to receive the best education our country can provide for them. Yet too many of our students throughout the nation continue to be ill-served by the schools they attend, and either fall behind, or drop out of school. This is not good for their future, nor is it good for our country’s future. Our economy depends on an educated and skilled workforce to be successful in the global market.”
IMPORTANT: Inventors Conference – put it on your calendar
Senator Enzi will host his annual Inventors Conference next month. All Wyoming residents have potential to come up with the next big idea. This conference offers the opportunity to learn how to turn entrepreneurial dreams into a reality and pursue a business venture. The conference will take place at Gillette College Technical Center on April 17. Enzi will be in attendance, as well as other guest leaders and inventors who will share their knowledge and expertise about how to protect ideas, set up small businesses and market inventions. For more information or to register, contact Robin Bailey in Enzi’s Gillette Office at (307) 682-6268 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
On the Horizon
Wyoming Office Hours
Senator Enzi's five state offices in Cheyenne, Gillette, Casper, Cody and Jackson offer office hours where Wyoming residents have the opportunity to meet with Senator Enzi’s state representatives in his absence. State offices are open Monday-Friday. For contact information, click here.
Cody – Monday, March 22 – City Hall Council Chambers – 10-11 a.m.
Dubois – Thursday, March 18 – Town Hall – 10:30-11:30 a.m.
Lander – Friday, March 19 – City Hall – 9-10 a.m.
Pavillion – Thursday, March 18 – Town Hall – 1:30-2:30 p.m.
Powell – Monday, March 22 – City Hall Council Chambers – 2:30-3:30 p.m.
Riverton – Thursday, March 18 – City Hall – 3:30-4:30 p.m.
Sheridan – Monday, March 22 – YMCA Whitney Room – 1-2 p.m.
Thermopolis – Tuesday, March 23 – County Government Annex Building – 10:30-11:30 a.m.
Enzi receives 2009 Taxpayers’ Friend Award
Senator Enzi was recently awarded the 2009 Taxpayers' Friend Award by the National Taxpayers Union, rated the best in the Senate, and given an "A" grade on their annual report card for the 13th year in a row. This grade was based on votes made by legislators to reduce spending, taxes, debt and regulation. The bad news is that more than half of Congress received an "F" grade. Wyoming is the only state to have all of its Members of Congress receive an ‘A’ in 2009.
Delegation & Governor send letter to Department of Interior
On March 15, in a letter to the Department of the Interior (DOI), Governor Dave Freudenthal, U.S. Senators Mike Enzi and John Barrasso and U.S. Representative Cynthia Lummis criticized new DOI guidelines that could jeopardize jobs and coal production in Wyoming. The new policy places additional unnecessary hurdles on DOI’s permitting process.
IRS Free File Tax Program
All taxpayers making less than $57,000, can visit www.IRS.gov and use tax preparation software for a fast, free and safe way to do their taxes online. The program comes from a partnership between the IRS and the Free File Alliance and provides people with their refunds in only 10 days.
Senate approves plan to help Haiti
On Jan. 21, the U.S. Senate unanimously approved legislation to facilitate charitable giving by Americans to emergency aid and rebuilding efforts in Haiti. Senator Enzi co-sponsored the legislation which allows U.S. taxpayers to make charitable contributions to Haiti relief programs before March 1, 2010 and claim them on their 2009 income tax returns. The HAITI Act of 2010 is similar to 2005 legislation to encourage Indian Ocean tsunami relief donations and allows taxpayers to deduct cash donations made to Haiti relief efforts on their 2009 tax filings.
Enzi celebrates one year on Facebook
This month makes it one year since Senator Enzi launched his Facebook page. In that year, Enzi has shared videos, book recommendations, photos and more with his supporters. He also reached his goal of gaining more than 1,000 supporters by Christmas! “I have truly enjoyed having another way to keep in touch with folks in Wyoming and have a forum to share both information and fun things,” Enzi said.