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The budget situation our nation faces is urgent.  In the past few months, the Congress has approved a $700 billion bailout of the banking industry, a $789 billion emergency economic stimulus package, and a $410 billion omnibus appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2009.  I opposed those measures because I did not believe they spent your tax dollar efficiently.  I was outvoted, however and now the money is gone. 

 

The climate for Congressionally directed appropriations continues to change.  President Obama has outlined a new process for appropriations project requests.  The House Leadership has also instituted new rules, and I expect new rules to come from the Senate Appropriations Committee any day. Unprecedented and unbridled federal spending is unsustainable and we all have to do what we can for the good of the country.  That means cutting back at home too.  During the debate on the Fiscal Year 2009 Omnibus Appropriations bill, I voted to strip out the 8,500 projects in the bill – another $8.5 billion in spending.  This included the projects that I had originally requested for Wyoming.

With this in mind, I am implementing a temporary policy for fiscal year 2010 addressing the project requests that have been submitted.  During the Fiscal Year 2010 appropriations process, I will only request funding if it is a multi-state program that depends on the support of senators from those states to achieve funding.  An example of this is the Tri-State Predator Control Program that helps fund predator control in Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana.  Requests for this program are made by members from Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho and the funding is from a pool in the Department of the Interior.  I will also request funding for projects that have been authorized – that means approved by the committees that oversee those programs in addition to the Appropriations Committee – and projects that are priorities of the state.  Examples of these include the Job Corps Center that the Department of Labor is building in Riverton and the Carbon Capture and Sequestration Testing Program at the University of Wyoming.


This year, I updated the system used to submit priority projects in order to provide greater transparency to my constituents.  I want to ensure that the numerous requests my office receives are considered through the entire legislative process with multiple opportunities for scrutiny and removal by votes and amendments and ultimately constitute a wise use of U.S. taxpayer dollars.  Earmarks are requests that are dropped into a legislative bill after committee scrutiny - after the appropriation process starts.
  I have worked to eliminate earmarks and consequently, the amount of federal funding that I receive via the earmarking process is less than the amount some of my colleagues receive. 

Each year, I receive between 45-100 funding requests for federal dollars from Wyoming constituents.  There are a range of factors that I use when considering the individual merits of each project.  The parameters I use when determining what appropriations projects to pursue each year include, but are not limited to, the following: 

  • How much is the funding request?  
  • How many times has the organization submitted the request?
  • How does it compare to other projects that I may submit (for example, will it do the same thing for the same people as another project?)?  
  • How many Wyoming people will it help?  
  • How likely is it that the request will be granted by the Appropriations Committee, the Senate, and/or full Congress?  
  • Does the project have private financing and/or local/state government financing?
  • Does the project have the support for the appropriation by the federal agency for which it is intended?

EVERY individual or organization requesting a priority project will be required to fill out a document describing the project in detail and submit that document to my office.  Should the organization make multiple requests, they must fill out a separate form for each request.  If an organization or individual does not submit the attached form to my office, does not complete the form, etc., the request is automatically disqualified from being submitted. 

I require that all projects meet a number of thresholds before it will even warrant consideration.  Below are the thresholds that will guide the selection process:  

  • Funding requests must have a specific benefit for the State of Wyoming and for our nation.  The benefit must be easily determined.
  • All requests must be a proper and wise use of federal taxpayer dollars and must be justified as such. Projects that include a commitment to match federal funds will receive priority consideration.
  • None of the funding will be used for a building, program, or project that has been named after me or any member of my family. 
  • All requests are submitted within the rules of the Senate and within the deadlines of the Senate Appropriations Committee. 

All request forms and support letters for the Fiscal Year 2010 appropriations process were due by February 15, 2009.  From there, my staff and I collected and organized these requests.  Below are the project requests from the office of Senator Michael B. Enzi submitted for Fiscal Year 2010.

Please note: These projects will only be funded if they are included in their designated Fiscal 2010 appropriations bills and those bills are approved by the Senate, House and signed by the President. 

If you have questions about the projects or process feel free to contact Senator Enzi through the webrespond option on the senator’s home page or by calling 202-224-3424.  Media should email  Elly_Pickett@enzi.senate.gov

Project Amount Requested Purpose Description Recipient of Funds Justification
Tri-State Predator Control Program 2,300,000 Predator Control in Wyoming Idaho and Montana Funding will help address predator problems in the Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana by providing additional manpower to USDA-APHIS Wildlife Services USDA-APHIS Wildlife Services in Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana This funding is to help address predation problems in the three-state area caused by species that have federal protections.  In Wyoming alone, losses due to federally protected species cost livestock producers over $3 million annually.  The federal government has a responsibility to share in the management of these species, and this program has helped remove nuisance predators that pose a threat to human safety or that have demonstrated repeat predation on livestock. 
Transfer of Property to the Medicine Bow Conservation District Bill Language To transfer property currently owned by the NRCS to the Medicine Bow Conservation District Bill language that would transfer property currently owned by the NRCS to the Medicine Bow Conservation District Medicine Bow Conservation District in Medicine Bow, Wyoming The Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) and Medicine Bow Conservation District jointly occupy a building in Medicine Bow, Wyoming that is in disrepair.  The building does not meet standards set by the Americans with Disabilities Act.  Additionally, the building needs a new furnace, additional office space, a new parking area, and a new surface driveway.  It is my understanding that the NRCS is willing to sell the building to the Conservation District, but is concerned that the Conservation District will be outbid in an open General Service Administration (GSA) process.  If they are outbid, because of the size and economic conditions in the Medicine Bow area, it is unlikely that they would be able to find another building to service the area and it is possible that they would close the office.  I am seeking to transfer the building and the property on which it sits to the Medicine Bow Conservation District, which has been appraised at $43,000 in previous estimates.  The Conservation District is prepared to do $152,000 in renovations.  
Greater Yellowstone Interagency Brucellosis Coordinating Committee 2,250,000 To facilitate the development and implementation of brucellosis management plans in Wyoming, Idaho and Montana Funding will help facilitate the development and implementation of brucellosis management plans in the Greater Yellowstone Area USDA-APHIS in Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana The Greater Yellowstone Interagency Brucellosis Committee (GYIBC) is made up of 15 Federal and State agencies.  The goal of the GYIBC is to protect and sustain the existing free-ranging elk and bison populations in the Greater Yellowstone Area (GYA) and protect the public interests and economic viability of the livestock industry in the States of Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana.  The GYIBC facilitates the development and implementation of brucellosis management plans for elk and bison and their habitat in the GYA.  The ultimate goal is to work to eliminate the transmission of brucellosis.
Wyoming Soil Survey Mapping Project 300,000 To continue obtaining soil survey data in Wyoming Funding will be used to facilitate soil surveys throughout the State of Wyoming USDA-NRCS in Wyoming Soil surveys are not available for approximately 50 percent of Wyoming.  With the rapid increase in oil, gas and coalbed methane development throughout Wyoming, soil data is extremely important to natural resource planning as development proceeds.  Basic resource planning for livestock grazing management, watershed management and subdivision developments all depend upon quality soil survey data being available.  The requested funds would be used to accelerate efforts to complete soil survey mapping for the entire state.  Several county governments have committed local matching funds over the life of the soil survey.
Squadron Operations Building 1,500,000 To complete construction of a Squadron Operations Building Funding will be used to construct a replacement Squadron Operations Building for the Wyoming Air National Guard Wyoming Air National Guard The Wyoming Air National Guard requires a squadron operations facility that will adequately support the unit’s increasing operations.  The facility will include space for administration and training, intelligence, life support, survival equipment, command post, flight planning, aircrew briefing rooms, flight management, and storage.  The unit must have a facility able to sustain 24-hour/day operations supporting the airborne firefighting, aeromedical evacuation, and homeland defense missions of PAA C-130 H3 aircraft, as well as additional missions resulting from an Active-Associate relationship with the Air Force.
Wyoming CO2 Sequestration Project 2,500,000 To continue a carbon sequestration monitoring project at the University of Wyoming Funding will be used continue carbon sequestration research and build upon the expertise as the University, its private partners, and the State of Wyoming move towards a commercial scale demonstration project that could occur as early as 2012.  University of Wyoming For coal to continue to be used for low cost power generation, it will be essential to understand how to sequester carbon dioxide formed through coal combustion or gasification at utility power plants.  Over the past year,  using Congressionally directed funds and working with the National Energy Technology Laboratory (in Morgantown, West Virginia and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania), University of Wyoming and Wyoming State Geological Survey researchers have developed expertise in geologic CO2 sequestration by studying the potential for sequestration throughout Wyoming and most specifically, in the Moxa Arch formation in western Wyoming.  The State of Wyoming has provided $8 million in matching funds for thsi project. 
Cooperative Research and Development $10,000,000 To continue the development of clean energy technologies Federal funds will be used to research, develop and transfer to industry technologies that substantially reduce the negative environmental and health effects of fossil fuels to help meet our Nation’s energy needs.   Western Research Institute in Laramie, Wyoming and University of North Dakota Energy and Environmental Research Center Funding helps undertake early-stage, high-risk energy research focused on improving the efficiency and cost of fossil energy exploration, recovery, and utilization technologies.  Those technologies have the potential to eliminate adverse environmental and health impacts of those fossil energy technologies in sustainable ways.  Project research investigates and develops solutions to address climate change and enhances the viability of fossil energy, especially coal, in our nation’s energy mix.  A critical element of the projects helps mature such technologies to a state of commercial readiness to enable successful technology transfer to industry and benefit to the nation.  The Western Research Institute’s top priority is to develop clean coal technologies.
Missile Service Complex Addition $9,100,000 To build additions to an existing Missile Service Complex at F.E. Warren AFB This project will complete necessary additions to the existing Missile Service Complex to provide a modern, efficient facility in which to perform missile component repair, technical training, administrative functions and security and other code issuance.   F.E. Warren Air Force Base - Cheyenne, WY This project is supported by the Air Force and was included in the President's budget request for FY 2010.  Treaties have required the number of ICBM mulitple re-entry vehicles to be reduced and missiles deactivated.  This has resulted in a significant increase in missile service operations which will continue into the future because of the requirement to convert warheads from multiple to single-entry vehicles.  Most of the Minuteman III missile service functions were successfully relocated to the newly built Missile Service Complex in 2003.  This project will complete the missile service function consolidation.