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Washington, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., is pleased with the passage of a bill that he said would help protect American jobs and improve the nation's economy.

The Senate passed today by a vote of 92-5 the Jumpstart Our Business Strength (JOBS) bill, S. 1637, which would counteract European Union (EU) trade sanctions currently being imposed on the United States. The EU began charging a 5 percent penalty on U.S. goods sold in Europe on March 1. The penalty is expected to increase by 1 percent per month and could rise to 17 percent a year from now if not repealed.

Enzi said the JOBS bill helps prevent American manufacturing businesses from being penalized by the World Trade Organization and the EU, ultimately helping to keep U.S. jobs in the country and improving the nation's ability to compete around the world.

"American companies that employ people here are being penalized for selling goods and services overseas and it's costing us jobs," said Enzi. "I hope the minority party is serious about this bill and that they will not object to a conference committee like they have on other measures, including my Workforce Investment Act bill which would also help keep jobs in this country. If they object to a conference committee then they aren't really for this bill."

Wyoming would benefit from inclusion of energy tax credits

Enzi was pleased an amendment offered by Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., was not included in the final bill. The amendment would have removed all energy tax credit provisions that Enzi said would help improve the nation's production supply and lead to more energy development.

"The tax credits allow for development of alternative energy sources and include a clean coal section and natural gas provisions that would benefit our state by helping us create and keep good jobs," said Enzi. "It may not be the whole energy bill, but in light of our high energy prices some provisions are better than none."

The House is also considering its version of the JOBS bill. Before becoming law, the bill must be passed by both the Senate and the House and signed by the President.