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Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., is looking forward to the new year. He began his second, six-year term today as he was officially sworn in at a ceremony in the nation’s Capitol.

“I am very honored the people of Wyoming have once again provided me the opportunity to represent them in Washington. The challenges ahead are great for our state and our country, but I will continue to tackle those challenges, overcome them and help move us ahead,” he said.

One reason Enzi is looking forward to the new year is because he is in an improved position to promote legislation that will benefit Wyoming and the country.

With the dawn of the 108th Congress comes a new committee assignment for Enzi. The accountant’s voice will now be heard as a member of the Budget Committee. The Budget Committee sets the broad blueprint for the Congress on the total revenues and spending for the government as a whole. Enzi said the Budget Committee is responsible for setting the policies that will help us manage the national debt, help us reduce it.

“I’m excited to have the opportunity to work alongside my colleagues as we build a budget from the ground level on up. Setting the spending level limits for our colossal government is an important task that I relish, ” Enzi said. “Last year with the Democrats in control of the Budget Committee and the Senate, we did not pass a budget for the first time in nearly 30 years. Consequently the Senate failed to pass all of the necessary spending bills. Budgets are difficult for individuals, for businesses and for families, but they are necessary. They are necessary for the U.S. Senate too. After completing last session’s unfinished business, I’m confident we will produce a responsible budget for fiscal year 2004. A sensible budget will contribute to a healthier economy.”

Enzi has gained seniority on other key Senate committees over the years. He retained all of his former standing committee assignments from the last Congress, in addition to the Budget Committee.

He is number three in seniority on the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee behind Chairman Judd Gregg, R-N.H., and Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn. Enzi retained his post on the Foreign Relations Committee where he has used the position to further Wyoming trade goals, fight terrorism and worked to improve how the United Nations operates. Enzi is still a senior member of the Banking Committee, allowing him to continue oversight on implementation of corporate accountability laws he helped author in the last congressional session. Enzi will also continue to serve on the Small Business Committee, a panel with jurisdiction over an area that is of particular importance to Wyoming. Ninety-nine percent of Wyoming businesses are small businesses.

Subcommittee assignments and chairmanships will be determined in the near future.

“We have a Republican president in the White House. The majority of House members are Republican and Republicans have a slim majority in the Senate,” said Enzi. “A successful session will require us to reach across the aisle. It will require cooperation. I have put this into practice since I first arrived in the Senate and it works. Even with the threat of war and terrorism, we have the ability to greatly improve the lives of Americans. I’m ready to get started.”