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

New video: Collecting Common Sense from Wyoming for Washington

March 7, 2014

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 –