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Enzi comments on President’s State of the Union address

Health care, energy, education solutions top list of Enzi priorities too

January 29, 2008

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., Ranking Member of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee said he is in a position to play a vital role in executing many of the nation’s needs as outlined by the President including health care, energy and education priorities. The President suggested the needs for the next year in a joint session of Congress and the nation during his eighth and final State of the Union address.

"The state of the union will remain strong because the strength of the union is in the individuals that make up this great country, not in one person or one Congress," said Enzi.

President Bush said the nation needs to confront energy security through cleaner and more energy efficient technology, including carbon sequestration in clean coal developments.

"I was pleased somebody is finally ready to mention coal because coal is the key to the future. We have to believe in and trust the ingenuity of the American people and inspire creative genius, just like President Bush mentioned with researchers and entrepreneurs pioneering a new generation of clean energy technology. Every time I visit the White House I mention tidbits about Wyoming coal and how it can be used for a more efficient energy system. Coal is an answer for America. I was pleased President Bush knows that this country needs to research and promote new coal technologies with carbon sequestration. This year can be the year that the federal government puts its money where its mouth is and supports projects in Wyoming that can be the answer to our energy needs," said Enzi.

President Bush also spoke about the benefits of empowering health care providers and patients with information and options while making health care more affordable and accessible for all Americans through consumer choice - not government control.

"We need to do something. We need to do anything. People need health care and insurance and we can provide it. I am working on parts of the problem and I appreciate the President’s emphasis on what the private market can do, rather than working to build a new government bureaucracy," said Enzi. "I have a 10 step health care plan that, either passed as a whole or separately, would expand access and shrink insurance costs. Americans don’t want idle talk, they want action. Congress needs to heed President Bush’s call and do something."

The education portion of the State of the Union focused on empowering students and parents. President Bush also mentioned transferring unused military education credits to spouses and children. Enzi said he will work to get a provision to get those education credit transfers in one of the education bills moving through the HELP Committee.

"President Bush acknowledges that science, technology, engineering and math are the answer to unlocking the future of our country and encouraging those areas of study is what I have been working on in the HELP Committee. We’re close to reauthorizing the Higher Education Act and No Child Left Behind and the President’s goals for this year for education can be achieved." said Enzi. "President Bush laid out a lot of priorities and Congress should be able to get most of them done. We’ve been talking about them for a long time. It’s time to do something."