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Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., started the first day of the 110th Congress by attending the swearing in of recently elected members. Enzi hopes to work with those members to bring about positive change for Wyoming agriculture producers, small business owners and veterans.

One priority for Enzi will be to restore open and fair competition to the livestock market through Enzi’s Captive Supply Reform Act. The bill would restore competition by making packers and livestock producers bid against each other to win a contract. The bill would require that forward contracts and marketing agreements be traded in open, public markets to which all buyers and sellers could have access. By also requiring these contracts and agreements to have a fixed base price, the bill would end price manipulation.

Enzi would also like to increase travel reimbursement rates for veterans traveling to VA treatment facilities through the Veterans Road to Health Care Act. Enzi also hopes to provide a national designation for a renowned Jackson museum through his National Museum of Wildlife Art bill. Another priority are measures that would provide comprehensive federal budget process reform including a biennial budget to stop overspending in Congress.

Enzi also looks forward to helping small business by reauthorizing the Small Business Administration to improve technical and financial support for small business.

Enzi and his staff will also be working to allow community banks to use loan underwriting systems under the Federal Housing Enterprise Regulatory Reform Act. Allowing unrestricted travel to Cuba for all Americans is also a priority for Enzi who has been working on the Freedom to Travel to Cuba Act for several years.

Committee Assignments

Enzi is keeping his key committee assignments, allowing him to move up in seniority. He is the top Republican on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee. As the ranking member, he will resume his work with Senator Ted Kennedy, D-Mass., who assumes the chairmanship of that committee for two years. Even though the two senators differ widely on political philosophy, since working together on the HELP Committee Enzi ushered 37 bills out of the committee. The Senate passed 25 bills Enzi worked on or sponsored and the committee reported 352 nominations favorably. Enzi was a sponsor, co-sponsor and/or played a major role in helping to pass more than two dozen bills that have been signed into law by the President. Enzi looks forward to continued meaningful work of the HELP, Banking, Budget and Small Business Committees.

"Senator Kennedy and I have demonstrated an ability to find areas of agreement and produce quality legislation despite political views that are sometimes miles apart. One of my goals is to improve the use of health information technology to create a more portable, patient friendly, efficient and less expensive health care system. I’m hopeful we can continue and complete this important bill early in this new Congress," Enzi said.

Enzi plans to use his position on the Senate Budget Committee to help implement new controls on how the federal government spends taxpayer money.

"Instituting biennial budgeting, fiscal planning for emergencies and increased disclosure of spending are a few of the measures we should take to improve the fiscal picture. I hope we get some help on these measures from the other side of the aisle," Enzi said.

Enzi brings a lifetime of personal experience to the areas of small business and will serve on the Senate Small Business Committee for his 10th consecutive year.

"There is a tendency for some legislators, especially those from urban areas, to think of small businesses as those who have fewer than 500 employees and shape legislation accordingly," Enzi said. "When I work on legislation in every area, I want to know how it will affect the workers and owner of a five-person business and the self-employed."

Enzi will remain a senior member of the Banking Committee, allowing him to continue oversight over federal housing programs, financial institutions, public company accounting and more.