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Senate passes Enzi amendment targeting duplication in children’s early learning programs

The U.S. Senate approved an amendment offered by Senator Mike Enzi that would help weed out duplication, overlap, and inefficiencies in federal early learning and child care programs.

“Every dollar the federal government spends should have the taxpayers in mind and that includes what we spend on early childhood education programs,” said Enzi. “This isn’t a study. It will require the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Education to come up with a plan for eliminating duplication and overlap, as well as a plan for ways to consolidate these programs and report back to Congress.”

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has identified 45 early learning and child care programs funded by the federal government. 

“It’s been unusual recently for the minority to get the first amendment on a major bill. I appreciate the recognition that eliminating duplication and increasing consolidation has been a passion of mine. I also appreciate the unanimous vote for my amendment,” Enzi said.

Enzi’s amendment was approved last week by a vote of 98-0 as part of a bill that reauthorizes Child Care and Development Block Grant funding which now moves to the House for consideration. 

 Restore federalism by letting states be a check against federal policies

To combat the thousands of rules, regulations and unfunded mandates the federal government passes every year, Senator Enzi recently introduced a resolution that would amend the Constitution and give states the authority to repeal any federal law or regulation.

Enzi’s repeal amendment would restore the balance between states and the federal government and give states a stronger voice in shaping national policy as much of what the federal government does ultimately falls upon the shoulders of state and local governments.

“When you look at the policies coming out of Washington, the burden of enacting and complying with what Congress or some agency dictates falls on the states. In spite of this fact, the states have few options when directives go bad other than the court system. Telling policy makers that they’ve crossed the line and are trampling on their rights as self-governing entities, often falls on deaf ears,” said Enzi.  

The amendment would allow for federal laws and regulations to be repealed if two-thirds of the states—34 in total—pass resolutions to do so under the new authority. The two-thirds requirement acts as a safeguard to ensure that any repeal has a true bipartisan consensus and that the impact of truly burdensome federal laws and regulations are not left to the courts. 

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Track the Money

Senator Enzi joined a bipartisan coalition of senators recently to introduce a bill that would require every federal agency to produce an annual report card for each of its programs. The “Taxpayers Right to Know Act” would require each government program to be identified and described.

“The federal government wastes money hand over fist, but we don’t always know where.  If we can track the money then we can prioritize and get rid of the worst first,” said Enzi. 

Senators introduce bill to reduce natural gas flaring

Last week Senator Enzi joined Senators John Barrasso, R-Wyo., John Hoeven, R-N.D., to introduce legislation that expedites the permitting of natural gas gathering lines located on Federal land and Indian land.

“Abundant, low-cost energy shouldn’t have to wait on the federal government for approval,” said Enzi. “But that’s often what happens when we lose natural gas to flaring on account of delays in permitting infrastructure improvements.”

President budget is a “Dear Santa” wish list

Just two months ago, President Obama signed into law the Murray-Ryan budget deal that eroded deficit reductions from a previous budget agreement. According to Senator Mike Enzi, the budget proposal the president introduced earlier this month is essentially a “Dear Santa” wish list for the president and his allies.

Enzi believes there are better solutions to addressing America’s problems than what President Obama proposes. The senator’s Penny Plan would cut one percent from total federal spending until the budget balances while giving Congress the flexibility to choose where to cut.

Lincoln, Teton County office hours

Senator Enzi's five state offices in Cheyenne, Gillette, Casper, Cody and Jackson offer office hours where Wyoming residents have the opportunity to meet with Senator Enzi’s state representatives in his absence. Upcoming office hours include:

Tuesday, March 25

9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. – Jackson Town Hall, Jackson, WY

Friday, March 28

12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. – Kemmerer Senior Center Kemmerer, WY