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Wyo delegation: Federal government should not pick winners and losers in coal market

As the coal industry recovers from eight years of attacks from the Obama Administration, the federal government should not be picking winners and losers in the marketplace or creating benefits for certain regions over others.

That was the message U.S. Senators Mike Enzi and John Barrasso, and Representative Liz Cheney, all R-Wyo., sent in a letter to President Trump last month.

The delegation was voicing their objections to a proposal by Governor Justice of West Virginia to provide a $4.5 billion annual subsidy to eastern coal producers.

“It would be devastating for our coal miners and their families if your administration chose to pursue policies that harmed them by distorting our energy markets,” the delegation wrote.

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Enzi introduces bill to allow small businesses to provide better health care for employees

In a continuing effort to improve America’s health care system, Enzi introduced legislation that would allow small businesses to work together to provide better health care for their employees.

The Small Business Health Plans bill would allow multiple small businesses to pool their employees, across multiple states, for the purpose of purchasing health insurance coverage for their employees in a large group market.

“Small businesses make up about 99 percent of all employers,” Enzi said. “This legislation would provide them with the negotiating power that they could never have on their own, which in turn benefits their employees.”

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Enzi, Burr criticize IRS for rehiring employees with history of misconduct

After a report concluding the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) rehired former employees that had been fired, Enzi and Senator Richard Burr, R-N.C., called on Congress to restrict the federal agency from rehiring personnel without considering their misconduct.

In July 2017, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration published an audit report that showed the IRS rehired more than 200 former employees between January 2015 and March 2016 that it had previously terminated or suspended while the agency conducted investigations for substantiated conduct or performance issues.

In response to the report, Enzi and Burr want Congress to renew restrictions on IRS funding, which would require the IRS to take into account the conduct and federal tax compliance of an employee before they are rehired.

The senators said common sense would suggest that an employee who was fired for misconduct or poor performance shouldn’t be hired back, but the IRS’s behavior defies logic.

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Senate passes defense bill that strengthens U.S. military

The Senate passed a defense policy bill this month that Enzi said would authorize significant resources for the U.S. military, strengthening the country’s national security.

“This legislation is a win for our troops and for Wyoming,” Enzi said. “The world is a dangerous place and it is important that we as a nation are prepared. This pivotal legislation commits the U.S. to building a strong military that is ready to respond to the range of threats facing our nation.”

This national defense bill would authorize a pay raise for U.S. troops and construction funds for improvements at F.E. Warren Air Force Base in Cheyenne. It also calls for C-130H aircraft modernization and supports the UH-1N helicopter replacement program, which provides security for the missile fields. In addition, this bill would authorize federal financial reimbursement to states for forest fire containment under certain conditions.

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