A message from Senator Enzi
The holiday season is right around the corner and soon many of us will be busy shopping, cooking and traveling. Congress will also be wrapping up session and getting the final touches on legislation before the end of the year. My legislative ‘to do’ list is probably longer than my grandson’s Christmas list but I am hopeful I can get all of it completed.
Over the weekend I was in attendance when Representative Barbara Cubin announced her decision not to run for re-election to the U.S. House of Representatives. I said it then and I’ll say it now, ‘Thanks Barbara for what you’ve done. You and your family will be in our prayers as you finish your term - and as you move on to other adventures.’
In this newsletter, my staff and I have summarized just a few of the issues that have been at the forefront of legislative life in the U.S. Senate, including the Farm Bill, international treaties and immigration issues. Thank you for subscribing to my newsletter. There is more information on my web page. We look forward to hearing from you if you have any questions or comments.
Headlines and Highlights
The Senate Agriculture Committee passed the 2008 Farm Bill unanimously in October and the Senate has debated the bill for the past week. Enzi is working to ensure it continues to include language that benefits Wyoming producers. Enzi is pleased the bill already contains provisions to ensure food is labeled properly for consumers to know its origin, meat that has been state tested with the strictest federal standards could be sold across state lines and language that speeds up the process for leveling the playing field with transparent livestock markets. The bill also contains a provision Enzi supports that would allow the federal government to plan ahead for weather related disasters to help producers, consumers and taxpayers. Enzi likened that proposed program to a family starting a rainy day savings account to ensure protection against future misfortunes. The government does not currently have a rainy day fund for agriculture or any other disasters. Even though the amounts are very predictable the disasters are not.
The Senate is expected to continue debate on the Farm Bill through the rest of the week. Enzi addressed the 88th annual meeting of the Wyoming Farm Bureau and a meeting of the Independent Cattlemen of Wyoming in Casper last weekend to discuss agricultural issues and the Farm Bill.
Land Mine Dogs
Enzi and his wife Diana were presenters for the 10th annual Clearing the Path Gala through the Marshall Legacy Institute on Oct. 30. The Enzis presented awards to the CHAMPS Patron of the Year and the CHAMPS Teacher of the Year. CHAMPS is a program Diana started in Wyoming for school children to bring quarters to purchase and train a dog to sniff out land mines in countries that have been devastated by the explosive devises. The CHAMPS program is now nationwide. Wyoming children raised money toward the purchase of a dog named Wyoming, who has cleared land mines in Sri Lanka. The Wyoming Association of Broadcasters raised enough money this year for a dog they named Cowboy, who will continue saving lives around the world sniffing out land mines. The program reminds our children that children in other countries are not as safe and that the U.S. didn’t put the land mines there but do more than any other country to clean them up.
On the Horizon
The Senate plans to continue debate on the Farm Bill while also passing remaining appropriations bills as well as a supplemental funding bill for the war in Iraq. The Senate is scheduled to adjourn this Friday and reconvene on Dec. 3 to finish business before the end of the year.
Law of the Sea Treaty
* Enzi signed on to a letter asking President Bush to oppose a treaty that would set up a comprehensive legal structure for international management of the seas and their resources. Enzi believes the Law of the Sea Treaty has problems that could impact commerce, homeland security and environmental policy.
* Enzi voted against the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act, which would grant amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants including some with criminal records. Furthermore, it would give illegal immigrants lower college tuition rates than many American citizens, and contains numerous loopholes that would allow fraud and abuse. The DREAM Act did not move forward in the Senate and failed by a vote of 52-44 on a motion that required 60 votes.
Cancer Research Award
* Enzi was honored as a Friend of Cancer Research for his past leadership as chairman and now ranking member of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee with drug safety. Drug safety greatly affects those involved in advocating for cancer research. The Friends of Cancer Research group awarded only two other recipients this year for the prestigious award.
*Enzi, the University of Wyoming, the Wyo. Dept. of Health and Alzheimer’s Wyoming hosted a workshop in Casper on Oct. 30 to provide towns, counties, businesses and individuals with new concepts and ideas to improve long term care services for seniors. The workshop drew nearly 80 participants from across the state.