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Abandoned Mine Lands Trust Fund controversy continues

Wyoming’s congressional delegation is united in their efforts to restore Wyoming’s Abandoned Mine Land (AML) Trust Fund money. The recently passed transportation bill included a provision that capped AML payments at $15 million and was inserted in the dead of night without consulting Sen. Enzi, Sen. Barrasso, or Rep. Lummis. Last year, Wyoming received $150 million in AML funds and is projected to lose $700 million over the next decade.

Enzi said he and the delegation are doing everything they can to restore the funding.  He also said they need Wyoming support because Wyoming is the only state affected by the recent legislation so drastically.

The Wyoming delegation recently addressed some AML issues and criticisms in a column submitted to the Casper Star Tribune.  To read it, click here. Enzi, Barrasso and Lummis continue to search for ways to return this money to its rightful owner: the people of Wyoming.

Responsibility to our veterans

Sen. Enzi believes we have a responsibility to America’s veterans. However, the recent misnamed Veterans Jobs Corps Act of 2012 was not the right way to honor returning service members.

“This is a one year publicity stunt, not a solution for veterans,” said Enzi. “The bill, along with the jobs it would create, expires in one year, meaning veterans will still be out of work.”

According to Enzi, expiration and fiscal issues could not be corrected because the bill was not allowed to go through the proper committee process. It was instead sent straight to the Senate floor to be voted on.

The federal government already has a number of existing programs that assist veterans with higher education, training and employment. The Veterans Retraining Assistance Program helps veterans find employment in high-demand fields through training and interviews. About 45,000 applications have been approved and 54,000 are being processed currently.

“I believe we could do more using our existing programs without adding to the debt to create new programs,” Enzi said.

Senator Enzi voted for the Vow to Hire Heroes Act, supported the Veterans Skills to Jobs Act,  and is a member of the Senate Veterans Jobs Caucus. “Creating jobs and getting our economy moving is what will benefit our veterans,” Enzi said. “We need responsible, cost-saving and sustainable legislation that will actually help veterans rather than measures designed for political effect.”

Torrington resident receives Bronze Star for valor

Senator Enzi had the honor of presenting U.S. Army Corporal David McKimmey the Bronze Star with a Valor device in Enzi’s Cheyenne office on October 11. McKimmey, a Torrington resident, was joined by Colonel Kevin Dunlop, who commanded the 3rd Battlion, 8th U.S. Cavalry based in Iraq from March 2006 to March 2008. Cpl. McKimmey served under him in 2007. Dunlop traveled from Washington, D.C. to help Sen. Enzi present McKimmey with the award.

On September 5, 2007 McKimmey was part of a mission near the city of Balad in the Salah ad Din province of Iraq.  Returning from the mission, McKimmey’s vehicle hit a buried improvised explosive device. The explosion ejected three personnel including McKimmey from the vehicle, and the fire killed one soldier. Col. Dunlop said Cpl. McKimmey attempted, though severely injured, to crawl through burning fuel to rescue a fellow soldier and comrade. Cpl. McKimmey refused medical treatment and continued to aid others until the evacuation unit arrived.

October 7 honored OEF veterans

This year October 7 was designated as Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) Veterans Day. Senator Enzi, with three of his colleagues, introduced the resolution passed early this month.

The process was initiated by Casper native U.S. Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Andrew Koenig. Koenig contacted Enzi upon returning from Afghanistan, where a sniper’s shot narrowly missed  his forehead. He wanted to honor those still serving in Afghanistan.

October 7 marked the eleventh anniversary of the war, launched in response to the terrorist attack of September 11, 2001 against the U.S.

Common sense nutrition disclosure

Senator Enzi cosponsored the Common Sense Nutrition Disclosure Act of 2012 this month to address the burden on small- and medium-sized businesses attempting to comply with new nutrition labeling standards in accordance with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

According to Enzi, many Wyoming businesses are concerned about the cost of compliance as well as federal oversight. The bill would provide greater flexibility for businesses, address labeling concerns regarding multiple servings and require only establishments with more than 50 percent of their revenue from food sales to comply.

In a separate food issue, Enzi also has concerns about federal control of school cafeterias. He believes local school districts should have more freedom in determining how to best serve their students.

“I’m upset with the new administrative guidance for lunch programs. I believe school districts and states should be able to determine the content and servings needed for each student based on their nutritional needs. For some kids it might be their only meal of the day. For others involved in sports, lunch might not last till dinner. Obesity can’t be conquered by government rule, especially by a one-size-fits-all national power move,” said Enzi.

Jackson area 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, October 23:

1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. – Jackson Town Hall

Senate page application deadline approaching

The application deadline for spring 2013 Senate page positions is November 6. Senator Enzi encourages Wyoming high school juniors to apply.

Page duties consist primarily of delivering correspondence and legislative material at the Capitol. Pages attend classes  and receive a monthly stipend.

For more information, visit Enzi’s website. Further questions can be directed to Dianne Kirkbride here or at (307) 772-2477.

Internship opportunities for spring

Senator Enzi is accepting applications for spring internships in his Washington, D.C. office. The deadline in November 2.

Interns help keep the office running on all cylinders by performing essential tasks for constituents, the senator and staff.

Additional information can be found here. To contact Enzi’s intern coordinator, Sarah Meier, email or call (202) 224-3424.

Connect on Facebook and Twitter

If you haven't already become a "fan" of Senator Enzi's Facebook page, check it out. You can also follow him on Twitter @Senator Enzi or click here.

Both are a great way to see more of what is going on in Congress.