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Spring is here, and in Wyoming, that can mean even more snow. But the spring season also brings longer days, bursts of colors and a renewed sense of hope. It's a great time of year for an "out with the old and in with the new" mindset. That's what is happening when it comes to taxes. Yesterday was Tax Day, the deadline to file federal taxes (although the IRS extended the deadline to today because of a website glitch). This means we are finally saying goodbye to our old, outdated tax code. Thanks to tax reform passed last year, we will move forward with our new tax code that puts families first and gives Americans more financial freedom. 

 


What's new?

Wyoming delegation urges end to Japanese tariffs on U.S. soda ash

U.S. Senators Mike Enzi, John Barrasso and Congresswoman Liz Cheney, all R-Wyo., sent a letter urging Vice President Mike Pence to prioritize eliminating Japan’s 3.3 percent tariff on U.S. soda ash at the next U.S.-Japan Economic Dialogue meeting. Wyoming has a unique deposit of natural soda ash, which is a basic raw material required to manufacture commodities such as glass and detergents. 

Since 2014, U.S. exports of natural soda ash to Japan have decreased by 2 percent while Chinese exports of synthetic soda ash to Japan have increased by 73 percent. 

"Eliminating the 3.3 percent duty would help U.S. soda ash exports to compete more fairly in Japan and prevent further market share erosion,” the delegation wrote.

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Enzi: It's time to end this EPA attack on Wyoming's coal industry

At the end of March, Enzi joined people gathered in Gillette to support the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed repeal of the so-called “Clean Power Plan.”

At a rally, and later at an EPA organized listening session, Enzi criticized the Obama-era rule for the destruction it would impose on the coal industry. Under the Clean Power Plan, Wyoming would have had to reduce its emissions by 44 percent by 2030, forcing the closure of many coal power plants and discouraging investments in new facilities.

Enzi characterized the rule as not only unnecessary and burdensome for Wyoming, but also as an overreach of the EPA’s authority.

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Health Net tells Congressional delegation that improved service for Wyo. veterans is on the way

A company serving Wyoming veterans has not provided the health care veterans need and deserve, according to Wyoming’s congressional delegation. After a meeting this month, the delegation was personally promised the situation will improve.

Enzi, Barrasso and Cheney met with officials from Centene Corporation, the parent company of Health Net Federal Services, and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The delegation continues to seek better accountability from both the VA and Health Net to improve the services for Wyoming veterans.

“John, Liz and I each get requests from veterans who want help with their health care.  We want to make sure their concerns do not fall on deaf ears and to ultimately get the problems resolved,” Enzi said.  “What I heard from the folks in our meeting has led me to believe they are hearing us and that is a positive step.”

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Enzi: If we want to actually get things done, we need to do more than just paperwork

Enzi applauded the Trump Administration for formalizing the One Federal Decision Memorandum of Understanding, establishing a coordinated and timely process for federal agencies to complete environmental reviews of major infrastructure projects.

“If we want to actually get things done, we need to do more than just paperwork. I hope this directive will make that possible. This executive order has some positive potential,” Enzi said. “Congress should follow up with more permanent reforms that will benefit taxpayers.” 

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Enzi said Congress and White House must work together on pro-growth economic, trade policies

During a Senate Budget Committee hearing on the Economic Report of the President, Chairman Enzi highlighted the importance of Congress and the Administration continuing to advance pro-growth policies to keep our country’s economy moving in the right direction.

Enzi specifically noted the growing concerns that increased tariffs on foreign goods could negatively impact America’s recent economic gains.

“Congress must ensure that none of the policies put forward slows or reverses the nation’s economic expansion. A number of members, myself included, have serious concerns over punitive tariffs, especially given the threat of foreign retaliation,” Enzi said. "Above all, we must continue to invest in our economy and workers in order to address our fiscal issues.”

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Enzi, Barrasso applaud announcement of Riverton resident to serve on national board for public broadcasting

Enzi and Barrasso applauded President Trump's intent to nominate Riverton resident Ruby Calvert to be a member of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. The senators sent a letter to the Administration recommending Calvert.

“I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Ruby for many years. Even so, every time I see her there is usually something new to learn about the knowledge and passion she has for both Wyoming and broadcasting,” Enzi said. “Experience is an asset not easily or quickly gained and Ruby has it in abundance. She’s a very fine choice.” 

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Around the state

I toured Black Thunder Coal Mine in Campbell County with EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt and Senator John Barrasso. As the former mayor of Gillette, I helped these mines get permitted and know firsthand their pristine environmental track record and the benefits they bring to the community.  See more
 


Congratulations to Shannon Hill, a physical education teacher at Thermopolis Middle School, for receiving the Milken Educator Award, which is given to educators around the country who have shown impressive achievements early in their careers. Shannon arranged for the purchase of 40 bikes so students could bike to the grocery store for exercise one day and learn how to cook the next.  See more