A Message from Senator Enzi
October really brought in the chilly weather in Wyoming! Despite early onset blizzards, I made sure I was back in the state for the University of Wyoming homecoming game and enjoyed participating in the parade. I hope all the Wyoming residents take a moment to share in the fall activities with their families and friends. From carving pumpkins and raking leaves to hunting and taking in the outdoors, there is a lot to enjoy together this season.
In this newsletter, my staff and I have summarized some of the most important issues I have been working on for Wyoming. Thank you for subscribing to my newsletter. More information is available on my Web site. I look forward to hearing from you if you have any questions or comments.
Headlines & Highlights
Health care update
The Senate Finance Committee approved its version of a health care bill on Oct. 13. Senator Enzi voted against the bill because it would drive up health care costs for millions of Americans and leave families with few affordable health insurance options. “There’s little in this bill for middle class Americans. The people asked us to bring down their costs, but this bill would drive their costs up. The people asked for more options so they can get the care they need, but in this bill Washington takes away their choices and decides for them. This is the wrong kind of reform,” Enzi said. “The Finance bill spends too much and does too little to help Americans. Promises are not met. We need health care reform, but it has to be done the right way. We have to bring down costs so that everyone can have access to the quality, affordable care they need.” The Finance Committee bill will now be merged with the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee bill before heading to the full Senate for a vote.
Snowmobiles in Yellowstone
Senator Enzi was disappointed with the announcement made by the National Park Service on Oct. 15 finalizing a limit on snowmobile and snowcoach access into Yellowstone National Park. “The snowmobile and snowcoach numbers weren’t sufficient when the proposed rule came out in July and they aren’t sufficient now. More people should be allowed in the Park, not less. Yellowstone area businesses deserve more stability knowing what the winter tourist season may bring. The yearly yo-yo policy is slowly suffocating area businesses. I will continue fighting for more access,” said Enzi. "Many Easterners want low limits because they are used to their small parks. Easterners don't realize Yellowstone Park is the size of Connecticut!” Click here to read the National Park Service announcement restricting access to 318 snowmobiles in the park each day and 78 commercially guided snowcoaches per day through the 2010-2011 winter season.
Interstate Meat Inspections
Senator Enzi pushed for implementation of the interstate meat inspection program in the 2008 Farm Bill. The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently released its draft rules on the interstate shipment of meat products from state inspected meat processors. The new rules will give guidance to Wyoming processors with standards equal to or better than current federal meat requirements to ship their meat products across state lines. Previously, processors had to pay for federal inspections before meat could be shipped outside Wyoming, regardless if they already met or exceeded federal standards.
On the Horizon
Wyoming Office Hours
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. Their offices are open Monday-Friday. For contact information, click here.
Cody – Wednesday, Oct. 28 – City Hall – 11 a.m.-12 p.m.
Douglas – Thursday, Oct. 22 – Douglas Town Hall – 9:30-10:30 a.m.
Glenrock – Thursday, Oct. 22 – Glenrock Town Hall – 2-3 p.m.
Greybull – Tuesday, Oct. 27 – Greybull Town Hall – 11 a.m.-12 p.m.
Kirby – Thursday, Oct. 29 – Kirby Town Hall – 10:30-11:30 a.m.
Laramie – Tuesday, Nov. 17 – Albany County Library – 12:30-1:30 p.m.
Lovell – Tuesday, Oct. 27 – Lovell Town Hall – 2:30-3:30 p.m.
Powell – Wednesday, Oct. 28 – City Hall – 2-3 p.m.
Sheridan – Wednesday, Nov. 4 – YMCA – 10-11 a.m.
Worland – Tuesday, Oct. 27 – Worland City Hall – 9-10 a.m.
The Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW) honored Senator Enzi as a Taxpayer Hero for scoring 88 percent on its 2008 Congressional Ratings, much above the Senate’s average of 38 percent. The Congressional Ratings are based on 48 key votes in the House and Senate during 2008, the second session of the 110th Congress. “Sen. Enzi put the interests of taxpayers ahead of politics by consistently voting to cut wasteful spending, reduce the tax burden, and make government more accountable to taxpayers,” said CCAGW President Tom Schatz.
Taking action against ACORN
After videos were released showing Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) employees aiding illegal actions, both the House and the Senate took actions to defund the organization. Senator Enzi co-sponsored an amendment to prohibit funding of ACORN housing programs that was passed on Sept. 14 in the Department of Transportation, Housing and Urban Development appropriations bill. That bill now awaits action by a joint conference committee in the Senate and the House. The Senate will now consider the Defund ACORN Act which the House passed on Sept. 17. In addition to Congressional action, the IRS and the Census Bureau have both decided to end their partnerships with ACORN. Investigations into this group are also occurring at the federal level in addition to a number of state level investigations.
Protecting the Second Amendment
Senator Enzi co-sponsored an amendment that passed 68-30 in the Department of Transportation, Housing and Urban Development appropriations bill which ensures that law abiding Amtrak passengers are allowed to securely transport firearms in checked baggage the same way airline passengers are allowed. “It’s important that our Second Amendment Rights aren’t denied in random ways. If responsible gun owners can transport their firearms safely, they should be allowed to do so,” Enzi said.