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Last month, Diana and I traveled over 2,000 miles across Wyoming and held “collecting common sense for Washington from Wyoming” listening sessions in 11 communities throughout the state. What never fails to impress us about the people of our great state is their ability to come up with new ideas to solve the most complex of problems. We don’t need to be told how to live our lives or have someone do the hard work for us, we know what needs to be done and we just do it. That’s what we need more of in Washington.

Thank you for taking the time to come out and share your ideas with me, and please, keep them coming. Call my state or D.C. offices, send me a letter, email me, and check out my Facebook and Twitter pages. All are great ways of making sure I know your thoughts, ideas, opinions and questions.

Budget battle begins with more taxes, more spending, more debt

After more than 1,400 days, the Senate majority introduced a budget blueprint that ignores America’s fiscal challenges and doubles down with $1.5 trillion in new taxes, and a 62 percent increase in spending over 10 years, and does not include a date for a balanced budget, according to Senator Enzi, one of two accountants on the Senate Budget Committee.

“A budget that never balances is more than a ticking time bomb, it’s a guarantee of a bleak future for coming generations,” said Enzi. “If the government spending more money was the answer, our national debt would have brought us prosperity the world has never seen.”

Enzi also offered an amendment that would have prevented tax reform from being conducted as part of the budget "reconciliation" process. Tax reform is necessary, according to Enzi, but should be done through the Finance Committee in a bipartisan manner. If done through the budget reconciliation process, it allows one side to ignore the other because a simple majority can pass amendments. It failed 10-12.

The budget resolution passed 12-10. It now heads to the Senate floor for consideration.

A video clip of Enzi’s remarks during the Budget Committee amendment process can be viewed here.

Penny Plan

Ending years of $1 trillion deficits is possible with just a penny, according to Senator Enzi. Enzi introduced a bill that would balance the budget by cutting a single penny from every dollar the government spends each year for each of three years.

The One Percent Spending Reduction Act of 2013, also called the “Penny Plan,” would balance the budget in 2016 by reducing federal spending each year by a total of one percent. Once the budget is balanced, the bill places a cap on total annual spending, equivalent to roughly 19 percent of America’s total economic output. Over the 10 year budget window, the bill would cut spending by approximately $6.1 trillion from currently projected levels.

If the spending reductions required by the bill are not made by Congress, across-the-board cuts would automatically kick in until the necessary spending reductions are achieved. This would force Congress to debate the merits of every cut.

“The Penny Plan is the injection of fiscal sanity that I hope all my colleagues can get behind. It makes sure everyone has some skin in the game and everyone feels a little pain,” Enzi said. “Let’s take a stand not just for the taxpayers, but for future generations that will have to pay for our inaction on our debts. There’s a light at the end of the tunnel if we are willing to act.”

Inventors Conference in April

For more than a decade Senator Enzi has hosted an annual Inventors Conference. It is a vital tool that enables Wyoming citizens to take their innovation to the next level.

This year’s conference, “From Your Garage to the Assembly Line,” will be April 20 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in Sheridan. It will be held in the Center for Technology Enhancement Learning Room in the Whitney Building at Sheridan College.

Enzi attends the conference each year along with other speakers and inventors to share knowledge and expertise.

Drone use must be constitutional

Senator Enzi spoke on the Senate floor recently, speaking out against the possibility of drones being used to kill Americans on American soil without a trial.

Enzi was pleased that the White House stated that the administration does not have the authority to do so, but expressed frustration that it took Senator Rand Paul 12 hours of non-stop talking to receive an answer on the matter.

Click here to read Enzi’s full floor statement.

Grab hold of the REINs

There are currently thousands of pages of federal regulations, many burdensome to America’s job creators, towns and cities, and families, according to Senator Enzi. Enzi cosponsored legislation late February to simplify and decrease federal regulations.

The Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act of 2013 would require Congress to approve every new major rule proposed by the Executive Branch before it can be implemented and enforced.

Niobrara & Johnson Co. 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, April 9

9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. – Lusk City Hall

11:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. – Lusk Senior Center

Tuesday, April 16

10:45 a.m. – 11:45 a.m. – Buffalo Town Hall

Common Sense from Wyo for Washington

Senator Enzi records “Collecting Common Sense from Wyoming for Washington” videos every other week when the Senate is in session, to respond to Wyoming residents’ thoughts, ideas, and questions.

To view Senator Enzi’s previous “Collecting Common Sense” videos, click here.