Holiday Greetings from Senator Enzi
The holiday season is upon us and 2009 is drawing to a close. Diana and I wish all of you a Merry Christmas and hope that you can spend this special time of the year with your family and friends. This time of year offers the opportunity to reflect on the past lessons that we have learned and think of how we will carry them on into the future. May the coming New Year bring the happiest of days for you and for all those you love.
In this newsletter, my staff and I have summarized some of the 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 health care bill presented by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is making its way through the Senate where members are working on amendments and debating the bill on the floor. Senator Enzi supported an important amendment that would prohibit federal funding of abortions through the health care bill. The senator is extremely disappointed that the amendment failed. Taxpayer dollars shouldn’t be used to fund abortions because that would force people who morally object to abortions help pay for them. Federal laws have explicitly prohibited federal funding going to such plans for the last 30 years. Click here to read the senator’s floor speech about his experience when his daughter Amy was born three months premature and how it shaped his views on the issue. In addition to driving up costs, the Reid bill is estimated to force 10 million Americans to lose their employer-based health coverage and further jeopardize access to care for seniors on Medicare. Reid said he wants to wrap up debate on the bill this week. “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. I’m focused on an alternative, step-by-step approach to reduce health care costs, preserve the rights of patients to see the doctors of their choice, protect Medicare coverage for seniors, eliminate discrimination based on pre-existing conditions, and ensure that people can take their insurance with them from job-to-job,” Enzi said. Click here to read the senator’s own plan to improve health care in America.
Enzi knows it should be all about jobs, tells president so
Senator Enzi, who ran his own small business with his wife before coming to the Senate, was invited to the White House on Dec. 9 to discuss ways to stimulate job growth. Enzi took the opportunity to encourage the country’s chief executive and Congress to slow down and listen to the people who provide the majority of jobs for this country. “I urged the president to stop the rush to take over business and to stop the rush to regulate businesses they don’t understand. They should focus on finding a way to get loans to small businesses to promote job growth. As long as they’re looking at regulations that add additional requirements on businesses, no one is going to increase their business’ size and add jobs,” Enzi said. After his White House visit, Enzi spoke at a news conference on how the Reid health care bill will kill jobs.
Debt task force
Senator Enzi joined fellow members of Congress to support a task force that would help put the country on a fast track to get out of a financial debt crisis. He co-sponsored S. 2853, the Bipartisan Task Force for Responsible Fiscal Action Act of 2009, which is designed to review the entire financial state of the federal government, make recommendations as to how to best fix the problems, and then submit recommendations to Congress if 14 of the 18 task force members agree. “It is time both political parties stop bickering and fighting to claim credit for good ideas. We need to put our heads together and get this country out of financial ruin,” said Enzi, a member of the Senate Budget Committee. The task force would consist of 18 members, 10 Democrats (two from the Administration) and eight Republicans. Members must currently serve in Congress or the Administration and their report must be submitted to Congress after the 2010 election. The report would be fast-tracked in the Senate and the House with a final vote occurring before the 111th Congress adjourns. The report would not be able to be amended and passage would require a supermajority of three-fourths of the Senate and House voting in favor.
Clean Water Restoration Act
Senator Enzi signed a letter objecting to the Clean Water Restoration Act (CWRA, S. 787). The proposed legislation would make it more costly to grow crops, manage livestock, provide water to local municipalities, operate and maintain water storage and delivery facilities, and carry out other activities on both public and private lands. The CWRA grants the federal government authority over all U.S. waterways, not just ‘navigable’ waters as stated in past legislation. “In the West the old saying is that whiskey is for drinking and water is for fighting over. Adding even more of the federal government’s overreaching arm into western water matters is clearly a recipe for disaster. I’ll continue fighting this bill,” said Enzi.
On the Horizon
Wyoming Office Hours
Wyoming 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. He will not be in attendance. State offices are open Monday-Friday. For contact information, click here.
Kemmerer – Thursday, Dec. 17 – Senior Center – 10-11 a.m.
Senator Enzi is sponsoring the bill “Rosa’s Law” that will eliminate the terms “mental retardation” and “mentally retarded” from the federal law books. Rosa’s Law would replace those terms with “intellectual disability” and “individual with an intellectual disability” in federal education, health and labor law. “We know now that words have meaning, sometimes far beyond what we intend,” Enzi said. “Simply put, this legislation will make an important change in the words we use to refer to those with intellectual disabilities. It is a much needed change in the law that is fully deserving of our support.” Rosa’s Law honors a young girl whose brother said, “… what you call people is how you treat them.” The legislation is expected to be considered by the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee next year.
Wyo National Guard messages & holiday donation
Thousands of Wyoming National Guard soldiers are spending this holiday season overseas. Senator Enzi’s staff donated $760 to families of deployed Wyoming National Guard soldiers. Every year around Christmas, his staff pools money together to donate to a charity. This year, they chose the Family Assistance Fund – a 501c3 that helps families of deployed Wyoming National Guard members. Soldiers from the Wyoming National Guard’s 115th Fires Brigade in Kuwait and Iraq recorded video messages for dissemination to Wyoming supporters. “Today and every day people should thank God for our veterans and thank a veteran for their freedom,” Senator Enzi said. “Our soldiers continually make sacrifices so that we can have the freedoms we have in our country. Our thoughts and prayers are with them and their families, especially during the holidays.”
Senator Enzi has clocked dozens of hours on the floor this December speaking out against the Reid health care bill working its way through the Senate. Stay up to date with the senator by checking in on his Web site, YouTube and Facebook pages. This past year, more than 1,000 people joined as supporters to the senator’s Facebook page! He has really enjoyed keeping in touch with Wyoming residents using his Facebook page. Supporters can access videos, photos, book recommendations and more on his Facebook page.