A Message from Senator Enzi
I want to extend my sincerest thanks and congratulations to all of you who exercised your right to vote on Nov. 4. Voters turned out to the polls in record numbers throughout the Equality State and all across the nation.
According to the Wyoming Secretary of State’s Web site, more than 256,000 Wyoming residents cast their ballots this election. Many counties even reported more than 100 percent of expected voter turnout at the polls, meaning we had a lot of new voters sign up on Election Day. Every time you vote, you make decisions that are important to your daily lives. I am very proud of the strong showing our state made during this important election.
Next week, I hope you will be spending time with your family. I’m looking forward to celebrating Thanksgiving with mine. To you and all of your family, I wish you a very happy Thanksgiving.
In this newsletter, my staff and I have summarized some of the most noteworthy issues I've 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
Economic rescue packages
At the end of September, Congress approved a financial rescue package worth $700 billion of taxpayer money to provide aid to ailing financial institutions and unfreeze the credit markets. Senator Enzi voted against the bloated bill because it did not contain enough taxpayer protections for boasting such an astronomical price tag and only served to reward bad decisions.
This week, the Senate is considering a bill that would give the “Big Three” automakers – GM, Ford and Chrysler – a $25 billion loan out of the $700 billion rescue package. Senator Enzi believes a $25 billion bailout is not the answer and that automakers should do what it takes to restructure their companies instead of seeking billions from taxpayers.
The three companies' CEOs testified at a Senate Banking Committee hearing Tuesday. Enzi spoke at the hearing, and he blasted the legislation for being a "short-term solution to a long-term problem" within the auto manufacturing industry. He also urged his fellow senators to examine ways to modify the existing proposal to make it more taxpayer friendly. His ideas include securing the $25 billion loan with some of the participating auto companies' assets and setting up a matching program in which the government's contribution would equal the amount of money given to the Big Three by private investors. To watch Senator Enzi's statement, click here.
The Senate plans to vote on the measure this week. If approved, the bill will move to the House of Representatives for consideration.
On the Horizon
After considering the $25 billion loan to automakers this week, the Senate may take up a second economic stimulus plan or legislation to extend unemployment insurance benefits before Thanksgiving.
Help With the Federal Government
Enzi's state staff is trained to help Wyoming residents if they are having trouble dealing with the federal government for passports, tax discrepancies, veterans benefits and social security payments to name a few. Enzi has five offices in Wyoming.
Gillette, 682-6268 Cheyenne, 772-2477 Cody, 527-9444
Jackson, 739-9507 Casper, 261-6572
*Share season’s greetings with our troops
The Red Cross is collecting holiday cards to distribute to American service members, veterans and their families in the United States and around the world. For more information, click here or visit Senator Enzi’s Web page and click on the “Holiday Mail for Heroes” banner. Cards must be postmarked no later than Dec. 10.
*Increasing veterans mileage reimbursement
Senator Enzi and nine of his Senate colleagues sent a letter to Veterans Affairs Secretary James Peake at the end of October, asking the secretary to make official a 13-cent increase in the mileage reimbursement rate for disabled veterans traveling to and from medical appointments at VA facilities. Congress has allocated money for the increase from 28.5 cents per mile to 41.5 cents, but Secretary Peake must announce it to make it official. Senator Enzi has been working to increase the mileage reimbursement rate for veterans since arriving in the Senate.
*Department of Justice blocks meatpacking merger
Last month, the Department of Justice and the Wyoming Attorney General filed a suit to block a merger between three of the five major meatpacking companies controlling the U.S. beef market. In response to an announcement that JBS S.A. would be buying National Beef Co. and Smithfield Beef Group back in March, Senator Enzi and Senator John Barrasso, R-Wyo., wrote the U.S. Attorney General, urging him to scrutinize the merger proposal to ensure a free and fair marketplace. The senators praised the Department of Justice lawsuit as a win for Wyoming livestock producers.