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Bipartisanship prevails: FDA bill sails through Senate

Americans could soon have access to new, safer prescription drugs, thanks to more than a year of bipartisan work between Senators Mike Enzi and Tom Harkin, the top Republican and Democrat on the committee that oversees healthcare.

Enzi and Harkin put together the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) User Fee Reauthorization bill after getting input from all stakeholders. Not only did the bill go through committee, it was approved by the Senate by a vote of 96-1, and is proof that bipartisanship is still possible in an election year.

The bill would modernize the FDA’s inspection process for foreign manufacturers while also improving access to new medicines and devices. It would also help reduce drug costs for consumers by speeding the approval of lower-cost generic drugs and help prevent and address drug shortages.

“This bill’s passage is a victory for millions of Americans who need medicines or medical devices, and for the kind of bipartisan cooperation that we see all too rarely in Washington,” said Enzi. “This is why the committee process is so important. We were able to put together a truly bipartisan bill that is non-controversial and reflects input from everyone.”

Health care decision coming soon

The U.S. Supreme Court is set to release its decision on President Obama’s health care law by the end of this month and Senator Enzi is hopeful that the Court will strike down the law.

No matter what the Supreme Court decides, reform is necessary, according to Sen. Enzi. How medical care is delivered as well as how it is paid for must be re-evaluated – which the new health care law failed to do. There are current incentives for providers to see as many patients as possible, but none for providers to keep their patients healthy and out of the doctor’s office. This drives up patient costs and can hurt the value of patient care.

“Instead of lowering the cost of health care for everyone, this law increases it for many,” said Enzi.

Enzi said the President’s law injects government into the medical decisions of every American, prevents people from keeping the coverage they like, buries small businesses under more than 11,000 pages of rules and regulations, and costs almost $2 trillion more than initial estimates.

To read more about how Senator Enzi thinks health care can be improved in America, click here.

Possible patent office near Wyoming

Senator Enzi recently cosigned a letter with Senator Bennet, D-Colo., to David Kappos, Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), strongly supporting the placement of a USPTO satellite office in Colorado. Colorado is one of multiple locations the USPTO is examining for one of three remote offices.

Enzi said Colorado’s central location would be within driving distance of Wyoming and many other rural areas of the nation. A Mountain West regional office would provide a boost to Wyoming’s entrepreneurial population with quick access to patent examinations and property protection.

This office will also make the dream of starting a business become a reality, according to Enzi. As 97% of employers in Wyoming and 99% across the United States are small businesses, this would benefit not only Wyoming’s economy but America’s as well.

“A USPTO regional office so close to Wyoming will encourage our inventors to keep inventing,” said Enzi. “With one of the most important tools they need so close to home, they will have the ability to take their entrepreneurial spirit to the next level.”

The USPTO is planning on making their final decision on the location of the prospective offices by the end of this month. Currently the closest office accessible to Wyoming inventors is the main U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in Alexandria, Virginia.

Fall internships available

Senator Enzi is calling for Wyoming college students and graduates to apply for a fall internship in his Washington, D.C. office. The deadline to apply is July 6.

This opportunity allows students and recent graduates to gain hands-on experience in our nation’s capital and with governmental operations. For more information please visit www.enzi.senate.gov.

Administration’s new immigration policy

Late last week, President Obama announced his Administration’s plans to stop deporting certain illegal immigrants and allow them to remain in the United States if certain conditions are met.

According to Senator Enzi, this is another example of this Administration’s disregard for Congress, the law and any policy it doesn’t agree with. The controversy doesn’t lie in whether or not this is the right thing to do, it lies in the erosion of the country’s checks and balances.

“The Administration’s job is to enforce the law,” Enzi said. “Not disregard it.”

Parental rights should be protected

Senator Enzi cosponsored a joint resolution proposing an amendment to the United States Constitution protecting parental rights.

The amendment guarantees the liberty of parents to direct their children’s upbringing, education and care as an essential right of all Americans. It also guarantees this right will not be affected by any treaty or international law.

The amendment was introduced in late May and is currently being reviewed by the Judiciary Committee.

Day of the American Cowboy

Senator Enzi, along with Senator John Barrasso, joined 12 Senators in introducing and passing a resolution to declare July 28 as ‘National Day of the American Cowboy.’

“By honoring one of Wyoming’s greatest symbols, we offer a fitting tribute to the individuals who built and continue our agricultural heritage,” Enzi said.

This is the eighth year the U.S. Senate has passed this resolution.

Bison as National Mammal

Senator Enzi joined Sen. Tim Johnson (D-SD) in introducing a bill to establish the bison as the National Mammal of the United States.

“The bison remains an enduring symbol of Native Americans and the West, but it’s more than that,” Enzi said. “The bison represents the will of the American people, their strength, their freedom and perseverance.”

To learn more about The National Bison Legacy Act, you can go to www.votebison.org.

Connect with Senator Enzi on Facebook

If you haven't already become a "fan" of Senator Enzi's Facebook page, check it out. It is a great way to see more of what is going on in Congress. Click here to view his page.

Wyoming state offices

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. Click here to find out more.