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A message from Senator Enzi

Recently, on the Senate floor I read a letter to the editor from a young Wyoming man in our military, Lee Freeburg. He has a very important message for our country. Lee is proud to serve his country, his President and to bring freedom to people all around the world. He’s upset by the attitude of some people toward what our troops are doing in Afghanistan, Iraq and abroad elsewhere. He reminds us that we should not take our freedoms for granted. Lee’s letter is also a reminder to us that our troops are affected by what they hear and read from over here. They get their local newspapers. They get letters, and they want their message out, too. I appreciate Lee’s thoughts so I am sharing them with you. Please visit my web page to see the text of his letter and enjoy the rest of this newsletter. We are wrapping up the 109th session of Congress. My staff and I have summarized a few of the issues I’ve been working on since last month’s newsletter.

Key Vote Summary

Track your tax dollars with one-stop cyber shop

Senator Enzi co-sponsored a bill that will soon become law that will allow taxpayers to see how their money is being spent.

The bill will require the Office of Management and Budget to maintain and establish a Web site that lists all entities receiving federal funds in amounts over $25,000.

The bill would create a one stop shop for people to see if Congress is being a good steward of taxpayer dollars. Enzi and his Senate colleagues envision this Web site will make it possible for taxpayers to hold the government accountable for excess spending. Around $300 billion in grants is approved by the federal government every year according to the General Services Administration.

Headlines and Highlights

Senate Passes Military Anti-Fraud Bill

The Senate recently passed a bill that will protect our military personnel from being scammed. The bill will protect military personnel against individuals using deceitful practices to sell financial products.

Some financial service companies have been camouflaging, marketing and selling high cost periodic payment plan certificates solely to military personnel on military bases. These plans are non-existent in the civilian world, but are similar to mutual funds except that extremely high sales commissions rob investors of years of earnings and penalize them when they stop investing in the fund. The product has been disguised by the salespersons to appear to be approved by the Department of Defense or the federal government.

The bill, which Enzi sponsored, would require state insurance regulator jurisdiction over the sale of insurance products on military bases.

Enzi, Banking Committee look for ways to eradicate child pornography

U.S. Senator Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., in a Senate Banking Committee hearing on Sept. 19, explored ways the financial industry can help protect our children from the ever growing child pornography trade. The hearing analyzed solutions ranging from creating a uniform system for reporting suspected child pornography, developing an effective system for identifying merchant banks supporting illegal sites and adapting current money laundering systems to identify and report unusual circumstances.

On the Horizon

The House and Senate plan to adjourn for the month of October to prepare for the November elections. Senator Enzi plans to be in Wyoming during that time.

Following the elections Congress is likely to resume session in November and work to conclude any outstanding bills before the 2007 members are sworn in.

News Nuggets

*Enzi prepared a statement for delivery on the Senate floor marking the 5 year anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks. "Today we rededicate ourselves to the work that must be done to make our nation stronger, safer and more secure so that our world will be a better place for us all to live. It will be difficult and it will require us all to play a part in the effort to rid the world of the threat of terror."

* During the month of August Enzi kept busy and on the road attending charity events, speeches, a Purple Heart award ceremony and public meetings. He traveled to Thermopolis, Hulett, Douglas, Casper, Sheridan, Jackson and Gillette.

* In a Sept. 20 letter to Secretary of Agriculture Mike Johanns, Enzi asked him to approve the drought designation applications for 20 Wyoming counties. Agriculture producers in designated counties are eligible for federal drought assistance.

* On Sept. 7, Enzi cosponsored S. 3828, the National Language Act. This legislation declares English as the official language of the government.

*The Wyoming delegation penned a letter to Secretary of the Treasury Henry Paulson supporting the Medicine Bow Fuel and Power coal-to-liquids facility located near Medicine Bow. The delegation urged the Department to accept an application to allow DKRW, the company building the facility, to access $350 million in investment tax credits to help with project financing that is estimated to total $1.3 billion.

* In an effort to protect private property rights and avoid excessive government regulation of private property under the guise of wetlands protection, Enzi signed on to a Sept. 12 letter to develop a new definition for the term "waters of the United States." The letter urges President Bush and the Army Corps of Engineers to work with the EPA and stakeholders to develop a strict definition to ensure the Army Corps does not over-reach its jurisdiction in regard to property owners' rights.