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European tariff on US soda ash needs to be eliminated in transatlantic trade deal

To help bolster American soda ash exports, the Wyoming delegation sent a letter with other Senate and House members emphasizing the importance of eliminating a European Union (EU) tariff on soda ash under a transatlantic trade agreement currently under negotiation.

“This tariff barrier reduces the competitiveness of U.S. soda ash and also harms European industrial consumers, especially Europe’s sizable glass industry, which stands to benefit from better access to competitively-priced, high quality U.S. soda ash,” the letter said.

Along with being the most environmentally-friendly in the world, U.S. soda ash exports, valued at over $1.2 billion annually, directly contribute to thousands of high-paying U.S. jobs and are extremely important to local economies across the country. 

Senate bill would protect Second Amendment rights of Social Security beneficiaries

Under a president's memorandum directing federal agencies to gather and submit information to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) on individuals who may be determined to be "mentally deficient", the Social Security Administration could be required to report individuals who have been appointed a representative payee to the NICS. Enzi cosponsored legislation recently that would prevent Social Security beneficiaries from being reported and protect their Second Amendment rights.

“It is completely outrageous to believe the Social Security Administration should have any role in determining whether a senior should have the right to own a firearm,” Enzi said. “It is unfortunate that legislation is necessary to protect Americans, who happen to receive Social Security benefits, from having their 2nd Amendment rights suddenly stripped by their government without due process.”

Senators call for Syrian refugee program pause until authorities can detect fake ISIS passports

Enzi and Senator John Barrasso, R-Wyo., joined U.S. Senator Mark Kirk, R-Ill., and others recently in calling for a pause in the Syrian and Iraqi refugee programs until authorities are able to detect the use of fake passports following reports ISIS has a “fake document industry” with passport machines and blank passports.

“The threat to the United States posed by ISIS-created Syrian passports is now imminent,” the senators wrote in a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry and Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson. “That danger will continue to grow so long as our enemies are able to perfect these passports and exploit loopholes in refugee programs. ISIS is an enemy that constantly adapts around our security posture, and there is no room for error when it comes to protecting our citizens from their brutal terror campaign.”

Spending on expired government programs exposes broken budget process

Recently Enzi held a hearing to learn more about continued funding of unauthorized federal programs. According to Enzi, this issue exposes a fundamental breakdown in America’s budget process that could have significant consequences for not only government, but also the nation.

Chairman Enzi noted that, according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), most of the current $310 billion in unauthorized appropriations is funding program authorizations that have been expired for a decade or more, some more than thirty years ago.

“An essential premise of good government is that Congress should authorize programs and activities before it funds them,” Enzi said. “If we relinquish our responsibility to regularly review and reform these programs, all of our government funding will essentially operate on ‘auto-pay.’ This will prevent us from having the flexibility to support important priorities, or improve and eliminate government programs not delivering results.”