I hope you and your family enjoyed a nice summer and are looking forward to the coming of fall. It’s been a very busy past couple of months for Diana and myself. The Senate was in session through the end of July, and since then, I’ve been back in Wyoming traveling the state during the August work period.
To check out some of the highlights of the past month, you can click here to see our schedule. Diana and I have logged thousands of miles and have been talking with residents from all across Wyoming, collecting common sense ideas that I'll take back to Washington after Labor Day. It's been nice to see many of you at the events we attended or at one of the ice cream socials Diana and I hosted around the state. It's always a pleasure to meet new people and connect with old friends.
Also, as a quick note, this will be my last e-newsletter until after the November general elections. Senate rules do not allow me to send any e-newsletters during the 60 days before an election but after the election you will receive another e-update from me. I look forward to updating you on all the things I've been working on come November.
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
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Enzi and 42 of his Senate colleagues rolled out an energy package at the end of June designed to decrease gas prices and supply our nation with more American-made energy. With gas prices hovering around $4 per gallon, Enzi and his fellow senators put together a bill that will provide short-term relief at the same time it sets up the nation for long-term energy security. The Gas Price Reduction Act of 2008 (S. 3202) takes a two-pronged approach to solving the country's energy woes: find more energy and use less.
The bill recognizes that the biggest energy problem facing our nation is the problem of supply and demand. The nation needs to focus on producing more American-made energy while at the same time using less in order to secure America’s energy independence.
Specifically, the Gas Price Reduction Act would boost the domestic energy supply by allowing deep sea production on the Atlantic and Pacific outer continental shelves, which could produce 14 billion barrels of oil. It would also repeal the moratorium on Western oil shale exploration, opening up a potential 2 trillion barrels of oil. Also, to help the nation use less energy, the bill would offer loans to increase use of plug-in electric cars and trucks. Enzi hopes that when the Senate is back in session in September, energy legislation like the Gas Price Reduction Act will be the first issue addressed.
Enzi sends more bills to the President
President Bush signed another two of Enzi’s bills into law over the past month: the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) on July 30 and the Higher Education Opportunity Act on Aug. 14. PEPFAR (H.R. 5501) reauthorizes the President's highly successful global AIDS relief program, and the Higher Education Opportunity Act (H.R. 4137) provides students with improved access and affordability in pursuing a college education.
The signing of these two pieces of legislation makes for a total of six bills that Enzi has sent to the White House this year as Ranking Member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee. Since 2005 the President has signed a total of 39 Enzi bills into law. Enzi's average of nearly a bill a month is one of the best in the Senate. The average committee only sends three bills to the President every two years.
On the Horizon
When the Senate reconvenes after Labor Day, legislation to be considered may include a bill that strengthens the protections afforded to disabled children and adults in the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and funding for the Department of Defense and our countries Armed Forces.
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
More doctors in Wyo.
On July 22, the Senate passed step nine of Enzi's comprehensive health care reform bill, "Ten Steps to Transform Health Care in America." The Health Care Safety Net Act (S. 901) will give incentives to individuals who pursue an education in health care and then practice in Wyoming, which fulfills a critical part of step nine: "increase access to primary care in rural and frontier areas by helping future providers pay for their education.”
Ensuring the safety of American meat
In July, Enzi and Senator Tim Johnson, D-S.D., introduced the Foot and Mouth Disease Prevention Act of 2008 (S. 3238), which would prohibit the importation of fresh meat and livestock from Argentina until the USDA can certify that Argentina is free of foot and mouth disease. The legislation would protect livestock producers and the integrity of the U.S. meat supply. The bill quickly advanced in the Senate; the Appropriations Committee included the bill as part of the 2009 Agriculture Appropriations bill a week after it was introduced.
AARP Legislative Achievement Award
AARP honored Enzi with its top Congressional honor – the Legislative Achievement Award – for his work on the Safety of Seniors Act (S. 845), which protects older Americans from falling down by providing education and resources to seniors. Enzi introduced the bill and worked to achieve its passage in both the Senate and House. President Bush signed the act into law on April 23. AARP’s Legislative Achievement Award is awarded to 10 senators and 10 representatives annually for their work on behalf of seniors.
Mandatory Livestock Reporting
The new rule re-establishing and updating the USDA's Livestock Mandatory Reporting program officially went into effect on July 15. Enzi worked for years to get an update to mandatory price reporting included in the Farm Bill, and he and his fellow senators were successful this year. With the new rule, producers will now have online access to comparable pricing for all livestock markets, which will help to promote competition and fairness in the markets.