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Sheridan family inspires Enzi and Barrasso to help Accuracy for Adoptees Act succeed

Congress passed a bill last month that would help parents of internationally adopted children correct errors on their children’s birth certificate and have also met with other Wyoming families dealing with the same birth certificate issues for their children. Senators Enzi and John Barrasso, R-Wyo., joined 11 other senators in cosponsoring the Accuracy for Adoptees Act led by Senator Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn. The bill would require the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service to recognize state court orders that amend a child’s birth date. 

Currently, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service only recognizes the original birth certificates from the child’s country of birth. For children who were orphaned or lacked proper medical care in their countries of birth, the ages given on their certificates may be incorrect, which often becomes apparent once the child has been screened by a physician or beginsto develop in the U.S.

The Wyoming senators’ offices have been working closely with the Michael and Stacy Sweeney family of Sheridan to help them resolve issues with four of their children’s Ethiopian birth certificates. It soon became apparent that it was going to take an act of Congress to get the immigration service to cooperate. The Sweeney’s asked the senators to help and they joined their colleagues to introduce the Accuracy for Adoptees Act on October 30.

The Senate and the House passed the bill unanimously. The president is expected to sign the bill into law. 

The NSA is listening, but Senate majority leader is not

Our nation is being done a great disservice by the Senate majority leader, according to Senator Enzi who spoke on the Senate Floor on December 18 against the leader’s decision to force a vote on the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) without debate or amendments.

“Unfortunately, due to the majority leader’s actions we will not be able to debate the important issues. Because of that, I cannot support moving forward to the Defense bill. I hope that on our next Defense bill we all will recognize the importance of being allowed to fully debate the issues so that our men and women in uniform can continue to fulfill their mission of keeping our nation safe, secure and free.”

Along with his amendments to protect our ICBM force and target the NSA’s domestic spying on Americans and privacy violations by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Enzi offered amendments to address religious freedoms, Guantanamo detainees, the National Guard, unlawful detention, and military energy standards. All, along with more than 500 amendments from other senators, were blocked from consideration by the majority leader.

PILT a promise to rural communities that Congress must honor

Where there is federal land, rural and local communities must provide government services despite being unable to obtain property tax revenue from land owned by the federal government. According to Senator Enzi, to offset this loss in revenue, Congress should continue annually providing Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) funds to offset the cost of providing services related to public safety, housing, social services, transportation and the environment. As of January 15, funding for the PILT program was not included in the 2014 spending bill, but Enzi is working on a legislative fix.

The program provides critical funding to nearly 1,900 counties in 49 states and three U.S. territories to help offset losses to local governments from the presence of non-taxable federal lands. Without that funding, counties across the nation would experience incredible economic hardship, according to Enzi.

National Blueways System ended

On January 3, the Department of the Interior announced that it would be ending its "National Blueways System" that the Wyoming delegation had been fighting against. The program could have allowed the federal government to take over any state's water without authority from landowners, local government, or Congress.

The Wyoming delegation sent a letter last February expressing their concerns with this policy and even offered an amendment to the continuing resolution last March to end the program.

Bill would reverse Obama’s politically motivated decision

Senators Enzi, John Barrasso, R-Wyo, and Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., introduced legislation recently that would reverse the Obama administration’s recent decision to delay next year’s Obamacare insurance enrollment deadline until after the 2014 election. “The Premium Disclosure Act” would also require the administration to provide premium increase and cost-sharing information to Americans prior to open enrollment so they have time to make decisions about their health care.

“Earlier rounds of health care mandates were not popular, so the Administration has sought to delay as many of them as possible until after the next election,” Enzi said. “Our legislation would not only prevent this political move, but would make sure families have premium and cost-sharing information in time to make more informed decisions for themselves.”

Sweetwater office hours

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. Upcoming office hours include: 

Thursday, February 13

1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. –Young at Heart Senior and Community Center, Rock Springs, WY