December 19, 2012
Senator Mike Enzi - December Newsletter
Diana and I would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy Holiday Season as we head into the next year. I hope that all can be at home with family and friends. As we celebrate these special times, we will be keeping our troops overseas and their loved ones in our prayers. It is because of them that we are able to enjoy the holidays and our American way of life. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Filibuster guarantees all senators heard
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is considering changing Senate rules in order to make it harder for minority senators to contribute to legislation.
The frustration the majority in the Senate feels at having a hard time getting its agenda passed, however, is probably less than the frustration that the minority feels in being prevented from having any of its members’ ideas considered in committees or on the Senate floor. The Senate was designed so that a majority couldn’t run roughshod over a minority. It was designed to ensure that each senator could represent the views of his or her constituents. The filibuster is one of the tools we use. That isn’t convenient for the powers that be, but without such a check on power bad things happen.
When the Senate is operating as intended with members working together in committees to iron out legislation and then offering amendments on the Senate floor, it’s a thing of beauty, like a work of fine art. But some in the majority want to take a chainsaw to it.
Some, (I hope not most) in the majority want to weaken this check on power and change the rules. They want to go against what this institution stands for in order to stifle some ideas and votes. I hope they would realize that if they make some senators weaker, they weaken the institution itself. Even if they believe a change to the filibuster is the right thing to do, I hope that my colleagues will see that doing it unilaterally is the wrong way to do it. If you want to change the filibuster rules, then at least follow the rules that have been used by those before us. Don't break the rules to change the rules.
National Defense Authorization Act prevents indefinite detention, protects ICBM programs
Early this month the Senate voted for the final passage of the National Defense Authorization Act, which provides necessary funding authorizations for the Department of Defense, according to Senator Mike Enzi, who voted for it. More than 100 amendments were worked through on the Senate floor, and this bipartisan vote was possible because the bill went through the proper committee and floor amendment processes, said Enzi. The final vote was 98-0.
Senator John Barrasso and Enzi offered an amendment
to the bill, which passed, that urges the Administration to keep our Intercontinental Ballistic Missile force mission-ready. According to Senator Enzi, the amendment specifically calls on the Department of Defense to maintain its ICBM force and to preserve silos as a reserve force, a deterrent.
Enzi also voted for an amendment sponsored by Senators Dianne Feinstein and Rand Paul that would prevent American citizens from ever being permanently detained without being charged or brought to trial.
“The Bill of Rights is very clear on the rights we all have, especially our judicial process. Some folks in Wyoming have expressed concerns that the NDAA would allow American citizens to be held without charge or trial,” said Enzi. “The Senate passed an amendment to the NDAA to clarify this issue and I voted for it. The amendment makes clear that no citizen of the United States can be permanently detained by use of military force, declaration of war, or any similar authority.”