Following more than 12 straight hours of back-to-back votes in the Senate yesterday, taxpayers are still facing increased taxes on energy, small business and health care. With the passage of the Senate budget proposal nearly all taxes will increase, according to U.S. Senator Mike Enzi, R-Wyo.
The Senate passed the $3.5 trillion Fiscal Year 2010 budget resolution by a vote of 55-43 late last night. Enzi voted against the final bill because it spends too much, taxes too much and borrows too much. The budget forecasts a deficit of $1.2 trillion over the next fiscal year. Enzi voted multiple times against amendments that increased taxes and spending on hardworking American families and small businesses.
"When individuals and families set a personal budget it is to keep their spending in check. The budget the Senate passed last night is merely a means to justify Washington's excessive spending, not keep spending in check," said Enzi, a senior Senate Budget Committee member and the Senate's only accountant. "This budget doesn't prepare us for our country's future. It robs from it."
Net Receipt Sharing Recapture Amendment
One of the few positive aspects of the bill, according to Enzi, was the unanimous approval of the bipartisan amendment he offered that sets up a framework to help restore lost mineral revenue for Wyoming.
"I sent the message to the Administration and my congressional colleagues that they cannot take $20 million from Wyoming without a fight. By accepting this amendment the Senate begins work to help Wyoming and other states that allow for energy production on their lands to get their fair share of mineral royalties," said Enzi.
Enzi's amendment would create a deficit neutral reserve fund to restore the two percent mineral royalty loss states currently face because of a provision in the omnibus appropriations bill. Wyoming and other states' share of federal mineral royalties on public domain lands should be 50 percent of what is collected. However, because of the two percent provision in the omnibus, states receive 49 percent with the federal share being 51. His amendment, which was agreed to unanimously, sets up a framework to help the states get their two percent back.
Cap and Tax Climate Change, Unfunded Mandates
Enzi co-sponsored an amendment that prohibits the use of a process known as budget reconciliation to move forward with climate change legislation. Reconciliation is a restrictive process that prohibits full debate and is considered the ultimate way of jamming legislation through the Senate. Because of the incredibly high costs and complex nature of such a program, Senator Enzi does not support any limits on debate. The amendment, sponsored by Senator Mike Johanns, R-Neb., passed by a vote of 67-31.
Enzi was also able to protect state and local governments with an amendment that would require 60-votes on any legislation that imposes unfunded mandates on these entities.
The Senate passed budget will now go to a conference committee with the House version so differences can be worked out.