Ranking Member News


Congress Probes FEMA For Paying Huge Markups On Puerto Rico Recovery Supplies

by Tim Pearce

GOP Sen. Michael Enzi of Wyoming is pressing the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to explain the stiff markups it is paying on supplies and labor to help rebuild Puerto Rico. Enzi, chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, sent a letter to FEMA administrator Brock Long Thursday requesting information on the Tu Hogar Renace program. The program is FEMA-funded and run by the Puerto Rico Department of Housing and has roughly $1.2 billion to dole out to Puerto Ricans for the purpose of hel… Continue Reading


VA to ‘reset’ efforts around new GI Bill housing stipend software

by Tajha Chappellet-Lanier

The Department of Veterans Affairs announced on Wednesday that its going to need a whole year to properly implement a piece of software that will make sure student veterans get appropriate GI Bill housing benefits. The Veterans Benefits Administration will "reset" its efforts to develop and deploy the software that was originally expected on July 16 of this year, the agency said in a press release. The new estimated date of deployment is Dec. 1, 2019. This extra time will "give the department … Continue Reading


Veterans Affairs unexpectedly canceled overtime work to address GI Bill claim backlog

by Phil McCausland

The VA's regional offices reopened on Monday, but the canceled work came less than two days after a House committee demanded answers on delayed payments to veterans. Nov. 20, 2018 / 8:32 AM EST By Phil McCausland Less than two days after a House committee demanded answers on why computer problems were delaying veterans' GI Bill payments, the Veterans Benefits Administration unexpectedly canceled its weekend work at three regional processing centers at the last minute on … Continue Reading


Senate Budget Committee also has some questions about those VA software issues

by Tajha Chappellet-Lanier

The Department of Veterans Affairs is now facing tough questions from the Senate Budget Committee about a software glitch that's causing delays in GI Bill benefits payments. Chairman Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., sent a letter to VA Secretary Robert Wilkie on Friday in which he demands answers to questions on how much money the VA has spent to fix the IT issue and when the problem will, finally, be solved. "What is the current status of the IT upgrades?" Enzi demands, in question number three of seven. "… Continue Reading


GOP senators scrutinize CBO's new health insurance simulation model

by Susannah Luthi

Republicans of the Senate Budget Committee Republicans have pressed the Congressional Budget Office to release details of the forthcoming new health insurance simulation model.In pointed language, the letter led by committee Chair Sen. Mike Enzy (R-Wyo.) suggested that the CBO should test its model with a do-over of the original estimate of the federal spending and health insurance coverage for the Affordable Care Act "to determine whether the agency's estimate would have been closer to the actu… Continue Reading


GOP want the official scorekeeper to give a second opinion on Obamacare

by Robert King

A group of 12 Republican senators demanded Wednesday that the official congressional scorekeeper reassess Obamacare to test out a new model for estimating insurance coverage. The letter the Republicans sent to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, asking it to use a new model for evaluating insurance coverage, underscores the political implications of the scorekeeper's ongoing work to revamp its modeling. Republicans have complained that CBO estimates of their Obamacare repeal bills over… Continue Reading


Chairmen Enzi And Alexander Request Report On Cost Of Student Loan Repayments

WASHINGTON D.C. - Senate Budget Committee Chairman Mike Enzi (R-WY) and Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) are asking the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) to examine the effects of federal student loan policies on borrowing, loan repayment, cancellation, discharge, and forgiveness. The chairmen are seeking information on income-driven-repayment (IDR) plans. IDR plans allow student borrowers to pay a percentage of their discretionary income e… Continue Reading


Budget chairs press appropriators on veterans spending


The chairmen of the House and Senate budget committees have weighed in on a debate on how to fund a veterans program that has thrown a wrench into the 2019 appropriations process. Last week, the House and Senate Appropriations committees abruptly canceled a conference committee meeting to sort out differences over a package of three spending bills because of disagreements on veterans funding. Their question is whether to fund an expensive veterans program, the VA Mission Act, under existing bu… Continue Reading


House Speaker Paul Ryan endorses Enzi's two-year timeframe for federal spending bills

by David Sherfinski

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan on Wednesday threw his support behind a plan to move to a two-year budget for the federal government, saying it would give Congress more time to get its work done and perhaps end the cycle of shutdown showdowns. But other lawmakers said it will take more than tinkering with the calendar to fix the budget and spending process, which all sides say is broken after three government shutdowns in the last five years. Some of those lawmakers said it was time to disband Congr… Continue Reading


Senate chairman urges move to two-year budgetary process


Senate Budget Committee Chairman Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) is throwing his support behind a two-year budget and appropriations process, an option actively being considered by a joint select committee examining the budget process. "I have long believed that moving to biennial appropriations would allow for greater transparency and congressional oversight of executive branch program spending and management," Enzi wrote in a letter to the co-chairs of the joint select committee, Rep. Steve Womack (R-Ark.… Continue Reading


Senate Budget Chairman Knocks STEM Spending Overlap

Sen. Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, on Wednesday voiced strong criticism of the Federal government's spending to promote STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education in the United States, saying that some of the Federal investment is duplicative and inefficient. The chairman's comments came during a committee hearing to discuss the Government Accountability Office's (GAO) annual Duplication Report. The latest Duplication Report, released in Apr… Continue Reading


Clean up the books or risk funding cuts, budget chair warns Pentagon


If the Pentagon can't do a better job of managing its finances Congress may have to consider withholding some of the additional funds the military is slated to receive under a new budget deal, the Republican chairman of the Senate Budget Committee warned Wednesday. Sen. Mike Enzi of Wyoming was responding to a recent report in POLITICO about an initial audit of the Pentagon's massive logistics arm that concluded it could not account for hundreds of millions of dollars. "Taxpayers must ha… Continue Reading


Budget chairman pushes Mattis on Pentagon audit


The chairman of the Senate Budget Committee is pushing the Pentagon for more details on the costs and timeline of its first departmentwide audit. "To provide for our common defense in the new era of strategic competition heralded in the 2018 National Defense Strategy, we must fundamentally reform the Department of Defense," Sen. Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) wrote in a letter to Defense Secretary James Mattis released publicly Wednesday. "As we do so, taxpayers must have trust and confidence that their ha… Continue Reading


Senate panel advances budget, a key step for tax reform


The Senate Budget Committee on Thursday advanced a budget resolution that would help pave the way for Republicans to pass a tax reform bill without Democratic support.The resolution passed 12-11 along strict party lines and is expected to be taken up on the Senate floor in two weeks. The Senate is not in session next week. Though the budget ostensibly lays out spending plans for the fiscal year, the budget document's central purpose, as reflected by the committee's debate, was to open the recon… Continue Reading


Senate Budget Committee advances 2018 budget plan

by David Sherfinski

The Senate Budget Committee advanced its 2018 fiscal blueprint on Thursday, moving forward on Republican plans to fast-track a tax reform package hours after the full House passed its own 2018 spending outline. The approximately $1 trillion spending plan for 2018 that advances to the Senate floor projects a $641 billion deficit for the current fiscal year, but anticipates that a combination of trillions of dollars in spending cuts and economic growth will produce a surplus in 10 years. But mor… Continue Reading


Unhealthy acts (Unauthorized Programs)

by Cal Thomas

Is there anyone who can point to the "Affordable Care Act" (aka Obamacare) and credibly claim it is accomplishing the goals set for it seven years ago? Insurers are pulling out of the exchanges, premiums and related costs are going up, not down, as supporters of the misnamed law claimed they would. Many people who like their doctors are not being allowed to keep their doctors. In a Facebook post last week, Obama himself didn't even bother to defend Obamacare. Instead, he criticized a proposed … Continue Reading


Enzi Charging Ahead With Budget That Balances in 10 Years

by Paul M. Krawzak

Senate Budget Chairman Michael B. Enzi said Wednesday he is trying to write a fiscal 2018 budget resolution that balances in 10 years and he does not have to wait until a GOP health care bill is passed to mark up the budget in committee. "We're working on getting it ready now and we'll do it as soon as we can," Enzi told reporters when asked when the committee would vote on a budget. The Wyoming Republican said it was necessary "to cut trillions of dollars in order to balance in 10 years, and … Continue Reading


Senate Budget Panel Adopts Bipartisan Changes in Rules

by Jennifer Shutt

The Senate Budget Committee through polling of its members has unanimously agreed to change how it takes up the annual budget resolution, Republican committee leaders have told CQ. Members have agreed to release the resolution text to committee members five days before any markup. They also have decided to set deadlines specifying that first-degree amendments must be filed two days in advance of a markup and second-degree and side-by-side amendments must be sent to the committee a day before th… Continue Reading


Senate Chairman Floats Fix for "Broken Budget Process"

by James Arkin

Sen. Mike Enzi, chairman of the Budget Committee, will release a detailed proposal Wednesday to overhaul the congressional budget process and change the way the federal government is funded for the first time in four decades. The Wyoming lawmaker's proposal, obtained exclusively by RealClearPolitics, would move Congress to a two-year appropriations process to prevent annual deadlines, create mandatory floor time to consider appropriations measures in both chambers, and eliminate the possibility… Continue Reading


Budget reform at the top of Enzi's to-do list


Mike Enzi has been waiting for this day. The U.S. Senator from Gillette returned to Washington, D.C., on Sunday to begin his 20th year representing Wyoming. Only this time, the president-elect is Republican and his party - Republican - also enjoys the majority in the U.S. Senate and House. He's ready to begin work on a package of proposals and bills, many focused on budget reform "in a nonpartisan way," and hopes they'll succeed. At the same time, he's warning other lawmakers that… Continue Reading

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