Enzi says “sequestration is going to happen”

by Dustin Bleizeffer
— February 18, 2013

While on his public “listening” tour in Wyoming Monday, Sen. Mike Enzi (R-Wyoming) told a small audience in Casper, “Sequestration is going to happen. The plans that are being offered won’t pass,” echoing comments made by his U.S. Senate colleague John Barrasso (R-Wyoming) on CNN Sunday.

Sen. Mike Enzi at the Petroleum Association of Wyoming’s annual meeting in Casper in 2012. (Dustin Bleizeffer/WyoFile — click to enlarge)

Enzi said because it was a “listening” event, he wasn’t there to go into great detail on any one issue, but he did underscore the GOP argument that the federal government should focus on spending reductions.

U.S. Rep. Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyoming) made similar comments last week, suggesting that more than $1.2 trillion in automatic federal spending cuts will begin March 1, spread among defense and non-defense spending.

Enzi heard comments and questions from about a dozen citizens, and briefly offered his thoughts on issues ranging from gun control to energy and climate change.

In response to a question about his recent “no” vote on the re-authorization of the Violence Against Women Act, Enzi said his opposition was not at the general goal of reducing violence against women, but at new language in the bill that would subject non-Native people to being tried in tribal courts for violent crimes.

(Click here for a perspective on this issue from Winona LaDuke, and click here for a recent New York Times article on the subject by Jonathan Weisman.)

Enzi described tribal jurisdiction language in the Violence Against Women Act re-authorization bill as a “poison pill.”

“We get bills with great titles and poison pills, and then no way to amend out the poison pills,” Enzi said.

On the renewed push to reduce gun violence, Enzi said Wyoming has a long-standing appreciation of guns. He said hunting isn’t the main reason for most gun ownership in Wyoming. Rather, people here in the Cowboy State enjoy target shooting. Enzi said he also worries that the term “assault weapon” is already too broadly applied to a variety of guns.

Responding to questions and concerns about energy policy, Enzi said there needs to be more permitting of oil, natural gas and coal on federal lands. As for climate change, Enzi said, “There’s $5 billion being spent to prove there is climate change, and $5 billion being spent to prove there isn’t. What do you suppose we could do if we took $10 billion to actually do something about it?”

Enzi said he wished there was more research money spent on developing cleaner coal technologies to aid with a shrinking coal market in the U.S., due to tightening environmental regulations.

“There is an effort in the U.S. to end the production of coal,” said Enzi.

— Contact Dustin Bleizeffer, WyoFile editor-in-chief, at (307) 577-6069 or dustin@wyofile.com. Follow Dustin on Twitter, @DBleizeffer

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Dustin Bleizeffer

Dustin Bleizeffer is a Report for America Corps member covering energy and climate at WyoFile. He has worked as a coal miner, an oilfield mechanic, and for 22 years as a statewide reporter and editor primarily...

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