Mike Enzi
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Mike Enzi

Mike Enzi
Mike Enzi, official portrait, 115th Congress.jpg
Official portrait, 2018
United States Senator
from Wyoming

January 3, 1997
Alan Simpson
Cynthia Lummis (elect)
Chair of the Senate Budget Committee

January 3, 2015 - January 3, 2021
Patty Murray
Chair of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee

January 3, 2005 - January 3, 2007
Judd Gregg
Ted Kennedy
Member of the Wyoming Senate
from the 24th district

December 13, 1991 - January 3, 1997
Kelly Mader[1]
Richard Erb
Mayor of Gillette

Cliff Davis
Herb Carter
Personal details
Michael Bradley Enzi

(1944-02-01) February 1, 1944 (age 76)
Political partyRepublican
Diana Buckley
(m. 1969)
Education (BS)
University of Denver (MBA)
WebsiteSenate website
Military service
Allegiance United States
Branch/service United States Air Force
Years of service1967-1973
UnitWyoming Air National Guard

Michael Bradley Enzi (; born February 1, 1944) is an American politician and accountant serving as the senior United States Senator from Wyoming, a seat he was first elected to in 1996. He is a member of the Republican Party.

Raised in Thermopolis, Wyoming, Enzi attended George Washington University and the University of Denver. He expanded his father's shoe store business in Gillette, Wyoming before being elected the city's mayor in 1974. In the late 1970s, he worked for the United States Department of the Interior. He served as a state legislator in both the Wyoming House of Representatives (1987-1991) and Wyoming Senate (1991-1997). During the 1980s and 1990s, he worked as an accountant and executive director in the energy industry.

Enzi was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1996 with 54% of the vote and reelected in 2002 with 73% of the vote, in 2008 with 75% of the vote and in 2014 with 71% of the vote.[2] Since his election, he has consistently been ranked one of the Senate's most conservative members. He was a member of the 2009 Gang of Six that attempted to negotiate health care reform. Since 2015, he has chaired the Senate Budget Committee, during the 114th and 115th Congresses.

Early life, education and business career

Mike Enzi was born on February 1, 1944 in Bremerton, Washington, the son of Dorothy M. (née Bradley) and Elmer Jacob Enzi. His paternal grandparents were ethnic Germans from Ukraine, and his mother had Irish and German ancestry.[3][4] Enzi was raised in Thermopolis, Wyoming, after his father's return from military duty on the Pacific Coast. He attended elementary school in Thermopolis and graduated from Sheridan High School in 1962.[5] He is an Eagle Scout and a recipient of the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award from the Boy Scouts of America.[6][7]

Enzi received a degree in accounting from George Washington University in Washington, D.C., in 1966.[8] He is also a member of the Sigma Chi Fraternity[9] and Alpha Kappa Psi business fraternity. He received an M.A. in retail marketing from the University of Denver in Colorado in 1968.[10] He also served in the Wyoming Air National Guard from 1967 to 1973.[11] On June 7, 1969, Enzi married the former Diana Buckley; the couple has two daughters (Amy and Emily) and a son (Brad), as well as four grandchildren (Trey, Lily Grace, Megan Riley, and Allison Quinn).[12]

Soon after his marriage, Enzi moved to Gillette, where he expanded his father's shoe-sale business,[13] NZ Shoes, which later also had locations in Sheridan and in Miles City, Montana.[10] As a young business owner, he served as president of the Wyoming chapter of the United States Junior Chamber.

Early political career

Enzi was elected mayor of Gillette in 1974 at age 30 and held the position for two terms, serving until 1982. During his tenure, the city doubled in size. From 1976 to 1979, Enzi worked with the U.S. Department of Interior on energy policy via its Coal Advisory Committee.

Enzi was elected to the Wyoming House of Representatives as a Republican and served from 1987 to 1991. He was then a member of the Wyoming Senate from 1991 to 1997. In the State Senate Enzi became a vocal opponent of proposals to legalize gambling in the state. In 1994 he served as the primary spokesman of WyBett, an anti-casino group. He also worked from 1985 to 1997 as an accountant with an oil drilling company and during the 1990s as an executive director with the Black Hills Corporation, an energy holding company that owns utilities and natural gas and coal mining operations.

U.S. Senate


Enzi was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 1996. He won a tough primary against orthopedic surgeon John Barrasso, 32% to 30%, before winning the general election by 12 points over former Secretary of State Kathy Karpan. At the time of his election, Enzi was the only accountant in the U.S. Senate.[14] He was reelected by a large margin in 2002. He became the senior U.S. Senator from Wyoming when his colleague Craig L. Thomas died of leukemia on June 4, 2007. Thomas was replaced by Barrasso, a former state senator from Casper.

In 2008 Enzi was reelected to his third term in the U.S. Senate with over 76% of the vote against Democratic opponent Chris Rothfuss, a professor of political science at the University of Wyoming.[15]

Dick Cheney criticized Enzi for receiving funding mainly from Washington-based PACs rather than supporters in his state.[16]

In July 2014 Enzi declared his intention to run for a fourth term and was reelected in November with 71% of the vote.[17] No incumbent Wyoming Republican Senator running for reelection in the direct vote era has failed to win his party's nomination.[18] In 2013, Enzi was accused of lying about his friendship with Cheney and relying on political action committee funding in preparation for his reelection campaign and a primary challenge by Liz Cheney.[19] The National Republican Senatorial Committee and Wyoming Republicans supported Enzi.[20]


In 2005 Enzi became the ninth U.S. Senator from Wyoming to ascend to the rank of Chairman on one of the 16 standing committees in the U.S. Senate. He has been a member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee since his arrival in the U.S. Senate in 1997. During his time as Chairman of the HELP Committee, 37 bills were reported out of the committee, 23 bills passed the Senate, 352 nominations were reported favorably, and 15 laws came through the committee that were signed by President George W. Bush.

In March 2007 National Journal ranked Enzi the sixth-most conservative U.S. Senator.[21]

Fiscal policy

Enzi supports imposing a new sales tax on internet sales and other sales of interstate commerce. On November 9, 2011 he introduced Senate Bill 1832 which would require businesses to calculate, collect and pay the new tax whenever they sell products or services to consumers from another state, regardless of the manner in which the sale is transacted. The bill provides no exemption for businesses in tax-free states, so even sellers within states that have no sales tax would be required to calculate and pay the new tax.

After the Marketplace Fairness Act (S.1832) failed in the 112th Congress, Enzi reintroduced it (twice) in the 113th Congress as the Marketplace Fairness Act of 2013 (S.336 and S.743).[22]

Enzi has voted for the repeal of legislation governing such things as the estate tax and the "marriage penalty." Enzi is a signer of Americans for Tax Reform's Taxpayer Protection Pledge.[23]

He supports partial privatization of Social Security and has consistently voted against measures to expand Medicare or to enroll more children or lower-class individuals in public health care.

A strong supporter of the coal industry, Enzi also rejects alternative energy proposals and advocates Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) and offshore drilling. Enzi's committee led the first revisions to mine safety laws in 28 years by promoting the use of new technologies to improve mine safety and save lives. He has a somewhat mixed record on trade issues: he has voted to approve most free trade bills but has rejected the Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA), one of the largest pieces of such legislation, and is opposed to presidential fast-tracking of trade relation normalization.[24]

Enzi takes a hard-line view on illegal immigration and has been rated highly by groups that support tighter border controls. He has voted in favor of the construction of a fence along the U.S.-Mexican border and against the implementation of guest worker programs. Enzi has voted to uphold the PATRIOT Act and is opposed to calls to cut down on wiretapping and to extend rights to Guantanamo Bay detainees. Enzi also rejected calls for a timetable for military withdrawal from Iraq.[24]


Enzi opposed President Barack Obama's health reform legislation; he voted against the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in December 2009,[25] and he voted against the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010.[26]

Enzi was one of the Gang of Six senators working to find a bipartisan solution to health care reform.[27] Speaking on the topic, Enzi told the media, "We all want health care reform that will reduce costs, improve quality and expand access without breaking the bank. The bipartisan talks we're having in the Finance Committee represent the best chance we have of achieving our shared goals, and I urge Democrat (sic) leaders not to close the door on these productive discussions."[28] In 2017, Enzi was part of the group of 13 senators drafting the Senate version of the AHCA behind closed doors.[29][30][31][32]


Enzi was one of 22 senators to sign a letter[33] to President Donald Trump urging the President to have the United States withdraw from the Paris Agreement. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Enzi has received over $270,000 from the oil and gas industry since 2012.[34]

Foreign policy

Despite his strong support of the War in Iraq, he was one of 14 U.S. Senators to vote against the Iraq War funding bill in May 2007 because he opposed the clauses of the bill which increased domestic spending.

In December 2010, Enzi was one of 26 senators who voted against the ratification of New Start,[35] a nuclear arms reduction treaty between the United States and the Russian Federation obliging both countries to have no more than 1,550 strategic warheads and 700 launchers deployed during the next seven years, and providing for a continuation of on-site inspections that halted when START I expired the previous year. It was the first arms treaty with Russia in eight years.[36]

Social policy

On social issues, Enzi is strongly conservative. He opposes all types of abortion and has voted in favor of proposals that would provide restrictions on the procedure for minors, those stationed on military bases, and other groups. He has voted in favor of failed constitutional amendments that suggested banning gay marriage and flag desecration. However, in August 2013, Enzi was the only Republican to sign a letter in support of ending the national ban on donated blood from men who have sex with men.[37] Enzi also is a strong supporter of gun rights and is ranked very favorably by the National Rifle Association (NRA).[24]

In April 2013, Enzi was one of 46 senators to vote against the passing of a bill which would have expanded background checks for all gun buyers. Enzi voted with 40 Republicans and 5 Democrats to stop the passage of the bill. In his blog FiveThirtyEight, statistician Nate Silver predicted a 0% chance of Enzi voting "aye" on the final bill.[38]

Enzi opposed the FIRST STEP Act. The bill passed 87-12 on December 18, 2018.[39]


On May 4, 2019, Enzi announced that he would not seek reelection to a fifth term in the Senate.[40]

Committee assignments

Election history

United States Senate election in Wyoming, 2014
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Mike Enzi* 121,554 72.19% -3.44
Democratic Charlie Hardy 29,377 17.45%
Independent Curt Gottshall 13,311 7.90%
United States Senate Republican primary election in Wyoming, 2014
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Mike Enzi* 77,965 78.51%
Republican Bryan Miller 9,330 9.39%
Republican James "Coaltrain" Gregory 3,740 3.77%
Republican Thomas Bleming 2,504 2.52%
Republican Arthur Bruce Clifton 1,403 1.41%
United States Senate election in Wyoming, 2008
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Mike Enzi* 189,046 75.63% + 2.68
Democratic Chris Rothfuss 60,631 24.26%
United States Senate election in Wyoming, 2002
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Mike Enzi* 133,710 72.95% + 18.89
Democratic Joyce Jansa Corcoran 49,570 27.05%
United States Senate Republican primary election in Wyoming, 2002
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Mike Enzi* 78,612 85.87%
Republican Crosby Allen 12,931 14.13%
United States Senate election in Wyoming, 1996
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Mike Enzi 114,116 54.06%
Democratic Kathy Karpan 89,103 42.21%
Libertarian W. David Herbert 5,289 2.51%
Natural Law Lloyd Marsden 2,569 1.22%
United States Senate Republican primary election in Wyoming, 1996
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Mike Enzi 27,056 32.47%
Republican John Barrasso 24,918 29.90%
Republican Curt Meier 14,739 17.69%
Republican Nimi McConigley 6,005 7.21%
Republican Kevin Meenan 6,000 7.20%
Republican Kathleen Jachkowski 2,269 2.72%
Republican Brian Coen 943 1.13%
Republican Cleveland Holloway 874 1.05%
Republican Russ Hanrahan 524 0.63%


  1. ^ "Journal of the Wyoming Senate".
  2. ^ "Chenelectioney, Enzi announce Senate runs". wyomingnews.com. Retrieved 2013.
  3. ^ "L. Enzi - L. Buckley". FamilyCentral. Retrieved 2013.
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on April 18, 2017. Retrieved 2014.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ "About Mike - U.S. Senator Mike Enzi". www.enzi.senate.gov. Retrieved 2020.
  6. ^ Townley, Alvin (December 26, 2006). Legacy of Honor: The Values and Influence of America's Eagle Scouts. New York: St. Martin's Press. p. 239. ISBN 0-312-36653-1. Retrieved 2006.
  7. ^ "Distinguished Eagle Scouts" (PDF). Scouting.org. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 12, 2016. Retrieved 2010.
  8. ^ "Sen. Mike Enzi Takes Account of Washington". gwtoday.gwu.edu. Retrieved 2020.
  9. ^ "ByGeorge!". www2.gwu.edu. Retrieved 2020.
  10. ^ a b "Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress - Retro Member details". bioguideretro.congress.gov. Retrieved 2020.
  11. ^ "Veterans in the US Senate 109th Congress" (PDF). Navy League. Archived from the original (PDF) on June 28, 2007. Retrieved 2006.
  12. ^ "About Mike". Mike Enzi Senate. Retrieved 2014.
  13. ^ Miniclier, Kit. "Wyo. U.S. Senate race is close: Both candidates are scrambling for votes and campaign funds". Denver Post.
  14. ^ "Senator's Biography". Senate.gov. Archived from the original on June 24, 2013. Retrieved 2013.
  15. ^ "Sen. Mike Enzi to seek re-election". UPI. March 26, 2008. Archived from the original on July 21, 2009. Retrieved 2008.
  16. ^ Bell, Benjamin (October 27, 2013). "Dick Cheney Slams Sen. Mike Enzi on Fundraising, Says They Aren't Fishing Buddies". ABC News. Retrieved 2014.
  17. ^ "Wyoming Sen. Mike Enzi announces he will seek re-election in 2014". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Archived from the original on July 17, 2013.
  18. ^ Ostermeier, Eric (July 9, 2013). "Could Liz Cheney End Wyoming's GOP Incumbency Streak?". Smart Politics.
  19. ^ Blake, Aaron (October 27, 2013). "Dick Cheney: Enzi lied about us being fishing buddies". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2014.
  20. ^ Camia, Catalina (July 16, 2013). "Dick Cheney's daughter jumps into Wyo. Senate race". USA Today. Retrieved 2013.
  21. ^ "Political Arithmetik: National Journal 2006 Liberal/Conservative Scores". Politicalarithmetik.blogspot.com. March 5, 2007. Retrieved 2010.
  22. ^ "S.743 - Marketplace Fairness Act of 2013". congress.gov. Retrieved 2013.
  23. ^ "The Taxpayer Protection Pledge Signers 112th Congressional List" (PDF). Americans for Tax Reform. Retrieved 2011.
  24. ^ a b c "Michael Enzi on the Issues". On the Issues. Retrieved 2010.
  25. ^ "U.S. Senate Roll Call Votes 111th Congress - 1st Session: On Passage of the Bill (H.R. 3590 as Amended". senate.gov. Retrieved 2020.
  26. ^ "Roll Call Vote 111th Congress - 2nd Session:On Passage of the Bill (H.R. 4872 As Amended)". senate.gov. Retrieved 2010.
  27. ^ "Health Care Battle: Abortion, Public Plan Among Hurdles in Senate Debate". Fox News. November 19, 2009. Retrieved 2009.[dead link]
  28. ^ "Enzi: Don't Close the Door on Bipartisan Health Care Talks". help.senate.gov. September 9, 2009. Retrieved 2020.
  29. ^ Bash, Dana; Fox, Lauren; Barrett, Ted (May 9, 2017). "GOP defends having no women in health care group". CNN. Retrieved 2017.
  30. ^ Bryan, Bob (June 9, 2017). "'We have no idea what's being proposed': Democratic senator gives impassioned speech on GOP healthcare bill secrecy". Business Insider. Retrieved 2017.
  31. ^ Litvan, Laura (June 13, 2017). "Senate Republicans Are Writing Obamacare Repeal Behind Closed Doors". Bloomberg.com. Retrieved 2017.
  32. ^ Scott, Dylan (June 9, 2017). "Senate Republicans are closer to repealing Obamacare than you think". Vox. Retrieved 2017.
  33. ^ Inhofe, James. "Senator". Retrieved 2017.
  34. ^ McCarthy, Tom; Gambino, Lauren (June 1, 2017). "The Republicans who urged Trump to pull out of Paris deal are big oil darlings". The Guardian. Retrieved 2017.
  35. ^ Memmott, Mark (December 22, 2010). "Senate Ratifies START". NPR. Retrieved 2010.
  36. ^ Baker, Peter (December 22, 2010). "Senate Passes Arms Control Treaty With Russia, 71-26". The New York Times. Retrieved 2020.
  37. ^ Cox, Ramsey (August 5, 2013). "82 lawmakers ask for end to ban on gay men donating blood". The Hill. Retrieved 2013.
  38. ^ Silver, Nate (April 18, 2013). "Modeling the Senate's Vote on Gun Control". The New York Times.
  39. ^ LeVine, Marianne (December 18, 2018). "Senate approves Trump-backed criminal justice overhaul". Politico. Retrieved 2018.
  40. ^ Everett, Burgess (May 4, 2019). "Wyoming Sen. Mike Enzi will not run for reelection next year". Politico. Retrieved 2019.

External links

Party political offices
Preceded by
Alan Simpson
Republican nominee for U.S. Senator from Wyoming
(Class 2)

1996, 2002, 2008, 2014
Succeeded by
Cynthia Lummis
U.S. Senate
Preceded by
Alan Simpson
U.S. Senator (Class 2) from Wyoming
Served alongside: Craig Thomas, John Barrasso
Succeeded by
Cynthia Lummis
Preceded by
Judd Gregg
Chair of the Senate Health Committee
Succeeded by
Ted Kennedy
Preceded by
Ted Kennedy
Ranking Member of the Senate Health Committee
Succeeded by
Lamar Alexander
Preceded by
Patty Murray
Chair of the Senate Budget Committee
Succeeded by
U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Susan Collins
United States Senators by seniority
Succeeded by
Chuck Schumer

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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