Michael Bradley "Mike" Enzi (born February 1, 1944) is the senior U.S. Senator from Wyoming and a member of the Republican Party. Previously, he served in the Wyoming Legislature and was a businessman who at one time owned family shoe stores.
Born in Bremerton, Washington, to Elmer Enzi and the former Dorothy M. Bradley,Enzi grew up 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. He is an Eagle Scout and a recipient of the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award from the Boy Scouts of America.Enzi received a degree in accounting from George Washington University in Washington, D.C., in 1966. He is also a member of the Sigma Chi Fraternity and Alpha Kappa Psi business fraternity. He received an M.B.A. in retail marketing from the University of Denver in Colorado in 1968. He also served in the Wyoming Air National Guard from 1967 to 1973. On June 7, 1969, Enzi married the former Diana Buckley; the couple has two daughters, Amy and Emily, and a son, Brad.
Soon after his marriage, Enzi moved to Gillette, where he expanded his father's shoe-sale business,NZ Shoes, which later also featured locations in Sheridan and in Miles City, Montana. As a young business owner, he served as president of the Wyoming chapter of the United States Junior Chamber. U.S. Department of Interior on energy policy via its Coal Advisory Committee.
Enzi was elected as Mayor of Gillette, in 1974 at the age of 30 and held the position for two terms. He served until 1982, and during his tenure, the city doubled in size. From 1976 to 1979, Enzi worked with the
Wyoming House of Representatives
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 1996.
While a member of the State Senate, Enzi became a vocal opponent of proposals to allow legalized gambling within his state. He served as the primary spokesman of WyBett, an anti-casino group in 1994 . During this time period, he also worked professionally as an accountant with an oil drilling company, holding this job from 1985 to 1997. During the 1990s, he also worked as an executive director with the Black Hills Corporation, an energy holding company that owns utilities and natural gas and coal mining operations. Enzi was also hit from the other side, as constituents criticized him for taking significant campaign cash from the health insurance industry while opposing a public insurance option that would compete with private plans and take a bit out of their bottom line.
Enzi was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 1996. He endured a tough primary challenge during his first campaign, before winning election by an 8-point margin. Enzi won by a very comfortable margin in 2002. He became the senior U.S.
Senator from Wyoming when his colleague Craig L. Thomas died on June 4, 2007, from leukemia. His new colleague is fellow Republican John Barrasso, a former State Senator from Casper, whom Enzi, as a then-State Senator himself, only narrowly defeated in the 1996 GOP senatorial primary 33 percent to 32 percent. Enzi is currently serving his third term in the U.S. Senate which he won with over 76 percent of the vote against Democratic opponent Chris Rothfuss, a professor of political science at the University of Wyoming.Enzi served as Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Committee from 2005 to 2007 and—following the Democrats; taking control of Congress—is now currently the Ranking Member on the committee. On this committee, Enzi has sent to the desk of the President several bills on reform for all of these areas. Enzi was also crucial in the passage of George W. Bush's controversial No Child Left Behind Act.
Enzi was ranked by National Journal as the sixth-most conservative U.S. Senator in its March 2007 conservative/liberal rankings. espite 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 opposes the clauses of the bill which increase domestic spending.
Mike Enzi opposed President Barack Obama's health reform legislation; he voted against the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in December 2009, and he voted against the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010. Mike Enzi was one of the Gang of Six senators working to find a bipartisan solution to health care reform. 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 leaders not to close the door on these productive discussions."
June 9th, 2011