Michael Enzi, Former Senator From Wyoming, Dies at 77
According to Mr. Enzi, Mr. Simpson encouraged him to run for mayor of Gillette, the town he had moved to a few years earlier.
“On my way home from that Cody meeting while my wife was driving, I told her what Senator Simpson said and that I thought maybe I should run for mayor,” Mr. Enzi said. in his retirement speech. “It must have been a shock, as she ended up swerving into the tumulus pit and then getting back on the road.”
At the time, Mr Enzi said, Gillette was a place where recent discoveries of oil, gas and coal were attracting more and more people – and straining city services. The city, he said, needed three things that would become a recurring theme in Mr. Enzi’s political career: budgets, agendas and planning.
“These are not the most exciting topics,” he said in his retirement speech.
Mr. Enzi was elected mayor in 1974 and served two four-year terms, during which he also traveled to and from Washington as a member of the Coal Advisory Committee for the Home Office. United States and served as president of the Wyoming Association of Municipalities.
He quickly set his sights on state politics, joining the Wyoming House of Representatives in 1987 and the Wyoming State Senate in 1991. He was first elected to the United States Senate in 1996. He chaired the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Work and Pensions from 2005 to 2007, and was Chairman of the Senate Budget Committee from 2015 to 2021.
In 2009, Mr Enzi was a member of what would come to be known as the Gang of Six, a group of members of the Senate Finance Committee – three Democrats and three Republicans – who led lengthy negotiations over a reform of the Senate. Health care. Talks dragged on and Republicans finally backed down from these compromise efforts amid protests from their constituents. The Affordable Care Act would be passed in 2010, without the support of Republicans in Congress. Mr. Enzi had sought to repeal the law.
In 2017, Mr. Enzi was one of 22 senators who signed a letter asking President Donald J. Trump to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement.
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