Mike Enzi (R-WY)
United States Senator
Michael B. Enzi was sworn in as Wyoming's 20th United States Senator on January 7, 1997.
Enzi has made a name on Capitol Hill for his unique way of breaking down party lines and working across the aisle. Enzi believes that people can agree on 80 percent of the issues 80 percent of the time and if they leave the other 20 percent out they can get a lot done. By following his “80 percent tool,” Enzi has passed more than 100 bills since he came to Washington, which have been signed by both Democrat and Republican presidents.
Enzi is the Chairman of the Budget Committee and a member of the Finance Committee, Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee and the Joint Committee on Taxation.
As Chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, and one of only two accountants in the United States Senate, Enzi knows how important it is to reduce the national debt by controlling spending and following a budget. Under his leadership, Congress has passed budget resolutions for fiscal years 2016, 2017, and 2018 to put the federal government on a better fiscal path by restraining spending, reducing tax burdens, and boosting economic growth. His FY 2018 budget provided a path to balance within 10 years. It set the stage for the largest, most comprehensive reform of America’s tax system in a generation and was focused on helping the economy grow, create more jobs and simplify taxes. During his time as Budget Chairman, Enzi has also prioritized oversight of federal spending in order to help lawmakers improve programs that are not delivering results.
Sen. Enzi led the budget resolution that allowed Congress to pass the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. That bill reduced tax rates to the lowest in more than 30 years, allowed hundreds of companies to raise salaries or issue bonuses and repealed the Obamacare requirement that ever American buy a specific type of health insurance or pay a tax penalty. Sen. Enzi led efforts on the tax bill relating to international tax reform and retirement security, and worked closely with his colleagues on the provisions regarding pass-through businesses and individual tax cuts.
Enzi has been a member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, since his arrival in the Senate in 1997. Having served both as Chairman and Ranking Member, Enzi led the Senate in its efforts to help ensure that everyone, no matter their age, can receive a quality education. Enzi worked to help provide Americans access to affordable, quality health care while protecting workers and providing them training to get the best jobs. Enzi also worked to oversee the biggest revision to pension laws in 30 years to strengthen funding rules to secure the retirements of millions of Americans. Enzi’s committee also led the way to making the first revision to mine safety laws in 28 years by promoting the use of new technologies to improve mine safety and save lives. 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 Bush. Enzi is currently the Chairman of the HELP Subcommittee on Primary Health and Retirement Security.
Find more and use less is Enzi’s motto when it comes to energy production and he knows Wyoming is the state to provide energy to the world as we embrace renewable fuels. Enzi has made a point to educate his colleagues about the array of energy Wyoming produces and can continue to produce into the future. He supports legislation that promotes Wyoming’s clean burning coal, natural gas, methane gas, oil and wind energy.
In the final hours of the 109th Congress Enzi was instrumental in passage of legislation that will provide a projected $1.6 billion to Wyoming over the next 15 years from the Abandoned Mine Land (AML) fund. In 2015, the Wyoming delegation secured a provision that forced the federal government to fully return past and future AML payments owed to the state. Under the agreement championed for years by Enzi, U.S. Senator John Barrasso and U.S. Representative Cynthia Lummis, Wyoming was eligible to receive approximately $241.9 million immediately, and approximately $350 million in future years.
Enzi has been a quiet leader moving the U.S. forward in research on Autism and in the battle against AIDS on the world front. He continues efforts to open Cuba up to travel, trade (including agricultural products) and most importantly new ideas. Enzi helped author the reauthorizations of the Perkins Career and Technical Education Act and the Workforce Investment Act, which both help workers get the education and job training they need to find quality jobs for the 21st century. He led efforts to get a Job Corps Center in Riverton, Wyoming. He formed the Rural Education Caucus and strives to ensure the unique challenges small population schools face are not overlooked in federal education legislation.
Enzi was the Senate's only accountant until January 2011. He served with distinction on the Senate Banking Committee. It does not bear his name, but there is a large part of Enzi in the Sarbanes-Oxley law, bipartisan legislation that continues to have a greater impact on corporate behavior and financial reporting than any legislation of the recent past. There are provisions in the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act authored by Enzi regarding financial literacy and identity theft that have a profound positive effect on many Americans.
Enzi values our public lands. He advocates both access and responsible utilization and consideration of the local perspective in natural resource management decisions.
Pre-Senate Service and Family:
Enzi was born on February 1, 1944 in Bremerton, Washington while his father was serving our country in the naval shipyards during World War II. Enzi and his family moved to Thermopolis, Wyoming shortly after his birth where he attended elementary school. He graduated from Sheridan High School in 1962. He continued his education in Washington, D.C. at George Washington University. After completing his accounting degree in 1966, he went on to the University of Denver where he earned a Master's Degree in Retail Marketing in 1968. Enzi is a Rapport Leadership Institute Master Grad.
After marrying Diana (Buckley) in 1969, Enzi and his wife moved to Gillette, Wyoming where they started their own small business, NZ Shoes, with stores later in Sheridan, Wyoming and Miles City, Montana. Gillette has been his home ever since. He served as president of the Wyoming Jaycees (1973-1974). At age 30 he was elected to the first of his two four-year terms as Mayor of Gillette, providing leadership as the city more than doubled in size. He served on the Department of Interior Coal Advisory Committee (1976- 1979), traveling to Washington, D.C. to give advice on coal leasing and other coal issues. He has served his county and state as a State Representative, elected three times beginning in 1987 and a State Senator (1991-1996). Enzi also served his country as a staff sergeant in the Wyoming Air National Guard (1967-1973), and he is now cofounder and first chairman of the U.S. Air Force Caucus for the U.S. Senate. He was president of the Wyoming Association of Municipalities (1980-1982), a member of the Energy Council Executive Committee (1989-1993, 1994-1996), a commissioner of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (1995-1996) and served on the Education Commission of the States (1989-1993). He was a member of the founding board of directors of First Wyoming Bank of Gillette (1978-1988) and an employee of a small business, Dunbar Well Service (1985-1997), where he worked as accounting manager and computer programmer. He was a director of the Black Hills Corporation (1992-1996), a New York Stock Exchange Company. Enzi was a spokesperson for WyBett, an organization which successfully opposed gambling in Wyoming. Mike is a champion of small business and community service.
Enzi has two daughters and one son: Amy, Emily and Brad. He has four grandchildren: Trey and Lilly; and Megan and Allison.
Enzi's wife Diana has a bachelor's degree from the University of Wyoming as well as a master's degree in adult education. Diana is part of Senate Spouses, former President of the Congressional Club and past President of the International Club and a volunteer for several organizations. Diana is also working hard to save lives. In partnership with the Marshall Legacy Institute she is working to provide countries infested with land mines with specially trained landmine detecting dogs and handlers to find and eliminate the mines. Diana started the CHAMPS or Children Against the Mine Problem program. School children across Wyoming gave a quarter and helped raise enough money to send a dog, aptly named "Wyoming", to Sri Lanka. Schoolchildren in other states followed suit. Diana also has worked to support N Street Village and Climb Wyoming, and serves as an external Board member for the National Job Corps Association’s Board Of Directors.
Enzi is an elder in the Presbyterian Church and taught the high school Sunday school class for years. Enzi's love for Wyoming grew as he became an Eagle Scout. He has been honored as a Distinguished Eagle by Scouts and Significant Sig by Sigma Chi Fraternity. He is an avid hunter and fly fisherman and reader. He is a past co-chair on the Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus. He and his son Brad built their own canoe as a family project. He was a youth soccer coach for 10 years.