According to Mr. Enzi, Mr. Simpson inspired him to run for mayor of Gillette, town to which he had moved only some years earlier.
“On the way home from that Cody meeting while my wife was driving, I told her what Senator Simpson had said, and that I was thinking maybe I should run for mayor,” Mr. Enzi stated in his retirement speech. “It must have come as quite a shock, because she ended up swerving into the barrow pit and then coming back up onto the road.”
At the time, Mr. Enzi stated, Gillette was a spot the place current discoveries of oil, gasoline and coal have been drawing an increasing number of folks — and placing a pressure on municipal providers. The metropolis, he stated, was in want of three issues that might turn into a recurring theme in Mr. Enzi’s political profession: budgets, agendas and planning.
“Not the most exciting topics,” he stated in his retirement speech.
Mr. Enzi was elected mayor in 1974 and served two four-year phrases, throughout which period he additionally traveled to and from Washington as a member of the Coal Advisory Committee for the U.S. Department of Interior and served because the president of the Wyoming Association of Municipalities.
He quickly set his sights on state politics, becoming a member of 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 led the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions from 2005 to 2007, and was the chairman of the Senate Budget Committee from 2015 to 2021.
In 2009, Mr. Enzi was a member of what got here to be generally known as the Gang of Six, a bunch of Senate Finance Committee members — three Democrats and three Republicans — who held lengthy negotiations on a well being care overhaul. The talks dragged on, and Republicans finally backed away from these compromise efforts amid protests from their constituents. The Affordable Care Act would pass in 2010, with out assist from Republicans in Congress. Mr. Enzi had sought to repeal the legislation.
In 2017, Mr. Enzi was one among 22 senators who signed a letter asking President Donald J. Trump to withdraw from the Paris local weather settlement.