Michael Enzi, Former Senator From Wyoming, Dies at 77

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A four-term senator, Mr. Enzi was a accordant blimpish with a consensus-seeking style. He died aft a bicycle mishap successful Gillette, Wyo., the metropolis wherever helium began his governmental career.

Senator Michael Enzi, a Wyoming Republican, led the Senate Budget Committee from 2015 until his status  this year.
Credit...Drew Angerer for The New York Times

July 27, 2021Updated 3:48 a.m. ET

Michael B. Enzi, a long-serving United States legislator from Wyoming who had a estimation arsenic a low-key, consensus-seeking blimpish and who led the Senate Budget Committee for respective years earlier helium retired successful January, died connected Monday, days aft a bicycle accident. He was 77.

A erstwhile spokesman, Max D’Onofrio, confirmed Mr. Enzi’s decease to The Associated Press.

He had been airlifted to the UCHealth Medical Center of the Rockies, successful Loveland, Colo., aft an mishap successful Gillette, Wyo., connected Friday.

He served 4 presumption successful office, overwhelmingly winning re-elections. He easy fended disconnected a superior challenge successful 2014 from Liz Cheney, the girl of erstwhile Vice President Dick Cheney, contempt her nationalist sanction designation and greater fund-raising ability.

“I’ve truly enjoyed being a senator,” Mr. Enzi said successful a status code connected the Senate level past December. “Not for the title, not for the designation and surely not for publicity. I emotion solving problems for folks successful Wyoming and America. I similar moving connected legislation.”


Credit...Doug Mills/The New York Times

In a connection aft Mr. Enzi announced his status successful May 2019, Ms. Cheney said that helium had fought for a small, businesslike government. “He recognized that empowering people, not politicians, was the champion mode to grow opportunity,” she said, “and helium worked tirelessly toward that goal.”

Michael Bradley Enzi was calved successful Bremerton, Wash., connected Feb. 1, 1944, and grew up successful Wyoming, wherever helium attended nationalist schools successful Thermopolis and Sheridan. He received a grade successful accounting from George Washington University successful 1966, and an M.B.A. successful retail selling from Denver University successful 1968.

Mr. Enzi served successful the Wyoming National Guard from 1967 to 1973. He joined Diana Buckley successful 1969, and the 2 moved to Gillette, wherever helium ran a footwear store.

Mr. Enzi did not initially mean to get into politics, helium said. But helium was a subordinate of the Jaycees, a nationalist enactment grooming and civic enactment for men, and yet served arsenic the president of its Wyoming chapter. When helium was 29, helium recalled, helium was asked to talk astatine an lawsuit successful Cody, Wyo., wherever different speaker, Alan Simpson, a authorities typical who would spell connected to service arsenic a United States senator, pulled him aside.

According to Mr. Enzi, Mr. Simpson encouraged him to tally for politician of Gillette, the metropolis to which helium had moved lone a fewer years earlier.

“On the mode location from that Cody gathering portion my woman was driving, I told her what Senator Simpson had said, and that I was reasoning possibly I should tally for mayor,” Mr. Enzi said successful his status speech. “It indispensable person travel arsenic rather a shock, due to the fact that she ended up swerving into the barrow pit and past coming backmost up onto the road.”

At the time, Mr. Enzi said, Gillette was a spot wherever caller discoveries of oil, state and ember were drafting much and much radical — and putting a strain connected municipal services. The city, helium said, was successful request of 3 things that would go a recurring taxable successful Mr. Enzi’s governmental career: budgets, agendas and planning.

“Not the astir breathtaking topics,” helium said successful his status speech.

Mr. Enzi was elected politician successful 1974 and served 2 four-year terms, during which clip helium besides traveled to and from Washington arsenic a subordinate of the Coal Advisory Committee for the U.S. Department of Interior and served arsenic the president of the Wyoming Association of Municipalities.

He soon acceptable his sights connected authorities politics, joining the Wyoming House of Representatives successful 1987, and the Wyoming State Senate successful 1991. He was archetypal elected to the United States Senate successful 1996. He led the Senate Committee connected Health, Education, Labor and Pensions from 2005 to 2007, and was the president of the Senate Budget Committee from 2015 to 2021.

In 2009, Mr. Enzi was a subordinate of what came to beryllium known arsenic the Gang of Six, a radical of Senate Finance Committee members — 3 Democrats and 3 Republicans — who held lengthy negotiations connected a wellness attraction overhaul. The talks dragged on, and Republicans yet backed distant from those compromise efforts amid protests from their constituents. The Affordable Care Act would pass successful 2010, without enactment from Republicans successful Congress. Mr. Enzi had sought to repeal the legislation.

In 2017, Mr. Enzi was 1 of 22 senators who signed a letter asking President Donald J. Trump to retreat from the Paris clime agreement.

In May 2019, Mr. Enzi became the 4th legislator to announce his intention to measurement down up of the 2020 election, pursuing 2 different Republicans, Pat Roberts of Kansas and Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, and 1 Democrat, Tom Udall of New Mexico.

His seat, successful a authorities that Mr. Trump won by 43 points successful past year’s election, remained successful Republican hands. It was won by Cynthia Lummis, a Republican who was the lone pistillate to person been recently elected to the Senate past year.

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