John Ensign

From SourceWatch
Jump to: navigation, search
This is a profile of a U.S. senator. (See all the Nevada portal for all incumbents, candidates and blogs.)
Nevada state flag.png

Things you can do:

John Ensign currently serves as the Jr. Senator for Nevada

John Eric Ensign, a Republican, has represented the state of Nevada in the Senate since 2000. (map)

Record and controversies

General information about important bills and votes for can be found in Congresspedia's articles on legislation. You can add information you find on how John Ensign voted by clicking the "[edit]" link to the right and typing it in. Remember to cite your sources!

Iraq War

Ensign voted for the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq in Oct. 2002.

For more information see the chart of U.S. Senate votes on the Iraq War.

Iraq timetable

In 2007, Ensign vowed to vote against a Democratic resolution to pull troops out of Iraq because he believed that it would "restrict our troops' abilities in combat to only 'limited purposes.'" [1]

Main article: Congressional actions on the Iraq War

Environmental record

For more information on environmental legislation, see the Energy and Environment Policy Portal

Organizations that have supported Ensign

As a conservative member of the Senate, Ensign has had the support of the National Right to Life Committee, American Shareholders Association, Freedom Works, Americans for Tax Reform, the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council, the John Birch Society, Concerned Women for America, Republican Liberty Caucus, Christian Coalition, National School Boards' Association, American Family Association, Citizens Against Government Waste, National Rifle Association, and American Security Council. [2]

Organizations that have opposed Ensign

Many groups have been opposed to Ensign. These include Planned Parenthood, Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, NAACP, Arab American Institute, National Education Association, Children's Defense Fund, Citizens for Global Solutions, Peace Action, National Organization for Women, U.S. Public Interest Research Group, Global AIDS Alliance, and Alliance for Retired Americans. [3]

General Casey confirmation

Ensign, as a member of the Senate Committee on Armed Services, as well as Republican Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.), voted against the confirmation of General George Casey as the chief of staff of the Army in early 2007. The overall confirmation vote was 14-3. [4]

Law Enforcement Assistance Force Amendment

Sen. Ensign's amendment, proposing a new system that would document retired law enforcement volunteering to be called on in case of a national disaster, passed in the Senate. The amendment was added to the 9/11 commission bill. [5]

Main article: Congressional efforts to implement recommendations of the 9/11 commission

U.S. attorney firing controversy

Ensign, who was angered by the firing of U.S. Attorney Dan Bogden (whom he nominated for the post), released a statement after Attorney General Alberto Gonzales acknowledged mistakes in the firing of Bogden and seven other attorneys. He thanked him for "coming forward today to take responsibility for the mistakes that were made, to find out what went wrong and to address these problems immediately." Ensign believed that two things needed to be done to fix the U.S. Attorney's Office in Nevada. First, despite being one of the fastest growing states in the U.S., Nevada's resources were decreasing, when he felt they should be increasing. Second, Ensign believed Nevada needed "specific benchmarks to review U.S. attorneys."[1]

Main article: Bush administration U.S. attorney firings controversy

Senate Finance Committee placement

On July 10, 2007, the Senate GOP Conference gave Ensign a seat on the Senate Committee on Finance which was vacated when Wyoming Sen. Craig Thomas passed away earlier that year.

Ensign spokesman Tory Mazzola commented, “Sen. Ensign is excited about this assignment... He’s worked hard as a member of the leadership and these issues are not new to him. These are issues he worked on as a member of the Ways and Means Committee in the House and these are issues that have long been priorities.”[2]


Ensign was born March 25, 1958 in Roseville, California, but he and his family moved to Nevada when he was a child. He attended UNLV and earned a Bachelor's degree from Oregon State University. He received his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from Colorado State University in 1985. He then became a successful businessman, opening a 24-hour animal hospital in Las Vegas.[6]

Congressional career

He was elected to the U. S. House of Representatives in 1994. He was reelected in 1996 but declined to run again in 1998. Instead he ran for the Senate but was defeated by the Democratic incumbent, Harry Reid. He gained a Senate seat after his second try in 2000, defeating Democratic opponent Ed Bernstein, to succeed the retiring Democratic incumbent, Richard H. Bryan.

Senate career

Ensign has become a leading voice against the Kelo v. New London Supreme Court ruling, and has announced plans to introduce a bill that would strongly blunt the effects of the ruling.

Senator Ensign has been praised by many organizations for his support for fiscal conservatism. In 2003, the American Conservative Union named Ensign along with Senators Chuck Hagel (NE) and Don Nickles (OK) as the most conservative Senator in 2003. His accolades for 2004 include being named, along with Senator Jon Kyl (AZ), the most taxpayer-friendly senator by the National Taxpayers Union. Ensign also received the highest rating for a senator by the Citizens Against Government Waste, while being hailed as a "Taxpayer's Hero" for his lifetime efforts against government waste. Both Citizens for a Sound Economy, whose chairman is former House Majority Leader Dick Armey, and the National Tax Limitation Committee gave Senator Ensign their highest ratings.

In 2006, he was named to head the Republican Senate Campaign Committee for the 2007-2008 election cycle. [7]

2006 elections

In 2006, the Democrats nominated John William Carter to face Ensign in his November 2006 bid for reelection. (See U.S. congressional elections in 2006) [8] Ensign retained his seat.

Money in politics

This section contains links to – and feeds from – money in politics databases. <crpcontribdata>cid=N00006619&cycle=2006</crpcontribdata>

Links to more campaign contribution information for John Ensign
from the Center for Responsive Politics' site.
Fundraising profile: 2006 election cycle Career totals
Top contributors by organization/corporation: 2006 election cycle Career totals
Top contributors by industry: 2006 election cycle Career totals

Committees and affiliations


Committee assignments in the 109th Congress (2005-2006)

More background data

Wikipedia also has an article on John Ensign. This article may use content from the Wikipedia article under the terms of the GFDL.


DC Office:
364 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510-2805
Phone: 202-224-6244
TTYD Number: 202-224-7638
Fax: 202-228-2193
Web Email

District Office - Carson City:
600 East Williams Street, Suite 304
Carson City, NV 89701
Phone: 775-885-9111
TollFree: 877-894-7711
Fax: 775-883-5590

District Office - Las Vegas:
Lloyd George Federal Building
333 Las Vegas Boulevard Suite 8203
Las Vegas, NV 89101
Phone: 702-388-6605
TollFree: 877-894-7711
Fax: 702-388-6501

District Office - Reno:
Bruce Thompson Federal Building
400 South Virginia Street, Suite 738
Reno, NV 89501
Phone: 775-686-5770
TollFree: 877-894-7711
Fax: 775-686-5729


Articles and resources



Local blogs and discussion sites

Corresponding article on Wikipedia and Cause Caller. (If Cause Caller link does not work, pick from its list of senators and representatives.)

Current Office: U.S. Senate
111th Congress
Leadership Position:
Committees Chaired:
Ranking Member On:

110th Congress
Leadership Position:
Committees Chaired:
Ranking Member On:

Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation/Subcommittee on Science, Technology, and Innovation, Senate Committee on Armed Services/Subcommittee on Readiness and Management Support
Committees: Senate Committee on the Budget, Senate Committee on Commerce Science and Transportation, Senate Committee on Commerce Science and Transportation/Subcommittee on Aviation Operations Safety and Security, Senate Committee on Commerce Science and Transportation/Subcommittee on Interstate Commerce Trade and Tourism, Senate Committee on Commerce Science and Transportation/Subcommittee on Science Technology and Innovation, Senate Committee on Finance, Senate Committee on Finance/Subcommittee on Energy Natural Resources and Infrastructure, Senate Committee on Finance/Subcommittee on Health Care, Senate Committee on Finance/Subcommittee on Social Security Pensions and Family Policy, Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs
Congressional Career
First Elected to Current Office:
November 7, 2000
First Took Current Office:
January 3, 2001
Next Election:
November 6, 2012
Term Ends:
Freshman Member?
Previous Political Work?
U.S. House of Representatives
Other Party Membership:
District Offices:
1. 600 East Williams Street, Suite 304 Carson City, NV 89701
Phone: 775-885-9111 / Fax: 775-883-5590
2. Lloyd George Federal Building 333 Las Vegas Boulevard Suite 8203 Las Vegas, NV 89101
Phone: 702-388-6605 / Fax: 702-388-6501
3. Bruce Thompson Federal Building 400 South Virginia Street, Suite 738 Reno, NV 89501
Phone: 775-686-5770 / Fax: 775-686-5729

Campaign Contact:

Webform Email: / Email:

Campaign Offices:

Phone: / Fax:

Zip Code Affiliations:

Date of Birth: March 25, 1958

  1. "Ensign Urges DOJ to Restore Dan Bogden's Reputation," Office of Senator Ensign. March 13, 2007.
  2. Erin P. Billings. "Ensign Gets Finance Committee Seat," Roll Call. June 10, 2007.