Ensign Becomes Republican Policy Committee Chairman

Republican senators chose Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.) to serve as the Republican Policy Committee Chairman, the fourth-highest position in the GOP Senate conference.

Ensign served in the GOP Senate leadership this year, as the chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee. His new role involves more work on floor strategy.

"It's an honor and a privilege to have been selected by my colleagues for this position," said Ensign in a statement. "I'm grateful to have the opportunity to take such a leading role in the future of the Republican Party as we reunite as the party of fiscal responsibility, limited government and opportunity for everyone."

Ensign will succeed Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R) who declined to run for the post again and is reportedly considering a bid for governor in her home state of Texas. He said that his new post will give him a "stronger voice" for Nevada in the Senate.

"As a more senior member of leadership, I'll have an influential voice at the negotiating table and be able to ensure that the interests of Nevadans are heard at the earliest stages of the legislative process," he said.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said that Ensign already proved himself to be a "valuable asset" for GOP senators.

"He's helped shape and define our legislative efforts, ranging from crafting key tax relief to encouraging clean energy, and as Chairman of the Policy Committee, I look forward to him taking on a larger role," McConnell said in a statement.

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