Ensign gives up GOP leadership post

Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.) has resigned his Republican leadership post, less than 24 hours after admitting he had an affair with a campaign staffer, Senate Minority Leader Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellThis week: GOP picks up the pieces after healthcare defeat The Memo: Winners and losers from the battle over healthcare GOP senators pitch alternatives after House pulls ObamaCare repeal bill MORE (R-Ky.) said Wednesday.

“He’s accepted responsibility for his actions and apologized to his family and constituents," McConnell said in a statement. "He offered, and I accepted, his resignation as chairman of the Policy Committee.”

The senator held the No. 4 leadership position in the Senate, as chairman of the Republican Policy Committee. He is a former head of the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), which manages Senate Republicans’ reelection campaigns.

Ensign said Tuesday that he deeply regretted the affair, which took place in 2008 during a bad time in his marriage.

But he signaled he would fight for his Senate seat.

“I am committed to my service in the United States Senate and my work on behalf of the people of Nevada,” Ensign said.