|United States Senator|
November 8, 1978 – January 3, 1995
|Preceded by||Muriel Humphrey|
|Succeeded by||Rod Grams|
David Ferdinand Durenberger
August 19, 1934
St. Cloud, Minnesota, U.S.
|Political party||Republican (Before 2005)|
|Spouse(s)||Judy Durenberger (Deceased)|
|Alma mater||Saint John's University, Minnesota|
University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
|Service/branch||United States Army|
|Years of service||1956–1963|
Durenberger was born in St. Cloud, Minnesota, the son of Isabelle Marie (Cebulla) and George Gephard Durenberger. He is of German and Polish descent. Durenberger graduated from Saint John's University and the University of Minnesota Law School, receiving his J.D. in 1959. He served in the United States Army Reserve from 1956 to 1963.
On November 7, 1978, Durenberger was elected in a special election to complete the unexpired term of Senator Hubert Humphrey, whose position had temporarily been filled by Humphrey's wife Muriel. He was reelected in 1982 and again in 1988, serving from November 8, 1978, to January 3, 1995, in the 96th, 97th, 98th, 99th, 100th, 101st, 102nd and 103rd Congresses. He served as the chairman of the Select Committee on Intelligence during the 99th Congress.
Durenberger served as the senior U.S. Senator from Minnesota from 1978 to 1995, becoming the only Republican U.S. Senator from Minnesota to be elected to three terms. During his time in the Senate, he served as chairman of the Select Committee on Intelligence and chairman of the Health Subcommittee of the Senate Finance Committee, and was catapulted into a leadership role in national health reform.
In addition, Durenberger chaired the Intergovernmental Relations Subcommittee, led President Reagan's New Federalism effort in 1982, and was a 14-year member of the Advisory Committee on Intergovernmental Relations. He was a member of the Senate Environment Committee; Government Affairs Committee; and the committee now known as the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee; and served as vice chair of the Pepper Commission in 1989-90.
Durenberger was Senate sponsor of the Medicare Catastrophic act, the AHCPR (now AHRQ) on voting rights for the disabled, the Americans with Disabilities Act, President Bush's 1000 Points of Light and President Clinton's National and Community Service Act, National Service Learning, the Consumer Choice Education Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act, the Direct Lending Act, and the Women's Economic Equity Act.
Durenberger did not run for reelection in 1994 and was succeeded by Rod Grams. In 1995, he pleaded guilty to charges of misuse of public funds while in office and was sentenced to one year of probation.
In 2005 Durenberger gave an interview on the Inside Minnesota Politics Podcast in which he said that he is no longer a supporter of the Republican Party but is not a supporter of the Democratic Party either. In an interview with Peter Idusogie he said that Democrats are better equipped to handle health care and that President George W. Bush was wrong about the Iraq War. In 2010, Durenberger endorsed his former chief of staff, Independence Party member Tom Horner, for governor.
Durenberger chaired the National Institute of Health Policy (NIHP), and is a Senior Health Policy Fellow at the University of St. Thomas in Saint Paul. He served on the board of National Coalition on HealthCare. He has also served on various national health commissions and boards, including the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission and Board of the National Commission on Quality Assurance (NCQA), Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured. Durenberger currently[when?] sits on the Advisory Board for the Energy Literacy Advocates.
A collection of Durenberger's senatorial files documents his three terms in the United States Senate, and is strongest in its documentation of the third (1989–95). The papers are perhaps most significant for the information they contain about his interest in, and legislative activities regarding, health policy and health care reform issues.
- 1978 race for U.S. Senate (special election)
- David Durenberger (R), 61%
- Bob Short (DFL), 35%
- 1982 race for U.S. Senate
- David Durenberger (R) (inc.), 53%
- Mark Dayton (DFL), 47%
- 1988 race for U.S. Senate
- David Durenberger (R) (inc.), 57%
- Skip Humphrey (DFL), 41%
- List of American federal politicians convicted of crimes
- List of federal political scandals in the United States
- List of United States Senators expelled or censured
- Corrine Charais, Political Action Among Alumni Archived 2007-11-27 at the Wayback Machine., Perspectives, Spring 2007 (page 18).
- United States Congress. "David Durenberger (id: d000566)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.
- Inside Minnesota Politics Podcast: Sen. Dave Durenberger Pt 2
- Tom Horner Archived May 16, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
- Mali, Meghashyam (2016-08-10). "Clinton touts slew of new GOP endorsements". TheHill. Retrieved 2017-07-08.
- David Durenberger senatorial files
|Party political offices|
| Republican nominee for U.S. Senator from Minnesota
1978, 1982, 1988
| United States Senator (Class 1) from Minnesota
Served alongside: Wendell Anderson, Rudy Boschwitz, Paul Wellstone
| Chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee