William Enyart

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William Enyart
Enyart official portrait.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Illinois's 12th district
In office
January 3, 2013 – January 3, 2015
Preceded by Jerry Costello
Succeeded by Mike Bost
37th Adjutant General of Illinois
In office
September 1, 2007 – June 7, 2012[1]
Preceded by Randal E. Thomas
Succeeded by Dennis Celletti
Personal details
Born William Lee Enyart, Jr.[2]
(1949-09-22) September 22, 1949 (age 68)
Pensacola, Florida, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Annette Eckert[3]
Residence Belleville, Illinois
Alma mater Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (B.A.)
Southern Illinois University School of Law (J.D.)
U.S. Army War College (M.A.)
Occupation Lawyer
Website Representative William Enyart
Military service
Allegiance  United States
Service/branch Seal of the United States Department of the Air Force.svg United States Air Force
Seal of the United States National Guard.svg Illinois National Guard
Years of service 1969–2012
Rank US-O8 insignia.svg Major General

William Lee Enyart, Jr. (/ˈɛnjɑːrt/; born September 22, 1949) was the U.S. Representative for Illinois's 12th congressional district. Enyart is a member of the Democratic Party. He was elected on November 6, 2012 and assumed office on January 3, 2013.[5][6] Enyart is a former attorney and Adjutant General of Illinois.

Enyart ran for re-election to Congress in 2014. He faced Republican Mike Bost in the general election. Enyart was viewed as one of the most vulnerable freshman Democrats.[7][8] Enyart lost to Bost on November 4, 2014.


Enyart earned his Bachelor of Arts in journalism and political science in 1974 from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and his Juris Doctorate from Southern Illinois University School of Law in 1979. In 2000, Enyart graduated from the United States Army War College with a Master of Science in Strategic Studies.[9] In 2012, Enyart was awarded an honorary degree from Lindenwood University in Belleville, Illinois.[10]

Military career[edit]

Enyart served in the U.S. Air Force before joining the Illinois Army National Guard in 1982 as a JAG officer.[11] Holding the rank of Major General, he was appointed to lead the National Guard and the Illinois Department of Military Affairs as the 37th Adjutant General in 2007, and was reappointed in 2009 and in 2011.[12] As Adjutant General, Enyart led the largest deployment of the Illinois National Guard since WWII[13] and Illinois's response to the 2011 Mississippi River floods.[14][15] He retired from the military in 2012.[16] In 2012, Enyart received the Commander's Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland from Bronislaw Komorowski, the President of Poland.[17]

United States House of Representatives[edit]



On June 23, 2012, Enyart was selected as the Democratic nominee for the U.S. House of Representatives Illinois's 12th congressional district after the original nominee, Brad Harriman, withdrew from the race for health reasons.[5] Enyart defeated Republican nominee Jason Plummer 52%-43%.[6]

During the election, Plummer stated that Enyart and his wife, a retired circuit judge, receive a total of three taxpayer-funded pensions. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that while Enyart did not currently receive a pension, his wife does collect on three taxpayer pension funds.[18]


Enyart ran for re-election in 2014.[19] He ran unopposed in the Democratic primary. He faced Mike Bost in the general election on 4 November. Enyart was a member of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's Frontline Program, which is designed to help protect vulnerable Democratic incumbents.[20]

Bost defeated Enyart in the general election, 53 percent to 42 percent. Enyart was swamped in most of the district outside his base in the St. Louis suburbs; he only carried three of the district's 12 counties.[21]

Committee assignments[edit]

Political positions[edit]


Enyart supports the DREAM Act, particularly a provision that would give immigrants who join the military an expedited path to citizenship.[22]

Health care[edit]

Enyart is against repealing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Speaking about the health care law, Enyart said "Now are there problems with it? Of course there are problems with it. Let’s not throw the baby out with the bathwater. Let’s change the things that are problems and move on."[23] In an analysis of 2014 campaign websites, The Hill found that Enyart is among six congressional Democrats whose websites do not mention the Affordable Care Act, noting that "Most Democrats in competitive elections are seeking to avoid the topic, opting not to tout the controversial law on their campaign websites."[24]


Enyart has stated his support for raising taxes on higher income individuals. Enyart has said "there is class warfare."[22]

Women's issues[edit]

Enyart voted for the Violence Against Women Act.[25]

Privacy issues[edit]

Enyart co-sponsored the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA),[26] which would have allowed for the sharing of Internet traffic information between the U.S. government and technology and manufacturing companies for cybersecurity purposes.[27] CISPA passed in the House but was not passed by the U.S. Senate. President Obama's advisers argued that the bill lacked confidentiality and civil liberties safeguards.[28]

Enyart co-sponsored the Preserving American Privacy Act, which would have required federal agencies that used drones domestically to minimize the collection of personally identifiable information. The bill did not make it out of committee.[29]

Enyart voted against a proposed amendment by Justin Amash (R-MI) that would have defunded warrantless domestic surveillance operations by the National Security Agency.[30]

Veterans' issues[edit]

Enyart introduced the Veterans Backlog Reduction Act, which would provide provisional benefits to veterans who have requested benefits from the VA and been left waiting for more than 125 days.[31]

In October 2013, Enyart was the lone member of Congress to vote against a bill that would have restored chaplain services to military personnel in the wake of the government shutdown of 2013.[32] Enyart defended his vote, calling the measure "an absolutely phony, feel-good bill that had nothing to do with reality," further noting that the bill provided no way to pay the chaplains if they resumed their duties.[33]

National security[edit]

Enyart voted in favor of proposed amendments by Adam Smith (D-WA) that would have eliminated indefinite detention for any individual held in the United States[34] and provided a framework to close the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, by December 1, 2014.[35]

Federal budget[edit]

Enyart voted for the No Budget, No Pay Act of 2013, which temporarily suspended the United States debt ceiling and placed temporary restrictions on congressional salaries.[36]

Electoral history[edit]

2012 general election[edit]

Illinois' 12th congressional district election results, 2012[37]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic William Enyart 157,000 51.7
Republican Jason Plummer 129,902 42.7
Green Paula Bradshaw 17,045 5.6
Write-in Shon-Tiyon Horton 2 0.0
Total votes 303,947 100

2014 general election[edit]

Illinois's 12th Congressional District, 2014[38]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Mike Bost 110,038 52.46
Democratic William Enyart (Incumbent) 87,860 41.89
Green Paula Bradshaw 11,840 5.65
Total votes 209,738 100
Republican gain from Democratic


Enyart is married to retired Circuit Judge Annette Eckert.[3]


  1. ^ O'Neil, Tim (June 7, 2012). "Enyart resigns from military, but won't commit to U.S. House race". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Retrieved 23 May 2014. 
  2. ^ "William Enyart". The News-Gazette. July 28, 2009. Retrieved November 4, 2014. 
  3. ^ a b Pistor, Nick (2012-10-31). "Enyart fights back against political attacks on his wife". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Retrieved 27 June 2014. 
  4. ^ Schwarz, Hunter (2013-08-19). "U.S. House Of Representatives Members' Religion". BuzzFeed. Retrieved 23 May 2014. 
  5. ^ a b "William 'Bill' L. Enyart, Jr". Washington Times. Retrieved May 23, 2014. 
  6. ^ a b "Bill Enyart officially becomes 12th District's congressman". The Southern. January 3, 2013. Retrieved May 23, 2014. 
  7. ^ Sweet, Lynn (March 5, 2013). "Three Illinois freshmen Democrats--Schneider, Bustos, Enyart--seen as vulnerable in 2014". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 23 May 2014. 
  8. ^ Wicklander, Carl (February 3, 2014). "Large Percentage of Undecided Voters in IL-12 Leaves Election a Toss-Up". Independent Voter Network. Retrieved May 22, 2014. 
  9. ^ "Biography". Campaign Website. Bill Enyart for Congress. Retrieved 23 May 2014. 
  10. ^ "'Be Prepared,' Rep. Enyart Challenges First Lindenwood-Belleville Grads". United States House of Representatives. William Enyart. Retrieved 23 May 2014. 
  11. ^ "US Congressional Candidate - General William Enyart - Biography". Monroe County Democrats. Retrieved 23 May 2014. 
  12. ^ "Enyart Reappointed As Illinois National Guard's Adjutant General". Illinois National Guard. April 26, 2011. Retrieved 23 May 2014. 
  13. ^ Glanton, Dahleen (November 27, 2011). "Back home in Illinois, Guardsmen look for normalcy". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 23 May 2014. 
  14. ^ "Quinn, Illinois National Guard Adjutant General, Metropolis Mayor Flood". Read Media. May 12, 2011. Retrieved 23 May 2014. 
  15. ^ Greenhill, Jim (2011-04-28). "National Guard tackles deadly storms, fires, floods". United States Army. Retrieved 23 May 2014. 
  16. ^ "Enyart Resigns As Adjutant General Of Illinois National Guard". Illinois National Guard. June 7, 2012. Retrieved 23 May 2014. 
  17. ^ "Polish President Visits Illinois Soldiers At Marseilles Training Center". Illinois National Guard. Retrieved 23 May 2014. 
  18. ^ Pistor, Nicholas (October 31, 2012). "Enyart fights back against political attacks on his wife". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Retrieved 1 August 2014. 
  19. ^ Fitzgerald, Mike (2013-11-26). "Enyart announces re-election campaign for Congress". News-Democrat. Retrieved 23 May 2014. 
  20. ^ Livingston, Abby (March 5, 2013). "DCCC Announces 26 Members on Frontline Incumbent Retention Program". Roll Call. Retrieved 23 May 2014. 
  21. ^ 2014 election results from CNN
  22. ^ a b Rosenbaum, Jason (2012-09-20). "Plummer and Enyart set acrimonious tone in second debate". St. Louis Beacon. Retrieved 23 May 2014. 
  23. ^ Rosenbaum, Jason (October 4, 2012). "Enyart and Plummer compete in high-stakes battle for Illinois' 12th District seat". St. Louis Beacon. Retrieved 23 May 2014. 
  24. ^ Timmons, Sheila (2014-04-26). "Dems don't want to talk O-Care". The Hill. Retrieved 23 May 2014. 
  25. ^ "House Vote 55 - Passes Reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act". New York Times. Retrieved 23 May 2014. 
  26. ^ Wicklander, Carl (July 29, 2013). "Illinois State Rep. Mike Bost to Enter US House Race". Independent Voter Network. Retrieved 23 May 2014. 
  27. ^ Nesbit, Jeff (May 6, 2013). "CISPA Rolls Along". US News & World Report. Retrieved 23 May 2014. 
  28. ^ Smith, Gerry (2013-04-16). "White House Threatens CISPA Veto, Says Revised Cybersecurity Bill Doesn't Adequately Protect Privacy, Civil Liberties". Huffington Post. Retrieved 23 May 2014. 
  29. ^ "H.R. 637: Preserving American Privacy Act of 2013". GovTrack. Retrieved 23 May 2014. 
  30. ^ "Amash Amendment On NSA Data Collection: House Roll Call Vote". Huffington Post. Retrieved 23 May 2014. 
  31. ^ "Enyart introduces veteran claims bill". Carbondale Times. 2013-05-17. Retrieved 23 May 2014. 
  32. ^ Mariano, Nick (October 7, 2013). "Enyart lone no-vote on military bill". The Southern. Retrieved 27 June 2014. 
  33. ^ Suhr, Jim. "Thousands of Illinois Military Workers Back on Job". NBC Chicago. Retrieved 19 November 2014. 
  34. ^ "H.Amdt. 152 (Smith) to H.R. 1960: Amendment sought to eliminate indefinite military detention of any person detained under AUMF authority". GovTrack. Retrieved 23 May 2014. 
  35. ^ "H.Amdt. 168 (Smith) to H.R. 1960: Amendment sought to provide framework to close the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba". GovTrack. Retrieved 23 May 2014. 
  36. ^ Huston, Warner Todd (January 21, 2013). "Illinois Congressmen Sign Onto 'No Budget, No Pay' Act". The Prairie State Report. Retrieved 23 May 2014. 
  37. ^ "2012 General Election Official Vote Totals" (PDF). Illinois State Board of Elections. Retrieved December 26, 2014. 
  38. ^ "Illinois General Election 2014". Illinois State Board of Elections. 2014-11-04. Retrieved 2014-12-26. 

External links[edit]

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Jerry Costello
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Illinois's 12th congressional district

January 3, 2013 – January 3, 2015
Succeeded by
Mike Bost