BROOKFIELD, Wis. (WFRV) — After 42 years in the House of Representatives, Congressman F. James Sensenbrenner, Jr. announced Wednesday he will retire in January 2021 at the end of his current term.
Sensenbrenner, 76, served 10 years in the State Legislature before his election to Congress.
“When I began my public service in 1968, I said I would know when it was time to step back. After careful consideration, I have determined at the completion of this term, my 21st term in Congress, it will be that time,” says Sensenbrenner.
The congressman has taken 23,882 votes on the House Floor, was lead sponsor or co-sponsor of 4299 pieces of legislation, ushered 768 of them through the House, and watched 217 be signed into law by six different presidents.
“I think I am leaving this district, our Republican Party, and most important, our country, in a better place than when I began my service.”
The Republican Party of Wisconsin Chairman Andrew Hitt says, “It’s hard to overstate the legacy of Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner. For the past forty years, he has been a larger than life figure in Wisconsin’s conservative movement. His service has been virtually unmatched, and his commitment to his constituents and the people of Wisconsin has been tireless. While there is no doubt that Congressman Sensenbrenner’s retirement will leave a void in our party for years to come, we are so incredibly grateful for everything he has given to us, and we hope he will continue to provide guidance to our party for years to come. I, along with everyone at the Republican Party of Wisconsin, wish Rep. Sensenbrenner the absolute best in his retirement.”
Sensenbrenner is best known for leading the passage of the USA PATRIOT Act which was enacted shortly after 9/11. He then modernized that law with the USA FREEDOM Act in 2015.
The congressman is the former Chair of both the House Committee on the Judiciary, and the House Committee on Science; he is the second most senior member of the House of Representatives; and the Dean of the Wisconsin Delegation.
“I will have many more things to say as I serve out my final term, but I will start here by sincerely thanking, first, my family, along with my supporters, my colleagues, and my staff. The many people who have supported my career have mostly gone uncelebrated, but I will purposefully set out in the next year to say my thanks and let them know I could not have done it alone. I look forward to finishing strong and beginning my next chapter.”
Sensenbrenner will have served in Congress longer than anyone in Wisconsin’s history.
He has been married to Cheryl Warren Sensenbrenner for 42 years and they have two adult sons, Frank (Margaret), and Bob (Diana), and a two- year old grandson, Kevin.