Las Vegas Sun

April 19, 2015

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Ensign gives first Senate speech since acknowledging affair

WASHINGTON -- Republican Sen. John Ensign returned to the Senate floor today, delivering his first speech since having admitted an affair last month with the wife of his former top aide.

Ensign took to the floor to discuss his bill that would open up U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs homes to all Gold Star parents, not just those without surviving children.

Ensign has been increasingly resuming legislative activity in a more public way since disclosing the affair with his former campaign treasurer and the $96,000 payout his parents gave her family.

Experts have said the senator's best route for rehabilitating his image and boosting declining poll numbers is by meeting with Nevada voters and staying out of the public eye unless it is to discuss policy.

Ensign praised the veterans’ home in Boulder City, which he said was recently ranked tops nationwide. The home in Southern Nevada and others nationwide are open to vets, their spouses or parents who lost a child in war and have no surviving children, he said.

“Losing a child in war is a stunning and life-altering event for anyone,” Ensign said. “I think it is only fair that the parents of those who have lost a son or daughter have access to first class facilities like this.”

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