|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Virginia's 6th district
January 3, 1993
|Preceded by||Jim Olin|
|Chairman of the House Committee on the Judiciary|
January 3, 2013
|Preceded by||Lamar Smith|
|Chairman of the House Committee on Agriculture|
May 31, 2003 – January 3, 2007
|Preceded by||Larry Combest|
|Succeeded by||Collin Peterson|
September 22, 1952 |
|Alma mater||Bates College
Robert William "Bob" Goodlatte (pron.: //; born September 22, 1952) is an American politician and a member of the United States House of Representatives for Virginia's 6th congressional district, serving since 1993. A member of the Republican Party, Goodlatte's district represents Roanoke and also includes Lynchburg, Harrisonburg and Staunton.
Early life, education, and early career 
Born in Holyoke, Massachusetts, Goodlatte received a B.A. in political science from Bates College in Lewiston, Maine in 1974. He also holds a Juris Doctor from Washington and Lee University School of Law in Lexington, Virginia, which he earned in 1977. Goodlatte was an attorney in private practice in his early professional career before becoming a staff aide for 6th District U.S. Congressman M. Caldwell Butler from 1977 to 1979.
U.S. House of Representatives 
Bob Goodlatte received the Republican nomination at the Republican District convention after Democrat Jim Olin opted not to run for reelection in 1992. In the 1992 November general election, Goodlatte defeated Democrat Stephen Musselwhite, who had defeated Olin's preferred choice at the district Democratic convention, with 60% of the vote. Goodlatte has been reelected ten times, often running unopposed by Democratic challengers. He has never faced a Republican primary challenge. His most substantive opposition was in 1996, with Democrat Jeff Grey, and again in 1998, with Democratic Roanoke mayor David Bowers who challenged him. In an overwhelmingly conservative district, Goodlatte turned back these challenges, with 67% and 69% of the vote, respectively. In 2008, he was challenged by Democrat Sam Rasoul of Roanoke. This time, Goodlatte garnered 62% of the vote.
In 2011, Republican and constitutional conservative Karen Kwiatkowski of Mount Jackson, Virginia, announced that she would challenge Goodlatte in the Republican primary set for June 12, 2012. This was Bob Goodlatte's first contested Republican primary. Kwiatkowski earned 34% of the Republican primary vote, with Goodlatte winning 66%. He faced Democratic nominee Andy Schmookler in the general election, and defeated Schmookler with 66%.
- Support of Federal National Animal ID System
Goodlatte supported and advocated for the National Animal Identification System (NAIS) that would have required all farmers all over the country to register their farms with the federal government, and participate in mandatory RFID tagging and 24 hour near real time reporting to the federal government. According to the Angus Journal, Goodlatte, as chairman of the House Agricultural Committee, said, "he wants an animal ID system in place as soon as possible" and "favors an industry plan to form an animal ID database that would control the information until USDA needs it."
Before his appointment as Ranking Republican of the House Agriculture Committee at the start of the 110th Congress, Goodlatte served as Chairman of the full Committee. He was elected to serve as Chairman of the full House Agriculture Committee in January 2003 at the start of the 108th Congress. He served as Chairman of the Committee throughout the 108th and 109th Congresses, convening 132 Full and Subcommittee hearings and guiding 38 bills under the Committee’s jurisdiction to the President’s desk to be signed into law. He has served on the House Agriculture Committee since first being elected to Congress in November 1992. Before becoming Chairman of the full Committee, Goodlatte served as Chairman of the Subcommittee on Department, Operations, Oversight, Nutrition and Forestry. An active subcommittee chairman, he held fourteen hearings in the 107th Congress alone. The hearings covered a wide range of issues including implementation of the national fire plan, domestic nutrition programs, invasive species, and civil rights programs at the USDA. He served as a conferee on the 2002 Farm Bill. He took a leadership role on issues such as welfare reform and forestry policy, working with his colleagues on the Agriculture and Resources Committees to introduce George W. Bush’s Healthy Forests Initiative.
Federal budget 
Bob Goodlatte has voted seven times to increase the U.S. debt ceiling and has voted to pass budgets from Democratic as well as Republican administrations. He voted for Barack Obama's Budget Act of 2011 as well as Bill Clinton's Budget Act in July, 1997. His first vote to increase the debt ceiling was in March 1996, raising it from $4.9 trillion to $5.5 trillion and most recently in August 2011, raising it from $14.8 trillion to $16.4 trillion. One of Representative Goodlatte's top legislative initiatives was his Constitutional amendment to require a balanced federal budget. However, conservative Republican Representatives Paul Ryan, Justin Amash, David Dreier and Louie Gohmert voted against the amendment because it failed to control government spending and raised taxes on Americans. Representative Ryan released a statement after the vote: "I’m concerned that this version will lead to a much bigger government fueled by more taxes. Spending is the problem, yet this version of the Balanced Budget Amendment makes it more likely taxes will be raised, government will grow, and economic freedom will be diminished. Without a limit on government spending, I cannot support this Amendment.”
Support of Tax Increases 
One of Bob Goodlatte's solutions to balancing the budget is increasing taxes, which he offered in his "weak" or "clean" Balanced Budget Amendment. Americans for Tax Reform, Club for Growth and 30 other anti-tax organizations asked their members to oppose it. When asked if his Balanced Budget Amendment would break his pledge with Grover Norquist's, Americans for Tax Reform, Goodlatte responded that a small tax increase now might prevent a larger tax increase in January 2013.
Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) 
Goodlatte is an original sponsor of the Stop Online Piracy Act, H.R. 3261, introduced in the House's, Intellectual Property, Competition and the Internet Subcommittee, which he Chairs. He is also a coauthor of the bill, as referenced by Chairman Lamar Smith, Congresswoman Waters, and Goodlatte himself during Markup hearings for SOPA. The bill enables the Justice Department to shutdown websites that it determines are dedicated to copyright infringement. The DoJ would be able to commence legal action against any site it believes to have "limited purpose or use other than infringement," and the DoJ would be authorized to prevent search engines, social networking sites and domain name services block access to the targeted site.
SOPA's critics charge that copyright owners are able to seek immediate recourse for copyrights violations through the Digital Millennium Copyright Act as well as Title 17 of the United States Code. Technology engineers, website owners and venture capitalists charge that the bill will hurt Internet architecture, decrease tech industry job growth and unnecessarily burden and increase the costs of doing business for domestic website owners and operators. Free Speech advocates and conservatives charge that the bill centralizes authority at the executive branch, which might use it to prevent search engines and Internet Services Providers from delivering dissenting websites to customers; violates the First Amendment; establishes Internet firewalls; and hinders online users from sharing information. Conservatives criticize the bill for increasing government regulation, increasing the cost of doing business and intervening in free markets.
Vote to Ban Online gambling 
Goodlatte is a staunch advocate of a federal prohibition of online gambling. In 2006, he sponsored H.R. 4777, the Internet gambling Prohibition Act. In September 2006, working with then Iowa Congressman Jim Leach, Goodlatte was a major House supporter of the Unlawful Internet gambliing Enforcement Act of 2006. The Act was passed at midnight the day Congress adjourned before the 2006 elections. Prior to it being added to the bill, the gambling provisions had not been debated by any Congressional committee. The bill was made sure to exclude online gambling. They claimed moral reasons for pushing for a ban on Internet gambling, but critics charge that it was due to campaign contributions from Microsoft and Steam .
Goodlatte sat on the 105th United States Congress and introduced NET Act on July 25, 1997, which removed the requirement of financial gain for criminal prosecution of copyright infringement. NET Act was passed only after the House suspended the rules.
Goodlatte is the Co-Chairman of the bipartisan Congressional Internet Caucus, Chairman of the House Republican High-Technology Working Group, and Co-Chairman of the Congressional International Anti-Piracy Caucus.
Goodlatte has been a leader in Congress on a number of Internet and high-tech issues including encryption, piracy prevention, anti-counterfeiting, online service provider copyright liability, high speed data access, privacy, digital signatures, Internet tax moratorium, copyright term extension, H-1B visas, patent reform, cyber-squatting, Y2K litigation, class action reform, spam and spyware prevention and providing local television networks to rural areas on satellite systems.
Presidential proof of citizenship 
On May 5, 2009, Goodlatte signed on as a co-sponsor of H.R. 1503, a bill to require future presidential candidates to provide proof of citizenship by submitting copies of their birth certificate. The bill has been described as a response to the theories which claim that U.S. President Barack Obama is not a natural born U.S. citizen.
Committee assignments 
- Committee on Agriculture (Vice Chair)
- Committee on the Judiciary
Caucus memberships 
- Congressional Caucus on Adoption
- Congressional Fire Services Caucus
- Congressional International Anti-Piracy Caucus
- Congressional Internet Caucus (Co-Chair)
- International Conservation Caucus
Electoral history 
|Year||Democrat||Votes||Pct||Republican||Votes||Pct||Republican Primary||Votes||Pct||Independent||Votes||Pct||Third Party||Party||Votes||Pct|
|1992||Stephen A. Musselwhite||84,618||40%||Bob Goodlatte||127,309||60%||**||(no candidate)||*|
|1994||(no candidate)||Bob Goodlatte||126,455||100%||(no candidate)||*|
|1996||Jeffrey W. Grey||61,485||31%||Bob Goodlatte||133,576||67%||(no candidate)||Jay P. Rutledge||4,229||2%||*|
|1998||David A. Bowers||39,487||31%||Bob Goodlatte||89,177||69%||(no candidate)||*|
|2000||(no candidate)||Bob Goodlatte||153,338||99%||(no candidate)||Write-ins||1,145||1%|
|2002||(no candidate)||Bob Goodlatte||105,530||97%||(no candidate)||Write-ins||3,202||3%|
|2004||(no candidate)||Bob Goodlatte||206,560||97%||(no candidate)||Write-ins||7,088||3%|
|2006||(no candidate)||Bob Goodlatte||153,187||75%||(no candidate)||Barbara Jean Pryor||25,129||12%||Andre D. Peery||Independent||24,731||12%||*|
|2008||Sam Rasoul||114,367||37%||Bob Goodlatte||192,350||62%||(no candidate)||Janice Lee Allen||5,413||2%||*|
|2010||(no candidate)||Bob Goodlatte||126,710||76.15%||(no candidate)||Jeffrey Vanke||21,648||13.01%||Stuart Bain||Libertarian||15,309||9.20%||*|
|2012||Andy Schmookler||109,929||34%||Bob Goodlatte||209,701||66%||Karen Kwiatkowski|
- "Animal ID Hits High Gear". Angus Journal. August 2006.
- "Budget Control Act of 2011". August 1, 2011.
- "H.R. 2015". July 24, 1997.
- "H.R. 3136 (104th): Contract with America Advancement ... (On Passage of the Bill)". GovTrack. Retrieved 2012-06-03.
- of Management and Budget "Table 7.3—STATUTORY LIMITS ON FEDERAL DEBT: 1940–CURRENT". Retrieved 2012-06-01.
- Mattie Duppler (2011-11-09). "Conservatives to Congress: Vote NO on a Weak Balanced Budget Amendment". Americans for Tax Reform. Retrieved 2012-06-03.
- Rick Klein (2011-11-15). "Pledge Daylight? GOP Rep. Says Small Tax Increase Now May Prevent Large Hike Later". ABC News. Retrieved 2012-06-01.
- "SOPA Markup Hearings". 2011-12-15.
- "SOPA Markup Hearings". 2011-12-15.
- "SOPA Markup Hearings". 2011-12-15.
- Oyama, Katherine (2011-11-16). Opening Statement to the HOR Judiciary Committee Hearing on H.R. 3261, the Stop Online Piracy Act (Speech). American Rhetoric. http://americanrhetoric.com/speeches/katherineoyamahorjudiciarycomtestmt.htm. Retrieved 2012-06-03.
- Thomas (Library of Congress): HR 4777
- Nelson Rose: The Unlawful Internet gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 Analyzed
- Inside the Goodlatte Conspiracy
- H.R. 2265
- Bill Summary & Status 105th Congress (1997 - 1998) H.R.2265
- "Bill Summary & Status - 111th Congress (2009 - 2010) - H.R.1503 - Cosponsors - THOMAS (Library of Congress)". Thomas.loc.gov. Retrieved 2010-08-29.
- "Election Statistics". Office of the Clerk of the House of Representatives. Retrieved 2008-01-10.
- Confirmed through multiple sources, including FEC data, the Republican Party of Virginia and the Virginia State Board of Elections
- Congressman Bob Goodlatte official U.S. House site
- Bob Goodlatte for Congress official campaign site
- Biography at the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
- Profile at Ballotpedia
- Congressional profile at GovTrack
- Congressional profile at OpenCongress
- Financial information (federal office) at the Federal Election Commission
- Financial information (federal office) at OpenSecrets.org
- Staff salaries, trips and personal finance (federal office) at LegiStorm.com
- Issue positions and quotes at On the Issues
- Voting record at The Washington Post
- Appearances on C-SPAN programs
- Collected news and commentary at The Washington Post
- Point/Counterpoint: Meet your congressional candidates: 6th district, Roanoke Times, September 23, 2012
|United States House of Representatives|
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Virginia's 6th congressional district
January 3, 1993 – present
|Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee
|Chairman of House Judiciary Committee
|United States order of precedence|
|United States Representatives by seniority