||This article includes a list of references, but its sources remain unclear because it has insufficient inline citations. (June 2013)|
|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 (//; born September 22, 1952) is 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, the son of Doris B. (née Mentzendorff) and Robert Swan Goodlatte. His paternal ancestry includes English and Irish and his maternal grandfather was a Baltic German from Riga. 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, received in 1977.
In his early professional career he served as a staff aide for 6th District U.S. Congressman M. Caldwell Butler from 1977 to 1979. Goodlatte went on to work as a lawyer in private practice from 1980 to 1993.
U.S. House of Representatives
Bob Goodlatte received the Republican nomination at the Republican District convention after Democratic Party candidate Jim Olin opted not to run for reelection in 1992. In the 1992 November general election, Goodlatte defeated Democratic candidate 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. His most substantive opposition was in 1996, with Democratic candidate 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 Democratic candidate Sam Rasoul of Roanoke. Goodlatte garnered 62% of the vote. In 2010, Goodlatte was challenged by Independent Jeffrey Vanke and Libertarian Stuart Bain. Goodlatte won with 76.26% of the vote.
In 2011, Republican 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 him with 66% of the vote.
As House Judiciary Chairman for the 113th congress, Goodlatte has contrasted the House approach to immigration reform from the Senate by requiring that the various issues be taken on a piece-by-piece basis with an emphasis on both border and interior enforcement measures. So far the House Judiciary Committee has passed four immigration related bills:
- H.R. 2278, the "Strengthen and Fortify Enforcement Act" (The SAFE Act)
- H.R. 1773, the "Agricultural Guestworker Act"
- H.R. 1772, the "Legal Workforce Act"
- H.R. 2131, the "SKILLS Visa Act"
Although the Obama Administration has deported 1.9 million foreigners, more than any administration in history, and fulfills a Congressional mandate averaging 34,000 detentions on any given day, Goodlatte told the New York Times on December 23, 2013 that a 10% decrease in deportations since 2012 was "just more evidence that the Obama administration refuses to enforce our immigration laws.”
Balanced Budget Amendment
One of Representative Goodlatte's top legislative initiatives was his Constitutional amendment to require a balanced federal budget. Goodlatte wrote and put forward both the "clean" Balanced Budget Amendment which had a higher chance of actually passing the House and the Senate as well as a version that makes it harder to increase taxes by requiring a two-thirds majority vote in both chambers to raise taxes. However, Representatives Paul Ryan, Justin Amash, David Dreier and Louie Gohmert voted against the "clean" amendment because it could have allowed taxes to be raised 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.”
Bob Goodlatte voted to increase the U.S. debt ceiling seven times and has voted to pass budgets from Democratic as well as Republican administrations. He voted for Bill Clinton's Budget Act in July, 1997 and Barack Obama's Budget Act of 2011.
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.
Goodlatte 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
On October 23, 2013, Goodlatte introduced the Innovation Act (H.R. 3309; 113th Congress), a bill aimed at reducing frivolous patent infringement lawsuits by patent trolls. The bill passed in the House on December 5, 2013.
- Committee on the Judiciary (Chairman)
- Committee on Agriculture (Vice Chairman)
- Congressional Internet Caucus (Co-Chair)
- Congressional Civil Justice Caucus (Co-Chair)
- Congressional Pro Life Caucus
- Congressional Prayer Caucus
- Congressional Caucus on Adoption
- Congressional Fire Services Caucus
- Congressional International Anti-Piracy Caucus
- International Conservation Caucus
- Submarine Caucus
- Navy and Marine Corps Caucus
- National Guard and Reserve Components Caucus
- Iraq Fallen Heroes Caucus
- Shipbuilding Caucus
- Air Force Caucus
|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|
- Preston, Julia. "Amid Steady Deportation, Fear and Worry Multiply Among Immigrants," New York Times, December 22, 2013, accessed December 23, 2013.
- Mattie Duppler (2011-11-09). "Conservatives to Congress: Vote NO on a Weak Balanced Budget Amendment". Americans for Tax Reform. Retrieved 2012-06-03.
- "Budget Control Act of 2011". August 1, 2011.
- "H.R. 2015". July 24, 1997.
- "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. 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
- "H.R. 3309 - Summary". United States Congress. Retrieved 6 December 2013.
- "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
- Biography, voting record, and interest group ratings at Project Vote Smart
- Financial information (federal office) at the Federal Election Commission
- Legislation sponsored at The Library of Congress
- 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 (ceremonial)|
|United States Representatives by seniority