Ed Whitfield

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Ed Whitfield
Ed Whitfield, 113th Congress, Official Photo.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Kentucky's 1st district
Assumed office
January 3, 1995
Preceded by Tom Barlow
Personal details
Born (1943-05-25) May 25, 1943 (age 71)
Hopkinsville, Kentucky
Political party Democratic (1974-1994)
Republican (1994-present)
Spouse(s) Constance Whitfield
Residence Hopkinsville, Kentucky
Alma mater University of Kentucky
University of Kentucky College of Law
Occupation attorney, railroad executive
Religion Methodist
Military service
Service/branch United States Army Reserve[1]
Years of service 1967-1973[1]
Rank US-O2 insignia.svg First Lieutenant[1]
Unit 100th Division[1]

Wayne Edward "Ed" Whitfield (born May 25, 1943) is the U.S. Representative of Kentucky's 1st congressional district, serving since 1995. He is a member of the Republican Party.

The district covers much of the western part of the state, including Hopkinsville, Paducah, Henderson and Kentucky's share of Fort Campbell.

Early life, education and career[edit]

Whitfield was born in Hopkinsville, Kentucky; his family later moved to Madisonville, Kentucky, where he graduated from Madisonville High School. He attended the University of Kentucky for both undergraduate and law school, where he was a member of Delta Tau Delta Fraternity.[2] He also attended the Wesley Theological Seminary. He served in the United States Army Reserve and reached the rank of First Lieutenant. He served as legal counsel to executives at Seaboard System Railroad of Washington. He served as a vice president for the later CSX Corporation in two different capacities and was the legal counsel to the chairman of the Interstate Commerce Commission from 1991 to 1993.

Kentucky House of Representatives[edit]

Whitfield gained his first political experience as a Democratic member of the Kentucky House of Representatives from 1974 to 1979.

U.S. Representative[edit]

Committee assignments[edit]

Whitfield is a member of the moderate Republican Main Street Partnership. On his official website, he represents himself as a conservative who has consistently voted pro-life and "supports allowing students to engage in voluntary school prayer." He also lists military issues and encouraging the use of coal and nuclear power as substitutes for oil as two of his main priorities. The Sunlight Foundation pointed out that among the 435 members of the U.S. House of Representatives, Whitfield has the seventh-highest amount of investment in oil stocks.[3]

He was one of three Republicans who voted for the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act in 2009.[4]

When chairman of the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations within the Committee on Energy and Commerce, Whitfield held hearings on child pornography and flag burning.

In 2011, Whitfield voted for the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 as part of a controversial provision that allows the government and the military to indefinitely detain American citizens and others without trial.[5]

Legislation sponsored[edit]

Whitfield introduced the Electricity Security and Affordability Act (H.R. 3826; 113th Congress) into the House on January 9, 2014.[6] The bill would repeal a pending rule published by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on January 8, 2014.[7] The proposed rule would establish uniform national limits on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from new electricity-generating facilities that use coal or natural gas.[7][8] The rule also sets new standards of performance for those power plants, including the requirement to install carbon capture and sequestration technology.[7] Whitfield said that, if finalized, the EPA's rule would "make it impossible to build a new coal-powered plant in American... That is hard to believe that that will can be the situation in our great country, particularly since 40 percent of our electricity comes from coal."[8] Whitfield argued that the legislation was needed because the EPA refused to respond to criticism or complaints about their proposed rule.[8]

Political campaigns[edit]

Whitfield had been a Democrat for most of his life, but in 1994 filed to run in the 1st District as a Republican. He defeated the 1992 Republican nominee, Steve Hamrick, in the primary, and then narrowly defeated freshman Democratic Congressman Tom Barlow by only 2,500 votes. He narrowly defeated Dennis Null in 1996 even as Bill Clinton carried the district, but hasn't faced a close race since. Although Democrats have a nearly 2-to-1 edge in registration, they tend to be very conservative on social issues, a trend that has helped Whitfield strengthen his hold on the district. Whitfield's major legislative accomplishments are creating the 170,000 acre of National Recreation Area at the Land between the Lakes, introducing and passing legislation to create a Health Compensation Program at the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion plant. He paid over $315,000,000 in compensation to the 3,139 employees and survivors. He also helped create the first Medicare Prescription Drug benefit plan for seniors and is an active advocate for the humane treatment of animals.[9]

Personal life[edit]

Whitfield's wife, Constance Whitfield, is a former Assistant Secretary of the Interior and now a paid lobbyist for the Humane Society of the United States


  1. ^ a b c d "Once a Soldier... Always a Soldier". Legislative Agenda. Association of the United States Army. 2011. Retrieved 28 January 2013. 
  2. ^ "Delta Tau Delta | About Us: Subpage". Delts.org. Retrieved 2010-08-23. 
  3. ^ "The Sunlight Foundation Blog - Oil Industry Influence: Personal Finances'". Sunlight Foundation. August 8, 2008.  Retrieved on Aug. 8, 2008
  4. ^ http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2009/roll009.xml#Y
  5. ^ http://www.ibtimes.com/ndaa-bill-how-did-your-congress-member-vote-384362
  6. ^ "H.R. 3826 - Summary". United States Congress. Retrieved 6 March 2014. 
  7. ^ a b c "CBO - H.R. 3826". Congressional Budget Office. Retrieved 28 February 2014. 
  8. ^ a b c Kasperowicz, Pete (6 March 2014). "House votes to block EPA regs on coal-fired electricity plants". The Hill. Retrieved 6 March 2014. 
  9. ^ NA. "Congressman Ed Whitfield". Retrieved February 2, 2015. 

External links[edit]

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Thomas Barlow
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Kentucky's 1st congressional district

United States order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Mac Thornberry
United States Representatives by seniority
Succeeded by
Elijah Cummings