Lois Capps

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Lois Capps
Lois Capps.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 24th district
Incumbent
Assumed office
January 3, 2013
Preceded by Elton Gallegly
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 23rd district
In office
January 3, 2003 – January 3, 2013
Preceded by Elton Gallegly
Succeeded by Kevin McCarthy
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 22nd district
In office
March 10, 1998 – January 3, 2003
Preceded by Walter Capps
Succeeded by Bill Thomas
Personal details
Born (1938-01-10) January 10, 1938 (age 76)
Ladysmith, Wisconsin, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Walter Capps (1960–1997, his death)
Children 3
Residence Santa Barbara, California, U.S.
Alma mater Pacific Lutheran University
Yale University
University of California, Santa Barbara
Occupation College professor
Nurse
Religion Lutheran

Lois Capps (born January 10, 1938) is the U.S. Representative for California's 24th congressional district, serving in Congress since 1998. She is a member of the Democratic Party. Her current district includes all of San Luis Obispo County, Santa Barbara County and a portion of Ventura County.

Capps serves on the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce, where she is a member of the Energy and Air Quality Subcommittee and the Subcommittee on Health. She is a member of the New Democrat Coalition.

Background[edit]

Lois Capps was born in Ladysmith, Wisconsin, as the daughter of a Lutheran minister. She has lived in Santa Barbara since 1964. She was educated at Pacific Lutheran University with a bachelor's degree in nursing. She earned a master's degree in religion at Yale University and a master's degree in education at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

In 1960, while at Yale, she married Walter Capps, a divinity student at Yale who later became a prominent religious studies professor at UCSB; they eventually had three children. Walter died in 1997 and their eldest daughter Lisa died in 2000. Lois Capps worked for 20 years as a nurse and health advocate for the Santa Barbara public schools and also taught early childhood education part-time at Santa Barbara City College.

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]

Elections[edit]

Walter Capps was elected to Congress in 1996 in a rematch of his 1994 race against Republican Andrea Seastrand. However, he died of a heart attack on October 28, 1997, only nine months into his term. His widow won the then-22nd District seat by defeating Republican Tom Bordonaro in a special election on March 10, 1998. She was sworn into the 105th Congress on March 17. Lois Capps successfully defended her seat against Bordonaro in a general election later that year, and commenced her first full term in office. Capps is one of two sitting representatives to be elected to their seats following the deaths of their husbands, along with Doris Matsui (D-CA).

In 2000, Capps retained her seat, defeating Republican Mike Stoker with 53% of the vote. She was the first Democrat to hold the district for more than one term in over 50 years (the district, known as the 11th from its formation in 1943 until 1953, the 13th from 1953 to 1975 and the 19th from 1975 to 1993, had been held by Republicans from 1947 until Walter Capps was sworn in 1997).

Redistricting made Capps somewhat safer, and she was reelected without serious opposition in 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008 and 2010. However, her district was redrawn in the 2010 redistricting; in the 2012 election, Capps ran in California's 24th congressional district.[1] David Wasserman, House editor of The Cook Political Report, predicted that this would be a more difficult race, and local Republicans confirmed that Capps is one of their top targets in California.[2] This new district still includes Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo, but was redrawn to include new inland areas as well.[3] Capps eventually beat her opponent, Abel Maldonado, with 54.8% of votes.[4]

Tenure[edit]

Capps has been described as a "solid liberal". In The Washingtonian magazine's 2006 "Best and Worst of Congress" poll of congressional staffers, Capps was named the nicest member of Congress.[5]

In 2011, Capps 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.[6]

Health care

Capps supported the Obama administration's economic stimulus and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.[7] She was strongly critical of the Stupak–Pitts Amendment to the latter, which placed limits on taxpayer-funding of abortions (except in the cases of rape, incest, or threat to the mother's life). Capps had earlier sponsored the Capps Amendment, which was defeated and replaced by the Stupak Amendment. Capps introduced the National Pediatric Research Network Act of 2013 which would, if enacted, authorize the NIH to support, fund, and coordinate data from research on rare pediatric diseases.

Foreign policy

In 2012, she was the only member of the House to vote "no" on Resolution 556 to condemn the government of Iran for its continued persecution, imprisonment, and sentencing of Youcef Nadarkhani of the charge of apostasy. The resolution passed 417-1 with 15 non-votes.[8] Her spokeswoman later said that Capps strongly supported the resolution, but cast the no vote by mistake.[9]

Environmental policy

Capps has a major interest in environmental policy. In 2004, the House passed her piece of legislation to prohibit "comprehensive inventory of oil and gas resources beneath the outer continental shelf." She was also a vocal opponent of drilling for oil in the Los Padres National Forest and offshore drilling off the coast of California.[5]

Legislation sponsored[edit]

Committee assignments[edit]

Caucus membership[edit]

  • Co-Chair of the Congressional Caucus on Women’s Issues
  • Co-Chair of the National Marine Sanctuary Caucus
  • Co-Chair of the Congressional Coastal Caucus
  • Co-Chair of the Biomedical Research Caucus
  • Co-Chair of the House Cancer Caucus
  • Co-Chair of the Congressional Heart and Stroke Coalition
  • Co-Founder and Co-Chair of the Congressional Caucus on Infant Health and Safety
  • Founded the Congressional Nursing Caucus
  • Founded the School Health and Safety Caucus

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Capps Running for Re-Election in New Central Coast Congressional District". Re-Elect Lois Capps. July 29, 2011. Retrieved December 20, 2011. 
  2. ^ Jean Merl and Richard Simon (December 11, 2011). "New district maps threaten Republicans' seats in Congress". LA Times. Retrieved December 19, 2011. 
  3. ^ http://www.govtrack.us/congress/members/map
  4. ^ http://www.theadobepress.com/articles/2012/11/09/news/news55.txt
  5. ^ a b "Rep. Lois Capps (D)". Almanac. National Journal. Retrieved 3 July 2012. 
  6. ^ http://www.ibtimes.com/ndaa-bill-how-did-your-congress-member-vote-384362
  7. ^ "California 23rd District Profile". The New York Times. 2010-10-29. Retrieved 2010-10-29. 
  8. ^ "House Resolution 556". clerk.house.gov. 2012-03-01. Retrieved 2012-03-01. 
  9. ^ "House condemns Iran for imprisonment of Christian minister". New Orleans Times-Picayune. 2 March 2012. Retrieved 2 March 2012. 
  10. ^ "H.R. 3008 - Summary". United States Congress. Retrieved 27 January 2014. 
  11. ^ Kasperowicz, Pete (27 January 2014). "Oooommm... House votes to give federal land to yoga foundation". The Hill. Retrieved 29 January 2014. 

External links[edit]

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Walter Capps
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 22nd congressional district

1998–2003
Succeeded by
Bill Thomas
Preceded by
Elton Gallegly
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 23rd congressional district

2003-2013
Succeeded by
Kevin McCarthy
Preceded by
Elton Gallegly
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 24th congressional district

2013–present
Incumbent
United States order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Gregory Meeks
D-New York
United States Representatives by seniority
104th
Succeeded by
Barbara Lee
D-California