Chip Roy

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Chip Roy
Chip Roy, official portrait, 116th Congress.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Texas's 21st district
Assumed office
January 3, 2019
Preceded byLamar Smith
Personal details
Charles Eugene Roy

(1972-08-07) August 7, 1972 (age 48)
Bethesda, Maryland, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Carrah Roy
EducationUniversity of Virginia (BS, MS)
University of Texas at Austin (JD)
WebsiteHouse website

Charles Eugene "Chip" Roy (born August 7, 1972)[1] is an American attorney and politician serving as the U.S. Representative for Texas's 21st congressional district. He is a Republican.

Early life and career[edit]

Roy was born in Bethesda, Maryland,[2] and raised in Lovettsville, Virginia. He earned bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Virginia and spent three years as an investment banking analyst. He earned his Juris Doctor at the University of Texas School of Law, and worked for then-Texas attorney general John Cornyn. Roy also worked on Cornyn's 2002 campaign for the United States Senate. When Cornyn was elected, Roy joined his staff on the United States Senate Judiciary Committee. He returned to Texas as a prosecutor in the office of the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Texas.[3]

Roy joined the administration of Texas governor Rick Perry as director of the Office of State-Federal Relations.[2][3] Roy was the ghostwriter of Perry's 2010 book Fed Up! and worked for Perry's 2012 presidential campaign.[2]

After Ted Cruz's election to the Senate in 2012, Roy became his chief of staff.[4][5] According to Politico, Roy was an "architect" of Cruz's strategy to shut down the government in 2013 over the Affordable Care Act.[6]

After Ken Paxton was elected Attorney General of Texas in 2014, Roy became first assistant attorney general.[3] In 2016 Roy left the office of the attorney general to head the Trusted Leadership PAC, which was supporting Cruz's presidential campaign.[3][7]

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]


In the 2018 elections Roy ran for the United States House of Representatives in Texas's 21st congressional district to succeed Lamar Smith, who did not run for reelection. During the campaign, Politico likened him to Ted Cruz.[6] During the campaign, Roy said that President Trump was doing a good job, citing as an example Trump's decision to pull the United States out of the Paris climate accords, and praising Trump for attacking "the swamp."[8][6]

Roy defeated Matt McCall in the Republican Party primary election, and faced Joseph Kopser in the general election.[9] Roy defeated Kopser 50%–48% in a closer-than-expected victory.[10]

Roy was reelected in 2020, defeating Democratic nominee Wendy Davis[11] by seven percentage points and winning eight of the district's ten counties.[12]

Committee assignments[edit]


In May 2019, Roy was the only member of the U.S. House to raise procedural objections delaying passage of a request for unanimous consent for a $19.1 billion disaster aid package for damage caused by Hurricane Harvey. The bill was stalled for 11 days before ultimately passing in June 2019 by a margin of 354–58, with Roy voting against it.[13] Roy received bipartisan criticism for his objection to the bill. He said he voted against it because it added to the national debt and did not include additional spending for federal operations along the U.S.-Mexico border.[14][15]

On June 28, 2019, in response to the humanitarian crisis involving migrant children at the southern border, Roy proposed legislation to amend the Antideficiency Act (ADA) to allow the United States Border Patrol to accept donations from people who want to help migrant children directly. The bill was filed after people attempting to donate supplies such as diapers, toys, and hygiene items were turned away by Border Patrol officials who said they were not accepting donations due to the ADA, which prevents the government from accepting "any donations other than what Congress has allocated to it."[16][Notes 1][17][18]

On December 18, 2019, Roy voted against both articles of impeachment against Trump. Of the 195 Republicans who voted, all voted against both impeachment articles.[19]

He is a member of the Freedom Caucus.[20]

Coronavirus pandemic[edit]

In March 2020, Roy was one of 40 representatives to vote against a coronavirus relief bill.[21] In July 2020, Roy blamed surging coronavirus cases in Southern Texas on "people coming across our border" from Mexico. At the time, the border with Mexico had been closed for all nonessential activity since March.[22] Roy argued that Texas was holding coronavirus numbers down; at the time, cases were surging in Texas.[22] Later that month, Roy said he would not isolate himself even though he had had a lengthy maskless interaction with Representative Louie Gohmert, who tested positive for the coronavirus, on the House floor.[23] In May 2020, Roy said, "We need immune systems that are strong. We need immunity systems that can fight this", and "We need herd immunity." Asked whether acquiring such immunity would entail unnecessary deaths, Roy countered that the countrywide lockdown and attendant delays in accessing cancer screenings or entering into addiction treatment, as well as mental health problems precipitated by unemployment, had increased indirect deaths and suffering.[24] He also said Maine's stay-at-home orders were reminiscent of the Nazis.[24]

Electoral history[edit]

2018 Republican primary results[25]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Chip Roy 19,319 27.1
Republican Matt McCall 12,088 16.9
Republican William Negley 11,088 15.5
Republican Jason Isaac 7,165 10.0
Republican Jenifer Sarver 4,001 5.6
Republican Robert Stovall 3,396 4.7
Republican Susan Narvaiz 2,710 3.8
Republican Francisco "Quico" Canseco 2,484 3.5
Republican Ryan Krause 2,289 3.2
Republican Al M. Poteet 1,292 1.8
Republican Peggy Wardlaw 1,281 1.8
Republican Samuel Temple 1,017 1.4
Republican Anthony J. White 949 1.3
Republican Eric Burkhart 719 1.0
Republican Mauro Garza 657 0.9
Republican Autry J. Pruitt 454 0.6
Republican Foster Hagen 392 0.5
Republican Ivan A. Andarza 95 0.1
Total votes 71,396 100.0
2018 Republican primary runoff results
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Chip Roy 17,856 52.6
Republican Matt McCall 16,081 47.4
Total votes 33,937 100.0
Texas's 21st congressional district, 2018[26]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Chip Roy 177,654 50.3
Democratic Joseph Kopser 168,421 47.6
Libertarian Lee Santos 7,542 2.1
Total votes 353,617 100.0
Republican hold

Personal life[edit]

Roy met his wife, Carrah, at the University of Texas. They have two children. Roy was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma in 2011.[3]


  1. ^ According to a 2013 article in The Atlantic, the Antideficiency Act (ADA) was originally intended to prevent federal agencies, particularly the military, from overspending their annual budgets early in a fiscal year. Once their funds were depleted, prior to ADA, agencies would then request additional Congressional appropriations forcing Congress to pay so they would not breach their contracts. According to a 2018 CRS report, under the Antideficiency Act, an "agency must cease operations" if there is a "funding gap". In shutdowns, "the criteria" are complex." Since the early 1980s (CRS 2018:5) with a more stringent application of ADA, when there are government shutdowns in the United States, and an agency no longer has funds to operate, they must shut down. They cannot depend on voluntary work of their employees.


  1. ^ "Chip Roy (TX-21) Backgrounder" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on October 19, 2018. Retrieved July 19, 2019.
  2. ^ a b c Asher Price (April 1, 2016). "Chip Roy, conservative, runs in shadow of Cruz - News - Austin American-Statesman - Austin, TX". Retrieved October 20, 2018.
  3. ^ a b c d e Chasnoff, Brian (May 13, 2018). "Chip Roy's plan to get Washington out of the way includes going there himself". Retrieved October 20, 2018.
  4. ^ "Ted Cruz picks chief of staff: Chip Roy, chief ghostwriter on Rick Perry's anti-Washington tome Fed Up! | Politics". Dallas News. November 28, 2012. Retrieved October 20, 2018.
  5. ^ Patrick Svitek (December 6, 2017). "Chip Roy, former chief of staff to Sen. Ted Cruz, is running for Congress". The Texas Tribune. Retrieved October 20, 2018.
  6. ^ a b c Alberta, Tim. "Meet the Next Ted Cruz". POLITICO Magazine. Retrieved July 30, 2020.
  7. ^ "Top Paxton aide becomes executive director of pro-Cruz super PAC | Politics". Dallas News. March 10, 2016. Retrieved October 20, 2018.
  8. ^ Rodriguez-Ortiz, Omar (October 23, 2018). "Chip Roy on Trump, Republicans, health care and the national debt". The Texas Tribune. Retrieved July 30, 2020.
  9. ^ Asher Price (September 22, 2018). "Joseph Kopser to face Chip Roy in 21st Congressional District matchup - News - Austin American-Statesman - Austin, TX". Retrieved October 20, 2018.
  10. ^ Lanmon, Lauren (November 7, 2018). "Chip Roy defeats Joseph Kopser for House District 21 race". KXAN. Retrieved December 18, 2018.
  11. ^ Tilove, Jonathan (October 6, 2020). "Chip Roy and Wendy Davis agree that the other's views are dangerous". Austin American-Statesman. Retrieved October 13, 2020.
  12. ^ Chip Roy fends off challenge from Wendy Davis to win reelection in Texas, The Hill (newspaper), November 4, 2020.
  13. ^ Willis, Adam (June 3, 2019). "After delay initiated by U.S. Rep. Chip Roy, Congress finally passes $19.1 billion disaster aid package". Texas Tribune. Retrieved May 29, 2020.
  14. ^ "$19.1 billion in nationwide disaster aid stalls after single House Republican objects". The Washington Post. May 24, 2019. Retrieved May 24, 2019.
  15. ^ "Disaster relief bill stuck in the House following GOP lawmaker's objection". CNN. May 24, 2019. Retrieved May 24, 2019.
  16. ^ Samuels, Alex (June 28, 2019). "Texas lawmaker files bill to allow donations of diapers, other goods to migrant kids in Border Patrol facilities". The Texas Tribune. Retrieved July 11, 2019.
  17. ^ Cohen, Andrew (September 28, 2013). "The Odd Story of the Law That Dictates How Government Shutdowns Work". The Atlantic. Retrieved July 11, 2019.
  18. ^ Shutdown of the Federal Government: Causes, Processes, and Effects (PDF) (Report). Congressional Research Service (CRS). December 10, 2018. p. 41. Retrieved July 11, 2019.
  19. ^ Fandos, Nicholas; Shear, Michael D. (December 18, 2019). "Trump Impeached for Abuse of Power and Obstruction of Congress". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on December 18, 2019. Retrieved September 20, 2020.
  20. ^ Freedom Caucus member Chip Roy touts bipartisanship in first campaign ad, The Hill, Juliegrace Brufke, September 9, 2020.
  21. ^ By JASMINE C. LEE MARCH 14, 2020 (March 14, 2020). "How Every House Member Voted on the Coronavirus Relief Bill - The New York Times". Retrieved May 29, 2020.
  22. ^ a b CNN, Paul LeBlanc. "Texas congressman says his state is holding coronavirus numbers down, as cases surge". CNN. Retrieved July 25, 2020.
  23. ^ CNN, Clare Foran and Manu Raju. "Pelosi mandates masks in House chamber after Gohmert tests positive for Covid-19". CNN. Retrieved July 30, 2020.
  24. ^ a b "We need herd immunity", Texas Tribune, Abby Livingston, May 6, 2020. Retrieved September 19, 2020.
  25. ^ "2018 Primary Election Official Results". Texas Secretary of State. Archived from the original on March 7, 2018. Retrieved March 8, 2018.
  26. ^ "Texas Election Results". Texas Secretary of State. Retrieved December 5, 2018.

External links[edit]

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Lamar Smith
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Texas's 21st congressional district

U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Harley Rouda
United States Representatives by seniority
Succeeded by
Kim Schrier