David Dreier

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David Dreier
Chair of Tribune Publishing
In office
January 2019 – February 2020
Preceded byJustin Dearborn
Succeeded byPhilip Franklin
Chair of the House Rules Committee
In office
January 3, 2011 – January 3, 2013
Preceded byLouise Slaughter
Succeeded byPete Sessions
In office
January 3, 1999 – January 3, 2007
Preceded byGerald Solomon
Succeeded byLouise Slaughter
Member of the
U.S. House of Representatives
from California
In office
January 3, 1981 – January 3, 2013
Preceded byJames F. Lloyd
Succeeded byGary Miller (redistricting)
Constituency35th district (1981–1983)
33rd district (1983–1993)
28th district (1993–2003)
26th district (2003–2013)
Personal details
David Timothy Dreier

(1952-07-05) July 5, 1952 (age 71)
Kansas City, Missouri, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
EducationClaremont McKenna College (BA)
Claremont Graduate University (MA)
AwardsOrder of the Aztec Eagle
Order of Saint Agatha (Knight Commander)
Order of San Carlos

David Timothy Dreier OAE (/draɪər/; born July 5, 1952) is an American businessman, philanthropist, and politician who served as a Republican member of the United States House of Representatives from California from 1981 to 2013. He was one of the youngest members ever elected to the United States Congress.[1][2] Dreier was the youngest chairman of the House Rules Committee in U.S. history, serving from 1999 to 2007 and from 2011 to 2013. He was instrumental in passing the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in 1993.[3][4] After leaving Congress, Dreier served on the Foreign Affairs Policy Board under President Barack Obama. He served as the chairman of the Tribune Publishing Company from 2019 to 2020. Dreier is also founder and chair of the Fallen Journalists Memorial Foundation.[5]

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]


Early career[edit]

In 1978, Dreier ran for the United States House of Representatives at the age of 25. He challenged incumbent Democrat James Fredrick Lloyd, who had first won in a Republican-leaning district in 1974. Though unknown and living in Phillips Hall at Claremont McKenna College,[6] Dreier lost by 54% to 46%, less than expected.

In 1980, Dreier ran again and defeated Lloyd 52% to 45%, winning on the coattails of former California Governor Ronald Reagan's presidential election.[7] Dreier was sworn into office as one of the youngest members of the House of Representatives in U.S. history.[1]

After the 1980 United States census, his district was renumbered to the 33rd. Dreier defeated Congressman Wayne Grisham 57% to 43% in the Republican primary of 1982.[8] Dreier became the first person ever to defeat two incumbent members of Congress in back to back elections. He won the 1982 general election with 65% of the vote.[9] He won re-election every two years after that with at least 57% of the vote until his 2004 re-election. His district was renumbered to the 28th after the 1990 United States census and to the 26th district after the 2000 United States census.[10]

2004 election[edit]

In 2004, Dreier faced strong criticism for his position on illegal immigration from opponent Cynthia Matthews and several talk radio hosts who felt he was not tough enough on illegal immigrants.[11]

Dreier won with 54% of the vote.[12][13]

After 2004[edit]

In 2006, he won reelection in a rematch against Matthews 57% to 38%, despite Republicans losing the majority that year.[14]

In 2008, Dreier won reelection against Democrat Russ Warner with 53% of the vote.[15][16]

In 2010, he defeated Warner in a rematch with 54% of the vote.[17] Dreier ceased all campaign fundraising for more than a year, leading many to believe that he was planning to leave Congress.[18]

After the 2010 United States census, the voter-created California Citizens Redistricting Commission renumbered Dreier's district as the 31st district, and reconfigured it as a Democratic-leaning, majority-Latino district.[19] Dreier chose not to run for reelection in 2012 and encouraged his Republican colleague Gary Miller to move into the 31st after Miller's old district was merged with the district of another Republican, Ed Royce.[18]


President Ronald Reagan meeting with Congressman David Dreier and Hazrat Khan, an Afghan boy whose family was killed during the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan

House leadership[edit]

Dreier is the youngest chairman of the House Rules Committee in U.S. history.[20][2] As well as being the only Californian to hold that position, he is the third-longest-serving chairman of the Rules Committee and the longest-serving chairman since 1967. When the Democrats gained control of the House in the 2006 midterm elections, Dreier served as ranking member for the 110th and 111th Congresses. With the Republicans regaining control of the House in the 2010 midterm elections, Dreier again assumed the chairmanship during the 112th Congress.[21]

Beginning with Dreier's chairmanship in 1999, the chairman of the Rules Committee became part of the nine-member elected Republican leadership.

Following the indictment of House Majority Leader Tom DeLay on September 28, 2005, House Speaker Dennis Hastert asked Dreier to assume temporarily the position of majority leader, as Dreier had consistently adhered to the views of the Republican leadership on many issues and would have been willing to relinquish the title should DeLay have returned to the position. However, rank-and-file Republican representatives disapproved of the choice of Dreier allegedly because many conservative members believed that he was "too politically moderate". According to Dreier spokeswoman Jo Maney, Dreier did not seek the temporary Majority Leader position because he "would have had to give up his chairmanship of the Rules Committee to move to another position, and that's not something that he wanted to do".[22] The position instead went to then-Majority Whip Roy Blunt of Missouri, though both Dreier and then-Deputy Majority Whip Eric Cantor of Virginia shared in some duties.[23]


Dreier at the Walnut Family Festival Parade in Walnut, California on October 14, 2006

Along with House colleagues Jim Kolbe and Jerry Lewis, Dreier was the first member of Congress to propose a North American free trade agreement in 1987.[24] He was instrumental in the creation and passage of what became NAFTA in 1993.[25][26] During the signing ceremony for NAFTA, President Bill Clinton recognized Dreier's contribution to the ultimate success of the legislation.[27]

Dreier opposed President Donald Trump's threats to abandon NAFTA, instead advocating for an updated NAFTA, which would include digital trade, among other subjects.[28][4]

Dreier has been a longstanding supporter of closer ties between the United States and the countries of Latin America and has met frequently with executive and legislative branch leaders throughout the region. He has received the nation's highest honors from the presidents of Colombia, Mexico, and Nicaragua.[29] On August 28, 2007, while building support for the United States–Colombia Free Trade Agreement, Dreier addressed the Colombian parliament.[30] Dreier drew criticism from some opposition lawmakers when he sat on the edge of a podium during informal remarks to the legislators. Dreier later apologized and insisted he intended no disrespect. In comments released on August 30, 2007, Dreier said, "I meant absolutely no offense. I simply wanted to demonstrate my warm feeling and affection."[31]

Dreier also founded the bipartisan House Trade Working Group, working closely with five American presidents of both parties on every free trade agreement into which the United States has entered.[32] Dreier was a member of the Republican Main Street Partnership.[33]

Foreign affairs[edit]

Dreier attended and led congressional delegations (CODELs) to dozens of nations during his tenure. He was the founder and first chairman of the House Democracy Partnership (HDP), which works to strengthen parliaments in new and re-emerging democracies on six continents.[34]


Dreier supported the expansion of public transportation in his district. He secured federal funding for the Metro Gold Line, connecting Downtown Los Angeles and Pasadena via light rail.[35]

Gay rights[edit]

Dreier initially supported the bipartisan Defense of Marriage Act, signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1996.[36] Joining columnists like William Raspberry in opposing "thought police,"[37] Dreier voted against the Matthew Shepard Act that expanded federal hate-crimes law to include crimes motivated by a victim's actual or perceived gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability.[38] Dreier initially supported the Don't ask, don't tell policy, which prevented LGBT members of the armed forces from serving openly.[39] However, in December 2010, Dreier voted in favor of legislation that repealed the policy.[40][41] Dreier opposed a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage.[42]

Other activities[edit]

Members of a congressional delegation that met with Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf in Islamabad in 2007. From left to right: Rep. Joe Wilson (R-South Carolina), Rep. Darrell Issa (R-California), President Musharraf, Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tennessee), and Dreier.

He served as parliamentarian for four Republican National Conventions.[43]

Committee assignments[edit]

Chairman of the Committee on Rules (1999–2007, 2011–2013)

Caucus memberships[edit]

After Congress[edit]

On February 29, 2012, Dreier announced that upon completion of his current term he would not seek re-election.[18] Upon leaving Congress, Dreier, in an unprecedented move, joined the Obama Administration from 2013 to 2015, serving as a member of the Foreign Affairs Policy Board.[44] He also served on the board of the Pacific Council on International Policy. Currently, he serves as a trustee of the Library of Congress’ Congressional Office for International Leadership.[45]

Dreier is founder of the Dreier Roundtable at Claremont McKenna College (his alma mater), where he serves as a trustee. In 2013, Dreier was elected to the board of trustees of the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in Pasadena, California.[46] He serves on the Space Innovation Council at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and is a member of the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) working group.[46]

Dreier also became chairman of the Annenberg-Dreier Commission at Sunnylands, which aims to promote the free flow of goods, services, capital, information, ideas, and people throughout the greater Pacific.[47] He is also on the advisory board of the USC Annenberg School Center on Communication Leadership and Policy. Dreier is a distinguished fellow at the Brookings Institution,[48] a member of the Council on Foreign Relations,[49] and a leading member of the board of directors of the International Republican Institute.[50] He also serves on the boards of the Los Angeles Mission Foundation and James Madison's Montpelier.[51] Dreier is an executive producer of the 2020 documentary Ending Disease. He was also the co-executive producer of the 2018 U.S.-China relations documentary Better Angels.[52]

Tribune Publishing[edit]

In January 2019, Dreier was named chairman of the board of Tribune Publishing Company,[53][54] succeeding former Tribune Publishing CEO Justin Dearborn. Dreier had served on the Tribune Publishing board since 2016.

In February 2020, Dreier stepped down as chairman of the company. He left the board in June 2020.[55]

Fallen Journalists Memorial Foundation[edit]

On June 26, 2019, Dreier founded the Fallen Journalists Memorial Foundation (FJM Foundation), the main objective of which is to build a permanent memorial near the National Mall in Washington, D.C. to commemorate journalists who have been killed.[56] One year earlier on June 28, 2018, the offices of Capital Gazette Communications, home to The Capital newspaper in Annapolis, Maryland, became the site of the deadliest attack against journalists in United States history when five were gunned down in their office. This mass shooting at The Capital, owned by Tribune Publishing Company, inspired Dreier to launch the FJM project.[57] He serves as the chairman of the FJM Foundation.


At the 5th Annual Directors Guild of America Honors Gala in 2004, Dreier and Representative Howard Berman received a DGA Honor for their efforts in fighting runaway film and television production.[58] The award was presented by Rob Reiner, Sidney Pollack, and Warren Beatty. Also in 2004, the American Political Science Association (APSA) gave Dreier the Hubert Humphrey Award.[59]

In 2013, Dreier was inducted into the Order of Saint Agatha as a Knight Commander by the Republic of San Marino, the world's oldest republic.[60]

In 2017, President Enrique Peña Nieto of Mexico inducted Dreier into the Order of the Aztec Eagle.[61] Dreier has also been awarded the Order of San Carlos by the president of Colombia and the Order of Rubén Darío by the president of Nicaragua.[51]

Dreier is a member of the Alfalfa Club.[62]

He has been awarded the Clean Air Award by the Sierra Club.[63]

Personal life[edit]

Dreier lost his Malibu home in the Woolsey Fire in late 2018.[64][65][66]

He is a descendant of Richard Bland Lee, a congressman from Virginia who served on the first Rules Committee impaneled by the House of Representatives.[67]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "NewsConference: Fallen Journalist Memorial in the Works". NBC Los Angeles. Retrieved 2019-12-14.
  2. ^ a b "An exit interview with Rep. David Dreier". Los Angeles Times. 2012-10-10. Retrieved 2020-01-14.
  3. ^ TucsonSentinel.com; Morlock, Blake. "'Cardinal' Kolbe saw the big picture with an eye on the local | What the Devil won't tell you". TucsonSentinel.com. Retrieved 2023-01-17.
  4. ^ a b "Trump says many trade agreements are bad for Americans. The architects of NAFTA say he's wrong". Los Angeles Times. 2016-10-28. Retrieved 2023-01-17.
  5. ^ "About". Fallen Journalists Memorial Foundation. Archived from the original on 21 June 2019. Retrieved 21 June 2019.
  6. ^ "David Dreier will not run again". Southern California Public Radio. 2012-02-29. Retrieved 2019-11-27.
  7. ^ "CA District 35 Race". Our Campaigns. November 4, 1980. Retrieved 2012-06-03.
  8. ^ "CA District 33 – R Primary Race". Our Campaigns. June 8, 1982. Retrieved 2012-06-03.
  9. ^ "CA District 33 Race". Our Campaigns. November 2, 1982. Retrieved 2012-06-03.
  10. ^ "Candidate – David Dreier". Our Campaigns. Retrieved 2012-06-03.
  11. ^ "Dreier targeted on immigration". The Washington Times. October 31, 2004.
  12. ^ "California". CNN. Retrieved May 1, 2010.
  13. ^ "CA – District 26 Race". Our Campaigns. November 2, 2004. Retrieved 2012-06-03.
  14. ^ "CA – District 26 Race". Our Campaigns. November 7, 2006. Retrieved 2012-06-03.
  15. ^ [1] Archived December 21, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  16. ^ "CA – District 26 Race". Our Campaigns. November 4, 2008. Retrieved 2012-06-03.
  17. ^ "CA – District 26 Race". Our Campaigns. November 2, 2010. Retrieved 2012-06-03.
  18. ^ a b c Kane, Paul (2012-02-29). "Rep. David Dreier to retire at end of year". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2019-12-23.
  19. ^ "CA – District 31 – Open Primary Race". Our Campaigns. June 5, 2012. Retrieved 2012-06-03.
  20. ^ "David Dreier, Longtime Chairman of the House Rules Committee, Joins Brookings as Distinguished Fellow". Brookings. May 23, 2013. Retrieved 2019-11-30.
  21. ^ "Press Release: Dreier Selected as Rules Committee Chair for 112th Congress". Dreier.house.gov. December 16, 2010. Archived from the original on March 16, 2012. Retrieved 2012-06-03.
  22. ^ Lochhead, Carolyn (September 29, 2005). "Californian looked likely, but Missouri lawmaker takes DeLay post". San Francisco Chronicle.
  23. ^ "DeLay blasts indictment, prosecutor". CNN. September 29, 2005. Retrieved 2012-06-03.
  24. ^ Kolbe, Jim (1988-03-03). "H.Con.Res.247 - 100th Congress (1987-1988): A concurrent resolution expressing the sense of the Congress that the President should immediately enter into negotiations to establish a free trade area between the United States and Mexico". www.congress.gov. Retrieved 2020-07-03.
  25. ^ "YouTube". www.youtube.com. Retrieved 2020-07-03.
  26. ^ Kohli, Sonali (2016-10-28). "Trump says many trade agreements are bad for Americans. The architects of NAFTA say he's wrong". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2020-07-03.
  27. ^ "YouTube". www.youtube.com. Retrieved 2020-07-10.
  28. ^ Dreier, David. "Scrapping NAFTA would be reckless". chicagotribune.com. Retrieved 2020-07-03.
  29. ^ "Prof. Roderic Camp and former Congressman David Dreier '75 awarded Mexico's top honor for foreigners". cmc.edu (Press release). Claremont McKenna College. Retrieved 2019-12-23.
  30. ^ Associated Press, 28 August 2007
  31. ^ "This House member is no stand-up guy". Los Angeles Times. September 10, 2007.
  32. ^ "Ex-Rep. David Dreier finds a new role with Annenberg group". Los Angeles Times. 2013-02-20. Retrieved 2019-12-23.
  33. ^ Allen, Jonathan (29 February 2012). "The center crumbles". POLITICO. Retrieved 2019-12-24.
  34. ^ Green, Mark (2015-12-01). "The House's decade of democracy partnerships". The Hill. Retrieved 2019-12-23.
  35. ^ "Op-Ed: How politics built L.A.'s Gold Line at the expense of a smarter system". Los Angeles Times. 2016-03-14. Retrieved 2021-05-14.
  36. ^ "H.R. 3396 (104th): Defense of Marriage Act -- House Vote #316 -- Jul 12, 1996". GovTrack.us. Retrieved 2018-07-17.
  37. ^ Raspberry, William (1999-04-09). "Thought Crimes". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2019-12-24.
  38. ^ John, Conyers (2009-04-30). "Actions - H.R.1913 - 111th Congress (2009-2010): Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009". www.congress.gov. Retrieved 2018-07-17.
  39. ^ "Murphy amendment certified for House consideration". Washington Blade: Gay News, Politics, LGBT Rights. 2010-05-26. Retrieved 2018-07-17.
  40. ^ Willis, Derek. "Repeals 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' - H.R.2965: Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal Act of 2010". ProPublica. Retrieved 2018-07-17.
  41. ^ Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal Act of 2010. clerk.house.gov
  42. ^ "House Rejects Amendment to Ban Same-Sex Marriage". Los Angeles Times. 2006-07-19. Retrieved 2019-12-24.
  43. ^ "Rep. David Dreier on his job as 2012 Republican National Convention Parliamentarian | C-SPAN.org". www.c-span.org. Retrieved 2020-05-21.
  44. ^ "Former Republican Congressman David Dreier to speak at CI - News Releases - CSU Channel Islands". www.csuci.edu. Retrieved 2020-03-09.
  45. ^ "Open World Board of Trustees Welcomes Former Member of Congress David Dreier | OpenWorld". www.openworld.gov. Retrieved 2023-12-05.
  46. ^ a b "Former Congressman David Dreier joins Caltech trustees". Pasadena Star News. 2013-12-02. Retrieved 2019-12-19.
  47. ^ "The Annenberg-Dreier Commission | Dreier Roundtable". drt.cmc.edu. Retrieved 2018-07-17.
  48. ^ "David Dreier, Longtime Chairman of the House Rules Committee, Joins Brookings as Distinguished Fellow". Brookings. Retrieved July 17, 2018.
  49. ^ Dennis, Steven T. (2013-05-24). "David Dreier Lands at Brookings". Retrieved 2019-12-24.
  50. ^ "Former San Gabriel Valley congressman David Dreier to be knighted". Daily News. 2013-06-20. Retrieved 2019-12-24.
  51. ^ a b "Hon. David Dreier | OpenWorld". www.openworld.gov. Retrieved 2020-01-08.
  52. ^ Independent, The Claremont (2018-12-05). "The "Better Angels" and US-China Relationships". ClaremontIndependent. Retrieved 2023-12-05.
  53. ^ Channick, Robert. "Tribune Publishing names new CEO as 3 executives depart". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 21 June 2019.
  54. ^ "Tribune Publishing Shakes Up Management". Daily Herald. Retrieved 21 June 2019.
  55. ^ "Chicago Tribune parent names new CEO". Crain's Chicago Business. 2020-02-03. Retrieved 2020-02-27.
  56. ^ Cook, Chase (26 June 2019). "Lawmakers pledge support for fallen journalist memorial, a seven-year endeavor". capitalgazette.com. Retrieved 2019-11-28.
  57. ^ Badie, Jennifer (23 June 2019). "A year after Capital Gazette shooting, new foundation aims to build memorial to fallen journalists in D.C." baltimoresun.com. Retrieved 2019-11-28.
  58. ^ "DGA Announces Honorees for 5th Annual DGA Honors Gala -". www.dga.org. Retrieved 2020-07-01.
  59. ^ "APSA Awards Presented at the 2004 Annual Meeting". PS: Political Science and Politics. 37 (4): 955–962. 2004. doi:10.1017/S1049096504045603. ISSN 1049-0965. JSTOR 4488948. S2CID 233339180.
  60. ^ "Knighthood Conferred on Dreier". Sunnylands. Retrieved 2020-01-08.
  61. ^ Affairs, Office of Public; Claremont, Communications 400 N. Claremont Blvd. "Order of the Aztec Eagle awarded to Professor Rod Camp and Trustee David Dreier '75". cmc.edu. Retrieved 2021-05-14.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  62. ^ "Pompeo Is Where He Wants To Be: The Nation's #1 Diplomat | The Georgetown Dish". www.thegeorgetowndish.com. Retrieved 2019-12-19.
  63. ^ "Ex-Congressman David Dreier Elected to Caltech Board of Trustees – Pasadena Now". www.pasadenanow.com. Retrieved 2020-07-06.
  64. ^ Richard Simon (February 29, 2012). "Rep. David Dreier decides against seeking reelection". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2014-03-03.
  65. ^ "Beverly Hills Courier 11-08-13 E-edition". Issuu. 8 November 2013. Retrieved 2019-03-12.
  66. ^ Nolan, Conan (26 November 2018). "Former California GOP Congressman Says Republicans Had it Coming". NBC Southern California. Retrieved 2019-03-12.
  67. ^ David Dreier, CQ's Politics in America 2006, 109th Congress, Congressional Quarterly Publications (2006)

External links[edit]

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 35th congressional district

Succeeded by
Preceded by Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 33rd congressional district

Succeeded by
Preceded by Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 28th congressional district

Succeeded by
Preceded by
Howard Berman
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 26th congressional district

Succeeded by
Preceded by Chair of the House Rules Committee
Succeeded by
Louise Slaughter
Preceded by Chair of the House Rules Committee
Succeeded by
U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded byas Former US Representative Order of precedence of the United States
as Former US Representative
Succeeded byas Former US Representative