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Garret Graves

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Garret Graves
Ranking Member of the House Climate Crisis Committee
In office
January 3, 2019 – January 3, 2023
Preceded byPosition established
Succeeded byPosition abolished
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Louisiana's 6th district
Assumed office
January 3, 2015
Preceded byBill Cassidy
Personal details
Garret Neal Graves

(1972-01-31) January 31, 1972 (age 52)
Baton Rouge, Louisiana, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
SpouseCarissa Vanderleest
EducationUniversity of Alabama
Louisiana Tech University
American University
WebsiteHouse website

Garret Neal Graves (born January 31, 1972) is an American politician serving as the United States representative from Louisiana's 6th congressional district since 2015. He is a member of the Republican Party.

Early life and education[edit]

Garret Graves was born on January 31, 1972, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, to John and Cynthia (née Sliman) Graves.[1] He is a Catholic of Lebanese descent.[2][3] Graves graduated from Catholic High School (Baton Rouge, Louisiana) in 1990. He then attended the University of Alabama, Louisiana Tech, and American University.[4]


Graves served as an aide for nine years to former U.S. Representative Billy Tauzin of Louisiana's 3rd congressional district. He was also a legislative aide to the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce, which Tauzin chaired.[5] In 2005, he became an aide for the United States Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, working under Republican U.S. Senator David Vitter. He was the staff director for the United States Senate's Subcommittee on Climate Change and Impacts. He also worked for Democratic former U.S. Senator John Breaux, a protégé of Edwin Edwards and Vitter's predecessor in the Senate.[6] He served as a chief legislative aide to the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works.[7]

In 2008, Governor Bobby Jindal appointed Graves to chair the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority.[8] As chair, he negotiated on behalf of the state with British Petroleum over the Deepwater Horizon oil spill until resigning on February 17, 2014.[7]

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]


In March 2014, Graves announced his intention to run in the 2014 election to the United States House of Representatives for Louisiana's 6th congressional district; incumbent Republican Bill Cassidy successfully challenged incumbent Democratic U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu.[9]

In the 2014 nonpartisan blanket primary, Edwin Edwards finished in first place with 30% of the vote; Graves was the runner-up with 27%. Graves and Edwards advanced to the December 6 runoff election.[6] In the runoff, Graves received 139,209 votes (62.4%) to Edwards's 83,781 (37.6%).[10]

In the nonpartisan blanket primary held in conjunction with the national elections on November 6, 2018, Graves handily won his third term in the U.S. House, having led a four-candidate field with 186,524 votes (69%). Democrat Justin Dewitt trailed with 55,078 votes (21%). Two other candidates, Democrat "Andie" Saizan and Independent David Lance Graham, received the remaining 3%.[11]

In November 2023, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in Robinson v. Ardoin that Louisiana must redistrict its electoral maps due to gerrymandering, which has unfairly diluted the representation of the state's African American population. In Robinson v. Callais, which has been appealed to the US Supreme Court, civil rights groups have alleged that the Louisiana State Legislature's proposed maps were still gerrymandered with electoral districts redrawn to unseat Graves, who is a political rival of incumbent Louisiana Governor Jeff Landry.[12]


In April 2017, Graves became engaged in a public dispute with Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards about the disbursement of federal assistance for Louisiana's 2016 flooding victims. Graves, who had been mentioned as a potential challenger to Edwards in the 2019 gubernatorial election, said that he was "focused on flood recovery ... none of the governor's talk is helping flood victims."[13] Edwards attributed the delay in disbursement of the funds, which began on April 10, to the state's financial shortfall, which prevented the quick retaining of a disaster management firm. Edwards's executive counsel, Matthew Block, explained that the state had no money in 2016 to pay the contractor. Edwards projected a $440 million budget deficit for the fiscal year that began on July 1, 2017.[14]

On January 6, 2021, Graves voted to object to the results of the 2020 election in Pennsylvania.

In January 2023 following the Republican takeover of the House of Representatives, Graves was a key ally of Kevin McCarthy in helping him be elected speaker of the House. McCarthy then gave him a leadership post: coordinating strategy among the five factions or "Five Families" within the Republican caucus.[15]

Graves was tapped to lead the Republican side in negotiations over the 2023 United States debt-ceiling crisis. Counselor to the president Steve Ricchetti, Office of Management and Budget Director Shalanda Young, and legislative affairs director Louisa Terrell were tapped to lead the Democratic side.[16]

Committee assignments[edit]

As of 2023, Graves serves on the following committees:[17]

Caucus memberships[edit]

Political positions[edit]

Graves voted to support Israel following the 2023 Hamas attack on Israel.[22][23]

Personal life[edit]

Graves resides in his native Baton Rouge.[24][25] His wife is Carissa Vanderleest.[26]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "John A. Graves". Louisiana State University Foundation. January 16, 2021. Retrieved April 22, 2023.
  2. ^ "Members of Congress: Religious Affiliations". Pew Research Center. January 16, 2017. Retrieved April 29, 2016.
  3. ^ "LaHood Leads Bipartisan Effort to Provide Humanitarian Aid to Lebanon, Introduces Resolution in Support of the US-Lebanon Relationship". Congressman Darin LaHood. August 10, 2020. Retrieved April 22, 2023.
  4. ^ "Bioguide Search". bioguide.congress.gov. Retrieved 2023-05-28.
  5. ^ "Questions remain about potential conflict". HoumaToday.com. Archived from the original on March 19, 2016. Retrieved November 24, 2014.
  6. ^ a b "Edwin Edwards, Garret Graves headed for runoff in 6th Congressional District". NOLA.com. Retrieved November 24, 2014.
  7. ^ a b Schleifstein, Mark (February 5, 2014). "Jindal Coastal Adviser Garret Graves Resigns, Effective Feb. 17". The Times-Picayune/The New Orleans Advocate. Retrieved April 23, 2023.
  8. ^ "Graves Leading Money Race, The Tony Perkins Endorsement and D.C. House Claims: This Week in the 6th". The Times-Picayune/The New Orleans Advocate. October 18, 2014. Retrieved April 23, 2023.
  9. ^ "Former Jindal adviser running for Congress". theadvocate.com. Archived from the original on March 22, 2015. Retrieved November 24, 2014.
  10. ^ "Runoff election returns, December 6, 2014". Louisiana Secretary of State. Retrieved December 6, 2014.
  11. ^ "Election Returns". Louisiana Secretary of State. November 6, 2018. Retrieved November 8, 2018.
  12. ^ Millhiser, Ian (2024-05-14). "The messy SCOTUS drama about Black voters in Louisiana, explained". Vox. Retrieved 2024-05-15.
  13. ^ Greg Hilburn (April 21, 2017). "Who will challenge Gov. Edwards in 2019?". The Monroe News-Star. Retrieved April 22, 2017.
  14. ^ Rebekah Allen (April 20, 2017). "U.S. Rep. Garret Graves, Gov. John Bel Edwards sniping about flood recovery, again". The Baton Rouge Advocate. Retrieved April 24, 2017.
  15. ^ Walsh, Deirdre; Sprunt, Barbara (May 24, 2023). "Low-key Louisiana lawmaker tapped to help lead GOP debt negotiations". NPR. Retrieved 1 June 2023.
  16. ^ "Debt limit progress as Biden, McCarthy name top negotiators to avert national default". Associated Press. 2023-05-16.
  17. ^ "Committees Assignments". U.S. Congressman Garret Graves. Retrieved December 23, 2023.
  18. ^ "Member List". Republican Study Committee. Archived from the original on December 22, 2017. Retrieved December 21, 2017.
  19. ^ "Members". Congressional Western Caucus. Retrieved 27 June 2018.
  20. ^ "Our Members". U.S. House of Representatives International Conservation Caucus. Archived from the original on 1 August 2018. Retrieved 1 August 2018.
  21. ^ "Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute".
  22. ^ Demirjian, Karoun (2023-10-25). "House Declares Solidarity With Israel in First Legislation Under New Speaker". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2023-10-30.
  23. ^ Washington, U. S. Capitol Room H154; p:225-7000, DC 20515-6601 (2023-10-25). "Roll Call 528 Roll Call 528, Bill Number: H. Res. 771, 118th Congress, 1st Session". Office of the Clerk, U.S. House of Representatives. Retrieved 2023-10-30.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  24. ^ "New coastal director has strong local knowledge". HoumaToday.com. Archived from the original on September 24, 2015. Retrieved November 24, 2014.
  25. ^ "Jindal coastal adviser Garret Graves resigns, effective Feb. 17". NOLA.com. 5 February 2014. Retrieved November 24, 2014.
  26. ^ Sixth district. Government Printing Office. 15 April 2016. p. 120. ISBN 9780160929960. {{cite book}}: |work= ignored (help)

External links[edit]

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Louisiana's 6th congressional district

New office Ranking Member of the House Climate Crisis Committee
Position abolished
U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by United States representatives by seniority
Succeeded by