Joyce Beatty

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Joyce Beatty
Joyce Beatty congressional portrait 114th Congress.jpg
Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus
Assumed office
January 3, 2021
Preceded byKaren Bass
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Ohio's 3rd district
Assumed office
January 3, 2013
Preceded byMike Turner
Member of the Ohio House of Representatives
from the 27th district
In office
May 31, 1999 – December 31, 2008
Preceded byOtto Beatty Jr.
Succeeded byW. Carlton Weddington
Personal details
Joyce Marie Birdsong

(1950-03-12) March 12, 1950 (age 71)
Dayton, Ohio, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
John Hannah
(m. 1970; div. 1990)

(m. 1992; died 2021)
EducationCentral State University (BA)
Wright State University (MS)
WebsiteHouse website

Joyce Marie Beatty (/ˈbti/; née Birdsong, March 12, 1950) is an American politician serving as the U.S. Representative for Ohio's 3rd congressional district since 2013, and as chair of the Congressional Black Caucus since 2021. A member of the Democratic Party, Beatty represented the 27th district in the Ohio House of Representatives from 1999 to 2008, serving for a time as minority leader. She was also previously the Senior Vice-President for Outreach and Engagement at the Ohio State University.

In 2012, Beatty ran in the newly redrawn Ohio's 3rd congressional district, based in Columbus, and won the Democratic primary, defeating former U.S. Representative Mary Jo Kilroy.[1] She went on to defeat Republican Chris Long in the general election.[2] Beatty was married to Otto Beatty Jr., who was also a former Ohio state representative.

Early life, family, education, and early political career[edit]

Beatty was born on March 12, 1950, in Dayton, Ohio.[3] She has a B.A. in speech from Central State University, an M.S. in counseling psychology from Wright State University in 1975,[4] and has studied at the doctoral level at the University of Cincinnati. Beatty served as the Montgomery County Health and Human Services Director responsible for administering the county's health levy and area public nursing homes, including Stillwater Nursing Home. In 2003, she received an honorary doctorate from the Ohio Dominican University. Beatty served as a delegate for John Kerry on the Ohio delegation to the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Boston.[5]

Beatty was married to attorney and former State Representative Otto Beatty Jr. She has been a national spokesperson for the American Heart Association. She served on the Columbus American Heart Association Board, Ohio Democratic Committee, Women's Fund, NAACP, and Delta Sigma Theta sorority. In addition, she was a legislative chair of The Links and a chair of the Columbus Urban League Board. She won the 2002 YWCA Woman of Achievement Award, the Ohio Health Speaking of Women Health Award, NAACP Freedom Award, Woman of Courage Award, and the Urban League Leadership Recognition Award.[6]

Ohio House of Representatives (1999–2009)[edit]


In 1999, longtime State Representative Otto Beatty Jr. of Ohio's 21st House district decided to resign early to begin an opportunity in the private sector. His wife, Joyce Beatty, was appointed to his seat. She won a full term in 2000 with 82% of the vote.[7][8] After redistricting, she decided to run in the newly redrawn Ohio's 27th House district and was reelected in 2002 with 82% of the vote.[9] In 2004, she was reelected to a third term unopposed.[10] In 2006, she was reelected to a fourth term with 87% of the vote.[11] Term limits kept Beatty from seeking another term in 2008.[citation needed]


After Chris Redfern left to become chair of the Ohio Democratic Party, Beatty was named minority leader. She served in that capacity during the Ohio 127th General Assembly. She was the first female Democratic House leader in Ohio history.[12]

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]

2012 election and tenure[edit]

On March 6, 2012, Beatty defeated former Congresswoman Mary Jo Kilroy, Columbus city councilwoman Priscilla Tyson, and state representative Ted Celeste 38%–35%-15%-12% to win the Ohio 3rd congressional district Democratic primary.[1] She received early support from the Ohio Legislative Black Caucus, Columbus Mayor Michael B. Coleman, and various other Central Ohio political figures, including Representative Tracy Maxwell Heard and former Representative W. Carlton Weddington.[13]

Between 2013 and 2020, five of the 88 bills Beatty sponsored became law, all wrapped into broader bills.[14] In 2020, she noted she had "helped to secure" local funding for the revitalization of parts of Dayton and research at Ohio State.[14]

2020 election[edit]

Starting in late 2019 and into early 2020, Beatty was campaigning for her fifth term as the representative of Ohio's 3rd congressional district. She faced her first primary challenge since she was elected in 2012,[15] with the Columbus Dispatch writing that the "winner of the Democratic primary almost certainly will go to Washington representing the heavily Democratic district." At the end of 2019, it was reported she had $1.7 million in her campaign account.[16] In February 2020, she was criticized for accepting campaign contributions from financial services PACs while also overseeing the House Financial Services Committee.[16][15][14] According to, at the time, Beatty had raised $5.1 million as a candidate for the U.S. and Ohio Houses, of which $1.5 million was from the finance, insurance and real estate industries. In her defense, she argued she had a "record of grilling bank executives who come before her committee and that much of the money from those PACs came from lower-level employees," and that while Congress needed campaign finance reform, the PAC contributions were "legal under current rules".[14]

In March 2020, The Intercept reported that Beatty and her husband sold one of their Columbus properties in 2013[17][18] "to a developer while Otto Beatty sat on the zoning board that approved the sale", leading to accusations of gentrification and "money in politics" by Beatty's political opposition. Beatty called the criticism a "distortion" of her husband's record. Otto Beatty, in an interview with The Dispatch, said his wife had nothing to do with the property's pricing: it had been sold when Otto Beatty was on the Downtown Commission, which "reviewed a request to demolish the existing structures on the property and replace them with a high-rise apartment building". Arguing at the time in favor of demolition and redevelopment, Otto Beatty noted he did not take part in the final vote.[18]

On April 28, 2020, Beatty won the Democratic primary, defeating challenger Morgan Harper, a self-described progressive. Harper, who had been backed by the Sunrise Movement, a group that backed Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, lost with 32% of the vote to Beatty's 68%.[19][20] Beatty defeated Republican nominee Mark Richardson with 71% of the vote.[21]

Committee assignments[edit]

Caucus memberships[edit]


On June 21, 2013, the National Journal published an article, "Nearly One in Five Members of Congress Gets Paid Twice", that reported that Beatty's state pension of $253,323 is the highest, and, combined with her congressional salary, was greater than President Obama's total government compensation.[23]


On July 15, 2021, Beatty was one of nine protesters the United States Capitol Police arrested for illegally demonstrating in the Hart Senate Office Building.[24] She and approximately 20 other voting rights protesters sought to push the Senate to support the For the People and John Lewis Voting Rights Acts. After multiple warnings from the police, Beatty was arrested for violating a Washington, D.C. law against "crowing, obstructing, or incommoding".[25]

Political positions[edit]


Beatty voted for a defense bill that included $1.3 billion for fencing at the US-Mexico border.[26]


Beatty supports "parts of" the Green New Deal.[15]


Beatty is pro-choice.[27]


At one point, Beatty opposed legalizing cannabis for recreational use,[27] but in December 2020, she voted for the Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment, and Expungement (MORE) Act (HR 3884), which would remove cannabis from the federal Controlled Substances Act, provide a pathway for expungements and resentencing for marijuana convictions, and create a community reinvestment fund to help create an equitable cannabis industry.[28]


Beatty opposes decreasing corporate taxes to support economic growth.[27]

Health care[edit]

Beatty supported Obamacare and opposed its repeal. In 2019, she introduced the End Price Gouging For Insulin Act bill, which would lower insulin prices nationwide. Beatty's father was diabetic, as was her husband. She has supported efforts in Ohio by Hearcel Craig and Beth Liston to regulate insulin prices.[29] In 2019 she supported "some of" the "health-care fixes that focus on smaller changes to Obamacare rather than a complete overhaul of the system."[15] In March 2020, she voted with a majority of U.S. representatives for a $8.3 billion bill to combat COVID-19.[18]

Beatty discusses why she voted in support of the Articles of Impeachment.


Beatty supported both the first and second impeachments of Donald Trump.[30][31][32]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "2016 Election Results: President Live Map by State, Real-Time Voting Updates". Election Hub. Retrieved 2018-11-05.
  2. ^ "Ex-Ohio Rep. Beatty wins new US House district". Retrieved 8 November 2012.
  3. ^ "Beatty, Joyce". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved 2021-11-06.
  4. ^ "Making a career of beginnings", AlumNews, Wright State University Alumni Association, 12 (4), p. 13, Spring 1991
  5. ^ "Congresswoman Joyce Beatty". United States House of Representatives. 11 December 2012. Retrieved 13 June 2018.
  6. ^ "Ohio Ladies Gallery". Ohio Ladies Gallery. Retrieved 2012-03-15.
  7. ^ "OH State House 21 Race – Nov 07, 2000". Our Campaigns. Retrieved 2012-03-15.
  8. ^ "2000 general election results". Archived from the original on June 27, 2011. Retrieved September 13, 2011.
  9. ^ "OH State House 27 Race – Nov 05, 2002". Our Campaigns. Retrieved 2012-03-15.
  10. ^ "OH State House 27 Race – Nov 02, 2004". Our Campaigns. Retrieved 2012-03-15.
  11. ^ "OH State House 27 Race – Nov 07, 2006". Our Campaigns. Retrieved 2012-03-15.
  12. ^ "Beatty For Congress". Beatty For Congress. 2009-03-25. Retrieved 2012-03-15.
  13. ^ "Beatty For Congress". Beatty For Congress. 2009-03-25. Archived from the original on 2012-03-06. Retrieved 2012-03-15.
  14. ^ a b c d "US Rep. Joyce Beatty touts experience in primary race", The Columbus Dispatch, Rick Rouan (February 26, 2020)
  15. ^ a b c d "Beatty gets challenge as candidates line up for central Ohio congressional seats", The Columbus Dispatch, Rich Rouan (December 17, 2019)
  16. ^ a b "Morgan Harper seeks bold policies as progressive primary challenger to Democratic Rep. Joyce Beatty", The Columbus Dispatch, Rick Rouan (February 26, 2020)
  17. ^ Cunningham-Cook, Matthew (March 3, 2020). "Rep. Joyce Beatty Gentrified Her Way Into Political Trouble".
  18. ^ a b c "Rep. Joyce Beatty calls Morgan Harper’s attack on real-estate deal ‘desperate’", The Columbus Dispatch, Anna Staver and Rick Rouan (March 4, 2020)
  19. ^ "Incumbent Democrat Joyce Beatty wins Ohio primary against liberal Morgan Harper". Reuters. 29 April 2020.
  20. ^ "Sunrise Movement launches first wave of Congressional primary endorsements, fortifying Green New…". December 12, 2019.
  21. ^ "Live results: 2020 Ohio House primaries". Washington Post.
  22. ^ "Membership". Congressional Black Caucus. Retrieved 7 March 2018.
  23. ^ "Nearly One in Five Members of Congress Gets Paid Twice –".
  24. ^ Miller, Andrew (2021-07-15). "US Capitol Police arrest Rep. Joyce Beatty during voting rights protest in Hart Senate Office Building". Fox News. Retrieved 2021-07-15.
  25. ^ Wu, Nicholas (July 15, 2021). "Black Caucus Chair arrested during protest in Capitol complex". POLITICO. Retrieved July 16, 2021.
  26. ^ Schladen, Marty (February 3, 2020). "Democrats Beatty, Harper pull no punches at congressional debate". Columbus Dispatch. Retrieved July 29, 2020.
  27. ^ a b c "The Voter's Self Defense System". Vote Smart. Retrieved 14 December 2019.
  28. ^ "Roll Call 235 Roll Call 235, Bill Number: H. R. 3884, 116th Congress, 2nd Session". 4 December 2020.
  29. ^ Smith, Mary (12 December 2019). "Ohio congresswoman introduces bill to lower insulin prices". WKRC. Retrieved 14 December 2019.
  30. ^ Staver, Anna. "Rep. Beatty says she supports impeachment and thinks some Republicans do, too". The Columbus Dispatch. Retrieved 14 December 2019.
  31. ^ Rowland, Darrel. "How Ohioans in Congress justified their impeachment resolution vote". The Columbus Dispatch. Retrieved 2020-06-02.
  32. ^ Evans, Nick (7 January 2021). "Rep. Joyce Beatty Supports Impeachment If Cabinet Doesn't Remove Trump". Retrieved 2021-01-18.

External links[edit]

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Ohio's 3rd congressional district

Preceded by Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus
U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by United States representatives by seniority
Succeeded by