|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 1st district
January 3, 2015
|Preceded by||Tim Bishop|
|Member of the New York Senate
from the 3rd district
|Preceded by||Brian X. Foley|
|Succeeded by||Thomas Croci|
January 30, 1980 |
East Meadow, New York, U.S.
|Residence||Shirley, New York, U.S.|
|Alma mater||SUNY Albany(BA)
Albany Law School(JD)
|Service/branch||United States Army|
|Years of service||2003–present|
Lee Zeldin (born January 30, 1980) is an American lawyer and politician. A Republican, he has represented New York's 1st congressional district in the United States House of Representatives since 2015. New York's 1st district includes Central and Eastern Suffolk County, including most of Smithtown, as well as the entirety of the towns of Brookhaven, Riverhead, Southold, Southampton, East Hampton, and Shelter Island, and a small portion of Islip.
Early life, education, and military service
Zeldin was raised in Shirley, Suffolk County, New York and graduated from William Floyd High School in 1998. He received a B.A. (cum laude) in political science from the State University of New York at Albany in 2001 and earned his Juris Doctor from Albany Law School in May 2003.
Upon graduation from law school, Zeldin received an Army ROTC commission as a Second Lieutenant, assigned to the Military Intelligence Corps of the United States Army. He became a member of the New York State Bar in January 2004 at the age of 23. In 2006, he was deployed to Iraq with an infantry battalion of paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne Division. Zeldin also served as a lawyer in the Judge Advocate General's Corps. In 2007, he transitioned from active duty to the Army Reserve where he currently serves with the rank of Major. In 2008, Zeldin started a law practice in Smithtown, New York, which he operated full time until being elected to New York's 3rd State Senate district in 2010.
New York Senate
In 2010, Zeldin ran in the New York Senate's 3rd district, challenging Democratic incumbent Brian X. Foley. Zeldin defeated Foley 58%–42%. In 2012, he won re-election to a second term, defeating Democrat Francis Genco, 56%–44%.
In January 2011, Zeldin co-sponsored legislation that enacted a 2% property tax cap.
In June 2011, Zeldin voted against the Marriage Equality Act, which the Senate passed 33–29. In a statement after the bill passed, Zeldin said: "It is my belief that marriage should be defined as between a man and a woman."
On January 14, 2013, Zeldin did not vote on the NY SAFE Act, a gun control bill that passed the New York State Senate, 43 votes to 18. In a statement released to the press after the vote, Zeldin said he would have voted against the measure.
Zeldin defeated George Demos in the Republican Party primary and ran unopposed for the Conservative Party nomination in the primary on June 24, 2014. Zeldin had the backing of former Congressman and U.S. House Majority leader Eric Cantor, former Congressman Allen West, U.S. Senator John McCain, and former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum.
Zeldin was endorsed by the United States Chamber of Commerce, the National Federation of Independent Business, the Suffolk County Republican Committee, and Suffolk County Conservative Party Chairman Ed Walsh.
On June 24, 2014, Zeldin defeated George Demos, 62% to 37% to secure the Republican Party nomination. On November 4, 2014, Zeldin defeated Bishop, 54% to 45%, to represent New York's 1st congressional district in the United States Congress.
In February 2015, the NRCC announced that Zeldin was one of 12 members in the Patriot Program, a program designed to help protect vulnerable Republican incumbents heading into the 2016 election.
Zeldin ran for re-election in 2016. He faced no opposition in the Republican primary, which was held on June 28, 2016. He was challenged in the November 8, 2016, general election by Anna Throne-Holst, winner of the Democratic primary. Preliminary results from the Suffolk County Board of Elections showed Zeldin securing nearly 59% of the vote to retain his seat.
In July 2015, Zeldin attached an amendment to the Student Success Act. This amendment would allow for states to opt-out of the Common Core or other standards without penalty. The amendment was passed and signed into law thereafter.
- Environmental issues
In 2015, Zeldin had a 14% environmental rating from the League of Conservation voters. He was 29% below average for members of the House of Representatives, and the second lowest rated congressman in the New York delegation.
In April 2015, Zeldin, along with Charles Schumer, the senior United States Senator from New York, introduced the Fluke Fairness Act. The bill would reform the current system for managing fluke fishing quotas by creating a regional approach to updating quotas and standards based on geographic, scientific, and economic data. The bill has not been passed.
On July 15, 2015, Zeldin introduced the Exclusive Economic Zone Clarification Act. The bill proposed to amend the boundary in part of the federal Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). It would give fisheries management of Block Island Sound exclusively to New York and Rhode Island; some Connecticut fishermen said the bill could put them out of business.
Also in September 2015, Zeldin, along with Adrienne Esposito, executive director of Citizens Campaign for the Environment, condemned the dumping of dredged materials, stating: “We can't just assume that dumping these waste spoils in the Long Island Sound is environmentally benign.”
In 2016, The League of Conservation Voters awarded Zeldin an 8% rating, which was the worst record in the entire New York State congressional delegation. He has opposed the Stream Protection Rule.
- Foreign affairs
Zeldin criticized President Obama's Iran Nuclear Deal. In February 2016, Zeldin, along with Republican congressmen Mike Pompeo of Kansas and Frank LoBiondo of New Jersey, sought visas to travel to Iran to check the country's compliance with the Iran nuclear deal framework. On June 7, 2016, Iran called the request a "publicity stunt" and said it would deny the visas.
- Health care
In May 2015, Zeldin voted for H.R.36, a bill which he co-sponsored, that would prohibit abortions in cases where the probable age of the fetus is 20 weeks or later and would impose criminal penalties on doctors who violate the ban.
As of September 2015, Zeldin co-sponsored two bills in Congress that would combat Lyme disease. The bills are the Tick-Borne Disease Research and Accountability and Transparency Act of 2015 and the 21st Century Cures Act.
On September 18, 2015, Zeldin voted for the Defund Planned Parenthood Act of 2015, a bill that would defund Planned Parenthood for one year unless the organization agrees to not provide abortion services.
- Land Management
- Same-sex marriage
In June 2015, after the United States Supreme Court ruled in Obergefell v. Hodges that state-level bans on same-sex marriage are unconstitutional. Zeldin would not comment about his view of same-sex marriage, however he indicated that he believed the issue should have been decided at the state level.
A month later, Zeldin signed on as a co-sponsor of the First Amendment Defense Act, a bill whose supporters say is designed to protect Americans who use their religious beliefs to deny services to same sex couples or unmarried pregnant women. Critics of the measure say it will enable people to violate the legal rights of same-sex couples and their children by discriminating against them.
According to the legislation, the federal government is not allowed to “take any discriminatory action against a person, wholly or partially on the basis that such person believes or acts in accordance with a religious belief or moral conviction that marriage is or should be recognized as the union of one man and one woman, or that sexual relations are properly reserved to such a marriage.”
- Veterans affairs
In February 2016, Zeldin proposed federal legislation that would fund a three-year, $25 million nationwide veterans peer support program modeled on one he helped establish in New York State.
- Committee on Foreign Affairs
- Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure
- Committee on Veterans' Affairs
Zeldin was ranked as the 45th most bipartisan member of the U.S. House of Representatives during the 114th United States Congress (and the eighth most bipartisan member of the U.S. House of Representatives from New York) in the Bipartisan Index created by The Lugar Center and the McCourt School of Public Policy that ranks members of the United States Congress by their degree of bipartisanship (by measuring the frequency each member's bills attract co-sponsors from the opposite party and each member's co-sponsorship of bills by members of the opposite party).
Zeldin endorsed Donald Trump as the Republican presidential nominee after Trump effectively clinched the nomination on May 3, 2016. Zeldin had previously indicated that he would support the eventual Republican nominee.
Zeldin faulted Trump for his attack on Khizr and Ghazala Khan, a Gold Star family whose son Humayun, a Captain in the Army, was killed during the Iraq War, but stated he would continue to support Trump.
Zeldin supported Donald Trump's firing of FBI Director James Comey, saying it offered the FBI a chance at a “fresh start” to rebuild trust.
Zeldin is a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the American Legion, and the Jewish War Veterans. He is married to Diana Zeldin, and they have twin daughters, Mikayla and Arianna. They live in Shirley, New York.
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- Bonner, Ryan (January 15, 2013). "Zeldin Releases Statement on Gun Legislation". Patchogue Patch. Retrieved September 27, 2016.
- Franchi, Jaime (February 16, 2014). "Common Core Adjustments Do Not Go Far Enough, Blast Opponents". Long Island Press. Retrieved September 27, 2016.
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- Brand, Rick (October 6, 2013). "Zeldin to challenge Bishop for House seat". Newsday. Retrieved September 27, 2016.
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- "Zeldin Nets Chamber Of Commerce Endorsement". NY State of Politics. Retrieved June 22, 2014.
- "NFIB/NY Backs Zeldin in Hot 1st District". National Federation of Independent Business. Retrieved June 22, 2014.
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- "Senator Lee Zeldin Endorsed by Suffolk County Conservative Party Chairman". zeldinforcongress.com. Archived from the original on September 5, 2014.
- "Edward Walsh, Conservative Party chief, to be charged with fraud, sources say". Newsday. Retrieved February 20, 2015.
- "Zeldin Gets Suffolk County Nod". NY State of Politics. Retrieved June 22, 2014.
- "Zeldin Defeats Demos For Nomination". Retrieved November 9, 2016.
- "Zeldin defeats Bishop as Suffolk GOP wins big on Election Day". The Suffolk Times. November 4, 2014. Retrieved February 2, 2016.
- LaRocco, Paul (November 5, 2014). "Lee Zeldin Defeats Tim Bishop". Newsday. Retrieved November 10, 2014.
- "Exclusive: NRCC Announces 12 Members in Patriot Program". Roll Call: At the Races. Retrieved February 5, 2016.
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- "Zeldin begins with an anti-Common Core amendment". Politico New York. Retrieved February 27, 2015.
- "Zeldin Anti-Common Core Amendment Passed". December 3, 2015.
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- "2015 Scorecard" (PDF). League of Conservation Voters Scorecard. League of Conservation Voters.
- "Federal 'Fluke Fairness Act' would correct inequitable treatment of L.I. anglers: Schumer, Zeldin". Riverhead Local.
- "H.R.3070". congress.gov. Retrieved March 3, 2016.
- "Bill in Congress could hurt Connecticut fishermen, and fish". WTNH. Retrieved February 27, 2015.
- "On Long Island Sound, Discord Over Push for Fishing Rights". ABC News. Retrieved March 3, 2016.
- Blasl, Katie (September 17, 2015). "Long Island Sound is ‘not a landfill’, say environmentalists opposed to open water waste dumping plan". Riverhead Local. Retrieved March 3, 2016.
- "Rep. Zeldin joins call to halt Sound dumping". News12 LongIsland. September 16, 2015. Retrieved March 3, 2016.
- "National Environmental Scorecard". League of Conservation Voters. Retrieved March 9, 2017.
- "Extreme Assault on Stream Protection Rule". League of Conservation Voters. League of Conservation Voters. Retrieved March 9, 2017.
- "Tough-talking freshman congressman has been skipping Foreign Affairs Committee meetings". New York Post. Retrieved January 31, 2016.
- "Rep. Lee Zeldin's hearing absences draw fire from rivals". Newsday. Retrieved January 31, 2016.
- Brune, Tom (July 14, 2015). "Republicans denounce Iran deal; Democrats respond cautiously". Newsday. Retrieved June 20, 2016.
- Brune, Tom (February 4, 2016). "Rep. Lee Zeldin seeks Iran visa to check on nuke compliance". Newsday. Retrieved February 26, 2016.
- Nicholas, Elizabeth (February 25, 2016). "Meeting the Tea Party in Tehran". Huffington Post. Retrieved February 27, 2016.
- Vahdat, Amir (June 7, 2016). "Iran says US congressmen can't visit amid nuclear deal row". Associated Press. Retrieved June 16, 2016.
- Smith, Tara (May 11, 2017). "Zeldin votes to repeal Affordable Care Act". Long Island Advance. Retrieved May 15, 2017.
- "How the House voted to pass the GOP health-care bill". Washington Post. Retrieved 2017-05-04.
- Staff, C.N.N. "How every member voted on health care bill". CNN. Retrieved 2017-05-04.
- "Emily's List Declares Rep Zeldin On Notice for 2016". Newsday.
- "H.R.789". congress.gov. Retrieved March 2, 2016.
- "H.R.6". congress.gov. Retrieved March 2, 2016.
- Grossman, Karl (September 20, 2015). "Grossman Column: Time to legislate against Lyme disease". The Suffolk Times. Retrieved March 2, 2016.
- "H.R.3134". congress.gov. Retrieved March 2, 2016.
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- Merrill, Kitty (September 23, 2015). "Throne-Holst On The Offensive". The Independent. Retrieved March 2, 2016.
- Finn, Lisa (April 24, 2016). "Rep. Lee Zeldin on Battle to Preserve Plum Island: 'Losing's Not An Option'". North Fork Patch. Retrieved April 28, 2016.
- Irizarry, Lisa (May 16, 2016). "Plum Island protection bill passed by House". Newsday. Retrieved May 17, 2016.
- "Supreme Court Ruling Legalizes Gay Marriage; Bridgehampton Ceremony Was At Center Of Case". 27east.com. Retrieved February 27, 2015.
- "HR 2802". congress.gov. Retrieved February 27, 2016.
- Lee, Steve (June 20, 2015). "HRC: First Amendment Defense Act is 'reckless'". San Diego LGBT Weekly (San Diego California). Retrieved October 25, 2016.
- "First Amendment Defense Act". huffingtonpost.com. Retrieved October 25, 2016.
- "H.R. 2802: First Amendment Defense Act". RealClearPolitics.com. Retrieved March 2, 2016.
- "Rice, Zeldin file first bills aimed at aiding vets". Newsday. Retrieved February 5, 2016.
- Evans, Martin (February 14, 2016). "Lee Zeldin proposes $25M veterans counseling program". Newsday. Retrieved February 26, 2016.
- The Lugar Center - McCourt School Bipartisan Index (PDF), The Lugar Center, March 7, 2016, retrieved April 30, 2017
- Brune, Tom (May 4, 2016). "Reps. Peter King, Lee Zeldin endorse Donald Trump for president". Newsday. Retrieved August 15, 2016.
- Clancy, Ambrose (March 3, 2016). "Zeldin will support whoever GOP nominates". Suffolk Times. Retrieved August 15, 2016.
- Brune, Tom (August 2, 2016). "Peter King, Lee Zeldin fault Donald Trump for dispute with Khans". Newsday. Retrieved August 16, 2016.
- "With Comey out, Schumer urges special prosecutor". Newsday. Retrieved 2017-05-10.
- Gonzales, Nathan (January 24, 2014). "Washington Is a Matter of Life and Death to Congressional Candidate". Roll Call. Retrieved February 26, 2016.
- Congressman Lee Zeldin official U.S. House site
- Biography at the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
- Profile at Project Vote Smart
- Financial information (federal office) at the Federal Election Commission
- Legislation sponsored at The Library of Congress
- Appearances on C-SPAN
|New York State Senate|
Brian X. Foley
|New York State Senate, 3rd District
|United States House of Representatives|
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 1st congressional district
January 3, 2015 – present
|United States order of precedence (ceremonial)|
|United States Representatives by seniority