Mike Gallagher (American politician)

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Mike Gallagher
Mike Gallagher official portrait, 115th congress.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Wisconsin's 8th district
Assumed office
January 3, 2017
Preceded byReid Ribble
Personal details
Michael John Gallagher

(1984-03-03) March 3, 1984 (age 37)
Green Bay, Wisconsin, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
(m. 2019)
EducationPrinceton University (BA)
National Intelligence University (MS)
Georgetown University (MS, MA, PhD)
WebsiteHouse website
Military service
Allegiance United States
Branch/service United States Marine Corps
UnitUnited States Marine Corps

Michael John Gallagher (born March 3, 1984) is an American politician who serves as the U.S. Representative for Wisconsin's 8th congressional district. He was elected in the 2016 elections and took office on January 3, 2017. He is a Republican.

Early years[edit]

Gallagher lived in Green Bay through middle school. After his parents' divorce, he moved to California and studied at Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana, while spending summers back in Wisconsin. Gallagher later said his teachers "endowed me with a love for history and set me on a path to earning a Ph.D. with a focus on Cold War history."[2] He graduated with the class of 2002 as a Valedictorian.[3]


Gallagher was a United States Marine Corps intelligence officer, serving seven years (2006–2013) on active duty.[4] He twice deployed to the Al Anbar Province, Iraq, serving on General Petraeus' CENTCOM Assessment Team as a commander of intelligence teams. He assessed American military strategy in the Middle East and Central Asia in his role as a counterintelligence officer, and as a member of the CENTCOM assessment team.[5]


Gallagher earned his B.A. from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University. With a growing interest in global security, he moved his major from Spanish to Arabic[3] graduating in 2006.[6] Gallagher completed a 117-page long senior thesis, titled "New Approaches to Asymmetric Threats in the Middle East: From Fighting to Winning", under the supervision of Frederick Hitz.[7] At this time he completed a summer internship abroad with the Rand Corporation in Cambridge, UK, working on a strategic study of terrorist groups such as the Basque separatists in Spain.

Having served on his first tour of Iraq with the United States Marine Corps, Gallagher began a MSSI (Master of Science in Strategic Intelligence) at National Intelligence University graduating in 2010.

Gallagher completed a second M.A, in Security Studies in 2012; and a third M.A. in Government in 2013; both from Georgetown University. He then began doctoral studies, writing a dissertation on the administrations of Harry S. Truman and Dwight D. Eisenhower and the Cold War,[8] receiving his Ph.D. in Government - International Relations in 2015.[9]

U.S House of Representatives[edit]


Gallagher served as a Republican staffer on the United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. Scott Walker, then-Governor of Wisconsin, hired Gallagher as a foreign policy advisor in February 2015, in preparation for his 2016 presidential campaign.[10]

After Walker dropped out of the presidential race, Gallagher worked as a senior marketing strategist for Breakthrough Fuel, a supply-chain management company. He was then recruited to run for Wisconsin's 8th congressional district seat, for which Reid Ribble was not seeking re-election.[11][12] Gallagher won a primary against Wisconsin state senator Frank Lasee and Forestville village president Terry McNulty.[13]

In the 2016 general election, Gallagher faced Outagamie County Executive Tom Nelson;[14] Gallagher won the election 63 percent to 36 percent.[15] Gallagher won re-election in 2018 against Democrat Beau Liegeois, a Brown County assistant district attorney.[16]


Mike Gallagher with Australian MP Andrew Hastie by a statue of Sir David Stirling, the founder of the Special Air Service, at Campbell Barracks in Western Australia in August 2019

Gallagher voted in line with President Donald Trump's position 93.8% of the time in the 115th Congress and 84.2% of the time in the 116th Congress.[17] However, he broke with the White House on issues such as the Trump's firing of FBI Director James Comey and Trump's denial of Russian interference in the 2016 elections.[18] He voted against the majority of his party about 8.7% of the time.[19]

In 2018, Gallagher argued that power within the U.S. House of Representatives was too concentrated in House leadership; he proposed allowing committee members to choose their own chairs and ranking members, rather than having these positions be selected by the parties' respective steering committees. This proposal was rejected in a House Republican vote. Gallagher also argued for a consolidation of the appropriating and authorizing House committees, and a reform of the House calendar that would have the chamber sit "at least five days a week for three consecutive weeks, then spend a full week back in their districts" (a change from the current congressional practice of very short legislative workweeks and frequent long weekends allowing members more time in their districts).[20] Gallagher's unsuccessful reform proposals were praised by Norm Ornstein, a scholar of Congress, as "constructive" although unlikely to be adopted.[20]

Health care and public health[edit]

Gallagher voted in favor of the 2017 Republican bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA).[17] In 2017, he called the ACA "unsustainable".[21] In 2018, Gallagher voted in favor of expanding eligibility for health savings accounts; in 2019; he voted against a proposal to allow the federal government to negotiate lower prices for prescription drugs.[17]

During the COVID-19 pandemic in Wisconsin, Gallagher's district had some of the nation's highest infection rates. Gallagher did not take a position on the Republican-controlled Wisconsin State Legislature's lawsuit seeking to invalidate a directive of Democratic Governor Tony Evers to mandate the wearing of masks in public as a way to combat the transmission of the virus.[22]

Foreign affairs[edit]

In a 2016 profile in the Green Bay Press Gazette, Gallagher blamed President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for the success of ISIS in Iraq.[23] In 2019, he wrote it would be "a smart geopolitical move" for the U.S. to buy Greenland, a notion that Trump floated.[24] In 2020, Gallagher voted against a measure to block Trump from taking military action against Iran without the consent on the Congress.[17] In 2017, he supported a U.S. airstrike in Syria in retaliation for the Khan Shaykhun chemical attack,[25] and in 2020 he supported the U.S. drone strike that targeted targeted Iranian general Qasem Soleimani.[26] In 2019, Gallagher voted for a measure opposing Trump's decision to withdraw U.S. forces from Syria.[17]

In 2019, after American video game company Activision Blizzard punished a Hong Kong-based professional gamer for supporting pro-democracy Hong Kong protests, Gallagher accused Blizzard of censorship.[27] He co-signed a letter to Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick that read, "As China amplifies its campaign of intimidation, you and your company must decide whether to look beyond the bottom line and promote American values—like freedom of speech and thought—or to give in to Beijing’s demands in order to preserve market access."[28]

Gallagher, along with Republican Senator Tom Cotton, drafted a bill in 2020 banning federal agencies, such as the departments of the Health and Human Services, Veterans Affairs and Defense, from purchasing drugs manufactured in China.[29]


In 2017, Gallagher voted in favor of legislation to dismantle Dodd-Frank financial regulations.[17] In 2019, he voted against legislation to increase the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour.[17] He voted in favor of the 2017 Republican tax legislation.[17] He voted to repeal a federal regulation barring some companies in the financial sector from including mandatory arbitration clauses in contracts.[17] He supported the 2018 farm bill.[17]

Gallagher has supported bipartisan proposals to use industrial policy to counter Chinese economic power; he joined with Democrats in 2020 in favor of a proposal to grant $10 billion "to establish regional tech hubs that would aim to create new companies and boost manufacturing."[30] Gallagher has sponsored legislation to bar federal agencies from purchasing Chinese-manufactured drones.[31]

Energy and environment[edit]

In 2019, Gallagher voted against a resolution to block Trump from withdrawing the U.S. from the Paris Agreement on climate change.[17] He voted in favor of a measure to ban drilling in the eastern Gulf of Mexico, but voted against a measure to ban drilling off the Atlantic and Pacific coasts.[17] He voted in favor of a measure opposing a carbon tax, and in favor of a delay in ozone protection regulations.[17] In 2017, he voted in favor of repealing the Stream Protection Rule and to repeal federal regulations to require energy companies to reduce emissions and waste, and to disclose payments made to foreign governments.[17] The League of Conservation Voters gave Gallagher a lifetime scope of 5%.[32]

Social issues[edit]

Gallagher has voted in favor of various anti-abortion measures. He voted against a 2019 measure opposing a ban on openly transgender people serving in the U.S. military.[17] He voted in favor of the 2018 First Step Act.[17]

Other issues[edit]

Gallagher voted against the impeachment inquiry against Donald Trump, and later voted against adopting two articles of impeachment against Trump, on charges of obstruction of Congress and abuse of power.[17]

In 2018, Gallagher voted against a House resolution condemning Trump for his comments attacking four Democratic congresswoman and saying that they should "go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came"; Gallagher declined to call Trump's comments racist, although he did rebuke Trump supporters on a previous occasion for "send her back" chants.[33] Gallagher spoke at a Trump rally in Wisconsin in 2019.[34]

Gallagher voted against restoration of a part of the Voting Rights Act.[17] He voted against a 2020 bill for District of Columbia statehood.[17] In 2018, he voted in favor of reauthorizing the warrantless surveillance program as part of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.[17]

In May 2018, following a meeting at the White House, Gallagher received Trump's endorsement of his proposal for congressional term limits; the proposal also received support from Brian Fitzpatrick, Jodey Arrington, and Vicente González. Gallagher's plan consists of limiting senators to two terms and representatives to six terms (totaling 12 years each). It would be grandfathered in order not to apply to sitting members of Congress, except for the so-called "freshman class".[35]

Gallagher became one of seven Republicans who did not support their colleagues' efforts to challenge the results of the 2020 presidential election on January 6, 2021. These seven signed a letter that, while giving credence to election fraud allegations made by Trump, said Congress did not have the authority to influence the election's outcome.[36]

On January 9, Gallagher joined a group of other Republican legislators led by Ken Buck of Colorado in signing a letter to President-elect Joe Biden, asking him to formally request that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi halt efforts to impeach Trump.[37]

Committee assignments[edit]

Caucus memberships[edit]

Personal life[edit]

Gallagher married Broadway actress Anne Horak in September 2019.[43] Their daughter was born in June 2020.[44]

Electoral history[edit]


Wisconsin 8th Congressional District Republican Primary, 2016[45]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Mike Gallagher 40,322 74.46
Republican Frank Lasee 10,705 19.77
Republican Terry McNulty 3,109 5.74
Republican Write-in votes 16 0.03
Total votes 54,152 100.0
Wisconsin 8th Congressional District General Election, 2016[46]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Mike Gallagher 227,892 62.65
Democratic Tom Nelson 135,682 37.30
Green Wendy Gribben (write in) 16 0.00
Democratic Jerry Kobishop (write-in) 2 0.00
Write-in votes Write-in 188 0.05
Total votes 363,780 100.0
Republican hold


Wisconsin 8th Congressional District Republican Primary, 2018[47]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Mike Gallagher (incumbent) 62,524 99.91
Republican Write-in votes 56 0.09
Total votes 62,580 100.0
Wisconsin 8th Congressional District General Election, 2018[48]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Mike Gallagher (incumbent) 209,410 63.69
Democratic Beau Liegeois 119,265 36.28
Write-in votes Write-in 99 0.03
Total votes 328,774 100.0
Republican hold


Wisconsin 8th Congressional District Republican Primary, 2020[49]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Mike Gallagher (incumbent) 50,176 100.0
Total votes 50,176 100.0
Wisconsin's 8th Congressional District General Election, 2020[50]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Mike Gallagher (incumbent) 268,173 64.2
Democratic Amanda Stuck 149,558 35.8
Write-in 107 0.0
Total votes 417,838 100.0
Republican hold


  1. ^ Bink, Addy (June 25, 2020). "Rep. Gallagher, wife announce birth of daughter". WFRV-TV. Retrieved July 30, 2020.
  2. ^ "Mater Dei High School". www.materdei.org. Archived from the original on April 7, 2020. Retrieved April 7, 2020.
  3. ^ a b Stein, Jason; Gallagher went from Green Bay to Iraq, Capitol Hill; Journal Sentinel, October 10, 2016; https://www.jsonline.com/story/news/politics/elections/2016/10/10/gallagher-went-green-bay-iraq-capitol-hill/91664942/ Archived April 17, 2020, at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ Adam Rodewald (September 16, 2016). "Mike Gallagher takes aim at career politicians". Green Bay Press-Gazette. Retrieved November 11, 2016.
  5. ^ "Congressman On Iraq's Decision To Expel U.S. Troops". NPR.org. Archived from the original on April 7, 2020. Retrieved April 7, 2020.
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  7. ^ Gallagher, Michael. Hitz, Frederick (ed.). "New Approaches to Asymmetric Threats in the Middle East: From Fighting to Winning". Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  8. ^ Gallagher, Mike (December 14, 2015). "Changing Course: The Sources of Strategic Adjustment" (PDF). Georgetown Library.
  9. ^ "Mike Gallagher". Retrieved July 9, 2017 – via LinkedIn.
  10. ^ Darren Samuelsohn (February 18, 2015). "Walker hires domestic, foreign policy advisers". Politico. Archived from the original on February 23, 2019. Retrieved November 11, 2016.
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  13. ^ Jeff Bollier (August 9, 2016). "Gallagher wins GOP race for 8th District". Green Bay Press-Gazette. Retrieved December 12, 2016.
  14. ^ Thomas, Mike; All eyes on Mike Gallagher; Post-Crescent; September 2, 2016; http://www.postcrescent.com/story/opinion/columnists/2016/09/02/all-eyes-mike-gallagher/89781614/ Archived April 17, 2020, at the Wayback Machine
  15. ^ Adam Rodewald; Madeleine Behr (November 9, 2016). "Mike Gallagher wins 8th Congressional District". Green Bay Press-Gazette. Retrieved December 12, 2016.
  16. ^ Haley BeMiller, U.S. Rep. Mike Gallagher defeats Democrat Beau Liegeois for second term in Congress, Green Bay Press-Gazette (November 6, 2018).
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  21. ^ "Watch: Rep. Mike Gallagher answers questions about health care bill". WBAY. ABC News. May 9, 2017. Archived from the original on June 16, 2018. Retrieved July 20, 2018.
  22. ^ Laura Schulte & Molly Beck, Mike Gallagher silent on effort to overturn mask mandate as district worsens as one of country's COVID-19 hot spots, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (October 12, 2020).
  23. ^ Rodewald, Adam; Mike Gallagher takes aim at career politicians; Green Bay Press-Gazette; September 16, 2016; http://www.greenbaypressgazette.com/story/news/politics/elections/2016/09/16/mike-gallagher-takes-aim-career-politicians/89787538/
  24. ^ Ingber, Sasha (August 16, 2019). "Greenland Says It's 'Not For Sale' After Reports That Trump Wants To Buy It". National Public Radio. Archived from the original on August 17, 2019. Retrieved August 17, 2019.
  25. ^ Scott Bauer, Trump airstrike gets rare bipartisan praise in Wisconsin, Associated Press (April 7, 2017).
  26. ^ Haley BeMiller, U.S. Rep. Mike Gallagher applauds airstrike that killed Iranian 'architect of chaos' in Middle East, Green Bay Press-Gazette (January 3, 2020).
  27. ^ "AOC and Ted Cruz call out Apple for dropping Hong Kong app in joint letter". The Verge. October 18, 2019.
  28. ^ "Lawmakers condemn Apple, Activision Blizzard over censorship of Hong Kong protester". The Hill. October 18, 2020.
  29. ^ "GOP lawmaker touts bill prohibiting purchases of drugs made in China". The Hill. March 31, 2020. Archived from the original on April 2, 2020. Retrieved April 2, 2020.
  30. ^ Jeanne Whalen, To counter China, some Republicans are abandoning free-market orthodoxy, Washington Post (August 26, 2020).
  31. ^ David McCabe, U.S. Divided Over Chinese Drone Bans, New York Times (February 7, 2020).
  32. ^ National Environmental Scorecard: Representative Mike Gallagher (R), League of Conservation Voters (last accessed November 3, 2020).
  33. ^ Mica Soellner, Mike Gallagher says he won't call Trump and supporters racist, despite criticizing chant, USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin (July 19, 2020).
  34. ^ Haley BeMiller, U.S. Rep. Mike Gallagher navigates second term amid Democrat majority, 2020 campaigns, Green Bay Press-Gazette (July 2, 2019).
  35. ^ Zanona, Melanie (May 5, 2018). "Younger lawmakers ignite new push for term limits". The Hill. Archived from the original on May 31, 2018. Retrieved May 23, 2018.
  36. ^ Budryk, Zack (January 3, 2021). "Coalition of 7 conservative House Republicans says they won't challenge election results". The Hill. Retrieved January 3, 2021.
  37. ^ Nicholas Reimann (January 9, 2021). "House Republicans Ask For Biden To Help Stop Trump Impeachment". Forbes.
  38. ^ "Member List". Republican Study Committee. Archived from the original on December 22, 2017. Retrieved November 17, 2017.
  39. ^ "Members". Republican Mains Street Partnership. Archived from the original on August 26, 2018. Retrieved October 4, 2017.
  40. ^ "90 Current Climate Solutions Caucus Members". Citizen´s Climate Lobby. Archived from the original on November 22, 2018. Retrieved October 20, 2018.
  41. ^ "Members". U.S. - Japan Caucus. Archived from the original on December 21, 2018. Retrieved January 9, 2019.
  42. ^ "Featured Members". Problem Solvers Caucus. Retrieved March 28, 2021.
  43. ^ "Rep. Gallagher marries Green Bay native, Broadway actress". WFRV Local 5 - Green Bay, Appleton. September 30, 2019. Retrieved May 1, 2021.
  44. ^ "Rep. Gallagher, wife announce birth of daughter". WFRV Local 5 - Green Bay, Appleton. June 25, 2020. Retrieved May 1, 2021.
  45. ^ "G.A.B. Canvass Reporting System Canvass Results for 2016 Partisan Primary - 8/9/2016 5:00:00 AM" (PDF). Wisconsin Election Commission. Retrieved February 13, 2020.
  46. ^ "WEC Canvass Reporting System Canvass Results for 2016 General Election - 11/8/2016 6:00:00 AM" (PDF). Wisconsin Elections Commission. Archived (PDF) from the original on March 7, 2020. Retrieved February 13, 2020.
  47. ^ "Wisconsin Election Commission Elections Results Report Canvass Results for 2018 Partisan Primary - 8/14/2018 5:00:00 AM" (PDF). Wisconsin Election Commission. Retrieved February 13, 2020.
  48. ^ "WEC Canvass Reporting System Canvass Results for 2018 General Election - 11/6/2018 6:00:00 AM" (PDF). Wisconsin Elections Commission. Archived from the original (PDF) on February 7, 2020. Retrieved February 13, 2020.
  49. ^ "2020 Fall Partisan Primary Results" (PDF). Wisconsin Elections Commission. Retrieved August 28, 2020.
  50. ^ "Canvass Results for 2020 General Election" (PDF). Wisconsin Elections Commission. Retrieved December 2, 2020.

External links[edit]

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Reid Ribble
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Wisconsin's 8th congressional district

U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Matt Gaetz
United States representatives by seniority
Succeeded by
Vicente Gonzalez