|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Alabama's 5th district
January 3, 2011
|Preceded by||Parker Griffith|
|Member of the Madison County Commission
from the 5th district
|Preceded by||Rob Colson|
|Succeeded by||Phil Riddick|
|Member of the Alabama House of Representatives
from the 10th district
|Preceded by||James Haney|
|Succeeded by||Tom Drake|
|Member of the Alabama House of Representatives
from the 18th district
|Preceded by||Charlie Britnell|
|Succeeded by||Frank Riddick|
|Born||Morris Jackson Brooks, Jr.
April 29, 1954
Charleston, South Carolina, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Martha Jenkins (1976–present)|
|Alma mater||Duke University
University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa
(Baptized and attends Mormon services)
Morris Jackson "Mo" Brooks, Jr. (born April 29, 1954) is an American politician who has been the U.S. Representative for Alabama's 5th congressional district since 2011. He is a member of the Republican Party.
- 1 Early life, education, and legal career
- 2 Early political career
- 3 U.S. House of Representatives
- 3.1 Elections
- 3.2 Tenure
- 3.3 Committee assignments
- 4 Electoral history
- 5 Personal life
- 6 References
- 7 External links
Early life, education, and legal career
Brooks was born in 1954 in Charleston, South Carolina, and moved to Huntsville, Alabama, in 1963. His mother, Betty J. (Noland) Brooks, taught economics and government for over twenty years at Lee High School, while he attended Grissom High School. His father, Morris Jackson "Jack" Brooks, was raised in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and worked as an electrical engineer before retiring from Redstone Arsenal's Meteorology Center. They still live in Madison County, Alabama.
Brooks graduated from Grissom High School in 1972. He graduated from Duke University in three years with a double major in political science and economics, with highest honors in economics. Brooks later graduated from the University of Alabama School of Law in 1978.
Brooks started his legal career with the Tuscaloosa district attorney’s office. Brooks left the Tuscaloosa district attorney’s office in 1980 to return to Huntsville as a law clerk for presiding circuit court judge John David Snodgrass. During every year except when he was serving as a prosecutor or court clerk, Brooks was a practicing lawyer. In 1993, he became of counsel to the firm of Leo and Associates, a business law firm with a national focus, founded by Karl W. Leo. He became a partner in the firm which was reorganized as Leo & Brooks, LLC. He maintained a national practice that specialized in commercial litigation.
Early political career
In 1982, Brooks was elected to the Alabama House of Representatives and was subsequently re-elected in 1983, 1986, and 1990. While in the legislature, Brooks was elected Republican house caucus chairman three times.
In 1991, Brooks was appointed Madison County district attorney. In 1992, he ran for the office, but lost to Democrat Tim Morgan. A Republican had not been elected to the office since the Reconstruction era.
In 1996, Brooks ran for the Madison County commission and unseated an 8-year incumbent Republican. He was reelected to the commission in 2000, 2004, and 2008.
In 2006, Brooks unsuccessfully sought the Republican nomination for lieutenant governor of Alabama, coming in third place behind eventual nominee Luther Strange and former state treasurer George Wallace, Jr.
U.S. House of Representatives
Brooks was named a "Young Gun" by the Republican National Committee in 2010. Larry Sabato, Charlie Cook, and Real Clear Politics rated this race "Likely Republican". CQPolitics, Stuart Rothenberg, and the New York Times rated the race "Safe Republican". Nate Silver in the FiveThirtyEight.com New York Times blog predicted that there was a 94.1% chance that Brooks would defeat the Democratic nominee, Steve Raby.
In January 2012, Parker Griffith, having switched parties, filed for a rematch against Brooks in the Republican primary. He said of the incumbent "We'll contrast my time in Congress with my opponent's time in Congress. The distinction is clear, he has wandered away from many of the issues people want us to address." Brooks carries the support of Phyllis Schlafly's Eagle Forum political action committee. Brooks defeated Griffith in the rematch 71%–29%, a landslide margin of 42 points. Brooks won all five of the counties. Griffith ran four points worse than he had in the 2010 primary.
Brooks is one of the most conservative members of congress. In 2012, the National Journal ranked him as the 75th most conservative member of the U.S. House of Representatives. His district is in northern Alabama and is home to Redstone Arsenal and Marshall Space Flight Center. During his tenure, Brooks has gained a reputation of being a firebrand conservative who is willing to appear on all media like MSNBC to talk about contentious issues like illegal immigration and the PPACA.
Abortion and stem cell research
Representative Brooks opposes abortion and any stem cell research that uses human embryos. Brooks co-sponsored the Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act, which would have ended federal funding for Planned Parenthood.
Brooks believes that the economy is the sole issue for Congress. He stated: "Financial issues overshadow everything else going on in Washington. That one set of issues is sucking everything else out of the room.”
Brooks supports reforming Social Security, including allowing individuals to invest some of their Social Security money in private retirement accounts. Brooks stated that he does not support the full privatization of Social Security, "because the stock market and many other investments are simply too volatile." Brooks also supports the plan proposed by Paul Ryan to shift Medicare from a publicly run program to one that is managed by private insurers.
While at a monthly breakfast meeting of the Madison County Republican Men's Club, Brooks referred to the jobs bill proposed by President Obama as the "Obama 'kill jobs' bill." He told the crowd that it adds to the debt, promotes "frivolous lawsuits," and creates new government agencies. He challenged the president's promotion of the bill saying, "If Barack Obama is serious about jobs, how about repealing Obamacare, dealing with illegal immigration and urging the Democrat-controlled Senate to pass pro-jobs bills that have already cleared in the House." At the same meeting, Brooks compared the recession of 2008 (and its after effects) with the Great Depression, saying that the problems associated with the Great Depression are "a cakewalk compared to what can happen to our country if we don't start acting responsibly in Washington, D.C., to try to get this deficit under control." Brooks believes that if the national debt of the United States continues to grow, the damage done to the nation will be catastrophic.
The federal government is the largest employer in Brooks' district.
Brooks believes that "we cannot continue to be the world police." He has expressed disappointment that the U.S. military didn't leave Afghanistan immediately after the death of Osama bin Laden on May 1, 2011.
- He also has expressed his disapproval over NATO military actions in Libya that the United States has been involved in. He has stated, "I reject the president’s position that the way to prevent Libyans from killing Libyans is by Americans killing Libyans." He voted against H.R. 2278 and, after voting, released this statement: "We should be out of Libya altogether, and not voting piecemeal on parts of the operation. While this bill excludes some operations in Libya, it approves many others. The lesson from Vietnam is that the one sure way to lose a war is by fighting it half-way."
- Brooks opposed the Electrify Africa Act of 2013 (H.R. 2548; 113th Congress), a bill that would direct the President to establish a multiyear strategy to assist countries in sub-Saharan Africa develop an appropriate mix of power solutions to provide sufficient electricity access to people living in rural and urban areas in order to alleviate poverty and drive economic growth. At a meeting of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Brooks said "American taxpayers spend more than $40 billion per year on foreign aid... Given America's out-of-control deficits and accumulated debt that threaten our economic future, I cannot justify American taxpayers building power plants and transmission lines in Africa with money we do not have, will have to borrow to get, and cannot afford to pay back."
Brooks is opposed to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and has said that the committee that passed it didn't understand it. He signed the Club for Growth's "Repeal-It!" pledge that stated that upon his election to Congress that he would "sponsor and support legislation to repeal any federal health care takeover passed in 2010, and replace it with real reforms that lower health care costs without growing government." He was also endorsed by the website Defundit.org for his stance on the health care reform bill. Brooks co-sponsored H.R. 127, which would have removed all funding from the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, and any amendments made by either act.
Brooks is opposed to allowing illegal immigrants to remain in the United States. As part of his 2010 campaign, he advocated getting the federal government "out of the way so state and local governments can help solve the problem." He also advocated making it "unprofitable" for employers to hire illegal immigrants over American citizens. In an interview in 2014, he stated that "8 million undocumented workers, 500,000 young immigrants should be deported".
Brooks has co-sponsored 14 immigration-reducing bills since taking office in January 2011. Brooks also has stated that he feels Congress will probably do nothing about illegal immigration in the coming years.
On June 29, 2011, in an interview with reporter Venton Blandin of WHNT-TV, Brooks was asked by Blandin to repeat what he had previously stated at a town hall meeting about illegal immigrants. Brooks repeated his previous statement, saying, "As your congressman on the House floor, I will do anything short of shooting them. Anything that is lawful, it needs to be done because illegal aliens need to quit taking jobs from American citizens." 
In a radio interview with the Will Anderson Radio Show, Brooks stated his opposition to undocumented immigrants serving in the military, saying, “These individuals have to be absolutely 100 percent loyal and trustworthy, as best as we can make them, ‘cause they’re gonna have access to all sorts of military weaponry—even to the point of having access to weapons of mass destruction like our nuclear arsenal. And I’m gonna have much greater faith in the loyalty of an American citizen than a person who is a citizen of a foreign nation.”
"War on Whites"
On August 4, 2014 Brooks went on The Laura Ingraham Show and Ingraham played Brooks a clip of Ron Fournier warning that the Republican Party could not survive as the "party of white people." Brooks responded: "Well, this is a part of the war on whites that’s being launched by the Democratic Party... And the way in which they’re launching this war is by claiming that whites hate everybody else. It's part of the strategy that Barack Obama implemented in 2008, continued in 2012, where he divides us all on race, on sex, creed, envy, class warfare, all those kinds of things." The comment drew considerable comments and controversy. For example, The New Yorker stated: "White reactionaries in the 19th century imagined that abolishing slavery would turn white people themselves into slaves, and the concept of white subjugation was transferred into such things as black suffrage, civil rights, and so on. The war on whites has raged continuously in the right-wing mind for more than two centuries." When asked about the comment later that day, Brooks repeated the claim of a war on whites, stating: "In effect, what the Democrats are doing with their dividing America by race is they are waging a war on whites and I find that repugnant."
Brooks supports the right for the NSA to collect telephone metadata on Americans, saying its potential to thwart terrorist attacks outweighs potential infringements on privacy. However, in 2014, Brooks voted in favor of the USA Freedom Act, which, according to the bill's sponsor, would "rein in the dragnet collection of data by the National Security Agency (NSA) and other government agencies, increase transparency of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC), provide businesses the ability to release information regarding FISA requests, and create an independent constitutional advocate to argue cases before the FISC."
In December 2011, Brooks voted in support of H.R. 10, the "Regulations from the Executive In Need of Scrutiny Act," which would have required Congressional approval for any "major regulations" issued by the executive branch but, unlike the 1996 Congressional Review Act, would not require the president's signature or override of a probable presidential veto.
- According to a survey by the Christian Coalition, Brooks is also opposed to the idea of government-run health care. He voted yes on repealing the Prevention and Public Health Fund in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
Brooks said Birmingham, a city where Alabama's strict immigration law has been criticized, needed to prepare to spend more money if it wants to be a sanctuary city for illegal immigrants. He told Blandin, "They need to start picking up the tab that American citizens are having to pick up. If Birmingham wants to be a sanctuary city, or wants to head in that direction, that is their decision. They are absolutely wrong."
Statements on Socialism
In April 2011, Brooks stated, during a congressional speech, "Folks, we are here today forcing this issue because America is at risk. We are at risk of insolvency and bankruptcy because the socialist members of this body choose to spend money that we do not have." After Brooks made this remark, Democratic Congressman Keith Ellison asked that Brooks' comments be "taken down." This request forced Brooks to either have the comment stricken from the record or defend the remark and wait until later in the day for a formal ruling over whether or not the comment was inappropriate. Brooks chose to have the remark withdrawn before he continued with his speech. Ellison accepted the withdrawal.
Afterwards, Brooks stated that he did not regret his initial remark and that he thought those who objected to his comment, particularly those within the Democratic Party, were "thin-skinned." He stated, "People could quite clearly infer that socialism is what the other guys are promoting."
Brooks has stated that legalization of marijuana is a state issue and has voted in favor of bills to allow doctors in the Veterans Health Administration to discuss medical marijuana with patients and block the DEA from taking enforcement actions against medical marijuana in states that have legalized it.
||This section of a biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (March 2014)|
- Committee on Armed Services
- Committee on Science, Space and Technology
- Committee on Foreign Affairs
- Republican Study Committee
|Alabama Republican Primary, 5th Congressional District, 2010|
|Alabama 5th Congressional District Election, 2010|
|Alabama Republican Primary, 5th Congressional District, 2012|
|Republican||Mo Brooks (I)||65,123||71|
|Alabama 5th Congressional District Election, 2012|
|Republican||Mo Brooks (I)||188,924||65|
|Alabama Republican Primary, 5th Congressional District, 2014|
|Alabama 5th Congressional District Election, 2014|
Brooks met Martha Jenkins of Toledo, Ohio, at Duke University. They were married in 1976. Martha graduated from the University of Alabama with a degree in accounting. In 2004, Martha attended the University of Alabama in Huntsville for a degree in teaching and currently teaches math at Whitesburg Middle School in Huntsville. They have four children, three granddaughters, and two grandsons. Brooks joined the LDS Church in 1978, and though he still attends Mormon services with his wife, he considers himself a non-denominational Christian.
- "Guide to the New Congress" (PDF). CQ Roll Call. November 4, 2010. Retrieved November 24, 2010.
- Khan, Naureen (October 13, 2010). "Mo Brooks (R)". National Journal.
- Brooks, Morris (November 2, 2010). "Morris J. "Mo" Brooks, Jr. Biography". Madison County Commission. Retrieved November 2, 2010.
- "About Me". house.gov. United States House of Representatives. Retrieved 2015-12-28.
- Martindale-Hubbell law directory and Karl W. Leo
- Stephens, Challen (August 6, 2014). "'War on whites' only the latest: Best of Mo Brooks' polarizing rhetoric". AL.com. Retrieved February 9, 2015.
- Cillizza, Chris (June 2, 2010). "Party switcher Parker Griffith, Rep. Artur Davis lose in Alabama primaries". Washington Post. Retrieved November 2, 2010.
Alabama Republican Rep. Parker Griffith was soundly defeated in a Republican primary tonight, the second party switcher to lose an intraparty fight in the past two weeks. Madison County Commissioner Mo Brooks had 51 percent of the vote to Griffith's 33 percent and 16 percent for Les Phillip with 99 percent of precincts reporting.
- Stephens, Challen (2010-06-01). "Parker Griffith concedes: It's Mo Brooks vs. Steve Raby". The Huntsville Times. Retrieved November 2, 2010.
- Blandin, Venton (June 2, 2010). "Mo Brooks Wins Alabama's 5th District Congressional Primary Race". WHNT-TV. Retrieved November 2, 2010.
Brooks won the GOP ticket with 51% the vote. The majority vote means almost 36,000 people picked Brooks over his opponents—Les Phillip and Incumbent Congressman Parker Griffith.
- Stephens, Challen (August 25, 2010). "Times Watchdog Report: National Republicans back Mo Brooks, Democrats undeclared on Steve Raby". The Huntsville Times. Retrieved November 2, 2010.
Meanwhile, the Republicans in congress have adopted Mo Brooks, slapping on him their highest label for a hot prospect: Young Gun.
- Sabato, Larry; Issac Wood (2010-08-28). "Alabama (05) House 2010". Sabato's Crystal Ball. Retrieved November 2, 2010.
- Cook, Charlie (November 2, 2010). "House". Cook Political Report. Retrieved November 2, 2010.
- "Alabama 5th District – Brooks vs. Raby". Real Clear Politics. November 2, 2010. Retrieved November 2, 2010.
- "Alabama – 5th District". CQPolitics. November 2, 2010. Retrieved November 2, 2010.
- Rothenberg, Stuart (November 1, 2010). "House Ratings". Rothenberg Political Report. Retrieved November 2, 2010.
- "Alabama 5th District Profile". The New York Times. November 2, 2010. Retrieved November 2, 2010.
- Silver, Nate (October 20, 2010). "FiveThirtyEight Forecasts Alabama 5th District". New York Times. Retrieved November 2, 2010.
- Chapman, Beth (June 11, 2010). "2010 Election Information, Primary Election – June 1, 2010, Election Results – Republican Primary (Excel file; 6/11//2010)". Alabama Secretary of State. Retrieved November 2, 2010.
- "Candidates endorsed by Eagle Forum PAC, October 31, 2012". eagleforum.org. Retrieved November 3, 2012.
- "2012 Vote Rankings". National Journal. February 21, 2013.
- "Mo Brooks on Abortion". On the Issues. Retrieved July 3, 2011.
- Delinski, Bernie (June 30, 2011). "Brooks: Economy biggest issue". TimesDaily. Retrieved July 1, 2011.
- "Seniors' Issues". Mo Brooks for Congress. Retrieved July 3, 2011.
- Lawson, Brian (June 12, 2011). "U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks warns government has dire financial problems". The Huntsville Times. Retrieved July 1, 2011.
- "Public Notes on 10-CC-q6". On the Issues. Retrieved 3 July 2011.
- "Mo Brooks on Social Security". On the Issues. Retrieved 3 July 2011.
- "Mo Brooks on Health Care". On the Issues. On the Issues. Retrieved November 14, 2011.
- "The Taxpayer Protection Pledge Signers 112th Congressional List" (PDF). Americans for Tax Reform. Retrieved November 30, 2011.
- Kesner, Keith (September 17, 2011). "Mo Brooks warns of threat to nation from deficits, says Obama employment plan a 'kill jobs' bill". The Huntsville TImes. Retrieved November 14, 2011.
- "Leading Employers Huntsville/Madison County". Retrieved November 6, 2013.
- Brooks, Mo. "6/24/2011, Congressman Brooks' Statement on Libya". Retrieved 1 July 2011.
- "H.R. 2548 – Summary". United States Congress. Retrieved 6 May 2014.
- Gattis, Paul (27 February 2014). "U.S.Rep Brooks: Keep American tax dollars in America, not Africa". AL.com. Retrieved 7 May 2014.
- "Endorsements". DefundIt.org – Pledge to DeFund Obamacare!. Retrieved November 14, 2011.
- "Mo Brooks on Immigration". On the Issues. Retrieved November 14, 2011.
- "8 million undocumented workers, 500,000 young immigrants should be deported, Rep. Mo Brooks tells MSNBC host". Retrieved August 3, 2014.
- "Freshman Rep. Mo Brooks Co-Sponsors 14 Immigration-Reduction Bills". Congress Watch. NumbersUSA. Retrieved 14 November 2011.
- Blandin, Venton (June 29, 2011). "Congressman Mo Brooks Makes Strong Comments on Illegal Immigration Law". Retrieved July 1, 2011.
- Shabad, Rebecca (5 August 2014). "GOP lawmaker: Don’t allow people who came to US illegally in the military". The Hill. Retrieved 5 August 2014.
- Weigel, David. "Why Is This Republican Congressman Worried About a "War on Whites"". Slate. Retrieved 5 August 2014.
- Capehart, Jonathan. "Rep. Mo Brooks talks ‘war on whites’ as the GOP loses the battle for votes". The Washington Post. Retrieved 5 August 2014.
- Chalit, Joanathan. "Republican Denounces ‘War on Whites’". The New Yorker. Retrieved 5 August 2014.
- Gattis, Paul. "Rep. Mo Brooks: Democrats 'dividing America by race' in 'waging a war on whites'". AL.com. Retrieved 5 August 2014.
- Durando, Jessica. "Rep. Brooks: GOP is part of 'a war on whites'". www.usatoday.com. USA Today. Retrieved 7 August 2014.
- Jackson, Dale (August 1, 2013). "Congressman Mo Brooks’ response to constituents questions on NSA vote and programs…". Retrieved November 9, 2013.
- "FINAL VOTE RESULTS FOR ROLL CALL 230". Retrieved 25 July 2014.
- Roberts, Dan. "The USA Freedom Act: a look at the key points of the draft bill". Guardian.com. Retrieved 18 January 2014.
- Sonmez, Felicia (December 7, 2011). "REINS bill to expand congressional power over executive regulations passed by House". The Washington Post. Retrieved October 10, 2013.
- "FreedomWatch Scorecard".
- "Mo Brooks on Technology". On the Issues. Retrieved November 14, 2011.
- "Vote number 11-HV192 terminating funding for National Public Radio on Mar 17, 2011 regarding bill H.1076 Prohibit Federal Funds for NPR Results: Passed 228-192". On the Issues. On the Issues. Retrieved November 14, 2011.
- "H.R.1076". Bill Summary & Status 112th Congress (2011–2012). The Library of Congress. Retrieved November 14, 2011.
- Chapman, Beth. "AL Secretary of State". Retrieved 16 October 2012.
- Chapman, Beth. "AL Secretary of State".
- "Mo Brooks' Biography". Project Vote Samrth. Retrieved 2 December 2014.
- Brooks, Mo. Parker Griffith Attacks Mo Brooks With False “Push Polling”.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Mo Brooks.|
- Congressman Mo Brooks official U.S. House site
- Mo Brooks for Congress
- Mo Brooks at DMOZ
- Appearances on C-SPAN
- 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
|United States House of Representatives|
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Alabama's 5th congressional district
|United States order of precedence (ceremonial)|
|United States Representatives by seniority