Morgan Griffith

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Morgan Griffith
Morgan Griffith, Official Portrait, 112th Congress B.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Virginia's 9th district
Assumed office
January 3, 2011
Preceded byRick Boucher
Majority Leader of the Virginia House of Delegates
In office
January 12, 2000 – December 5, 2010
Preceded byRichard Cranwell
Succeeded byKirk Cox
Member of the Virginia House of Delegates
from the 8th district
In office
January 12, 1994 – January 3, 2011
Preceded byG. Steven Agee
Succeeded byGreg Habeeb
Personal details
Born
Howard Morgan Griffith

(1958-03-15) March 15, 1958 (age 64)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
SpouseHilary Davis
Children3
EducationEmory and Henry College (BA)
Washington and Lee University (JD)
WebsiteHouse website

Howard Morgan Griffith (born March 15, 1958) is an American lawyer and politician who has been the U.S. representative for Virginia's 9th congressional district since 2011. The district covers a large swath of southwestern Virginia, including the New River Valley and the Virginia side of the Tri-Cities. He is a member of the Republican Party and the Freedom Caucus.

Griffith was the majority leader of the Virginia House of Delegates and represented the 8th district from 1994 to 2011. The district was based in his hometown of Salem and included parts of surrounding Roanoke County.[1]

Early life, education, and career[edit]

Griffith was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and in his infancy his family relocated to Salem, Virginia. He graduated from Andrew Lewis High School in 1976 and from Emory and Henry College in 1980 with a Bachelor of Arts. Griffith completed his education with a J.D. from the Washington and Lee University School of Law in 1983.[2]

After law school, Griffith settled in Salem, where he worked as an attorney in private practice specializing in traffic violations and DUI. On June 23, 2008, Albo & Oblon LLP, a law firm run by fellow Republican delegate Dave Albo, announced that Griffith had joined the firm as head of its new Roanoke/Salem office.[3]

Early political career[edit]

Griffith's first entry into electoral politics came in 1986, when he was chosen as chair of the Salem Republican Party. He chaired the party from 1986 to 1988 and from 1991 to 1994.

Virginia House of Delegates[edit]

In 1993, incumbent Delegate G. Steven Agee chose to run in the Republican primary for Attorney General. Griffith ran for the open seat representing the 8th district and won. He was elected to several terms, facing opposition only in 2001, 2003, and 2009. He served as vice chair of the Rules Committee and on the Courts of Justice Committee, and chaired its Criminal Law Subcommittee. He also served on the Commerce and Labor Committee, and the Committee on Militia, Police, and Public Safety.[4] He was elected House Majority Leader in 2000, the first Republican to hold that position in Virginia's history.[5]

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]

Elections[edit]

2010[edit]

Rather than run for a tenth term in the House of Delegates, Griffith opted to challenge Congressman Rick Boucher, a 13-term incumbent Democrat who had served since 1983. His home in Salem was just outside the 9th's borders at the time, but the district included almost all of his House of Delegates district.

Griffith chose to run for Congress after Boucher voted for the cap and trade bill. Boucher capitalized on the fact that Griffith did not live in the district, and in return Griffith branded Boucher as a rubber stamp for Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi. Griffith won the election by less than 5% of the vote.[6]

2012[edit]

Griffith defeated Democratic nominee Anthony Flaccavento, 61.3% to 38.6%.[7]

2016[edit]

Griffith defeated Democratic nominee Derek Kitts and Independent Janice Boyd with 68.59% of the vote.

2018[edit]

Griffith defeated two Democratic opponents, Flaccavento and Justin Santopietro, and a Whig opponent, Scott Blankenship.[8]

2020[edit]

Griffith ran unopposed. He was reelected with 94.39% of the vote.

Committee assignments[edit]

Caucus memberships[edit]

Electoral history[edit]

Virginia House of Delegates, District 8: Results 1995 to 2009[14]
Year Republican Votes Pct Democratic Votes Pct Third Party Party Votes Pct
1995 Morgan Griffith 14,052 100% no candidate Write-ins 35 0%
1997 Morgan Griffith 15,383 100% no candidate Write-ins 12 0%
1999 Morgan Griffith 11,066 100% no candidate Write-ins 19 0%
2001 Morgan Griffith 17,401 70% D. Martin 7,581 30%
2003 Morgan Griffith 10,860 59% M Q Emick Sr. 7,469 41%
2005 Morgan Griffith 20,484 98% no candidate Write-ins 417 2%
2007 Morgan Griffith 13,670 96% no candidate Write-ins 563 4%
2009 Morgan Griffith 16,790 69% E. Carter Turner III 7,563 31%
Virginia's 9th congressional district
Year Republican Votes Pct Democratic Votes Pct Third Party Party Votes Pct
2010 Morgan Griffith 95,726 51.2% Rick Boucher 86,743 46.4% Jeremiah Heaton Independent 4,282 2.3%
2012 Morgan Griffith 184,882 61.28% Anthony Flaccavento 116,400 38.58% Write-ins 376 0.12%
2014 Morgan Griffith 117,465 72.15% no candidate William Carr Independent 39,412 24.21%
2016 Morgan Griffith 212,838 68.6% Derek Kitts 87,877 28.3% Janice Allen Boyd Independent 9,050 2.9%
2018 Morgan Griffith 160,933 65.2% Anthony Flaccavento 85,833 34.8% Write-ins 214 0.1%
2020 Morgan Griffith 271,851 94.0% no candidate Write-ins 17,423 6.0%

Political positions[edit]

Iraq[edit]

In June 2021, Griffith was one of 49 House Republicans to vote to repeal the Authorization of Military Force against Iraq. The measure ultimately succeeded in the House and has been pending in the Senate since then.[15][16]

Immigration[edit]

Griffith has voted to allow Virginia to enforce federal immigration laws to criminalize knowingly employing illegal immigrants or undocumented workers,[17] and also voted to criminalize possession of firearms by illegal aliens.[18]

Griffith voted against the Further Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2020 which authorizes DHS to nearly double the available H-2B visas for the remainder of FY 2020.[19][20]

Griffith voted against H.R.1158 in the 116th Congress, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, which effectively prohibits ICE from cooperating with Health and Human Services to detain or remove illegal alien sponsors of unaccompanied alien children (UACs). The measure was approved by both houses of Congress and signed into law by President Donald Trump on December 10, 2019.[21]

Gay rights[edit]

While serving in the Virginia House of Delegates, Griffith supported a constitutional amendment to prohibit same-sex marriage by defining marriage as between one man and one woman.[22] He voted in favor of a motion to effectively kill a bill to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation for government employees in Virginia.[23]

Environment[edit]

In 2017, Griffith voted to nullify the Stream Protection Rule, which included improvements in the protection of water supplies, water quality, streams, fish and other wildlife that can be negatively affected by surface coal mining.[24] The same year, he joined other members of the House of Representatives in passing an amendment to H.R. 3354, which undermined the Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to enforce environmental standards in the Chesapeake Bay watershed, which covers six states and the District of Columbia.[25][26]

Griffith is a proponent of "an 'all of the above' energy strategy" that utilizes both fossil fuel and renewable energy sources.[27] In 2011, he joined other GOP members in urging Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to reconsider the ban on offshore drilling off Virginia's coast.[28]

Gun rights[edit]

Griffith voted in favor of several bills to reduce restrictions on gun ownership, including a bill to allow concealed weapons in vehicles without a permit[29] and to allow concealed weapons permit holders to carry their firearms in restaurants and bars.[30] He also voted to prohibit consumption of alcohol while in possession of a concealed weapon.[31] In 2004 Griffith voted to prohibit carrying firearms or ammunition in non-secure areas of airport terminals, including baggage claim areas.[32][33]

Health care[edit]

Early in 2010, Griffith voted in favor of a bill to prohibit any individual mandate to purchase health insurance.[34] This law passed Virginia's legislature before the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was enacted, which Virginia has used to challenge the individual mandate in federal court.[35] On July 17, 2013, Griffith was the lone GOP member of the House to vote against delaying the implementation of the individual mandate.[36]

Just before the United States federal government shutdown of 2013, Griffith issued a press release in which he endorsed the final House version of Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2014, which would have continued funding for federal government operations while delaying implementation of the Affordable Care Act.[37] He voted against the Continuing Appropriations Act, 2014, the Senate-proposed compromise that ended the shutdown without defunding the ACA.[38]

Death penalty[edit]

Griffith has consistently voted for expansions of the death penalty to include eligibility for accomplices to a murder, as well as for those who murder a judge or a witness.[39][40][41]

Abortion[edit]

When surveyed in 1999 on his political positions by Project Vote Smart, Griffith indicated that he supports legalized abortion in the first trimester and to save the life of the mother,[42] while favoring the restriction of abortion through parental notification laws and prohibition of partial-birth abortion. His voting record has generally been consistent with that survey, voting in favor of restrictions such as parental-notification and parental-consent, restricting state funding of abortions,[43] and requiring abortion clinics to meet the same licensing requirements as surgical centers. In 2006 Griffith voted to restrict state funding for fetal stem cell research.[44]

In 2007 Griffith voted against[45] a bill in the Virginia General Assembly, HB 2797, which stated "That life begins at the moment of fertilization and the right to enjoyment of life guaranteed by Article 1, § 1 of the Constitution of Virginia is vested in each born and preborn human being from the moment of fertilization".[46]

Griffith's 2010 campaign website reported that Griffith has a "100% pro-life" voting record and an "A" rating from the Virginia Society for Human Life (VSHL). But VSHL's report on 2007 legislation in Virginia omits reference to HB 2797.[47] Project Vote Smart indicated that Griffith declined to retake their survey in 2010.[42]

Taxes and spending[edit]

Griffith supports raising the retirement age and reducing the number of American troops serving overseas as means of reducing the federal budget deficit.[48] Most recently, he voted for the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.[49]

Medical marijuana[edit]

In 2014, Griffith introduced legislation to move marijuana from a Schedule I to a Schedule II narcotic, which would effectively make the drug legal for medical purposes under federal law.[50]

Texas v. Pennsylvania[edit]

In December 2020, Griffith was one of 126 Republican members of the House of Representatives to sign an amicus brief in support of Texas v. Pennsylvania, a lawsuit filed at the United States Supreme Court contesting the results of the 2020 presidential election, in which Joe Biden defeated[51] incumbent Donald Trump. The Supreme Court declined to hear the case on the basis that Texas lacked standing under Article III of the Constitution to challenge the results of an election held by another state.[52][53][54]

Presidential election certification

On January 6, 2021, Griffith was one of the 147 Republican members of Congress who objected to certifying the 2020 presidential election.[55]

Defense[edit]

In September 2021, Griffith was among 75 House Republicans to vote against the National Defense Authorization Act of 2022, which contains a provision that would require women to be drafted.[56][57]

Griffith was among 19 House Republicans to vote against the final passage of the 2022 National Defense Authorization Act.[58]

Big Tech[edit]

In 2022, Griffith was one of 39 Republicans to vote for the Merger Filing Fee Modernization Act of 2022, an antitrust package that would crack down on corporations for anti-competitive behavior.[59][60]

Personal life[edit]

Griffith and his wife, the former Hilary Davis, have three children. He is an Episcopalian.[61]

In 2014 Griffith founded the Congressional Friends of Wales Caucus in honor of his Welsh heritage.[62]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Giroux, Greg (2010-02-23). "Griffith Touts Support For Bid Against Boucher – The Eye (CQ Politics)". Blogs.cqpolitics.com. Archived from the original on 2010-03-02. Retrieved 2010-08-29.
  2. ^ Zanona, Melanie (November 6, 2010). "112th Congress: Morgan Griffith, R-Va. (9th District)". Congressional Quarterly.
  3. ^ "H. Morgan Griffith to join Albo & Oblon LLP". MarketWatch, Inc. 2008-06-23. Retrieved 2008-08-15.
  4. ^ "Virginia House of Delegates: Session 2002: Griffith, H. Morgan". Commonwealth of Virginia. Retrieved 27 July 2017.
  5. ^ "About the Congressman". Archived from the original on 2011-12-27. Retrieved 2012-02-03.
  6. ^ "GOP's Griffith ousts 14-term Va. Democratic Rep. Boucher". The Virginian-Pilot. Associated Press. November 2, 2010.
  7. ^ Archer, Bill (6 November 2012). "Griffith re-elected in Va.'s 'Fightin' Ninth'". Bluefield Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 14 November 2012.
  8. ^ "Virginia Whigs Endorse Blankenship for Congress". Virginia Modern Whig Party. February 13, 2018.
  9. ^ "Members". Congressional Constitution Caucus. Archived from the original on 14 June 2018. Retrieved 8 May 2018.
  10. ^ "Members". Congressional Western Caucus. Retrieved 27 June 2018.
  11. ^ "Members of the Veterinary Medicine Caucus". Veterinary Medicine Caucus. Retrieved 12 October 2018.
  12. ^ ""Boehner-vs.-Freedom-Caucus Battle Escalates"". Archived from the original on 2015-07-28. Retrieved 2019-06-21.
  13. ^ "Griffith Inducted Into House Liberty Caucus".
  14. ^ Election Results Archived 2010-06-17 at the Wayback Machine Virginia State Board of Elections
  15. ^ "House votes to repeal 2002 Iraq War authorization". NBC News.
  16. ^ https://clerk.house.gov/evs/2021/roll172.xml[bare URL]
  17. ^ Project Vote Smart
  18. ^ Virginia State Legislature archives
  19. ^ "Text - H.R.1865 - 116th Congress (2019-2020): Further Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2020 | Congress.gov | Library of Congress". Congress.gov. Retrieved 2022-07-22.
  20. ^ "Office of the Clerk, U.S. House of Representatives". clerk.house.gov. 17 December 2019.
  21. ^ "H.R. 1158: DHS Cyber Hunt and Incident Response Teams Act … -- House Vote #690 -- Dec 17, 2019".
  22. ^ Project Vote Smart website
  23. ^ SB 66 – Prohibiting Sexual Orientation Discrimination in State Government Employment – Voting Record
  24. ^ Bill, Johnson (2017-02-16). "H.J.Res.38 - 115th Congress (2017-2018): Disapproving the rule submitted by the Department of the Interior known as the Stream Protection Rule". www.congress.gov. Retrieved 2018-10-12.
  25. ^ Bob, Goodlatte (2017-09-07). "H.Amdt.354 to H.R.3354 - 115th Congress (2017-2018)". www.congress.gov. Retrieved 2018-10-12.
  26. ^ "Spotlight on FERC". POLITICO. Retrieved 2018-10-12.
  27. ^ "Energy and Environment | Congressman Morgan Griffith". morgangriffith.house.gov. Retrieved 2018-10-12.
  28. ^ "Interior secretary urged to reconsider offshore drilling ban for Virginia". U.S. House of Representatives. 2011-11-17. Retrieved 2018-10-12.
  29. ^ Project Vote Smart
  30. ^ Project Vote Smart
  31. ^ Project Vote Smart
  32. ^ www.roanoke.com Archived 2012-09-13 at archive.today
  33. ^ Virginia State Legislature archives
  34. ^ Project Vote Smart
  35. ^ www.healthleadersmedia.com
  36. ^ U.S. News & World Report: "House votes to postpone individual mandate"
  37. ^ "Griffith Statement on Latest House Efforts to Keep the Government Open"
  38. ^ Office of the Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives: Final Vote Results for Roll Call 550
  39. ^ Project Vote Smart
  40. ^ Project Vote Smart
  41. ^ Project Vote Smart
  42. ^ a b Project Vote Smart
  43. ^ Project Vote Smart
  44. ^ Project Vote Smart
  45. ^ Virginia State Legislature archives
  46. ^ Virginia State Legislature archives
  47. ^ www.12cups.org Archived 2011-07-24 at the Wayback Machine
  48. ^ Hipolit, Melissa (14 July 2011). "Local congressmen react to debt talks". TriCities.com. Retrieved 18 July 2011.
  49. ^ K.K. REBECCA LAI (16 November 2017). "How Every Member Voted on the House Tax Bill". New York Times. Retrieved 2 December 2017.
  50. ^ Jackman, Tom (30 April 2014). "Va. Rep. Griffith introduces federal 'Legitimate Use of Medicinal Marijuana Act'". Washington Post. Retrieved 2 May 2014.
  51. ^ Blood, Michael R.; Riccardi, Nicholas (December 5, 2020). "Biden officially secures enough electors to become president". AP News. Archived from the original on December 8, 2020. Retrieved December 12, 2020.
  52. ^ Liptak, Adam (2020-12-11). "Supreme Court Rejects Texas Suit Seeking to Subvert Election". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on December 11, 2020. Retrieved 2020-12-12.
  53. ^ "Order in Pending Case" (PDF). Supreme Court of the United States. 2020-12-11. Archived (PDF) from the original on December 11, 2020. Retrieved December 11, 2020.
  54. ^ Diaz, Daniella. "Brief from 126 Republicans supporting Texas lawsuit in Supreme Court". CNN. Archived from the original on December 12, 2020. Retrieved December 11, 2020.
  55. ^ Yourish, Karen (January 7, 2021). "The 147 Republicans Who Voted to Overturn Election Results". New York Times. Retrieved February 6, 2022.
  56. ^ Zilbermints, Regina (September 23, 2021). "House passes sweeping defense policy bill". TheHill.
  57. ^ "H.R. 4350: National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2022 -- House Vote #293 -- Sep 23, 2021". GovTrack.us.
  58. ^ "S. 1605: National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2022 -- House Vote #405 -- Dec 7, 2021".
  59. ^ "House passes antitrust bill that hikes M&A fees as larger efforts targeting tech have stalled". CNBC.
  60. ^ "H.R. 3843: Merger Filing Fee Modernization Act of 2022 -- House Vote #460 -- Sep 29, 2022".
  61. ^ "The Voter's Self Defense System".
  62. ^ Bowman, Bridget (28 February 2014). "Dragons, Daffodils and a Drop of Whiskey for Welsh Caucus". Rollcall. Archived from the original on 4 November 2018. Retrieved 10 September 2019.

External links[edit]

Virginia House of Delegates
Preceded by Member of the Virginia House of Delegates
from the 8th district

1994–2011
Succeeded by
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Virginia's 9th congressional district

2011–present
Incumbent
U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by United States representatives by seniority
132nd
Succeeded by