Ralph Abraham (politician)

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Ralph Abraham
Ralph Abraham official congressional photo.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Louisiana's 5th district
Assumed office
January 3, 2015
Preceded by Vance McAllister
Personal details
Born Ralph Lee Abraham Jr.
(1954-09-16) September 16, 1954 (age 63)
Monroe, Louisiana, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Dianne Abraham
Children 3
Education Louisiana State University (BS, DVM)
LSU New Orleans (MD)
Military service
Allegiance  United States
Service/branch Mississippi National Guard

Ralph Lee Abraham Jr. (born September 16, 1954),[1] is an American physician and former veterinarian from Mangham, Louisiana, who won election on December 6, 2014, as a Republican to represent Louisiana's 5th congressional district in the United States House of Representatives.[2]

Background[edit]

Abraham is the son of the former Marlene Posey (1932–2015), a retired educator, and Ralph Abraham, Sr. (1933–1980).[3] His paternal grandparents were emigrants from Lebanon.[4]

He graduated from Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine, in Baton Rouge in 1980, and was a practicing veterinarian for 10 years.[5] He returned to Louisiana State University School of Medicine for a medical degree in 1994, and practiced family medicine.[5]

Abraham has served in the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary and the Mississippi National Guard.[6] He and his wife, Dianne, have three children.[6] He has been an aviation medical examiner.[citation needed]

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]

Tenure[edit]

Abraham defeated his Democratic opponent, Mayor Jamie Mayo of Monroe, by a margin of 134,612 votes (64.2 percent) to 75,004 (35.8 percent).[7] He was sworn into office in the 114th United States Congress on January 3, 2015.

After his election, Abraham chose Luke J. Letlow, his campaign manager, as chief of staff.[8]

In June, 2017, Abraham co-sponsored the Civil Rights Uniformity Act of 2017.[9]

In August 2017, Abraham endorsed the nomination by U.S. President Donald Trump of Terry Doughty, also of Richland Parish, for a seat on the United States District Court for the Western District of Louisiana, based in Monroe. The selection also carries the backing of U.S. Senators Bill Cassidy and John Neely Kennedy.[10]

In December 2017, Abraham voted in favor of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.[11] After voting, Abraham stated that "This is going to be a great tax bill, and great tax reform not only for Louisiana but for the United States." He says that businesses will benefit greatly and be able to "reinvest in their infrastructure, reinvest in their employees." He says that wages will increase and job opportunities will grow.[12]

Committee assignments[edit]

Caucus memberships[edit]

Political positions[edit]

Domestic issues[edit]

Agriculture[edit]

In March 2017, Representative Abraham visited with about seventy farmers from the agricultural lobby, the Louisiana Farm Bureau Federation. He told the farmers, "Food security is national security. Agriculture is at the forefront of the fight because any interruption in the food supply or a compromise in its safety goes right to the heart of the nation."[15] Marty Wooldridge, a cattleman from Caddo Parish said that Abraham's slogan "Food security is national security" should be incorporated into the slogan of the Farm Bureau. Abraham, Louisiana's only member on the House Agriculture Committee, defined his job in part to "educating members whose districts might be deeply metropolitan and who have no perspective on the importance of agriculture."[15]

Gun law[edit]

In the wake of the 2016 Orlando nightclub shooting, Abraham offered thoughts and prayers. He stressed that the shooter had pledged allegiance to ISIS and asked for the public to prayer for law enforcement and service members who fight terrorism.[16]

Health care[edit]

Abraham believes the Affordable Care Act should be repealed. He opposes the expansion of Medicaid.[17]

Economic issues[edit]

Tax reform[edit]

He supports simplifying the tax code.[17]

Jobs[edit]

Abraham supports equal pay for women.[17]

International issues[edit]

Gas & oil[edit]

Abraham was in favor of the Keystone Pipeline.[17]

Immigration[edit]

Regarding illegal immigration, Abraham opposes amnesty and supports strengthening border security.[17] Abraham supported President Donald Trump's 2017 executive order to temporarily halt immigration from the seven specified nations until the development of more enhanced screening methods. His spokesman said "Dr. Abraham generally supports President Trump's temporary suspension of the refugee and immigration admittance program. Dr. Abraham agrees with President Trump that we must take all necessary steps to protect American citizens from potential terrorism threats, and this temporary measure from the President will allow for a thorough review of our policies and procedures for vetting applicants from war-torn areas."[18]

Social issues[edit]

Abortion[edit]

Abraham opposes late term abortions. In May 2005, he stated "As a doctor, I know and I can attest that this bill is backed by scientific research showing that babies can indeed feel pain at 20 weeks, if not before" .[19]

Cannabis[edit]

Abraham has a "D" rating from NORML for his voting history regarding cannabis-related causes. Abraham opposes veterans having access to medical marijuana if recommended by their Veterans Health Administration doctor and if it is legal for medicinal purposes in their state of residence.[20]

LGBT[edit]

Abraham supports efforts to ban transgender people from serving in the military "100 percent."[9]

Election of 2016[edit]

In his bid for reelection in 2016, Abraham defeated one challenger, fellow Republican Billy Burkette[21] of Baton Rouge, a former constable in East Feliciana Parish and a former chairman of the Louisiana Band of Choctaw Indians. Burkette claimed in his campaign that the Environmental Protection Agency has issued overly strict regulations that hamper farming.[22]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Guide to the New Congress" (PDF). Roll Call. Retrieved December 6, 2014. 
  2. ^ "NELA Doctor Running for Congress". myarklamiss.com. May 30, 2014. Retrieved June 2, 2014. 
  3. ^ Greg Hilburn (July 29, 2015). "Congressman Abraham's mother, 83, dies". The Monroe News-Star. Retrieved July 30, 2015. 
  4. ^ Viebeck, Elise (February 1, 2017). "Arab-American Republican lawmakers divided on Trump's travel ban". Washington Post. Retrieved 28 June 2017. 
  5. ^ a b Goddard, Valerie (July 15, 2015). "Is there a job Ralph Abraham can't do?". JAVMAnews. American Veterinary Medical Association. Retrieved October 29, 2016. 
  6. ^ a b Greg Hilburn (November 22, 2014). "Abraham: 'We remained consistent and persistent'". The Monroe News-Star. Retrieved December 7, 2014. 
  7. ^ "Runoff election returns, December 6, 2014". Louisiana Secretary of State. Retrieved December 6, 2014. 
  8. ^ Greg Hilburn (December 10, 2014). "Letlow named Abraham's chief of staff". The Monroe News-Star. Retrieved December 11, 2014. 
  9. ^ a b Gamard, Sarah (9 August 2017). "Louisiana congressman part of effort to end 'gender' debate". Salon. Retrieved 31 December 2017. 
  10. ^ Barbara Leader and Greg Hilburn (August 4, 2017). "Trump taps Rayville judge for federal bench". The Monroe News-Star. Retrieved August 6, 2017. 
  11. ^ Almukhtar, Sarah (19 December 2017). "How Each House Member Voted on the Tax Bill". The New York Times. Retrieved 31 December 2017. 
  12. ^ "Louisiana's Republican delegation supports tax reform bill". WWL. 20 December 2017. Retrieved 31 December 2017. 
  13. ^ Press Release (January 23, 2018). "Abraham named Chairman of Science, Space and Technology Oversight Subcommittee". official U.S. House website. 
  14. ^ "Members". Congressional Western Caucus. Retrieved 27 June 2018. 
  15. ^ a b Greg Hilburn (March 17, 2017). "Rep. Abraham: Ag is America's 'thin green line'". The Monroe News-Star. Retrieved March 18, 2017. 
  16. ^ Berkowitz, Bonnie; Cai, Weiyi; Lu, Denise; Gamio, Lazaro. "Everything lawmakers said (and didn't say) after the Orlando mass shooting". Washington Post. Retrieved 31 December 2017. 
  17. ^ a b c d e Kaleb Causey (November 20, 2014). "Mayo, Abraham face off in 5th District debate". The Monroe News-Star. Retrieved December 13, 2014. 
  18. ^ Blake, Aaron. "Coffman, Gardner join Republicans against President Trump's travel ban; here's where the rest stand". Denver Post. Retrieved 30 January 2017. 
  19. ^ Morris, Meagan (4 October 2017). "Passed abortion ban cited 'fetal pain,' but what does science say about it?". Metro US. Retrieved 31 December 2017. 
  20. ^ "Louisiana Scorecard". NORML. Retrieved 31 December 2017. 
  21. ^ Mott, Ashley (November 9, 2016). "Abraham reelected in 5th district seat". Monroe News Star. Retrieved November 13, 2016. 
  22. ^ Ashley Mott (November 5, 2016). "Incumbent Abraham faces Burkette in 5th district race". Monroe News-Star. Retrieved November 6, 2016. 

External links[edit]

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Vance McAllister
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Louisiana's 5th congressional district

January 3, 2015 – present
Incumbent
Current U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Donald Norcross
D-New Jersey
United States Representatives by seniority
313th
Succeeded by
Pete Aguilar
D-California