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 byVance McAllister
Personal details
Born
Ralph Lee Abraham Jr.

(1954-09-16) September 16, 1954 (age 65)
Alto, Louisiana, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)
Dianne Abraham (m. 1977)
Children3
EducationLouisiana State University (BA, DVM)
Louisiana State University, New Orleans (MD)
Military service
Allegiance United States
Branch/serviceMississippi Army National Guard
United States Coast Guard Auxiliary
RankArmy-USA-OF-01a.svg First lieutenant

Ralph Lee Abraham Jr. (born September 16, 1954) is an American politician, medical doctor and former veterinarian serving as the U.S. Representative for Louisiana's 5th congressional district since 2015.[1][2][3] A member of the Republican Party, he is a native and resident of Alto, Louisiana; Abraham is running for Governor of Louisiana in the 2019 gubernatorial election.

Background[edit]

Abraham is the son of the former Marlene Posey (1932–2015), a retired educator, and Ralph Abraham, Sr. (1933–1980).[4] His paternal grandparents were emigrants from Lebanon.[5]

He graduated from Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine, in Baton Rouge in 1980, and was a practicing veterinarian for 10 years.[6] He returned to Louisiana State University School of Medicine for a medical degree in 1994, and practiced family medicine.[6]

Abraham has served in the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary and the Mississippi National Guard.[7] He and his wife, Dianne, have three children.[7] He has been an aviation medical examiner.[8]

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).[9] 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.[10]

In June 2017, Abraham co-sponsored the Civil Rights Uniformity Act of 2017.[11]

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 carried the backing of U.S. Senators Bill Cassidy and John Neely Kennedy.[12]

In December 2017, Abraham voted in favor of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.[13] 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.[14]

Committee assignments[edit]

Caucus memberships[edit]

Gubernatorial campaign[edit]

On December 6, 2018, Abraham declared his candidacy for Governor of Louisiana in the 2019 Louisiana gubernatorial election.[20]

Political positions[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."[21] 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."[21] In 2018, Abraham was named to the conference committee for the 2018 Farm Bill. The conference committee will resolve differences in the House and the Senate version of the Farm Bill.[22]

Orlando shooting[edit]

In the wake of the 2016 Orlando nightclub shooting, Abraham said "Dianne and I are continuing to pray for the victims, family, friends and loved ones of those involved in the Orlando shooting. Officials have confirmed the shooter that carried out this senseless act of evil pledged allegiance to ISIS. I ask that you remain vigilant in your communities and, should you choose, join me in praying daily for our service men and women and law enforcement officials who face the threats of terror head-on every day. As a nation, we must do more to destroy ISIS and end all terrorist threats so our people may live their lives in peace."[23]

Health care[edit]

Abraham believes the Affordable Care Act should be repealed. He opposes the expansion of Medicaid.[24]

Economic issues[edit]

He supports simplifying the tax code.[24]

Abraham supports equal pay for women.[24]

Energy policy[edit]

Abraham was in favor of the Keystone Pipeline.[24]

Immigration[edit]

Regarding illegal immigration, Abraham opposes amnesty and supports strengthening border security.[24] 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."[25]

Abraham has said he supports banning sanctuary cities in Louisiana if he is elected governor, and that he'd pay for four minority congresswomen, three of whom were born in the U.S., to leave the United States, if only they'd tell him where they'd like to go.[26]

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" .[27]

Drug policy[edit]

In 2016, Abraham had a "D" rating from marijuana legalization advocacy group NORML for his voting history regarding cannabis-related causes.[28]

LGBT issues[edit]

Abraham is "100 percent" opposed to transgender people serving in the military. [11]

2016 election[edit]

In his bid for reelection in 2016, Abraham defeated one challenger, fellow Republican Billy Burkette[29] 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.[30]

2018 election[edit]

Abraham defeated three challengers in the election held on November 6, 2018. Billy Burkette, an Independent from Pride, Louisiana; Jessee Carlton Fleenor, a Democrat from Loranger, and Kyle Randol, a Libertarian from Monroe.[31] Abraham polled 149,010 votes (67 percent). Fleenor trailed with 67,113 votes (30 percent). Burkette and Randol held the remaining 3 percent of the ballots cast.[32]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Guide to the New Congress" (PDF). Roll Call. Retrieved December 6, 2014.
  2. ^ Broach, Drew (October 25, 2017). "Just where does Louisiana Congressman Ralph Abraham actually live?". NOLA.com - The Times-Picayune. Retrieved July 21, 2018.
  3. ^ "NELA Doctor Running for Congress". myarklamiss.com. May 30, 2014. Retrieved June 2, 2014.
  4. ^ Greg Hilburn (July 29, 2015). "Congressman Abraham's mother, 83, dies". The Monroe News-Star. Retrieved July 30, 2015.
  5. ^ Viebeck, Elise (February 1, 2017). "Arab-American Republican lawmakers divided on Trump's travel ban". Washington Post. Retrieved June 28, 2017.
  6. ^ 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.
  7. ^ a b Greg Hilburn (November 22, 2014). "Abraham: 'We remained consistent and persistent'". The Monroe News-Star. Retrieved December 7, 2014.
  8. ^ Abraham, Ralph. "Medical Examiner". www.RalphAbraham.com. Abraham for Congress Campaign. Retrieved July 20, 2018.
  9. ^ "Runoff election returns, December 6, 2014". Louisiana Secretary of State. Retrieved December 6, 2014.
  10. ^ Greg Hilburn (December 10, 2014). "Letlow named Abraham's chief of staff". The Monroe News-Star. Retrieved December 11, 2014.
  11. ^ a b Gamard, Sarah (August 9, 2017). "Louisiana congressman part of effort to end 'gender' debate". Salon. Retrieved December 31, 2017.
  12. ^ Barbara Leader and Greg Hilburn (August 4, 2017). "Trump taps Rayville judge for federal bench". The Monroe News-Star. Retrieved August 6, 2017.
  13. ^ Almukhtar, Sarah (December 19, 2017). "How Each House Member Voted on the Tax Bill". The New York Times. Retrieved December 31, 2017.
  14. ^ "Louisiana's Republican delegation supports tax reform bill". WWL. December 20, 2017. Retrieved December 31, 2017.
  15. ^ Greg Hilburn and Deborah Barfield Berry. "Abraham assignment gives cover for Barksdale, Fort Polk". TheNewsStar.com. The Monroe News-Star. Retrieved July 21, 2018.
  16. ^ "Members". Congressional Western Caucus. Retrieved June 27, 2018.
  17. ^ "Ralph Abraham, Bio and Caucus List". MilitaryTimes.com. Military Times. Retrieved August 14, 2018.
  18. ^ "Members of the Veterinary Medicine Caucus". Veterinary Medicine Caucus. Retrieved October 12, 2018.
  19. ^ "Members". U.S. - Japan Caucus. Retrieved December 1, 2018.
  20. ^ Erin McCarty. "Congressman Ralph Abraham is running for governor". Retrieved December 6, 2018.
  21. ^ a b Greg Hilburn (March 17, 2017). "Rep. Abraham: Ag is America's 'thin green line'". The Monroe News-Star. Retrieved March 18, 2017.
  22. ^ Hilburn, Greg (July 18, 2018). "Abraham to craft final Farm Bill language". The Monroe News-Star. Retrieved July 20, 2018.
  23. ^ Berkowitz, Bonnie; Cai, Weiyi; Lu, Denise; Gamio, Lazaro. "Everything lawmakers said (and didn't say) after the Orlando mass shooting". Washington Post. Retrieved December 31, 2017.
  24. ^ 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.
  25. ^ Blake, Aaron. "Coffman, Gardner join Republicans against President Trump's travel ban; here's where the rest stand". Denver Post. Retrieved January 30, 2017.
  26. ^ Ralph Abraham defends Trump's attack on congresswomen: 'I’ll pay for their tickets out of this country', The Advocate, Elizabeth Crisp, July 15, 2019. Retrieved July 30, 2019.
  27. ^ Morris, Meagan (October 4, 2017). "Passed abortion ban cited 'fetal pain,' but what does science say about it?". Metro US. Retrieved December 31, 2017.
  28. ^ "Louisiana Scorecard". NORML. Retrieved December 31, 2017.
  29. ^ Mott, Ashley (November 9, 2016). "Abraham reelected in 5th district seat". Monroe News Star. Retrieved November 13, 2016.
  30. ^ Ashley Mott (November 5, 2016). "Incumbent Abraham faces Burkette in 5th district race". Monroe News-Star. Retrieved November 6, 2016. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  31. ^ "Ralph Abraham has three challengers for congressional seat". KNOE.com. Retrieved July 21, 2018.
  32. ^ "Election Returns". Louisiana Secretary of State. November 6, 2018. Retrieved November 8, 2018.

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

2015–present
Incumbent
U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Ann Kirkpatrick
United States Representatives by seniority
249th
Succeeded by
Pete Aguilar