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Robert Aderholt

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Robert Aderholt
Robert Aderholt official photo.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Alabama's 4th district
Assumed office
January 3, 1997
Preceded byTom Bevill
Personal details
Robert Brown Aderholt

(1965-07-22) July 22, 1965 (age 57)
Haleyville, Alabama, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Caroline McDonald
(m. 1994)
EducationUniversity of North Alabama
Birmingham–Southern College (BA)
Samford University (JD)
WebsiteHouse website

Robert Brown Aderholt[1] (/ˈædərˌhlt/; born July 22, 1965) is an American politician and attorney serving as the U.S. representative for Alabama's 4th congressional district since 1997. He is a member of the Republican Party. The district includes most of Tuscaloosa County north of the Black Warrior River, as well as Birmingham's far northern suburbs in Walker County and the southern suburbs of Huntsville and Decatur.

A social conservative, Aderholt was a member of the Tea Party Caucus.[2] He is the dean of Alabama's House delegation, and will become the dean of Alabama's congressional delegation upon Senator Richard Shelby's retirement at the end of the 117th Congress.[3] According to the Cook Partisan Voting Index, Aderholt represents the most Republican district in the country, with an index rating of R+33.[4]

Early life and education[edit]

Aderholt was born in Haleyville, Alabama, to Mary Frances Brown and Bobby Ray Aderholt.[5] Aderholt's father, a part-time minister for a small group of Congregational churches in northwest Alabama, was a circuit judge for more than 30 years. He attended the University of North Alabama and then Birmingham-Southern College, from which he graduated with a degree in history and political science.[6] During college, Aderholt was a member of Kappa Alpha Order. Aderholt received his J.D. from the Samford University Cumberland School of Law and practiced law after graduation.[7]


In 1992, Aderholt was appointed Haleyville municipal judge.[8] The same year, he was a delegate to the Republican National Convention. In 1995, he became the top aide to Governor Fob James. He won the 1996 Republican primary in the race to succeed 15-term Democratic incumbent Tom Bevill.[9]

As the Republican nominee, Aderholt faced a considerable challenge against State Senator Bob Wilson Jr., who called himself a Democrat "in the Tom Bevill tradition". This was a seriously contested race, receiving considerable national coverage and significant support from the Republican Party. Newt Gingrich personally visited the district during the campaign. Aderholt won, 50%–48%, becoming only the second Republican to represent the district since Reconstruction. Two years later, he was reelected over Tom Bevil, Jr., his predecessor's son. The first Republican to win the seat had been Jim Martin, who was swept into office in what was then the 7th District during the 1964 wave that delivered the state's electoral votes to Barry Goldwater. After his first win, Aderholt has never faced another contest nearly that close, and has been reelected nine times. He ran unopposed in 2004, 2010, 2014, and 2016. His increasing margins reflected the growing Republican trend in this part of Alabama.

Aderholt is associated with the Fellowship Foundation, which paid for his trip to Romania in 2017 to promote "traditional family values".[10] Over 16 years, Aderholt traveled to 18 countries on the Fellowship's behalf.

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]

Aderholt greeting President George W. Bush in 2005
Aderholt with President Donald Trump in 2019


Aderholt is one of 147 Republican lawmakers who voted to overturn results in the 2020 presidential election.[11] He was at the Capitol to confirm the election results when it was stormed. During the attack, he tweeted a prayer to God to "guide & protect this nation." In a video message, he later said that some of the attackers "crossed the line".[12] Even after the attack, he supported overturning the election. Aderholt later opposed impeaching Trump for the second time.[13]

In February 2021, Aderholt voted against the American Rescue Plan claiming that his opposition was due to half of the funding in the bill going to "unrelated liberal policies" and that the bill "has nothing to do with COVID-19 relief."[14]

As of October 2021, Aderholt had voted in line with Joe Biden's stated position 7.5% of the time.[15]

Committee assignments[edit]


Bills sponsored[edit]

Sponsor HR 3808: Interstate Recognition of Notarizations Act of 2010, 111th Congress

Representatives Bruce Braley, Mike Castle, and Artur Davis co-sponsored the bill.

H.R. 3808 Interstate Recognition of Notarizations Act of 2010 – To require any federal or state court to recognize any notarization made by a notary public licensed by a state other than the state where the court is located when such notarization occurs in or affects interstate commerce.

April 27, 2010: This bill passed the House of Representatives by voice vote. A record of each representative's position was not kept.

September 27, 2010: This bill passed the Senate by unanimous consent. A record of each senator's position was not kept.

October 8, 2010: vetoed by President.

H.R. 2017 Continuing Appropriations Act, 2012

May 26, 2011: Introduced

June 2, 2011: Passed House with amendments

September 26, 2011: Passed Senate with amendments

September 30, 2011: Became Public Law 112-33[19]

Political positions[edit]

The American Conservative Union's center for legislative accountability gave Aderholt a 83% lifetime conservative rating[20] and the progressive PAC Americans for Democratic Action gave him a 5% liberal quotient in 2019.[21]


Robert and Carolina Aderholt at the 2018 March for Life in Washington, D.C.

During the March for Life in Washington on January 22, 2010, Aderholt said, "The issue of abortion and the sanctity of life is something that I feel strongly about and I encourage my colleagues to look for ways to curb and stop abortions in the United States, while compassionately educating on this important issue."[22] Aderholt supported the 2022 overturning of Roe v. Wade and called it a "watershed moment for life".[23]

Budget and economy[edit]

Aderholt opposes reducing the defense budget to close the American deficit, and in May 2012 said "cuts to defense budgets – the federal government's primary Constitutional responsibility – shouldn't be the relief valve for uncontrolled domestic program spending".[24]

Civil rights[edit]

Aderholt opposes same-sex marriage. Aderholt condemned the Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, which held that same-sex marriage bans violated the US constitution.[25] He has received high ratings from the Family Research Council, the Traditional Values Coalition, and the American Family Association.[26] In 2013, the Human Rights Campaign gave him a score of 0 on its Congressional Scorecard.[27]


During the 111th Congress, Aderholt voted for Steve Scalise's amendment[Notes 1] to "require that Congress be allowed to vote on any executive regulation that would impose any tax, price, or levy upon carbon emissions... effectively prevents the executive branch from levying any form of carbon tax without Congressional approval. Since a carbon tax would be tremendously destructive to the economy as a whole, this measure would hopefully make such a tax unlikely to pass."[28] Aderholt opposed regulations on greenhouse gas emissions, and in December 2008 helped write a letter to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that read, "I am opposed to any attempt to impose greenhouse gas regulations under the Clean Air Act on the agricultural industry."[29]

Gun policy[edit]

Aderholt supports gun rights. He was endorsed by the National Rifle Association in the 2010 general election,[30] and received $2,000 from it.[31]

In the wake of the 2016 Orlando nightclub shooting, Aderholt called it a terrorist attack and said, "we do not have the luxury of debating the political correctness of 'radical Islam'", adding that there was a need to "hunt down those who would do us harm". He opposed the media and President Obama using the shooting to "push any type of political agenda relating to gun control" and called on the White House and Congress to "protect the homeland".[32]

Health care[edit]

In 2019, Aderholt introduced a bill to raise the minimum age to purchase tobacco to 21.[33]

Regulatory reform[edit]

In December 2011, Aderholt 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.[34][35]

Tax policy[edit]

Aderholt is a signer of Americans for Tax Reform's Taxpayer Protection Pledge.[36] He voted for the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017,[37] saying it would "give back more money to Alabama taxpayers"[38] and "does the right thing". He cited the raising of the child tax credit, changes to the state and local tax deductions, and said, "more than 80% the people in the 4th District of Alabama will receive a tax cut." Aderholt also said that more businesses will stay in the U.S. due to a lower corporate tax rate and therefore the act is a "jobs bill".[39]

Texas v. Pennsylvania[edit]

In December 2020, Aderholt 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[40] 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.[41][42][43]


In September 2021, Aderholt 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.[44][45]

Electoral history[edit]

Alabama's 4th congressional district Republican primary, 1996
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Robert Aderholt 10,410 48.8
Republican Kerry Rich 5,860 27.5
Republican Barry Guess 2,434 11.4
Republican Mickey Moseley 1,596 7.5
Republican Ronny Branham 1,021 4.8
Total votes 21,321 100.0
Alabama's 4th congressional district election, 1996
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Robert B. Aderholt 102,741 49.9
Democratic Bob Wilson Jr. 99,250 48.2
Libertarian Alan F. Barksdale 3,718 1.8
Total votes 205,709 100.0
Republican gain from Democratic
Alabama's 4th congressional district election, 1998
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Robert Aderholt (incumbent) 106,297 56.4
Democratic Donald H. Bevill 82,065 43.6
Total votes 188,362 100.0
Republican hold
Alabama's 4th congressional district election, 2000
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Robert Aderholt (incumbent) 140,009 60.9
Democratic Marsha Folsom 86,400 37.6
Libertarian Craig Goodrich 3,519 1.5
Total votes 229,928 100.0
Republican hold
Alabama's 4th congressional district election, 2002
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Robert Aderholt (incumbent) 139,705 87.0
Libertarian Tony H. McLendon 20,858 13.0
Total votes 160,563 100.0
Republican hold
Alabama's 4th congressional district election, 2004
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Robert Aderholt (incumbent) 191,110 74.8
Democratic Carl Cole 64,278 25.2
Total votes 255,388 100.0
Republican hold
Alabama's 4th congressional district election, 2006
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Robert Aderholt (incumbent) 130,385 70.6
Democratic Barbara Bobo 54,382 29.4
Total votes 184,767 100.0
Republican hold
Alabama's 4th congressional district election, 2008
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Robert Aderholt (incumbent) 196,741 74.9
Democratic Nicholas B. Sparks 66,077 25.1
Total votes 262,818 100.0
Republican hold
Alabama's 4th congressional district election, 2010
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Robert Aderholt (incumbent) 167,714 100.0
Total votes 167,714 100.0
Republican hold
Alabama's 4th congressional district election, 2012
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Robert Aderholt (incumbent) 197,736 74.0
Democratic Daniel Boman 69,427 26.0
Total votes 267,163 100.0
Republican hold
Alabama's 4th congressional district election, 2014
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Robert Aderholt (incumbent) 132,831 98.6
Write-in 1,921 1.4
Total votes 134,752 100.0
Republican hold
Alabama's 4th congressional district Republican primary, 2016
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Robert Aderholt (incumbent) 86,660 81.2
Republican Phil Norris 20,096 18.8
Total votes 106,756 100.0
Alabama's 4th congressional district election, 2016
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Robert Aderholt (incumbent) 235,925 98.5
Write-in 3,519 1.5
Total votes 239,444 100.0
Republican hold
Alabama's 4th congressional district Republican primary, 2018
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Robert Aderholt (incumbent) 93,959 81.5
Republican Anthony Blackmon 21,366 18.5
Total votes 115,235 100.0
Alabama's 4th congressional district election, 2018
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Robert Aderholt (incumbent) 184,255 79.8
Democratic Lee Auman 46,492 20.1
Total votes 230,969 100.0
Republican hold
2020 Alabama's 4th congressional district election
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Robert Aderholt (incumbent) 258,955 82.5
Democratic Rick Neighbors 54,704 17.4
Write-in 236 0.8
Total votes 313,895 100.0
Republican hold
Aderholt with his daughter, Mary Elliott, while sheltering-in-place during the COVID-19 pandemic in Alabama.

Personal life[edit]

Aderholt is married to Caroline McDonald. Her father, Albert, served in the Alabama State Senate and was Alabama Commissioner of Agriculture and Industries.[48] They have two children.[49]

On December 4, 2020, Aderholt announced that he had tested positive for COVID-19 after going into quarantine eight days earlier after his wife had tested positive.[50]


Aderholt has been awarded the following foreign honors:


  1. ^ H. Amendment: H.Amdt. 448 to H.R. 367


  1. ^ "U.S. House of Representatives". February 23, 2005. Archived from the original on February 23, 2005.
  2. ^ Orndorff Troyan, Mary (August 4, 2010). "Alabama Rep. Robert Aderholt joins congressional Tea Party Caucus". Retrieved September 5, 2014.
  3. ^ "Led by Shelby and Aderholt, Alabama's congressional delegation again delivers in appropriations package". December 22, 2020.
  4. ^ Wasserman, David. "Introducing the 2022 Cook Partisan Voting Index (Cook PVI)". The Cook Political Report with Amy Walter. Retrieved July 13, 2022.
  5. ^ "John-C-Elliott - User Trees". Retrieved May 20, 2018.
  6. ^ Aderholt, Robert (February 22, 2022). "Robert Aderholt".
  7. ^ Aderholt, Robert (February 22, 2022). "Robert Aderholt". Linkedin.
  8. ^ McCutcheon, Michael; Barone, Chuck (2013). 2014 Almanac of American Politics. The University of Chicago Press.
  9. ^ Estrada, Louie (March 31, 2005). "Rep. Tom Bevill, 84; Alabama Democrat". Washington Post. Retrieved October 7, 2021.
  10. ^ Sharlet, Jeff. (2008). The family : the secret fundamentalism at the heart of American power (1st ed.). New York, NY: HarperCollins. ISBN 978-0-06-055979-3. OCLC 148887452.
  11. ^ Yourish, Karen; Buchanan, Larry; Lu, Denise (January 7, 2021). "The 147 Republicans Who Voted to Overturn Election Results". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved July 1, 2021.
  12. ^ "Alabama's congressional delegation reacts to storming of US Capitol". WAFF. Retrieved March 8, 2021.
  13. ^ Cai, Weiyi; Daniel, Annie; Gamio, Lazaro; Parlapiano, Alicia (January 13, 2021). "Impeachment Results: How Democrats and Republicans Voted". The New York Times. Retrieved March 8, 2021.
  14. ^ Stilwell, Bobby (February 27, 2021). "Here's how Alabama's U.S. House Representatives voted on President Biden's $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill". WHNT. Retrieved March 8, 2021.
  15. ^ Bycoffe, Anna Wiederkehr and Aaron (October 22, 2021). "Does Your Member Of Congress Vote With Or Against Biden?". FiveThirtyEight. Retrieved October 27, 2021.
  16. ^ "Membership". Republican Study Committee. December 6, 2017. Retrieved March 28, 2021.
  17. ^ "Members". Congressional NextGen 9-1-1 Caucus. Retrieved June 11, 2018.
  18. ^ "Our Members". U.S. House of Representatives International Conservation Caucus. Retrieved August 1, 2018.
  19. ^ "H.R.2017 - Continuing Appropriations Act, 2012". Retrieved November 25, 2019.
  20. ^ "ACU Lawmakers".{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  21. ^ "ADA Liberal Quotient" (PDF).{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  22. ^ Baragona, Justin. "Taking Back the House, Vol. 3: Robert Aderholt and Alabama's 4th District". PoliticalUSA. Retrieved January 25, 2017.
  23. ^ Aderholt, Robert'. ""Today is a watershed moment in the fight for life. The Court's decision is a landmark in the effort to protect the most vulnerable among us and guarantee their right to life and liberty."". Twitter. Retrieved June 25, 2022.
  24. ^ "Redstone's Pivotal Role in Nation's Technology Must be Protected, says Rep. Robert Aderholt". Retrieved November 19, 2012.
  25. ^ "Aderholt Statement on SCOTUS Ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges". Congressman Robert Aderholt. June 26, 2015. Retrieved April 11, 2022.
  26. ^ VoteSmart 2012.
  27. ^ "Congressional Scorecard: Measuring Support for Equality in the 112th Congress" (PDF). Human Rights Campaign. Retrieved August 5, 2014.
  28. ^ Freedom Works 2013.
  29. ^ "Inhofe Says EPA's New Boiler Rule Could Kill Nearly 800,000 Manufacturing Jobs". Fox News. September 28, 2010. Retrieved November 19, 2012.
  30. ^ "Obama to present gun agenda; all but one Alabama representative supported by NRA". On The Issues. Retrieved November 19, 2012.
  31. ^ "Robert Aderholt on Gun Control". Challen Stevens. Retrieved August 5, 2014.
  32. ^ 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.
  33. ^ Ary, Patrick (April 4, 2019). "U.S. Rep. Aderholt wants to raise age for buying tobacco to 21". WHNT. Archived from the original on April 5, 2019. Retrieved January 26, 2020.
  34. ^ Sonmez, Felicia (December 7, 2011). "REINS bill to expand congressional power over executive regulations passed by House". The Washington Post. Retrieved October 10, 2013.
  35. ^ "Robert Aderholt | FreedomWorks Key Voting Record". Congressional Scorecard - FreedomWorks.
  36. ^ ATR 2010.
  37. ^ Almukhtar, Sarah (December 19, 2017). "How Each House Member Voted on the Tax Bill". The New York Times. Retrieved December 21, 2017.
  38. ^ Hagstrom, Jerry. "Senate Passes Tax Bill Late Tuesday, But Rules Force House to Revote Wednesday". DTN Progressive Farmer. Retrieved December 21, 2017.
  39. ^ "House passes $1.5T tax bill, delivering on a major piece of GOP agenda". December 19, 2017. Retrieved December 21, 2017.
  40. ^ 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.
  41. ^ Liptak, Adam (December 11, 2020). "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 December 12, 2020.
  42. ^ "Order in Pending Case" (PDF). Supreme Court of the United States. December 11, 2020. Archived (PDF) from the original on December 11, 2020. Retrieved December 11, 2020.
  43. ^ 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.
  44. ^ "House passes sweeping defense policy bill". September 23, 2021.
  45. ^ "H.R. 4350: National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2022 -- House Vote #293 -- Sep 23, 2021".
  46. ^ "2014 Certified General Election Results" (PDF). Retrieved July 11, 2020.
  47. ^ "2016 Certified General Election Results" (PDF). Retrieved July 11, 2020.
  48. ^ 'Funeral Service set for Albert McDonald, former state senator and ag commissioner from Madison,', Steve Doyle, July 7, 2014
  49. ^ "About Robert". Congressman Robert Aderholt. December 3, 2012. Retrieved May 20, 2018.
  50. ^ "Congressman Robert Aderholt tests positive for coronavirus, says he's asymptomatic". WRBL. December 4, 2020. Retrieved December 5, 2020.
  51. ^ "Klaus Iohannis a decorat opt congresmani americani cu Ordinul Steaua României în grad de Comandor". (in Romanian). June 9, 2017. Retrieved April 29, 2018.
  52. ^ Peia, Florentina; Iacob, Simona (June 9, 2017). Purcarea, Vicentiu; Pandea, Razvan-Adrian (eds.). "President Iohannis and U.S. congressmen discuss Romania's inclusion in Visa Waiver programme". Agepres. Retrieved April 29, 2018.
  53. ^ "Order of St John". Retrieved October 28, 2020.


External links[edit]

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Alabama's 4th congressional district

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