Steve Knight (politician)
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives|
from California's 25th district
|Assumed office |
January 3, 2015
|Preceded by||Buck McKeon|
|Succeeded by||Katie Hill (Elect)|
|Member of the California Senate|
from the 21st district
December 3, 2012 – January 3, 2015
|Preceded by||Sharon Runner (redistricted)|
|Succeeded by||Sharon Runner|
|Member of the California State Assembly|
from the 36th district
December 1, 2008 – November 30, 2012
|Preceded by||Sharon Runner|
|Succeeded by||Steve Fox|
|Member of the Palmdale City Council|
December 5, 2005 – December 1, 2008
|Preceded by||Enrique Sanchez Lopez|
|Succeeded by||Laura Bettencourt|
Stephen Thomas Knight
December 17, 1966
Edwards, California, U.S.
|Education||Antelope Valley College|
|Service/branch||United States Army|
|Years of service||1985–1993|
Stephen Thomas Knight (born December 17, 1966) is an American politician of the Republican Party who has served as the U.S. Representative for California's 25th congressional district since 2015. Previously, he represented California's 21st State Senate district from 2012 to 2015 and California's 36th State Assembly district from 2008 through 2012. From 2010 to 2012, he served as Assistant Minority Leader in the California State Assembly. Knight served in the U.S. Army from 1985 to 1993 and served for 18 years with the Los Angeles Police Department. He was previously a member of the Palmdale, California City Council.
- 1 Early life, military service and career
- 2 California State Legislature
- 3 U.S. House of Representatives
- 4 Political positions
- 4.1 Vote Smart Political Courage Test
- 4.2 Second amendment
- 4.3 Drug policy
- 4.4 Confederate flag
- 4.5 Military
- 4.6 Economy
- 4.7 Environment
- 4.8 Natural disaster relief
- 4.9 Healthcare
- 4.10 Immigration
- 4.11 Israel
- 4.12 Social Security
- 4.13 Aviation
- 4.14 LGBT rights
- 4.15 Scientific and technological development
- 5 Personal life
- 6 References
- 7 External links
Early life, military service and career
Knight was born at Edwards Air Force Base in Antelope Valley, California, in 1966. After graduating from Palmdale High School, he served in the U.S. Army (1985–87) as a track systems mechanic in Friedberg, Germany. When his tour ended, he served in the Army Reserve until 1993. In 2006, Knight received an Associate of Arts degree from Antelope Valley College.
Knight served for 18 years with the Los Angeles Police Department, where he was selected to serve on the Community Resources Against Street Hoodlums (CRASH) team. He served on the Palmdale City Council and represented the north Los Angeles County area in both the California State Assembly and the California State Senate.
California State Legislature
Knight was elected to the California State Assembly in November 2008, succeeding Sharon Runner. From 2010 to 2012, he was the Assistant Minority Leader of the California State Assembly. In 2012, Knight was elected to the California State Senate, where he represented the 21st District until 2014. His father, the late William J. "Pete" Knight served as Republican state senator in the Antelope Valley.
In the State Assembly, Knight was Vice Chairman of the Natural Resources and Public Safety Committee and served on the Aerospace; Local Government; Utilities and Commerce; and Rules Committees.
U.S. House of Representatives
In April 2015, Knight had a verbal altercation with a protester. After the protester made physical contact by forcefully gripping Knight's hand and patting him on the shoulder, Knight told him, "I'll drop your ass", but later apologized.
The Aliso Canyon Gas Leak from an underground natural gas storage facility owned by the Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas), a subsidiary of Sempra Energy occurred in Knight's district and became public in October 2015. Knight was criticized by some constituents for his reaction to the leak. He did not visit the Porter Ranch gas leak site until January 8, 2016, saying that he did not want to politicize the problem. Knight declined to co-sign a request for an investigation by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) with Representative Brad Sherman of the neighboring Congressional district. He wrote in an op-ed that EPA involvement would "hinder the ongoing process". Knight said in December 2015 that he was confident that SoCalGas was “working on this as diligently as they can.”
In May 2015, the National Republican Congressional Committee named Knight to its Patriot Program. The program gives added attention by the party to reelection campaigns in districts most likely to switch to Democratic representation in upcoming elections.
In June 2016, analyst David Wasserman moved Knight's district into the "toss-up" category, due to the negative influence of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump on down-ticket races and the growth in Democratic voter registration in the 25th Congressional District. In addition to Knight, two Democrats and one other Republican filed to run in the district's top-two primary, which took place on June 7, 2016. Knight and Democrat Bryan Caforio advanced to the general election.
Knight was endorsed by the Los Angeles Daily News. He was also endorsed by Lou Vince, an L.A. police lieutenant and Democrat who finished third (behind Knight and Bryan Caforio) in the 25th district's June 2016 primary.
In October 2016, the Ventura County Star endorsed Knight's re-election, praising his "record of service to the residents" and saying that he "showed in his first term that generally he continues to tackle issues of local concern, provide local constituent services and represents the values of the majority of voters in that district."
Knight was re-elected in the general election on November 8, 2016. He defeated Democrat Bryan Caforio with 54% of the vote.
On February 21, 2018, Ambassador John Bolton endorsed Knight and nine other Congressional candidates who had served in the U.S. military. Bolton's PAC contributed $70,000 to each candidate's campaign.
In 2018, the Los Angeles Times described Knight as fighting "to keep his place as the last GOP incumbent representing an L.A. County-based district."
In May 2018, Knight's H.R. 3210, the Securely Expediting Clearances Through Reporting Transparency (SECRET) Act, which seeks to improve the protection of classified information while also expediting security clearances for government employees, was signed into law.
Knight did not make an endorsement in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, saying that he could not support Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton or Republican nominee Donald Trump. Knight said he was "deeply disturbed" by reports that in 2005 Trump bragged about grabbing and groping women without their consent. In December 2016, Knight revealed that he voted for Trump after all.
In February 2017, he voted against a resolution that would have directed the House to request 10 years of Trump's tax returns, which would then have been reviewed by the House Ways and Means Committee in a closed session.
In May 2017, Knight became the third House Republican from California to support the appointment of a special prosecutor to probe Russian involvement in the 2016 election. "There is so much conflicting information from many sources; Americans deserve the opportunity to learn the truth," he said.
- Committee on Armed Services
- Committee on Science, Space and Technology
- Committee on Small Business
- House Aerospace Caucus
- Alzheimer's Disease Task Force
- Republican Law Enforcement Task Force
- 21st Century Agency Reform Task Force
- Congressional Lupus Caucus
- Congressional Military Family Caucus
- Congressional Unmanned Systems Caucus
- Congressional NASA Caucus
- Climate Solutions Caucus
Vote Smart Political Courage Test
According to Vote Smart's 2016 analysis, Knight generally supports pro-life legislation, opposes an income tax increase, supports federal spending as a means of promoting economic growth, supports lowering taxes as a means of promoting economic growth, opposes requiring states to adopt federal education standards, supports the building of the Keystone Pipeline, supports government funding for the development of renewable energy, opposes the federal regulation of greenhouse gas emissions, opposes gun-control legislation, supports repealing the Affordable Care Act, supports requiring immigrants who are unlawfully present to return to their country of origin before they are eligible for citizenship, and supports increased American intervention in Iraq and Syria beyond air support.
When Knight responded to the October 2017 Las Vegas massacre by writing online that his prayers were "with the victims and their families" and describing it as "an unfortunate reminder of the evil in our world," he was greeted with angry comments about his opposition to gun control. Peter Marston, a professor at Cal State Northridge stated it "was bad enough when there was no middle ground for people to talk about. Now we've reached the point where if you don't say what I believe, you've committed an affront to me."
Knight has a "C" rating from NORML regarding his voting record on cannabis-related matters. Knight says he has never smoked marijuana. He believes that cannabis should be removed as a Schedule I drug and be reclassified as a Schedule 3 drug, due to its medicinal use. Knight believes legalization should be up to individual states, yet it should remain illegal federally. He voted in favor, in 2016, for allowing veterans access to medical marijuana, if legal in their state, per their Veterans Health Administration doctor's recommendation.
Knight introduced H.R. 1162, the No Hero Left Untreated Act of 2017, which established a pilot program to implement emergent advanced technology to treat service members and veterans with PTSD and traumatic brain injuries.
On May 24, 2018, the House of Representatives voted 351 - 66 to approve the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for 2019, which included the provisions of H.R. 5546, introduced in April by Knight to authorize the use of $20 million allocated to the National Guard's counterdrug programs to combat opioid trafficking and abuse. "The international illegal drug trade not only peddles poison into our communities, but is also a significant threat to national security." said Knight. "Terrorist organizations and international cartels often fund themselves through the trade of heroin, cocaine, and other illicit substances. By deploying already-existing DOD intelligence and surveillance assets to support ongoing anti-narcotics operations, we can give law enforcement agencies a huge advantage over criminals."
The NDAA, passed by the House on May 24, 2018, also included the provisions of H.R. 5707, the Sexual Trauma Response and Treatment (START) Act, introduced by Knight in May. It would establish a pilot Department of Defense program to provide comprehensive outpatient programs to military service members with military sexual trauma.
In April 2015, Knight voted to impose a one-year delay on new Department of Defense rules designed to shield military families from abusive terms on payday loans and other forms of expensive short-term credit.
In November 2017, Knight voted in favor of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, the house version of the Republican Party's tax reform bill. The House bill removes state and local tax breaks that many Californians use, such as the mortgage interest deduction. Several House Republicans representing Californian districts voted against the legislation because it raised taxes on Californians. Knight said after the vote that he hoped that a reconciliation version of the bill with the Senate would make the bill better: "I don't know if they're going to make it better, but we'll see. There are some things in the Senate bill I like, there are some things in there that I don't like."
According to the Los Angeles Times, immediately after the vote, the Senate version of the bill "contains even deeper cuts to state and local tax breaks that are popular with Californians but maintains the mortgage interest deduction at its current level instead of cutting it in half as the House plan does. It also repeals Obamacare's individual mandate, a move that could further complicate the situation for California members who represent districts with a lot of Obamacare enrollees." In December 2017, Knight voted in favor of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
Knight stated that the new bill would "deliver tax relief to all Americans" and denied claims that the upper class would benefit more in the long-term than the middle- and lower-class. He said that the latter will get "a break on their personal taxes" and called the bill a step towards tax reform and a simplified tax code.
In September 2014, asked on a candidate questionnaire if he believed the scientific consensus on climate change, Knight wrote that California's efforts to curtail global warming were "rash," that California's law the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (AB 32) was "killing California's economy", and that the federal government should not regulate greenhouse gas emissions.
In February 2016, Knight introduced a bill that would block mining at Soledad Canyon. Knight also introduced legislation intended to increase federal regulation of gas storage facilities and prevent natural gas leaks. Knight's legislation was merged into a bipartisan bill named the Protecting our Infrastructure of Pipelines and Enhancing Safety Act of 2016. In April 2016, the bill was passed unanimously by the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. In June 2016, Knight's bill was signed into law by President Obama.
The League of Conservation Voters has given Knight a lifetime score of 0%.
On June 27, 2017, H.R. 2156, the St. Francis Dam Memorial Act, co-sponsored by Knight and Julia Brownley, unanimously passed the House Natural Resources Committee. It would create a national memorial at the site of the 1928 St. Francis Dam Disaster that took 431 lives.
Natural disaster relief
Knight is in favor of repealing the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). He wrote "The Affordable Care Act is a prime example of bad policy" on a September 2014 candidate questionnaire. On May 4, 2017, Knight voted to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and pass the American Health Care Act.
Knight highlighted how he contributed to an amendment to the bill that would provide $8 billion in funding over five years to help insure those with preexisting conditions in so-called "high-risk pools".
In May 2016, Knight participated in a public debate with his Democratic challengers. In it he said that immigration reform should focus on those who want to move to the U.S. legally.
In May 2018 Knight was a member of the ten-person House delegation that attended the opening of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem. "It was an honor to be a part of this delegation and show support for our Israeli friends," said Knight. "Israel is our longest and closest ally in the region and still stands as the only modern democracy in the area. We share the same goals for national security, human rights, and economic relations."
In a debate with other candidates in May 2016, Knight called Social Security "a bad idea" and warned that the U.S. Social Security system retirement system will run out of money by 2030 if major changes are not implemented.
In February 2016, Knight introduced legislation that would allow the Federal Aviation Administration to continue and expand upon its research, engineering and development programs through 2019.
Knight introduced the Aeronautics Innovation Act of 2017.
He voted against an amendment, which ultimately failed narrowly, that stated that religious corporations, associations and institutions that receive federal contracts can't be discriminated against on the basis of religion. Democrats warn that such a provision could potentially allow discrimination against the LGBT community in the name of religious freedom.
Scientific and technological development
On February 13, 2018, three Knight-authored bills were passed in the House intended to "advance cutting edge research initiatives and improve STEM education." H.R. 4376, The Department of Energy Research Infrastructure Act, would fund research in advanced photonics, x-ray energy applications, and other scientific fields. The other bills were H.R. 4254, The Women in Aerospace Education Act, and H.R. 3397, The Building Blocks of STEM Act.
- Smith, Perry (November 10, 2014). "Speculation Begins For Steve Knight's State Senate Seat". KHTS. Retrieved February 17, 2016.
- "KNIGHT profile". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved February 17, 2016.
- "New Members Guide 2015". The Hill. Retrieved 17 February 2016.
- "New Members of the 114th Congress Who Have Served in the Military" (PDF). Exchange and Commissary News. Westbury, NY: Executive Business Media. December 1, 2014. p. 11.
- "House of Representatives Member Profile; Rep. Steve Knight". RollCall.com. Washington, D.C.: CQ-Roll Call, Inc. September 8, 2014.
- "Steve Knight (R) - District 21". California State Senate. Retrieved February 17, 2016.
- Panzar, Javier (December 10, 2015). "Democratic lawyer announcing challenge to GOP Rep. Steve Knight". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 17, 2016.
- "Steve Knight's Biography". Project Vote Smart. Retrieved 17 February 2016.
- "Our View: Knight for state Senate". Santa Clarita Valley Signal. October 2, 2012. Retrieved February 17, 2016.
- "Gov. Brown passes bill for disabled veterans". Daily Press. September 30, 2014. Retrieved February 17, 2016.
- "Knight Measures To Help Veterans, And Protect The Disabled Clear The Senate". High Desert Daily. May 28, 2014. Retrieved February 17, 2016.
- Simon, Melissa (October 24, 2014). "Strickland, Knight focus on jobs, education". Simi Valley Acorn. Retrieved 17 February 2016.
- "Endorsement: Steve Knight for Congress in California's 25th District". Los Angeles Daily News. May 8, 2014. Retrieved 17 February 2016.
- Winburn, Jim (November 5, 2014). "2014 General Election results of interest to Antelope Valley voters". The Antelope Valley Times. Retrieved February 17, 2016.
- Bump, Philip (April 21, 2015). "California Rep. Steve Knight tells a protester, "I'll drop your ass"". Washington Post. Retrieved February 17, 2016.
- Panzar, Javier (January 18, 2016). "As Porter Ranch Gas Leak Lingers, Candidates Smell a Political Opportunity". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved March 16, 2017.
- "The Invisible Catastrophe", New York Times, March 31, 2016.
- Merl, Jean (May 1, 2015). "Republicans add Californians to list of its vulnerable House members". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 17, 2016.
- "Is Rep. Steve Knight California's most endangered incumbent?", L.A. Times, June 30, 2016.
- Wenner, Gretchen (April 25, 2016). "Knight faces three primary challengers in 25th congressional district". Ventura County Star. Retrieved April 29, 2016.
- Daly, Krista (June 8, 2016). "It's Knight, Caforio in November election for 25th Congressional District". Santa Clarita Valley Signal. Retrieved June 8, 2016.
- "Re-elect Steve Knight to Congress in 25th District: Endorsement". Los Angeles Daily News. September 30, 2016. Retrieved October 6, 2016.
- Panzar, Javier (September 30, 2016). "Democrat who lost in the primary says he will vote for Republican Rep. Steve Knight in heated House race". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved October 6, 2016.
- "Editorial: Re-elect Rep. Steve Knight in 25th District". Vcstar.com. Retrieved 4 October 2018.
- Sullivan, Bartholomew (November 9, 2016). "Brownley, Knight, Carbajal win House seats". Ventura County Star. USA Today. Retrieved November 11, 2016.
- John Bolton. "AMBASSADOR JOHN BOLTON ENDORSES TEN VETERANS FOR CONGRESS". Globenewswire.com. Retrieved 4 October 2018.
- Panzar, Javier. "Democrats who want to oust Rep. Steve Knight make their case at forum". latimes.com. Retrieved 4 October 2018.
- "Rep. Steve Knight Concedes To Katie Hill In 25th District Race". KCBS-TV. November 7, 2018. Retrieved November 8, 2018.
- "Knight's SECRET act for security clearances signed into law". Signalscv.com. 23 May 2018. Retrieved 4 October 2018.
- Samuels, Nikolas (October 8, 2016). "Congressman Steve Knight releases statement on Saturday saying he 'cannot support' Donald Trump". Santa Clarita Valley Signal. Retrieved October 20, 2016.
- "Did Knight Say He'll Vote for Donald?", Los Angeles Times, October 14, 2016.
- "Essential Politics November archives". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2017-02-12.
- "These are all the Republicans who don't want you to see Donald Trump's tax returns". indy100. 2017-02-28. Retrieved 2017-03-01.
- Wire, Sarah D. "Republican Rep. Steve Knight joins call for special prosecutor to take over FBI's Russia investigation". latimes.com. Retrieved 4 October 2018.
- Tracking Congress in the Age of Trump, accessed September 25, 2018
- "90 Current Climate Solutions Caucus Members". Citizen´s Climate Lobby. Retrieved 20 October 2018.
- "Members". Republican Main Street Partnership. Retrieved 25 January 2018.
- Javier Panzar (September 26, 2016). "This Democrat's legal past both helps and haunts him in California's most competitive congressional race". Los Angeles Times.
Knight's firm opposition to abortion.
- Javier Panzar (September 30, 2016). "'Dark money' funds flood of political canvassers in heated Los Angeles County congressional race". Los Angeles Times.
his staunch opposition to abortion.
- "Steve Knight's Issue Positions (Political Courage Test)". Vote Smart. Retrieved January 10, 2018.
- "Rep. Steve Knight urges prayers for Las Vegas — and gun-control advocates are angry". Dailynews.com. 3 October 2017. Retrieved 4 October 2018.
- "California Scorecard - NORML.org - Working to Reform Marijuana Laws". norml.org. Retrieved 22 December 2017.
- Bellantoni, Christina. "Essential Politics October archive". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 22 December 2017.
- Merl, Jean (August 27, 2014). "Confederate flag vote puts Knight on spot in congressional race". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 17, 2016.
- "Rep. Steve Knight: Reflection on first 100 days of the 115th Congress". Signalscv.com. 26 May 2017. Retrieved 4 October 2018.
- "Knight's opioid prevention bill passes House". Signalscv.com. 29 May 2018. Retrieved 4 October 2018.
- "Knight introduces Sexual Trauma Response and Treatment Act". Signalscv.com. 9 May 2018. Retrieved 4 October 2018.
- "Democrats Defeat GOP Plan to Block Predatory Lending Protections For Soldiers", The Huffington Post, April 30, 2015.
- CNN, Lauren Fox and Deirdre Walsh,. "House Republicans pass tax plan". CNN. Retrieved 2017-11-17.
- "Most California GOP House members vote to pass tax bill, with some hoping the Senate will help fix it". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2017-11-17.
- Almukhtar, Sarah (19 December 2017). "How Each House Member Voted on the Tax Bill". The New York Times. Retrieved 2 January 2018.
- Simon, Melissa. "Tax reforms unwrapped". Simi Valley Acorn. Retrieved 2 January 2018.
- "Beacon Exclusive: Knight, Strickland Debate the 25th Congressional District Issues". SCV Beacon. Santa Clarita, California. September 9, 2014. Retrieved March 16, 2017.
- Money, Luke (February 16, 2016). "Wilk introduces 'Plan B' to help block Cemex mine". Santa Clarita Valley Signal. Retrieved February 17, 2016.
- Healy, Patrick (February 16, 2016). "Energy Secretary Calls for 'Fresh Look' at Regulation After Gas Leak". NBC. Retrieved February 17, 2016.
- Bartholomew, Dana (April 24, 2016). "Valley lawmakers continue push for safer natural gas storage". Los Angeles Daily News. Retrieved April 29, 2016.
- Bartholomew, Dana (June 22, 2016). "National bill signed to prevent gas leaks like the one near Porter Ranch". Los Angeles Daily News. Retrieved 28 June 2016.
- "Check out Representative Steve Knight's Environmental Voting Record". League of Conservation Voters Scorecard. Retrieved 2017-02-12.
- "House okays legislation for St. Francis Dam Disaster Memorial". Signalscv.com. 11 July 2017. Retrieved 4 October 2018.
- Money, Luke (January 1, 2016). "Knight cites frustrations, progress during first year in Congress". Santa Clarita Valley Signal. Retrieved 17 February 2016.
- Ender, Gina (21 December 2017). "Fire and earthquake losses are tax deductible under House bill". Santa Clarita Valley Signal. Retrieved 22 December 2017.
- "How the House voted to pass the GOP health-care bill". Washington Post. Retrieved 2017-05-04.
- "Health care vote puts pressure on dozens of vulnerable GOP reps". USA TODAY. Retrieved 2017-05-04.
- "All of California's GOP House members voted to pass the Obamacare repeal bill". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2017-05-05.
- "Here are the major changes to the GOP healthcare bill". Business Insider. Retrieved 2017-05-05.
- Bollag, Sophia. "Vulnerable California Republicans defend health bill votes". chicagotribune.com. Retrieved 2017-05-10.
- Candid debate at Hart Hall, Santa Clarita Valley Signal, May 5, 2016.
- "Knight meets with Israeli officials at new embassy, responds to pastors controversy". Signalscv.com. 15 May 2018. Retrieved 4 October 2018.
- Varela, Rob (February 8, 2016). "Knight pushes FAA bill to expand aerospace research". Ventura County Star. Retrieved February 17, 2016.
- "Knight Introduces Aerospace Research Legislation". KHTS. February 9, 2016. Retrieved February 17, 2016.
- "Knight Introduces Aeronautics Innovation Act Of 2017" (Press release). Office of U.S. Representative Steve Knight. June 23, 2017.
- Marcos, Cristina (2016-05-19). "Chaos in House after GOP votes down LGBT measure". TheHill. Retrieved 2017-02-12.
- "Really, 30 Republicans Switched Sides on LGBT Discrimination". Roll Call. 2016-05-20. Retrieved 2017-02-12.
- "Congressman Knight's science bills get House approval". Signalscv.com. 13 February 2018. Retrieved 4 October 2018.
- Congressman Steve Knight official U.S. House website
- Campaign website
- Steve Knight at Curlie
- Appearances on C-SPAN
- Biography at the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
- Profile at Vote Smart
- Financial information (federal office) at the Federal Election Commission
- Legislation sponsored at the Library of Congress
| Member of the California Assembly
from the 36th district
| Member of the California Senate
from the 21st district
|U.S. House of Representatives|
| Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 25th congressional district
|Current U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)|
| United States Representatives by seniority