|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Arkansas's 3rd district
January 3, 2011
|Preceded by||John Boozman|
|Mayor of Rogers|
|Preceded by||John Sampier|
|Succeeded by||Greg Hines|
|Born||Stephen Allen Womack
February 18, 1957
Russellville, Arkansas, U.S.
|Alma mater||Arkansas Tech University|
|Awards||Legion of Merit
Meritorious Service Medal
Army Commendation Medal
|Service/branch||United States Army|
|Years of service||1979–2009|
|Unit||Arkansas Army National Guard|
Stephen Allen "Steve" Womack (born February 18, 1957) is an American politician who has been the U.S. Representative for Arkansas's 3rd congressional district since 2011. He is a member of the Republican Party. Prior to his election to Congress, Womack was Mayor of Rogers, Arkansas.
Early life, education, and business career
Womack was born in Russellville, Arkansas, the son of Elisabeth F. (Canerday) and James Kermit Womack. He spent most of his childhood in Moberly, Missouri; but moved back to Russellville at the age of 16 and graduated from Russellville High School in 1975. He graduated from Arkansas Tech University in 1979. Shortly afterward, he enlisted in the Arkansas Army National Guard. He served for 30 years, retiring in 2009 as a colonel. Womack's father founded KURM-AM in 1979, and Womack served as station manager from 1979 to 1990. He then served as executive officer of the Army ROTC program at the University of Arkansas from 1990 to 1996, then joined Merrill Lynch as a financial consultant.
Mayor of Rogers
In 1998, Womack was elected mayor of Rogers, the ninth largest city of Arkansas. He ousted 17-year incumbent John Sampier Jr. A major issue in the city was illegal immigration. The organization Americans for an Immigration Moratorium attacked John Sampier for being a pro-immigration liberal. Womack pledged to get tough on illegal immigrants saying "If you're coming to America illegally, you don't want to come to Rogers." The city had a growing Hispanic population, where it made 20% of the population, according to the 2000 Census. A year after the election, the National Council of La Raza awarded Sampier for his courage in helping out Hispanic Americans.
In 1999, Womack had two agents of the Immigration and Naturalization Service assigned to the Rogers Police Department. As a result, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) filed a class-action suit against the city policeforce for racial profiling.
In 2002 and 2006 Womack won re-election unopposed.
U.S. House of Representatives
In late 2009, Womack jumped into the race for the 3rd District after incumbent Republican John Boozman gave it up to run for the United States Senate. The 3rd is one of the most Republican districts in the South and the nation (Republicans have held it since 1967), and it was generally believed whoever won the Republican primary would be the district's next congressman. He ranked first in the seven-candidate primary with 31% of the vote, failing to reach the 50% threshold. In the June runoff, he defeated State Senator and fellow Rogers resident Cecile Bledsoe 52%-48%.
In the general election, Womack defeated Democratic nominee David Whitaker, 72%-28%.
Womack was originally set to face veteran Ken Aden in his re-election bid. However, on July 8, Aden withdrew from the race after admitting to exaggerating his military record. As it was too late to select a replacement candidate for Aden (under Arkansas law, the Democratic Party could only name a replacement at that late date if the original candidate died, moved out of the district or opted to seek another office), Womack faced no major-party opposition in November. He won re-election to a second term with 76% of the vote.
On February 14, 2013, Womack sponsored H.R. 684, the Marketplace Fairness Act of 2013, a bill that would allow states to charge and collect sales taxes on internet purchases. Supporters say the bill will create a "level playing field" between online retailers and brick and mortar retailers, while opponents argue that the bill would increase the power of the states, threaten consumer privacy, increase taxes, and hurt small businesses.
In a 2015 episode of his show Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, John Oliver criticized Womack for blocking the enforcement of laws proposed by the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration that would have protected chicken farmers from being threatened or punished by the companies they work for if they spoke out regarding their farming experiences.
- Committee on Appropriations
- Republican Study Committee
|2010||Steve Womack||Republican Party||18,290||51.75%||Cecile Bledsoe||Republican Party||17,048||48.24%|
- "Once a Soldier... Always a Soldier" (PDF). Legislative Agenda. Association of the United States Army. 2011. Retrieved 28 January 2013.
- Representative Stephen Allen Womack (Steve) (R-Arkansas, 3rd) – Biography from. LegiStorm. Retrieved on 2011-06-24.
- A Town's Two Faces. Newsweek (2001-06-04). Retrieved on 2011-06-24.
- Bio at Rogers city site. Rogersarkansas.com. Retrieved on 2011-06-24.
- Brantley, Max (July 9, 2012). "Ken Aden dropping out of 3rd District congressional race". Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. Retrieved August 15, 2012.
- "H.R. 684 - Summary". United States Congress. Retrieved 23 April 2013.
- "Bill Before U.S. Senate Will End Special Treatment of Online-Only Retailers". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 23 April 2013.
- Melugin, Jessica. "Facts on the Marketplace Fairness Act (S. 743, formerly S. 336)". Competitive Enterprise Institute. Retrieved 23 April 2013.
- "NTU urges all Senators to vote “NO” on S. 743, the “Marketplace Fairness Act (MFA) of 2013.”". National Taxpayers Union. Retrieved 23 April 2013.
- "WE R HERE: Opposition to Senate Internet Tax Act Grows". Yahoo!Finance. Retrieved 23 April 2013.
- Haas, Nathaniel (1 June 2015). "John Oliver vs. chicken". Politico. Retrieved 29 March 2016.
- Hathaway, Jay (18 May 2015). "John Oliver: Big Poultry Is Seriously Screwing Over Chicken Farmers". Gawker. Retrieved 29 March 2016.
- Staff (5 January 2011). "Ten Southern Baptists sworn in as new reps.". Baptist Press. Archived from the original on 25 December 2014. Retrieved 25 December 2014.
- Congressman Steve Womack official U.S. House site
- Steve Womack for Congress
- Steve Womack at DMOZ
- Biography at the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
- Profile at Project Vote Smart
- Financial information (federal office) at the Federal Election Commission
- Legislation sponsored at The Library of Congress
|United States House of Representatives|
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Arkansas's 3rd congressional district
|United States order of precedence (ceremonial)|
|United States Representatives by seniority