|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives|
from Georgia's 11th district
|Assumed office |
January 3, 2015
|Preceded by||Phil Gingrey|
|Member of the Georgia State Senate|
January 10, 2011 – August 27, 2013
|Preceded by||Preston Smith|
|Succeeded by||Bruce Thompson|
|Member of the Georgia House of Representatives|
from the 14th district
January 10, 2005 – January 10, 2011
|Preceded by||Tom Knox|
|Succeeded by||Christian Coomer|
Barry Dean Loudermilk
December 22, 1963
Riverdale, Georgia, U.S.
|Residence(s)||Cartersville, Georgia, U.S.|
|Education||Community College of the Air Force (AAS) |
Wayland Baptist University (BS)
|Branch/service||United States Air Force|
|Years of service||1984–1992|
Barry Dean Loudermilk (// LOW-dər-MILK; born December 22, 1963) is an American politician from the state of Georgia who has been the U.S. representative from Georgia's 11th congressional district since 2015. The district covers a large slice of Atlanta's northern suburbs, including Marietta, Acworth and Smyrna, and a sliver of Atlanta itself.
Loudermilk won the Republican nomination for the seat in a runoff on July 22, 2014, over Bob Barr, and won the general election on November 4, 2014. He was reelected to successive terms in 2016, 2018, 2020, and 2022.[user-generated source?]
Loudermilk was born in Riverdale, Georgia. After graduating from high school, he enlisted in the United States Air Force in 1984, where he worked as a communications operations specialist for command, control, and intelligence operations. He served at duty stations in Texas, Hawaii and Alaska. Per his campaign website, he was awarded for his participation in "the 1986 Philippine Crisis, the 1986 Air Raid on Libya, Operation Just Cause in Panama, Operation Desert Shield, and Operation Desert Storm." While in the Air Force, he attended the Community College of the Air Force to earn his Associate of Applied Science in telecommunications technology in 1987 before going on to earn his Bachelor of Science in occupational education and information systems technology from Wayland Baptist University in 1992. He was honorably discharged from the Air Force in 1992. After his military service he founded a company called Innovative Network Systems, Inc.
Loudermilk entered politics in 2001, when he was elected chairman of the Bartow County Republican party, serving until 2004. He served district 14 in the Georgia House of Representatives from 2005 until 2010, and was a member of the Georgia State Senate from 2011 to 2013, representing the 52nd district. He served as chair of the senate science and technology committee, as secretary of the veterans, military and homeland security, and public safety, committees, and as a member of the transportation committee. During his time in the Georgia legislature, he received awards including the Civil Air Patrol's National Legislator of the Year award (2006), the Advocates for Children’s Public Servant of the Year award (2007), the Blue Ridge Women's Center's Sanctity of Life Award (2010), the Technology Association of Georgia's Legislator of the Year award (2011) and the American Conservative Union's Defender of Liberty Award (2012). Loudermilk resigned from the state senate on August 27, 2013, to focus on his congressional bid, winning repeatedly from 2014 through 2022.
Loudermilk is a former member of the Freedom Caucus and has been endorsed by the evangelical author and political activist for Christian nationalist causes, David Barton. Loudermilk is a Baptist.
In February 2017, Loudermilk co-sponsored H.R. 861, which would eliminate the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency by 2018.
In September 2017, the Georgia-based credit bureau Equifax revealed a data breach that affected 143 million Americans and was characterized by technology journalists as "very possibly the worst leak of personal info ever to have happened". Four months earlier, Loudermilk, who had received $2,000 in campaign contributions from Equifax as part of an extensive lobbying effort, introduced a bill that would reduce consumer protections in relation to the nation's credit bureaus, including capping potential damages in a class action suit to $500,000 regardless of class size or amount of loss. The bill would also eliminate all punitive damages. After criticism from consumer advocates, Loudermilk agreed to delay consideration of the bill "pending a full and complete investigation into the Equifax breach."
For the 118th Congress:
On May 19, 2022, the United States House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack requested that Loudermilk appear for an interview about a tour he led of the United States Capitol Complex on January 5, 2021, the day before the 2021 United States Capitol attack. House Democrats had suggested Loudermilk aided in the attack, which he and House Republicans disputed. In June, Capitol police concluded that there was nothing suspicious about Loudermilk's tour. Capitol police chief Tom Manger said, "There is no evidence that Rep. Loudermilk entered the U.S. Capitol with this group on January 5, 2021." The next day, the committee released video of Loudermilk leading the tour of the Capitol complex on January 5 in areas "not typically of interest to tourists, including hallways, staircases, and security checkpoints"; the footage showed the group walking through tunnels underneath the Capitol, but not within the main building. A man in the tour group can also be seen taking photos of hallways. The committee then shared footage claiming the man was at the riot, showing footage of a man at the storming of the Capitol the next day.
Loudermilk filed an ethics complaint against Representative Mikie Sherrill and other members for alleging he gave a reconnaissance tour of the Capitol on January 5.
Loudermilk has an 83% score from conservative political advocacy group Heritage Action for his voting record.
Loudermilk supports reforming Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security. He wants to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare"). He compared the 2017 Republican efforts to repeal Obamacare to the American Revolutionary War and World War II.
Loudermilk did not vaccinate his children against the mumps or measles. He believes that it is up to parents, not the government, to decide whether children receive vaccines.
Loudermilk said he considers the presidency of Donald Trump a "movement" and has praised the concept of "Make America Great Again." He has credited Paul Ryan, rather than Trump, with Republican success in Congress. In 2017, Loudermilk called Ryan a "revolutionary thinker."
In December 2019, Loudermilk likened the impeachment of Trump to the crucifixion of Jesus. In a floor speech, he said, "When Jesus was falsely accused of treason, Pontius Pilate gave Jesus the opportunity to face his accusers... During that sham trial, Pontius Pilate afforded more rights to Jesus than the Democrats have afforded this president in this process", a fact pattern disputed by religious scholarship and rated by PolitiFact as "false."
In December 2020, Loudermilk 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 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.
On January 7, 2021, Loudermilk and 139 other House Republicans voted against certifying Arizona's and Pennsylvania's electoral votes, despite no evidence of widespread election fraud.
In 2016, the Club for Growth named Loudermilk a "defender of economic freedom" for his conservative voting record on the economy.
Loudermilk supports a balanced budget amendment but does not consider it "politically viable."
Loudermilk supports tax reform and voted for the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. He called the act a "big Christmas present" for his constituents, claiming it would reduce the deficit, improve the lives of all Americans, and cause more companies to hire due to increased revenues. He said, "I could understand it if all we were doing was just giving a corporate tax break—you could make that argument. But the bulk of the tax reform is giving middle-income Americans a significant tax cut."
Loudermilk supports dismantling the IRS and establishing a flat tax system.
Loudermilk is anti-abortion and believes that life starts at conception. He supports the right to life movement and has said, "Life is the ultimate right endowed by God and it is the responsibility of governments to protect that right, not to destroy it."
Loudermilk opposes federal legalization of same-sex marriage, believing it should be decided by states. In 2015, Loudermilk condemned the Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, which held that same-sex marriage bans violated the constitution. He has supported the First Amendment Defense Act.