Barry Loudermilk
Barry Loudermilk, official portrait, 115th congress.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Georgia's 11th district
Assumed office
January 3, 2015
Preceded byPhil Gingrey
Member of the Georgia Senate
from the 14th district
In office
January 14, 2013 – August 27, 2013
Preceded byGeorge Hooks
Succeeded byBruce Thompson
Member of the Georgia Senate
from the 52nd district
In office
January 10, 2011 – January 14, 2013
Preceded byPreston Smith
Succeeded byChuck Hufstetler
Member of the Georgia House of Representatives
from the 14th district
In office
January 10, 2005 – January 10, 2011
Preceded byTom Knox
Succeeded byChristian Coomer
Personal details
Born
Barry Dean Loudermilk

(1963-12-22) December 22, 1963 (age 58)
Riverdale, Georgia, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)
Desiree Loudermilk
(m. 1983)
Children3
Residence(s)Cartersville, Georgia, U.S.
EducationCommunity College of the Air Force (AAS)
Wayland Baptist University (BS)
WebsiteHouse website
Military service
Allegiance United States
Branch/service United States Air Force
Years of service1984–1992

Barry Dean Loudermilk /ˈldərˌmɪlk/ (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.[1] He was reelected to a second term on November 8, 2016.

Early life and career

Loudermilk was born in Riverdale, Georgia. After graduating from high school, he enlisted in the United States Air Force, where he worked as a Communications Operations Specialist for command, control and intelligence operations.[2] Loudermilk served at duty stations in Texas, Hawaii and Alaska.[2] Loudermilk left the Air Force in 1992.

Loudermilk attended the Community College of the Air Force to receive his Associate of Applied Science in 1987 before going on to receive his Bachelor of Science from Wayland Baptist University in 1992. He was a member of the Georgia State Senate for almost three years, representing the 14th district. He served in the Georgia House of Representatives from 2005 until 2011.[3] Loudermilk resigned from the state senate on August 27, 2013, to focus on his congressional bid.[4]

Loudermilk is a native of Georgia. He entered politics in 2001, when he was elected chairman of the Bartow County Republican Party, serving until 2004. He was subsequently elected to the State House. Loudermilk was elected to the State Senate in 2010, and was sworn in in 2011. As a state senator, he served as chair of the Senate Science and Technology Committee and as Secretary to the Veterans, Military and Homeland Security and Public Safety Committees. He was also a member of the Senate Transportation Committee. He holds an associate degree in telecommunications technology and a Bachelor of Science in occupational education and information systems technology.

Loudermilk is a former member of the Freedom Caucus[5][6] and has been endorsed by evangelical Christian minister David Barton.[7]

U.S. House of Representatives

Tenure

In February 2017, Loudermilk co-sponsored H.R. 861, which would eliminate the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency by 2018.[8]

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".[9] Four months earlier, Loudermilk, who had received $2,000 in campaign contributions from Equifax as part of an extensive lobbying effort,[10][11] 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.[12][13] The bill would also eliminate all punitive damages.[12][13] After criticism from consumer advocates, Loudermilk agreed to delay consideration of the bill "pending a full and complete investigation into the Equifax breach."[12]

Committee assignments

Caucus memberships

Allegations of treason

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 on January 5, 2021, the day before the 2021 United States Capitol attack.[16] 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 Representative Loudermilk entered the U.S. Capitol with this group on January 5, 2021."[17] The next day, the committee released video of Loudermilk leading a tour in the Capitol on January 5 in areas "not typically of interest to tourists, including hallways, staircases, and security checkpoints";[18] 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.[19]

Although he first denied it and then charged Representative Mikie Sherrill with an ethics violation for revealing that it happened, Loudermilk admitted that he took people on a tour of the Capitol on January 5, 2021, the day before the attack on the Capitol.[20][21]

Political positions

Loudermilk has an 83% score from conservative political advocacy group Heritage Action for his voting record.[22]

Health care

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.[23]

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.[24]

Donald Trump

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.[23] In 2017, Loudermilk called Ryan a "revolutionary thinker."[23]

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."[25]

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[26] 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.[27][28][29]

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.[30]

Economic issues

In 2016, the Club for Growth named Loudermilk a "defender of economic freedom" for his conservative voting record on the economy.[31]

Loudermilk supports a balanced budget amendment but does not consider it "politically viable."[23]

Loudermilk supports tax reform and voted for the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.[32] 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."[23]

Loudermilk supports dismantling the IRS and establishing a flat tax system.[23]

Abortion

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."[33]

LGBT rights

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.[34] He has supported the First Amendment Defense Act.[35]

See also

References

  1. ^ "Barry Loudermilk wins Georgia GOP runoff to succeed Rep. Gingrey". Chattanooga Times Free Press. Associated Press. July 22, 2014. Retrieved July 23, 2014.
  2. ^ a b "Meet Barry". Retrieved February 5, 2021.
  3. ^ "Senator Barry Loudermilk". Georgia State Senate. Retrieved January 7, 2014.
  4. ^ "Loudermilk Resigns from Senate to Run Campaign". Daily-Tribune.com. August 28, 2013. Archived from the original on December 3, 2013. Retrieved November 26, 2013.
  5. ^ Bialik, Carl; Bycoffe, Aaron (September 25, 2015). "The Hard-Line Republicans Who Pushed John Boehner Out". FiveThirtyEight. Retrieved September 28, 2015.
  6. ^ Hallerman, Tamar (March 2, 2017). "Barry Loudermilk quietly leaves the House Freedom Caucus". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Archived from the original on April 15, 2017. Retrieved March 7, 2017.
  7. ^ "Barry Loudermilk, House GOP Candidate, Wins Endorsement From Controversial Historian David Barton". The Huffington Post. September 11, 2013. Retrieved January 19, 2015.
  8. ^ Hensley, Nicole (February 5, 2017). "Florida congressman pitches bill that would abolish the Environmental Protection Agency". New York Daily News. Retrieved January 6, 2017.
  9. ^ "Why the Equifax breach is very possibly the worst leak of personal info ever". CNBC. Retrieved September 10, 2017.
  10. ^ Levin, Bess (September 12, 2017). "Equifax Lobbied to Gut Regulations Right Before Getting Hacked". Vanity Fair.
  11. ^ "Equifax Inc Contributions to Federal Candidates, 2016 cycle – OpenSecrets". Opensecrets.org.
  12. ^ a b c Weisbaum, Herb, "Republicans in Congress Want to Roll Back Regulations on Credit Bureaus", NBC News, September 11, 2017, Retrieved September 18, 2017
  13. ^ a b Lazarus, David (September 19, 2017). "Despite Equifax hack, GOP lawmakers want to deregulate credit agencies". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved September 22, 2017.
  14. ^ "Member List". Republican Study Committee. Archived from the original on December 22, 2017. Retrieved December 21, 2017.
  15. ^ "Members". U.S. – Japan Caucus. Retrieved December 11, 2018.
  16. ^ Beitsch, Rebecca (May 19, 2022). "House Jan. 6 committee asks GOP Rep. Loudermilk to appear". The Hill.
  17. ^ Balsamo, Michael (June 14, 2022). "Police: Republican's tour of Capitol complex not suspicious". The Hill.
  18. ^ Wu, Nicholas (June 15, 2022). "Loudermilk tour group taking basement photos 'raises concerns' for Jan. 6 panel". Politico. Retrieved June 17, 2022.
  19. ^ Beitsch, Rebbeca (June 15, 2022). "Jan. 6 panel releases Loudermilk tour footage". The Hill.
  20. ^ Hannah Getahun (May 21, 2022). Trump has endorsed a Georgia lawmaker who brought a family to the Capitol complex on the day before the insurrection. [1]
  21. ^ Aaron Blake. (May 20, 2022). Breaking down claims about congresspeople and pre-Jan. 6 Capitol tours. The Washington Post. [2]
  22. ^ "Heritage Action Scorecard". Heritage Action for America. Retrieved December 25, 2017.
  23. ^ a b c d e f Ruch, John (December 5, 2017). "U.S. Rep. Loudermilk pitches, defends GOP tax reform plans – Reporter Newspapers". Reporter Newspapers. Retrieved December 25, 2017.
  24. ^ Delaney, Arthur (February 27, 2015). "Barry Loudermilk Says He Didn't Vaccinate His Children". Huffington Post. Retrieved December 25, 2017.
  25. ^ "False comparison of Jesus and Trump impeachment". @politifact. Retrieved December 20, 2019.
  26. ^ 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.
  27. ^ 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.
  28. ^ "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.
  29. ^ 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.
  30. ^ Yourish, Karen; Buchanan, Larry; Lu, Denise (January 7, 2021). "The 147 Republicans Who Voted to Overturn Election Results". The New York Times.
  31. ^ Hallerman, Tamar; Bluestein, Greg; Galloway, Jim. "When the congressional candidate is a convicted felon | Political Insider blog". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved December 25, 2017.
  32. ^ Almukhtar, Sarah (December 19, 2017). "How Each House Member Voted on the Tax Bill". The New York Times. Retrieved December 25, 2017.
  33. ^ "Barry Loudermilk on Abortion". On The Issues. Retrieved December 25, 2017.
  34. ^ "Rep. Loudermilk Statement on Obergefell v. Hodges Ruling". U.S. Representative Barry Loudermilk. June 26, 2015. Retrieved April 12, 2022.
  35. ^ "Barry Loudermilk on Civil Rights". On The Issues. Retrieved December 25, 2017.