Steve Womack
Steve Womack, Official Portrait, 112th Congress - Hi Res.jpg
Ranking Member of the House Budget Committee
In office
January 3, 2019 – January 3, 2021
Preceded byJohn Yarmuth
Succeeded byJason Smith
Chair of the House Budget Committee
In office
January 11, 2018 – January 3, 2019
Preceded byDiane Black
Succeeded byJohn Yarmuth
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Arkansas's 3rd district
Assumed office
January 3, 2011
Preceded byJohn Boozman
Mayor of Rogers
In office
January 1, 1999 – January 3, 2011
Preceded byJohn Sampier
Succeeded byGreg Hines
Personal details
Born
Stephen Allen Womack

(1957-02-18) February 18, 1957 (age 65)
Russellville, Arkansas, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Terri Williams
Children3
EducationArkansas Tech University (BA)
WebsiteHouse website
Military service
Allegiance United States
Branch/service United States Army
Years of service1979–2009
Rank
US-O6 insignia.svg
Colonel
UnitArkansas Army National Guard
AwardsLegion of Merit
Meritorious Service Medal
Army Commendation Medal

Stephen Allen Womack[1] (/ˈwˌmæk/ WOH-mack; born February 18, 1957) is an American politician serving as the U.S. representative for Arkansas's 3rd congressional district since 2011. The district, which was once represented by future Senator J. William Fulbright, covers much of northwestern Arkansas, including Fort Smith, Fayetteville, Springdale, and Womack's hometown of Rogers. A member of the Republican Party, Womack was mayor of Rogers before his election to Congress.

Womack chaired the House Budget Committee from 2018 to 2019, and was its ranking member from 2019 to 2021.

Early life, education, military service, and business career

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Steve Womack as an Army National Guard lieutenant colonel in 2002
Steve Womack as an Army National Guard lieutenant colonel in 2002

Womack was born in Russellville, Arkansas, the son of Elisabeth F. (Canerday) and James Kermit Womack.[2] Womack's father founded KURM-AM in 1979, a radio station serving the Fayetteville, Arkansas area. He spent most of his childhood in Moberly, Missouri, but moved back to Russellville at age 16 and graduated from Russellville High School in 1975. He graduated with a B.A. in communications 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.[3] He simultaneously served as station manager for KURM (AM) from 1979 to 1990.

Womack served in a variety of command and staff positions with the Arkansas Army National Guard, including platoon leader, troop commander, battalion commander, and regimental commander.

After the September 11 attacks, Womack's unit, the 2nd Battalion, 153rd Infantry Regiment of Arkansas 39th Infantry Brigade, was called to active duty for service with the Multinational Force and Observers in Sinai, Egypt. His task force was trained at Fort Carson, Colorado, and deployed overseas in January 2002. On 13 January 2002, TF 2-153 became the first pure National Guard unit to receive the mission as the United States Battalion (US BATT) in the MFO. It also marked the first time in the 35-year history of the 39th Brigade that a battalion was mobilized for overseas duty.

His military decorations include:

On October 31, 2009, Womack retired with over 30 years of service from the Arkansas Army National Guard at the rank of colonel. Before his retirement, he commanded the 233rd Regiment, Arkansas Regional Training Institute.[4]

From 1990 to 1996, Womack served as an executive officer for the United States Army Reserve Officers' Training Corps. From 1996 to 1998, he worked as a financial consultant for Merrill Lynch & Co.[5]

Mayor of Rogers

In 1998, Womack was elected mayor of Rogers, holding the post for 12 years.[6] During his mayoralty, Womack sought to crack down on illegal immigration by assigning two Immigration and Naturalization Service agents to the Rogers Police Department.[7] As a result, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund filed a class-action suit against the city's police force, accusing it of racial profiling.[8]

Womack was reelected unopposed in 2002 and 2006, holding the office until he ran for Congress in 2010[9]

U.S. House of Representatives

Elections

2010

See also: 2010 United States House of Representatives elections in Arkansas § District 3

In late 2009, Womack jumped into the race for the 3rd District after incumbent Representative John Boozman announced that he would 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 that whoever won the Republican primary would be the district's next representative. Womack ranked first in the seven-candidate primary with 31% of the vote.[10] In the June runoff, he defeated State Senator and fellow Rogers resident Cecile Bledsoe, 52%-48%.[11]

In the general election, Womack defeated Democratic nominee David Whitaker, 72%-28%.[12]

2012

See also: 2012 United States House of Representatives elections in Arkansas § District 3

Womack was originally set to face veteran Ken Aden in his reelection bid, but Aden withdrew from the race on July 8, 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 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.[13] He was reelected with 76% of the vote, defeating Rebekah Kennedy (Green Party of the United States, 16%) and David Pangrac (Libertarian Party (United States), 8%).[14]

2014

See also: 2014 United States House of Representatives elections in Arkansas § District 3

Thomas Brewer, a math teacher and minister, originally announced he was challenging Womack for the Republican nomination,[15] and Troy Gittings, a high school English teacher and stand-up comedian, had announced he was running for the Democratic nomination.[15] But neither Brewer nor Gittings ended up filing, leaving Libertarian Grant Brand as Womack's only challenger.[16] He was reelected with 79% of the vote to Brand's 21%.[17]

2016

See also: 2016 United States House of Representatives elections in Arkansas § District 3

Womack again faced no Democratic candidate in the general election. He defeated Libertarian Steve Isaacson 77%-23%.[18]

2018

See also: 2018 United States House of Representatives elections in Arkansas § District 3

Womack faced a Republican primary challenge from Robb Ryerse, a self-described "progressive Republican."[19] He defeated Ryerse, 84%-16%.[20]

In the general election, Womack faced Democratic opposition for the first time as an incumbent. Womack defeated Josh Mahoney, president of the Arkansas Single Parent Scholarship Fund and former chairman of the Fayetteville Airport Commission, and Libertarian Michael Kalagias, on election day, 65%-33%-2%, his smallest margin of victory to date.[21]

2020

See also: 2020 United States House of Representatives elections in Arkansas § District 3

Womack did not face a challenge in the Republican primary, and he defeated the Democratic nominee, nurse practitioner Celeste Williams, and Kalagias, 64%-32%-4%.[22]

Tenure

Womack in 2011.
Womack in 2011.

In 2010, Womack signed a pledge sponsored by Americans for Prosperity promising to vote against any global warming legislation that would raise taxes.[23]

Womack was a member of the House Appropriations Committee when in 2014[24] lawmakers inserted a prohibition into an appropriations bill that would prevent USDA staff from working on finishing regulations related to the meat industry.[25]

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 were designed to protect chicken farmers from being threatened or punished by the companies they work for if they spoke out regarding their farming experiences.[26]

In 2015, Womack condemned the Supreme Court ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges, which held that same-sex marriage bans violated the constitution.[27]

In December 2017, Womack voted for the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.[28][29][30]

On May 19, 2021, Womack was one of 35 Republicans to join all 217 Democrats present in voting to approve legislation to establish the January 6 commission meant to investigate the storming of the U.S. Capitol.[31][32][33]

On November 30, Womack voted in favor of H.R. 550: Immunization Infrastructure Modernization Act of 2021. The bill helps create confidential, population-based databases that maintain a record of vaccine administrations.[34]

As of October 2021, Womack had voted in line with Joe Biden's stated position 15% of the time.[35]

Committee assignments

Caucus memberships

Political positions

Abortion

When Roe v. Wade was overturned, Womack declared "life wins", saying, "This decision rightfully restores the American people's ability to protect babies and recognizes the science-backed truths of the humanity of the unborn."[38]

Personal life

Womack attends Cross Church Pinnacle Hills, a Southern Baptist church in Rogers, Arkansas.[39] He and his wife, Terri, have been married for 37 years. They have three sons and three grandsons.[40] One of Womack's children, James Phillip Womack, was sentenced to nine years in prison on felony gun and drug charges in April 2019.[41]

Electoral history

Year Office District Democratic Republican Libertarian Other
2010 U.S. House of Representatives Arkansas's 3rd district David Whitaker 27.56% Steve Womack 72.44%
2012 U.S. House of Representatives Arkansas's 3rd district Steve Womack 75.9% David Pangrac 8.09% Rebekah Kennedy (G) 16.01%
2014 U.S. House of Representatives Arkansas's 3rd district Steve Womack 79.41% Grant Brand 20.59%
2016 U.S. House of Representatives Arkansas's 3rd district Steve Womack 77.31% Steve Isaacson 22.69%
2018 U.S. House of Representatives Arkansas's 3rd district Joshua Mahony 32.65% Steve Womack 64.78% Michael Kalagias 2.57%
2020 U.S. House of Representatives Arkansas's 3rd district Celeste Williams 31.81% Steve Womack 64.31% Michael Kalagias 3.88%

References

  1. ^ a b c d "Rep. Steve Womack". legistorm.com. LegiStorm. 2011. Archived from the original on 26 September 2012. Retrieved 2 December 2019.
  2. ^ "Ancestry® | Genealogy, Family Trees & Family History Records". freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com. Retrieved July 11, 2018.
  3. ^ "Womack, Steve". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved February 4, 2022.
  4. ^ "CONGRESSMAN STEVE A. WOMACK (U.S. ARMY COLONEL RETIRED)". Arkansas Tech University. Retrieved February 4, 2022.
  5. ^ "Rep. Steve Womack Biography". Legistorm. Retrieved February 4, 2022.
  6. ^ "Steve Womack (R)". Election 2012. Wall Street Journal. Retrieved October 28, 2016.
  7. ^ "Arkansas Congressman Criticizes Constituent For Wearing Mexican Flag Shirt". Fox News Latino. September 10, 2013. Retrieved October 28, 2016.
  8. ^ A Town's Two Faces. Newsweek (2001-06-04). Retrieved on 2011-06-24.
  9. ^ Bio at Rogers city site. Rogersarkansas.com. Retrieved on 2011-06-24.
  10. ^ "Our Campaigns - AR District 03 - R Primary Race - May 18, 2010". www.ourcampaigns.com. Retrieved July 11, 2018.
  11. ^ "Our Campaigns - AR District 03 - R Runoff Race - Jun 08, 2010". www.ourcampaigns.com. Retrieved July 11, 2018.
  12. ^ "Our Campaigns - AR - District 03 Race - Nov 02, 2010". www.ourcampaigns.com. Retrieved July 11, 2018.
  13. ^ Brantley, Max (July 9, 2012). "Ken Aden dropping out of 3rd District congressional race". Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. Retrieved August 15, 2012.
  14. ^ "Our Campaigns - AR - District 03 Race - Nov 06, 2012". www.ourcampaigns.com. Retrieved July 11, 2018.
  15. ^ a b Bowden, Bill (October 15, 2013). "Teachers join race to unseat Womack". Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. Retrieved October 15, 2013.
  16. ^ Moritz, Rob (March 3, 2014). "Election 2014: Filing In Arkansas Ends With 412 Candidates". Southwest Times Record. Retrieved May 12, 2014.
  17. ^ "NOVEMBER 4, 2014 ARKANSAS GENERAL ELECTION AND NONPARTISAN RUNOFF ELECTION". Arkansas Secretary of State Website. November 4, 2014. Retrieved February 4, 2022.
  18. ^ Arkansas Secretary of State Website. November 4, 2016 https://results.enr.clarityelections.com/AR/63912/184685/Web01/en/summary.html. Retrieved February 4, 2022. ((cite web)): Missing or empty |title= (help)
  19. ^ Jilani, Zaid (May 19, 2017). "MEET THE PASTOR RUNNING AS A PROGRESSIVE REPUBLICAN TO GET BIG MONEY OUT OF POLITICS". The Intercept. Retrieved February 4, 2022.
  20. ^ Arkansas Secretary of State Website https://results.enr.clarityelections.com/AR/74831/Web02-state.203322/#/. Retrieved February 4, 2022. ((cite web)): Missing or empty |title= (help)
  21. ^ "2018 General Election and Nonpartisan Judicial Runoff". Arkansas Secretary of State Website. November 6, 2018. Retrieved February 4, 2022.
  22. ^ "2020 General Election and Nonpartisan Judicial Runoff". Arkansas Secretary of State Website. November 3, 2020. Retrieved February 4, 2022.
  23. ^ http://americansforprosperity.org/noclimatetax//wp-content/uploads/2010/04/womack.pdf[dead link]
  24. ^ "What is the "GIPSA Rider" and why is the House once again attacking farmers' rights?". sustainableagriculture.net. June 17, 2014. Retrieved August 1, 2019.
  25. ^ Arnsdorf , Isaac (June 5, 2019). "Chicken farmers thought Trump was going to help them, but his administration did the opposite". msn.com. Retrieved August 1, 2019.
  26. ^ Haas, Nathaniel (June 1, 2015). "John Oliver vs. chicken". Politico. Retrieved March 29, 2016.
  27. ^ "Womack Response to Obergefell v. Hodges". Internal | Congressman Steve Womack. June 26, 2015. Retrieved April 11, 2022.
  28. ^ Almukhtar, Sarah (December 19, 2017). "How Each House Member Voted on the Tax Bill". The New York Times. Retrieved December 21, 2017.
  29. ^ Kamper, Deni (December 21, 2017). "What You Should Know About the New Tax Plan". NWAHOMEPAGE. Retrieved December 21, 2017.
  30. ^ "Senate OKs tax bill; House revote set". Northwest Arkansas Democratic Gazette. December 20, 2017. Retrieved December 21, 2017.
  31. ^ LeBlanc, Paul (May 19, 2021). "Here are the 35 House Republicans who voted for the January 6 commission". CNN. Retrieved May 19, 2021.
  32. ^ Roll Call 154 Bill Number: H. R. 3233 117th Congress, 1st Session, United States House of Representatives, May 19, 2021. Retrieved May 20, 2021.
  33. ^ How Republicans voted on a commission to investigate the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, Washington Post, May 19, 2021. Retrieved May 20, 2021.
  34. ^ "H.R. 550: Immunization Infrastructure Modernization Act of 2021 -- House Vote #388 -- Nov 30, 2021".
  35. ^ Bycoffe, Anna Wiederkehr and Aaron (October 22, 2021). "Does Your Member Of Congress Vote With Or Against Biden?". FiveThirtyEight. Retrieved October 28, 2021.
  36. ^ "Our Members". U.S. House of Representatives International Conservation Caucus. Retrieved August 5, 2018.
  37. ^ "The Tuesday Group Still Lives". National Review. June 20, 2013. Retrieved March 1, 2021.
  38. ^ Webb, Jack A. (June 24, 2022). "Arkansas lawmakers praise Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade". KATV. Retrieved June 26, 2022.
  39. ^ "Ten Southern Baptists sworn in as new reps". bpnews.net. Baptist Press. 5 January 2011. Archived from the original on 26 December 2014. Retrieved 2 December 2019. Here is information on the new House members who have been confirmed to be members of Southern Baptist churches. Arkansas: Rep. Rick Crawford, First District, Nettleton Baptist Church, Jonesboro; Rep. Tim Griffin, Second District, Immanuel BC, Little Rock.; Rep. Steve Womack, Third District, Cross Church Pinnacle Hills, Rogers.
  40. ^ "BIOGRAPHY". Congressman Steve Womack Website. Retrieved February 4, 2022.
  41. ^ "Arkansas congressman's son gets 9-year term in gun, drug case". Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. Bentonville, Arkansas: WEHCO Media. 18 April 2019. ISSN 1060-4332. Archived from the original on 19 April 2019. Retrieved 2 December 2019. BENTONVILLE -- The son of an Arkansas congressman was sentenced to nine years in prison last week after pleading guilty to drugs and firearm-related charges. James Phillip Womack, 31, was charged with possession of a controlled substance, possession of a counterfeit substance with purpose to deliver, two counts of possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of firearms by certain persons. Womack resolved his case through a plea agreement Shane Wilkinson, his attorney, reached with David James, deputy prosecutor. Womack is the son of U.S. Rep. Steve Womack, a Republican.
U.S. House of Representatives Preceded byJohn Boozman Member of the U.S. House of Representativesfrom Arkansas's 3rd congressional district 2011–present Incumbent Preceded byDiane Black Chair of the House Budget Committee 2018–2019 Succeeded byJohn Yarmuth New office Chair of the Joint Budget and Appropriations Reform Committee 2018–2019 Position abolished Preceded byJohn Yarmuth Ranking Member of the House Budget Committee 2019–2021 Succeeded byJason Smith U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial) Preceded byFrederica Wilson United States representatives by seniority 150th Succeeded byMark Amodei