Virginia Foxx
Chair of the House Education Committee
Assumed office
January 3, 2023
Preceded byBobby Scott
In office
January 3, 2017 – January 3, 2019
Preceded byJohn Kline
Succeeded byBobby Scott
Ranking Member of the House Education Committee
In office
January 3, 2019 – January 3, 2023
Preceded byBobby Scott
Succeeded byBobby Scott
Secretary of the House Republican Conference
In office
January 3, 2013 – January 3, 2017
LeaderJohn Boehner
Paul Ryan
Preceded byJohn Carter
Succeeded byJason T. Smith
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from North Carolina's 5th district
Assumed office
January 3, 2005
Preceded byRichard Burr
Member of the North Carolina Senate
In office
January 1, 1995 – January 1, 2005
Preceded byAlexander Sands
Fred Folger
Succeeded byJohn Garwood
Constituency12th district (1995–2003)
45th district (2003–2005)
Personal details
Born
Virginia Ann Palmieri

(1943-06-29) June 29, 1943 (age 80)
New York City, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Spouse
Thomas Foxx
(m. 1963)
Children1
EducationUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (BA)
University of North Carolina at Greensboro (MA, EdD)
Signature
WebsiteHouse website

Virginia Ann Foxx (née Palmieri;[1][2] born June 29, 1943) is an American educator, businesswoman, and politician serving as the U.S. representative from North Carolina's 5th congressional district since 2005. A member of the Republican Party, Foxx served as Secretary of the House Republican Conference from 2013 to 2017.[3] She was the ranking member of the House Committee on Education and Labor from 2019 to 2023, and served as the committee's chair from 2017 to 2019 and since 2023. Foxx's district encompasses much of the northwestern portion of the state, including most of the city of Winston-Salem.

Early life, education and career

Foxx was born in the Bronx borough of New York City, to Dollie (née Garrison) and Nunzio John Palmieri. She was raised in a rural area of Avery County, North Carolina. Foxx grew up in a poor family and first lived in a home with running water and electricity at age 14.[4]

While attending Crossnore High School in Crossnore, North Carolina, Foxx worked as a janitor at the school and was the first in her family to graduate from high school.[5] She graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a bachelor's degree in 1968 and later earned both a Master of Arts in college teaching (1972) and an Ed.D (1985) from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.[2][6] Foxx and her husband owned and operated a nursery and landscaping business.[6]

Foxx worked as a research assistant and then an English instructor at Caldwell Community College & Technical Institute and Appalachian State University before moving into university administration. From 1987 until her 1994 entry into politics, she was president of Mayland Community College. Under North Carolina Governor James G. Martin, Foxx served as Deputy Secretary for Management.[6] From 1994 to 2004, she served in the North Carolina Senate.[7]

United States House of Representatives

Committee assignments

Caucus memberships

Political campaigns

Virginia Foxx
Virginia Foxx talking with constituents in Yadkinville, NC

Foxx was first elected to the U.S. House in 2004, defeating Jim Harrell, Jr. with 59% of the vote.[11]

Foxx was briefly targeted for defeat in the 2006 elections, but the Democrats' top choice, Winston-Salem mayor Allen Joines, decided not to run. Joines later said he lacked the stomach for the kind of race he felt it would take to defeat Foxx.[12] Her 2006 opponent was Roger Sharpe, whom she defeated.

Roy Carter of Ashe County was Foxx's opponent in the 2008 election; she won by a substantial margin.

In 2010, Foxx was reelected with about 65% of the vote.[13]

In 2014, Foxx was reelected with about 60% of the vote, defeating software developer Josh Brannon.[14]

In 2016, Foxx was reelected with about 59% of the vote, again over Brannon.[15]

In 2018, Foxx was reelected with 57% of the vote, defeating DD Adams, a council member for the North Ward of Winston-Salem.[16]

In the 2020 general election, Foxx won over 66% of the vote, defeating Democrat David Brown.[17]

In 2022, Foxx sought re-election in the redrawn 5th congressional district, which favored Republicans.[18] Foxx was endorsed by former President Donald Trump in 2021.[19] She defeated Democrat Kyle Parrish, 63.2–36.8%.[20]

Tenure

Foxx during the 110th Congress

Hurricane Katrina

In September 2005, Foxx was one of 11 members of Congress to vote against[21] the $51 billion aid package to victims of Hurricane Katrina.

Opposition to birthright citizenship

In January 2013, Foxx co-sponsored legislation that would stop children born in the United States to undocumented parents from gaining citizenship.[22]

First Trump impeachment

On December 18, 2019, Foxx voted against both articles of impeachment (abuse of power and obstruction of Congress) of President Donald Trump.

House security

In May 2021, Foxx became the fifth Republican representative to be fined for evading metal detectors put in place outside the chamber after the January 2021 storming of the Capitol. Foxx ran through the magnetometer, setting it off, and ignored officers attempting to prevent her entering the House floor.[23][24][25]

Behavior with the news media

Foxx has been known for frequently scolding reporters and staff for being on or near members-only elevators in Capitol buildings.[26] In October 2023 while amongst Republicans gathered for a press conference for then-House speaker nominee Mike Johnson, she was scrutinized for screaming at a reporter to "go away" and "shut up" when he was asked to speak about his efforts to overturn the 2020 U.S. Presidential election.[27][28][29]

Political positions

Abortion

Foxx opposes legal access to abortion. She voted for a bill to repeal a rule requiring state and local governments to distribute federal funds to qualified health centers, even if they perform abortions.[30] In 2014 Foxx was asked whether there were any conditions under which she considered abortion acceptable. She replied that, even in the case of rape, incest, or the health of the mother, no exception should be made to justify abortion.[31]

Economy

In a 2007 interview, Foxx said, "We have the best economy we have had in 50 years."[32]

Foxx, along with all other Senate and House Republicans, voted against the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.[33]

Health care

An opponent of the Affordable Care Act, she has said, "we have more to fear from the potential of the Affordable Health Care for America Act passing than we do from any terrorist right now in any country."[34][35] When commenting on the House version of the reform bill that funds counseling for end-of-life issues, Foxx said, "Republicans have a better solution that won't put the government in charge of people's health care" and "[The plan] is pro-life because it will not put seniors in a position of being put to death by their government."[36]

LGBT rights

In April 2009, Foxx expressed opposition to the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, claiming that Matthew Shepard's murder was not a hate crime. While debating the act in the House, she called the murder a "very unfortunate incident" but claimed "we know that that young man was killed in the commitment of a robbery. It wasn't because he was gay." She ultimately called that allegation "a hoax that continues to be used as an excuse for passing hate crimes bills."[37] Some media outlets, including The New York Times,[38] The Washington Post,[39] and The Huffington Post,[40] criticized her statements, as did Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz.[41] Democratic sources claimed that Matthew Shepard's mother was present during Foxx's statements.[41]

Foxx later retracted her comments, suggesting her use of the word "hoax" was in bad taste.[42] She suggested that Shepard's murder was a tragedy and that his killers had received appropriate justice.[42]

In 2010, Foxx voted against the Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal Act.[43]

In 2015, Foxx condemned the Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, which held that same-sex marriage bans violated the constitution.[44]

In 2019, Foxx strongly opposed the Equality Act, a bill that would expand the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964 to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, and urged Congress members to vote against it.[45]

In December 2022, Foxx voted against the Respect for Marriage Act, which codified same-sex and interracial marriage rights into federal law.[46][47][48]

Privacy rights

She introduced the 'Preserving Employee Wellness Programs Act' (H.R. 1313; 115th Congress) in 2017.[49] The bill would eliminate the genetic privacy protections of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (Public Law 110–233); allow companies to require employees to undergo genetic testing or risk paying a penalty of thousands of dollars; and let employers see that genetic and other health information.[50][51]

Texas v. Pennsylvania

In December 2020, Foxx 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 Donald Trump.[52]

2021 Electoral College vote certification

On January 6, 2021, Foxx was one of 147 Republican lawmakers who objected to the certification of electoral votes from the 2020 presidential election.[53]

Marijuana

In December 2020, Foxx voted against the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act (MORE).[54] According to financial disclosure reports, she made at least six investments in Altria, one of the world's largest tobacco companies and a leader in the burgeoning U.S. cannabis industry, since September 2020.[55] In all, records show she has purchased somewhere between $79,000 and $210,000 in Altria stock.[56]

Personal life

Her former son-in-law, Mustafa Özdemir, is a Turkish businessman.[57][58]

See also

References

  1. ^ "First-term women members of the 109th Congress" (PDF). Government Printing Office. August 1, 2006. Archived (PDF) from the original on October 19, 2015. Retrieved July 19, 2012.
  2. ^ a b Foxx, Virginia Ann Archived 2013-02-03 at the Wayback Machine. Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.
  3. ^ Sherman, Jake. "House committee chairs all men" Archived 2012-11-30 at the Wayback Machine Politico. (Published 27 Nov 2012) <www.politico.com> Retrieved 28 Nov 2012.
  4. ^ "Virginia Foxx". Raleigh News & Observer. Archived from the original on July 28, 2012. Retrieved March 28, 2012.
  5. ^ "Celebrities, Notable Public Figures Reveal Their Most Memorable Teachers". National Education Association. Archived from the original on April 24, 2012.
  6. ^ a b c "About Virginia Foxx". VirginiaFoxx.com. Archived from the original on February 16, 2012. Retrieved March 28, 2012.
  7. ^ "Biography". Archived from the original on February 9, 2015. Retrieved February 24, 2015.
  8. ^ "Committees | Congresswoman Virginia Foxx". foxx.house.gov. Archived from the original on July 8, 2017. Retrieved October 23, 2018.
  9. ^ "Member List". Republican Study Committee. Archived from the original on January 1, 2019. Retrieved November 17, 2017.
  10. ^ "Members". Congressional Constitution Caucus. Archived from the original on June 14, 2018. Retrieved May 8, 2018.
  11. ^ "Statistics of the Presidential & Congressional Election of November 2, 2004" (PDF). United States House of Representatives. Archived (PDF) from the original on January 23, 2017. Retrieved April 13, 2016.
  12. ^ "No file found". Archived from the original on May 5, 2009. Retrieved April 2, 2023.[dead link]
  13. ^ "House Results Map". The New York Times. Archived from the original on February 8, 2011. Retrieved November 11, 2010.
  14. ^ "TWC News Politics". Archived from the original on November 5, 2014. Retrieved November 5, 2014.
  15. ^ "New York Times". The New York Times. Archived from the original on February 2, 2017. Retrieved February 26, 2017.
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  18. ^ Larson, David (March 5, 2022). "Few competitive races, more safe incumbents as NC's congressional filing closes". The Carolina Journal. Archived from the original on April 28, 2022. Retrieved April 28, 2022.
  19. ^ "President Donald J. Trump Endorses Virginia Foxx for Re-Election in 2022". High Country Press. June 4, 2021. Archived from the original on July 25, 2021. Retrieved April 28, 2022.
  20. ^ "North Carolina Fifth Congressional District Election Results". New York Times. Retrieved July 6, 2023.
  21. ^ McMurray, Jeffrey (September 22, 2005). "Representatives stand by their votes against hurricane aid". Rome News-Tribune. Archived from the original on December 13, 2020. Retrieved April 1, 2020.
  22. ^ Foley, Elise (January 4, 2013). "Steve King Introduces Bill To Stop 'Anchor Babies'". The Huffington Post. Archived from the original on January 6, 2013. Retrieved January 7, 2013.
  23. ^ Solender, Andrew. "Rep. Virginia Foxx Is Latest Republican Fined $5,000 For Evading Metal Detector: 'Good Thing No One Stopped Me'". Forbes. Archived from the original on June 6, 2021. Retrieved June 6, 2021.
  24. ^ McFall, Caitlin (May 18, 2021). "Rep. Virginia Foxx becomes 5th House member fined for failing to pass through metal detectors". Fox News. Archived from the original on June 6, 2021. Retrieved June 6, 2021.
  25. ^ Zilbermints, Regina (May 18, 2021). "Fourth House GOP lawmaker issued $5,000 metal detector fine". TheHill. Archived from the original on June 6, 2021. Retrieved June 6, 2021.
  26. ^ Irwin, Lauren (October 25, 2023). "House Republican tells reporter to 'shut up' for asking Johnson about overturning 2020 election". The Hill. Retrieved October 25, 2023.
  27. ^ Masten, Paige (October 25, 2023). "NC congresswoman tells reporter to shut up at House GOP news conference". The Charlotte Observer. Retrieved October 25, 2023.
  28. ^ Bump, Philip (October 25, 2023). "Shouting down an election-denial question embodies the Republicans' problem". The Washington Post. Retrieved October 25, 2023.
  29. ^ Upadhayay, Prapti (October 25, 2023). "'Despicable behavior' Republican Virginia Foxx faces backlash for asking reporter to 'shut up'". The Hindustan Times. Retrieved October 25, 2023.
  30. ^ Bycoffe, Aaron (January 30, 2017). "Tracking Virginia Foxx In The Age Of Trump". FiveThirtyEight. Archived from the original on August 5, 2017. Retrieved August 4, 2017.
  31. ^ WXII 12 News (October 15, 2014), Virginia Foxx talks immigration, abortion, debt limit, archived from the original on December 12, 2021, retrieved August 4, 2017((citation)): CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  32. ^ "Congresswoman Virginia Foxx to Young Turks". Turk of America Magazine. Turkish Coalition of America. August 8, 2007. Archived from the original on March 7, 2016. Retrieved April 13, 2016.
  33. ^ Hulse, Carl (March 6, 2021). "After Stimulus Victory in Senate, Reality Sinks in: Bipartisanship Is Dead". New York Times. Archived from the original on March 17, 2021. Retrieved July 22, 2021.
  34. ^ "Rep. Foxx: Health Care Bill A Greater Threat Than Any Terrorist In The World". Youtube.com. November 2, 2009. Archived from the original on December 12, 2021. Retrieved November 2, 2009.
  35. ^ O'Brien, Michael (November 2, 2009). "Foxx: Health bill a greater threat than any terrorist". thehill.com. Archived from the original on November 6, 2009. Retrieved November 2, 2009.
  36. ^ Tucker, Chad (July 30, 2009). "Virginia Foxx Uses Strong Words to Oppose Health Care Reform Bill". MyFox8.com. Archived from the original on August 2, 2009. Retrieved August 9, 2009.
  37. ^ Mary Ann, Akers (April 29, 2009). "Virginia Foxx: Matthew Shepard's Murder Not a Hate Crime". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on June 12, 2012. Retrieved May 20, 2009.
  38. ^ "Matthew Shepard Act". The New York Times. May 5, 2009. Archived from the original on June 17, 2012. Retrieved July 19, 2012.
  39. ^ Akers, Mary Ann (April 29, 2009). "The Sleuth – Virginia Foxx: Matthew Shepard's Murder Not a Hate Crime". The Washington Times. Archived from the original on June 12, 2012. Retrieved July 19, 2012.
  40. ^ Ryan, Grim (May 30, 2009). "Virginia Foxx: Story of Matthew Shepard's Murder A "Hoax"". The Huffington Post. Archived from the original on December 19, 2011. Retrieved December 20, 2011.
  41. ^ a b Thrush, Glenn (April 29, 2009). "Matthew Shepard killed in non-bias "robbery," Foxx says". Politico. Archived from the original on July 18, 2012. Retrieved July 19, 2012.
  42. ^ a b Malcolm, Andrew (April 30, 2009). "Rep. Virginia Foxx retracts word 'hoax' in Matthew Shepard murder". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on January 29, 2011. Retrieved July 19, 2012.
  43. ^ "Final Vote Results for Roll Call 317". Archived from the original on December 3, 2010. Retrieved May 17, 2019.
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  45. ^ "House Debate on the Equality Act". C-SPAN. May 17, 2019. Archived from the original on August 4, 2019. Retrieved June 23, 2022.
  46. ^ "Roll Call 513 Roll Call 513, Bill Number: H. R. 8404, 117th Congress, 2nd Session". December 8, 2022.
  47. ^ Dormido, Hannah; Blanco, Adrian; Perry, Kati (December 8, 2022). "Here's which House members voted for or against the Respect for Marriage Act". The Washington Post. Retrieved December 23, 2023.
  48. ^ "North Carolina Republicans vote against same-sex, interracial marriage bill despite NC Sen. Tillis' religious freedom amendment". FOX8 WGHP. December 9, 2022. Retrieved December 23, 2023.
  49. ^ "H.R. 1313 – Text". United States Congress. Archived from the original on March 12, 2017. Retrieved March 12, 2017.
  50. ^ Willingham, Emily (March 10, 2017). "The GOP Wants To Let Your Boss Poke Around In Your Genome". forbes.com. Archived from the original on March 10, 2017. Retrieved March 12, 2017.
  51. ^ Begley, Sharon (March 10, 2017). "House Republicans Would Let Employers Demand Workers' Genetic Test Results". scientificamerican.com. Archived from the original on March 11, 2017. Retrieved March 12, 2017.
  52. ^ 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.
  53. ^ Yourish, Karen; Buchanan, Larry; Lu, Denise (January 7, 2021). "The 147 Republicans Who Voted to Overturn Election Results". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on January 9, 2021. Retrieved January 10, 2021.
  54. ^ Porter, Jane (September 10, 2021). "Report: U.S. Rep. Virginia Foxx Opposes Marijuana Legalization But Invests in Cannabis Stock". INDY Week. Archived from the original on June 23, 2022. Retrieved September 19, 2021.
  55. ^ "Office of the Clerk, U.S. House of Representatives". disclosures-clerk.house.gov. Archived from the original on September 23, 2021. Retrieved September 19, 2021.
  56. ^ Bachman, Brett (May 29, 2021). "Meet the anti-legalization GOP Congresswoman cashing in on marijuana stocks". Salon. Archived from the original on September 18, 2021. Retrieved September 19, 2021.
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  58. ^ Taniş, Tolga (January 6, 2011). "Ermeni tasarısı iki yıl yok". Hürriyet (in Turkish). Archived from the original on October 18, 2012. Retrieved January 11, 2011.
North Carolina Senate Preceded byAlexander SandsFred Folger Member of the North Carolina Senatefrom the 12th district 1995–2003 Served alongside: Don W. East, Phil Berger Succeeded byFred Smith New constituency Member of the North Carolina Senatefrom the 45th district 2003–2005 Succeeded byJohn A. Garwood U.S. House of Representatives Preceded byRichard Burr Member of the U.S. House of Representativesfrom North Carolina's 5th congressional district 2005–present Incumbent Preceded byJohn Kline Chair of the House Education Committee 2017–2019 Succeeded byBobby Scott Preceded byBobby Scott Ranking Member of the House Education Committee 2019–2023 Chair of the House Education Committee 2023–present Incumbent Party political offices Preceded byJohn Carter Secretary of House Republican Conference 2013–2017 Succeeded byJason Smith U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial) Preceded byHenry Cuellar United States representatives by seniority 59th Succeeded byAl Green