|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives|
from Indiana's 3rd district
January 3, 2017
|Member of the Indiana Senate|
from the 17th district
November 16, 2010 - November 9, 2016
|Member of the Whitley County Council|
from the at-large district
|Chair of the Whitley County Republican Party|
James Edward Banks
July 16, 1979
Columbia City, Indiana, U.S.
|Education||Indiana University Bloomington (BA)|
Grace College and Seminary (MBA)
|Branch/service||United States Navy|
|Years of service||2012-present|
|Unit||United States Navy Reserve|
|Battles/wars||War in Afghanistan|
|Awards||Defense Meritorious Service Medal|
James Edward Banks (born July 16, 1979) is an American military veteran and politician who is the U.S. Representative for Indiana's 3rd congressional district. A Republican, he previously served as a member of the Indiana Senate. Banks was first elected to serve in the state senate for the 17th district in 2010, and upon military deployment to Afghanistan, he took a leave of absence from the state senate since September 2014. Invoking an Indiana state law which allows state and local officeholders to take leaves of absence during active duty military service, Banks was temporarily replaced by his wife, Amanda Banks, who held the office for the senate's 2015 legislative session. He returned to Indiana from overseas duty on April 14, 2015 and resumed his duties as state senator on May 8, 2015. On May 3, 2016 he won the primary election for the Republican nomination for Indiana's 3rd congressional district.
Jim Banks was born in Columbia City, Indiana. He earned his undergraduate from Indiana University where he was a initiated as a member of Delta Chi and his MBA from Grace College. He worked in the real estate and construction industry in Fort Wayne, Indiana prior to his role in elected office.
From 2008 to 2010, Banks served on the Whitley County Council from the At Large district. He won the primary after defeating incumbent County Councilman, Scott Darley. He was succeeded by Paula Reimers on the County Council. Banks also served as Chair of the Whitley County Republican Party from 2007-2011. He was succeeded by Matt Boyd as Party Chair.
Contributing to the anthology Our American Story (2019), Banks addressed the possibility of a shared American narrative and focused on society and service, writing, "If we are to hope for a future amid the loss of trust in our political system, it is civic participation in and out of government, by the people, that must remain and be reinvigorated. This critically includes the role that people with regular backgrounds like my own play in serving others throughout all of society: in the military, faith communities, businesses, social groups, and elsewhere. Civic participation can mend our political and societal wounds in these pressing times."
On May 12, 2015, Banks announced his intention to run for Indiana's Third Congressional District. The incumbent, Congressman Marlin Stutzman announced he would not run for reelection and would instead campaign for the Republican nomination to succeed retiring Indiana Senator Dan Coats. Banks' congressional campaign was endorsed by the Club for Growth.
Banks won the primary election, separating himself from five other like-minded conservative opponents for the open seat, with 34 percent of the vote. Spending in the campaign exceeded $2 million as Banks raised $850,000 prior to the primary election and the candidate who finished in second place, businessman Kip Tom, raised $950,000 including $150,000 he loaded from his personal funds.
Rep. Banks was sworn in on January 3, 2017. He is a member of the Republican Study Committee.
In December 2017, Banks joined three other Republican representatives, Ron DeSantis, Scott Perry, and Robert Pittenger, in co-signing a letter to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson requesting Tillerson to release a classified counterterrorism agreement with Qatar.
In January 2020, Banks said that remarks by Representative Ilhan Omar about her own experiences with PTSD were "offensive to our nation's veterans." As a child, Omar fled civil war in Somalia and spent four years in a Kenyan refugee camp.
Banks supports repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare"). Banks voted in favor of the American Health Care Act of 2017 on May 4, 2017. He opposes single-payer healthcare, which he believes if implemented would cost taxpayers $32 trillion.
In December 2017, Banks voted in favor of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. Upon the passing of the bill, Banks said it was "a good day for the future of the American dream." Banks believes the new tax bill "will provide middle-class tax relief while promoting investment, job creation and sustained economic growth. It will lead to bigger paychecks for workers across our country and restore America's global competitiveness."
Banks supports allowing internet companies to release customer information with the federal government.
Banks calls banning transgender people from serving in the military as an "emotional issue." He opposes the military paying for sex reassignment surgery saying that "I don't think taxpayers should be on the hook for that."