|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives|
from Louisiana's 5th district
January 3, 2015
Ralph Lee Abraham Jr.
September 16, 1954
Alto, Louisiana, U.S.
|Education||Louisiana State University (BA, DVM)|
Louisiana State University, New Orleans (MD)
|Branch/service||Mississippi Army National Guard|
United States Coast Guard Auxiliary
Ralph Lee Abraham Jr. (born September 16, 1954) is an American politician, medical doctor and former veterinarian serving as the U.S. Representative for Louisiana's 5th congressional district since 2015. A member of the Republican Party, he is a native and resident of Alto, Louisiana.
Abraham ran for Governor of Louisiana in the 2019 Louisiana gubernatorial election, but lost the nomination. On February 26, 2020, Abraham announced that he was not running for re-election to Congress in 2020.
He graduated from Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine, in Baton Rouge in 1980, and was a practicing veterinarian for 10 years. He returned to Louisiana State University School of Medicine for a medical degree in 1994, and practiced family medicine.
Abraham defeated his Democratic opponent, Mayor Jamie Mayo of Monroe, by a margin of 134,612 votes (64.2 percent) to 75,004 (35.8 percent). He was sworn into office in the 114th United States Congress on January 3, 2015.
In August 2017, Abraham endorsed the nomination by U.S. President Donald Trump of Terry Doughty, also of Richland Parish, for a seat on the United States District Court for the Western District of Louisiana, based in Monroe. The selection also carried the backing of U.S. Senators Bill Cassidy and John Neely Kennedy.
In December 2017, Abraham voted in favor of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. After voting, Abraham stated that "This is going to be a great tax bill, and great tax reform not only for Louisiana but for the United States." He says that businesses will benefit greatly and be able to "reinvest in their infrastructure, reinvest in their employees." He says that wages will increase and job opportunities will grow.
On December 6, 2018, Abraham declared his candidacy for Governor of Louisiana in the 2019 Louisiana gubernatorial election. He placed third, behind fellow Republican Eddie Rispone and Democratic incumbent John Bel Edwards, failing to advance to the runoff, which is required under Louisiana law as no candidate received a majority in the primary.
In March 2017, Representative Abraham visited with about seventy farmers from the agricultural lobby, the Louisiana Farm Bureau Federation. He told the farmers, "Food security is national security. Agriculture is at the forefront of the fight because any interruption in the food supply or a compromise in its safety goes right to the heart of the nation." Marty Wooldridge, a cattleman from Caddo Parish said that Abraham's slogan "Food security is national security" should be incorporated into the slogan of the Farm Bureau. Abraham, Louisiana's only member on the House Agriculture Committee, defined his job in part to "educating members whose districts might be deeply metropolitan and who have no perspective on the importance of agriculture." In 2018, Abraham was named to the conference committee for the 2018 Farm Bill. The conference committee will resolve differences in the House and the Senate version of the Farm Bill.
In the wake of the 2016 Orlando nightclub shooting, Abraham said, "Dianne and I are continuing to pray for the victims, family, friends and loved ones of those involved in the Orlando shooting. Officials have confirmed the shooter that carried out this senseless act of evil pledged allegiance to ISIS. I ask that you remain vigilant in your communities and, should you choose, join me in praying daily for our service men and women and law enforcement officials who face the threats of terror head-on every day. As a nation, we must do more to destroy ISIS and end all terrorist threats so our people may live their lives in peace."
He supports simplifying the tax code.
Regarding illegal immigration, Abraham opposes amnesty and supports strengthening border security. Abraham supported President Donald Trump's 2017 executive order to temporarily halt immigration from the seven specified nations until the development of more enhanced screening methods. His spokesman said "Dr. Abraham generally supports President Trump's temporary suspension of the refugee and immigration admittance program. Dr. Abraham agrees with President Trump that we must take all necessary steps to protect American citizens from potential terrorism threats, and this temporary measure from the President will allow for a thorough review of our policies and procedures for vetting applicants from war-torn areas."
Abraham has said he supports banning sanctuary cities in Louisiana if he is elected governor, and that he'd pay for four minority congresswomen, three of whom were born in the U.S., to leave the United States, if only they'd tell him where they'd like to go in reference to President Trump's "send them back" comments.
Abraham opposes late term abortions. In May 2005, he stated "As a doctor, I know and I can attest that this bill is backed by scientific research showing that babies can indeed feel pain at 20 weeks, if not before" .
In his bid for reelection in 2016, Abraham defeated one challenger, fellow Republican Billy Burkette of Baton Rouge, a former constable in East Feliciana Parish and a former chairman of the Louisiana Band of Choctaw Indians. Burkette claimed in his campaign that the Environmental Protection Agency has issued overly strict regulations that hamper farming.
Abraham defeated three challengers in the election held on November 6, 2018. Billy Burkette, an Independent from Pride, Louisiana; Jessee Carlton Fleenor, a Democrat from Loranger, and Kyle Randol, a Libertarian from Monroe. Abraham polled 149,010 votes (67 percent). Fleenor trailed with 67,113 votes (30 percent). Burkette and Randol held the remaining 3 percent of the ballots cast.
|U.S. House of Representatives|
| Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Louisiana's 5th congressional district
|U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)|
| United States Representatives by seniority