|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives|
from Texas's 3rd district
May 8, 1991 - January 3, 2019
|Acting Chair of the House Ways and Means Committee|
October 29, 2015 - November 5, 2015
|Member of the Texas House of Representatives|
from the 60th district
January 8, 1985 - May 21, 1991
Samuel Robert Johnson
October 11, 1930
San Antonio, Texas, U.S.
(m. 1950; died 2015)
|Education||Southern Methodist University (BBA)|
George Washington University (MS)
|Years of service||1950-1979|
|Unit||51st Fighter Interceptor Wing|
8th Tactical Fighter Wing
|Commands||31st Tactical Fighter Wing|
|Awards||Silver Star (2)|
Legion of Merit (3)
Distinguished Flying Cross
Bronze Star with valor
Purple Heart (2)
Meritorious Service Medal
Air Medal (4)
Prisoner of War Medal
Samuel Robert Johnson (born October 11, 1930) is an American politician who served as the U.S. Representative for Texas's 3rd congressional district in Congress from 1991 to 2019. He is a member of the Republican Party. In October-November 2015, he was the acting Chairman of the House Committee on Ways and Means, where he also served as chairman of the Social Security Subcommittee.
Johnson is also a retired United States Air Force Colonel and was a decorated fighter pilot in both the Korean War and the Vietnam War where in the latter he was an American prisoner of war in North Vietnam for nearly seven years. On January 6, 2017, Johnson announced he would not run for reelection in 2018. After the death of Louise Slaughter in March 2018, he became the oldest sitting member of the U.S. House of Representatives. He is the last Korean War veteran to serve in Congress.
Born October 11, 1930, Johnson grew up in Dallas and graduated from Woodrow Wilson High School in 1947. Johnson graduated from Southern Methodist University in his hometown in 1951, with a bachelor's degree in business administration. While at SMU, Johnson joined the Delta Chi social fraternity as well as the Alpha Kappa Psi business fraternity. He attained a master's degree from the Elliott School of International Affairs of the George Washington University in 1976.
Johnson served a 29-year career in the United States Air Force, where he served as director of the Air Force Fighter Weapons School and flew the F-100 Super Sabre with the Air Force Thunderbirds precision flying demonstration team. He commanded the 31st Tactical Fighter Wing at Homestead AFB, Florida and an air division at Holloman AFB, New Mexico, retiring as a colonel. One of his classmates in flight school was future astronaut Buzz Aldrin. The two remained longlife friends.
He is a combat veteran of both the Korean and Vietnam Wars as a fighter pilot. During the Korean War, he flew 62 combat missions in the F-86 Sabre and shot down one Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-15. During the Vietnam War, Johnson flew the F-4 Phantom II.
On April 16, 1966, while flying his 25th combat mission in Vietnam, he was shot down over North Vietnam and suffered a broken arm and back. He was a prisoner of war for nearly seven years, including 42 months in solitary confinement. During this period, he was repeatedly tortured.
Johnson was part of a group of eleven U.S. military prisoners known as the Alcatraz Gang, a group of prisoners separated from other captives for their resistance to their captors. They were held in "Alcatraz", a special facility about one mile away from the H?a Lò Prison, notably nicknamed the "Hanoi Hilton". Johnson, like the others, was kept in solitary confinement, locked nightly in irons in a windowless 3-by-9-foot concrete cell with the light on around the clock. Johnson was released on February 12, 1973 during Operation Homecoming. Johnson recounted the details of his POW experience in his autobiography, Captive Warriors.
He walks with a noticeable limp, due to a wartime injury.
After his military career, he established a homebuilding business in Plano. He was elected to the Texas House of Representatives in 1984 and was re-elected four times.
On May 8, 1991, he was elected to the U.S. House in a special election brought about by eight-year incumbent Steve Bartlett's resignation to become mayor of Dallas. Johnson defeated fellow conservative Republican Thomas Pauken, also of Dallas, 24,004 (52.6 percent) to 21,647 (47.4 percent). The district's character remained unchanged after it lost its remaining share of Dallas County in the 2010s round of redistricting.
Johnson ran unopposed by the Democratic Party in his district in the 2004 election. Paul Jenkins, an independent, and James Vessels, a member of the Libertarian Party ran against Johnson. Johnson won overwhelmingly in a highly Republican district. Johnson garnered 86% of the vote (178,099), while Jenkins earned 8% (16,850) and Vessels 6% (13,204).
In the general election, Johnson faced Democrat Dan Dodd and Libertarian Christopher J. Claytor. Both Dodd and Claytor are West Point graduates. Dodd served two tours of duty in Vietnam and Claytor served in Operation Southern Watch in Kuwait in 1992.  It was only the fourth time that Johnson had faced Democratic opposition.
Johnson retained his seat, taking 62.5% of the vote, while Democrat Dodd received 34.9% and Libertarian Claytor received 2.6%. However, this was far less than in years past, when Johnson won by margins of 80 percent or more.
Johnson retained his seat in the House of Representatives by defeating the Democrat Tom Daley and Libertarian nominee Christopher J. Claytor in the 2008 general election. He won with 60 percent of the vote, an unusually low total for such a heavily Republican district.
Johnson handily won re-nomination to his 12th full term, twelfth full term, in the U.S. House in the Republican primary held on March 4. He polled 30,943 votes (80.5 percent); two challengers, Josh Loveless and Harry Pierce, held the remaining combined 19.5 percent of the votes cast.
Johnson won reelection to his 13th full term in the general election held on November 8, 2016. With 193,684 votes (61.2 percent), he defeated the Democrat Adam P. Bell, who polled 109,420 (34.6 percent). Scott Jameson and Paul Blair, the nominees of the Libertarian and Green parties, polled 10,448 votes (3.3 percent) and 2,915 (0.92 percent), respectively.
Three days after being sworn in for his 14th term overall and his 13th full term, Johnson announced he would not run for reelection.
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In the House, Johnson is an ardent conservative. By some views, Johnson had the most conservative record in the House for three consecutive years, opposing pork barrel projects of all kinds, voting for more IRAs and against extending unemployment benefits. The conservative watchdog group Citizens Against Government Waste has consistently rated him as being friendly to taxpayers. Johnson is a signer of Americans for Tax Reform's Taxpayer Protection Pledge.
Johnson is a member of the conservative Republican Study Committee, and joined Dan Burton, Ernest Istook and John Doolittle in refounding it in 1994 after Newt Gingrich pulled its funding. He alternated as chairman with the other three co-founders from 1994 to 1999, and served as sole chairman from 2000-01.
On the Ways and Means Committee, he was an early advocate and, then, sponsor of the successful repeal in 2000 of the earnings limit for Social Security recipients. He proposed the Good Samaritan Tax Act to allow corporations to take a tax deduction for charitable giving of food. He chairs the Subcommittee on Employer-Employee Relations, where he has encouraged small business owners to expand their pension and benefits for employees. In December 2016, Johnson introduced H.R. 6489, a bill that would decrease Social Security payments to retired individuals and require individuals to wait two additional years in order to qualify for full retirement payments.
Johnson opposes calls for government intervention in the name of energy reform if such reform would hamper the market and or place undue burdens on individuals seeking to earn decent wages. He has called for allowing additional drilling for oil in Alaska.
In December 2017, Johnson signed a letter from Congress (along with 106 other Congress members) to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai supporting his plan to repeal net neutrality ahead of the commission's vote.
Johnson was married to former Shirley L. Melton of Dallas from 1950 until her death on December 3, 2015. They are the parents of three children and ten grandchildren.
Johnson's decorations and awards include:
|Silver Star with bronze oak leaf cluster|
|Legion of Merit with two bronze oak leaf clusters|
|Distinguished Flying Cross|
|Bronze Star Medal with V device|
|Purple Heart with bronze oak leaf cluster|
|Meritorious Service Medal|
|Air Medal with three bronze oak leaf clusters|
|Air Force Commendation Medal with bronze oak leaf cluster|
|Presidential Unit Citation|
|Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with V device and three bronze oak leaf clusters|
|Air Force Outstanding Unit Award (second ribbon required for accouterment spacing)|
|Prisoner of War Medal|
|Combat Readiness Medal with two bronze oak leaf clusters|
|National Defense Service Medal with bronze service star|
|Korean Service Medal with two bronze campaign stars|
|Vietnam Service Medal with three silver and bronze campaign stars|
|Air Force Longevity Service Award with silver oak leaf cluster|
|Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon|
|Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation|
|Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross|
|United Nations Service Medal for Korea|
|Vietnam Campaign Medal|
|Korean War Service Medal|
|Texas House of Representatives|
| Member of the Texas House of Representatives
from the 60th district
|U.S. House of Representatives|
| Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Texas's 3rd congressional district
| Chair of the House Ways and Means Committee
| Chair of the Joint Taxation Committee|
|Party political offices|
| Chair of the Republican Study Committee
Served alongside: Dan Burton, John Doolittle, Ernest Istook
| Chair of the Republican Study Committee