Tom Graves
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Tom Graves

Tom Graves
Tom Graves, official portrait, 116th Congress.jpg
Member of the
U.S. House of Representatives
from Georgia

June 8, 2010
Nathan Deal
Constituency9th district (2010-2013)
14th district (2013-present)
Member of the
Georgia House of Representatives

January 3, 2003 - March 23, 2010
Tom Shanahan
Rick Jasperse
Constituency10th district (2003-05)
12th district (2005-10)
Personal details
John Thomas Graves Jr.

(1970-02-03) February 3, 1970 (age 49)
St. Petersburg, Florida, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Julie Howard
EducationUniversity of Georgia (BBA)
WebsiteHouse website

John Thomas Graves Jr. (born February 3, 1970) is the U.S. Representative for Georgia's 14th congressional district, serving since winning a special election for Georgia's 9th congressional district in 2010. He is a member of the Republican Party. Graves served in the Georgia House of Representatives before being elected to the House of Representatives.

Early life, education, and business career

Tom Graves was born in St. Petersburg, Florida on February 3, 1970.[1] He was raised in White, Georgia [2] He graduated from Cass High School in Cartersville, Georgia, where he played linebacker and offensive guard on the school football team.[3] Graves earned his Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Georgia. After college, he bought a landscaping company before working in real estate investment.[3] Graves lives in Ranger, Georgia, southeast of Dalton.[1]

In 2007, Graves and former Georgia Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers took out a loan from Bartow County Bank to purchase and renovate a motel in Calhoun. In 2011, it was reported that Bartow County Bank had sued Rogers and Graves for defaulting on their $2.2 million bank loan. They countersued the bank in response.[4][5] In August 2011, both parties dismissed their claims before going to hearing, settling the dispute out of court, and no details of the settlement were disclosed.[5][6] Graves received criticism in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on the grounds that the outcome of this business venture appeared to some individuals to undermine his stated commitment to fiscal responsibility.[7]

Georgia House of Representatives


Tom E. Shanahan retired as Representative to Georgia's 10th District in 2002, and Graves won as his successor with 60 percent of the vote.[8] Graves later ran, unopposed, to serve as House Representative to Georgia's 12th district in 2004.[9] He was re-elected, after two races in which he ran against primary challenger Bill Pickett in 2006[10] and unopposed in 2008.[11]

Committee assignments

Graves served on the Transportation, Ways and Means committee and on the Health and Human services committee during his tenure in the Georgia House of Representatives.[12] He also served as Vice Chairman on the Motor Vehicles committee.[13]


As a member of the Georgia House, Graves supported legislation to provide tax cuts and tax credits,[14][15] including introducing the Jobs, Opportunity and Business Success (JOBS) Act of 2009.[16][17]

Graves was named Legislator of the Year in 2009 by the American Legislative Exchange Council.[18] Later that year, he was awarded the Guardian of Small Business award by the National Federation of Independent Business.[19]

U.S. House of Representatives



Portrait of Graves during his first term in Congress

In May 2010, Graves won a special election to replace Republican US House Representative Nathan Deal.[20] On June 8, 2010, Graves won the run-off for the special election against former state Senator Lee Hawkins.[21] Graves then faced Hawkins two more times, in another primary election and run off before winning the November 2, 2010 general election unopposed.[22][23] Upon his election, Graves joined the House Republican Whip team,[24] which he later left in 2011.[25] In January 2013, Graves rejoined the Whip team, and is a member as of 2014.[24]


Graves' home in Ranger was drawn into the newly created 14th district--essentially, the northwestern portion of his old district--during the 2012 census. He opted to run for reelection in the newly created district.[26] The 14th was no less Republican than the 9th, and Graves won the November 6, 2012 election against Democratic challenger Daniel "Danny" Grant with 73 percent of the vote.[27]


Graves received 74 percent of the vote in the Republican primary against activist Kenneth Herron.[28] He faced no general election opposition.


Graves received 76 percent of the vote in the Republican primary against perennial candidate Allan Levene and activist Mickey Tuck.[29] He faced no general election opposition.

Graves endorsed Senator Marco Rubio in the 2016 Republican Presidential Primary.[30] In the same statement, Graves snubbed now-President Donald J. Trump: "I have trouble seeing how he lines up with the great tradition of Lincoln and Reagan, and I'm concerned that many of his statements run afoul of the Constitution, my values and my beliefs." [31]


Graves is pro-life and voted in 2011 to limit funding to Planned Parenthood.[32] He stated that he opposes abortion "without exception", including when the mother's life is at stake.[33] In 2013, Graves voted in support of a bill which allowed abortions after 20 weeks post-fertilization if a mother's life is endangered, or if conception occurred through rape or incest.[34] Graves did not receive an endorsement from the Georgia Right to Life PAC in the 2016 primary.[35]

Graves was endorsed by the Atlanta Tea Party in 2010.[36] He authored the Defund Obamacare Act in 2010 and reintroduced the bill in the 112th and 113th Congress.[37]

Conservative Blogger Erick Erickson stated in 2014 that Graves has now become a "judas goat" leading conservatives to the political slaughterhouse: "Graves's rapid support for McCarthy can only be seen as opportunistic," Erickson wrote, adding: "The conservative love affair with Graves was already waning. It is time to just end it. Let's see what he gets for himself by trading the veneer of conservatism."[38]

Graves co-sponsored a balanced-budget amendment in both the 112th and 113th Congresses and supported the Cut, Cap and Balance Act of 2011, which aimed to reduce federal spending and establish caps in future spending.[25] The same year, Graves introduced the HOME Act to allow Americans to make withdrawals from their retirement accounts to pay timely mortgage payments in 2011.[39] He also voted against removing US troops from Afghanistan in March 2011.[40] Graves introduced the Transportation Empowerment Act (TEA) in 2011, meant to lower the federal gas tax to 3.7 cents per gallon and transfer nearly all funding authority to U.S. states over a period of five years.[41] Graves voted in favor of the Water Resources Reform and Development Act in 2013, which funded the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project[42] in its expansion of the Savannah Harbor shipping channel from a depth of -42 feet to -47 feet.[43] He also authored the Email Privacy Act with Representatives Kevin Yoder and Jared Polis.[44] Graves led the national movement to defund the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare") in 2013.[37]

Committee assignments

Graves is a member of the United States House Committee on Appropriations. In 2014, he was selected to serve as chairman of the Subcommittee on the Legislative Branch for the 114th Congress.[45] His membership also includes the subcommittees on Defense and Financial Services and General Government.[46][47] He is chairman of the new Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress.

Caucus memberships

Graves is a member of the House Congressional Chicken Caucus, the House General Aviation Caucus, the Joint Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus, the House Congressional Balanced Budget Amendment Caucus, the House Republican Study Committee[48] and the House Congressional Diabetes Caucus.[49]

Political positions

Economic issues

Tax reform

Graves supports tax reform and voted in favor of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.[50] He called the act "a Christmas present for every American family and business," and believes "Americans will start taking home more of their hard-earned money as soon as February."[51]

Barack Obama

In 2016, Graves called President Barack Obama a "dictator" and said that Obama "exceeded his authority" regarding gun laws.[52]

Social issues


Graves supports banning federal health coverage and any federal funds from funding abortions, including Affordable Care Act insurance coverage. He opposes abortions being used in sex- or race-selection. He opposes funding Planned Parenthood.[53]


Graves has a "B" rating from NORML for his voting history regarding cannabis-related legislation.[54]


Graves introduced the Active Cyber Defense Certainty Act, "to provide a defense to prosecution for fraud and related activity in connection with computers for persons defending against unauthorized intrusions into their computers, and for other purposes".[55]

Debt crisis

Graves has been put under responsibility of helping solve the American debt crisis. His tasks include working to balance the budget, cut government waste, and swaying Congress into saving money.[]

Personal life

Graves and his wife Julie, a schoolteacher, have three children, and are active members of Belmont Baptist Church in Calhoun, Georgia.[56]


  1. ^ a b "Tom Graves: Winner". Wall Street Journal. 2012. Retrieved 2014.
  2. ^ Mockrin, S. C.; Byers, L. D.; Koshland, D. E. (December 16, 1975). "Subunit interactions in yeast glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase". Biochemistry. 14 (25): 5428-5437. doi:10.1021/bi00696a008. ISSN 0006-2960. PMID 55.
  3. ^ a b Karissa Stewart (April 27, 2011). "Ranger's most unlikely politician Tom Graves reflects on his first year in Congress". Northwest Georgia News. Retrieved 2014.
  4. ^ Aaron Gould Sheinin (August 11, 2011). "Attorney for Graves, Rogers: Bank is at Fault". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Archived from the original on May 30, 2014. Retrieved 2014.
  5. ^ a b Jeremy Redmon; Aaron Gould Sheinin (August 11, 2011). "Attorneys for Graves, Rogers, bank refuse to disclose settlement details". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Archived from the original on July 17, 2012. Retrieved 2011.
  6. ^ Rachel Goff (August 12, 2011). "UPDATE: Lawsuit against Graves dismissed". The Calhoun Times. Archived from the original on April 20, 2012. Retrieved 2011.
  7. ^ "In failed hotel venture, Ga. Republicans appear to cut loan nearly in half". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. March 27, 2012. Archived from the original on July 7, 2015. Retrieved 2015.
  8. ^ "GA State House 010". Our Campaigns. Retrieved 2014.
  9. ^ "GA State House 012". Our Campaigns. Retrieved 2014.
  10. ^ "GA State House 012". Our Campaigns. Retrieved 2014.
  11. ^ "GA State House 012". Our Campaigns. Retrieved 2014.
  12. ^ "Rep. Graves gets appointment as 'Hawk' in House". Calhoun Times. January 27, 2007. Retrieved 2014.
  13. ^ Ashe Schow (December 6, 2011). "CONGRESSIONAL PROFILE: REP. TOM GRAVES (R-GA)". Congressional Profile. Heritage Action for America. Retrieved 2014.
  14. ^ "Georgia's political leaders react to SOTU". Atlanta Business Chronicle. January 25, 2010. Retrieved 2015.
  15. ^ Urvaksh Karkaria (February 8, 2010). "Tax credits sought for startups, jobs". Atlanta Business Chronicle. Retrieved 2015.
  16. ^ "Graves to announce JOBS Act today". The Calhoun Times. January 27, 2010. Retrieved 2015.
  17. ^ Ashley Speagle (January 24, 2010). "Lawmakers to look at boosting jobs". The Times Free Press. Retrieved 2015.
  18. ^ Chris Kromm (May 1, 2012). "The South's ALEC All-Stars". Facing South. Institute for Southern Studies. Archived from the original on May 18, 2015. Retrieved 2014.
  19. ^ Jacqueline Bodnar (November 12, 2012). "Freedomworks Endorses Tom Graves for Republican Study Committee Chairman". States News Service. Archived from the original on September 24, 2015. Retrieved 2014.
  20. ^ David Espo (June 9, 2010). "Politics; Narrow defeats, stunning victories". Charlestown Gazette. Archived from the original on April 2, 2015. Retrieved 2014.
  21. ^ "Georgia Election Results". State of Georgia. June 8, 2010. Retrieved 2015.
  22. ^ Danielle Kurtzleben (August 10, 2010). "Graves and Hawkins Face off in Georgia Primary". US News. Archived from the original on April 3, 2015. Retrieved 2014.
  23. ^ "Election Results". State of Georgia. November 2, 2010. Retrieved 2015.
  24. ^ a b Kristina Peterson (June 19, 2014). "Kevin McCarthy Enlists Conservative Graves for Nomination Speech". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2015.
  25. ^ a b Marin Cogan; John Bresnahan (October 17, 2011). "Tom Graves: A rising house star or big headache?". Retrieved 2014.
  26. ^ "US Rep. Graves advances in 14th District primary". Associated Press. July 31, 2012. Retrieved 2014.
  27. ^ "Georgia Congressional District 14 election results". November 7, 2012. Retrieved 2014.
  28. ^ GA SOS Missing or empty |title= (help)
  29. ^ GA SOS Missing or empty |title= (help)
  30. ^ Graves, Tom. "Campaign Archive".
  31. ^ "Who I voted for". Campaign Archive.
  32. ^ "Inside Congress". February 19, 2011. Archived from the original on November 7, 2014. Retrieved 2014.
  33. ^ "National Journal".
  34. ^ Jessica Rodgers (June 18, 2013). "U.S. House Passes Bill to Protect Unborn in Sixth Month and Later; National Right to Life Commends Seven Georgia Lawmakers". Christian Newswire. Retrieved 2015.
  35. ^ "Endorsements". RTL PAC.
  36. ^ Ralph Reed (June 9, 2010). "The Year of the (Conservative) Woman". Faith and Freedom Coalition. Archived from the original on March 29, 2015. Retrieved 2014.
  37. ^ a b Tim Alberta (November 5, 2013). "The Man Behind the Campaign to Defund Obamacare". National Journal. Retrieved 2014.
  38. ^ Crawford, Tom. "Graves gets comfy with leadership". Gareport. Retrieved 2017.
  39. ^ "SEN. ISAKSON, REP. GRAVES INTRODUCE THE HOME ACT TO HELP AMERICANS KEEP THEIR HOMES" (Press release). US Federal News Service. October 7, 2011. Archived from the original on March 29, 2015. Retrieved 2014.
  40. ^ "Tom Graves". On The Issues. Retrieved 2014.
  41. ^ Katherine Rosario (February 20, 2014). "TOM GRAVES: TEA ACT MEANS BETTER ROADS WITHOUT RAISING TAXES". Heritage Action for America. Retrieved 2014.
  42. ^ "Water Resources and Reform Act". August 23, 2014. Retrieved 2014.
  43. ^ "Savannah Harbor Expansion Project". US Army Corps of Engineers. Retrieved 2014.
  44. ^ "Polis, Yoder Bipartisan Email Privacy Amendment Unanimously Adopted in Committee Amendment Ensures 4th Amendment Protections Cover Emails" (Press release). July 18, 2013. Archived from the original on March 29, 2015. Retrieved 2014.
  45. ^ Susan Percy (February 2015). "Political notes: February 2015". Georgia Trend. Retrieved 2015.
  46. ^ Daniel Malloy (January 15, 2015). "Tom Graves scores spot on defense spending panel". AJC. Retrieved 2015.
  47. ^ "Defense Subcommittee". Retrieved 2015.
  48. ^ "Member List". Republican Study Committee. Retrieved 2017.
  49. ^ "US Rep Tom Graves Profile". Voices for Vinyl Legislative Action Center. Archived from the original on April 2, 2015. Retrieved 2015.
  50. ^ Almukhtar, Sarah (December 19, 2017). "How Each House Member Voted on the Tax Bill". The New York Times. Retrieved 2017.
  51. ^ Spigolon, Tom. "West Georgia reps on opposing sides of tax bill's final House vote". West Georgia Neighbor. MDJOnline. Retrieved 2017.
  52. ^ Graves, Tom. "Rep. Tom Graves Statement on Obama Gun Control Efforts". Northwest Georgia News. Retrieved 2017.
  53. ^ "Tom Graves on Abortion". On The Issues. Retrieved 2017.
  54. ^ "Georgia Scorecard". NORML. Retrieved 2017.
  55. ^ "Active Cyber Defense Certainty Act". Retrieved 2018.
  56. ^ Staff (January 5, 2011). "Ten Southern Baptists sworn in as new reps". Baptist Press. Archived from the original on December 26, 2014. Retrieved 2014.

External links

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Nathan Deal
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Georgia's 9th congressional district

Succeeded by
Doug Collins
Preceded by
New constituency
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Georgia's 14th congressional district

New office Ranking Member of the House Modernization Committee
U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Ted Deutch
United States Representatives by seniority
Succeeded by
Tom Reed

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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