Michelle Steel
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Michelle Steel

Michelle Steel
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 48th district

January 3, 2021
Harley Rouda
Co-Chair of the President's Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders

January 17, 2019 - January 3, 2021
Serving with Paul Hsu
PresidentDonald Trump
Chair of the
Orange County Board of Supervisors

January 1, 2020 - January 3, 2021
Lisa Bartlett
Andrew Do
Member of the
Orange County Board of Supervisors
from the 2nd district

January 5, 2015 - January 3, 2021
John Moorlach
Katrina Foley
Member of the
California State Board of Equalization
from the 3rd district

January 5, 2007 - January 5, 2015
Claude Parrish
Diane Harkey
Personal details
Michelle Eunjoo Park

(1955-06-21) June 21, 1955 (age 65)
Seoul, South Korea
Political partyRepublican
(m. 1981)
ResidenceSeal Beach, California, U.S.
EducationPepperdine University (BA)
University of Southern California (MBA)
WebsiteHouse website
Korean name
Revised RomanizationBak Eunju
McCune-ReischauerPak ?n-ju

Michelle Eunjoo Steel (née Park; born June 21, 1955) is a South Korean-born American politician serving as the U.S. Representative for California's 48th congressional district.[2] She concurrently serves as a member of House Minority Whip Steve Scalise's Whip Team for the 117th Congress.[3]

She was a member of the Orange County Board of Supervisors from 2015 to 2021 and is a former member of the California State Board of Equalization (2007-2015).[4][5][6] Steel, along with fellow California Republican Young Kim and Democrat Marilyn Strickland of Washington, are the first Korean-American women to serve in Congress. Steel and Kim, along with David Valadao, also became the first Republican congressional candidates since 1994 to unseat incumbent House Democrats in California.

Early life and education

Steel was born in Seoul, South Korea.[6] Her father was born in Shanghai to Korean expatriate parents. Steel was educated in South Korea, Japan, and the United States. She holds a degree in business from Pepperdine University and an MBA from the University of Southern California. She is fluent in Korean and Japanese.[5]

California politics

Steel has been active in Republican Party politics and served on various commissions in the George W. Bush administration.[7]

California State Board of Equalization

Steel was elected to the California State Board of Equalization in 2006 when Republican incumbent Claude Parrish ran unsuccessfully for state Treasurer.[8] Throughout her tenure, she served as the country's highest ranking Korean American officeholder and California's highest ranking Republican woman.[4] She represented more than eight million people in the 3rd district, which then included the entirety of Imperial, Orange, Riverside and San Diego counties, and portions of Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties.[] In 2011, she was elected vice chair of the Board of Equalization.[9]

Orange County Board of Supervisors

Steel's official portrait while serving as Orange County Supervisor in 2014.

In 2014, Steel ran successfully to become a member of the Orange County Board of Supervisors representing the 2nd district, defeating state Assemblyman Allan Mansoor.[10]

In March 2018, Steel was the only elected official to greet President Donald Trump when he landed at LAX on his first official visit to California as president.[11] In 2019, she was appointed by Trump to the President's Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.[12]

She served as the Chair of the Orange County Board of Supervisors in 2017 and again in 2020. During the COVID-19 pandemic, she opposed mandatory face masks in Orange County.[13][14] She voted against requiring face coverings for retail employees,[15] and opposed requirements of masks in public schools. She questioned the medical efficacy of masks in preventing the virus spread.[16]

On September 15, 2020, the Orange County Board of Supervisors approved plans that could lead to increased private jet traffic at John Wayne Airport. Steel was criticized[by whom?] for taking campaign contributions from ACI Jet, a corporation vying for a contract to maintain private jets at this airport, and was ultimately awarded the contract.[17][18][clarification needed]

U.S. House of Representatives


In 2020, Steel ran for the U.S. House of Representatives in California's 48th congressional district.[19] Steel received 34.9% of the vote to advance from the primary and defeated incumbent Democrat Harley Rouda in the November 3, 2020, election.[20] Steel raised $200,000 more than Rouda.[21]

Steel with her husband, former California Republican Party Chair Shawn Steel, in 2018.

During her campaign, Steel spoke out against COVID-19 mask mandates.[14] Her platform included opposition to abortion, same sex marriage, and the creation of a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.[14][22] A conservative, she aligned herself with President Donald Trump.[23]


Steel, along with several other Republican U.S. House freshmen, is a member of the Freedom Force, an informal group styled as a Republican counterpart to the Democratic group The Squad.[24][25]

Steel tested positive for COVID-19 in January 2021.[26] Steel referenced her own mild symptoms from her bout with COVID to advocate for opening up schools and businesses.[27]

Due to her COVID-19 quarantine, Steel missed voting on the certification of Joe Biden's Electoral College victory.[28] Steel voted against the second impeachment of Donald Trump on January 13, 2021.[29]

In early February 2021, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Steel called for the reopening of schools in California.[30][31][32]

On February 25, 2021, Steel voted against the Equality Act, a bill that would prohibit discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation by amending the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Fair Housing Act to explicitly include new protections.[33]

On February 27, 2021, Steel voted against the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill.[34][35]

In March 2021, Steel introduced a bill that would block federal funding from being used to support California's high-speed rail project, which she called a "failure."[36]

In June 2021, Steel was one of forty-nine House Republicans who voted in favor of the repeal of the AUMF against Iraq.[37][38]

Committee assignments

Personal life

In 1981, Steel married Shawn Steel, who would later be California Republican Party chairman from 2001 to 2003 and Republican National Committeeman from California since 2008. They have two daughters, and live in Seal Beach, California.[39] Steel is a Christian.[40]

At a 2014 Tea Party event in Newport Beach, Steel said she had withdrawn her younger daughter from the University of California, Santa Cruz and sent her to Loyola Marymount University for a one-year "brainwash" after her daughter voiced support for same-sex marriage and Barack Obama.[41][42]

Electoral history

2020 United States House of Representatives elections in California[43]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Michelle Steel 201,738 51.1
Democratic Harley Rouda (incumbent) 193,362 48.9
Total votes 395,100 100
Republican gain from Democratic
Orange County Board of Supervisors 2nd district, 2018[44]
Party Candidate Votes %
Nonpartisan Michelle Steel (incumbent) 80,854 63.4
Nonpartisan Brendon Perkins 31,387 24.6
Nonpartisan Michael Mahony 15,281 12.0
Total votes 127,522 100.0
Republican hold
Orange County Board of Supervisors 2nd district, 2014[45]
Party Candidate Votes %
Nonpartisan Michelle Steel 62.5
Nonpartisan Allan Mansoor (incumbent) 37.5
Total votes 100.0
Republican hold
2010 State Board of Equalization District 3 election
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Michelle Steel (incumbent) 1,325,538 54.9
Democratic Mary Christian Heising 836,057 34.6
Libertarian Jerry L. Dixon 117,783 4.8
Peace and Freedom Mary Lou Finley 79,870 3.3
Terri Lussenheide 59,513 2.4
Total votes 2,418,761 100.0
Republican hold
2006 State Board of Equalization District 3 election
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Michelle Steel 1,147,514 56.99
Democratic Mary Christian-Heising 774,499 38.47
Peace and Freedom Mary Finley 91,467 4.54
Total votes 2,013,480 100.00
Republican hold

See also


  1. ^ "'' ? ? ... 4? ? (... Four Korean-Americans Enter U.S. Congress)". Korea Times (in Korean). November 13, 2020. Retrieved 2021.
  2. ^ Rep. Harley Rouda Concedes to Republican Challenger in 48th District Congressional District Race, KNBC-TV Channel 4, Los Angeles, California, November 10, 2020. Retrieved November 10, 2020. "We did not win this election, Rouda said. "And while it isn't the outcome we had hoped for, it's never been more important for our leaders to hear the voice of the people, and to accept their judgment. I do."
  3. ^ @RepSteel (February 2, 2021). "Today I joined @SteveScalise on our first Whip Team call of the 117th Congress! I am so honored to join this team and am ready to get to work supporting policies that help #CA48 families & businesses thrive" (Tweet). Retrieved 2021 – via Twitter.
  4. ^ a b Steel, Michelle Park. "Board Member Michelle Steel". California State Board of Equalization. Retrieved 2007.
  5. ^ a b "?" [Asian Americans support Park's election to tax board]. August 23, 2006. Archived from the original on September 26, 2007. Retrieved 2007.
  6. ^ a b Michelle Steel, JoinCalifornia.com, retrieved 2011
  7. ^ Hall, Madison; Panetta, Grace; Neilson, Susie (November 10, 2020). "Results: Republican Michelle Steel defeats first-term Rep. Harley Rouda in California's 48th Congressional District". Business Insider. Retrieved 2020.
  8. ^ 2006 California State Treasurer election
  9. ^ Arie Dana (January 26, 2011). "Michelle Steel Named Vice Chair of the State Board of Equalization" (PDF). California Board of Equalization.
  10. ^ "Two new faces join Board of Supervisors". November 5, 2014.
  11. ^ Gerda, Nick (March 15, 2018). "OC Supervisor Michelle Steel Welcomed President Trump at LAX". Voice of OC. Retrieved 2020.
  12. ^ "Trump names Michelle Park Steel co-chair of president's advisory commission on AAPIs". February 3, 2019.
  13. ^ "Californians must wear face masks in public under coronavirus order issued by Newsom". Los Angeles Times. June 18, 2020. Retrieved 2020.
  14. ^ a b c Green, Miranda (October 21, 2020). "The Mask Backlash That Could Oust a Democratic Congressman". Intelligencer. Retrieved 2020.
  15. ^ "OC Supervisors Vote To Require Face Coverings For Many Retail Employees". MyNewsLA.com. April 22, 2020. Retrieved 2020.
  16. ^ Custodio, Spencer (May 26, 2020). "Orange County Public Health Officials Under Fire Over Mask Order". Voice of OC. Retrieved 2020.
  17. ^ Brandon Pho (September 15, 2020). "Private Jet Plan for John Wayne Airport Sparks Resident Concern and Corruption Allegations". Voice of OC. Retrieved 2020.
  18. ^ Siebenmark, Jerry. "With New SNA Lease in Hand, ACI Plans $85M Project". Aviation International News. Retrieved 2020.
  19. ^ "O.C. Supervisor Michelle Steel to challenge Rep. Harley Rouda in 2020 election". Associated Press. May 3, 2019.
  20. ^ "Michelle Steel". Ballotpedia. Retrieved 2020.
  21. ^ Denkmann, Libby. Four Lessons From The Southern California House Seats Republicans Reclaimed In 2020, KPCC, 89.3 FM, Southern California Public Radio, Pasadena, California, December 3, 2020. Retrieved December 4, 2020.
  22. ^ "Race Heating Up For California's 48th District Seat As Rouda, Steel Face Off". September 14, 2020. Retrieved 2020.
  23. ^ "California Republican leaders go all in on Trump's election subterfuge, but some are more vocal than others". Los Angeles Times. November 20, 2020. Retrieved 2020.
  24. ^ Lapin, Tamir (November 29, 2020). "New group 'Freedom Force' vows to be GOP answer to AOC's 'Squad'". The New York Post. Retrieved 2020.
  25. ^ Noor, Poppy (November 30, 2020). "The 'Freedom Force': Republican group takes on the Squad and 'evil' socialism". The Guardian.
  26. ^ Ke, Bryan (January 8, 2021). "California Congresswoman Who Once Questioned Mask-Wearing Catches COVID-19". NextShark. Retrieved 2021 – via news.yahoo.com.
  27. ^ "Surfside Rep. Michelle Steel Scolded For COVID Joke By Political Opponent Harley Rouda". CBS Los Angeles. January 28, 2021. Retrieved 2021.
  28. ^ Nixon, Nicole (January 7, 2021). "Here's How California Representatives Voted On Certifying Biden's Election, And Who Is Calling For Trump's Removal". Sacramento, Calif.: Capital Public Radio. Retrieved 2021.
  29. ^ Cai, Weiyi; Daniel, Annie; Gamio, Lazaro; Parlapiano, Alicia (January 13, 2021). "Impeachment Results: How Democrats and Republicans Voted". The New York Times. Retrieved 2021.
  30. ^ Staggs, Brooke (February 9, 2021). "Here's what local House members are doing, so far, in the legislative fight against COVID-19". Orange County Register. Anaheim, Calif. Retrieved 2021.
  31. ^ @RepSteel (February 10, 2021). "How it started vs. How it's going: #opentheschools" (Tweet). Retrieved 2021 – via Twitter.
  32. ^ @RepSteel (February 11, 2021). "The science is clear: there is little evidence schools contribute meaningfully to increased community transmission of #COVID19. I joined over 60 of my @HouseGOP colleagues in a letter to @POTUS urging him to follow the science & #opentheschools. It's time to put our kids first" (Tweet). Retrieved 2021 – via Twitter.
  33. ^ "Here's every Republican who voted against the Equality Act". Metro Weekly. February 25, 2021.
  34. ^ "Rep. Steel: "Relief should be targeted, temporary and tied to COVID"" (Press release). Washington, DC: Cong. Michelle Steele. March 1, 2021. Retrieved 2021.
  35. ^ Staggs, Brooke (March 28, 2021). "Young Kim and Michelle Steel carve out different paths in Congress". Orange County Register. Retrieved 2021.
  36. ^ "Orange County Republicans take aim at California's bullet train". Orange County Register. March 1, 2021.
  37. ^ https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/congress/house-set-repeal-2002-iraq-war-authorization-n1271107
  38. ^ https://clerk.house.gov/evs/2021/roll172.xml
  39. ^ Steel, Michelle Park. "Vice Chair Michelle Steel". California State Board of Equalization. Retrieved 2012.
  40. ^ Steel, Michelle Park. "Michelle Steel - House Candidate - California 48th District". Susan B. Anthony List. Retrieved 2020.
  41. ^ "California GOP congressional candidate claimed she withdrew her daughter from college for supporting gay marriage". Metro Weekly. July 8, 2020. Retrieved 2020.
  42. ^ "Republican congressional candidate bragged about pulling daughter out of university for 'brainwashing' after she supported equal marriage". PinkNews. July 7, 2020. Retrieved 2021.
  43. ^ "California Election Results: 48th Congressional District". The New York Times. Retrieved 2020.
  44. ^ "Orange County Statewide Direct Primary Election June 5, 2018". Orange County Elections.
  45. ^ "Two New Faces join Board of Supervisors". Orange County Elections.

External links

Media related to Michelle Steel at Wikimedia Commons

  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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