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John Carter (Texas politician) Article

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John Carter
Rep. John Carter (RTX).jpg
Secretary of the House Republican Conference
In office
January 3, 2007 – January 3, 2013
Leader John Boehner
Preceded by John Doolittle
Succeeded by Virginia Foxx
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Texas's 31st district
Assumed office
January 3, 2003
Preceded byConstituency established
Judge of the 277th Texas District Court for Williamson County
In office
Personal details
BornJohn Rice Carter
(1941-11-06) November 6, 1941 (age 77)
Houston, Texas, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s)Erika Carter
Education Texas Tech University ( BA)
University of Texas at Austin ( JD)
Nickname(s)"Judge Carter"

John Rice Carter (born November 6, 1941) is the U.S. Representative serving Texas's 31st congressional district since 2003. He is a Republican. [1] The district is located in Williamson and Bell Counties just north of Austin.

Early life, education, and career

Carter was born in Houston, but has spent most of his life in central Texas. Carter graduated from Texas Tech University [2] with a degree in history in 1964, and earned a law degree from the University of Texas School of Law in 1969. [1] [3]

After graduating from law school, Carter served as the first general counsel to the Texas House of Representatives’ Agriculture Committee. [4] Carter later began a successful private law practice in Round Rock.

In 1981, Carter was appointed as judge of the 277th District Court of Williamson County. [1] He was elected to the post a year later — the first Republican elected to a countywide position in Williamson County. He was reelected four times.

U.S. House of Representatives

Committee assignments

Party leadership and caucus memberships

A staunch fiscal and social conservative, Carter prides himself on having raised a family built on what he calls "Texas Values."

Carter is best known as the author of a law that made it easier to prove identity theft and provides stiff penalties for the offense. It was signed into law by George W. Bush in 2004. [7]

110th Congress

In the 110th Congress, Congressman Carter has sponsored and co-sponsored a number of bills including the Military Spouses Residency Relief Act, the Terrorist Death Penalty Act of 2008, and a bill condemning the vandalism of the Vietnam War Memorial on the National Mall. On the Appropriations Committee, Congressman Carter introduced an amendment to the Homeland Security Appropriations Bill to provide $12 million in funding to the section 287(g) of the Immigration Nationality Act (INA) which allows Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to delegate enforcement powers to state and local law enforcement allowing them to investigate, detain and arrest criminal aliens. However, this amendment was defeated in committee.

Also, when Democratic Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the House of Representatives recessed in August 2008 for five weeks, Congressman Carter was one of many Republicans who stayed in Washington. This was part of a GOP protest, in which they claimed that Congress should not have recessed for five weeks without addressing the energy crisis many Americans were facing. The Sunlight Foundation pointed out that as of 2008 among the 435 members of the U.S. House of Representatives, Carter had the second-highest amount of investment in oil stocks. [8]

111th Congress

On June 12, 2009, Carter signed on as a co-sponsor of H.R. 1503, the bill introduced as a reaction to conspiracy theories which claimed that U.S. President Barack Obama is not a natural born U.S. citizen. [9]

On September 15, 2009, Carter called the 111th Congress a "house of hypocrisy" after the House of Representatives voted to rebuke South Carolina Representative Joe Wilson for his outburst, but would not go after New York Representative and House Ways and Means Chair Charlie Rangel, who has been the subject of numerous ethical problems involving taxes and property. [10] Carter is also a proponent of the "Rangel Rule," where IRS penalties and interest would be eliminated if one paid back taxes, similar to the treatment Rangel, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, and former South Dakota Senator (and one-time Secretary of Health and Human Services nominee) Tom Daschle received after their tax problems were made public. [11]

Carter introduced a "Privileged Resolution" that would have forced the resignation of Rangel from his position as House Ways and Means Committee Chair after he declined to resign voluntarily [12] citing the inaction of the House Democratic Caucus and the ongoing investigations as reasons. The resolution failed but it was noted that two Mississippi Democrats, Gene Taylor and Travis Childers, broke party ranks and voted with Republicans. [13] [14]

Although a critic of the accuracy of Rangel's financial disclosures, Carter voluntarily amended his financial disclosure forms in mid-October 2009 to list nearly $300,000 in capital gains from the sale of Exxon stock in 2006 and 2007. Though Carter listed the sale of the assets, he did not list the actual amount of capital gains, on which he did pay taxes. [15]

On November 16, 2009, Carter introduced legislation to give combatant casualty status to the victims of the 2009 Fort Hood shooting, similar to those who were killed in Afghanistan and Iraq. [16]

In February 2010, after Charlie Rangel was found to have broken House rules, Carter again demanded that Rangel step down. Rangel later stepped down, avoiding a third attempt at a privileged resolution to remove Rangel.

115th Congress

On May 16, 2018, Carter was named the new chairman of the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Subcommittee on Appropriations following the retirement of Charlie Dent. He had previously served as chairman of the Homeland Security Subcommittee on Appropriations.

Carter authored six bills, including H.R. 4854, the Justice Served Act of 2018, which was signed into law on October 9, 2018 and H.R. 1133, the Veterans Transplant Coverage Act, which was signed into law as a part of the VA MISSION Act of 2018.

Carter signed on as a co-sponsor of H.R. 4760, the Securing America's Future Act of 2018 which failed to pass the House. This legislation would have enhanced enforcement of existing immigration law, including important reforms to our legal immigration programs, enhanced border security, and provide a legislative solution for the current beneficiaries of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

Political campaigns

Carter retired from the bench in 2001 in order to run for Congress in the newly created 31st District. After finishing second in the primary, he defeated Peter Wareing in the runoff — which was tantamount to election in this heavily Republican district. He has been consistently reelected without facing serious opposition.

Carter originally represented a district that stretched from the suburbs of Austin to the fringes of the Houston suburbs, and also included College Station, home of Texas A&M University. After the 2003 Texas redistricting, however, Carter now represents a district stretching from the fringes of the Metroplex through more rural portions of Central Texas. Redistricting after the 2010 census made the 31st more compact, and it now comprises Bell County and Williamson County. The 31st District now includes Fort Hood, home of the U.S. Army's 3d Cavalry Regiment and the 1st Cavalry Division.

In the general election held on November 8, 2016, Carter won his eighth term in Congress. With 166,060 votes (58.4 percent), he defeated the Democrat Mike Clark and the Libertarian Scott Ballard, who obtained 103,852 votes (34.5 percent) and 14,676 (5.2 percent), respectively. [17]

In the general election held on November 6, 2018, Carter won his ninth term in Congress. He defeated the Democrat candidate Mary Jennings Hegar with 144,393 votes (50.6%) to her 135,843 votes (47.6%).

U.S. House, Texas' 31st Congressional District (General Election)
Year Winning candidate Party Pct Opponent Party Pct
2002 John Carter Republican 69.1% David Bagley Democratic 27.4%
2004 John Carter (inc.) Republican 64.8% Jon Porter Democratic 32.5%
2006 John Carter (inc.) Republican 58.5% Mary Beth Herrell Democratic 38.8%
2008 John Carter (inc.) Republican 60.3% Brian Ruiz Democratic 36.6%
2010 John Carter (inc.) Republican 82.5% Bill Oliver Libertarian 17.5%
2012 John Carter (inc.) Republican 61.3% Stephen Wyman Democratic 35%
2014 John Carter (inc.) Republican 64% Louie Minor Democratic 32%
2016 John Carter (inc.) Republican 58.4% Mike Clark Democratic 36.5%
2018 John Carter (inc.) Republican 50.6% Mary Jennings Hegar Democratic 47.6%

Personal life

He has been married to Erika Carter for almost 40 years, and they have four grown children. Since 1971, he has lived in Round Rock, Texas.


  1. ^ a b c "The Arena: - Rep. John Carter Bio". Retrieved 2016-08-10.
  2. ^ "On the Hill, On the Rise | Texas Tech University System". Retrieved 2016-08-10.
  3. ^ "John Carter - Candidate for U.S. President, Republican Nomination - Election 2012". Retrieved 2016-08-10.
  4. ^ "John Carter - Candidate for U.S. President, Republican Nomination - Election 2012". Retrieved 2016-08-10.
  5. ^ "Military Construction, Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies". House Committee on Appropriations. Retrieved 16 November 2018.
  6. ^ "Our Members". U.S. House of Representatives International Conservation Caucus. Retrieved 1 August 2018.
  7. ^ "Bush signs lawto stiffenID theft penalties". 2004-07-15. Retrieved 2018-06-22.
  8. ^ "The Sunlight Foundation Blog – Oil Industry Influence: Personal Finances'". Sunlight Foundation. August 8, 2008. Archived from the original on August 12, 2008. Retrieved on Aug. 8, 2008
  9. ^ "H.R. 1503". The Library of Congress.
  10. ^ "Speaking of apologies: Hypocrisy clouds Democrats' demand for "You lie" apology". The Hill.
  11. ^ "GOP Congressman Intros 'Rangel Rule,' Eliminating IRS Late Fees". Fox News. January 28, 2009.
  12. ^ "New Rangel Financial Violations Demand Removal from Ways and Means Chairmanship". John Carter's House Page.
  13. ^ "Charlie Rangel retains Ways and Means gavel". Politico.
  14. ^ "Democrats rebuff Rangel resolution". The Hill.
  15. ^ "Carter Refiling Disclosure Forms to List Exxon Profits".
  16. ^ "Carter's Resolution for Fort Hood Victims".
  17. ^ "Election Results". Texas Secretary of State. November 8, 2016. Retrieved December 17, 2016.

External links

U.S. House of Representatives
New constituency Member of the  U.S. House of Representatives
from Texas's 31st congressional district

Party political offices
Preceded by
John Doolittle
Secretary of the House Republican Conference
Succeeded by
Virginia Foxx
Current U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Michael C. Burgess
United States Representatives by seniority
Succeeded by
Tom Cole