David Timothy Dreier (born July 5, 1952) is the U.S. Representative for California's 26th congressional district, serving in Congress since 1981. He is a member of the Republican Party.
Early life, education and career
Dreier was born and raised in Kansas City, Missouri, where his family continues to be active in real estate development; he is Vice President of Dreier Development Company in Kansas City. Drier attended The Principia Upper School in St. Louis, Missouri, a private boarding school for Christian Scientists, where he served as Student Body President. After high school, Drier attended Claremont Men's College (now Claremont McKenna College) and graduated with a B.A.
from the College in 1975 and an M.A. from the Claremont Graduate School (now Claremont Graduate University) in 1976. He was director of corporate relations for Claremont McKenna College before entering the House.
U.S. House of Representatives
Dreier served as chairman of the powerful House Rules Committee from 1999 until 2007. The Democrats gained control of the House in the 2006 midterm elections and Drier served as Ranking Member for the 110th and 111th Congresses. Roll Call magazine, Dreier has a personal fortune in excess of $7.5 million and as much as $29 million, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Dreier is a member of the Republican Main Street Partnership. He is a member of the board of directors of the International Republican Institute. Dreier was also involved in proposing the Peace Officer Justice Act. This bill, if it becomes law, would make it a federal offense to flee the United States after having murdered a police officer. This legislation was strongly opposed by Los Angeles County District Attorney Steve Cooley. Dreier also publicly supported a provision in the Economic Stimulus Act of 2008 that excludes many US troops and legal immigrants from receiving federal tax rebates. Dreier's behavior during his visit to Colombia's Lower House Chamber on August 28, 2007 caused a stir among the nation's politicians and media. Dreier sat on the podium during a hearing before a gathering of local lawmakers in the Chamber of Representatives of Colombia, seen by many as a sign of disrespect towards his Colombian counterparts. Dreier formally apologized on August 30, 2007. According to a Reuters story, Dreier said, "I meant absolutely no offense ... I simply wanted to demonstrate my warm feeling and affection."
With the Republicans regaining control of the House in the 2010 midterm elections, Dreier is again Chairman for the 112th Congress. Dreier has also served as chairman of California's Republican Congressional Delegation since 2001. Dreier was a major player in helping elect Arnold Schwarzenegger in California's 2003 recall election, and is a frequent guest on the political talk show circuit. Whenever Dreier recognizes his colleagues to yield time, he usually mentions the hometown of the member, not just the state that member represents as all other representatives do. He referred to former Rules Committee Chairman Gerald B.H. Solomon as the "gentleman from Glens Falls, New York" and current Rules Committee Ranking Member Louise Slaughter as the "gentlelady from Rochester". Throughout his early Congressional service, Dreier established a record as a strong supporter of tax cuts and of President Reagan's anti-Communist foreign policy. One of the youngest as well as the first Californian Rules Chairman in history, Dreier plays a pivotal role in fashioning legislation promoting Republican Party positions on Social Security, child education, taxes, and national security. Locally, Dreier is well known for supporting local institutions such as the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the Metro Gold Line, and advocates for transportation improvements such as railroad grade separations and highway expansion. He supported bipartisan efforts to create legislation to prevent runaway film production. Dreier has served for many years as a trustee of Claremont McKenna College, his undergraduate alma mater, which falls within his Congressional district. According to
In 1978, Dreier decided to run for the United States House of Representatives at the age of 26. He ran against incumbent Democrat James Fredrick Lloyd, who had first won in an upset in a Republican-leaning district in 1974. Though unknown, Dreier ran a spirited campaign. Lloyd won that race by 54% to 46%, and Dreier ran again in 1980. Helped by local enthusiasm for Ronald Reagan and the unpopularity of President Jimmy Carter, Dreier won. In 1982, the district that Dreier represented was merged with that of fellow Republican Congressman Wayne Grisham as part of a redistricting plan engineered by Phillip Burton. Dreier outspent Grisham and won by 57% to 43%.
In 2004, Dreier faced strong criticism on his stances on illegal immigration from opponent Cynthia Matthews. Dreier was accused of not supporting reimbursement of expenses incurred by state and local governments to serve illegal immigrants, supporting increases in the numbers of H1B visas allowed for skilled workers, not acting effectively enough in obtaining the extradition of a suspect who allegedly killed a Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department deputy, and supporting amnesty for illegal immigrants. The immigration attacks were especially damaging. The National Republican Congressional Committee filed a complaint with the Federal Elections Commission (FEC) against The "John and Ken Show" on Los Angeles station KFI) alleging that the hosts, employees of Clear Channel Communications, were engaging in an illegal contribution to Matthews' campaign. The hosts held regular anti-Dreier rallies at his Glendora field office, had Matthews on frequently to discuss her positions on immigration, and dissected statements made by Dreier to other media outlets. Following his "outing" by L.A. Weekly in late September 2004, Dreier's sexual orientation and relationship to chief-of-staff Brad Smith were also discussed on the show (see "Sexual Orientation", below). Dreier was not the originator of the NRCC complaint and disavowed orchestrating the complaint. The hosts continued the allegedly infringing activity through the election and on February 24, 2006, the FEC declared that the charges were without merit. In an interview on KABC's Doug McIntyre program, Dreier denied the charges regarding immigration. In spite of outspending his opponent by nearly 2-1, his opponent's unpopularity in the Democratic Party, and representing a Republican-leaning district, Dreier won his 2004 race with 54 percent of the vote in the 2004 election and Dreier's then-worst total since 1980. In 2008, Dreier won with his now-worst total of 52.7 percent. In 2010, Dreier received 54.1 percent of the vote to 36.5 percent for his Democrat opponent.
Following the indictment of Tom DeLay on September 28, 2005, Dreier was widely expected to temporarily assume the position of House Majority Leader. Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert favored Dreier for the position, presumably because Dreier has consistently adhered to the views of the Republican leadership and would have been willing to relinquish the title immediately should DeLay be able to return to the Majority Leader position. However, a conference of rank-and-file Republican representatives disapproved of the choice of Dreier in such a senior position largely because many conservative Republican House members believe that Dreier is too politically moderate. According to Dreier spokeswoman Jo Maney, Dreier declined the temporary Majority Leader position because he "would have had to give up his chairmanship of the Rules Committee to move to another position, and that's not something that he wanted to do."Openly-gay Democratic Congressman Barney Frank, when asked whether Dreier was passed over for the position because of his "moderate" views, told a crowd of reporters "Yes, in the sense that I marched in the moderate pride parade last summer and went to a moderate bar.” The House Majority Leader position instead went to then Majority Whip Roy Blunt, though both Dreier and then Deputy Majority Whip Eric Cantor of Virginia shared in some duties. Rep. John Boehner was later elected House Majority Leader.
On October 2, 2005, Dreier announced he would be running for re-election. Flanked by the mayor of the city of San Dimas and the Los Angeles County Sheriff, Dreier said he would campaign on a platform of being tough on illegal immigration, supporting the "war on terror", and supporting harsher penalties for those who commit crimes against law enforcement. La Cañada businessman Sonny Sardo challenged Dreier for his seat in the June 6, 2006, Republican Primary. Dreier received 65 percent of the vote, while Sardo received 27 percent of the vote and Melvin Milton 8 percent of the vote. Russ Warner and Dreier's former opponent Cynthia Matthews, both Democrats, ran for the right to oppose Dreier in the general election. Matthews won the election with 47 percent of the vote compared to 38 percent for Warner and Hoyt Hilsman with 15 percent of the vote. On November 7, 2006, Dreier defeated Matthews, receiving 57.0 percent of the total votes to her 37.9 percent, with 3.3 percent going to Ted Brown (Libertarian Party) and 1.8 percent to Elliott Graham (American Independent Party).
Dreier claims to be a distant relative of Richard Bland Lee, a congressman from Virginia who served on the first Rules Committee empaneled by the House of Representatives.
September 14th, 2011