Frank Rudolph Wolf (born January 30, 1939) is the U.S. Representative for Virginia's 10th congressional district, serving since 1981. He is a member of the Republican Party.
Early life, education, and early political career
Wolf was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He overcame a speech impediment, a stutter, early in life. He attended Pennsylvania State University where he was a member of Alpha Sigma Phi fraternity and earned a degree in political science. He received a law degree from Georgetown University Law Center.
He then joined the United States Army as a reservist and became a lawyer for the military.
Wolf got his start in politics when he became a legislative assistant to U.S. Representative Edward Biester, beginning in 1968. From 1971 to 1975, Wolf served as an assistant to Secretary of the Interior Rogers Morton.
U.S. House of Representatives
Wolf first ran for Congress in 1976 for Virginia's 10th congressional district, losing in the Republican primary. In 1978, he won the Republican nomination, but lost the general election incumbent Democrat U.S.
Congressman Joseph L. Fisher 53%-47%. In 1980, Wolf ran again and defeated Fisher in a rematch 51%-49%.
In 1982, Wolf won re-election with just 53% of the vote. Since then, he's never won re-election with less than 57% of the vote.
The 10th District has seen extensive changes since Wolf took office. Initially a purely Northern Virginia district covering Fairfax, Arlington, and Loudoun counties, the 1990 redistricting by a Democratic Virginia General Assembly moved the district away from Arlington to the west and south to allow for the creation of a new congressional district.
They also gerrymandered Wolf and U.S. Congressman George Allen into the same district. Allen chose not to challenge Wolf, instead running for Governor of Virginia in 1993. The district kept approximately the same complexion after the 2000 apportionment by a Republican Virginia General Assembly, but lost territory in the outlying areas of the district to allow for population growth in Fairfax and Loudoun. Today, the Fairfax portion of the district holds about 40% of the population, Loudoun county holds 30%, and the remainder of the district at 30%.
In his bid for re-election in 2006, he defeated Democrat Judy Feder 57%-41%.
This was his worst re-election performance since 1982.
He defeated Feder in a rematch 59%-39%.
Wolf defeated Democrat Jeff Barnett 63%-35%.
Wolf has been especially prominent in three areas: transportation, human rights, and gambling. He is the current co-chair of the US Congress Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, formerly the Human Rights Caucus.
The National Rifle Association gives him a A- and the American Civil Liberties Union gives him a 0%. Some other rankings include 0% from Clean Air Flow Energy, 100% from National Right to Life, 0% from the Human Rights Coalition, 17% from the National Educational Association, 5% from the League of Conservation Voters, 92% from the United States Border Control and 10% by the Alliance for Retired Americans.
- Human rights
Wolf has traveled extensively to places around the world where people are suffering, including five times to the Sudan since 1989. He has advocated for relief of the genocide in Darfur. He has also convened conferences in his district to address human rights issues around the world.
After the trial of the leadership of the Bahá'í community of Iran was announced on February 11, 2009 Wolf voiced he was deeply disturbed over the "systematic persecution" of the Bahá'ís.
On February 13 Wolf offered a resolution on the subject of the trial of the Iranian Bahá'í leadership co-sponsored by seven others in H. RES. 175 - "Condemning the Government of Iran for its state-sponsored persecution of its Baha'i minority and its continued violation of the International Covenants on Human Rights" which was referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs. The situation has gathered international attention including defense of Nobel Laureate attorney Shirin Ebadi in June after she received threats in April warning her against making speeches abroad, and defending Iran's minority Baha'i community - see Arrest of Bahá'í leaders.
On September 30, 2010, Wolf spoke against human trafficking during a Black Women United for Action conference at Mount Vernon, George Washington's historic home.
Wolf has vocally criticized the human rights record of China. Around the time of the 1995 International Women's Conference in Beijing, Wolf called for the MFN status of China to be revoked alleging that human fetuses were considered a delicacy in China. He was one of the leading congressman trying to stop the grant of permanent MFN status to China in 1999. When Wolf and Congressman Chris Smith were in Beijing shortly before the 2008 Summer Olympics, the Chinese security service prevented them from a dinner meeting with local human rights lawyers.
In the 2011 United States federal budget, Wolf inserted a clause prohibiting NASA and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy from any joint scientific activity with China for the remainder of the 2011 fiscal year. Wolf remarked, "We don't want to give them the opportunity to take advantage of our technology, and we have nothing to gain from dealing with them. And frankly, it boils down to a moral issue. ... Would you have a bilateral program with Stalin?" This prohibition resulted in Chinese journalists being denied access to the launching of Space Shuttle Endeavour on the mission STS-134, which was carrying the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer which was built in part by Chinese scientists.
- Iraq War
During the Bush administration, Wolf voted consistently the President's positions. For example, Wolf voted in favor of military action in Iraq in 2002. He also voted to make the Patriot Act permanent, opposed requiring Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrants for wiretaps within the United States, and supported the president in restricting congressional oversight for CIA interrogations.
However, in March 2006, Congress, at Wolf's suggestion by inserting an earmark into a supplemental appropriation bill, and in a breach with the Bush administration, announced the creation of the Iraq Study Group to reassess the U.S. strategy in Iraq.
- Social issues
Wolf believes abortion should be illegal and he opposes subsidized birth control for federal employees. Congressman Wolf has also voted to deny funding to Planned Parenthood. He also opposes funding for international family planning in developing countries. Frank Wolf is against the Employment Non-Discrimination Act for fear it would destroy religious freedom. He believes marriage is between one man and one woman.
- Committee on Appropriations
- Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies (Chairman)
- Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies
- Congressional Human Rights Caucus (Co-Chair)
- International Conservation Caucus
- Sportsmen's Caucus
In the 109th Congress, Wolf was chairman of Subcommittee on Foreign Operations, Export Financing, and Related Programs, and its ranking minority member in the 110th. He is co-chairman of the Congressional Human Rights Caucus with Jim McGovern, who replaced the late Tom Lantos. Wolf is a member of the Moderate Republican Main Street Partnership.
March 3rd, 2012