Addison Graves Wilson, Sr., most commonly known as Joe Wilson (born July 31, 1947), is the U.S. Representative for South Carolina's 2nd congressional district, serving since 2001. He is a member of the Republican Party. He previously served in the South Carolina Senate from 1984 to 2001.
He is a member of the House Republican Policy Committee and is an Assistant Republican Whip.
In September 2009, Wilson received international attention when he interrupted a speech by U.S. President Barack Obama to a joint session of Congress by shouting "You lie!" The incident resulted in a formal rebuke by the House of Representatives.
Early life, education and career
Wilson was born in Charleston, South Carolina, to Hugh de Veaux Wilson and Wray Graves Wilson. Wilson obtained a bachelor's degree from Washington and Lee University in 1969, obtained a Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree from the University of South Carolina School of Law in 1972.
From 1972 to 1975, Wilson served in the United States Army Reserve, and then as a Staff Judge Advocate in the South Carolina Army National Guard assigned to the 218th Mechanized Infantry Brigade until retiring from military service as a Colonel in 2003.
Wilson was active in South Carolina Republican politics from a young age, participating in his first Republican campaign in 1962. As a teenager he joined the campaign of Congressman Floyd Spence, later working as an aide to Senator Strom Thurmond.
As a real estate attorney, Wilson co-accounted the law firm Kirkland, Wilson, Moore, Taylor & Thomas in West Columbia, where he practiced for over 25 years. Wilson was also a municipal judge in Springdale, South Carolina.
In 1981 and 1982, during the Reagan Administration, Wilson served as Deputy General Counsel for former Governor Jim Edwards at the U.S. Department of Energy. Wilson is also a graduate of Morton Blackwell's Leadership Institute in Arlington, Virginia.
South Carolina Senate
Wilson was elected to the South Carolina Senate in 1984 as a Republican from Lexington County.
He was re-elected four times, the last three times unopposed; Lexington County is one of the most Republican counties in the state. He never missed a regular legislative session in 17 years. After the Republicans gained control of the chamber in 1996, he became the first Republican to serve as Chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee. Wilson was a member of the Columbia College Board of Visitors and Coker College Board of Trustees.
During his tenure in the South Carolina Senate, Wilson was the primary sponsor of bills which included the following: establishing a National Guard license plate, providing paid leave for state employees to perform disaster relief services, and requiring men aged 18–26 to register for the Selective Service System when applying for a driver's license. In 2000, Wilson was one of seven senators who voted against removing the Confederate battle flag from being displayed over the state house.
U.S. House of Representatives
As of the 111th Congress, Wilson serves on three standing committees and various subcommittees overseeing specific areas of legislation. Wilson serves on the Committee on Armed Services, for which he also serves on the Subcommittee on Air and Land Forces and the Chairman for the Subcommittee on Military Personnel. He also sits on the Committee on Education and the Workforce, for which he also is a member of the Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions and Subcommittee on Workforce Protections. As a member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, Wilson serves on the Subcommittee on Europe and Subcommittee on the Middle East and South Asia. Wilson is a member of the Republican Study Committee and the Tea Party Caucus.
Party leadership and caucus memberships
- Composites Caucus (Co-Chair)
- Diabetes Caucus
- Global Health Caucus
- India Caucus
- International Conservation Caucus
- Israel Allies Caucus
- Russia Democracy Caucus
- Sportsmen's Caucus
- House Republican Policy Committee
- Tea Party Caucus
- Congressional Arts Caucus
Wilson represents South Carolina's 2nd congressional district, which stretches from the state capital, Columbia, to the resort towns of Beaufort and Hilton Head Island.
Wilson is an ardent social and fiscal conservative, and a strong supporter of the military. He is a member of the Republican Study Committee.
In 2003, Wilson voted for the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act, including its Section 1011 authorizing $250,000 annually of taxpayer money to reimburse hospitals for treatment of illegal immigrants. In 2009, Wilson changed to his current position opposing public funds for healthcare of illegal immigrants. In the 2006 elections, he defeated Ellisor again, gaining 62.7 percent of the vote, and kept his House seat. In the 2008 general election, he won 54 percent of the vote to Rob Miller's 46 percent, the closest race in the district in 20 years.
Wilson has sponsored and cosponsored a number of bills, concerning teacher recruitment and retention, college campus fire safety, National Guard troop levels, arming airline pilots, tax credits for adoptions, tax credits for living organ donors, and state defense forces.
As of January 2006, eight bills cosponsored by Wilson have passed the House, including H.R.
1973, the Senator Paul Simon Water for the Poor Act of 2005, making safe water and sanitation an objective of U.S. assistance to developing countries.
Wilson is a staunch advocate of a federal prohibition of online poker. In 2006, he cosponsored H.R. 4411, the Goodlatte-Leach Internet Gambling Prohibition Act and H.R. 4777, the Internet Gambling Prohibition Act.
He has cited as one of his proudest congressional achievements the Drafting Business Expensing Act of 2003, which allows businesses to immediately write-off fifty percent of the cost of business equipment and machinery. This bonus depreciation provision has been extended for 2008 and 2009 in two separate stimulus bills. In addition, Wilson spearheaded the Drafting Teacher Recruitment and Retention Act of 2003, which offers higher education loan forgiveness to math, science and special education teachers in schools with a predominantly low income student population. He cites as his most important vote the Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003.
Joe and his wife Roxanne Dusenbury McCrory Wilson have four sons and six grandchildren. His oldest son Alan McCrory Wilson is the current Attorney General for the state of South Carolina. He is also a lawyer and a Major in the Army National Guard, having served a year as an intelligence officer in southern Iraq .Addison G. "Add" Wilson, Jr. is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and is now a Lieutenant and graduate of the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences medical school. Julian Dusenbury Wilson is a graduate of Clemson University and is a Captain in the Army National Guard. Hunter Taylor Wilson currently attends Clemson University, where he is a member of the Army ROTC, Army National Guard and the Sigma Chi Fraternity. All four of his sons have obtained the rank of Eagle Scouts in the Boy Scouts of America.
In an 2005 guest article on Rediff.com, Wilson stated that his father Hugh was a member of the Flying Tigers in World War II. The Wilson family attends First Presbyterian Church in Columbia.
Wilson has been a member and former President or Chairman of the Cayce-West Columbia Rotary Club, Sheriff's Department Law Enforcement Advisory Council, Reserve Officers Association, Lexington County Historical Society, County Community and Resource Development Committee, American Heart Association, Mid-Carolina Mental Health Association, and NationsBank Lexington Advisory Board.
He has been a board member of the Cayce-West Columbia Jaycees, Kidney Foundation, SC Lung Association, Alston-Wilkes Society, and Cayce-West Columbia Chamber of Commerce. Wilson has also has been a member of the Columbia World Affairs Council, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Sinclair Lodge 154, Jamil Temple, Woodmen of the World, Sons of Confederate Veterans, Military Order of the World Wars, Springdale Elementary, Fulmer Middle and Airport High School PTAs, American Legislative Exchange Council, Lexington Chamber of Commerce, Greater Irmo Chamber of Commerce, Chapin Chamber of Commerce, West Metro Chamber of Commerce, Navy League, Amvets, Association of the US Army, National Guard Association, Air Force Association, Fourteenth Air Force Association, the Yorktown Association, SC Homebuilders Association, American Legion Guignard Post, 40 & 8, Lexington and Dutch Fork Republican Women's Clubs (Associate), and Executive Council of Indian Waters Council Boy Scouts of America.
February 7th, 2012