Steven Joseph "Steve" Chabot (born January 22, 1953) is the U.S. Representative for Ohio's 1st congressional district. He is a member of the Republican Party. He previously represented the district from 1995 to 2009.
Early life, education, and pre-political career
Chabot was born in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1953 to Gerard Joseph and Doris Leona (née Tilly) Chabot. He was raised and remains a Roman Catholic. He graduated from La Salle High School in Cincinnati, and then from the College of William and Mary in 1975, earning a B.A.
in history. He went on to obtain a Juris Doctor degree from Northern Kentucky University's Salmon P. Chase College of Law, in Highland Heights, Kentucky, in 1978. He worked as an elementary school teacher in 1975–1976 while taking law classes at night.
As a practicing attorney from 1978 to 1994, Chabot was a sole practitioner, operating out of small law office in Westwood such as domestic disputes and the drafting of wills.
Early political career
Chabot ran unsuccessfully for the Cincinnati City Council as an independent candidate in 1979 and as a Republican in 1983. Then, running as a Republican, he won a seat in 1985 and was re-elected in 1987 and 1989.
In 1988, he ran for the U.S. House of Representatives against seven-term incumbent Democrat Tom Luken, who defeated Chabot 56%-44%. After that, he was appointed a Commissioner of Hamilton County, Ohio in 1990, and was elected later that year and again in 1992, staying until 1994.
U.S. House of Representatives
In 1994, he ran for the U.S. House again and defeated Democratic incumbent David S.
Mann of Ohio's 1st congressional district, 56%-44%. The race was over balanced budgets and abortion. In 1996, Chabot was a top target from Democrats, but he defeated Democrat Mark Longabaugh, member of the Cincinnati City Council, 54%-43%. In 1998, he defeated popular Cincinnati Mayor Roxanne Qualls, 53% to 47%. In the series of debates during that campaign, Qualls criticized Chabot for not funneling enough federal spending back to his home district. Chabot countered that he would not support "wasteful or unnecessary" federal programs. In 2000, he defeated City Councilman and Harvard graduate John Cranley 53%-44%. In 2002, he defeated Greg Harris, with 65% of the vote. In 2004, he defeated Greg Harris again, with 60% of the vote.
Chabot had a conservative voting record and was a member of the Republican Study Committee.
Chabot served as one of 12 "managers" in the Senate Impeachment trial for President Bill Clinton.
As Chairman of the House Subcommittee on the Constitution, Chabot authored the legislation to ban the practice of partial-birth abortion. President George W.
Bush signed the bill into law on November 5, 2003.
Chabot is a strong advocate for fiscal responsibility, and has pursued a fiscally conservative standard for the government. Anti-tax advocacy groups such as Citizens Against Government Waste, the Concord Coalition, and the National Taxpayers Union consistently rated Chabot as one of the most anti-tax members of Congress.
Chabot's work in Congress included the elimination of logging subsidies in the Tongass National Forest in Alaska, co-sponsored the Voting Rights Act reauthorization, and promoted relations with Taiwan. Chabot opposes abortion except if the mother's life is in danger or in cases of rape and incest. Chabot authorized a bill, which passed the House but not the Senate, to make it illegal to take a minor across state lines for an abortion. Chabot has voted to restrict federal funding for embryonic stem cell research.
In 2002, Chabot helped spearhead the local campaign against building a light rail system in Hamilton County. In that same year, Chabot and John Boehner advocated teaching intelligent design alongside the theory of evolution by natural selection in Ohio high schools.
Chabot was a staunch advocate of a federal prohibition of online poker. In 2006, he cosponsored H.R. 4777, the Internet Gambling Prohibition and Enforcement Act, and voted for H.R. 4411, the Goodlatte-Leach Internet Gambling Prohibition Act. In 2007, Chabot voted against the reauthorization of the State Children's Health Insurance Plan (S-CHIP) which would have expanded S-CHIP to cover four million more participants. The bill passed the House and Senate, however President Bush vetoed the bill on October 3, 2007. Chabot voted against the veto-override.
Chabot conducted a Town Hall meeting with his constituents on August 22, 2011 where video cameras were banned. During the meeting two citizens had video cameras seized by a police officer. The incident was captured by one of the seized cameras and by press cameras that were allowed to record the meeting. A Chabot spokesman stated that video cameras will be allowed at the next town hall meeting.
The group Republicans for Environmental Protection issued Chabot an "environmental harm demerit" in 2006 for contributing to urban sprawl by sponsoring H.R. 4772, a bill that allows land use disputes to proceed immediately to federal court; according to the organization, the bill "would have undermined local control over local planning and zoning matters, a central principle of America's federal system." In the same year, the group praised Chabot for offering legislation "prohibiting the Forest Service from spending taxpayer dollars to build new logging roads for private interests in the Tongass National Forest. The nonpartisan League of Conservation Voters gave Chabot a grade of 10% for the 109th Congress, noting that he voted "anti-environment" on 11 out of 12 issues selected by that organization as crucial; his lifetime grade from the LCV is 23%.
In June 2007, Chabot sponsored an amendment to block federally-funded road building in Tongass National Forest. Proponents of the amendment said that the federal timber program in Tongass is a dead loss for taxpayers, costing some $30 million annually, and noted that the Forest Service faces an estimated $900 million road maintenance backlog in the forest. Supporters of the bipartisan amendment included the Republicans for Environmental Protection. Of the bill, Representative Chabot said "I am not opposed to logging when it's done on the timber company's dime...But in this case, they are using the American taxpayer to subsidize these 200 jobs at the tune of $200,000 per job. That just makes no sense".
Chabot was a longtime critic of pork barrel spending and of federal funding for the arts. "I wasn't sent up here to bring pork back to my district" he told the Cincinnati Post in 1995. In previous Congresses, he has cosponsored bills that would have abolished the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities. However, the fiscal 2007 Labor HHS Education appropriations bill did include $1.6 million in earmarks for the Cincinnati Museum Center, the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Xavier University, the University of Cincinnati and the Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center. All five organizations have members on their board of directors who are also members of Chabot's inner circle of contributors and fundraisers.
Gary Lindgren, Chabot's chief of staff, said that "there's not a connection" between the donations and the earmarks. Lindgren said the earmarks are for major institutions where it would be expected that board members would be politically active. "You could look at almost any district, and the people who sit on boards of museums and institutions will be wealthy and donate to campaigns", said Tom Schatz, president of Citizens Against Government Waste. Schatz noted that Chabot has won high marks from CAGW in the past.
Chabot and his wife Donna have two children.
January 11th, 2012