Timothy Peter "Tim" Johnson (born December 28, 1946) is the senior U.S. Senator from South Dakota, serving since 1997. He is a member of the Democratic Party. He previously served as the U.S. Representative for South Dakota's At-large congressional district from 1987 to 1997, and in the state legislature from 1979 to 1986.
Tim Johnson was born in Canton, South Dakota to Ruth Jorinda Ljostveit and Vandel Charles Johnson.Raised in Vermillion, Johnson earned a B.A. in 1969 and an M.A. post-graduate studies at Michigan State University from 1970 to 1971 during which time he worked for the Michigan State Senate, he earned his J.D. from the University of South Dakota in 1975. Immediately after earning his law degree, he went into private practice.
in 1970 from the University of South Dakota, where he was a member of the Delta Tau Delta fraternity. After doing
Johnson served in the South Dakota House of Representatives from 1979 to 1982 and in the South Dakota Senate from 1983 to 1986. Johnson served as Clay County deputy state's attorney in 1985 during his tenure in the South Dakota Senate.
Johnson was elected to the United States House of Representatives from South Dakota's At-large congressional district in 1986. During his first term, he introduced more legislation than any other freshman member of the House.Between 1991 and 1994, he served as a regional whip for the Democratic Party. He left the House in 1997, when he took up his newly acquired Senate seat.
While in the House, Johnson was among the minority of his party to vote in favor of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 – a welfare reform bill – and another bill to repeal the Federal Assault Weapons Ban. He was among the minority of Democrats to vote for President George W.
Bush's 2001 tax cut. On January 31, 2006, Johnson was one of only four Democrats to vote to confirm Judge Samuel Alito to the U.S. Supreme Court. He has also called for "broadened use" of the death penalty. Johnson was, however, among the minority of senators to vote against the Unborn Victims of Violence Act, which was strongly supported by pro-life groups. While a member of the House, he was one of only 16 congressmen to vote against the Telecom Act of 1996, which provided for deregulation and competition in the communication sector and was given firm support by Republicans, business groups, and most Democrats. In May 2007, Johnson received an Honored Cooperator award from the National Cooperative Business Association (NCBA) for his support of cooperative businesses. Paul Hazen, NCBA president, made the presentation to Johnson’s staff at the NCBA annual meeting in Arlington, Virginia. Hazen praised Johnson for consistently supporting the Rural Cooperative Development Grants (RCDG) program which, typically funded at $6 million annually, is the only federal grants program devoted solely to forming and expanding co-ops. Johnson supported President Barack Obama's health reform legislation; he voted for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in December 2009, and he voted for the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010. In May 2010, Johnson introduced the Tony Dean Cheyenne River Valley Conservation Act of 2010, a bill that would designate over 48,000 acres (190 km2) of the Buffalo Gap National Grassland as protected wilderness. The act would allow the continuation of grazing and hunting on the land and would create the first national grassland wilderness in the country. On December 18, 2010, Johnson voted in favor of the Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal Act of 2010.
Tim Johnson's elder son, Brooks, serves in the U.S. Army, making him the only Senator with a child in the U.S. Armed Forces when the United States invaded Iraq. Michael Moore stated in his film Fahrenheit 9/11 that only one member of the Senate had a son serving in the military at the time; Moore indicated on his web site that he was referring to Johnson, although he did not mention his name. However, Senators Kit Bond (R-MO) and Joe Biden (D-DE) had sons serving in the Armed Forces when the United States invaded Iraq. The sons of Congressman Duncan L. Hunter (R-CA), USMC Lieutenant Duncan D. Hunter, and the son of Joe Wilson (R-SC), Army National Guard Captain Alan Wilson, were both serving in Iraq. Additionally, Wilson had two more sons serving in the military, and four members of the House all had children serving in the military at the time. Members of Congress are actually 23% more likely than the average American to have a child serving in Iraq, even if members of Congress with minor children and childless members of Congress are lumped into the total.Johnson and his wife Barbara, a professional social worker, have another son, Brendan, the current United States Attorney for the District of South Dakota, and a daughter, Kelsey.
June 13th, 2011