David Dreier

David Dreier
Member of the
U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 26th district
Assumed office
January 3, 2003
Preceded by Howard Berman
Member of the
U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 28th district
In office
January 3, 1993 – January 3, 2003
Preceded by Julian Dixon
Succeeded by Howard Berman
Member of the
U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 33rd district
In office
January 3, 1983 – January 3, 1993
Preceded by Wayne Grisham
Succeeded by Lucille Roybal-Allard
Member of the
U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 35th district
In office
January 5, 1981 – January 5, 1983
Preceded by James F. Lloyd
Succeeded by Jerry Lewis
Chairman of the House Rules Committee
Assumed office
Preceded by Louise Slaughter
In office
Preceded by Gerald B. H. Solomon
Succeeded by Louise Slaughter
Personal details
Born July 5, 1952 (1952-07-05) (age 59)
Kansas City, Missouri, U.S.
Political party Republican
Residence San Dimas, California, U.S.
Alma mater Claremont Graduate University
Claremont McKenna College
Occupation Real estate executive
Religion Christian Science

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 business 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


Before 2004

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%. In 1980, Dreier ran again and defeated Lloyd 52% to 45%, winning on the coataiils of former California Governor Ronald Reagan's presidential election.[1] After the 1980 United States Census, his district was renumbered to the 33rd, and defeated U.S. Congressman Wayne Grisham in the Republican primary of 1982, 57% to 43%.[2] He won the 1982 general election with 65%.[3] He won re-election every two years after that with at least 57% of the vote until his 2004 re-election campaign. His district was renumbered to the 28th after the 1990 United States Census and to the 26th district after the 2000 United States Census.[4]

2004 election
Rep. David Dreier's congress photo for the 109th Congress.

In 2004, Dreier faced strong criticism on his stances on illegal immigration from opponent Cynthia Matthews.[5] 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.

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.[6]

In spite of outspending his opponent by nearly 2-1,[citation needed] his opponent's unpopularity in the Democratic Party, and representing a Republican-leaning district, Dreier won with 54% of the vote[7][8]

After 2004

In 2006, he won re-election in rematch against Matthews 57% to 38%, despite the fact Republicans lost the majority that year.[9] In 2008, Dreier won re-election against Democrat Russ Warner with 53% of the vote, his worst re-election performance of his career.[10][11] In 2010, he defeated Warner in a rematch with 54% of the vote.[12]

After the 2010 United States Census, a nonpartisan committee put Dreier and other longtime Republican U.S. Congressman Jerry Lewis into the newly drawn California's 31st congressional district.[13]


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. With the Republicans regaining control of the House in the 2010 midterm elections, Dreier is again Chairman for the 112th Congress.[14]

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.[15]

According to Roll Call magazine, Dreier has a personal fortune in excess of $7.5 million[16] and as much as $29 million, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.[17]

Dreier is a member of the Republican Main Street Partnership. He is a member of the board of directors of the International Republican Institute.[18]

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.[19]

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.[20]

Dreier's behavior during his visit to Colombia's Lower House Chamber on August 28, 2007[21] caused a stir among the nation's politicians and media. Dreier sat on the podium during a hearing before a gathering of local lawmakers[22] in the Chamber of Representatives of Colombia, seen by many as a sign of disrespect towards his Colombian counterparts.[23] 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."[24]

2005 House Leadership bid
Congressman David Dreier at the Walnut Family Festival Parade in Walnut, California. Photo by Frederick Nacino

Following the indictment of Tom DeLay on September 28, 2005, Dreier was widely expected to temporarily assume the position of House Majority Leader.[25] 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."[26]

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.”[27][28]

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.[29] Rep. John Boehner was later elected House Majority Leader.

Committee assignments

Caucus memberships

  • International Conservation Caucus
  • Sportsmen's Caucus
  • U.S.-Mexico Congressional Caucus (Co-Chair)
  • Zero Capital Gains Tax Caucus

Personal life

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.[30]

Sexual orientation

In the fall of 2004, journalist Doug Ireland claimed to "out" Dreier in print in L.A. Weekly, in its September 24–September 30, 2004 issue.[31][32] The L.A. Weekly printed that Dreier had had a romantic relationship with his longtime chief of staff, Brad W. Smith, who at the time collected a $156,600 government salary. Smith earned the highest possible salary allowed by law for a committee staff member[33] and was reportedly the highest-paid chief of staff working for any House of Representatives committee chair. ("By comparison," wrote Ireland, "the chief of staff to the chair of the House Judiciary Committee makes $126,000, while the chief of staff to the chair of the House Ways and Means Committee makes just $100,696.")[31][34][35]

The alleged "outing" was a result of Dreier coming under increasing scrutiny from gay rights groups because of his voting record, which includes supporting the Defense of Marriage Act, as well as voting against gay adoption,[citation needed] and against inclusion of homosexuals as a protected class in hate crime. However, he did vote for employment discrimination legislation to protect against discrimination based on sexual orientation in 2007.[36]

Dreier's 1998 and 2000 Democratic opponent, Janice Nelson, alleged that his relationship with Smith had been an open secret for many years. His 2004 opponent, Cynthia Matthews, came out of the closet and demanded that Dreier do the same. Dreier did not publicly respond to these charges, which were discussed on local radio programs in his district. At the time, the mainstream U.S. print media did not cover the story (although the controversy was later, in June 2005, addressed in the British press[37] after it was announced that British prime minister Tony Blair's son Euan would work as an unpaid intern for Dreier's committee during the summer of 2005).

Amid the controversy, Dreier voted against the Federal Marriage Amendment on September 30, 2004. He explained his opposition to the amendment by stating that he felt the Constitution was not the appropriate tool for restricting rights.[citation needed]

Dreier voted against the Matthew Shepard Act and voted against the repeal of the U.S. military's "Don't Ask. Don't Tell" policy. In December 2010, Dreier voted in favor of repealing the policy in a standalone bill.[38]

On September 6, 2007, blogger Mike Rogers allegedly outed Dreier on Talk of the Nation on NPR. The topic of the program was "The Ethics of Outing."[39]

External links


  1. ^ http://www.ourcampaigns.com/RaceDetail.html?RaceID=48772
  2. ^ http://www.ourcampaigns.com/RaceDetail.html?RaceID=224952
  3. ^ http://www.ourcampaigns.com/RaceDetail.html?RaceID=36760
  4. ^ http://www.ourcampaigns.com/CandidateDetail.html?CandidateID=766
  5. ^ http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/news/local/states/california/northern_california/10181726.htm?1c
  6. ^ http://www.calblog.com/archives/004099.html
  7. ^ "California". CNN. http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2004/pages/results/states/CA/. Retrieved May 1, 2010. 
  8. ^ http://www.ourcampaigns.com/RaceDetail.html?RaceID=4030
  9. ^ http://www.ourcampaigns.com/RaceDetail.html?RaceID=201487
  10. ^ http://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/sov/2008_general/23_34_us_reps.pdf
  11. ^ http://www.ourcampaigns.com/RaceDetail.html?RaceID=334924
  12. ^ http://www.ourcampaigns.com/RaceDetail.html?RaceID=488359
  13. ^ http://www.ourcampaigns.com/RaceDetail.html?RaceID=740838
  14. ^ [1]
  15. ^ "Claremont McKenna Board of Trustees". Archived from the original on May 11, 2008. http://web.archive.org/web/20080511070046/http%3A//www.claremontmckenna.edu/about/trustees/. Retrieved 2008-08-29. 
  16. ^ David Dreier
  17. ^ David Dreier: Campaign Finance/ Money. Retrieved February 3, 2009.
  18. ^ International Republican Institute web site, accessed July 16, 2010.
  19. ^ www.escapingjustice.com
  20. ^ Gorman, Anna (May 17, 2008). "Tax rebate exclusions prompt protest". The Los Angeles Times. http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-rebate17-2008may17,0,1261201.story. 
  21. ^ Associated Press, 28 August 2007
  22. ^ Associated Press and Johnny Hoyos at http://www.daylife.com/photo/01K16Q94hKb6H[dead link]
  23. ^ ""Desplante" de congresista gringo en plenaria de la Cámara". Caracol Radio (Caracol). 2007-08-29. http://www.caracol.com.co/noticias/472864.asp. Retrieved 2007-08-29. "Como un desplante fuera de las normas protocolarias y de cortesía fue calificada la intervención de un congresista de Estados Unidos en la plenaria realizada el martes por la Cámara de Representantes" 
  24. ^ LA Times blogs at: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/washington/2007/09/don-heres-your-.html, Reuters story no longer archived.
  25. ^ [2][dead link]
  26. ^ Lochhead, Carolyn (September 29, 2005). "Californian looked likely, but Missouri lawmaker takes DeLay post". The San Francisco Chronicle. http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2005/09/29/MNGTOEVN6P1.DTL&hw=dreier&sn=001&sc=1000. 
  27. ^ The Raw Story: Republicans rebuffed congressman in part due to speculation he was gay, congressman and reporters say
  28. ^ Advocate.com - Barney Frank: Dreier's orientation cost him the House leadership
  29. ^ CNN.com - DeLay blasts indictment, prosecutor — Sep 29, 2005
  30. ^ David Dreier, CQ's Politics in America 2006, 109th Congress, Congressional Quarterly Publications (2006)
  31. ^ a b LA Weekly - News - The Outing - Doug Ireland - The Essential Online Resource for Los Angeles
  32. ^ LA Weekly - News - Quiet, Dear - Doug Ireland - The Essential Online Resource for Los Angeles
  33. ^ The Blue Lemur - Progressive Politics and Media News » Chief of Staff alleged to have lived with Dreier has unusually high salary
  34. ^ The Raw Story | Anti-gay congressman David Dreier, said gay, 'lived with male chief of staff'
  35. ^ The Raw Story | Rep. David Dreier's challenger says she's a lesbian, and blasts Dreier's gay positions
  36. ^ Open Congress, House Roll Call Vote #1057 http://www.opencongress.org/roll_call/show/3965
  37. ^ White, Michael (June 27, 2005). "Euan Blair gets job in US as an intern". The Guardian (London). http://politics.guardian.co.uk/labour/story/0,9061,1515389,00.html. Retrieved May 1, 2010. 
  38. ^ http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2010/roll638.xml
  39. ^ NPR: Debating the Ethics of 'Outing'
United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
James F. Lloyd
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 35th congressional district

Succeeded by
Jerry Lewis
Preceded by
Wayne R. Grisham
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 33rd congressional district

Succeeded by
Lucille Roybal-Allard
Preceded by
Julian C. Dixon
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 28th congressional district

Succeeded by
Howard Berman
Preceded by
Howard Berman
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 26th congressional district

Political offices
Preceded by
Gerald B. H. Solomon
New York
Chairman of House Rules Committee
Succeeded by
Louise Slaughter
New York
Preceded by
Louise Slaughter
New York
Chairman of House Rules Committee
Succeeded by
United States order of precedence
Preceded by
Tom Petri
United States Representatives by seniority
Succeeded by
Barney Frank

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