America’s New Congress is filled with hundreds of Members and thousands of stories. Each week, GOP.gov will introduce you to a new House Republican with “10 Questions.”
This week’s Featured Member is Rep. John Ratcliffe, who represents the 4th Congressional District of Texas. Rep. Ratcliffe serves on the House Committees on Homeland Security and Judiciary. On the Homeland Security Committee, he serves as Chairman of the Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection, and Security Technologies.
Prior to serving in Congress, Ratcliffe was a U.S. Attorney and also Mayor of Heath, Texas. He was sworn into Congress on January 6, 2015.
1. What motivates you to serve the people of your district in Congress?
What motivates me is that I love this country and I enjoy public service. Life is too short not to do the important things that you enjoy doing. If I ever do need to look for motivation to represent more than 700,000 Texans, it will be time for me to do something else.
2. What’s one piece of advice that has helped shape the course of your life?
I’m one of six kids. My Dad used to say this to all of us–“Choosing the right path in life sometimes means choosing the most difficult one.” I’ve repeated that to myself often throughout my life–including when I made the decision to run for Congress and some of my votes while up here.
3. When did you realize you were a Republican?
Two words. Ronald Reagan.
4. What were you most surprised about when you started serving in Congress?
I’m most surprised about how much time is spent walking underground around the Capitol building. We spend a lot of time walking around in tunnels. But I’m not complaining–I need the exercise.
5. What’s the most important — but under-reported — policy issue you work on?
I’ve been assigned to several great committees, and that gets a lot of press. However, my prime duty is to serve the good people of the fourth district of Texas. The daily work of my district staff rarely gets enough media coverage, but they are the most important part of my office. They are on the front line helping out constituents in a way that has a direct impact in the lives of the people I represent. I think the work of my district staff should get more attention than what goes on in Washington.
Now, the fun ones:
6. What was your first job?
A lifeguard at the local YMCA. I saved a little kid there one day. I’m pretty sure it was Aaron Schock–but he denies it.
7. What book are you currently reading?
I’m working my way through the 2,300 page novel called, “The Government Knows Best: How to Take Health Care Out of the Hands of Patients” written by Barack Obama and Congressional Democrats.
8. What is your favorite vacation destination?
Maui. My wife and I went there on our honeymoon and have since gone back there a number of times. We think it’s good luck–we’re going back again for our 25th anniversary later this year.
9. Where are you most likely to be seen dining when you’re home in your district?
Family is extremely important to me. With few exceptions over the last 16 years, the Ratcliffe family has spent every Friday night at the same table in Luigi’s Italian Restaurant in Rockwall, Texas.
10. What is your favorite professional sports team?
If “professional” means players that get paid, I’d probably go with one of the football teams from the SEC schools. Otherwise, it has to be America’s team, the Dallas Cowboys.
Want to learn more about Rep. Ratcliffe?