Congressman Wolf, the most senior of the 11 members of the House of Representatives from Virginia, is serving in his 14th term in Congress. He represents the 10th District of Virginia, which stretches from McLean to Winchester.
Congressman Wolf sits on the powerful House Appropriations Committee, where he is the senior Republican on the State and Foreign Operations subcommittee. He also serves on the Transportation and Housing and Urban Development subcommittee.
His committee assignment provides him with an ideal vantage point from which to address the varying needs of the10th District. The 10th District is home to some of the worldï¿½s leading Internet and high-tech companies, thousands of federal employees and other professionals. Agriculture and manufacturing also are an important part of the 10th Districtï¿½s economy. Clarke and Frederick counties in the western end of the District produce about half of Virginiaï¿½s apples and peaches; Henkel-Harris furniture and Rubbermaid have large manufacturing plants in the District. Tourism is important, too. Civil War battlefields, including Manassas National Battlefield Park, dot the 10th District. The Shenandoah Valley Battlefields National Historic District includes Fisher's Hill/Cedar Creek; Cross Keys/Port Republic; Second Winchester; Third Winchester/Opequon, and New Market. One of the nationï¿½s newest national parks is also in the 10th District. Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Park, established in 2002 through Congressman Wolf's efforts, will serve as a model for future parks because private landowners and organizations will continue to live, work and operate within the park's borders. Other major tourism draws are Skyline Drive in the Blue Ridge Mountains, the Shenandoah River, and the Appalachian Trail.
Congressman Wolf led the effort in Congress to establish the Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Heritage Area, which was created through legislation enacted in May 2008 This area will tie together all the rich historical and cultural sites along U.S. Route 15 from Thomas Jefferson's Monticello in Charlottesville north through Fauquier, Prince William and Loudoun counties to Gettysburg National Military Park in Pennsylvania.
From 2001- 2006, Congressman Wolf was the chairman of the then named Science-State-Justice-Commerce (SSJC) Appropriations subcommittee, which had jurisdiction over the Commerce Department, the State Department, the Justice Department, NASA, NIST, and the National Science Foundation. The FBI, DEA, U.S. Marshals Service, Federal Communications Commission, Federal Trade Commission, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Small Business Administration also were under the jurisdiction of the SSJC subcommittee before its jurisdiction was changed in 2007 when the Democrats regained majority control of the House.
During his tenure as SSJC chairman, Congressman Wolf pushed several initiatives, including the formation of the two anti-gang task forces operating in the region. Both the Northern Virginia Regional Gang Task Force and the Northern Shenandoah Valley Drug Task Force have made great strides in cracking down on gang-related crimes in the region. The task forces have taken a three-pronged approach to the problem: suppression, prevention and education, knowing that there is more to addressing the situation than just cracking down on violent gang members. Congressman Wolf also pushed for the creation of the National Gang Intelligence Center in the FBI, which allows law enforcement across the country to share information about gangs and gang violence, similar to the way data on organized crime is shared.
Congressman Wolf also used his chairmanship to ensure that America remains competitive in the 21st century marketplace. Recognizing that Americaï¿½s position as the worldï¿½s leader in technology and innovation is facing unprecedented challenges from countries like China and India, he called for ï¿½ and succeeded in ï¿½ devoting more federal dollars toward basic science research. He also proposed legislation to provide interest-free loans to math, engineering and physical science majors as a way to entice more students into the sciences. In 2006, the Science Coalition, an alliance of more than 400 organizations, institutions and individuals dedicated to promoting U.S. leadership in the sciences, awarded Congressman Wolf with its prestigious ï¿½Champion of Scienceï¿½ award for his efforts.
From 1995-2000, Congressman Wolf was the chairman of the Transportation Appropriations subcommittee. Congressman Wolf has long been recognized for his efforts to improve transportation in northern Virginia over the last 25 years. He worked to obtain full funding for the 103-mile Metro rail system and is leading the way to bring mass transit to Dulles airport and beyond. He pushed to lower car pool restrictions on I-66 inside the Beltway and to widen the highway outside the Beltway.He is now working to add an additional westbound lane inside the Beltway. He convinced the District of Columbia to set up the reversible lane on the Theodore Roosevelt Bridge during rush hours and has led the effort to improve safety and driving conditions on the George Washington Memorial Parkway, including the additional lane from Spout Run to the Roosevelt Bridge and guardrails on the Potomac River side of the Parkway. He is a leading advocate for telecommuting, in both the private sector and the federal government. Congressman Wolf also led the effort to place Ronald Reagan Washington National and Washington Dulles International airports under a regional authority, providing the capital to build a new terminal at Reagan National and vastly expand Dulles. The expansion of both airports has helped spur the region's economy over the last decade.
On the national level, when Congressman Wolf chaired the Transportation appropriations subcommittee, he made the issue of truck safety a priority. Particularly concerned about the number of truck-related highway deaths, he was instrumental in the creation of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to oversee the trucking industry. He also worked with Mothers Against Drunk Driving to enact a uniform national blood alcohol limit of .08 for drunk driving.
Congressman Wolf is one of the House's leading crusaders for human rights. He is the co-chairman of the Congressional Human Rights Caucus, a bipartisan organization of over 200 House members that identifies and works to alleviate human rights abuses worldwide.
Congressman Wolf believes members of Congress have an obligation to speak out for those who are persecuted around the world. He has traveled to Ethiopia, Sudan, Sierra Leone, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda and other countries in Africa to see firsthand the tremendous suffering of the people at the hands of corrupt governments, war, AIDS and famine. He led the first congressional delegation to Darfur in western Sudan to bring attention to the crisis there, later officially declared by the U.S. government as genocide. He also has worked to call attention to the human rights abuses and religious persecution in the People's Republic of China, Tibet, Romania, Nagorno-Karabakh, Chechnya, Bosnia, Kosovo, East Timor, and the Middle East.
Congressman Wolf's international travels have allowed him to see the destruction caused by terrorists. He has visited Lebanon, where in 1983 car bombs were used to destroy a U.S. Marine barracks, killing 241 Marines. He has been to Algeria, where more than 70,000 people have been killed by terrorists, and has traveled to Sudan ï¿½ which gave safe haven to Osama bin Laden for several years in the early 1990s ï¿½ five times, most recently in July 2004. He also has traveled to Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Jordan, Syria, Egypt and Israel.
In 1998, he authored the bill creating the National Commission on Terrorism. Chaired by L. Paul Bremer, President Ronald Reagan's counterterrorism czar, the commission closely examined the problem of terrorism, studying its origins and its key players. The commission also developed a policy response and made a number of wide-ranging recommendations when it released its report in June 2000. The report can be found at http://www.fas.org/irp/threat/commission.html.
Following his September 2005 trip to Iraq (click here for Trip Report), Congressman Wolf called for the creation of an independent, bipartisan panel to bring what he called ï¿½fresh eyesï¿½ to U.S. efforts in Iraq. The result was the establishment of the Iraq Study Group headed by James Baker and Lee Hamilton. The 10-member panel spent eight months developing a series of recommendations that were released in December 2006.
Congressman Wolf also is one of Congress's leading opponents of gambling, citing its destructive force on society and on children in particular. In 1997, he pushed for the creation of the National Gambling Impact Study Commission, which uncovered a myriad of destructive effects caused by gambling. The commission showed that as gambling has spread quickly throughout the country, it has had negative social and economic impacts on communities. When he saw the explosion of casino gambling on tribal lands and how the vast majority of Native Americans continue to suffer in abject poverty, he proposed legislation to examine U.S. policy toward Native Americans and develop policy recommendations to improve the welfare of tribes in the areas of health, economic development, housing and transportation infrastructure. He also called for a moratorium on the opening of any new tribal casinos and a halt to the federal recognition process of tribes until Congress can review the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act of 1988 and consider a reform package. Congressman Wolf also has worked to support laws to stop the proliferation of gambling on the Internet and on high school and college athletics. In addition, he also has worked to educate elected officials who potentially see legalized gambling as a quick fix to economic problems.
Congressman Wolf was born in 1939 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He received his B.A. degree from Penn State University in 1961 and his law degree from Georgetown University in 1965. He lives in Vienna with his wife, Carolyn. They have five adult children and 13 grandchildren.