In November 2006, the people of Alabama's First District voted to return Congressman Jo Bonner to the House of Representatives for a third term with 68 percent of the vote.
In February 2008, Bonner was appointed to the House Committee on Appropriations to fill the vacancy created when former U.S. Rep. Roger Wicker (R-MS) was appointed to the U.S. Senate At a time when fiscal discipline is under intense scrutiny, the Steering Committee entrusted Bonner with the seat to help reform the earmark process and restore fiscal credibility to Washington As the newest member of the Appropriations Committee, Bonner's priority is to serve as a vigilant guardian of the taxpayers' money, helping to eliminate wasteful and questionable spending Bonner was named to the Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee as well as the Legislative Branch Subcommittee.
In addition to the Appropriations Committee, Bonner will continue to serve on the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct, more commonly known as the Ethics Committee With the topic of ethics at the forefront of so many discussions in Washington, Bonner was tapped by his peers at the beginning of the 110th Congress to serve on the committee that has jurisdiction over matters relating to the Code of Official Conduct Bonner also serves on the Committee on the Budget. Bonner will continue to serve as an assistant on the Republican Whip Team, a position to which he was named by Republican Whip Roy Blunt (R-MO) as an incoming freshman in the 108th Congress Bonner also serves on the Republican Policy Committee, which provides the forum for members to develop legislative initiatives and establish party policies, a more important responsibility now that Republicans are in the minority.
A hallmark of Bonner's term in office has been a constituent-first approach, as evidenced by a staff that continues to give nothing short of 110 percent effort In fact, Mobile's Press-Register recently noted, "In his six years in Congress, the Mobile Republican has earned a reputation as a tireless and effective advocate for his constituents in southwest Alabama."
Congressman Bonner came to office at a time when south Alabama's economy was struggling However, during his tenure, the Alabama unemployment rate has fallen steadily, reaching record lows, and today, it is considerably lower than the national rate During the past six years, he, in coordination with local and state leaders, has been proactive in helping to successfully attract new industries to the First District instilling growth and creativity as we move further into the 21st century Bonner has worked aggressively alongside Alabama Governor Bob Riley recruiting several significant economic projects to the state – projects that will continue to fuel the economic engine of Alabama for generations to come.
Just last year, one of the largest private industrial development projects in the United States – ThyssenKrupp's $3.7 billion steel plant – was announced for Alabama's First District Recently, the Air Force awarded the Northrop Grumman/EADS team the contract to build the KC-45 Aerial Refueling Tanker Throughout this process, the city of Mobile, the state of Alabama, and the entire Gulf Coast region garnered worldwide attention for an emerging aerospace industry Some of Alabama's newest corporate partners, including Airbus, EADS and Northrop Grumman are letting people around the world come to identify our city and our state with aerospace excellence.
Born in Selma and reared in the town of Camden in rural Wilcox County, Bonner grew up in a family where public service was looked upon as an obligation, not an option. His father, the late Judge Josiah Robins Bonner, led Wilcox County during the tense 1960s and early 1970s. Other relatives, including his grandmother and great-uncle, served with distinction in both local and state government. His mother, an Army nurse during World War II, was often seen volunteering at local blood drives.
A congressional staffer for 18 years, Bonner served as both press secretary and chief of staff to his predecessor, former Congressman Sonny Callahan In 1997, he and his family moved back to southwest Alabama where he became one of the few congressional chiefs of staff to reside in the district.
Upon returning home, Bonner became active in the life of Mobile and southwest Alabama. Today, he is a member of the Rotary Club of Mobile, the Mobile Lions Club, Mobile United and the Touchdown Club Additionally, he serves as a member of the University of Mobile's President's Advisory Council, the advisory board for the Salvation Army, and the board of community advisors for the Junior League of Mobile He has also served as a member of the board of directors for the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce, Rotary Club, Leadership Mobile and the Mobile Chapter of The University of Alabama Alumni Association.
In 2000, the College of Communications at the University of Alabama honored him as their Outstanding Alumnus in Public Relations. He was a member of Leadership Mobile, Class of 2000, where his classmates elected him co-president.
Jo Bonner is married to the former Janée Lambert of Mobile. They are parents of a daughter, Jennifer Lee, age 13, and a son, Josiah Robins, III, age 10. The Bonners make their home in Mobile and are members of St. Paul's Episcopal Church.