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David Ross Obey (/ˈoʊbiː/ OH-bee; born October 3, 1938)[1] is a former United States Representative. Obey served in the House of Representatives for Wisconsin's 7th congressional district
Wisconsin's 7th congressional district
from 1969 to 2011. The district includes much of the northwestern portion of the state, including Wausau and Superior. He is a member of the Democratic Party, and served as Chairman of the powerful House Committee on Appropriations from 1994 to 1995 and again from 2007 to 2011. He is the longest-serving member ever of the United States House of Representatives from the state of Wisconsin. On May 5, 2010, Obey announced that he would not seek reelection to Congress in November 2010. He left Congress in January 2011, and was succeeded by Republican Sean Duffy. He began working for Gephardt Government Affairs, a lobbying firm founded by former U.S. House Majority Leader Dick Gephardt, in June 2011.[2]

Contents

1 Early life, education and career 2 Early political career 3 U.S. House of Representatives

3.1 Tenure 3.2 Education 3.3 Healthcare

4 Political campaigns

4.1 2008 4.2 2010

5 Books 6 References 7 External links

Early life, education and career[edit] Obey was born in Okmulgee, Oklahoma, the son of Mary Jane (née Chellis) and Orville John Obey.[3] Soon after his birth, his family moved back to his parents' native Wisconsin, and Obey was raised in Wausau, Wisconsin, where he has lived since.[3] He graduated from Wausau East High School
Wausau East High School
and received his Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from and did his graduate work in Soviet politics[4] at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Before serving in Congress, Obey worked as a real estate broker. Early political career[edit] Obey grew up as a Republican. However, he was so angered after seeing his teachers falsely branded as Communists by backers of Joseph McCarthy that he became a Democrat in the mid-1950s, sometime between the ages of 16 and 18.[5] He was elected to the Wisconsin
Wisconsin
State Assembly in 1963 and served there until 1969. U.S. House of Representatives[edit] Tenure[edit] Obey was the longest-serving member of either house of Congress in Wisconsin's history. He was also the third longest-serving member of the House, after fellow Democrats John Dingell
John Dingell
and John Conyers, both of Michigan. In Congress, Obey chaired the commission to write the House's Code of Ethics. Among the reforms he instituted was one requiring members of the House to disclose their personal financial dealings so the public would be made aware of any potential conflicts of interest. Obey served as chairman of the House Appropriations Committee
House Appropriations Committee
from 2007 to 2011; he briefly chaired this committee from 1994 to 1995 and served as its ranking Democrat from 1995 to 2007. He also chaired its Subcommittee on Labor. Obey was one of the most liberal members of the House; he considers himself a progressive in the tradition of Robert La Follette.[6] Obey had risen to the position of fifth ranking House Democrat since his party retook control of Congress. Obey also is remembered for being the congressman who intervened when fellow Democrat Harold Ford, Jr.
Harold Ford, Jr.
approached Republican Jean Schmidt
Jean Schmidt
on the House floor in 2005. Ford was upset because Schmidt had called Congressman John Murtha
John Murtha
a coward for advocating a redeployment of American forces in Iraq. Obey holds a critical view of the mainstream American news media, as evidenced by his words on June 13, 2008, upon the sudden death of NBC News Washington Bureau Chief Tim Russert. Obey said of Russert: "Tim Russert's death is not just a body blow for NBC News; it is a body blow for the nation and for anyone who cherishes newsmen and women who have remained devoted to reporting hard news in an era increasingly consumed by trivia."[7] Dave Obey
Dave Obey
announced an end to his congressional career on May 5, 2010, with press releases being released on May 6. ."[8] Education[edit] On June 30, 2010, Obey proposed an amendment to a supplemental war spending bill that would allocate $10 billion to prevent expected teacher layoffs from school districts nationwide. The amendment, which passed the House on July 1, 2010, proposed siphoning off $500 million from the Race to the Top fund as well as $300 million designated for charter schools and teacher incentive pay.[9] In response, the White House released a statement threatening a veto if the bill is passed by the Senate.[10] Healthcare[edit] On March 21, 2010, Obey swung the same gavel used to pass Medicare in 1965, but this time to pass the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.[11][12] Political campaigns[edit] Obey was elected to the House to replace eight-term incumbent Republican Melvin R. Laird, who was appointed Secretary of Defense under President Richard Nixon. Obey, only 30 when he was elected, became the youngest member of Congress upon taking his seat, as well as the first Democrat ever to represent the district. He was elected to a full term in 1970 and was reelected 18 times. He only faced serious opposition twice. In 1972, during his bid for a second full term, his district was merged with the neighboring 10th District of Republican Alvin O'Konski, a 15-term incumbent. However, Obey retained 60 percent of his former territory, and was handily reelected in subsequent contests. In 1994, Obey only won reelection by seven points as the Democrats lost control of the House during the Republican Revolution. 2008[edit] See also: United States House of Representatives
United States House of Representatives
elections in Wisconsin, 2008 2010[edit] Obey was expected to run in 2010, having raised a warchest of $1.4 million. However, Obey was facing tough poll numbers in his district, plus his age and the death of close colleague John Murtha
John Murtha
and his frustration with the White House convinced him to bow out of the race.[13][14] Upon his retirement, the seat was won by Republican Sean Duffy, who defeated Democratic State Senator Julie Lassa. Books[edit]

Foreword to Along Wisconsin’s Ice Age Trail by Eric Sherman and Andrew Hanson III (2008, University of Wisconsin
Wisconsin
Press) ISBN 978-0-299-22664-0 Raising Hell for Justice: The Washington Battles of a Heartland Progressive (2008, University of Wisconsin
Wisconsin
Press) ISBN 978-0-299-22540-7

References[edit]

^ "Obey, David R. 1938". Wisconsinhistory.org. 1938-10-03. Retrieved 2010-08-29.  ^ Politico (2011). David Obey heading to K Street. Retrieved June 3, 2011. ^ a b Obey, David R. (2007). Raising hell for justice: the Washington battles of a heartland progressive. Wisconsin: University of Wisconsin Press. pp. 9–11. ISBN 0-299-22540-2.  ^ "Biography of David R. Obey". The Online Office of Congressman David R. Obey. Archived from the original on 2010-04-07. Retrieved 2010-04-15.  ^ [1] ^ "Biography of David R. Obey". The Online Office of Congressman David R. Obey. Archived from the original on 2009-05-12. Retrieved 2009-05-19.  ^ "Reactions To Tim Russert's Passing". CBS News. 2008-06-13.  ^ "Dave Obey's Retirement Statement". The Chippewa Herald. 2010-05-06.  ^ Anderson, Nick (2010-06-30). "Lawmaker wants to shift some 'Race to the Top' funds to prevent teacher layoffs". Washington Post.  ^ Anderson, Nick (2010-07-02). "Obama's education program faces $500M cut despite veto threat". Washington Post.  ^ "House Passes Health Reform". CBS News. 2010-03-21.  ^ Paul Begala (2010-03-21). "Hallelujah!". Huffington Post.  ^ [2] ^ Rutenberg, Jim; Zeleny, Jeff (November 3, 2010). "Republican Game Plan Led to Historic Victory". The New York Times. 

External links[edit]

Biography at the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress Profile at Project Vote Smart Financial information (federal office) at the Federal Election Commission Profile at the Democratic Party of Wisconsin A Hard-Edged Cheesehead and the Power of the Purse, Silla Brush, U.S. News & World Report, July 8, 2007 BBC World News America interview with David Obey on his retirement Appearances on C-SPAN

U.S. House of Representatives

Preceded by Melvin Laird Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Wisconsin's 7th congressional district 1969–2011 Succeeded by Sean Duffy

Preceded by William Natcher Chair of the House Appropriations Committee 1994–1995 Succeeded by Bob Livingston

Preceded by Jerry Lewis Chair of the House Appropriations Committee 2007–2011 Succeeded by Hal Rogers

v t e

Chairmen of the United States House Committee on Appropriations

Stevens Washburne Dawes Garfield Randall Clymer Holman Atkins Hiscock Randall J. Cannon Holman Sayers J. Cannon Hemenway Tawney Fitzgerald Sherley Good Davis Madden Anthony Wood Byrns Buchanan Taylor C. Cannon Taber C. Cannon Taber C. Cannon Mahon Whitten Natcher Obey Livingston Young Lewis Obey Rogers Frelinghuysen

v t e

Wisconsin's delegation(s) to the 91st–111th United States Congresses (ordered by seniority)

91st Senate: W. Proxmire • G. Nelson House: A. O'Konski • J. Byrnes • C. Zablocki • M. Laird • H. Reuss • R. Kastenmeier • V. Thomson • G. Davis • H. Schadeberg • W. Steiger • D. Obey Note: Melvin Laird
Melvin Laird
resigned on January 21, 1969. Dave Obey
Dave Obey
was elected on April 1, 1969.

92nd Senate: W. Proxmire • G. Nelson House: A. O'Konski • J. Byrnes • C. Zablocki • H. Reuss • R. Kastenmeier • V. Thomson • G. Davis • W. Steiger • D. Obey • L. Aspin

93rd Senate: W. Proxmire • G. Nelson House: C. Zablocki • H. Reuss • R. Kastenmeier • V. Thomson • G. Davis • W. Steiger • D. Obey • L. Aspin • H. Froehlich

94th Senate: W. Proxmire • G. Nelson House: C. Zablocki • H. Reuss • R. Kastenmeier • W. Steiger • D. Obey • L. Aspin • A. Baldus • R. Cornell • B. Kasten

95th Senate: W. Proxmire • G. Nelson House: C. Zablocki • H. Reuss • R. Kastenmeier • W. Steiger • D. Obey • L. Aspin • A. Baldus • R. Cornell • B. Kasten

96th Senate: W. Proxmire • G. Nelson House: C. Zablocki • H. Reuss • R. Kastenmeier • D. Obey • L. Aspin • A. Baldus • T. Roth • J. Sensenbrenner • T. Petri

97th Senate: W. Proxmire • B. Kasten House: C. Zablocki • H. Reuss • R. Kastenmeier • D. Obey • L. Aspin • T. Roth • J. Sensenbrenner • T. Petri • S. Gunderson

98th Senate: W. Proxmire • B. Kasten House: C. Zablocki (until Dec. 1983) • R. Kastenmeier • D. Obey • L. Aspin • T. Roth • J. Sensenbrenner • T. Petri • S. Gunderson • J. Moody • J. Kleczka (from Apr. 1984)

99th Senate: W. Proxmire • B. Kasten House: R. Kastenmeier • D. Obey • L. Aspin • T. Roth • J. Sensenbrenner • T. Petri • S. Gunderson • J. Moody • J. Kleczka

100th Senate: W. Proxmire • B. Kasten House: R. Kastenmeier • D. Obey • L. Aspin • T. Roth • J. Sensenbrenner • T. Petri • S. Gunderson • J. Moody • J. Kleczka

101st Senate: B. Kasten • H. Kohl House: R. Kastenmeier • D. Obey • L. Aspin • T. Roth • J. Sensenbrenner • T. Petri • S. Gunderson • J. Moody • J. Kleczka

102nd Senate: B. Kasten • H. Kohl House: D. Obey • L. Aspin • T. Roth • J. Sensenbrenner • T. Petri • S. Gunderson • J. Moody • J. Kleczka • S. Klug

103rd Senate: H. Kohl • R. Feingold House: D. Obey • L. Aspin • T. Roth • J. Sensenbrenner • T. Petri • S. Gunderson • J. Kleczka • S. Klug • T. Barrett • P. Barca Les Aspin
Les Aspin
resigned January 20, 1993. Peter Barca gets elected on May 4, 1993 to finish term.

104th Senate: H. Kohl • R. Feingold House: D. Obey • T. Roth • J. Sensenbrenner • T. Petri • S. Gunderson • J. Kleczka • S. Klug • T. Barrett • M. Neumann

105th Senate: H. Kohl • R. Feingold House: D. Obey • J. Sensenbrenner • T. Petri • J. Kleczka • S. Klug • T. Barrett • M. Neumann • J. W. Johnson • R. Kind

106th Senate: H. Kohl • R. Feingold House: D. Obey • J. Sensenbrenner • T. Petri • J. Kleczka • R. Kind • T. Baldwin • M. Green • P. Ryan

107th Senate: H. Kohl • R. Feingold House: D. Obey • J. Sensenbrenner • T. Petri • J. Kleczka • R. Kind • T. Baldwin • M. Green • P. Ryan

108th Senate: H. Kohl • R. Feingold House: D. Obey • J. Sensenbrenner • T. Petri • J. Kleczka • R. Kind • T. Baldwin • M. Green • P. Ryan

109th Senate: H. Kohl • R. Feingold House: D. Obey • J. Sensenbrenner • T. Petri • R. Kind • T. Baldwin • M. Green • P. Ryan • G. Moore

110th Senate: H. Kohl • R. Feingold House: D. Obey • J. Sensenbrenner • T. Petri • R. Kind • T. Baldwin • P. Ryan • G. Moore • S. Kagen

111th Senate: H. Kohl • R. Feingold House: D. Obey • J. Sensenbrenner • T. Petri • R. Kind • T. Baldwin • P. Ryan • G. Moore • S. Kagen

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 72760011 LCCN: n83004247 ISNI: 0000 0001 0987 1206 GND: 13392971X US Congress: O000

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