House links: Wally Herger (R-CA-2)i
Campaign links: Retiring at end of current term
Walter William “Wally” Herger, Jr.
Biography of Congressman Wally Herger
Congressman Herger was born in Sutter County in 1945. He was raised on a cattle ranch in a small community called Rio Oso, located south of Yuba City/Marysville. Growing up, he worked on his family’s ranch, and was also involved in the family’s small business. He got his start in elected office as a member of the East Nicolaus School Board, serving there from [1976 to 1980]. He was elected to the California State Assembly in 1980, serving there until his election to the United States House of Representatives by the people of California’s Second Congressional District. In 2008, Herger was elected to his 12th term in Congress. He is married to Pamela, and they currently reside in Chico. They are the parents of nine children and have nine grandchildren.
Congressman Herger currently serves on the House Committee on Ways and Means, which has jurisdiction over tax policy, trade, Social Security, Medicare, and some federal “safety-net” programs. In the 111th Congress, he was appointed the Ranking Member of the Health Subcommittee, which oversees the Medicare program and provisions of the tax code pertaining to health care, as well as regulations affecting health insurance plans offered by large employers. Herger also serves on the Subcommittee on Trade, which has primary responsibility for reviewing market-opening free trade agreements between the U.S. and other nations.
As a member of the Ways and Means Committee, Herger’s primary legislative concerns include: (1) securing economic growth and encouraging innovation and entrepreneurship by reducing the tax burden on American families and small businesses; (2) making government run more efficiently by reducing federal regulatory burdens and spending; and (3) responsibly reforming entitlement programs to make them sustainable and ensure that they will still be around for future generations of Americans.
As the lead Republican on the Health Subcommittee, Congressman Herger has played a leading role in fighting the President Obama and Speaker Pelosi’s government takeover of health care. He believes that we need to reform through free market ideals that will increase transparency, competitiveness, and efficiency to make health care more affordable for all Americans. He strongly supports a system that keeps bureaucrats away from medical decisions and places the power in the hands of patients and their doctors. In the coming months he will be part of the fight to repeal and reform the government health care bill that was forced through Congress by a series of backroom deals, kickbacks, and gimmicks. In addition to his role in the debate over how best to reform our health care system, as the representative of the district with the highest share of Medicare-eligible individuals in California, Congressman Herger continues to work to protect senior citizens’ access to health care and to place the Medicare program on sound financial footing for the future.
During his tenure as chairman of Subcommittee on Human Resources, Congressman Herger played a leading role in the reauthorization and expansion of the landmark 1996 welfare reform law. The original 1996 welfare reform law focused on promoting work among welfare recipients, and has succeeded in reducing government dependence and lifting more than 1.4 million children out of poverty. The reauthorization measure — enacted in 2006 — strengthened the 1996 law to help even more parents on welfare go to work and further strengthen families. He has also been very active in efforts to improve the nation’s child protection system, including conducting oversight and introducing reform legislation to help move more at-risk kids into safe, stable, and loving families. As a member of the committee, Congressman Herger championed the “Criminal Welfare Prevention Act,” which was enacted as part of the 1996 welfare reform law. The provision was designed to help stop the payment of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits to individuals incarcerated in state and local jails by providing law enforcement officials financial incentives to help catch offending inmates. It has since been expanded to cover other Social Security benefits. This new “prison bounty” system, along with ongoing efforts, is estimated to save taxpayers up to $500 million per year.
Herger is a strong advocate of private property rights, as well as a strong proponent of better balance in federal environmental laws and policies, particularly the Endangered Species Act. He has been a vocal and active supporter of efforts to enhance and improve flood control and water storage infrastructure to meet the public health and safety needs of growing communities in Northern California. Herger has also been a strong supporter of improved forest management to protect communities from catastrophic wildfire and provide local economic development opportunities. Accordingly, he has been a champion of several pieces of common sense forest health legislation including the Herger-Feinstein Quincy Library Group Forest Recovery Act of 1998 and the Secure Rural Schools and Communities Self-Determination Act of 2000.
Biography from Wally Herger for Congress
Wally is a third generation rancher and small businessman from Northern California who throughout his tenure in Congress has continued to advocate for core conservative principles: a strong, secure America; a limited, fiscally responsible government; low taxes and fewer regulations on small businesses; and promoting traditional values.
Wally is the second most senior Republican on the House Ways and Means Committee, an important committee that has jurisdiction over taxes, trade, Social Security and health care. At the beginning of the 111th Congress (2009), Wally was named the Ranking Member of the Ways and Means Health Subcommittee, where he was a very vocal opponent of President Obama’s health care reform plan and advocated for market-based solutions to reform health care without growing government. He also maintained his seat on the Trade Subcommittee from which he has continued working to eliminate foreign trade barriers and open overseas markets for Northern California farmers and ranchers.
Previously, Wally chaired the Ways and Means Human Resources Subcommittee. In that position, he helped lead the reauthorization and expansion of the landmark 1996 welfare reform law, moving even more welfare recipients to work and breaking the cycle of generational welfare for hundreds of thousands of families. Wally also led efforts to improve the nation’s child protection system. In an effort to eliminate waste, fraud and abuse in federal welfare programs, Congressman Herger championed the “Criminal Welfare Prevention Act,” which was enacted in 1996. This hugely successful provision, designed to stop the fraudulent payment of Social Security benefits to incarcerated individuals, has saved billions of taxpayer dollars.
Wally is a strong proponent for more balance in our environmental laws, and he supports policies to protect private property rights and promote local economic development in the North State. A staunch advocate of agriculture and Northern California’s area of origin water rights, he supports efforts to enhance and improve flood control and water storage to meet the public health and safety needs of growing communities in our area. He believes in multiple use and open access to our federal lands and has long worked to improve land management policies to encourage more aggressive thinning and forest fuels treatments to reduce the threat of catastrophic wildfire. He has successfully championed several pieces of forest health legislation, including the Herger-Feinstein Quincy Library Group Forest Recovery Act of 1998 and the Secure Rural Schools and Communities Self-Determination Act of 2000.
Wally was born in Sutter County in 1945 and raised on a cattle ranch in the small community of Rio Oso, located just south of Yuba City/Marysville. His public service career began when he was elected to the East Nicolaus School Board in 1976. In 1980, inspired by Ronald Reagan, he made a successful run for the California State Assembly where he served until his election to the House of Representatives in 1986. Wally and his wife, Pam, are the proud parents of nine children, and have nine grandchildren. Pam and Wally currently reside in Chico.
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