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John Boozman

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John Boozman

John Boozman
United States Senator
from Arkansas
Assumed office
January 3, 2011
Serving with Tom Cotton
Preceded by Blanche Lincoln
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Arkansas's 3rd district
In office
November 20, 2001 – January 3, 2011
Preceded by Asa Hutchinson
Succeeded by Steve Womack
Personal details
Born John Nichols Boozman
(1950-12-10) December 10, 1950
Shreveport, Louisiana, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Cathy Boozman
Children 3
Alma mater University of Arkansas, Fayetteville
Southern College of Optometry
Religion Southern Baptist[1]
Website Senate website

John Nichols Boozman (; born December 10, 1950) is the senior United States Senator for Arkansas (since 2015). A member of the Republican Party, he previously served as the United States Representative for Arkansas's 3rd congressional district (2001–2011).

Born in Shreveport, Louisiana, he was the brother of state Senator Fay Boozman. He attended the University of Arkansas, where he played football for the Arkansas Razorbacks, and graduated from the Southern College of Optometry. He co-founded a private optometry clinic in 1977 and worked as a volunteer optometrist for low-income families. He won a special election in 2002 to the United States House of Representatives, where he served as assistant majority whip and sat on the Republican Policy Committee. He was an advocate for drug policy issues and chaired the Veteran Affairs Economic Opportunity Subcommittee, where he led the passage of bills expanding services for unemployed veterans.

Boozman was elected to the United States Senate in 2010, defeating Democratic incumbent Blanche Lincoln by a 21-point margin and becoming the first Republican to be elected to the seat since Reconstruction. He took office in January 2011 and is the ranking Republican on the Senate Agriculture Subcommittee on Conservation, Forestry and Natural Resources, the Commerce Subcommittee on Science and Space and the Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Green Jobs and the New Economy. Boozman became the senior Senator in 2015 when Mark Pryor left the Senate after his defeat.


  • Early life, education and career 1
  • U.S. House of Representatives 2
    • Elections 2.1
    • Tenure 2.2
  • U.S. Senate 3
    • 2010 election 3.1
    • Tenure 3.2
    • Committee assignments 3.3
    • Caucus memberships 3.4
  • Political positions and votes 4
    • Arkansas history 4.1
    • Health care reform 4.2
    • Gun laws 4.3
    • Employment discrimination 4.4
  • Electoral history 5
    • U.S. House of Representatives 5.1
    • U.S. Senate 5.2
  • Personal life 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8

Early life, education and career

Boozman was born in Shreveport, Louisiana,[2] the son of Marie E. (née Nichols) and Fay Winford Boozman, Jr. (1923–1991).[3] Boozman's father, whose last address was in Rogers, Arkansas, was a Master Sergeant in the United States Air Force.[4] His elder brother Fay (1946–2005) also was a politician. After graduating from Northside High School in Fort Smith, Arkansas, Boozman played football for the Arkansas Razorbacks at the University of Arkansas, which he attended between 1969 and 1973,[5] while completing his pre-optometry requirements. He did not graduate from the University of Arkansas.[6] He graduated from the Southern College of Optometry in 1977 and entered private practice that same year as co-founder of Boozman-Hof Regional Eye Clinic in Rogers, which has become a major provider of eye care to Northwest Arkansas. He established the low vision program at the Arkansas School for the Blind in Little Rock and worked as a volunteer optometrist at an area clinic that provides medical services to low-income families.

Prior to his election to Congress, Boozman served two terms on the Rogers Public School Board, which governs one of the largest school districts in Arkansas.

U.S. House of Representatives


Boozman was elected to Congress in a special election after his predecessor, Asa Hutchinson, resigned to become the head of the Drug Enforcement Administration. Boozman was unopposed in 2002, defeated Democratic State Representative Jan Judy by a margin of 59 percent to 38 percent in 2004, and again won re-election in 2006, defeating Democrat Woodrow Anderson III. He was unopposed for reelection in 2008.


In October 2002, Boozman voted in favor of the Iraq Resolution which led to the Iraq War.[7]

Starting during the 108th Congress, Boozman served as an Assistant Whip, making him responsible for helping House Republican Whips

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Asa Hutchinson
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Arkansas's 3rd congressional district

Succeeded by
Steve Womack
Party political offices
Preceded by
Jim Holt
Republican nominee for U.S. Senator from Arkansas
(Class 2)

Most recent
United States Senate
Preceded by
Blanche Lincoln
United States Senator (Class 3) from Arkansas
Served alongside: Mark Pryor, Tom Cotton
United States order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Rob Portman
United States Senators by seniority
Succeeded by
Pat Toomey

External links

  1. ^ Staff (5 January 2011). "Ten Southern Baptists sworn in as new reps.". Baptist Press. Archived from the original on 25 December 2014. Retrieved 25 December 2014. 
  2. ^ Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress
  3. ^ John Boozman –
  4. ^ "Veterans' Affairs : U.S. Congressman John Boozman : 3rd District Of Arkansas". 2008-10-10. Retrieved 2010-07-10. 
  5. ^ "John Boozman's biography". Project VoteSmart. Retrieved 12 November 2014. 
  6. ^ US News & World Report, November 8, 2010
  8. ^ "Bill Text – 111th Congress (2009–2010) – THOMAS (Library of Congress)". 2009-10-01. Retrieved 2010-07-10. 
  9. ^ "Boozman Recognized for Pioneering Efforts in Drug Courts". Cutting Edge 2008-02-21. Retrieved 2010-07-10. 
  10. ^
  11. ^ "Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity – House Committee on Veterans' Affairs". 2005-08-31. Retrieved 2010-07-10. 
  12. ^ "Bill Text – 111th Congress (2009–2010) – THOMAS (Library of Congress)". Retrieved 2010-07-10. 
  13. ^ a b c
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^ Eggen, Dan (April 28, 2007). "GOP Lawmaker Told of Plan to Fire U.S. Attorney". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2007-04-28. 
  17. ^  
  18. ^ Rep. John Boozman, Republican Doctors Caucus
  19. ^ "Not Authorized". Retrieved 2010-07-10. 
  20. ^ "S. 172 [109th]: A bill to amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to provide for the regulation of all...". Retrieved 2010-07-10. 
  21. ^ "Education Reform : U.S. Congressman John Boozman : 3rd District Of Arkansas". Retrieved 2010-07-10. 
  22. ^
  23. ^ Klein, Morton. "ZOA Praises 16 GOP Senators For Boozman-Moran ZOA-Initiated Letter To Obama Stating – No U.S. Aid For Hamas/PA Govt". Zionist Organization of America. Retrieved 13 August 2014. 
  24. ^
  25. ^
  26. ^
  27. ^ "Rep. John Boozman [R-AR3]". Retrieved 2010-07-10. 
  28. ^
  29. ^ "Boozman Votes ‘No’ To A Takeover of Government Healthcare : U.S. Congressman John Boozman : 3rd District Of Arkansas". 2009-11-07. Retrieved 2010-07-10. 
  30. ^ "Kanaal van BoozmanPressOffice". YouTube. 2007-11-13. Retrieved 2010-07-10. 
  31. ^ "Kanaal van BoozmanPressOffice". YouTube. 2007-11-13. Retrieved 2010-07-10. 
  32. ^ "Kanaal van BoozmanPressOffice". YouTube. 2007-11-13. Retrieved 2010-07-10. 
  33. ^ Silver, Nate (2013-04-18). "Modeling the Senate's Vote on Gun Control". The New York Times. 
  34. ^,1
  35. ^ "Boozman Biography : U.S. Congressman John Boozman : 3rd District Of Arkansas". Retrieved 2010-07-10. 
  36. ^ John Boozman Undergoes Emergency Heart Surgery


On April 22, 2014, Sen. Boozman successfully underwent emergency heart surgery. He is expected to make a full recovery.[36]

Boozman lives in Rogers with his wife, the former Cathy Marley, and the couple has three daughters. He has successfully raised Polled Hereford cattle that were competitive in the show ring, as well as in bull testing at Oklahoma State University. The Boozman family was active in the 4-H program.[35]

Personal life

Arkansas's U.S. Senate Election, 2010
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican John Boozman 451,618 57.90%
Democratic Blanche Lincoln* 288,156 36.95%
Independent Trevor Drown 25,234 3.24%
Green John Gray 14,430 1.85%

U.S. Senate

Arkansas's 3rd Congressional District House Election, 2008
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican John Boozman 215,196 78.53% +16.29%
Green Abel Noah Tomlinson 58,850 21.47% +21.47%
Arkansas's 3rd Congressional District House Election, 2006
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican John Boozman 124,904 62.24% +2.77%
Democratic Woodrow Anderson 75,788 37.76% -0.15%
Arkansas's 3rd Congressional District House Election, 2004
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican John Boozman 160,833 59.47% -39.43%
Democratic Jan Judy 102,529 37.91% +37.91%
Independent Dale Morfey 7,103 2.63% +1.53
Arkansas's 3rd Congressional District House Election, 2002
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican John Boozman 141,478 98.90%
Independent George "Ozone" Lyne 1,577 1.10%

U.S. House of Representatives

Electoral history

In November 2013, Senator Boozman was one of thirty-two senators (all Republican) to vote against the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, a bill prohibiting discrimination of individuals in organizations of 15 or more employees, based on sexual orientation or gender identity.[34]

Employment discrimination

In April 2013, Senator Boozman was one of forty-six senators to vote against the passing of a bill which would have expanded background checks for all gun buyers. Boozman voted with 40 Republicans and 5 Democrats to stop the bill. Many newspapers predicted that Boozman would vote Nay based on his prior statements and conservative home state of Arkansas.[33]

Gun laws

Boozman, an optometrist and a member of the Doctors Caucus, voted against the House-passed comprehensive health care reform bill on November 7, 2009. Boozman issued the following statement that same day: "I am for health care reform, unfortunately, this bill does more harm than good. The American people deserve health care reform that gives them access to quality and affordable health care and allows them to make decisions that are best for the care they need. Instead of increasing taxes, entitlement programs and red tape to reform health care we need to let families and businesses buy health insurance across state lines; allow small businesses to pool together to buy health insurance at lower prices and end lawsuits that contribute to escalating costs because of doctors being forced to practice defensive medicine.”[29] Throughout the debate, Boozman has pointed to Medicare cuts, including cuts to Medicare Advantage, increased taxes on health insurance and innovations, and anti-abortion concerns.[30][31][32]

Health care reform

Among other legislative achievements, Boozman has penned three bills, each enacted into law, to name certain U.S. Post Offices in Arkansas.[27] In particular, the Harrison Post Office was named after former Arkansas Congressman John Paul Hammerschmidt. In his remarks on the Hammerschmidt Bill (H.R. 4811), Boozman stated that "no one understands my congressional district like the kind and thoughtful gentleman who represented much of Arkansas in the Congress from 1967 through 1993. I consider John Paul Hammerschmidt a mentor and a friend. During his 26 years in Congress, John Paul became known for his strong work ethic and attention to individual constituent service. His fellow Members came to rely on his legislative expertise in highways, aviation and waterway infrastructure" and other issues, such as the needs of veterans.[28]

In addition to preserving the historical significance of the Butterfield Trail, Boozman assisted the effort to secure the home of the U.S. Marshals Museum in Fort Smith.[25] Boozman worked with the Fort Smith Marshals Museum Steering Committee, the Western District U.S. Marshals Office to “Bring It Home.” In January 2007 it was announced that Fort Smith would be the permanent home of the U.S. Marshals Museum. In the 111th Congress, Boozman introduced legislation to recognize the 225th Anniversary of the U.S. Marshals Service with a commemorative coin to be minted in 2014.[26]

Boozman has worked to honor and preserve the historical record of the role Arkansas played in the westward expansion and development of the United States. Boozman introduced legislation in the 110th Congress calling for a study of the historic Butterfield Overland Mail Trail for the potential addition to the National Trails System. This legislation passed as part of an omnibus bill (P.L. 111-11), and was signed by President Obama on March 30, 2009.[24]

Arkansas history

The Zionist Organization of America has praised Boozman for his call to stop federal aid toward Hamas.[23]

Other Boozman bills include legislation to provide a tax credit for volunteer firefighters, a bill to provide for parental notification and intervention when a minor seeks an abortion, and a bill to create alternatives to traditional foreign aid to poor countries in sub-saharan Africa.[13][22]

As a former Public School Board Member, Boozman has a strong interest in education policy. In the 111th Congress, he introduced legislation (H.R. 2230) to provide tax credits for teachers and principals who work in challenging, low-income schools.[13] Boozman has also introduced legislation to reform the No Child Left Behind Act. One bill (H.R. 2229) would give states the latitude they need to adopt alternate and modified standards for children with disabilities.[21] Boozman stated that this legislation "preserves accountability and helps to ensure our good schools stop ending up on the 'Needs-Improvement List'."

As an optometrist, Boozman has taken a strong interest in eye health issues. Boozman saw firsthand the damage done by misuse of unregulated decorative contact lenses. As a result, Boozman led a bi-partisan effort to pass legislation requiring the FDA to improve safety by regulating non-corrective colored contact lenses as medical devices.[19] This legislation was signed into law by President Bush in 2005.[20]

Political positions and votes

Caucus memberships

Source: United States Senate[17]


Committee assignments

Boozman began his term in the Senate in January 2011.


Boozman decided to retire from the lower chamber to run for the United States Senate election in Arkansas, 2010 for the seat held by incumbent Democrat Blanche Lincoln. He won the May 2010 Republican primary and then defeated Lincoln in the general election while winning nearly 58% of the vote.

2010 election

U.S. Senate

Boozman told the Post and the Associated Press that White House officials had promised him that Griffin would be subject to Senate confirmation. Instead, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales appointed Griffin as interim U.S. Attorney, using a provision of the Patriot Act that has since been repealed due to the controversy. Boozman also said that he didn't think Cummins should have been fired because he was "very well respected and has served the president well."[16]

According to the April 28, 2007 Washington Post, Boozman was told by officials in the White House about its intention to fire Bud Cummins, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas, and replace him with Tim Griffin, an aide to Karl Rove. According to the Post, none of the Democrats in Arkansas' congressional delegation were told that Cummins was to be one of eight U.S. Attorneys to be fired. Although Boozman did not represent any counties in the Eastern District, he was informed because he was the only Republican in the state's congressional delegation.'s power rankings rate Boozman's power rating at 7.31, making him the 386th most powerful member out of 435.'s power rankings for members of the Minority Party fell significantly when Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the House Democrats retook the House of Representatives in 2006.[15]

Boozman was a member of numerous House caucuses including the Congressional Caucus to Fight & Control Methamphetamine, the National Guard & Reserve Components Caucus, the Congressional Rural Caucus and the Congressional Sportsman's Caucus. Boozman was also one of the founding members of the Congressional I-49 Caucus to promote completion of Interstate 49 and he was the chairman of the Congressional Caucus on the Ivory Coast and West Africa Caucuses.

Boozman was also a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization Parliamentary Assembly (NATO PA), which is an inter-parliamentary organization of legislators from the 19 member countries of NATO and 20 associate countries. He was also appointed vice-chairman of the British American Parliamentary Group, a group of American and British lawmakers who meet to discuss issues of concern and fortify the already strong alliance between the two nations.

In May 2004, Boozman was appointed to the House Policy Committee, the committee of key Republicans who vet issues and formulate legislation to address them.[14]

In the 109th Congress, he served as Chairman of the Veterans Affairs Economic Opportunity Subcommittee, which focuses on ensuring veterans have a smooth transition to civilian life. He has since served continuously as the Ranking Member on this Subcommittee.[11] Boozman has used his seat on the Veterans Affairs Committee to pass critical legislation honoring the service and sacrifice of United States Military Veterans and increasing benefits to them and their families. In the 111th Congress, Boozman has introduced and the House of Representatives has passed the Veterans Retraining Act of 2009, which provides resources and training opportunities for unemployed veterans.[12] The House of Representatives also passed several other Boozman-authored bills, including a bill that creates grants to help disabled veterans adapt their homes and vehicles to meet their unique needs.[13]

for President. Mike Huckabee Governor of Arkansas During the 2008 presidential campaign, like most Arkansas Republicans, Boozman endorsed former [10] In 2006, Congress passed a Boozman-authored provision promoting an expanded role for Drug Courts in efforts to reduce drug abuse and recidivism.[9]

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