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Virginia Foxx

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Title: Virginia Foxx  
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Subject: United States House of Representatives elections in North Carolina, 2008, North Carolina's 5th congressional district, Richard Burr, Patrick McHenry, Congressional Caucus on Turkey and Turkish Americans
Collection: 1943 Births, American People of Italian Descent, American Roman Catholics, Appalachian State University Faculty, Female Members of the United States House of Representatives, Living People, Members of the United States House of Representatives from North Carolina, North Carolina Republicans, North Carolina State Senators, People from Avery County, North Carolina, People from the Bronx, Republican Party Members of the United States House of Representatives, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Alumni, University of North Carolina at Greensboro Alumni, Women State Legislators in North Carolina
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Virginia Foxx

Virginia Foxx
Secretary of the House Republican Conference
Assumed office
January 3, 2013
Preceded by John Carter
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from North Carolina's 5th district
Assumed office
January 3, 2005
Preceded by Richard Burr
Personal details
Born Virginia Ann Palmieri
(1943-06-29) June 29, 1943
New York City, New York, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Thomas Foxx
Alma mater University of North Carolina,
Chapel Hill

University of North Carolina,
Religion Roman Catholicism

Virginia Ann Foxx (née Palmieri;[1][2] June 29, 1943) is the U.S. Representative for North Carolina's 5th congressional district, which encompasses much of the northwestern portion of the state and a portion of Winston-Salem. Foxx is a member of the Republican Party and was elected Secretary of the House Republican Conference by her colleagues on November 27, 2012.[3]


  • Early life, education and career 1
  • United States House of Representatives 2
    • Committee assignments 2.1
    • Political campaigns 2.2
      • Republican Primary 2003–2004 2.2.1
      • General election campaigns 2.2.2
    • Tenure 2.3
      • Hurricane Katrina 2.3.1
      • Heroes Earned Retirement Opportunities (HERO) Act 2.3.2
      • Electronic Pay Stub Act 2.3.3
      • Troubled Asset Relief Program 2.3.4
      • Opposition to Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act 2.3.5
      • Health care debate 2.3.6
      • Turkish American Caucus 2.3.7
      • Opposition to birthright citizenship 2.3.8
    • Legislation 2.4
  • Personal life 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5

Early life, education and career

Foxx was born in The Bronx, New York to Dollie (née Garrison) and Nunzio John Palmieri. She was reared in a rural area of Avery County, North Carolina. Foxx grew up in a poor family and first lived in a home with running water and electricity at 14 years old.[4]

While attending Crossnore High School in Crossnore, North Carolina, she worked as a janitor at the school and was the first in her family to graduate from high school.[5] She graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a bachelor's degree in 1968 and later earned both a Master of Arts in college teaching (1972) and Ed.D (1985) from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.[2][6] With her husband, Virginia Foxx owned and operated a nursery and landscaping business.[6]

Foxx worked as a research assistant and then an English instructor at Caldwell Community College & Technical Institute and Appalachian State University before moving into university administration. From 1987 until her 1994 entry into politics, she was president of Mayland Community College. Under North Carolina Governor James G. Martin, Foxx served as Deputy Secretary for Management.[6] From 1994 to 2004, Foxx served in the North Carolina Senate.

United States House of Representatives

Committee assignments

Political campaigns

Republican Primary 2003–2004

After 5th District Congressman Richard Burr decided he would run for the United States Senate, Foxx was first to join the race. The race quickly became one of the most expensive in North Carolina's history.

General election campaigns

Virginia Foxx
Virginia Foxx talking with constituents in Yadkinville, NC

In contrast to the primary, her general election campaign against Jim Harrell, Jr., which she easily won (59%–41%), was more cordial.

Foxx was briefly targeted for defeat in the 2006 elections, but the Democrats' top choice, popular Winston-Salem mayor Allen Joines, decided not to run. Joines later said that he didn't have the stomach for the kind of race he felt it would take to defeat Foxx.[7] Her 2006 opponent was Roger Sharpe, who was defeated. Roy Carter of Ashe County, North Carolina was Foxx's opponent for her seat in the 2008 election; she won by a substantial margin.

In November 2010, Foxx was reelected with about 65% of the vote.[8]

In November 2014, Foxx was reelected with about 60% of the vote defeating "software developer Josh Brannon of Vilas." [9]


Hurricane Katrina

In September 2005, Foxx was one of 11 members of Congress to vote against[10] the $51 billion aid package to victims of Hurricane Katrina.

Heroes Earned Retirement Opportunities (HERO) Act

The first bill sponsored by Foxx to have been signed into law since 2006, the Hero Act, signed by President Bush on Memorial Day, 2006, allows U.S. troops to increase their retirement savings by investing a portion of their combat pay into Individual Retirement Accounts.

Electronic Pay Stub Act

The second bill sponsored by Foxx and subsequently signed into law is the Electronic Pay Stub Act which gives federal employees the choice of receiving their pay stubs electronically. This legislation is projected to save taxpayers millions of dollars. Studies have shown that it costs 10 times more to purchase and distribute paper stubs than it does to distribute electronic stubs.[11] This bill was signed into law in October, 2008.[12]

Troubled Asset Relief Program

Shortly after Congress approved the Troubled Asset Relief Program, Foxx identified a provision in the law that allowed her to force consideration of a measure to deny the second, $350 billion, tranche of the TARP bailout. On November 19, 2008, she introduced H.J.Res. 101, which met all of the parliamentary requirements for consideration once the President requested the second tranche.

In the following (111th) Congress, she reintroduced the measure as H.J. Res. 3, and shortly before leaving office, President Bush requested the second tranche, thereby activating the trigger allowing her to commandeer the House floor, although she was not a member of the majority party. Her measure passed the House 270-155; the act was never addressed in the Senate.[13]

During an interview in 2007, Foxx was quoted as saying: "We have the best economy we have had in 50 years."

Opposition to Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act

In April 2009, Foxx expressed opposition to the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, claiming that the murder of Matthew Shepard was not a hate crime. While debating the act at the House of Representatives, she called the murder a "very unfortunate incident" but claimed "we know that that young man was killed in the commitment of a robbery. It wasn't because he was gay." She ultimately called that allegation "a hoax that continues to be used as an excuse for passing hate crimes bills."[14] Some media outlets, including the New York Times,[15] Washington Post,[16] and Huffington Post,[17] criticized her statements. Democrat Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a congressional colleague, did the same.[18] Democratic sources claimed that Matthew Shepard's mother was present at the time of Foxx's statements.[18]

Foxx later retracted her comments, suggesting her use of the word "hoax" was in bad taste.[19][20] She suggested that Shepard's murder was a tragedy and that his killers had received appropriate justice.[19]

Health care debate

When commenting on the House version of the reform bill that funds counseling for end-of-life issues, Foxx said, "Republicans have a better solution that won't put the government in charge of people's health care," and "(The plan) is pro-life because it will not put seniors in a position of being put to death by their government."[21] She later said that "we have more to fear from the potential of the Affordable Health Care for America Act passing than we do from any terrorist right now in any country."[22][23]

Turkish American Caucus

Virginia Foxx is a member of Congressional Caucus on Turkey and Turkish Americans since 2005. Her son-in-law is a Turkish businessman, Mustafa Özdemir.[24][25]

Opposition to birthright citizenship

In January 2013, Foxx co-sponsored legislation that would stop children born in the United States to undocumented parents from gaining citizenship.[26]


  • Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (H.R. 803; 113th Congress) – Foxx introduced the bill on February 25, 2013.[27] The bill would consolidate job training programs under the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (WIA) into a single funding stream.[28] It also would amend the Wagner-Peyser Act, reauthorize adult-education programs, and reauthorize programs under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.[28]
  • Strengthening Transparency in Higher Education Act (H.R. 4983; 113th Congress) – Foxx introduced this bill on June 26, 2014.[29] The bill would reserve $1 million from funding for the United States Department of Education to replace the current College Navigator website with a new website and change the type of information that the website would need to provide.[30] The bill also would amend the requirements for the department’s net-price calculator, which provides details on the costs of post-secondary education.[30]

Personal life

Before her service in Congress, Virginia and her husband Tom owned a nursery.[31]


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b Foxx, Virginia Ann. Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.
  3. ^ Sherman, Jake. "House committee chairs all men" Politico. (Published 27 Nov 2012) Retrieved 28 Nov 2012.
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^ a b c
  7. ^ [1] Archived November 10, 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^ Hicks, Adam. "Foxx-Authored Bill Passes in Congress". July 31, 2008.
  12. ^
  13. ^ Sec. 115 of PL 110-343
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^ a b
  19. ^ a b
  20. ^
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  27. ^
  28. ^ a b
  29. ^
  30. ^ a b
  31. ^

External links

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Richard Burr
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from North Carolina's 5th congressional district

Party political offices
Preceded by
John Carter
Secretary of House Republican Conference
United States order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Jeff Fortenberry
United States Representatives by seniority
Succeeded by
Louie Gohmert
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