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Jason E. Chaffetz
Birthdate: March 26, 1967
Birth Place: Los Gatos, CA, United States
Residence: Alpine, UT
First Elected: 2008
District: District 3
Undergraduate: Brigham Young University
Jason Chaffetz was born in Los Gatos, Cal., and now lives in Alpine, Utah. He earned a bachelor's degree from Brigham Young University, where he was recruited to be a placekicker on the football team.
Chaffetz was chief of staff for former Republican Gov. Jon Huntsman. Chaffetz proudly proclaims he was a convert to the Republican Party and to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
He was a marketing and communications consultant from 2005 until his election to the U.S. House in 2008.
He and his wife, Julie, have three children.
Jason Chaffetz has regularly found himself in the media spotlight since his election to Congress in 2008.
He has refused to rent an apartment in the Washington area, choosing instead to sleep on a cot in his office, from which he sometimes delivers cot-side chats _ in the tradition of the fireside chat _ and posts them on YouTube.
Chaffetz has embraced new technology to communicate with constituents, stakeholders and anybody else who will listen to him. He regularly uses Twitter to send short messages on everything from condemning President Barack Obama's spending plans to highlighting the countless number of resolutions honoring sports teams. He had more than 24,000 followers on Twitter as of September 2012.
Chaffetz regularly appears on cable news networks and in national publications in part because he is so readily reachable. He will give just about anyone his cell phone number.
Chaffetz sponsored a bill in 2012 that would make people seriously delinquent on their taxes ineligible for federal employment, whether they're already working for the government or applying for a job. He said 98,291 federal workers, including some 700 congressional employees, fit this category in 2010, when the cost to taxpayers was more than $1 billion.
He had opposed a bill that would have granted the District of Columbia a voting member in the House and added a fourth member to Utah's House delegation. He said Utah deserves the fourth seat after narrowly missing out on it following the 2000 Census, but says it is unconstitutional to give Washington a voting member because it is not a state.
The bill was largely seen as an attempt at compromise, because Utah would likely vote a Republican into Congress and Washington, D.C., likely would vote for a Democrat.
When elected to the House in 2008, Chaffetz didn't live in his 3rd Congressional District but instead resided a few miles away in the 2nd Congressional District, which is held by Democratic Rep. Jim Matheson, who Republicans have had a difficult time unseating. Following redistricting after the 2010 census, Matheson is now running in the newly created 4th Congressional District.
Chaffetz said at the time that his address wasn't important because he lived in the same suburban area that makes up the heart of the 3rd District: Utah County, which is home to Brigham Young University.
But redistricting for the 2012 election has now put him amid his constituents, and after his expected re-election Chaffetz would both represent and reside in the 3rd District.
Throughout 2011, Chaffetz seriously considered challenging Sen. Orrin Hatch in the 2012 election and his possible bid had the backing of national tea party groups. His profile was also raised throughout the year, as he became a de facto spokesman for House Republicans pushing for significant budget cuts during debt ceiling negotiations.
In late 2011, however, Chaffetz opted against challenging Hatch and instead decided to run for re-election to his U.S. House seat.
Chaffetz favors deporting illegal immigrants, eliminating in-state tuition for illegal immigrants and no longer automatically granting citizenship to children born in the United States to illegal immigrants.
He wants to abolish the U.S. Department of Education and says he would refuse to seek or vote for any earmarks. He says spending is out of control in Congress and programs need to be cut to get the deficit under control.
Source: Associated Press
113th Congress on Twitter
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