Republican Stephen 'Steve' Joseph Scalise

House
Stephen 'Steve' Joseph Scalise

Birthdate: Oct. 6, 1965
Birth Place: New Orleans, LA, United States
Residence: Jefferson, LA
Religion: Catholic
First Elected: 2008
Gender: Male

Candidacy

Party: Republican
State: Louisiana
Office: House
District: District 1

Education

Undergraduate: Louisiana State University

Degree: BS

A New Orleans native, raised in suburban Jefferson Parish, Steve Scalise now lives in the town of Jefferson. He earned a bachelor's in computer programming from Louisiana State University and has worked as a systems engineer for New Orleans area technology companies, according to his campaign.

A Republican, Scalise spent 12 years as a state legislator, building a reputation as a fiscal and social conservative with legislation fighting gay marriage and protecting gun manufacturers from lawsuits. He also was a sponsor of legislation granting tax breaks for Louisiana's growing film industry.

Scalise won a special election to the U.S. House in 2008, filling the vacancy left after Bobby Jindal was elected governor of Louisiana.

Scalise and his wife, Jennifer, have two children.

Profile

A well-known billionaire's statements that tax rates for the rich are too low provided Steve Scalise with one of his latest high-profile effort to burnish his conservative credentials.

Scalise sponsored the Buffett Rule Act, which creates a checkbox on tax forms allowing taxpayers to make donations above their normal tax liability for debt reduction. Passed by the House, it was the conservative answer to the original Buffett Rule bill, backed by President Barack Obama, which would have required top earners to pay at least 30 percent of their income in taxes. That bill failed in the Senate.

Opposition to Obama has been a hallmark of Scalise's campaigns and congressional career, which has seen him rise to become a deputy Republican whip in the House.

Scalise's district may be the most conservative in Louisiana. It includes part of New Orleans and a large swath of mostly white suburban areas north of Lake Pontchartrain.

Having forged his conservative reputation in the state Legislature, Scalise easily beat three opponents in a special election in spring 2008 to replace Bobby Jindal, who had been elected governor. He went on to defeat self-financed millionaire Democrat Jim Harlan in that November's race for a full term, with 66 percent of the vote. His opposition was weak in 2010 and he drew no strong opponents for 2012.

His 2008 campaign included television ads featuring, among other things, video of an arm-flailing, angry Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Obama's former pastor.

After Obama won the 2008 presidential election, Scalise, with what was then a Republican minority in 2009, voted against an expansion of government-sponsored children's health insurance, against the 2009 approximately $800 billion economic stimulus package backed by Obama, and against a cap-and-trade climate bill.

Scalise opposed the 2010 health care reform bill and spoke out against it at town hall meetings. After the 2010 BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, Scalise opposed the Obama administration's moratorium on deep water oil drilling.

Meanwhile, he has backed extension of George W. Bush-era tax cuts, expansion of domestic oil and gas drilling, and bipartisan coastal restoration efforts, such as the Restore Act, that directs most of the fines paid by BP over the 2010 Gulf oil spill to the Gulf Coast states that were affected by the spill and its aftermath.

During his 12-year stint in the state Legislature, Scalise opposed abortion, tax increases and government spending. He sponsored legislation banning lawsuits against gun makers and cementing a prohibition on gay marriage into the state constitution. He has long touted his sponsorship of former Gov. Mike Foster's bills granting tax credits and incentives to bring movie and television production to the state.

Source: Associated Press

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