John Ratcliffe unseated 17-term Rep. Ralph Hall in a 2014 primary election. Hall, first elected to Congress in 1980, was a Democrat who changed parties in 2004. With tea-party support, Ratcliffe campaigned against Hall as a Washington insider who had been on Capitol Hill for too long. Hall, the oldest serving member of Congress when he left office at 91, claimed he once sold cigarettes to the notorious outlaws Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow. Ratcliffe served as a U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Texas from 2007-2008.
On his congressional biography, he boasts that in his stint as a federal prosecutor, he “put terrorists in prison, arrested 300 illegal aliens in a single day, and cracked down on drug trafficking and public corruption.” From 2004 to 2012. he served as mayor of Heath, Texas, an affluent suburb on the shores of Lake Ray Hubbard, about 25 miles from downtown Dallas. According to the U.S. Census, the town currently has a population of 8,953, up from 6,921 in 2010. Racliffe’s biographby says that as Heath’s mayor, he “balanced the budget for eight consecutive years without ever raising taxes.”
John Ratcliffe Biography and Profile
Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-Texas) born 20 October 1965 has a proven record of conservative success throughout his extensive career in public service. As the Mayor of Heath Texas, Ratcliffe balanced the budget for eight consecutive years without ever raising taxes. As a U.S. Attorney and federal terrorism prosecutor, Ratcliffe put terrorists in prison, arrested 300 illegal aliens in a single day, and cracked down on drug trafficking and public corruption.
As a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives, Ratcliffe serves on the Intelligence, Homeland Security, Judiciary and Ethics Committees, where he’s strategically positioned to defend the Constitution and keep America safe through legislative action.
As a champion of limited government, Ratcliffe has championed key conservative legislation while stepping up as a vocal leader in support of critical initiatives in Congress. Ratcliffe has introduced dozens of bills on a range of issues that include measures to:
- Protect children from exploitation (Strengthening Children’s Safety Act – passed U.S. House of Representatives)
- Improve the cybersecurity of our federal government through collaboration with private-sector (National Cybersecurity Protection Advancement Act – signed into law)
- Crack down on fraud and abuse at federal agencies by requiring agencies to be transparent with the American people (All Economic Regulations are Transparent Act – passed U.S. House of Representatives)
- Enhance America’s strategic partnership with Israel (United States-Israel Advanced Research Partnership Act – signed into law)
- Support state and local law enforcement through advanced training to prosecute criminals based on digital evidence (Strengthening State and Local Cyber Crime Fighting Act – signed into law)
- Stop unelected bureaucrats from creating regulations out of thin air (Separation of Powers Restoration Act – passed U.S. House of Representatives)
- Restore law enforcement access to life-saving equipment (PLUS Equipment Act – effectively enacted through executive order by President Donald Trump)
- Reform the VA to provide higher quality, more timely care for our nation’s heroes (VA IT Restructuring Act – co-introduced by Senator Ted Cruz)
As a top conservative voice in Washington, Ratcliffe has been recognized for his outspoken leadership and stalwart voting record against the status quo.
- Ratcliffe was selected to deliver the Republican Weekly Address on the growing perils of Obamacare and why his colleagues across the nation must step up to repeal it.
- His Separation of Powers Restoration Act was hailed by strong conservative leaders and groups as a landmark win for the Constitution.
- His U.S.–Israel Advanced Research Partnership law has been praised by a multitude of groups, including AIPAC, as a huge step forward in the fight to enhance our country’s strategic partnership with Israel.
- His relentless commitment to upholding justice in our legal system has been critical in the ongoing investigations surrounding Hillary Clinton’s use of an unauthorized server to store highly classified sensitive information.
- Former chairman of the House Homeland Security Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Protection Subcommittee, where he continues to lead efforts to improve the security of federal networks and critical infrastructure, build a stronger cyber workforce, spur cybersecurity innovation in the federal government, and oversee the implementation of the Cybersecurity Act of 2015.
- Ranking member of the House Judiciary Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security Subcommittee.
Ratcliffe’s work in Congress has been widely recognized through numerous legislative honors and awards, including:
- FreedomWorks’ Congressman of the Month and FreedomFighter Award
- U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Spirit of Enterprise award
- National Retail Federation’s Heroes of Main Street award
- Club for Growth’s Defender of Economic Freedom award
- Heritage Action’s most conservative legislator in Texas
John Ratcliffe previously practiced law, and worked as the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Texas in 2007. Under the George W. Bush administration, he was appointed Chief of Anti-Terrorism and National Security for the Eastern District of Texas in the Department of Justice. According to his biography, in this role the senator “put terrorists in prison, arrested 300 illegal aliens in a single day, and cracked down on drug trafficking and public corruption.”
During an interview with Fox News on Sunday, Ratcliffe called for investigations into potential wrongdoing by the Obama administration in regards to illegal media leaks related to the Russia probe, stating that “there were crimes committed” under the previous president.
“What I do know as a former federal prosecutor is it does appear that there were crimes committed during the Obama Administration,” Ratcliffe told Fox News’s Maria Bartiromo.
“You talked earlier about Michael Flynn. His phone call with the Russian ambassador was a highly classified NSA intercept. Someone in the Obama administration leaked that call to the Washington Post. That’s a felony,” he added.
“Jim (James) Comey, he admitted that he leaked his confidential conversations with the president to a reporter. Did that include classified information? We need a fair process to find out answers to that,” added Ratcliffe.
Ratcliffe gained national attention last week when he aggressively questioned former special counsel Robert Mueller. He argued that the entire second volume of Mueller’s report on potential acts of obstruction of justice should never have been written.
“You wrote 180 pages about decisions that weren’t reached, about potential crimes that weren’t charged or decided,” Ratcliffe said. “Respectfully, by doing that, you managed to violate every principle and the most sacred of traditions about prosecutors.”
He also made an argument – which has since been repeated by Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney – that criticized Mueller’s statement that while his “report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.”
“It was not the special counsel’s job to conclusively determine Donald Trump’s innocence or to exonerate him because the bedrock principle of our justice system is a presumption of innocence,” Ratcliffe said.
“Donald Trump is not above the law. He’s not. But he damn sure shouldn’t be below the law,” he told Mueller.
The next day, during an interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity, Trump named Ratcliffe as one of the congressional Republicans he thought “represented themselves brilliantly” during Mueller’s testimony.
Ratcliffe is the son of two school teachers and the youngest of six children. He attended the University of Notre Dame and later obtained a law degree from Southern Methodist University where he met his wife, Michele. They have two daughters and live in Heath, Texas.
“After more than two years of fighting in Congress to restore access to the life-saving equipment provided by the 1033 Program, I’m grateful we have a partner in President Trump who recognizes the importance of giving our brave men and women in law enforcement every tool they need to keep our communities safe.” – Rep. John Ratcliffe, Aug. 28, 2017.
John Ratcliffe Biography and Profile (John Ratcliffe)