|Name||Howard P. "Buck" McKeon|
|Address||23942 Lyons Ave |
Santa Clarita, California 91321, United States
|| September 09, 1938
Jun 13, 2012 03:57pm
|Info||In eight years in the House of Representatives, Congressman Howard P. "Buck" McKeon has emerged as a leader of the nationwide education reform movement, as well as being a vocal advocate for preserving Social Security, cutting the national debt, providing tax relief and strengthening the military. He has also been recognized for his effectiveness in getting his 25th Congressional District a fair share of their federal tax dollars. |
Buck McKeon was first elected to Congress in 1992, to a newly created House seat in northern Los Angeles County, as a businessman who was intent on shaking up government. McKeon quickly established a leadership role by being elected President of the Republican Freshman Class in the 103rd Congress. This recognition was lauded by many, including the Los Angeles Times, when it wrote, "Buck McKeon has made a name for himself as leader of the largest Republican Freshman Class in Congress."
His efforts as the leader of the Republican Freshman Class resulted in the elimination of 25 subcommittees, saving taxpayers $35 million, limits on the terms of committee chairmen, an audit of the House's books and the public disclosure of the legislative discharge petition. When Republicans gained control of Congress in 1994, McKeon was named Chairman of the Subcommittee on Postsecondary Education, Training and Life-Long Learning.
Pursuant to that assignment, Mr. McKeon gained passage of two major pieces of education legislation in the 105th Congress. His Higher Education Act Amendments of 1998 cut student loan interest rates to their lowest levels in 16 years, streamlined the financial aid system, increased Pell Grant authorizations and provided incentives to control the costs of higher education. In addition, he saw passage of the Workforce Investment Act, which consolidated 60 different federal job training programs into three block grants to the states, and provided a voucher system that enables jobless Americans to get the job training services of their choice. In the 106th Congress, Mr. McKeon gained House passage of the Teacher Empowerment Act, which would provide $2 billion annually in grants to local schools by consolidating unnecessary and redundant federal programs.
For the 107th Congress, in 2001, McKeon was named chairman of the new Subcommittee on 21st Century Competitiveness, with jurisdiction over higher education funding, technology in education, welfare reform and welfare-to-work laws. He has held hearings on the use of high technology in education, and is an enthusiastic supporter of President Bush�s proposals to modernize federal technology-in-education programs.
Congressman McKeon also serves on the Armed Services Committee, where he champions strengthening the military, and has been a leader in supporting national missile defense and efforts to build more B-2 Stealth bombers. McKeon authored successful legislation that requires a cost-effectiveness study of sites being considered for final assembly of the Joint Strike Fighter; the move is expected to illustrate the benefits of building the plane at Air Force Plant 42 in Palmdale. McKeon has also a strong advocate of keeping Space Shuttle modifications in Palmdale, as well as other high technology defense and aerospace systems. McKeon has also won legislative approval for improvements at Edwards Air Force Base, such as new rocket test stands, improved base housing and health facilities.
McKeon is also a member of the Veterans Affairs Committee, where he helped gain passage of the Promises bill, which provides expanded health benefits for veterans -- at $60 billion over 10 years, it is the largest expansion of veterans programs ever.
Back home, Buck McKeon has established a reputation for being highly responsive to the needs of his constituents. McKeon won approval of $3.4 million to rebuild the earthquake-damaged gymnasium at the Sepulveda Veterans Administration medical clinic. His constituent service on behalf of disaster victims after the 1994 Northridge Earthquake has received wide praise from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Governor's Office of Emergency Services.
Congressman McKeon's legislative efforts have also been recognized by several national organizations. He has received awards from the Watchdogs of the Treasury, the National Taxpayers Union and U.S. Chamber of Commerce for his leadership in cutting federal spending and reducing taxes. In 1996, Congressman McKeon was named Newsmaker of the Year by the Santa Clarita Press Club and honored with the American Security Award and the Thomas Jefferson Award for Distinguished Service.
Born Sept. 9, 1938 in Tujunga, Calif., McKeon grew up in the Tujunga area and graduated from Verdugo Hills High School in 1956. After serving a two-year mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, McKeon attended Brigham Young University. He embarked on a "temporary" hiatus from his studies before finally gaining his bachelor�s degree in 1985.
In the meantime, McKeon got married, began raising his family and embarked on a career as businessman in the Santa Clarita Valley. He soon was involved in his community, through the Boy Scouts, Little League, the Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital board, the Chamber of Commerce, and many other organizations.
In 1978, McKeon was elected to the William S. Hart Union High School District Board of Trustees, and served until December 1987, when the city of Santa Clarita was incorporated and voters chose McKeon as a member of the first City Council. During the new City Council�s first meeting, McKeon was chosen by his colleagues as the city�s first Mayor. He served on the council for a full term, which expired in April 1992. During his tenure on the City Council, the city expanded its sheriff�s and parks programs, and earned a reputation as one of the safest cities in America.
He and his wife, Patricia, have six children, 24 grandchildren and reside in the Santa Clarita Valley.