|Name||Joseph R. Pitts|
Kennett Square, Pennsylvania , United States
|| October 10, 1939
Jan 14, 2019 11:38pm
Married - Air Force - Protestant -
|Info||Joe Pitts is a third-term Congressman who represents the 16th Congressional District of Pennsylvania, a district that stretches from the far western Philadelphia suburbs out into the rolling countryside famous for its Amish and Mennonite culture. |
The son of an Army chaplain turned missionary, Joe spent several years of his youth living in the Philippines. He attended Asbury College in Kentucky and received his Masters Degree from West Chester University in Pennsylvania. He served in the United States Air Force from 1963 to 1969, rising to the rank of Captain and flying 116 combat missions as a navigator and electronic warfare officer in Vietnam.
After leaving the Air Force, Joe returned to teaching math and science and coaching basketball at Great Valley High School, near Malvern in Chester County, Pennsylvania.
In 1972 Joe was urged by his friends to run for the state legislature. Running as an underdog, he won a tight primary by a 16-vote margin. He won easily in the fall, however, and went on to serve for 24 years. Rising in seniority, he became chairman of the Labor and Industry Committee. He was then elected by his colleagues to chair the powerful House Appropriations Committee for eight years.
When former Congressman Bob Walker decided to retire in 1996, Joe decided to run to replace him. He won a contested five-way primary and handily in the fall.
During his first term, Joe served on the Budget, Transportation, and Small Business committees, working hard to balance the federal budget and acquire much-needed and long-overdue funding for highway safety improvements in Lancaster and Chester counties. In his second term, he moved from the Transportation Committee to Armed Services Committee, where he became a champion of electronic warfare technology. Now, in his third term, Joe has left all three previous assignments to serve on the Energy and Commerce Committee and the International Relations Committee. He serves on the Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection; Environment and Hazardous Materials; and Health subcommittees of the Commerce Committee. He serves on the International Operations and Human Rights, and Middle East and South Asia subcommittees of the International Relations Committee.
Throughout his nearly six years in Congress, Joe has been a staunch fiscal conservative and promoter of traditional family values. He is chairman of the Central Asia Caucus, the Electronic Warfare Working Group, the Fatherhood Promotion Task Force, the Religious Prisoners Congressional Task Force, the Values Action Team, and the Wilberforce Group. He belongs to the Alzheimer�s Caucus, the Air Force Caucus, the Fire Caucus, the Helsinki Commission, the Human Rights Caucus, the Pro-Life Caucus, the Republican Study Committee, the Steel Caucus, and the Congressional Caucus on the Western Sahara.
Joe has also worked hard to champion human rights and humanitarian efforts around the world, even prior to his assignment to the International Relations Committee. He has coordinated humanitarian aid to Western Sahara, Pakistan, and many other countries. He regularly advocates for people who have been imprisoned for their religious beliefs.
Joe is active with many organizations at home in Pennsylvania as well, including the Brandywine Valley Association, Bridges of Peace International, Crosslinks, Eastern College, the Keystone State Games, the Po-Mar-Lin Fire Company, the Retired Officers Association, Rotary Club International, and the Veterans of Foreign Wars.
Among the many awards and honors he has received are the Award for Manufacturing Legislation Excellence from the National Association of Manufacturers, the Guardian of Small Business Award from the National Federation of Independent Business, the Spirit of Enterprise Award from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Taxpayer Hero Award from Citizens Against Government Waste, and the Hero of the Taxpayer Award from Americans for Tax Reform.