Newport Beach, California , United States
|| October 16, 1952
Jan 31, 2023 04:39pm
Married - Catholic -
|Info||Charles Christopher "Chris" Cox |
Christopher Cox is the highest-ranking Californian in the Majority Leadership in Congress. As Chairman of the House Policy Committee, elected by the full majority Conference in the House for five consecutive terms, he is the fourth-ranking member of the leadership behind the Speaker.
On January 7, 2003, J. Dennis Hastert, the Speaker of the House, appointed Chairman Cox to head the new Homeland Security Committee in the House. For more information please go to [Link]
Among Chairman Cox's other responsibilities are:
House Leadership Steering Committee (makes Committee assignments in the House)
Member, Committee on Energy and Commerce
Member, Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Telecommunications
Member, Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and Air Quality
Click here for Rep. Cox's short-form biography.
Click here for press biographies about Rep. Cox.
During the first session of the 107th Congress, President George W. Bush signed into law H.R. 1552, Chairman Cox�s Internet Tax Non-Discrimination Act. The new law extends through November 1, 2003 the moratorium on new, special, and discriminatory Internet taxes that was originally enacted in 1998 and also authored by Chairman Cox.
On April 24, 2001, Rep. Cox released the unanimous and bipartisan Report of the Study Group on Enhancing Multilateral Export Controls. The Study Group, co-chaired by Chairman Cox, Senator Michael B. Enzi (R-WY), Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), and Congressman Howard L. Berman (D-CA), was established by law in the 2000 Defense Appropriations Act. Its members included leaders from the U.S. Senate, U.S. House, the Bush and Clinton administrations, industry, and academia. The Study Group proposes a sweeping reform of export controls, including the establishment of mutually agreed-upon international controls to replace the current weak and ineffective system in which each country goes it alone.
As chairman of the Speaker's Advisory Group on Russia during the second session of the 106th Congress, Rep. Cox presided over a high-level group of House leaders including the Chairmen of six House committees: Armed Services, Appropriations, Banking, Intelligence, International Relations, and the Joint Economic Committee. Chairman Cox issued a 209-page report on U.S.- Russia relations on September 20, 2000.
In the 105th Congress, Rep. Cox served as chairman of the Select Committee on U.S. National Security and Military/Commercial Concerns with the People�s Republic of China, which was created by a 409-10 vote of the House on June 18, 1998. The bipartisan Select Committee unanimously approved its report December 30, 1998, prompting major legislative and administrative action. The unclassified version of the report was issued in three volumes in May 1999. Since then, 28 of the Select Committee's recommendations have been enacted, including the creation of a new National Nuclear Security Administration to take over the nuclear weapons security responsibilities of the Department of Energy.
Since leaving President Reagan's White House staff to begin his career in Congress, Christopher Cox has established himself as a leading advocate of economic growth through lower taxes, free enterprise, and limited government. In the past few years, he has seen more than a dozen of his bills enacted into law, including the Internet Non-Discrimination Act--which provides for the current moratorium on multiple and discriminatory taxes on the Internet--and the Securities Litigation Reform Act, the only bill that became law over President Clinton's veto.
Rep. Cox's expertise and his thoughtful approach to legislation have earned him bipartisan support outside of Congress as well. In 1994, President Clinton appointed him to the Bipartisan Commission on Entitlement and Tax Reform. The Los Angeles Times, in a rare endorsement of a Republican, called him "an intelligent spokesman for fiscal responsibility and an expert on foreign affairs." George Will, writing in Newsweek, praised Cox's efforts to bring honesty to the federal budget process. And the Wall Street Journal featured him as a key leader in a page-one profile on the historic opening day of the 104th Congress.
Rep. Cox has won numerous awards from grassroots organizations. Each year since he was first elected, he has earned the prestigious "Golden Bulldog Award" from the Watchdogs of the Treasury for his consistent votes to stop runaway government spending. He has regularly been named a "Hero to the Taxpayer" by the 500,000-member grassroots lobbying group Citizens Against Government Waste. In addition, the National Taxpayers Union has consistently honored him with the "Taxpayer's Friend Award" for his work to promote free enterprise and limit the scope of government; the National Federation of Independent Business has each year given him the "Friend of Small Business" Award; and the citizen watchdog group Consumer Alert has twice presented him with their "Friend of the Consumer" Award.
Southern California voters have always sent Christopher Cox to the U.S. House of Representatives with more than 65 percent of the popular vote. In 1996, his re-election came with the largest margin of victory of all California Republicans. In the 1994 Republican sweep, he won with 72 percent � and the largest popular vote of all California's 52 Congressional races.
Domestic Policy Priorities
After waging the fight to repeal the Death Tax for nearly a decade, Rep. Cox's Death Tax repeal legislation was signed into law by President George W. Bush on June 7, 2001. He had introduced the first major Death Tax repeal legislation in 1993 with zero cosponsors. No bill to repeal the Death Tax had ever been seriously considered in the entire 20th Century. But by 1998, Rep. Cox had more than 200 cosponsors of his legislation, including the entire GOP leadership. The 10-year phaseout signed into law by President Bush is a compromise of his legislation, which would have immediately repealed the tax.
Even before entering Congress, as a member of President Reagan�s White House staff, Rep. Cox was responsible for drafting a comprehensive overhaul of the badly broken federal budget-making system. After his election to Congress, he introduced it as the Budget Process Reform Act, with the bipartisan sponsorship of over 200 of his colleagues. It would require a simplified, binding budget in the form of a law before Congress could spend taxpayers' money. In May 2000, the bill received its first-ever floor vote--falling short of the necessary 218 votes for House passage, but winning Gov. George W. Bush's attention in the process. In June 2000, Gov. Bush made budget process reform a plank in his platform.
Rep. Cox has been at the forefront of protecting the Internet from destructive taxation and regulation. In the 105th Congress, Rep. Cox passed the Internet Tax Freedom Act, which prevents state and local taxes on the Internet, and establishes a process to make the Internet a global tax-free zone. His Internet Freedom and Family Empowerment Act, which passed the House on a 420-4 vote in 1996, prohibited FCC regulation of the Internet. It also encouraged the development of commercial software to permit the screening of objectionable material on the Internet.
Rep. Cox authored the successful initiative to eliminate the Interstate Commerce Commission, the oldest (and most outdated) regulatory agency in Washington.
Another Cox landmark is the long-sought privatization of the National Helium Reserve, a notoriously wasteful government program that had long since outlived its purpose (fielding a blimp fleet in World War I). Thanks to Rep. Cox's law, its antiquated plant and facilities near Amarillo, Texas, were put on the block in late 1998, and the federal government transferred title to 100 years' worth of federal helium needs.
Two other Cox bills were recently signed into law by President Clinton: The Savings In Construction Act (which allows more cost-effective metric conversion in federal construction projects), and the Fast and Efficient Tax Filing Act (which permits taxpayers to send their tax returns using express delivery services, letting people avoid long lines at the Post Office on April 15).
Rep. Cox has strongly supported efforts to fight crime. Cox-authored legislation to prohibit convicted murderers from re-litigating their cases by incessantly filing and re-filing petitions in federal court was passed in 1996, 291-140. It was recently upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court.
Even while Republicans were in the minority, Rep. Cox found ways to influence legislation and get his own bills passed. In 1993, along with Democrat Charles Schumer of New York, Rep. Cox was the chief Republican sponsor of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, a civil liberties bill that received much national attention. It was signed into law by President Clinton on November 16, 1993. As Chairman of the Task Force on Capital Markets in three successive Congresses, he led the fight to repeal the so-called "capital gains" penalty tax on savings and investment, and to eliminate the double tax on dividends. (The capital gains tax rate was finally cut in 1997 after Republicans won the majority.)
Foreign Policy and National Security Priorities
As Chairman of the Policy Committee, Rep. Cox is well positioned to help set our nation's foreign policy in the post-Cold War era.
On March 15, 2000, House Speaker Dennis Hastert asked him to lead the Speaker's Advisory Group on Russia, a special panel of House committee chairmen assembled to review U.S. policy toward Russia.
Rep. Cox's appointment to head a Select Committee on U.S. National Security was approved by the near-unanimous vote of the House on June, 22, 1998, and resulted in the influential Cox Report issued in mid-1999.
His leadership on China policy didn't begin here, however: In the 105th Congress, Chairman Cox crafted 11 separate bills articulating a new, comprehensive China policy that seeks to reward governmental respect for individual freedom, democracy, and free enterprise while directly addressing Communist failures in these areas. The House unanimously approved the first two Cox bills on China policy in June and July, 1997, and then, in a marathon Thursday-through-Sunday session during November 1997, considered no fewer than nine more Cox-written bills. Every one was passed, by an average margin of more than 90%.
During the 1996 Taiwan missile crisis, when the People's Republic of China launched nuclear-capable missiles over Taiwan for several days prior to the island's first-ever democratic presidential election, Rep. Cox authored legislation rebuking the Clinton policy of "strategic ambiguity." The Cox resolution, which stated flatly that if the PRC invaded Taiwan then America would defend her militarily, passed the House 369-14 and the Senate 97-0.
Chairman Cox has been a forceful advocate for a greater emphasis on defensive weapons, including those protecting U.S. citizens against biological, chemical, and nuclear attack. Under his direction, the Policy Committee has led the fight on the floor for both strategic missile defense and against the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
Rep. Cox has earned international recognition for his continuing efforts to assist the former captive nations of the Soviet Empire in their transition to democracy and free markets. He worked successfully for the inclusion of former Warsaw Pact nations in the NATO defensive alliance. A Cox resolution calling for the removal of Russian troops from the Baltic Sea region of Kaliningrad � troops which pose a continuing threat to regional security � passed the House in 1996, and was publicly credited by the Presidents of the three Baltic nations with hastening recent Russian troop reductions there. In October 1998, Lithuanian President Valdas Adamkus presented him with the Baltic nation�s highest award for a living foreign leader.
Rep. Cox is the author of the Support for Eastern European Democracy Act, signed into law by President Bush, which facilitated private investment in Poland and Hungary instead of wasteful foreign aid. Prior to the collapse of the Soviet Empire, he was a leader in the fight to re-establish Baltic independence, and once delivered a speech in Russian to 300 members of the Soviet Air Force and Navy in the closed Soviet Far East city of Vladivostok. Rep. Cox's first successful bill, H.R. 2022, in 1989, gave refugee status to Ukrainian Orthodox and Ukrainian Catholics being persecuted by the Soviet government. It passed unanimously.
At the requests of President Bush, Speaker of the House Tom Foley, Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, and Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert, Rep. Cox has served as an observer to elections in Lithuania, Poland, and Russia, and as a delegate of the Helsinki Commission to Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. His foreign affairs interests include the Middle East as well, where he has met with the leaders of Israel, Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon, and where � in 1991 � he traveled to war-torn Kuwait and Iraq during the Gulf War. In our hemisphere, he has served as an election observer in El Salvador and as leader of a Mexico City delegation to the President and Congressional leaders of Mexico.
While many on Capitol Hill dream of moving down Pennsylvania Avenue to the White House, Christopher Cox, who was then a White House counsel to President Reagan, spent 1988 moving the other way � up the street to Congress. From 1986-1988, he served as Senior Associate Counsel to President Reagan, advising the President on a broad range of policy matters � including writing President Reagan's Budget Process Reform Act(which Rep. Cox later introduced in Congress, and which received its first-ever floor vote in 2000). He also served as an advisor to the President on judicial selections, including the nomination and confirmation of three Supreme Court Justices.
Prior to his White House career, Rep. Cox, along with his father, a retired publisher, founded a company that provided a complete English translation of the former Soviet Union's leading daily paper, Pravda. For four years, beginning in 1984, their firm, which had no relationship with the Soviet Union, offered a rare glimpse of Soviet propaganda designed for the Russians themselves. The translations were used by the CIA, the FBI, U.S. military intelligence, and colleges and universities in 26 countries throughout the world.
From 1978 to 1986, he specialized in venture capital and corporate finance with the international law firm of Latham & Watkins, where he was the partner in charge of the Corporate Department in Orange County and a member of the firm's national management.
In 1982-83, Rep. Cox took a leave of absence from Latham & Watkins to teach federal income tax at Harvard Business School.
In 1977-78, he was law clerk to U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Herbert Choy, the first Asian-American federal appellate judge in America. The preceding year, he graduated simultaneously from Harvard Business School and the Harvard Law School, with honors, where for two years he served as an Editor of the Harvard Law Review. He graduated magna cum laude from the University of Southern California in 1973, after completing a three-year accelerated course.
Orange County: Hi-Tech World Leader
Rep. Cox's entrepreneurial background fits the "Tech Coast" of Southern California well. With a population of nearly 3 million people and an annual economic output of $138 billion, Orange County is one of the most successful and diverse hi-tech centers of commerce in the world. Its economy is larger than all but 31 nations in the world � ranking ahead of Israel, Portugal, and Singapore. Orange County's diverse population is larger than 20 states, and its economy is bigger than 25 states. It is one of California's top exporting regions, behind only Silicon Valley and Los Angeles, and tied with San Francisco. Orange County exports more than $12 billion worth of goods each year, from computers to state-of-the-art medical equipment, biotechnology, and other ultra-sophisticated technological goods. In just the last three years, high-tech exports from Orange County companies have grown by 53%.
Orange County is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, stretching for miles along the Pacific Ocean between Los Angeles and San Diego. The "Places Rated Almanac" has selected Orange County as the best place to live in the nation, ahead of more than 350 other metropolitan areas.
Orange County is a national center for higher education. Universities and colleges in Rep. Cox's district include the University of California, Irvine, where Rep. Cox serves on the Advisory Board of the world-class Brain Imaging Center, and Chapman University, on whose Board of Trustees Rep. Cox serves.
The Anaheim Angels baseball team and the Anaheim Mighty Ducks hockey team make their homes in Rep. Cox's district. The Anaheim Pond, home of the Ducks, is also the second most active concert venue in America, behind only Madison Square Garden. Orange County is home to the Ronald Reagan Federal Courthouse, authorized in legislation Rep. Cox wrote as a member of the House Public Works Committee in 1992.
Christopher Cox was born October 16, 1952. He, his wife Rebecca, and their three children, Charles, Katie, and Kevin, live in Newport Beach, California.