Vern Ehlers: American politician (1934 - 2017) | Biography, Facts, Information, Career, Wiki, Life
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Vern Ehlers
American politician

Vern Ehlers

Vern Ehlers
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro American politician
Was Politician Educator
From United States of America
Field Academia Politics
Gender male
Birth 6 February 1934, Pipestone, Pipestone County, Minnesota, U.S.A.
Death 15 August 2017 (aged 83 years)
Star sign Aquarius
Politics Republican Party
The details (from wikipedia)


Vernon James "Vern" Ehlers (February 6, 1934 – August 15, 2017) was an American politician. He served one term in the Michigan House of Representatives before his election as state senator in 1984. Ehlers was a member of the Michigan Senate until 1993, when he was elected U.S. Representative for Michigan's 3rd congressional district, serving until 2011. He was a member of the Republican Party.

Ehlers was the first research physicist to be elected to Congress; he was later joined by Rush Holt, Jr. (D-NJ) and Bill Foster (D-IL).

Early life, education and academic career

Born in Pipestone, Minnesota, Ehlers attended Calvin College in Grand Rapids for three years before transferring to the University of California, Berkeley, where he earned an undergraduate degree in physics and, in 1960, a Ph.D. in nuclear physics. His doctoral dissertation, "The nuclear spins and moments of several radioactive gallium isotopes", is available from University Microfilms International as document number 0227304. After six years of teaching and research at Berkeley, he moved back to Michigan and took employment at Calvin College in 1966, where he taught physics for 16 years and later served as chairman of the Physics Department.

Ehlers died on August 15, 2017 at the age of 83.

Early political career

Ehlers served on the Kent County Board of Commissioners from 1975 to 1982. Ehlers served from 1983 to 1985 in the Michigan House of Representatives and then served from 1985 to 1993 in the Michigan Senate.

U.S. House of Representatives

Committee assignments

  • Committee on Education and Labor
    • Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary and Secondary Education
    • Subcommittee on Higher Education, Lifelong Learning, and Competitiveness
  • Committee on House Administration (Chairman and Ranking Member)
  • Committee on Science and Technology
    • Subcommittee on Energy and Environment
    • Subcommittee on Research and Science Education (Ranking Member)
  • Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure
    • Subcommittee on Aviation
    • Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation
    • Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment

Caucus memberships

  • Co-chair of the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) Ed Caucus
  • Peak Oil Caucus
Chairman Ehlers greets Ranking Member Juanita Millender-McDonald at a hearing of the House Administration Committee.

Ehlers served as chairman of the House Administration Committee in the 109th Congress after Bob Ney resigned from the position.

A portrait of Ehlers during his service as chairman of the Administration Committee is in the House collection.

Political positions

Ehlers was a moderate Republican. According to the National Journal, in 2006 his votes split 50-50 between "liberal" and "conservative." While strongly anti-abortion and supportive of lowering taxes, he was willing to break with his party on environmental and government spending issues. He was a member of the Republican Main Street Partnership and Republicans for Environmental Protection. He was the only member of the Michigan Congressional delegation of either party to vote to raise fuel economy standards for automobiles in 2001 and 2005.

Ehlers was a staunch advocate of a federal prohibition of online poker. In 2006 he cosponsored H.R. 4411, the Goodlatte-Leach Internet Gambling Prohibition Act and H.R. 4777, the Internet Gambling Prohibition Act.

Owing to his votes in favor of the Federal Marriage Amendment in both 2004 and 2006, as well as his votes against hate crimes legislation and prohibiting job discrimination based on sexual orientation, Ehlers was given a 0% rating by the Human Rights Campaign, indicating a voting record generally opposed to gay rights. However, in December 2010, Ehlers was one of fifteen Republican House members to vote in favor of repealing the United States military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" ban on openly gay service members, and one of eight Republicans to vote for the DREAM Act.

Political campaigns

In 1993 Ehlers won a special election for the 3rd District, which had been vacant since Congressman Paul B. Henry died six months into his fifth term. He won a full term in 1994 and was re-elected six times with little significant Democratic opposition. Ehlers retired from Congress in 2010.

Selected publications

Lead authored articles in scientific journals

  •  CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  •  CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  •  CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)

Articles on science policy

The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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