Robert William "Rob" Bishop (born July 13, 1951) is the U.S. Representative for Utah's 1st congressional district, serving since 2003. He is a member of the Republican Party.
Early life, education, and early career
Bishop was born in Kaysville, Utah and graduated from Davis High School. He served as a Mormon missionary in Germany from 1970 until 1972. Bishop received a bachelor's degree in political science from the University of Utah in Salt Lake City in 1974. He taught civics classes at Brigham City's Box Elder High School from 1974 to 1980; he next taught German in Ogden, Utah at Ben Lomond High School; then he returned to teaching government and history classes at Box Elder High School until his retirement from teaching in 2002. While a teacher at Box Elder, Bishop partnered with the Close Up Foundation to help students participate in Close Up's Washington, D.C. based civic education programs. He remains actively involved in the program and works to ensure that Utah students have the opportunity to visit Washington, D.C.
Early political career
Bishop was a member of the Utah House of Representatives from 1978 to 1994. He was House Majority Leader and later served as Speaker of the House from 1992 until 1994. After his retirement from the state legislature, Bishop returned to Box Elder High School and taught advanced placement courses while chairing the history department.
In 1997 he was elected chairman of the Utah Republican Party, and served for two terms in this position. He has also worked as a legislative lobbyist in Washington.
U.S. House of Representatives
In 2002, Bishop returned to politics when he ran for the Republican nomination in the 1st District. 22-year incumbent Jim Hansen had recently announced his retirement. At the state Republican convention, he finished first in the seven-candidate field and went on to face State Representative Kevin Garn in a primary. He defeated Garn in that primary with 59.8 percent of the vote, all but assuring him of being the next congressman from this heavily Republican district. As expected, he won the general election with 61% of the vote. He has won re-election in 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010, and 2012 with even larger margins. In 2014, he was reelected with 64% of the vote.
As a teacher, he has made education related issues a top priority. He is a strong advocate for increased local control of schools. He opposes No Child Left Behind and supports school vouchers. He was also a co-sponsor of a proposed amendment to guarantee a balanced federal budget.
From 2008–2010 Bishop served as Chairman of the Congressional Western Caucus, where he advocated for multiple use of public lands and the need for fewer restrictions and mandates that limit use.
In May 2010 Bishop joined with other conservative House members to launch the 10th Amendment Task Force. The Task Force aims to educate Congress and the public about the concept of Federalism.
As a Member of Congress, Bishop has introduced legislation to increase domestic energy production in the United States, such as the 3-D energy bill. Ever a proponent of Multiple use parks over single use parks, he leveraged his position as Chairman of the Subcommittee over National Parks, Forests and Public Lands to stop the Department of Interior from designating areas as new de facto wilderness areas known as Wild Lands.
In February 2011, Bishop introduced an amendment during the debate on a continuing budget resolution for fiscal year 2011 that would have prohibited the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) from spending federal funds on the National Landscape Conservation System. After coming under fire for introducing this amendment, Bishop withdrew it before the continuing budget resolution was voted on.
In mid-2011, after touring of the U.S. Mexico border, Bishop led the charge on introducing a border security bill, H.R. 1505 the National Security and Federal Lands Protection Act. This bill gives the U.S. Border Patrol the authority to override specific environmental laws in order to allow the U.S. Border Patrol greater access to some of the most highly trafficked areas along the border. U.S. Border Patrol agents have cited that their efforts to address rampant criminal activity along the border have been hampered by environmental laws. The bill passed the House Natural Resources Committee and has not yet been brought before the full U.S. House of Representatives for a vote.
Similarly, Bishop co-sponsored a bill put forth by House Majority whip Kevin McCarthy to remove regulations from 43 million acres (170,000 km2) of Forest Service Roadless Areas and Wilderness Study Areas to multiple use purposes.
Well known for his fashionable three piece suits, Bishop was named the third-best-dressed congressmen in 2012 according to the Washingtonian.
In 2013, Bishop announced the establishment of the Utah Public Lands Initiative. According to a staff report prepared by the offices of Bishop, Jason Chaffetz, and Chris Stewart, the Utah Public Lands Initiative is a locally driven initiative to bring resolution to some of the most challenging land disputes in the State of Utah. The initiative is rooted in the believe that conservation and economic development can coexist to make Utah a better place to live, work, and visit.
In February 2014 House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings announced that he will retire at the close of the 113th Congress. Bishop, rumored to be a top contender for the Chairmanship, was named to succeed him.
On April 10, 2013, Bishop introduced the Ensuring Public Involvement in the Creation of National Monuments Act (H.R. 1459; 113th Congress). The bill would amend the Antiquities Act of 1906 to subject national monument declarations by the President to the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA). At present, the President of the United States can unilaterally declare something a national monument, whereas the United States Congress is required to follow a more rigorous series of procedures to gather input from the public.
In addition to limiting the number of national monument declarations the president could make, the bill would forbid the government from declaring land belonging to a private owner as a national monument without the private owner's consent. Bishop argued that "the American people deserve the opportunity to participate in land-use decisions regardless of whether they are made in Congress or by the President". He claims his new bill would ensure "that new national monuments are created openly with consideration of public input".
- Committee on Natural Resources - Chairman
- Subcommittee on Public Lands and Environmental Regulation (Chairman)
- House Armed Services Committee
- Tenth Amendment Task Force (Co-Founder)
- Second Amendment Task Force
- Congressional Lupus Caucus
- House GOP Policy Committee (Vice Chair)
- Co-founder of the Western States Coalition
- past Chairman of the Congressional Western Caucus
- Tea Party Caucus
- Republican Study Committee
Bishop is the co-founder of the Western State Coalition, a states' rights organization.
|Year||Democratic||Votes||Pct||Republican||Votes||Pct||3rd Party||Party||Votes||Pct||3rd Party||Party||Votes||Pct|
|2002||Dave Thomas||66,104||37%||Rob Bishop||109,265||61%||Craig Axford||Green||4,027||2%||*|
|2004||Steven Thompson||85,630||29%||Rob Bishop||199,615||68%||Charles Johnston||Constitution||4,510||2%||Richard W. Soderberg||Personal Choice||4,206||1%|
|2006||Steven Olsen||57,922||32%||Rob Bishop||112,546||63%||Mark Hudson||Constitution||5,539||3%||Lynn Badler||Libertarian||2,467||1%|
|2008||Morgan Bowen||87,139||30.4%||Rob Bishop||186,031||65.0%||Kirk D. Pearson||Constitution||6,861||2.4%||Joseph G. Buchman||Libertarian||6,287||2.2%|
Bishop is married to Jeralynn Hansen, a former Miss Peach Queen for Brigham City, Utah, where he and his family currently live. They have five children – four sons and one daughter. All his sons' names can be found in the Book of Mormon.