Richard Gephardt

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Dick Gephardt (Richard Andrew Gephardt) (1941- ) was a Democrat representing Missouri in the U.S. House of Representatives from January 3, 1977 until January 3, 2005. He was majority leader in the One Hundred First through One Hundred Third Congresses and minority leader in the One Hundred Fourth through One Hundred Seventh Congresses. He ran as a candidate for the democratic nomination for presidency in 2004. [1] June 16, 2005, he joined the U.S. offices of the global law firm DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Cary as senior counsel in the Government Affairs practice. [2] In 2006, although not listed by the investment firm on its website or in its news releases, he surfaced in the news media in California [3] and Illinois [4] as a representative on Goldman-Sachs promoting the privatization of highways to state officials.

Official Bio

According to Gephardt's House of Representatives' biography, Rep. Richard Gephardt "was the first leader to call for quickly establishing a Department of Homeland Security to protect the public from a second attack [following 9/11]. ..."

"Gephardt has also sought to promote economic and personal security by strengthening bedrock commitments to the American people, especially Medicare and Social Security. He has fought for an economic plan that would provide a much-needed short-term jolt to the economy while laying the groundwork for long-term prosperity and opportunity for every hard-working family. ... Joining with Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), he has repeatedly reached across the aisle to pass campaign finance reform, end corporate welfare and restore tax code fairness for all.

"In an economic address to the Democratic Leadership Council in January 2002, Gephardt argued that a long term vision of energy independence, technological advancement and pension fairness would reflect bedrock Democratic values and restore growth and prosperity across the country. 'Opportunity, responsibility, and community isn't just a slogan, it defines who we are as a party,' said Gephardt. ...

"Gephardt was first elected to represent Missouri's Third Congressional District in 1976. As a House freshman, he was given the rare opportunity of serving on both the Ways and Means and Budget Committees, where he became a national leader on health care, trade and tax fairness.

"In 1984, Gephardt was elected Chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, the fourth-ranking leadership position in the House. In 1987, he became the first Democratic candidate to enter the 1988 presidential race, where he won the Iowa Democratic Caucus and helped frame the economic issues that dominated the election. In 1989, he was elected by his colleagues in the House to serve as their Majority Leader."


This article is part of the Tobacco portal on Sourcewatch funded from 2006 - 2009 by the American Legacy Foundation.

Congressional Records and Controversies

Iraq War

Gephardt voted for the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002 that started the Iraq War.[1]

For more information see the chart of U.S. House of Representatives votes on the Iraq War.

Tobacco issues

In March 1979, Congressman Dick Gephardt sponsored a bill to increase the Federal excise tax on cigarettes from 8 cents to 10 cents per package. At a news conference to announce the bill, Rep. Gepiaardt explained that the purpose of the bill was to offset costs to the Social Security Disability program attributable to cigarette smoking. The bill also imposed a 9 percent "disability" surcharge on producers of alcoholic beverages.[5]

On August 5, 1997, Gephardt wrote to then-President Bill Clinton to protest a provision inserted into a budget bill on behalf of the tobacco industry (allegedly during the night and without disclosure prior to voting) to allow cigarette manufactuers to write off a cigarette tax increase against their liability under the proposed national tobacco settlement. Gephardt asked Clinton to use his line-item veto to eliminate the provision.[6]

Gephardt also gratefully received support from cigarette makers for his reelection campaigns.[7][8]

Mother Jones magazine, in its May/June 1996 issue, reported:

Among the Democratic leadership in the House, Minority Leader Richard Gephardt (D-MO) is the seventh-largest recipient of tobacco funds, receiving $67,258 between 1986-1995. In the first six months of 1995 alone, Gephardt took in $11,000 from tobacco.[9]

LGBT Issues

In November 2003, the New York Times reported that "Mr. Gephardt's decision to turn the spotlight on his [30-year old] daughter [Chrissy] underscores his own evolution in 27 years in Congress. In the early 1980's, he opposed abortion, school busing and federally financed legal services for gay men and lesbians. [10]

"Over the years, he has changed those positions and today is hailed by gay and lesbian rights groups for sponsoring legislation against hate crimes and discrimination and for being the first presidential hopeful to give a gay relative such a prominent and public platform." [11]


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Articles & Commentary

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  1. Roll call vote, Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002.
  2. Trustees, RAND Corporation, accessed February 8, 2011.
  3. Centene Board, organizational web page, accessed March 24, 2018.