Rob Wittman (R-Va.)

U.S. Representative (since December 2007)

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Why He Matters

In two years, Wittman moved from the Westmoreland County Board of Supervisors to the Virginia House of Delegates, and then on to the U.S. House. He represents Virginia's 1st district, a Republican-leaning seat that stretches from Northern Virginia to Hampton Roads.

Wittman's district is home to a number of major military facilities. He has emerged as a strong advocate of defense spending, in particular of the Navy's shipbuilding programs. He has served as co-chairman of the bipartisan Congressional Shipbuilding Caucus. A member of the House Armed Services Committee, he became ranking member of its subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations.

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News From Around The Web

Wittman on Tax Reform via Bearing Drift


Wolf, Wittman support ‘clean’ funding bill, bucking Boehner and GOP caucus

The House members both have constituencies in federal-worker-heavy Northern Virginia.


Wittman defends record in District 1 debate at Christopher Newport Univ.

The incumbent faces challengers Adam Cook (D) and Gail Parker (Independent Greens)


Rob Wittman (R-Va.)

U.S. Representative (since December 2007)

Morning Bits

(Carolyn Kaster / AP)

Must-read links to start the day.

Bill would pay workers for shutdown time

The bill would ensure that the government pays all federal employees for the shutdown period, regardless of whether they were furloughed.


Va. approves controversial Dominion power line over historic James River

(Scott Neville / For The Washington Post)

Historic preservationists have already heightened their fight, meeting with aides to federal lawmakers.

Area GOP reps buck party, support 'clean' funding

GOP Reps. Frank Wolf and Rob Wittman of Virginia take a different approach.


At a Glance

  • Career History: Virginia House of Delegates (2005-2007), Westmoreland County Board of Supervisors (1996-2005), Director of Field Operations for the Virginia Health Department's Division of Shellfish Sanitation (1992-2007)
  • Birthday: February 3, 1959
  • Residence: Montross, Virginia
  • Alma Mater: B.S., Virginia Polytechnic Institute; Master's in public health, University of North Carolina; Ph.D. in public policy and administration, Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Spouse: Kathryn Jane Sisson
  • Religion: Episcopalian
  • Committees: Armed Services Committee (ranking member on the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations), Natural Ressources Committee
  • DC Office: 1318 Longworth House Office Building: 202-225-4261

Path To Power

Raised in Richmond, Wittman studied biology at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. He went on to earn a master's in public health from the University of North Carolina and a Ph.D. in public policy and administration from Virginia Commonwealth University. He wrote his 560-page dissertation on shellfish regulations to examine what motivates scientific decisions. "Are they truly based solely on science or do political, social and economic characteristics creep in?," he said in 2007.

In 1984, Wittman started work as an environmental-health specialist for the Middle Peninsula Virginia Department of Health. He eventually became the field director for the Virginia Health Department's Division of Shellfish Sanitation, a position he held from 1992 until his election to Congress in 2007.

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The Issues

Given his district's proximity to Washington, Wittman has worked to attract federal jobs to the region. He has championed the creation of a secure telecommuting center in his district and the inclusion of the Fredericksburg area in the National Capital Region.

Wittman typically cultivates a low-key profile and avoids heated rhetoric when attacking Democratic proposals, which has led some tea party activists who would want him to use words like "socialists" to express discontent. Yet, in 2009 he avoided offering a clear answer when confronted with questions about President Barack Obama's birthplace at a townhall. The Daily Press reported that he left the door open to the existence of still-undisclosed information and that he didn't take a firm stance when asked whether Obama was a citizen.

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The Network

Wittman is a member of the Republican Study Committee, a large group of lawmakers who represent the GOP's conservative wing.

He works with Rep. Gene Taylor (D-Mo.) as co-chair of the bipartisan Congressional Shipbuilding Caucus.


Additional Resources

  1. "Wittman warns against bringing terrorists to Newport News," The King George Journal, August 19, 2009
  2. Whitley, Tyler, "Hopefuls reach out to voters,"Richmond Times Dispatch, December 3, 2007
  3. Thomas, Major congressional action on H.R. 1053
  4. Lerman, David, "Wittman says he's frustrated by gridlock," Daily Press, December 9, 2007
  5. Wittman press release, "Congressman Wittman Advocates Economically Viable Transition to Clean Energy," June 26, 2009
  6. McArdle, John, "Wittman's Meteoric Rise," Roll Call, December 13, 2007
  7. Lerman, David, "Wittman says he's frustrated by gridlock," Daily Press, December 9, 2007 and Whitley, Tyler, "Hopefuls reach out to voters,"Richmond Times Dispatch, December 3, 2007
  8. Battle, Emily, "Wittman faces newcomer," The Free Lance-Star, October 31, 2008
  9. Payne, Kimball, "10 questions, Rob Wittman," Daily Press, December 4, 2007
  10. Frost, Peter, "More shipbuilding cash sought," Daily Press, January 14, 2010
  11. Lerman, David, "Wittman cites his time as an elected official," Daily Press, November 8, 2007
  12. Hugh Lessig and David Lerman, "Experience, moderation key as Wittman gets GOP nod," Daily Press, November 11, 2007
  13. Battle, Emily, "Is Senate bill right answer?," The Free Lance-Star, October 3, 2008 and Lessig, Hugh, "Why Hamptons Roads lawmakers said 'no',," Daily Press, September 30, 2008
  14. Freehling, Bil, "Wittman: We ought to be part of NCR," The Free Lance-Star, March 11, 2009 and Freehling, Bill, "Wittman's bill seeks federal jobs," The Free Lance-Star, July 16, 2010
  15. Lessig, Hugh, "Wittman gives Karzai fair grade," Daily Press, April 13, 2010
  16. Davis, Chelyen, "Wittman kicks off re-election bid," The Free Lance-Star, April 20, 2010
  17. Dietrich, Tamara, "Town hall brings out cold hearts, empty heads," Daily Press, September 2, 2009
  18. Eisman, Dale, "Local representatives remained unanimously opposed to bill," The Virginian-Pilot, October 4, 2008
  19. Roll call vote
  20. Lerman, David, "Wittman says he's frustrated by gridlock," Daily Press, December 9, 2007 and Davis, Chelyen, "GOP's primary a test of strength," The Free Lance-Star, May 30, 2010
  21. Rob Wittman for Congress, On the Issuess
  22. Harper, Scott, "Industry, environmental groups back more Bay cleanup scrutiny," The Virginian-Pilot, September, 4, 2008 and Nealon, Cory, "Bill would track cleanup spending," Daily Press, October 1, 2009