At a Glance
- Career History:
U.S. Representative (1982 to present);
House Budget Committee
Chair (2007-January 2011); President, Spratt Insurance Agency (1973 to 1982); Bank of Fort Mill, President (1973 to 1982)
- Birthday: Nov. 1, 1942
- Hometown: York, S.C.
- Alma Mater: Davidson College, A.B., 1964; Oxford University, M.A. 1966; Yale University, L.L.B., 1969
- Spouse: Jane Stacy
- Religion: Presbyterian
- DC Office: 1401 LHOB; 202-225-5501
- State/District Office: Darlington, 843-393-3998; Rock Hill, 803-327-1114; Sumter, 803-773-3362
- Web site
Path to Power
Spratt grew up in York, S.C. After graduating from Davidson College, he earned a Marshall Scholarship to study economics at Oxford University and then went on to get a law degree from Yale. He spent two years in the Army after finishing his schooling before returning to York to work as a lawyer.
In 1974, he worked on a losing gubernatorial campaign, which served as his introduction to politics. Even though his candidate lost, it proved a valuable learning experience for Spratt. In 1982, Rep. Ken Holland (D-S.C.) decided not to run for reelection just one week before the filing date. Spratt jumped on the opportunity to run, filing quickly and winning the election.
Spratt is a thoroughly moderate Democrat. A veteran member of the House Budget Committee with a master's degree in economics, Spratt has made a name trying to balance the budget, and eliminating deficits has always been his top priority.
But he's not simply a fiscal conservative. On many issues, he can be difficult to pin down. In 2002, he proposed an alternative to legislation to give the president the authority to go to war in Iraq, but then voted for the final version of the bill authorizing the war after his alternative failed.
Thomas Kahn, the staff director and chief counsel for the House Budget Committee, is a veteran Hill staffer who has spent three decades in Congress. He has worked for Spratt for years, but got his start as a legislative assistant for then-Rep Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) in 1978.
Despite the fact that she appointed him assistant to the majority leader in 2002, Spratt broke with Pelosi after the 2006 election, backing the more conservative Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) for majority leader instead of Pelosi's choice of John Murtha (D-Pa.)