Current Position: US Representative for US House District 8 since 2015
Mission Statement: N/A
Source: Government page
Don began his career in public service in 1989, when he was first elected as Virginia’s 36th Lieutenant Governor alongside Governor Douglas Wilder. He became the first champion for Virginians with physical and sensory disabilities, chairing a disabilities commission for eight years that has become a central responsibility of subsequent lieutenant governors.
While leading Virginia’s Poverty and Welfare Reform Commission, Don was credited with passing the state’s landmark welfare reform legislation, which has served as a model for federal reforms.
As Chair of the Virginia Economic Recovery Commission, he helped pass permanent pro-business reforms and was co-founder of the Northern Virginia Technology Council.
Rep. Beyer was Virginia’s Democratic nominee for governor in 1997.
After leaving office, Rep. Beyer spent fourteen years as Chair of Jobs for Virginia Graduates, a highly successful high school dropout prevention program, and was active for a decade on the board of the D.C. Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy.
As an active leader in Democratic politics, Don served as: the Virginia Chair of both the Clinton-Gore and Kerry-Edwards campaigns, the Treasurer and Virginia Chair for Howard Dean, Finance Chairman with Mark Warner’s Forward Together campaign, and Mid-Atlantic Finance Chair for President Obama.
In 2009, President Obama nominated Don to serve in his administration as Ambassador to Switzerland and Liechtenstein. He used his position to advocate for stricter sanctions to compel Iran to begin nuclear disarmament discussions. As Ambassador, Rep. Beyer was integral to US Department of Justice efforts to halt the abuses of Swiss bank secrecy by wealthy Americans.
Don Beyer was inaugurated on January 6, 2015 to his first term as a Member of Congress serving Virginia’s 8th congressional district, representing Arlington, Alexandria, Falls Church, and parts of Fairfax County.
Don has spent the past 40 years building his family business into a successful, community-based collection of retail automobile dealerships, including nine franchises and five manufacturers. Inspired by a summer job at a car dealership in 1974.
He is a graduate of Williams College and Gonzaga College High School in Washington, DC. He was also named a Presidential Scholar by President Lyndon Johnson.
Don has four children, Clara, Grace, Don, and Stephanie, and two grandchildren, Ava and Will. He and his wife Megan live in Alexandria, Virginia.
Beyer Automotive Group
- Board Member
Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce
- Board Member
American Cancer Society
Alexandria Community Trust
- Board Member
Jobs for Virginia Graduates
- Board president
Youth for Tomorrow,
- Board Member
DC Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy
- Board Member
Jobs for America's Graduates
- BA, Economics
- Grand Award for Highway Safety
- James C. Wheat Jr. Award for Service to Virginians with Disabilities
- Earl Williams Leadership in Technology Award;
- Thomas Jefferson Award for 2012 from American Citizens Abroad
- Leaders for Democracy Award by the Project on Middle East Democracy.
- Community Integration Leadership Award for Community and Public Service
- Community Engagement Award
Beyer and his wife, Megan, have two children, Clara and Grace. In addition, he has two children, Don and Stephanie, from a previous marriage, and two grandchildren.
Membership & Affiliation
- American International Automobile Dealers Association.
- National Volvo Retailer Advisory Board
Email Links: Contact page
Washington, DC Office
1119 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-4376
Fax: (202) 225-0017
5285 Shawnee Road
Alexandria, VA 22312
Phone: (703) 658-5403
Fax: (703) 658-5408
Beyer was the northern Virginia coordinator of the successful Gerald L. Baliles campaign for governor in 1985. In 1986 Baliles appointed Beyer to the Commonwealth Transportation Board. (The Virginia Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) is responsible for overseeing the Virginia Department of Transportation and allocating highway funding to specific projects. It consists of 17 members, including the Secretary of Transportation, Commonwealth Transportation Commissioner, Director of the Department of Rail and Public Transportation, and 14 citizen members who are appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Virginia General Assembly.)
Beyer was elected Lieutenant Governor of Virginia in 1989, beating Republican state senatorEdwina P. Dalton. He was re-elected in 1993, beating Republican Michael Farris 54-46 percent, as Republicans George Allen and Jim Gilmore were elected on the same ballot asGovernor and Attorney General, respectively.
Farris’s close connection to conservative leaders such as Jerry Falwell of the Moral Majority, Pat Robertson of the Christian Coalitionand Phyllis Schlafly of the Eagle Forum, as well as his adherence to the Quiverfull movement stirred deep-seated feelings and led some prominent Virginia Republicans such as U.S. Senator John Warner to support Beyer rather than Farris.
During his tenure as lieutenant governor, Beyer served as president of the Virginia Senate. He chaired the Virginia Economic Recovery Commission, the Virginia Commission on Sexual Assault, the Virginia Commission on Disabilities, the Poverty Commission and was co-founder of the Northern Virginia Technology Council, an outgrowth of the Chamber of Commerce. He was active in promoting high-tech industries, and lead the fight to eliminate disincentives in the Virginia Tax Code to high-tech research and development.
He is also credited with writing the original welfare reform legislation in Virginia.
Beyer was the Democratic nominee for governor in 1997, losing in the general election to Republican Jim Gilmore. He served as Finance Chairman for Mark Warner’s Political Action Committee, “Forward Together” and as the National Treasurer for the 2004 presidential campaign of former Vermont Governor Howard Dean. Following Dean’s withdrawal from that race, he served as chairman of the Kerry/Edwards presidential campaign in Virginia.
During 2007–08, he endorsed and campaigned extensively for presidential candidate Barack Obama,. He served as chairman of the Mid Atlantic Finance Council of Obama for America campaign, and served on the campaign’s National Finance Council.
He was appointed by the Democratic National Committee to serve at the 2008 DNC Convention on the Credentials Committee.
Following the 2008 election, President-elect Obama asked Beyer to head up the transition team at the Department of Commerce.
Obama nominated Beyer for the post of United States Ambassador to Switzerland and Liechtenstein on June 12, 2009. In December 2010 Beyer attracted public attention when it was reported that he had warned the Swiss government against offering asylum toWikileaks publisher Julian Assange. In March 2013 Beyer received the Thomas JeffersonAward from American Citizens Abroad. The award is presented annually by ACA to recognize State Department individuals who have rendered outstanding service to Americans overseas. Beyer was recognized for organizing a series of town hall meetings where American citizens overseas could voice concerns and opinions to officials of the State Department. He resigned as ambassador in May 2013.
Trump Administration Oversight
Beyer is a frequent critic of the Trump administration. On April 13, 2017, Beyer was the first lawmaker to call for senior White House adviser and Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner to lose his security clearance after it was revealed that he had omitted numerous contacts with foreign nationals from his security clearance application. In June 2017, Beyer renewed his call, sending a letter signed by more than 50 other House Democrats demanding the White House immediately revoke Kushner’s clearance, citing national security concerns.
Recent Election Results
2018 US Representative for District 8
|Don Beyer (D)||247,137||76.10%|
|Thomas S. Oh (R)||76,899||23.68%|
2016 US Representative for District 8
|Don Beyer (D)||246,653||68.4%|
|Charles Alan Hernick (R)||98,387||27.3%|
2014 US Representative for District 8
|Don Beyer (D)||128,102||63.1%|
|Micah Kenyatta Edmond (R)||63,810||31.4%|
|Gwendolyn Joyce Beck||5,420||2.7%|
|Jeffrey Scott Carson (L)||4,409||2.2%|
|Gerard C. Blais, III||963||0.5%|
BEYER JR, DONALD STERNOFF has run in 3 races for public office, winning 3 of them. The candidate has raised a total of $6,652,096.
Source: Follow the Money
Committees & Appointments
See: Vote Smart
Source: Campaign Site
I strongly support a woman’s right to choose. As Lieutenant Governor of Virginia,
I helped block repeated efforts by the Republicans to interfere with women’s personal health care decisions and their misguided attempts to outlaw a woman’s right to choose.
In Congress, I’ll be a strong voice and vote in support of a woman’s right to choose. And I’ll fight attempts by Tea Party Republicans to cut funding for Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood provides vital cancer screenings for women, as well as birth control services.
Politicians have no business interfering in these private health care decisions.
On average, full-time working women earn just 77 cents for every dollar a man earns. It’s unfair to women and illegal. And it’s unfair to families, who in many cases depend on a woman’s salary to make ends meet.
That’s why I strongly support the Paycheck Fairness Act, a bill that updates and strengthens the Equal Pay Act of 1963, which made it illegal for employers to pay unequal wages to men and women who perform equal work.
The best way to ensure true financial security for middle class families is to support women in the workforce. Working women make up almost half of the American labor force and serve as primary breadwinners in over 40 percent of American households. In addition, a growing percentage of women are single mothers; more than half of women under 30 who give birth do so outside of marriage and consequently serve a significant economic role for that child. Yet women still have no guarantee of equal pay for equal work. We must declare this era in American life as the past, not the present.
Women must be able to make their own economic decisions, including whether and when to have children, and then have the capacity to balance work and family. This delicate equilibrium is possible only with affordable child care, workplace flexibility, and paid family and medical leave, as well as reliable health care. President Bill Clinton signed the Family and Medical Leave Act over two decades ago, finally giving workers a guarantee of unpaid leave. Today, the United States is one of only two nations that does not guarantee paid parental leave. It is past time to giving working women and families this critical tool.
I also support expanding family and medical leave.
The United States is the only industrialized country that does not guarantee paid time off to care for a new child, and one of very few industrialized nations not to guarantee paid time off for other types of family care. The unpaid family and medical leave act that passed 21 years ago only covers about half of all employees, given various exemptions such as the employee’s status and the size of the business. It is past time to give American workers the ability to care for their loved ones without economic hardship. And this isn’t just political rhetoric. In my family-owned business, we provide paid maternity leave and treat our employees with the respect they deserve.
I support full equality for all lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender individuals. I support legislation to ban workplace discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation and believe those protections were valuable additions to the re-enactment of the Violence Against Women Act passed in the last Congress.
I also strongly support marriage equality. Everyone must have the right to marry, regardless of sexual orientation, and to pursue a family. I will work to block legislation seeking to ban the rights of same sex couples.
Native American Issues
As Lt. Governor of Virginia, I was honored to work closely with the six State recognized tribes of Virginia in the preservation of their culture and traditions and I will continue to support their efforts at the Federal level in their quest for Federal recognition.
Under the U.S. Constitution and Federal law, the United States has a unique obligation to uphold the sovereign status of its Tribal Nations and to work with them on a government to government basis. I will respect and uphold that obligation.
I also recognize that, while a number of tribes have become financially prosperous through their trust resources and economic diversification, there are still too many tribes and tribal members who, disgracefully, are at the lowest end of our Country’s economic scale. Our Nation’s Indian tribes still suffer from the Country’s worst health care, infant mortality rate, unemployment levels, dropout rates, domestic abuse, alcohol and drug addiction, housing and education levels. I pledge to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to continue Congressman Moran’s advocacy, in his role as Chairman of the Interior Appropriations Subcommittee, on behalf of our Country’s First Americans.
In the spirit of bioethicist Peter Singer, I believe one element of a civilized society is the humane treatment of all species. I was honored to receive the endorsement this campaign of the Humane Society Legislative Fund, and if elected to Congress, I would work to continue the strong record of Congressman Jim Moran on animal rights. Some of the many issues I aspire to promote include outlawing puppy mills, strengthening wildlife protection and prohibiting animal testing in the cosmetics industry.
Between sequestration, a government shutdown, a three-year pay freeze, and reductions in retirement benefits, the federal workforce is under enormous strain. Through all of these trials, federal workers have performed our nation’s most critical work with the utmost professionalism and skill.
As the representative of a district with one of the largest populations of federal workers in the country, I pledge to champion their interests and to work diligently to protect them from unfair targeting in future budget battles.
More than 76,000 federal employees call the 8th Congressional District home, a greater number than most states. They play critical roles in national security, transportation, commerce, food safety, and many other sectors.
Thirty percent of the federal civil service is eligible to retire in the next three years. If we do not improve the treatment of our public servants by stopping government shutdowns, giving them earned pay raises to keep up with inflation, and treating them with greater respect than our nation has in its recent history, we will no longer be able to attract the ablest or the most creative minds to lead our nation forward.
I am proud to be an original cosponsor of the Family Paid Parental Leave Act, which would provide six weeks of paid parental leave to federal employees for the birth or fostering of a child. Earlier this year, I joined Congressman Gerry Connolly and the National Capital Region delegation in introducing the FAIR Act, proposing a 3.8 percent pay raise to federal workers.
I will fight efforts to undermine the civil service and will continue to support and promote solutions and improvements for federal employees.
We need to continue our economic recovery with a middle class economic action plan that works for all American families. We must raise the minimum wage, ensure equal pay for equal work, end government shutdowns, and promote tax policies that empower the working class and middle class.
Families are forced to stretch their dollars too far. Our minimum wage has been stagnant for over two decades. Women are the breadwinners in 40 percent of American households but aren’t guaranteed equal pay for equal work. Affordable housing is on the wane, especially in many urban and suburban communities, forcing people to live far from their jobs. We need strong work retraining programs to ensure that all Americans benefit from our 21st century economy.
I’m proud to have helped build a successful and innovative family-owned business. I believe I can use that experience to help create federal policies that will create good jobs and help our economy grow. We have to do more to provide opportunities for young people, and that starts with improving education at every level.
As a business owner, and when I was Lieutenant Governor of Virginia, I worked tirelessly for economic development in Northern Virginia. Over the years, our area has been the home to innovative start-ups and the expansion of existing businesses, and has attracted national firms to choose Northern Virginia. We must continue these efforts, and I’ll use my business experience to make it happen.
I believe Congress should immediately pass President Obama’s infrastructure bill. We not only need to rebuild aging roads and bridges, but this will provide good jobs and help our economy.
I also strongly support the proposal to increase the minimum wage to $10.10. The nation’s minimum wage has not kept pace with inflation, and the current hourly minimum is simply not sufficient or fair. A full-time worker earning the minimum wage makes $15,080 a year, which is below federal poverty guidelines for a family of any size.
And I support the President’s initiative to strengthen overtime for workers.
I opposed the Bush tax cuts that reduced the highest personal income tax rate from 39.6% to 35% and supported the restoration of the 39.6% rate by President Obama. I worked for years for a reasonable estate tax limit that would allow family farms and businesses to pass to the next generation, instead of having to be sold to pay taxes. (There were many fine proposals to put in place $3 or $5 million exclusions, but they were always blocked by Senator Jon Kyl.) I also strongly support closing corporate tax loopholes. I will fight to eliminate the oil depletion allowance; no country subsidizes fossil fuels the way the United States does and our subsidies are a peril to the planet.
I know well the importance of education as a ladder to a brighter future. As the co-founder of the Northern Virginia Technology Council, I also know that an educated workforce plays an essential role in our region’s economic success. That’s why, after serving as Lieutenant Governor, I became the chairman of Jobs for Virginia Graduates – the state’s most successful high school drop-out prevention program. In Congress, I will continue working to make sure Virginia’s students – and America’s – get the strong education they deserve.
I oppose the Tea Party Republican plan to eliminate the Department of Education, and I’ll work to make our Northern Virginia Community Colleges and our local universities stronger. It’s a fact that businesses create jobs in areas where education is a priority, and that’s so important to Northern Virginia.
And I’ll work to keep interest rates low on federal student loans, so families can afford higher education.
While serving as President Obama’s Ambassador to Switzerland, I saw firsthand the glacial melt caused by global warming. Despite the urgency of this situation, there has been no successful congressional legislation to address the crisis of climate change.
Frankly, it angers me that some Tea Party Republicans ignore science and the harm that climate change, and pollution in general, is causing to our planet and our health.
The most effective way of reducing carbon emissions is to put a tax on carbon pollution. Such a tax must include investments in clean energy and in energy efficiency, as well as protections for low-income households, who will otherwise bear a disproportionate burden of a carbon tax. This is the single most important issue of our time, and we need to act now. We owe it to future generations.
Stopping the harmful consequences of global climate change is the existential crisis of our generation. We cannot continue pumping pollutants into our air at no economic cost.
Fourteen of the fifteen hottest years on record have been in this century. Global temperature changes are causing prolonged droughts, extreme weather events, and rising sea levels.
On the House Committees on Natural Resources and Science, Space, and Technology, I will advocate to fulfill our responsibility to leave this world better than we inherited it. America must continue to be an innovative leader in the fight against global climate change. We need intelligent conservation policies that preserve our natural resources and an energy policy that is not solely focused on drilling, but makes smart investments in clean and renewable energy to lower costs to the American taxpayer while protecting the air, land, and water.
All American families should have access to quality healthcare. No family in the United States should face economic ruin because of a health crisis, or have to choose between a trip to the emergency room and heating their home for the month.
President Obama’s Affordable Care Act (ACA) was an incredible step toward that reality for all American families. Gender is no longer a pre-existing condition, children have the option to stay on their parents’ plans longer, and students are free to pursue their educational dreams without worrying about health demands.
However, there is still much to do. Millions of the neediest citizens still fall into the gap between Medicare, Medicaid, and the ACA’s lowest rate plans, including 140,000 in Virginia. America remains one of only two countries in the world without paid family leave, and women are still at risk of losing their right to choose.
I will fight for further improvements in the U.S. healthcare system, especially for the neediest populations. I will work to provide paid sick, maternity, and family leave for all American workers. And I believe that a woman’s health care choices are her own and should never be dictated by her employer, or by any government.
It is our responsibility to pass comprehensive immigration reform that secures a path to citizenship for the hard-working people who contribute to our economy and to our communities. They deserve the opportunity to become new Americans
I fully support the DREAM Act: We must ensure that children who came to the United States early in life have the opportunity to succeed by attending college, receiving in-state tuition, and working for a better life for future generations.
Our country has a diverse heritage woven by people from all across the globe. We cannot close our borders and turn our backs on the rest of the world. I will work with my colleagues to achieve the dream of a bipartisan immigration reform package.
The two political parties need to come together and meet our national responsibility to bring millions of immigrants out of the shadow economy. It is time to pass comprehensive immigration reform. As a businessman, I’ve heard tales of hardship from many people who crossed borders to find a safe home here in the United States. One such friend, Manuel, had a choice in his Salvadoran village between joining a death squad or being killed by it. He fled in the middle of the night and today is an American citizen with a happy life full of opportunity.
Northern Virginia suffers from some of the worst traffic congestion in the nation. The only way to mitigate the effects of traffic gridlock, and minimize the harmful impact to our environment, is through forward-thinking, multimodal solutions.
We must continue to improve Metro to keep it a safe, world-class transportation system. Forty percent of Metro’s peak ridership is federal employees; a federal role is not only appropriate but necessary. Preserving the $150 million annual federal investment for capital and safety improvements is a top priority.
I look forward to helping extend Metro service at Potomac Yard in Alexandria and to bringing Bus Rapid Transit and eventually Metrorail to Route 1 in Fairfax County.
If you’re interested in learning more about my efforts to combat airplane noise in Northern Virginia, visit our storyboard.
Defense & Veteran Issues
The headquarters of the United States military at the Pentagon, Arlington Cemetery, the Iwo Jima Memorial, Joint Base Meyer-Henderson Hall, Fort Belvoir, as well as thousands of defense-related jobs and even more of our service members all call Virginia’s 8th District home. As the son of a West Point graduate and a Korea veteran, I feel a special commitment to defense and veterans’ issues.
We must maintain a robust national defense that keeps American citizens and our allies safe. Simultaneously, as the former United States Ambassador to Switzerland and Liechtenstein, I believe in the power of diplomacy and in our responsibility to do all in our power to find nonmilitary solutions to crises whenever possible.
Battlefield scars, whether mental, physical or both, heal slowly. Our Veterans Administration has a moral obligation to make our troops whole again. After a decade of war, our troops deserve a healthcare system that works for them and is able to process claims in a robust, efficient, and effective manner. I look forward to working with the VA and with our constituents who are veterans to seek solutions.
The 8th District is also home to thousands of defense-related jobs. The professionals who hold these positions help keep our nation safe. Simultaneously, many of them make us more efficient in our defense budget, precise and safe in our military operations, and innovative in caring for our veterans. We must avoid the harmful effects of sequestration while maintaining a robust defense apparatus.
Virginia’s 8th congressional district is home to over 50,000 veterans and active duty service men and women. I am proud to represent a district with such a strong ethic of service. As the son of a 92-year-old Korean War veteran, I am deeply committed to caring for those who sacrifice to protect our freedoms. My father used the G.I. Bill and put his education and skills to work in what became our family business. Our nation must continue to provide those who serve in the military with the necessary resources to adjust to civilian life.
Battlefield scars, whether mental, physical or both, heal slowly. Our Veterans Administration (VA) has a moral obligation to make our troops whole again. After over a decade of war, our troops deserve a robust healthcare system that processes claims efficiently and effectively. If that system breaks down, we in Congress must help it do better. This comes in the form of providing legislative solutions, where veterans’ care is traditional an area of strong bipartisanship, and also in the area of constituent casework. My district office assists constituents with VA benefits. I encourage veterans who require assistance to call us at 703-658-5403.
Some of the most important ways that we repay our veterans include small business loans, housing assistance, and education funding. Many of our civilian industries in Northern Virginia thrive under the management or with the assistance of veterans, and I am a cosponsor of the Reducing Barriers for Veterans Education Act because I believe that investment in education is money well spent.
I support numerous other measures to ensure equal and honorable treatment of all veterans, including the Veteran Spouses Equal Treatment Act, the Restore Honor to Service Members Act, and the Women Veterans Access to Quality Care Act.
The 8th District of Virginia is home to the Pentagon, the Marine Corps Memorial, the Navy Memorial, the Air Force Memorial, and Arlington National Cemetery. I take great pride in the fact that we are surrounded by symbols of our nation’s support for veterans, and I am committed to making sure that our government’s symbolic recognition is matched by our care for veterans.
Gun Law Reform
Gun violence and mass shootings have become all too common in our society, and we in Virginia have felt the tragic sting. We must make our communities safer.
Last year, U.S. gun deaths totaled 11,419 – a heartbreaking statistic. This is the price we pay for the political fear some have of the NRA. When I ran for Governor, the NRA made me a target, and you may remember that Charlton Heston came to Virginia and campaigned against me. But that won’t deter me from passing new and sensible gun laws. In fact, it makes me even more determined.
We need enhanced background checks now. Too many criminals, and those who are dangerously mentally ill, can obtain firearms at gun shows.
We have to close the gun show loophole, which allows people to purchase guns without background checks. I can’t understand why the NRA opposes enhanced background checks, but we need to make this a priority.
I also favor banning high capacity magazines. These magazines, in the hands of dangerously mentally ill people, have caused tragedy after tragedy. The shootings at schools, like Sandy Hook in Connecticut and Virginia Tech, must stop. After every mass shooting, there is a lot of support for banning high capacity magazines, but then the months go by and Congress does nothing. I’m committed to pushing for this sensible reform, and I’ll stand up to the NRA in Congress.
Gun violence claims over 30,000 lives per year, including nearly 20,000 firearm-related suicides. Yet lawmakers have not passed any responsible, common-sense gun safety laws.
I believe we must do away with high capacity magazines and strengthen our anemic background check procedures at the point of sale, especially at gun shows, to keep firearms out of the hands of criminals and the dangerously mentally ill. I am also committed to equipping our law enforcement agencies with the necessary personnel and investigative tools to prevent the spread of illegal firearms.
Beyer at Ways & Means Hearing on Crumbling Infrastructure
Published on March 6, 2019
U.S. Rep. Don Beyer on RCV and multi-member districts
Published on April 13, 2018
#TuningIn Millennial Voters
Published on September 20, 2016
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