David Alan Brat is the dean of the Liberty University School of Business. A member of the Republican Party, he served as the U.S. Representative for Virginia’s 7th congressional district from 2014 to 2019.
Brat came to national prominence when he defeated House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in the district’s 2014 Republican primary. Brat’s primary victory over Cantor made him the first primary challenger to oust a sitting House Majority Leader since the position’s creation in 1899. Brat lost his reelection bid in 2018 to Democrat Abigail Spanberger
Economics and Ethics, Proven Results
Dave Brat promised that he would take his background in economics and ethics to Washington, D.C. and get to work on the big issues that matter most to you and your family. He has kept that promise. Now, at the start of his second term in Congress, Dave has put in bills to make D.C. more accountable, balance the budget, protect small business, and expand healthcare options for workers and families. He has voted to repeal Obamacare in its entirety, defund the President’s illegal executive amnesty, and reduce the tax and regulatory burden so that our economy can grow again.
As the only Ph.D. economist in Congress, Dave Brat is uniquely qualified to tackle the current budget crisis we face in America. Serving on the House Budget Committee, and as a member of the House Freedom Caucus, Dave has been leading the charge in Congress for a more fiscally responsible budget process.
When Congress is not in session, you are likely to find Congressman Brat on the road to a community event in the district or at a town hall, giving one of his famous Washington Updates. He often speaks in public defending the Judeo-Christian tradition, the Constitutional rule of law and free markets as the best way to lift all people up from poverty. Our founders were wise enough to choose the free market system and the result is what is arguably the greatest nation that has ever existed.
Dave Brat threw his hat in the political ring after seeing the corruption and back door deals that plague our system. Almost everyone said it was impossible to unseat a sitting House Majority Leader. It had never been done before. But, Dave put his faith, as well as his trust, in the American people—and the voters responded by putting their faith and trust in Dave. Dave’s stunning election victory not only shook Washington to its core, it stopped the “Gang of Eight” immigration bill that was only days from passing the House, and put a halt to amnesty legislation in general.
With help from the voters in the 7th Congressional District, Dave proved that character matters and that standing firmly rooted in your principles does pay off, even when you’re the underdog.
Growing up in the rural Midwest, Dave learned the value of faith, family, and a strong work ethic at a young age. After graduating from Hope College in Michigan, Dave worked at the accounting firm Arthur Andersen and then the World Bank before attending Princeton Theological Seminary, where he obtained a Masters of Divinity degree. Following that, he earned his Ph.D. in economics from American University, while doing some work in graduate school as an economist for the U.S. Army.
In 1996, Dave and his wife, Laura, moved to Henrico County, VA when Dave began teaching economics at Randolph-Macon College. Not long after, Dave became Chairman of the Economics and Business Department at the college.
Before joining Congress, Dr. Brat served both Republican and Democratic governors on the Joint Advisory Board of Economists, providing critical economic forecasts to help manage the Commonwealth. His peers elected him as president of the Virginia Association of Economists. Dave also served on the Virginia Board of Accountancy, the Richmond Metropolitan Authority, The Great Aspirations Scholarship Program, and the investment board overseeing retirement assets for the Virginia Association of Counties.
David Alan Brat (/ˈbræt/; born July 27, 1964) is an American economist and member of the United States House of Representatives, serving Virginia’s 7th congressional districtsince 2014. Prior to his election to Congress, Brat was a professor at Randolph–Macon College.
Brat defeated House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in the district’s 2014 Republican primary on June 10, 2014. Brat’s primary victory over Cantor made him the first primary challenger to oust a sitting House Majority Leader since the position’s creation in 1899, and is considered one of the biggest upsets in congressional history. He defeated Democratic nominee Jack Trammell on November 4, 2014.
Early life and education
Brat was born in Detroit, Michigan on July 27, 1964. Brat’s father, Paul, was a Doctor of Internal Medicine; his mother, Nancy, was employed as a social worker in Alma, Michigan, where he was raised. His family moved from Alma to Minnesota when David, the oldest of three boys, was in junior high. Brat graduated from Park Center Senior High School in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota.
Brat attended Hope College in Michigan and received a B.A. in Business Administration in 1986; he also graduated with a Master’s Degree in Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary in 1990 and earned a Ph.D. in economics from American University in 1995.
After working for Arthur Andersen and as a consultant for the World Bank, Brat joined the faculty of Randolph–Macon College in 1996, where he served as chair of the department of economics, and taught courses including “Britain in the International Economy”, “International Economic Development”, and “Business Ethics”.
From 2010 to 2012 Brat headed Randolph-Macon’s BB&T Moral Foundations of Capitalism program, one of sixty similar programs and chairs in the philosophy and economics departments at United States universities devoted to the study of capitalism and morality, endowed by the BB&T Corporation.
In 2006 Brat was appointed by Virginia governor Tim Kaine to the Governor’s Advisory Board of Economists, a position he continues to hold. He has also served on the board of directors of the Richmond Metropolitan Authority, and on the advisory board of the Virginia Public Access Project.
Rep. David Brat: The Tax Bill Might Not Pay For Itself But The Economy Will | CNBC
December 19, 2017
Rep. David Brat (R-Va.) discusses why Americans are skeptical about the tax reform bill.
Conservative Review graded Brat’s voting record an A with a Liberty Score of 100%. Brat was one of two Republican representatives to receive this highest possible grade out of 247 Republicans in the House of Representatives, along with Jim Jordan of Ohio.
Brat promised to vote against raising the debt ceiling for the first five years while he was in Congress, and attacked Cantor during the primary campaign for voting to end the federal government shutdown of 2013. Brat advocated an end to tax credits, deductions and loopholes, and called for a flatter and more efficient tax code.He opposed TARP, the Troubled Asset Relief Program of 2008, and said that, if elected, he would “vote against bills that benefit big business over small business”. “I’m not against business. I’m against big business in bed with big government”, he said.
Brat supported President Trump’s trade policies, arguing that Americans benefitted from re-negotiating NAFTA and that while tariffs on China would cause short-term harms, they would ultimately lead to “zero tariffs.”
Brat opposed federally driven education policies such as the Common Core curriculum and No Child Left Behind.
Brat’s decision to enter the Republican primary was driven largely by Cantor’s role in weakening congressional ethics reform. “If you want to find out the smoking gun in this campaign, just go Google and type the STOCK Act and CNN and Eric Cantor”, Brat said.
Brat opposed the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). In March 2017 he said he opposed the initial version of the American Health Care Act, which was the GOP’s replacement for Obamacare, and that he intended to vote against it in the House Budget Committee. On May 4, 2017, Brat voted to repeal Obamacare and pass the revised version of the American Health Care Act. He said the bill contained protections for preexisting conditions and would lead to lower prices; The Washington Post noted that the bill would have allowed insurers to charge higher premiums for individuals with preexisting conditions, and that an analysis by the Congressional Budget Office estimated that average health care premiums would increase as a result of the bill (more so for older Americans).
During his 2018 reelection campaign Brat falsely claimed that The Washington Post fact-checker had given “four Pinocchios” to his opponent Abigail Spanberger for claims she made about Brat’s position on health care. The Washington Post fact-checker asked Brat to comment on his misrepresentation but did not receive a response.
Foreign policy and defense
Brat called for the National Security Agency to end bulk collection of phone records and stated his support for statutory protections for e-mail privacy. He argued that domestic intelligence activities have “spun out of control” and that “the NSA’s indiscriminate collection of data on all Americans is a disturbing violation of our Fourth Amendment right to privacy.” In an April 21, 2015, interview with radio talk show host Rusty Humphries, Brat claimed that the terrorist group ISIS had set up a base in Texas. “In our country it looks like we have an ISIS center in Texas now…You can’t make up what a terrible problem this is.” After the Texas Department of Public Safety responded that there was no substantiation for the claim, Brat’s office said that he had really meant Mexico, not Texas, citing the conservative group Judicial Watch, which declined to provide any substantiation for its report.
Brat supported President Trump’s 2017 executive order to temporarily curtail immigration from the Muslim-majority nations of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen until better screening methods are devised. Brat said that “the temporary halt on migration from seven countries will last only a few months until we have solid vetting procedures in place” and that “these seven countries with a temporary travel ban have been identified by both the Obama administration and our intelligence agencies as being the greatest threat to our national security because they have a history of training, harboring, and exporting terrorism.”
In September 2017 Brat said that Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), which provided temporary stay for unauthorized immigrants brought to the United as minors, allowed minors to “bring in their entire extended family once they reach a certain status” and could bring in up to 4 million additional immigrants. PolitiFact disputed Brat’s figure.
In 2011 Brat criticized the political right for simultaneously advancing the pursuit of individual liberty while pushing laws restricting abortion, gay rights and gambling, and the political left for simultaneously supporting progressive liberal individualism while coercing others to “fund every social program under the sun”. Brat’s website said he supported “the life of every child, both born and unborn.”
Social Security and Medicare
Brat criticized both major parties’ approach to Medicare and Social Security, stating, “neither side of the aisle will talk about the most important issues because that is going to involve pain.” He advocated “market-based reforms” to these programs,arguing individuals ought not to receive more from programs than they have paid into them.Brat has suggested age- and means-based reform to the eligibility of claimants for mandatory entitlements as a way to avoid insolvency.
Brat was a proponent of term limits for members of Congress. He pledged to serve a maximum of 12 years (six terms) in Congress.