For 18 years in the House of Representatives, Dick Armey fought tirelessly for lower taxes, less government, and more freedom. Currently, he is the Co-Chairman of FreedomWorks and leads the same political revolution at the grassroots level.
Dick Armey was born July 7, 1940 in
, the fifth of eight children. He went on to earn a Bachelors Degree from
, a Masters Degree from the
, and a PhD in Economics from the
In 1972, he began what would be a 13-year stint at the
, where he would rise to become chairman of the Economics Department.
One night while watching C-SPAN, Armey became convinced that he could work effectively as a Congressman. He was a strong believer in the policies of Ronald Reagan and he knew the President needed reinforcements in Congress. This initiated the beginning of his political career.
Armey was first elected to Congress in 1984 and went to
in1985 as a novice.
In 1986, Armey accomplished his first legislative success: passage of an amendment to reform public housing. Armey called passage of this legislation "the most heart-warming work I've done. It makes you feel like you're really making a difference."
Equally important during term, Armey passed landmark legislation that would close down obsolete military bases. As a result of his work, more than 100 obsolete bases are being closed, saving the taxpayers $4 billion per year.After the success of base closing, Armey found a new challenge in federal farm policy. Armey and a bipartisan coalition saved taxpayers $14 billion by pressuring the agriculture committees to bring forward leaner bills. This laid the groundwork for the free market reforms passed in the 1996 Freedom to Farm legislation.
In 1990, Armey vehemently disagreed with President Bush's tax hike and convinced the Republican Conference, by a 3-to-1 margin, to pass his resolution opposing "new taxes and all tax-rate increases as a means of reducing the federal budget deficit." The House Republican leadership realized that Dick Armey was influential with the Conference and in January of 1991, Armey was appointed ranking Republican on the Joint Economic Committee.
While at the Joint Economic Committee, Armey decided to seek a place in the Republican leadership as Conference Chairman. On December 8, 1992, Armey won his race 88-84.
Despite the losing battle to stop the largest tax increase in history and increasing bitterness over the Clinton health care plan early as Majority Leader, Armey was able to set aside partisanship to work for NAFTA.
By 1994, the public was disenchanted with Congress. Republicans, who were in the minority, believed that the American people were ready for a bold and dynamic legislative agenda. The result was the Contract with
, of which Armey was the main author. The Contract was a success. Republicans took control of the House for the first time in 40 years and Dick Armey became the Majority Leader.
The 104th was one of the most productive Congresses in recent memory. Fully 60 percent of the Contract with
was signed into law, including a historic welfare reform bill. Congress passed the first balanced budget in a generation as well as overhauls of telecommunications, farming, and health care.
Despite a reputation for principled stands, Armey's Congressional record was one of bipartisanship. As he said in 1993, "I've never had a confrontation with another member of Congress that was the source of any enjoyment. It's a part of the job that has to be done. You can compromise on details, you can compromise on strategies, but you must never compromise on principles."
Since joining FreedomWorks in 2003, Armey has traveled to over 20 states, rallying grassroots, testifying before state and federal governments, meeting with pro-reform legislators, and challenging "backsliding" politicians while helping advance FreedomWorks' mission of lower taxes, less government, and more freedom.
In the past, Armey has been referred to as an idea machine and a one-man think tank. Armey has written four books, Price Theory: A Policy-Welfare Approach (1977), The Freedom Revolution (1995), The Flat Tax (1996), and Armey's Axioms (2003).
Armey and his wife Susan attend
. They have five children. Armey is an avid bass fisherman and believes in the restorative powers of fishing, where he can put aside the pressures of work and spend time with his wife and children.