Congressman Thomas E. PetriComplete Biography
Tom Petri represents Wisconsin's 6th Congressional District and is serving his 16th term in the U.S. House of Representatives. First elected in April 1979, Petri has been returned to office every two years since.
He is a current member (and former Vice Chairman) of both the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and of the Committee on Education and Labor. Petri is the Ranking Republican on the Aviation Subcommittee of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. He is also a member of the Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines and Hazardous Materials and the Subcommittee on Highways and Transit, where he served as Chairman for 12 years, 1995 through 2006. As a member of the Committee on Education and Labor, he is a member of the Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education. For more information on Congressman Petri's committee assignments, see his committee page.
From 1987 through 1990, Petri served as a member of the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct, better known as the House Ethics Committee.
Petri is a current member and former Chairman of the House British-American Parliamentary Group, an official organization formed to strengthen relations with the British Parliament.
A persistent foe of government waste, Petri has repeatedly earned high marks from such organizations as the National Taxpayers Union, the Concord Coalition, Citizens Against Government Waste, Americans for Tax Reform, and the Watchdogs of the Treasury. Over many years he has repeatedly been named a "Guardian of Small Business" by the National Federation of Independent Business, and has won the "National Security Leadership Award" from the American Security Council.
Petri is known for his efforts to apply innovative solutions to problems, with a firm commitment to cost-effectiveness. Accordingly, Norm Ornstein, a prominent political scholar and expert on Congress, has called Petri "one of the most thoughtful members of Congress, filled with lots of ideas about how to make government better," while senior Washington Post columnist David Broder has called him "a notably independent, creative legislator."
Important Petri legislative initiatives have included those in the areas of student loan reform, the federal highway program, cost-sharing for federal water projects, tax and welfare reform, banking reform, campaign reform, and health care reform.
Petri attended Goodrich High School in Fond du Lac and received undergraduate and law degrees from Harvard. He served in Somalia as a Peace Corps volunteer and in the White House focusing on anti-drug efforts. He is married to Anne Neal Petri and has one daughter, Alexandra.