Biography of Rep. Bob Goodlatte

goodlatte.jpg (6788 bytes)

Congressman Bob Goodlatte, Republican, Virginia, 6th District.

Background. Goodlatte is a graduate of Washington and Lee University School of Law. His undergraduate degree in Government was earned at Bates College in Lewiston, Maine. Before being elected to Congress, Goodlatte was former Congressman Caldwell Butler's District Office Manager from 1977 to 1979. In 1979, he founded a private law practice in Roanoke. He is also a former partner in the law firm of Bird, Kinder and Huffman, where he worked from 1981 until taking office.

Committee Assignments. Goodlatte serves on the Judiciary Committee, the Agriculture Committee, the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct, and the Republican Policy Committee. On the Judiciary Committee, he serves on the Constitution Subcommittee, and the Courts and Intellectual Property Subcommittee. The later subcommittee has jurisdiction over copyright, patent, and trademark issues which are significant to the computer and Internet industries.

On Agriculture, he is the Chairman of the Department Operations, Nutrition and Foreign Agriculture Subcommittee and also serves on the Livestock Subcommittee. After Republicans won the majority, Whip Tom DeLay (R-Texas) selected Bob to serve as an Assistant Whip.

In November 1998, he was picked to serve a Co-Chair of the Internet Caucus.

Legislative Activities. In the 105th Congress, Rep. Goodlatte was the lead sponsor of the Safety and Freedom through Encryption Act (SAFE), HR 695, which would guarantee all Americans the right to use any encryption product, without key escrow, and loosen export restraints. The bill was widely supported by the computer and Internet industry, but opposed by the Clinton administration. It did not pass. He reintroduced a similar bill on February 25, 1999. He was also a key player in the drafting of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act in 1998, which was passed and signed by the President. He also sponsored a bill in the 105th Congress that would have banned online gambling which did not pass.

He was rated one of the Top 10 members of the House in support for high-tech in the Tech Law Journal Congressional Scorecard 1998.

Sixth District of Virginia.  Virginia's Sixth Congressional District includes much of the historic and picturesque Shenendoah Valley in Western Virginia. It straddles Interstate 81, but also includes part of the Blue Ridge Parkway, Shenendoah National Park, and the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests.  It includes the counties of Rockingham, Augusta, Ropckgridge, Amherst, Highland, Bath, Alleghany, Botecourt and Roanoke. The largest urban area, Roanoke, is also the main Democratic base in the District. However, Lynchburg, home base of Jerry Falwell, is also in the district. The district is largely rural, and depends mainly on dairy farming, livestock, and poultry.

Phone: (202) 225-5431
Fax: (202) 225-9681
Address: 123 Cannon House Office Building, Washington, DC, 20515.