|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives|
from Louisiana's 5th district
|Assumed office |
January 3, 2015
|Preceded by||Vance McAllister|
Ralph Lee Abraham Jr.
September 16, 1954
Alto, Louisiana, U.S.
Dianne Abraham (m. 1977)
|Education||Louisiana State University (BA, DVM)|
Louisiana State University, New Orleans (MD)
|Branch/service||Mississippi Army National Guard|
United States Coast Guard Auxiliary
Ralph Lee Abraham Jr. (born September 16, 1954) is an American politician, medical doctor and former veterinarian serving as the U.S. Representative for Louisiana's 5th congressional district since 2015. A member of the Republican Party, he is a native and resident of Alto, Louisiana.
Abraham ran for Governor of Louisiana in the 2019 Louisiana gubernatorial election, but lost the nomination. On February 26, 2020, Abraham announced that he was not running for re-election to Congress in 2020.
He graduated from Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine, in Baton Rouge in 1980, and was a practicing veterinarian for 10 years. He returned to Louisiana State University School of Medicine for a medical degree in 1994, and practiced family medicine.
U.S. House of Representatives
Abraham defeated his Democratic opponent, Mayor Jamie Mayo of Monroe, by a margin of 134,612 votes (64.2 percent) to 75,004 (35.8 percent). He was sworn into office in the 114th United States Congress on January 3, 2015.
After his election, Abraham chose Luke J. Letlow, his campaign manager, as chief of staff.
In August 2017, Abraham endorsed the nomination by U.S. President Donald Trump of Terry Doughty, also of Richland Parish, for a seat on the United States District Court for the Western District of Louisiana, based in Monroe. The selection also carried the backing of U.S. Senators Bill Cassidy and John Neely Kennedy.
In December 2017, Abraham voted in favor of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. After voting, Abraham stated that "This is going to be a great tax bill, and great tax reform not only for Louisiana but for the United States." He says that businesses will benefit greatly and be able to "reinvest in their infrastructure, reinvest in their employees." He says that wages will increase and job opportunities will grow.
- Committee on Agriculture
- Committee on Science, Space and Technology
- United States House Committee on Armed Services
- Congressional Western Caucus
- Coast Guard Caucus
- Historic Preservation Caucus
- GOP Doctor's Caucus
- Mississippi River Caucus
- Congressional National Guard and Reserve Components Caucus
- National Guard Youth Challenge Caucus
- Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus
- Veteran's Caucus
- Veterinary Medicine Caucus
- U.S.-Japan Caucus
On December 6, 2018, Abraham declared his candidacy for Governor of Louisiana in the 2019 Louisiana gubernatorial election. He placed third, behind fellow Republican Eddie Rispone and Democratic incumbent John Bel Edwards, failing to advance to the runoff, which is required under Louisiana law as no candidate received a majority in the primary.
In March 2017, Representative Abraham visited with about seventy farmers from the agricultural lobby, the Louisiana Farm Bureau Federation. He told the farmers, "Food security is national security. Agriculture is at the forefront of the fight because any interruption in the food supply or a compromise in its safety goes right to the heart of the nation." Marty Wooldridge, a cattleman from Caddo Parish said that Abraham's slogan "Food security is national security" should be incorporated into the slogan of the Farm Bureau. Abraham, Louisiana's only member on the House Agriculture Committee, defined his job in part to "educating members whose districts might be deeply metropolitan and who have no perspective on the importance of agriculture." In 2018, Abraham was named to the conference committee for the 2018 Farm Bill. The conference committee will resolve differences in the House and the Senate version of the Farm Bill.
In the wake of the 2016 Orlando nightclub shooting, Abraham said "Dianne and I are continuing to pray for the victims, family, friends and loved ones of those involved in the Orlando shooting. Officials have confirmed the shooter that carried out this senseless act of evil pledged allegiance to ISIS. I ask that you remain vigilant in your communities and, should you choose, join me in praying daily for our service men and women and law enforcement officials who face the threats of terror head-on every day. As a nation, we must do more to destroy ISIS and end all terrorist threats so our people may live their lives in peace."
He supports simplifying the tax code.
Regarding illegal immigration, Abraham opposes amnesty and supports strengthening border security. Abraham supported President Donald Trump's 2017 executive order to temporarily halt immigration from the seven specified nations until the development of more enhanced screening methods. His spokesman said "Dr. Abraham generally supports President Trump's temporary suspension of the refugee and immigration admittance program. Dr. Abraham agrees with President Trump that we must take all necessary steps to protect American citizens from potential terrorism threats, and this temporary measure from the President will allow for a thorough review of our policies and procedures for vetting applicants from war-torn areas."
Abraham has said he supports banning sanctuary cities in Louisiana if he is elected governor, and that he'd pay for four minority congresswomen, three of whom were born in the U.S., to leave the United States, if only they'd tell him where they'd like to go in reference to President Trump's "send them back" comments.
Abraham opposes late term abortions. In May 2005, he stated "As a doctor, I know and I can attest that this bill is backed by scientific research showing that babies can indeed feel pain at 20 weeks, if not before" .
In his bid for reelection in 2016, Abraham defeated one challenger, fellow Republican Billy Burkette of Baton Rouge, a former constable in East Feliciana Parish and a former chairman of the Louisiana Band of Choctaw Indians. Burkette claimed in his campaign that the Environmental Protection Agency has issued overly strict regulations that hamper farming.
Abraham defeated three challengers in the election held on November 6, 2018. Billy Burkette, an Independent from Pride, Louisiana; Jessee Carlton Fleenor, a Democrat from Loranger, and Kyle Randol, a Libertarian from Monroe. Abraham polled 149,010 votes (67 percent). Fleenor trailed with 67,113 votes (30 percent). Burkette and Randol held the remaining 3 percent of the ballots cast.
- "Guide to the New Congress" (PDF). Roll Call. Retrieved December 6, 2014.
- Broach, Drew (October 25, 2017). "Just where does Louisiana Congressman Ralph Abraham actually live?". NOLA.com - The Times-Picayune. Retrieved July 21, 2018.
- "NELA Doctor Running for Congress". myarklamiss.com. May 30, 2014. Retrieved June 2, 2014.
- Crisp, Elizabeth (February 26, 2020). "Ex-governor candidate U.S. Rep. Ralph Abraham won't seek another term in Congress". The Advocate. Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Retrieved February 26, 2020.
- Greg Hilburn (July 29, 2015). "Congressman Abraham's mother, 83, dies". The Monroe News-Star. Retrieved July 30, 2015.
- Viebeck, Elise (February 1, 2017). "Arab-American Republican lawmakers divided on Trump's travel ban". Washington Post. Retrieved June 28, 2017.
- Goddard, Valerie (July 15, 2015). "Is there a job Ralph Abraham can't do?". JAVMAnews. American Veterinary Medical Association. Retrieved October 29, 2016.
- Greg Hilburn (November 22, 2014). "Abraham: 'We remained consistent and persistent'". The Monroe News-Star. Retrieved December 7, 2014.
- Abraham, Ralph. "Medical Examiner". www.RalphAbraham.com. Abraham for Congress Campaign. Retrieved July 20, 2018.
- "Runoff election returns, December 6, 2014". Louisiana Secretary of State. Retrieved December 6, 2014.
- Greg Hilburn (December 10, 2014). "Letlow named Abraham's chief of staff". The Monroe News-Star. Retrieved December 11, 2014.
- Gamard, Sarah (August 9, 2017). "Louisiana congressman part of effort to end 'gender' debate". Salon. Retrieved December 31, 2017.
- Barbara Leader and Greg Hilburn (August 4, 2017). "Trump taps Rayville judge for federal bench". The Monroe News-Star. Retrieved August 6, 2017.
- Almukhtar, Sarah (December 19, 2017). "How Each House Member Voted on the Tax Bill". The New York Times. Retrieved December 31, 2017.
- "Louisiana's Republican delegation supports tax reform bill". WWL. December 20, 2017. Retrieved December 31, 2017.
- Greg Hilburn and Deborah Barfield Berry. "Abraham assignment gives cover for Barksdale, Fort Polk". TheNewsStar.com. The Monroe News-Star. Retrieved July 21, 2018.
- "Members". Congressional Western Caucus. Retrieved June 27, 2018.
- "Ralph Abraham, Bio and Caucus List". MilitaryTimes.com. Military Times. Retrieved August 14, 2018.
- "Members of the Veterinary Medicine Caucus". Veterinary Medicine Caucus. Retrieved October 12, 2018.
- "Members". U.S. - Japan Caucus. Retrieved December 1, 2018.
- Erin McCarty. "Congressman Ralph Abraham is running for governor". Retrieved December 6, 2018.
- Greg Hilburn (March 17, 2017). "Rep. Abraham: Ag is America's 'thin green line'". The Monroe News-Star. Retrieved March 18, 2017.
- Hilburn, Greg (July 18, 2018). "Abraham to craft final Farm Bill language". The Monroe News-Star. Retrieved July 20, 2018.
- Berkowitz, Bonnie; Cai, Weiyi; Lu, Denise; Gamio, Lazaro. "Everything lawmakers said (and didn't say) after the Orlando mass shooting". Washington Post. Retrieved December 31, 2017.
- Kaleb Causey (November 20, 2014). "Mayo, Abraham face off in 5th District debate". The Monroe News-Star. Retrieved December 13, 2014.
- Blake, Aaron. "Coffman, Gardner join Republicans against President Trump's travel ban; here's where the rest stand". Denver Post. Retrieved January 30, 2017.
- Ralph Abraham defends Trump's attack on congresswomen: 'I’ll pay for their tickets out of this country', The Advocate, Elizabeth Crisp, July 15, 2019. Retrieved July 30, 2019.
- Morris, Meagan (October 4, 2017). "Passed abortion ban cited 'fetal pain,' but what does science say about it?". Metro US. Retrieved December 31, 2017.
- "Louisiana Scorecard". NORML. Retrieved December 31, 2017.
- Mott, Ashley (November 9, 2016). "Abraham reelected in 5th district seat". Monroe News Star. Retrieved November 13, 2016.
- Ashley Mott (November 5, 2016). "Incumbent Abraham faces Burkette in 5th district race". Monroe News-Star. Retrieved November 6, 2016.
- "Ralph Abraham has three challengers for congressional seat". KNOE.com. Retrieved July 21, 2018.
- "Election Returns". Louisiana Secretary of State. November 6, 2018. Retrieved November 8, 2018.
- Congressman Ralph Abraham official U.S. House website
- Campaign website
- Ralph Abraham at Curlie
- Biography at the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
- Profile at Vote Smart
- Financial information (federal office) at the Federal Election Commission
- Legislation sponsored at the Library of Congress
- Appearances on C-SPAN
|U.S. House of Representatives|
|Preceded by |
| Member of the U.S. House of Representatives |
from Louisiana's 5th congressional district
|U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)|
|Preceded by |
| United States Representatives by seniority |
|114th||Senate: D. Vitter | B. Cassidy||House: C. Boustany | S. Scalise | J. Fleming | C. Richmond | R. Abraham | G. Graves|
|115th||Senate: B. Cassidy • J. N. Kennedy||House: S. Scalise • C. Richmond • R. Abraham• G. Graves • C. Higgins • M. Johnson|