Congressman Dave Camp represents Michigan’s 4th Congressional District, which spans fifteen counties across mid and northern Michigan. Throughout his tenure in the House, Camp has worked with lawmakers from both sides of the aisle to advocate for lower tax rates for American families and employers, a long term overhaul and simplification of the U.S. tax code, and trade policies that expand American exports while ensuring American workers are protected. He authored the House GOP alternative to the Democrats’ health care law, the only health care legislation scored by the Congressional Budget Office to lower the cost of health insurance premiums for Americans. His commonsense legislation included protections for those with pre-existing conditions, tort reform to reduce lawsuit abuse as well as grants that reward states for innovative market reforms. In the area of human resources, Camp is a nationally recognized leader in ensuring every child has a safe and loving home through adoption and foster care.
When the 112th Congress convened in January of 2011, Camp was chosen to serve as Chairman of the Committee on Ways and Means. Created by the first U.S. House of Representatives on July 24, 1789, Ways and Means is the oldest committee of the Congress. The responsibilities vested in the committee have placed it at the center of some of the most critical legislative decisions faced by the Congress. The committee has jurisdiction over taxes, the management of the public debt, tariff and trade laws, and the Social Security and Medicare systems. Camp has served on the committee since the 103rd Congress (1993-1994).
As Chairman, Camp’s focus is on creating an environment for sustained private sector growth and job creation. Critical to that goal is comprehensive reform of the tax code – addressing both the corporate and individual side. Chairman Camp’s initial hearing was dedicated to the subject of tax reform and he has since worked with the U.S. Treasury Department and Senator Max Baucus (D-MT), the Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, to reduce complexities in the code that impede economic growth. Chairman Camp was also a key architect of House Republicans’ January 2011 repeal efforts of the new health care law. While the Senate thus far has refused to take action on full repeal of the Democrats’ 2010 health care law, Chairman Camp did lead the successful repeal of the health care law’s onerous 1099 tax reporting requirement – a burden the nation’s small businesses said would hurt their operations and ability to employ workers.
In August 2011, Chairman Camp was chosen by Speaker Boehner to serve on the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, a 12-member panel (made up of 3 House Republicans, 3 House Democrats, 3 Senate Republicans and 3 Senate Democrats) created under the Budget Control Act (PL 112-25), charged with finding solutions to reduce the deficit by at least $1.2 trillion.
After helping to conclude negotiations, in October 2011, Camp successfully passed in his first year as Chairman three job-creating trade agreements with Colombia, Panama and South Korea. Combined these agreements have the ability to create 250,000 American jobs, add over $10 billion to U.S. gross domestic product per year and represent the largest expansion of export opportunities for American workers, businesses and consumers in over 15 years. Additionally, Camp negotiated the largest reforms to the Trade Adjustment Assistance program since its creation and sunset the program starting in 2014 — giving Congress time to overhaul and unify a myriad of job training and unemployment programs.
In the 111th Congress (2009-2010), Camp served as Ranking Member of the full committee. During his tenure as Ranking Member, Camp crafted and advanced commonsense and affordable Republican alternatives to the 2009 stimulus law and 2010 health care law. The Camp alternative to the 2009 stimulus law would have provided critical tax relief to every American family that pays income taxes and incentives to encourage small businesses to grow, hire, and invest. Using the methodology of the President’s own economic advisors, the Camp alternative would have created twice as many jobs at half the cost of the 2009 stimulus law. Likewise, during the 2010 debate on health care reform, Ranking Member Camp offered a more reasoned alternative that would have insured millions of Americans and reduced annual health care premiums for families by up to $3,200 per year, without raising taxes or spending $1 trillion as the 2010 health care law did.
In 2010, Camp was one of three House Republicans appointed by then-Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) to serve on the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, commonly known as the Bowles-Simpson Commission. The Commission, formed in February 2010, was charged with identifying policies to improve the U.S. fiscal situation in the medium term, and to achieve fiscal sustainability over the long term. While on the Commission, Camp co-led the Tax Reform Working Group and was a member of the Mandatory Spending Working Group.
In the 110th Congress (2007-2008) and 109th Congress (2005-2006), Camp served as Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Health, and Chairman of the Subcommittee on Select Revenue Measures, respectively. During his tenure on the committee, he has served seven terms as a Member of the Subcommittee on Human Resources, and six terms as a Member of the Subcommittee on Trade. As a junior Member of the committee in 1996, Camp made his mark by playing a pivotal role in the passage of historic welfare reform legislation, the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act of 1996. TIME magazine credited Camp’s contribution as the “decisive breakthrough” that led to the bill’s enactment.
In the 108th Congress (2003-2004), Camp was selected by Speaker Denny Hastert to serve on the Select Committee on Homeland Security, which was created by the House of Representatives on January 7, 2003. While on the select committee Camp served as Chairman of the Subcommittee on Infrastructure and Border Security, where he played an integral role in developing policies to better secure U.S. land and maritime borders in the wake of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
In the 102nd Congress (1991-1992) Camp served on the House Committee on Agriculture. For his work on behalf of Michigan agriculture, Camp received the Golden Plow Award in 1998, the American Farm Bureau Federation’s highest honor given to only one Member of the House in each Congress.
As an attorney in private practice before his first election, Camp worked extensively with parents and children in the foster care system. His experiences in this field gave him the background and insight to introduce the landmark Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1996, co-sponsor the Intercountry Adoption Act of 2000, and author the Adoption Promotion Act of 2003. Camp’s work in this field has led to him to become one of the House’s leading adoption and foster care proponents and experts.
Camp was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1990. Prior to that, he represented Michigan’s 102nd District in the State House of Representatives (1988-1990), served as Administrative Assistant to U.S. Representative Bill Schuette (MI-10) (1985-1987), and worked as a lawyer in public and private practice. Camp graduated from H.H. Dow High School in Midland, Michigan. He earned a B.A. from Albion College and a J.D. from the University of San Diego School of Law. He was born and raised in Midland, where he and his wife Nancy continue to reside with their three children.