88 years ago, the price of a loaf of bread was 9 cents, two brothers created the first car radio that they called a “motorized Victrola” (later shortened to Motorola), and the Hollywood classic, All Quiet on the Western Front, was released. Most importantly, however, distinguished Ways and Means Social Security Subcommittee Chairman and American war hero, Rep. Sam Johnson (R-TX), was born.
Sam Johnson has spent his life in public service – beginning with his 29-year career in the U.S. Air Force. As director of the Air Force Fighter Weapons School (“Top Gun”), Johnson flew combat missions in both the Korean and Vietnam Wars. During his second tour in Vietnam, he was shot down and endured seven years as a prisoner of war in Hanoi Hilton.
CLICK HERE or the image above to watch Chairman Johnson and House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) race around the Capitol in their scooters.
Following his years as a POW, in 1973 Johnson returned home to Texas to his wife – and high school sweetheart – the late Shirley Melton, whom he credits as the “real hero.” He established a home-building business in Dallas and served in the Texas State Legislature. In 1991, Johnson was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives to represent North Texas. In 1995, Johnson was recommended by then-Ways and Means Chairman Bill Archer (R-TX) to serve on the Committee.
Becoming Chairman of Social Security Subcommittee in 2011, Chairman Johnson has led the Subcommittee and passed multiple pieces of major legislation to strengthen the Social Security program. In 2016, in recognition of his service to the Committee on Ways and Means, the House of Representatives, and the U.S. Air Force, a hearing room in the Rayburn House Office Building was formally renamed the “Sam Johnson Room,” in an event attended by House Speaker Paul Ryan, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, and Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady, among other distinguished guests.
CLICK HERE or the image above to watch Social Security Subcommittee Ranking Member John Larson (D-CT) thank Chairman Johnson during the Chairman’s final hearing leading the Subcommittee.
Chairman Johnson reminds us all of the selfless sacrifice of those who serve this country. Embedded on the dais at the Chairman’s seat is a handwritten note from Sam, stating “Freedom has a taste to those who fight and almost die that the protected will never know,” which a fellow POW etched into the wall in a POW cell. His service to both our Country and the House of Representatives has earned him wide praise from his colleagues – including being recognized in 2009 as the “most admired” Republican Member of the House.
The Ways and Means Committee wishes Chairman Johnson a very happy birthday and continues to thank him for all he has done for the Committee, the people’s House, and the Country.