GRAMM, WILLIAM PHILIP (1942~) William Philip "Phil" Gramm was born in Fort Benning, Muscogee County, Georgia on July 8, 1942. Growing up in Georgia, he attended the Muscogee County public schools and graduated from Georgia Military Academy in 1961. He also graduated from the University of Georgia at Athens in 1964 and received his doctorate in economics in 1967.
From 1967 to 1978, Dr. Gramm was a professor of economics at Texas A & M University. He taught until he was elected as a Democrat to the United State House of Representatives. He served in the House until 1983, when he was stripped of his House Budget Committee seat in retaliation for co-authoring the Reagan economic program. He resigned his seat on January 5, 1983, to run for election to the Ninety-eighth Congress as a Republican.
He was re-elected in a special election on February 12, 1983. Gramm became the only member of Congress in the twentieth century to resign and seek re-election as a member of another political party. Gramm was also the first Republican elected in the 100-year history of his Central Texas district. In 1984, he ran for and won a seat in the United States Senate taking retiring Senator John Tower's seat. Gramm won the seat with more votes than any other statewide office had ever received in the history of Texas.
In 1990, he was re-elected with the highest percentage vote any Senate candidate had received in a Texas general election in more than 30 years. In 1996, Gramm was elected to his third term in the Senate. While in Washington, Gramm has served as Chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, Republican Steering Committee, and is currently serving as Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee.
Gramm's reputation has allowed him to receive some very strong praise. The National Journal said, "he sparkles in a Senate that sometimes resembles a hundred blinking lights." The Gramm legislative record includes such landmark bills as the Gramm-Latta Budgets, which reduced federal spending, rebuilt national defense and mandated the Reagan tax cut. Those budgets launched an economic recovery that created 21 million new jobs and reinforced a policy of peace through strength that tore down the Berlin Wall and dissolved the Soviet Union.
Two years later, he passed the Gramm-Rudman Act, which placed the first binding constraints on Federal Spending. Those spending constraints have become a part of each subsequent American budget and together with strong economy helped to produce the first balanced budget in 30 years. As chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, Gramm led the successful effort to restore a Republican majority in the Senate in 1994.
Within a year of taking up the reins of the Senate Banking Commission in 1999, Chairman Gramm steered through legislation modernizing the banking, insurance and securities laws, which had been languished in Congress for 60 years. The Gramm-Leach Act will assure that more financial services are more affordable and more accessible to more people than ever before in American history.
Senator Gramm has led the fight to stop the Clinton Health Care Bill, authored key reforms of the United States' welfare system and started the effort to gain control of United States' borders by doubling the strength of the Border Patrol. With Senator of Robert Byrd of West Virginia, Gramm won passage of a highway bill, which dedicates the full gasoline tax to road construction.
Information taken from Gramm and Texas State Cemetery file materials.