Trey Gowdy

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Trey Gowdy
Trey Gowdy.jpg
U.S. House, South Carolina, District 4
In office
Term ends
January 3, 2015
Years in position 3
PredecessorBob Inglis (R)
Base salary$174,000/year
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 6, 2012
Cost per vote$3.08 in 2012
First electedNovember 2, 2010
Next generalNovember 4, 2014
Campaign $$1,671,439
Term limitsN/A
Bachelor'sBaylor University, 1986
J.D.University of South Carolina, 1989
BirthdayAugust 22, 1964
Place of birthGreenville, SC
Net worth$200,000
Office website

Trey Gowdy (b. August 22, 1964, in Greenville, SC) is a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from the state of South Carolina. Gowdy was first elected to represent South Carolina's 4th Congressional District in 2010.[1] He is running for re-election in 2014. He ran unopposed in the Republican primary.

Based on analysis of multiple outside rankings, Gowdy is an average Republican member of Congress, meaning he will vote with the Republican Party on the majority of bills.


Prior to his election to the U.S. House, Gowdy served as a clerk in the United States District Court and as a solicitor to the 7th circuit court.[2]


Below is an abbreviated outline of Gowdy's academic, professional and political career:[2]

  • 1986: Graduated from Baylor University, Waco, Texas
  • 1989: Graduated from University of South Carolina School of Law, Columbia
  • 1994-2000: Clerk, United States District Court; Assistant U.S. Attorney
  • 2001-2010: Solicitor, 7th Circuit
  • 2011-Present: U.S. Representative from South Carolina

Committee assignments

U.S. House


Gowdy serves on the following committees:[3]


Gowdy served on the following committees:

  • Education and the Workforce Committee
    • Subcommittee on Workforce Protections
  • Judiciary Committee
    • Subcommittee on Immigration Policy and Enforcement
    • Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security
    • Subcommittee on Courts, Commercial and Administrative Law
  • Oversight and Government Reform Committee
    • Subcommittee on TARP, Financial Services and Bailouts of Public and Private Programs
    • Subcommittee on Health Care, District of Columbia, Census and the National Archives
    • Subcommittee on Federal Workforce, U.S. Postal Service and Labor Policy

Key votes

113th Congress


The 113th Congress has had 55 out of 5,401 introduced bills enacted into law (1 percent) as of November 30, 2013. Comparatively, the 112th Congress had 1.14 percent of introduced bills enacted into law in the first session.[4] For more information pertaining to Gowdy's voting record in the 113th Congress, please see the below sections.[5]

National security


Yea3.png Gowdy voted in support of HR 1960 - the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014. The bill passed the House on June 14, 2013, with a vote of 315 - 108. Both parties were somewhat divided on the vote.[6]

DHS Appropriations

Yea3.png Gowdy voted in support of HR 2217 - the DHS Appropriations Act (2014) Act of 2014. The bill passed the House on June 6, 2013, with a vote of 245 - 182 and was largely along party lines.[6]

Keystone Pipeline Amendment

Nay3.pngGowdy voted in opposition of House Amendment 69, which would have amended HR 3 to "require that the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, in consultation with the Department of Homeland Security, conduct a study of the vulnerabilities of the Keystone XL pipeline to a terrorist attack and certify that necessary protections have been put in place." The amendment failed on May 22, 2013, with a vote of 176 - 239 and was largely along party lines.[6]

CISPA (2013)

Yea3.png Gowdy voted in support of HR 624 - the CISPA (2013). The bill passed the House on April 18, 2013, with a vote of 288 - 127. The bill permitted federal intelligence agencies to share cybersecurity intelligence and information with private entities and utilities.[7] The bill was largely supported by Republicans, but divided the Democratic Party.[6]


2014 Farm bill

Nay3.png On January 29, 2014, the U.S. House approved the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013, H.R. 2642, also known as the Farm Bill.[8] The bill passed by a vote of 251-166. The nearly 1,000-page bill reformed and continued various programs of the Department of Agriculture through 2018. The $1 trillion bill expanded crop insurance for farmers by $7 billion over the next decade and created new subsidies for rice and peanut growers that would kick in when prices drop.[9][10] However, cuts to the food stamp program cut an average of $90 per month for 1.7 million people in 15 states.[10] Gowdy voted with 62 other Republican representatives against the bill.

2014 Budget

Yea3.png On January 15, 2014, the Republican-run House approved H.R. 3547, a $1.1 trillion spending bill to fund the government through September 30, 2014.[11][12] The House voted 359-67 for the 1,582 page bill, with 64 Republicans and three Democrats voting against the bill.[12] The omnibus package included 12 annual spending bills to fund federal operations.[13] It included a 1% increase in the paychecks of federal workers and military personnel, a $1 billion increase in Head Start funding for early childhood education, reduced funding to the Internal Revenue Service and the Environmental Protection Agency and protected the Affordable Care Act from any drastic cuts. Gowdy voted with the majority of the Republican party in favor of the bill.[11]

2013 Farm bill
See also: United States Farm Bill 2013

Yea3.png Gowdy supported the Farm Bill on July 11, 2013. The bill passed in a 216-208 vote.[14] The bill passed included farm policy, but did not include food stamps.[15]

Government shutdown
See also: United States budget debate, 2013

Yea3.png On September 30, 2013, the House passed a final stopgap spending bill before the shutdown went into effect. The bill included a one-year delay of the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate and would have also stripped the bill of federal subsidies for congressional members and staff. It passed through the House with a vote of 228-201.[16] At 1 a.m. on October 1, 2013, one hour after the shutdown officially began, the House voted to move forward with going to a conference. In short order, Sen. Harry Reid rejected the call to conference.[17] Gowdy voted to approve the stopgap spending bill that would have delayed the individual mandate.[18]

Nay3.pngThe shutdown ended on October 16, 2013, when the House took a vote on HR 2775 after it was approved by the Senate. The bill to reopen the government lifted the $16.7 trillion debt limit and funded the government through January 15, 2014. Federal employees also received retroactive pay for the shutdown period. The only concession made by Senate Democrats was to require income verification for Obamacare subsidies.[19] The House passed the legislation shortly after the Senate, by a vote of 285-144, with all 144 votes against the legislation coming from Republican members. Gowdy voted against HR 2775.[20]


Source: This graphic was generated by Find The Best.
Morton Memos Prohibition

Yea3.png Gowdy voted for House Amendment 136 - Prohibits the Enforcement of the Immigration Executive Order. The amendment was adopted by the House on June 6, 2013, with a vote of 224 - 201. The purpose of the amendment as stated on the official text is to "prohibit the use of funds to finalize, implement, administer, or enforce the Morton Memos." These memos would have granted administrative amnesty to certain illegal aliens residing in the United States.[21] The vote largely followed party lines.[22]


Repealing Obamacare

Yea3.png Gowdy has supported all attempts to repeal or delay the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.[23]

Social issues


Yea3.png Gowdy supported HR 1797 - Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. The resolution passed the House on June 18, 2013, with a vote of 228 - 196. The purpose of the bill was to ban abortions that would take place 20 or more weeks after fertilization.[24]

Previous congressional sessions

Fiscal cliff

Nay3.png Gowdy voted against the fiscal cliff compromise bill, which made permanent most of the Bush tax cuts originally passed in 2001 and 2003, while also raising tax rates on the highest income levels. He was one of 151 Republicans that voted against the bill. The bill was passed in the House by a 257 - 167 vote on January 1, 2013.[25]


On The Issues Vote Match

Gowdy's Vote Match results from On The Issues.
See also: On The Issues Vote Match

On The Issues conducts a VoteMatch analysis of elected officials based on 20 issue areas. Rather than relying on incumbents to complete the quiz themselves, the VoteMatch analysis is conducted using voting records, statements to the media, debate transcripts or citations from books authored by or about the candidate. Based on the results of the quiz, Gowdy is a Hard-Core Conservative. Gowdy received a score of 24 percent on social issues and 83 percent on economic issues.[26]

On The Issues organization logo.

The table below contains the results of analysis compiled by staff at On The Issues.

On The Issues Vote Quiz[27]
Economic Issues Social Issues
Issue Stance Issue Stance
Legally require hiring women & minorities Opposes Abortion is a woman's unrestricted right Strongly Opposes
Expand ObamaCare Strongly Opposes Comfortable with same-sex marriage Unknown
Vouchers for school choice Strongly Favors Keep God in the public sphere Favors
Absolute right to gun ownership Strongly Favors Human needs over animal rights Unknown
Higher taxes on the wealthy Strongly Opposes Stricter punishment reduces crime Unknown
Support & expand free trade Unknown Pathway to citizenship for illegal aliens Strongly Opposes
Stricter limits on political campaign funds Strongly Favors Maintain US sovereignty from UN Unknown
Prioritize green energy Strongly Opposes Expand the military Strongly Favors
Stimulus better than market-led recovery Strongly Opposes Stay out of Iran Opposes
Privatize Social Security Unknown Never legalize marijuana Unknown
Note: Information last updated: 2014.[26]

Immigration reform

The Evangelical Immigration Table ran ads during the August 2013 recess to encourage support of an immigration reform bill that would allow a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants. In the ad, Rev. Jim Goodroe, director of missions for Spartanburg County Baptist Network, said, "One of the things we're trying to do is trying to get Christians to first of all think about anything from a Christian perspective, including immigration... and realize that any immigrant is a person first." Gowdy supported the ad, according to a spokesman. Gowdy said, "The status quo has left our national security jeopardized with porous borders, our laws unenforced, our economy missing necessary skills, and families separated for years. But to achieve a long-term solution, any plan must first guarantee border security and restore enforcement of our laws. So while immigration is complex, I am encouraged by any groups who enter this discussion in good faith and are intent on looking for solutions." The ad also ran in Mick Mulvaney's district.[28]



See also: South Carolina's 4th Congressional District elections, 2014

Gowdy is running for re-election in the 2014 election for the U.S. House to represent South Carolina's 4th District. Gowdy ran unopposed in the Republican primary on June 10, 2014. The general election takes place November 4, 2014.

See also: United States Senate special election in South Carolina, 2014

Gowdy was rumored as a possible appointee to Jim DeMint's U.S. Senate seat. On December 17, 2012, Gov. Nikki Haley announced she had chosen to appoint Representative Tim Scott to fill DeMint's seat beginning in January 2013.[29][30][31]


See also: South Carolina's 4th Congressional District elections, 2012

Gowdy won re-election in the 2012 election for the U.S. House, to represent South Carolina's 4th District. He was unopposed in the Republican primary on June 12 and defeated Deb Morrow (D) and Jeff Sumerel (G) in the general election on November 6, 2012.[32][33]

U.S. House, South Carolina District 4 General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Deb Morrow 33.7% 89,964
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngTrey Gowdy Incumbent 64.9% 173,201
     Green Jeff Sumerel 1.3% 3,390
     N/A Write-In 0.1% 329
Total Votes 266,884
Source: South Carolina State Election Commission "Official Election Results, 2012 General Election"

Full history

Campaign donors

Fundraising events

The below chart from Find The Best tracks the fundraising events Gowdy attends.

Source: This graphic was generated by Find The Best.


Candidates for Congress are required to file up to seven main reports with the Federal Election Commission during the 2014 elections season. Below are Gowdy's reports.[35]

Trey Gowdy (2014) Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
April Quarterly[36]May 1, 2013$270,956.98$53,463.00$(17,919.42)$306,500.26
July Quarterly[37]July 12, 2013$306,500.26$176,590.83$(97,411.88)$385,679.21
October Quarterly[38]October 13, 2013$385,679.21$132,250.00$(91,959.73)$425,969.48
Year-End[39]January 27, 2014$425,969$41,086$(77,384)$389,671
April Quarterly[40]April 12, 2014$389,671.34$32,358.76$(75,221.62)$346,808.48
Running totals

Comprehensive donor information for Gowdy is available dating back to 2010. Based on available campaign finance records, Gowdy raised a total of $1,671,439 during that time period. This information was last updated on March 28, 2013.[41]

Trey Gowdy's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2012 US House (South Carolina, District 4) Won $728,767
2010 US House (South Carolina, District 4) Won $942,672
Grand Total Raised $1,671,439

Source: This graphic was generated by Find The Best.


Gowdy won re-election to the U.S. House in 2012. During that re-election cycle, Gowdy's campaign committee raised a total of $728,767 and spent $533,278 .[42]

Cost per vote

Gowdy spent $3.08 per vote received in 2012.


Gowdy won re-election to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2010. During that re-election cycle, Gowdy's campaign committee raised a total of $942,672 and spent $867,205.[43]

Personal Gain Index

Congressional Personal Gain Index graphic.png
See also: Personal Gain Index (U.S. Congress)

The Personal Gain Index (U.S. Congress) is a four-part measurement that illustrates the extent to which members of the U.S. Congress have prospered during their tenure as public servants.
It consists of four different metrics:

PGI: Change in net worth

See also: Changes in Net Worth of U.S. Senators and Representatives (Personal Gain Index) and Net worth of United States Senators and Representatives
Net Worth Metric graphic.png

Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by, Gowdy's net worth as of 2012 was estimated between $1 to $399,999. That averages to $200,000, which is lower than the average net worth of Republican House members in 2012 of $7,614,097.96. Gowdy ranked as the 346th most wealthy representative in 2012.[44] Between 2009 and 2012, Gowdy‘s calculated net worth[45] increased by an average of 278 percent per year. Between 2004 and 2012, the average annual percentage increase for a member of Congress was 15.4 percent.[46]

Trey Gowdy Yearly Net Worth
YearAverage Net Worth
Growth from 2009 to 2012:834%
Average annual growth:278%[47]
Comparatively, the American citizen experienced a median yearly decline in net worth of -0.94%.[48]
The data used to calculate changes in net worth may include changes resulting from assets gained through marriage, inheritance, changes in family estates and/or trusts, changes in family business ownership and many other variables unrelated to a member's behavior in Congress.

PGI: Donation Concentration Metric

See also: The Donation Concentration Metric (U.S. Congress Personal Gain Index)

Filings required by the Federal Election Commission report on the industries that give to each candidate. Using campaign filings and information calculated by, Ballotpedia calculated the percentage of donations by industry received by each incumbent over the course of his or her career (or 1989 and later, if elected prior to 1988). In the 113th Congress, Gowdy is the chair of the Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security. Gowdy received the most donations from individuals and PACs employed by the Lawyers/Law Firms industry. Comparatively, the top industry employer in South Carolina's 4th Congressional District was Educational services, and health care and social assistance, according to a 2012 U.S. Census survey.[49]

From 2009-2014, 26.27 percent of Gowdy's career contributions came from the top five industries as listed below.[50]

Donation Concentration Metric graphic.png
Trey Gowdy Campaign Contributions
Total Raised $2,217,951
Total Spent $1,805,633
Chair of the the Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security
Top industry in the districtEducational services, and health care and social assistance
Top five industries that contributed to campaign committee
Lawyers/Law Firms$188,887
Health Professionals$136,655
Leadership PACs$83,772
Real Estate$78,900
% total in top industry8.52%
% total in top two industries14.68%
% total in top five industries26.27%


Like-minded colleagues

The website OpenCongress tracks the voting records of each member to determine with whom he or she votes most and least often. The results include a member from each party.[51]

Gowdy most often votes with:

Gowdy least often votes with:

Source: This graphic was generated by Find The Best.

Ideology and leadership

See also: GovTrack's Political Spectrum & Legislative Leadership ranking

Based on an analysis of bill sponsorship by GovTrack, Gowdy is a "moderate Republican follower," as of September 2014.[52] This was the same rating Gowdy received in June 2013.[53]

Lifetime voting record

See also: Lifetime voting records of United States Senators and Representatives

According to the website GovTrack, Gowdy missed 31 of 2,729 roll call votes from January 2009 to September 2014. This amounts to 1.1 percent, which is better than the median of 2.5 percent among current congressional representatives as of September 2014.[54]

Congressional staff salaries

See also: Staff salaries of United States Senators and Representatives

The website Legistorm compiles staff salary information for members of Congress. Gowdy paid his congressional staff a total of $831,388 in 2011. Overall, South Carolina ranked 31st in average salary for representative staff. The average U.S. House of Representatives congressional staff was paid $954,912.20 in fiscal year 2011.[55]

National Journal vote ratings

See also: National Journal vote ratings

Each year National Journal publishes an analysis of how liberally or conservatively each member of Congress voted in the previous year. Click the link above for the full ratings of all members of Congress.


Gowdy ranked 25th in the conservative rankings in 2013.[56]


Gowdy was one of two members who ranked 50th in the conservative rankings in 2012.[57]


Gowdy was one of four members of congress who ranked 80th in the conservative rankings in 2011.[58]

Voting with party


Gowdy voted with the Republican Party 94.7 percent of the time, which ranked 99th among the 233 House Republican members as of September 2014.[59]


Gowdy voted with the Republican Party 96.8 percent of the time, which ranked 80th among the 234 House Republican members as of June 2013.[60]


Trey Gowdy and his wife, Terri, have two children.[61]

Recent News

This section displays the most recent stories in a google news search for the term "Trey + Gowdy + South Carolina + Congress"

All stories may not be relevant to this legislator due to the nature of the search engine.

Trey Gowdy News Feed

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See also

External links

Political Tracker has an article on:
Trey Gowdy


  1. Official Biographical Guide to Congress, "Trey Gowdy," May 18, 2012
  2. 2.0 2.1 Biographical Directory of the U.S. House, "Gowdy," accessed June 24, 2013
  3., "House Committee Rosters for the 113th Congress," accessed March 3, 2013
  4. Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity, First Session of the 112th Congress," accessed September 5, 2013
  5. Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity, Second Session of the 113th Congress," accessed March 4, 2014
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Project Vote Smart, "Representative Gowdy's Voting Records on National Security," accessed October 11, 2013
  7. The Library of Congress, "H.R.624 CISPA (2013) (Referred in Senate - RFS)," accessed August 27, 2013
  8. Clerk of U.S. House, "Roll Call Vote 31: H.R. 2642," accessed February 12, 2014
  9. Politico, "House clears farm bill," accessed February 12, 2014
  10. 10.0 10.1 New York Times, "Senate passes long-stalled Farm Bill, With clear winners and losers," accessed February 12, 2014
  11. 11.0 11.1, "House passes compromise $1.1 trillion budget for 2014," accessed January 20, 2014
  12. 12.0 12.1 U.S. House, "Roll Call Vote 21," accessed January 20, 2014
  13. Roll Call, "House passes $1.1 trillion omnibus," accessed January 20, 2014
  14. Vote Smart, "Gowdy on agriculture," accessed October 11, 2013
  15. New York Times, "House Republicans Push Through Farm Bill, Without Food Stamps," accessed September 17, 2013
  16. Clerk of the U.S. House, "Final vote results for Roll Call 504," accessed October 31, 2013
  17. Buzzfeed, "Government Shutdown: How We Got Here," accessed October 1, 2013
  18. Clerk of the U.S. House, "Final vote results for Roll Call 504," accessed October 31, 2013
  19. The Washington Post, "Reid, McConnell propose bipartisan Senate bill to end shutdown, extend borrowing," accessed October 16, 2013
  20. U.S. House, "Final vote results for Roll Call 550," accessed October 31, 2013
  21. The Library of Congress, "H.AMDT.136," accessed August 28, 2013
  22. Project Vote Smart, "Representative Gowdy's Voting Records on Immigration," accessed October 10, 2013
  23. Project Vote Smart, "Representative Gowdy's Voting Records on Issue: Health and Health Care," accessed October 11, 2013
  24. Project Vote Smart, "Gowdy on abortion," accessed October 11, 2013
  25. U.S. House, "Roll Call Vote on the Fiscal Cliff," accessed January 4, 2013
  26. 26.0 26.1 On The Issues, "Gowdy Vote Match," accessed July 1, 2014
  27. The questions in the quiz are broken down into two sections -- social and economic. In social questions, liberals and libertarians agree in choosing the less-government answers, while conservatives and populists agree in choosing the more-restrictive answers. For the economic questions, conservatives and libertarians agree in choosing the less-government answers, while liberals and populists agree in choosing the more-restrictive answers.
  28., "Evangelicals Target SC Congressmen with Immigration Ads," accessed August 21, 2013
  29. Roll Call, "Appointment Speculation Centers on Rep. Tim Scott," December 6, 2012
  30., "First on CNN: Haley finalizes short list for DeMint seat," December 11, 2012
  31. Political, "Haley to announce DeMint's replacement at noon," December 17, 2012
  32. Associated Press, "2012 Primary Results"
  33. Politico, "2012 Election Map," accessed November 6, 2012
  34. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2010," accessed March 28, 2013
  35. Federal Election Commission, "Gowdy 2014 Summary reports," accessed July 23, 2013
  36. Federal Election Commission, "April Quarterly," accessed July 23, 2013
  37. Federal Election Commission, "July Quarterly," accessed July 23, 2013
  38. Federal Election Commission, "October Quarterly," accessed October 28, 2013
  39. Federal Election Commission, "Gowdy Year-End," accessed February 5, 2014
  40. Federal Election Commission, "April Quarterly," accessed April 21, 2014
  41. Open Secrets, "Career Fundraising for Trey Gowdy," accessed March 28, 2013
  42. Open Secrets, "Gowdy Campaign Contributions," accessed February 28, 2013
  43. Open Secrets, "Trey Gowdy 2010 Election Cycle," accessed November 16, 2011
  44. OpenSecrets, "Gowdy, 2012," accessed January 14, 2014
  45. This figure represents the total percentage growth from either 2004 (if the member entered office in 2004 or earlier) or their first year in office (as noted in the chart below).
  46. This number was found by dividing each member's total net worth growth percentage by the number of years included in the calculation.
  47. This figure represents the total percentage growth divided by the number of years for which there are net worth figures for each member.
  48. This figure was calculated using median asset data from the Census Bureau. Please see the Congressional Net Worth data for Ballotpedia spreadsheet for more information on this calculation.
  49., "My Congressional District," accessed October 1, 2014
  50., "Rep. Trey Gowdy," accessed October 1, 2014
  51. OpenCongress, "Trey Gowdy," accessed September 9, 2014
  52. GovTrack, "Trey Gowdy," accessed September 9, 2014
  53. GovTrack, "Trey Gowdy," accessed June 24, 2013
  54. GovTrack, "Gowdy," accessed September 9, 2014
  55. LegiStorm, "Trey Growdy," accessed September 18, 2012
  56. National Journal, "2013 Congressional Vote Ratings," September 9, 2014
  57. National Journal, "2012 Congressional Vote Ratings," February 28, 2013
  58. National Journal, "Searchable Vote Ratings Tables: House," accessed February 23, 2012
  59. OpenCongress, "Voting With Party," accessed July 2014
  60. OpenCongress, "Voting With Party," accessed July 2014
  61. Trey, "Bio," accessed December 10, 2013
Political offices
Preceded by
Bob Inglis
U.S. House of Representatives - South Carolina District 4
Succeeded by