Concept

Joe Barton

Summary
Joseph Linus Barton (born September 15, 1949) is an American politician. A member of the Republican Party, he represented in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1985 to 2019. The district included Arlington, part of Fort Worth, and several small towns and rural areas south of the Dallas–Fort Worth Metroplex. He was also a member of the Tea Party Caucus. In 2014, Barton became the longest-serving member of the Texas congressional delegation. Barton described himself as "a constant defender of conservative ideals and values". He advocated for deregulation of the electricity and natural gas industries, and served as vice-chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committees. He denied that manmade carbon emissions had contributed to global warming, was a proponent of the use of fossil fuels, voted in favor of the May 2017 GOP plan to replace Obamacare, supported President Donald Trump's ban on immigration from certain predominantly Muslim nations, and supported the death penalty for people caught spying. Barton led a successful effort to repeal the oil export ban in the House in 2017. His environmental record of defending industries against tighter pollution controls earned him the nickname "Smokey Joe." Barton came to national prominence after telling a citizen at a town hall meeting to "shut up." He came to national attention again when sexually explicit photos that he had shared with women surfaced online in 2017. In November 2017, Barton announced that he would not seek re-election in 2018. Barton was born in Waco, Texas, the son of Bess Wynell (née Buice) and Larry Linus Barton. He graduated from Waco High School. He attended Texas A&M University in College Station on a Gifford-Hill Opportunity Award scholarship, and received a B.S. in industrial engineering in 1972. An M.Sc. in industrial administration from Purdue University followed in 1973. Following college, Barton entered private industry until 1981, when he became a White House Fellow and served under United States Secretary of Energy James B. Edwards.
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