Congressman Bill Goodling
19th District, Pennsylvania
"Democracy is measured not by its leaders doing extraordinary things, but by its citizens doing ordinary things extraordinarily well." -- John Gardner
Bill Goodling shares educator and writer John Gardner's philosophy of governing. He has continued to fulfill his pledge to put "people before politics," which his constituent service and legislative record make clear.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge's words, "common sense in an uncommon degree is what the world calls wisdom," epitomize Bill Goodling's down-to-earth style. "Congressman Bill," as he is known by his constituents, puts people before politics and this philosophy has helped the thirteen- term Representative effectively serve the residents of Adams, Cumberland, and York Counties in south central Pennsylvania's 19th Congressional District.
Goodling's common-sense approach to serving in the U.S. House of Representatives comes naturally. He was born December 5, 1927, in Loganville, Pennsylvania, a small southern York County town in which his ancestors had settled nearly a century before. His childhood was marked by hard work and community service. He and his five brothers and sisters were expected to help with work on the family fruit farm as well as in the community at large. Bill worked in the family's orchards before and after school each day. He now lives in Seven Valleys, Pennsylvania, just a few miles from the house where he was born.
Goodling graduated from York High School in 1945, joined the Army upon graduation and was stationed in Japan until 1948. Soon after, he began classes at the University of Maryland, and received a bachelor of science degree in 1953. He later earned his master's degree in Education at Western Maryland College at the same time he taught, counseled and coached football, baseball, and basketball in the Southeastern School District in York County.
After becoming principal of West York Area High School, Bill married Hilda Wright of Shrewsbury, Pennsylvania in 1957. While continuing to pursue doctoral studies at Penn State University, Goodling found time to coach American Legion baseball, serve as School Board President of the Dallastown Area School District, and was active in the Boy Scouts of America, local health organizations, and the Loganville Methodist Church. In 1967, Goodling became Superintendent of Schools for the Spring Grove Area School District.
In 1974, Goodling was urged to seek the Republican nomination for the 19th District Congressional seat. He beat six opponents in the primary and went on to win the general election with 51 percent of the vote.
Since that narrow victory, Goodling has gone on to become one of the most popular legislators in south central Pennsylvania history. He has served thirteen straight terms, the longest tenure of any 19th District representative this century. He typically captures more than 70 percent of the vote and has even run unopposed in several general elections.
Goodling has served on the Committee on Education and Labor since his first term, becoming Ranking Minority Member in 1990. After the Republican takeover in the 1994 elections, the Republican Conference elected him Chairman of the Committee.
As Chairman of the newly renamed House Committee on Education and the Workforce, Goodling has reexamined the proper federal role in both education and in the workplace. His philosophy is guided by two overriding principles: empowerment of Americans through local decisions and development of quality solutions. Ultimately, he believes the solutions to our problems are local, so control must be local and Federal action must be limited to those things it can do effectively and efficiently. In addition to demanding more local control, Goodling has undertaken a massive effort to consolidate duplicative federal programs and eliminate wasteful spending.
Goodling is a Member of the House Committee on International Relations, and the Subcommittee on International Operations and Human Rights. Goodling returned to the Committee in 1991 after taking time out to serve first as a member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and then the House Committee on Budget for the maximum six year term.
Locally, Goodling's primary goals are to protect the job base and encourage business and industry to locate in south central Pennsylvania. He remains a leader in the fight for the development of fiscally responsible policies directed toward the creation of a literate, well-trained and skilled workforce. He believes this is the key to keeping south central Pennsylvania competitive worldwide. He also seeks to promote policies which enhance the ability of business, particularly small business, to provide and create jobs. The Congressman has always put job and family security at the top of his list of priorities.
He has continued to apply his common-sense, budget conscious approach to creating the highest quality federal education and job training programs possible, knowing that a solid education will provide all workers with the necessary foundation to compete in a highly competitive 21st century workplace.
In addition, Goodling has consistently fought to restore public trust in government by requiring Congress to live by the laws it imposes on others as well as by cutting waste and bureaucracy at the federal level. His general philosophy of lower taxes and smaller federal government has resonated back home.
Bill and Hilda Goodling have two children, Todd and Jennifer. Todd is an architect, and Jennifer, a one-time professional tennis player, now teaches the sport.
In his spare time, Congressman Goodling enjoys singing in the Capitol Hill Choral Society. He raises horses and is an active sports enthusiast.
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