Prior to his election to Congress, Tom was the chief elected official in Fairfax County, the eleventh most populous municipality with the second largest county budget in the United States. In 1993, during Tom’s tenure as Chairman of the Board of Supervisors, Fairfax County was recognized as the nation’s best financially managed county.
Formerly the Vice President and General Counsel of PRC, Inc., a high technology and professional services firm headquartered in McLean, Virginia, Tom moved to the position of Corporate Counsel upon his election as Chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. Before his election to that post, Tom served for 12 years as Mason District’s representative to the Board. Tom is also a charter member and past president of the Bailey’s Crossroads Rotary Club, and he has served on numerous charity boards.
Tom was born in Minot, North Dakota on January 5, 1949, and moved with his family to Fairfax County at an early age. He graduated as president of his class from the United States Capitol Page School following four years as a U.S. Senate Page. He went on to Amherst College, graduating with honors in Political Science, and subsequently earned his law degree from the University of Virginia. Tom also attended Officer Candidate School, served on active duty in the U.S. Army, and spent eight years with the Virginia National Guard and the U.S. Army Reserve.
Tom’s list of legislative accomplishments began almost as soon as he took office, when he was given control of the Government Reform Committee’s Subcommittee on the District of Columbia. During his first year in Congress, Tom authored and co-sponsored several important bills that were enacted into law, including the D.C. Financial Control Board Act; the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995; the Federal Acquisition Reform Act; and the Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Tom quickly earned a reputation among his constituents, colleagues and the media as a strong advocate of federal employees and contractors, and as an expert in federal procurement policy.
Tom also serves as one of four co-chairs of the Information Technology Working Group, a group he founded to promote a better understanding of issues important to the computer and technology industries. In May 1999 he sponsored the Y2K Act, legislation which ensured that businesses spent their money on Y2K compliance rather than saving it for costly lawsuits that might have otherwise arisen. Tom was the recipient of the Electronic Industry Alliance’s 1999 Congressional Technology Policy Award and was inducted into the American Electronics Association’s High Tech Hall of Fame in Spring 2000.
Tom has been a leader in reforming Congress’ lobbying and gift rules and was recognized as a “True Blue Reformer” by the advocacy group “Public Citizen” for his consistently strong support of political and ethics reforms. Tom has earned a “Deficit Hawk” Award and the highest score in Virginia from the Concord Coalition, a bipartisan citizen’s council dedicated to deficit reduction. Tom has also received awards from Americans for Tax Reform, the National Federation of Independent Businesses, the Information Technology Association of America, the Information Technology Industry Council, US Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Chief Information Officers, the IT Industry Council, and the Coalition for Government Procurement for his legislative accomplishments.
Tom served as Chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee from 1998 to 2002.
Tom stepped down as chair of the D.C. subcommittee at the end of 2000 after a string of legislative wins. Tom backed 1997 legislation granting control of nine city agencies to the Control Board, and in the process secured the closing of Lorton Prison by the end of 2001. In February 1999, Tom sponsored a bill restoring full management powers to the District government; that bill became the first legislation signed into law that year. Perhaps his biggest accomplishment as committee chair came with passage of the D.C. College Access Act, which, for the first time ever, will allow high school graduates in the District to attend public colleges in Maryland and Virginia at in-state rates. In the 107th Congress, Tom continued to serve on the D.C. Subcommittee, continuing to believe that ensuring the strength and solvency of the Nation’s Capitol is a key to promoting the growth of the entire region.
Tom continues to fight for those issues most important to Northern Virginians, including securing more federal dollars for transportation projects and seeing to it that federal education funding can be spent as local school districts see fit. Tom was instrumental in securing the final $900 million for a new Woodrow Wilson Bridge in 2000, which raised the federal government’s contribution to the new span to $1.5 billion.
In January 2001, Tom was named chairman of the newly formed Government Reform Subcommittee on Technology and Procurement Policy. He also reclaimed his seat on the Energy and Commerce Committee, with a spot on the Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet. Both posts are critical to Northern Virginia’s high tech community. In just two years, Tom successfully passed several important bills through Congress, including the Digital Tech Corps Act, the E-Gov Act of 2002, the Federal Information Security Act, and the Critical Infrastructure Information Act. And, in keeping with his belief that the top source of waste in government can be found in spending on goods and services, Tom’s vigilant oversight of large dollar federal contracts resulted in hundreds of millions of dollars saved for the taxpayers.
Tom’s legislative accomplishments were recognized in January 2003, when he was elected to chair the House Government Reform Committee for the 108th Congress. During his first year as Chairman, Tom used the Committee’s legislative agenda to deliver the highest value to taxpayers, promote the President’s Management Agenda, and ensure maximum performance from government agencies. Legislative successes were highlighted by the enactment of the Services Acquisition Reform Act; the creation of a National Security Personnel System for Department of Defense civilian employees; D.C. School Choice Program; critical postal pension reform legislation that will keep postage rates steady until at least 2006. In 2004, Tom authored significant portions of 9-11 Implementations Act, including streamlining the security clearance process and strengthening the FBI’s personnel procedures.
Under Tom’s leadership the Committee conducted oversight on and investigated matters related to the effective administration of government programs of great public interest. These programs included government contracting in support of the war in Iraq, the Agriculture Department’s handling of the discovery of Mad Cow Disease in the United States, the flu vaccine shortage, the role of the National Guard in national security and homeland defense, and management of the Department of Homeland Security.
In addition, Tom held hearings on emergency preparedness in the Capital Region and threats to Government information networks presented by peer-to-peer file sharing programs; approval of a report on the Committee’s years-long investigation of the FBI’s use of informants; review of consumer safeguards on Internet pharmacy websites; hearings on contract mismanagement at the Department of Energy and other departments and agencies; and inquiries into the training and testing of airline passenger screeners and implementation of the historic US-VISIT program.
In January 2005, Tom was reappointed to serve as chair of the House Government Reform Committee. The committee will focus on legislation including Postal Service Reform; drivers’ license security; reauthorization of Executive Reorganization Authority; Presidential appointments process streamlining; federal law enforcement pay and classification reform; reorganization of the General Services Administration; and further acquisition reform.
On the oversight side, the Committee will focus on the GAO’s high-risk list; management of the Department of Homeland Security; the battle against narco-terrorism; the FDA’s ability to ensure adequate flu vaccine availability and protect the public from dangerous prescription drugs; the evolving role of the National Guard; and the misuse of federal grant money in the District of Columbia, among other issues.
In February 2005, Tom was appointed to serve on the Homeland Security Committee. He serves on the Subcommittee on Economic Security, Infrastructure Protection, and Cybersecurity and the Subcommittee on Management, Integration, and Oversight. Both subcommittees are critically important to Davis’ district, the region, and our nation.
On September 11, 2001, America changed in ways we still struggle to accept. The pain of loss may fade to a dull ache, but it never really goes away. And the rage triggered by senseless acts hardens into resolve to make sense of a world in which innocents die in the name of a perverse version of God.