|Chair of the Republican Study Committee|
|Assumed office |
January 3, 2021
|Preceded by||Mike Johnson|
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives|
from Indiana's 3rd district
|Assumed office |
January 3, 2017
|Preceded by||Marlin Stutzman|
|Member of the Indiana Senate|
from the 17th district
November 16, 2010 – November 9, 2016
|Preceded by||Doc Dillon|
|Succeeded by||Andy Zay|
James Edward Banks
July 16, 1979
Columbia City, Indiana, U.S.
|Education||Indiana University, Bloomington (BA)|
Grace College and Seminary (MBA)
|Branch/service||United States Navy|
|Years of service||2012–present|
|Unit||United States Navy Reserve|
|Battles/wars||War in Afghanistan|
|Awards||Defense Meritorious Service Medal|
James Edward Banks (born July 16, 1979) is an American politician serving as the U.S. representative for Indiana's 3rd congressional district since 2017. A Republican, he previously served as a member of the Indiana Senate from 2010 to 2016.
Early life and career
Banks was born in Columbia City, Indiana. He worked in the real estate and construction industry in Fort Wayne, Indiana, before serving in elected office. Banks serves in the United States Navy Reserve as a Supply Corps officer. From 2014 to 2015, he took a leave of absence from the Indiana State Senate to serve in Afghanistan.
From 2008 to 2010, Banks served on the Whitley County Council from the at-large district. He won the primary after defeating incumbent county councilman Scott Darley. He was succeeded by Paula Reimers on the County Council. Banks also chaired the Whitley County Republican Party from 2007 to 2011. He was succeeded by Matt Boyd as chair. With assistance from the American Legislative Exchange Council, he has supported right-to-work legislation in Indiana. Banks addressed the 2014 Conservative Political Action Conference in 2014 after he was selected as one of their Top 10 Conservatives Under 40.
Banks was first elected to serve in the state senate for the 17th district in 2010, and upon military deployment to Afghanistan, he took a leave of absence from the state senate in September 2014. Invoking an Indiana state law that allows state and local officeholders to take leaves of absence during active duty military service, Banks was temporarily replaced by his wife, Amanda Banks, who held the office for the senate's 2015 legislative session. He returned to Indiana from overseas duty on April 14, 2015, and resumed his duties as state senator on May 8.
U.S. House of Representatives
On May 12, 2015, Banks announced his candidacy for Congress. The incumbent, Marlin Stutzman, announced he would not run for reelection and would instead campaign for the Republican nomination to succeed retiring Indiana Senator Dan Coats. The Club for Growth endorsed Banks.
Banks won the primary election, separating himself from five other like-minded conservative opponents, with 34% of the vote. Spending in the campaign exceeded $2 million as Banks raised $850,000 before the primary and the candidate who finished in second place, businessman Kip Tom, raised $950,000, including $150,000 he loaned from his personal funds.
Banks ran for reelection; he was unopposed in the Republican primary and defeated Democratic nominee Courtney Tritch in the general election with 64.7% of the vote.
Banks ran for a third term and defeated physician Chris Magiera in the Republican primary. He then defeated Democratic nominee Chip Coldiron in the general election with 67.8% of the vote.
Banks was sworn in on January 3, 2017. He is a member of the Republican Study Committee.
In December 2017, Banks joined Representatives Ron DeSantis, Scott Perry, and Robert Pittenger in co-signing a letter to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson requesting that Tillerson release a classified counterterrorism agreement with Qatar.
In January 2020, Banks faced backlash after saying that remarks by Representative Ilhan Omar about her experiences with post-traumatic stress disorder were "offensive to our nation’s veterans." As a child, Omar fled civil war in Somalia and spent four years in a Kenyan refugee camp.
After Joe Biden won the 2020 election and Donald Trump refused to concede while making false claims of fraud, Banks was one of 126 Republican members of the House of Representatives to sign an amicus brief in support of a lawsuit filed at the United States Supreme Court contesting the results of the 2020 presidential election. The Supreme Court declined to hear the case. Banks later objected to the certification of the election results.
After the January 6, 2021, United States Capitol attack, Banks expressed support for a bipartisan commission to investigate the riot. He later changed his mind. On July 21, 2021, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi vetoed Kevin McCarthy's assigning of Banks and Jim Jordan to the January 6 Select Committee on the grounds that both had amplified Trump's false claims of fraud. Banks subsequently claimed that Pelosi was at fault for the January 6 insurrection and that she was using the commission to cover up her role.
In late February 2021, Banks and a dozen other Republican House members skipped votes and enlisted others to vote for them, citing the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. He and the other members were actually attending the Conservative Political Action Conference, which was held at the same time as their slated absences. In response, the Campaign for Accountability, an ethics watchdog group, filed a complaint with the House Committee on Ethics and requested an investigation into Banks and the other lawmakers.
In October 2021, Representative Liz Cheney, vice chair of the January 6 Select Committee, revealed that Banks had been sending letters to federal agencies, claiming to be the ranking member of that committee, even though he had been rejected from it. In one September 2021 letter, Banks requested that the Department of the Interior provide him with information it had sent the committee. He also wrote, "Pelosi refused to allow me to fulfill my duties as Ranking Member", and signed the letter as "Ranking Member", which he was not.
Also in October 2021, when Rachel Levine, who is transgender, became an admiral in the United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, Banks commented in his official Twitter account: "The title of first female four-star officer gets taken by a man." Twitter, which prohibits "targeted misgendering or deadnaming of transgender individuals", suspended his official account in response.
- Committee on Armed Services
- Committee on Education and Labor
- Committee on Veterans' Affairs
Banks supported repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). He voted for the American Health Care Act of 2017 on May 4, 2017. He opposes single-payer healthcare, which he claims would cost taxpayers $32 trillion.
In October 2016, Banks said, "I believe that climate change in this country is largely leftist propaganda to change the way Americans live and create more government obstruction and intrusion in our lives."
Banks supports allowing internet companies to release customer information to the federal government.
Banks has called banning transgender people from serving in the military an "emotional issue."[clarification needed] He opposes the military paying for sex reassignment surgery, saying, "I don't think taxpayers should be on the hook for that."
- "Biography". banks.house.gov. Retrieved December 28, 2017.
- "Whitley County, Indiana / County Council". September 21, 2010. Archived from the original on September 21, 2010. Retrieved May 16, 2018.
- "Talk of the Town - Whitley County: May 2008 Archives". talkofthetownwc.com. Retrieved May 16, 2018.
- "Reimers wins Council seat | Busco News". busconews.com. Retrieved May 16, 2018.
- "Jim Banks (Indiana) - Ballotpedia". Retrieved May 16, 2018.
- "Talk of the Town - Whitley County: Matt Boyd named new Whitley County GOP chairman, caucus chooses Paul Zilz for secretary". talkofthetownwc.com. Retrieved May 16, 2018.
- "National Group Pushes Indiana 'Right-To-Work' Law: American Legislative Exchange Council Backs Bill". WRTV Indianapolis. December 7, 2011.
- "Sen. Banks to speak at CPAC". Fort Wayne Journal Gazette. March 5, 2014. Archived from the original on April 2, 2015.
- Troyer, Hannah; Star, Indianapolis (December 8, 2014). "Amanda Banks fills husband's Senate seat while he's in Afghanistan". indystar.com.
- Carden, Dan; The Times of Northwest Indiana (July 9, 2014). "State senator deploying to Afghanistan" (PDF). nwitimes.com.
- Smith, Brandon (December 16, 2014). "Amanda Banks Sworn In As New State Senator". wfyi.org.
- "State Senator returns from deployment in Afghanistan". WANE.com. April 21, 2015.
- Kelly, Niki; Fort Wayne Journal Gazette (May 9, 2015). "Banks rejoins state Senate after military deployment". journalgazette.net.
- Francisco, Brian; Fort Wayne Journal Gazette (May 10, 2015). "Stutzman enters Senate race". journalgazette.net.
- Groppe, Maureen (September 18, 2015). "Club for Growth endorses Jim Banks for congress". Indianapolis Star. Retrieved January 5, 2016.
- Francisco, Brian; Fort Wayne Journal Gazette (May 4, 2016). "Banks' support in key counties puts him over top". journalgazette.net.
- "Taking 2018 is goal, Tritch tells crowd | Local politics | Journal Gazette". www.journalgazette.net. Retrieved April 14, 2018.
- "Dr. Chris Magiera Announces Run for Indiana Congress in GOP Primary". WBIW. July 3, 2019. Retrieved July 31, 2019.
- "Indiana State Primary Election Results 2020". Indiana Secretary of State. June 3, 2020. Retrieved June 3, 2020.
- Francisco, Brian (November 4, 2019). "Norwell teacher to run for Congress". The Journal Gazette. Retrieved December 2, 2019.
- "Indiana Election Results November 3, 2020". Indiana Election Division. Retrieved November 26, 2020.
- Kheel, Rebecca (December 20, 2017). "Lawmakers urge Tillerson to declassify Qatar counterterrorism agreement". The Hill. Retrieved December 28, 2017.
- North, Anna (January 10, 2020). "Controversy over Rep. Ilhan Omar's PTSD comments reveals how the disorder is misunderstood". Vox. Retrieved January 11, 2020.
- Liptak, Adam (December 11, 2020). "Supreme Court Rejects Texas Suit Seeking to Subvert Election". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on December 11, 2020. Retrieved December 12, 2020.
- "Order in Pending Case" (PDF). Supreme Court of the United States. December 11, 2020. Archived (PDF) from the original on December 11, 2020. Retrieved December 11, 2020.
- Diaz, Daniella. "Brief from 126 Republicans supporting Texas lawsuit in Supreme Court". CNN. Archived from the original on December 12, 2020. Retrieved December 11, 2020.
- Swan, Jonathan. "House GOP memo argues embracing Trump agenda is the party's only option for comeback". Axios. Retrieved March 31, 2021.
- Delaney, Arthur (May 20, 2021). "Some Republicans Opposed To Capitol Riot Commission Supported One In January". HuffPost. Retrieved July 21, 2021.
- Broadwater, Luke; Fandos, Nicholas (July 22, 2021). "Pelosi Bars Trump Loyalists From Jan. 6 Inquiry, Prompting a G.O.P. Boycott". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved July 22, 2021.
- "Jan. 6 committee hearing live updates: Panel hearing from four police officers about fateful day at Capitol". Washington Post. July 27, 2021. Retrieved July 27, 2021.
- Bash, Dana; Raju, Manu; Diaz, Daniella; Fox, Lauren; Warren, Michael (February 26, 2021). "More than a dozen Republicans tell House they can't attend votes due to 'public health emergency.' They're slated to be at CPAC". CNN. Retrieved March 10, 2021.
- Grayer, Annie; Diaz, Daniella (March 10, 2021). "First on CNN: Watchdog group requests investigation into 13 GOP lawmakers for misusing proxy voting". CNN. Retrieved March 10, 2021.
- Beitsch, Rebecca (October 21, 2021). "Cheney reveals GOP's Banks claimed he was Jan. 6 panel's ranking member". The Hill. Retrieved October 23, 2021.
- Grayer, Annie; Cohen, Zachary (October 22, 2021). "Liz Cheney calls out Jim Banks for falsely signing letter as the ranking member of January 6 committee". CNN. Retrieved October 23, 2021.
- Sollenberger, Roger; Brodey, Sam (October 22, 2021). "GOP Rep. Booted Off Jan. 6 Panel Is Running a Shadow Probe". The Daily Beast. Retrieved October 23, 2021.
- Rosa-Aquino, Paola (October 24, 2021). "Twitter Suspends GOP Congressman Jim Banks for Misgendering Trans Official". New York. Retrieved October 25, 2021.
- "Members". Congressional Western Caucus. Retrieved June 27, 2018.
- "The Congressional Pakistan Caucus for the 116th Congress was announced in Houston by its two Co-Chairs, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee (D) and Congressman Jim Banks (R) in the presence of Ambassador Asad Majeed Khan and a large number of community members".
- "Membership". Republican Study Committee. December 6, 2017. Retrieved March 28, 2021.
- Francisco, Brian (April 22, 2017). "Crowd gets heated at Banks' town hall". The Journal Gazette. Retrieved December 28, 2017.
- "FINAL VOTE RESULTS FOR ROLL CALL 256".
- Bernard, Zach (August 2, 2017). "Congressman Jim Banks Touches On Health Care, Defense In Auburn Town Hall". Indiana Public Radio. Retrieved December 28, 2017.
- Almukhtar, Sarah (December 19, 2017). "How Each House Member Voted on the Tax Bill". The New York Times. Retrieved December 28, 2017.
- Francisco, Brian. "State delegates vote with party". Journal Gazette. Retrieved December 28, 2017.
- "Banks votes against coronavirus relief bill | Indiana | Journal Gazette". www.journalgazette.net. Retrieved March 31, 2021.
- "Banks votes by proxy against COVID-19 relief bill, attends CPAC | Political notebook | Journal Gazette". www.journalgazette.net. Retrieved March 31, 2021.
- "IN Focus: Indiana congressional delegation on COVID-19 relief talks". Fox 59. February 7, 2021. Retrieved March 31, 2021.
- News, Scott Waldman,E&E. "House Science Panel Adds Climate-Denying Members". Scientific American. Retrieved March 31, 2021.
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- "3rd district rivals sound off at forum | Local politics | Journal Gazette". www.journalgazette.net. Retrieved March 31, 2021.
- "Top Ind. conservatives fight GOP platform change". WRTV. June 5, 2018. Retrieved March 31, 2021.
- "Prominent conservatives fight Indiana GOP platform changes". chicagotribune.com. Associated Press. Retrieved March 31, 2021.
- Congressman Jim Banks official U.S. House website
- Jim Banks for Congress official campaign website
- Jim Banks at Curlie
- Biography at the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
- Profile at Vote Smart
- Financial information (federal office) at the Federal Election Commission
- Legislation sponsored at the Library of Congress
- Appearances on C-SPAN