James French Hill (born December 5, 1956) is an American businessman and politician serving as the U.S. Representative for Arkansas’s 2nd congressional district since 2015. He is a member of the Republican Party.

Early life, education and career

President George H. W. Bush with French and Martha Hill.

Hill was born in Little Rock, Arkansas.[1] He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from Vanderbilt University.[2] He attended the UCLA Anderson Graduate School of Management, where he earned a certified corporate director designation.[3]

From 1982 to 1984, Hill was an aide to Republican Senator John Tower.[1] He was a staffer on the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee.[1] Hill was executive secretary to President George H. W. Bush’s Economic Policy Council from 1991 to 1993, and Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Corporate Finance from 1989 to 1991.[1][4] Hill founded and was CEO and chairman of the Board Delta Trust and Banking Corporation in Little Rock until its acquisition by Simmons Bank in 2014.[5]

U.S. House of Representatives

Elections

Official portrait for the 114th Congress

2014

Hill ran for the 2nd district U.S. House seat after fellow Republican Tim Griffin decided instead to run for lieutenant governor. Hill defeated Democratic nominee Pat Hays, the mayor of North Little Rock,[6] 52 to 44 percent.[7]

2016

Hill was renominated in the Republican primary over Brock Olree of Searcy (White County) and was reelected with 58% of the vote against the Democratic nominee, former Little Rock School District Board President Dianne Curry, and Libertarian nominee Chris Hayes of North Little Rock.[citation needed]

2018

In 2017, Arkansas’s 2nd district was included on the initial list of Republican-held seats targeted by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in 2018.[8] In the November general election, Hill defeated Democratic nominee Clarke Tucker with 52.1% of the vote to Tucker’s 45.8%. Libertarian Joe Swafford received 2%.[9]

2020

Hill ran for another term. Sarah Huckabee Sanders endorsed Hill, speaking at a rally in support of him.[10]

In 2020, the Hill campaign warned that Democratic nominee Joyce Elliott was “as dangerous as they come”.[1] Hill warned that if elected, Elliott would “be a member of the Democratic conference and she’d be a member of the Congressional Black Caucus and her first vote would be for Speaker Pelosi to be the speaker of the House.”[1] In the November general election, Hill defeated Elliott.[11]

Tenure

Hill has been a member of the U.S. House during the presidencies of Barack Obama, Donald Trump, and Joe Biden. During Trump’s presidency, Hill voted in line with the president’s position 96.8% of the time.[12] At the start of Biden’s presidency, Hill opposed Biden’s decision to cancel the Keystone Pipeline. He said he wanted to work with the Biden administration on policy issues including Iran, free trade, and immigration.[13] As of October 2021, Hill had voted in line with Biden’s stated position 12.5% of the time.[14]

On May 4, 2017, Hill voted to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and pass the American Health Care Act.[15][16] He voted for the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.[17]

On April 17, 2020, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy appointed Hill to the COVID-19 Congressional Oversight Commission to oversee the implementation of the CARES Act.[18]

Hill praised the Trump administration’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.[1]

Hill acknowledged Biden’s victory in the 2020 U.S. presidential election, voting to certify the results of the Electoral College and declining to participate in attempts to overturn the election results.[19][20]

In March 2021, Hill voted against the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.[21]

In 2020 and 2021, Hill strongly opposed plans by the United States and other nations in the G7 to issue a $650 billion Special Drawing Rights general allocation, calling for a specific and targeted allocation instead.[22]

Hill strongly supported Biden’s airstrikes on Iranian targets in Syria.[23]

On May 19, 2021, Hill was one of 35 Republicans who joined all Democrats in voting to approve legislation to establish the January 6, 2021 commission meant to investigate the storming of the U.S. Capitol.[24]

Committee assignments

Caucus memberships

Electoral history

Arkansas’s 2nd congressional district Republican primary election, 2014
PartyCandidateVotes%
RepublicanFrench Hill29,91655.08
RepublicanAnn Clemmer12,40022.83
RepublicanConrad Reynolds11,99422.08
Arkansas’s 2nd congressional district election, 2014
PartyCandidateVotes%
RepublicanFrench Hill123,07351.86
DemocraticPatrick Henry Hays103,47743.60
LibertarianDebbie Standiford10,5904.46
Write-insWrite-ins1900.08
Arkansas’s 2nd congressional district Republican primary election, 2016
PartyCandidateVotes%
RepublicanFrench Hill (inc.)86,47484.54
RepublicanBrock Olree15,81115.46
Arkansas’s 2nd congressional district election, 2016[29]
PartyCandidateVotes%
RepublicanFrench Hill (inc.)176,47258.34
DemocraticDianne Curry111,34736.81
LibertarianChris Hayes14,3424.74
Write-insWrite-ins3030.1
Arkansas’s 2nd congressional district election, 2018
PartyCandidateVotes%
RepublicanFrench Hill (inc.)132,12552.1
DemocraticClarke Tucker116,13545.8
LibertarianJoe Swafford5,1932.0

Personal life

A ninth-generation Arkansan and a Roman Catholic,[30] Hill resides in Little Rock.[1] He and his wife, Martha McKenzie, have two children.[1]

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i “Hill, Elliott in tight race for U.S. House seat”. Arkansas Online. October 18, 2020. Retrieved November 2, 2020.
  2. ^ Burnett, Lisa (May 20, 2014). “Hill gets GOP nod for District 2”. Arkansas Online.,
  3. ^ “J. French Hill – 40 Under 40 – 1996”. ArkansasBusiness.com. Retrieved November 5, 2014.
  4. ^ “2013 SMEI Arkansas Top Manager of the Year Award”. SMEI.org. Sales and Marketing Executives International, Inc. Archived from the original on November 5, 2014. Retrieved January 11, 2015.
  5. ^ Friedman, Mark; Turner, Lance (March 24, 2014). “Simmons First to Buy Delta Trust for $66M”. ArkansasBusiness.com. Retrieved September 4, 2015.
  6. ^ “GOP’s French Hill wins US House seat in Arkansas”. Associated Press. November 4, 2014. Retrieved November 5, 2014.
  7. ^ “Arkansas House results – 2014 Election Center – Elections and Politics from CNN.com”. CNN. Retrieved November 5, 2014.
  8. ^ Cheney, Kyle (January 30, 2017). “Amid Democratic doldrums, DCCC identifies 2018 targets”. Politico. Retrieved March 23, 2017.
  9. ^ “Arkansas Election Results: Second House District”. New York Times. Retrieved November 30, 2018.
  10. ^ “Sarah Huckabee Sanders encourages Arkansas voters at French Hill rally”. THV 11. October 31, 2020. Retrieved November 20, 2020.
  11. ^ Cushman, Paige (November 3, 2020). “French Hill wins re-election against Democratic opponent Joyce Elliott”. KATV. Retrieved November 20, 2020.
  12. ^ Bycoffe, Aaron (January 30, 2017). “Tracking J. French Hill In The Age Of Trump”. FiveThirtyEight. Retrieved February 18, 2017.
  13. ^ Brock, Roby (February 14, 2021). “U.S. Rep. French Hill notes areas for ‘common ground’ with Biden administration”. Talk Business & Politics. Retrieved February 26, 2021.
  14. ^ Bycoffe, Anna Wiederkehr and Aaron (April 22, 2021). “Does Your Member Of Congress Vote With Or Against Biden?”. FiveThirtyEight. Retrieved October 28, 2021.
  15. ^ “How the House voted to pass the GOP health-care bill”. Washington Post. Retrieved May 4, 2017.
  16. ^ “How every member voted on health care bill”. CNN. Retrieved May 4, 2017.
  17. ^ Almukhtar, Sarah (December 19, 2017). “How Each House Member Voted on the Tax Bill”. The New York Times. Retrieved December 21, 2017.
  18. ^ “Hill named to panel overseeing virus aid”. Arkansas Online. April 18, 2020. Retrieved April 20, 2020.
  19. ^ Lockwood, Frank; Herzog, Rachel (December 15, 2020). “3 state delegates in D.C. accept vote of electors”. Arkansas Online. Retrieved February 26, 2021.
  20. ^ “How Arkansas’s congressmen voted on the objections to the electoral college vote”. KARK. January 7, 2021. Retrieved February 26, 2021.
  21. ^ “FINAL VOTE RESULTS FOR ROLL CALL 49”. clerk.house.gov. Retrieved April 27, 2021.
  22. ^ https://www.wsj.com/articles/congressional-democrats-plan-to-bail-out-china-11612307799?[bare URL]
  23. ^ “Biden’s Syria airstrike earns applause from prominent Republicans”. Fox News. February 26, 2021.
  24. ^ LeBlanc, Paul (May 19, 2021). “Here are the 35 House Republicans who voted for the January 6 commission”. CNN. Retrieved May 19, 2021.
  25. ^ “Membership”. Congressional Arts Caucus. Archived from the original on June 12, 2018. Retrieved May 22, 2018.
  26. ^ “Member List”. Republican Study Committee. Retrieved December 21, 2017.
  27. ^ “Our Members”. U.S. House of Representatives International Conservation Caucus. Archived from the original on August 1, 2018. Retrieved August 2, 2018.
  28. ^ “Members”. U.S. – Japan Caucus. Retrieved December 11, 2018.
  29. ^ “Arkansas Election Results”. The New York Times. November 6, 2018. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved December 21, 2019.
  30. ^ “Arkansas–2: J. French Hill (R)”. Nationaljournal.com. Retrieved January 11, 2015.

External links

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by

Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Arkansas’s 2nd congressional district

2015–present
Incumbent
U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by

United States representatives by seniority
221st
Succeeded by