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Harold L. Volkmer

Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Missouri's 9th district
In office
January 3, 1977 – January 6, 1997
Preceded by William L. Hungate
Succeeded by Kenny Hulshof

Born April 4, 1931 (1931-04-04) (age 78)
Jefferson City, Missouri
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Shirley Ruth Braskett (deceased)
Religion Roman Catholic

Harold Lee Volkmer (born April 4, 1931 in Jefferson City, Missouri) is an American politician from Missouri. He is a Democrat who served 20 years in the United States House of Representatives.

Early life and career

Volkmer grew up in Jefferson City, Missouri and attended Jefferson City Junior College and Saint Louis University. He later received his law degree from the University of Missouri. He married the former Shirley Ruth Braskett (now deceased) in 1955, and they have three children. Volkmer served in the United States Army from 1955 to 1957.

Volkmer served as an assistant Missouri Attorney General while he engaged in private law practice in Hannibal, Missouri. From 1960 to 1966, he was elected and served as Marion County, Missouri, prosecuting attorney.

Political career

In 1966 Volkmer was elected to the Missouri House of Representatives from the Hannibal area and was re-elected four times. As Chairman of the Missouri House Judiciary Committee, Volkmer sought and obtained approval of the Equal Rights Amendment by the Missouri House of Representatives. In 1976, he was elected to the United States House of Representatives and was re-elected nine times.

In Congress, Volkmer represented a mostly rural 21-county area in northeastern Missouri. He served on the House Agriculture Committee and helped shape five major farm bills. Volkmer also served for several of his early terms on the House Judiciary Committee. He had a reputation as a conservative Democrat due to his opposition to gun control legislation and his opposition to abortion. However, these highly salient political issues overshadowed Volkmer's more progressive stances on many issues involving civil rights, environmental laws, and education policy. For instance, he supported the extension of the Voting Rights Act in 1982, the extension and expansion of the Fair Housing Act in 1988, expansion and strengthening of various environmental laws including Superfund, the Clean Water Act, and the Clean Air Act, and opposed certain Pentagon weapons programs considered by him to be wasteful and unnecessary. Volkmer also supported the Panama Canal Treaty Enabling Legislation in 1978, and the modernization of the United States Bankruptcy laws in 1978. Volkmer also supported the creation of the U.S. Department of Education.

He was one of the primary sponsors of the 1986 McClure-Volkmer Act that came to be known as the Firearm Owners Protection Act. This act amended the Gun Control Act by creating an expanded system of rules and procedures with respect to compliance inspections of gun shops.

In 1996, Volkmer was defeated in his 10th bid for re-election by Republican Kenny Hulshof. After leaving Congress, Volkmer served as chairman of the National Commission on Small Farms and was elected to the board of the National Rifle Association. He is now retired and residing in Hannibal, Missouri.

External links

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
William L. Hungate
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Missouri's 9th congressional district

Succeeded by
Kenny Hulshof


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