Brad Sherman

Brad Sherman
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 30th district
Assumed office
January 3, 2013
Preceded by Henry Waxman
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 27th district
In office
January 3, 2003  January 3, 2013
Preceded by Adam Schiff
Succeeded by Judy Chu
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 24th district
In office
January 3, 1997  January 3, 2003
Preceded by Anthony C. Beilenson
Succeeded by Elton Gallegly
Member of the
California Board of Equalization
from the 4th district
In office
Preceded by Conway Collis
Succeeded by John Chiang
Personal details
Born Bradley James Sherman
(1954-10-24) October 24, 1954
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Lisa Nicola Kaplan (m. 2006)
Residence Sherman Oaks, Los Angeles
Alma mater University of California, Los Angeles (B.A.)
Harvard Law School (J.D.)
Occupation Accountant, lawyer
Religion Judaism

Bradley James "Brad" Sherman (born October 24, 1954) is an American politician. He has been a Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives since 1997. He currently represents California's 30th congressional district within the San Fernando Valley, in Los Angeles County, California.

Sherman previously represented the 24th and 27th congressional districts in Los Angeles County. He currently resides in Sherman Oaks.

Early life, education, and early career

Sherman was born in Monterey Park, the son of Lane and Maurice Hyman Sherman. His parents were both of Russian Jewish descent.[1] He attended Mark Keppel High School and Corona del Mar High School. He received a B.A. in political science from University of California, Los Angeles[2] in 1974 and a J.D. from Harvard Law School Magna Cum Laude[3] in 1979.[4] He is also a tax law specialist and Certified Public Accountant. [5] Before joining Congress, Sherman was on staff at one of the nations’ big-four CPA firms. While at the firm, he audited large businesses and governmental entities, provided tax law counsel on multimillion-dollar transactions, advised entrepreneurs and small businesses on tax and investment issues, and helped represent the Government of the Philippines under President Aquino in a successful effort to seize assets of deposed President Marcos.[6] Sherman was also an instructor at Harvard Law School’s International Tax Program.[7]

Board of Equalization (1991–1996)

Sherman’s public service career includes serving on the California State Board of Equalization from 1991 to 1996. He was Chairman of the Board from 1991 to 1995.[7]

It was reported that the campaign for the Board of Equalization involved numerous attacks. Claude Parrish, Sherman's opponent, said that an attorney general candidate declined to endorse Sherman due to a post on the state's elected tax appeals board. Sherman replied, calling it "one of the most outrageous hit pieces in contemporary California political history."[8]

U.S. House of Representatives (1997–Present)


In 1994, incumbent Democratic U.S. Congressman Anthony C. Beilenson of California's 24th congressional district barely survived the Republican Revolution, winning re-election by just a two-point margin,[9] by far the worst election performance of his career. In 1996, Beilenson decided to retire.

Sherman decided to run and won the 7-candidate Democratic primary with 54% of the vote.[9] In the general election, he defeated Republican nominee Rich Sybert (also 1994 nominee) 49%–44%.[10]

In 1998, he won re-election with 57% of the vote.[11] After that, he has won re-election every two years with at least 62%.[12]


Redistricting following the 2010 census left Sherman and fellow Democratic U.S. Congressman Howard Berman in the same district.[13][14] Brad Sherman represented more of the new congressional district, with about 60% of voters California’s new 30th district coming from Congressman Sherman’s old district, and about 20 percent of voters from Berman's.[15][16] On June 5, 2012 Brad Sherman faced Howard Berman in the primary for California’s new 30th Congressional district. Sherman received more votes than Berman by a margin of 42% to 32%.[17] However, due to the new election system in California, which put the two candidates who received the most votes in the primary against each other regardless of party, the two congressmen again faced each other in the general election.[18] Neither candidate received an official endorsement from the state Democratic party.[19]

Berman was the establishment candidate. He was endorsed by over 20 congressmen, including party leaders Steny Hoyer and Xavier Becerra. In addition, he was endorsed by sitting Governor Jerry Brown, sitting Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, and both of the state's two U.S. Senators: Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein.[20] He was also endorsed by ten Republican congressmen from California: David Dreier, Wally Herger, Dan Lungren, Elton Gallegly, Buck McKeon, Ed Royce, Jerry Lewis, Ken Calvert, Mary Bono Mack, and Darrell Issa.[21] He was also endorsed by two Republican U.S. Senators: John McCain (R-AZ), Lindsey Graham (R-SC). He was also endorsed by Independent U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman.[22][23]

Sherman was endorsed by Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom, former President Bill Clinton, and former Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis.[24]

In the general election, Sherman defeated Berman, 60%-40%.[25]


First elected to the United States House of Representatives in 1996, Sherman is serving his tenth term in Congress. He is a senior member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and serves as the top Democrat on the Subcommitee on Asia. He is the Chairman Emeritus of the Subcommittee on International Terrorism, Nonproliferation and Trade. He is also a senior member of the Financial Services Committee.[7]

Sherman has held over 160 Town Hall meetings since being elected to Congress.[26] In the Washingtonian's 2012 annoymous survey of congressional ides, Sherman was named the second meanest member of Congress, finishing only behind Sheila Jackson Lee.[27]


Sherman has earned a 100% rating from the Sierra Club,[28] and the League of Conservation Voters.[29]

Serving on the House Budget Committee in 1997, Sherman authored the Sherman Amendment to the Budget Resolution, providing an additional $700 million for the acquisition of environmentally important lands in FY ‘98.[30]


Sherman’s voting record has most often earned him a 100% rating from the AFL-CIO, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), and the American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees (AFSCME).[31][32]

Sherman was an original co-sponsor of The Employee Free Choice Act when it was introduced at the start of 2007, and again when it was re-introduced in 2009.[33]

Sherman introduced legislation, in 2008 and 2010, to eliminate so-called state "Right to Work" laws nationwide.,[34] and he supports a single national standard that protects labor rights. Sherman has also opposed Free Trade deals with South Korea, Colombia, and other countries, because he believes they are bad for American workers.[35][36]

Congressman Brad Sherman joins with members of United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) at a local supermarket in Sherman Oaks

Sherman has worked to reduce airport noise in the San Fernando Valley. Sherman joined several colleagues in introducing legislation, the Valley-Wide Noise Relief Act, to allow the operator of Bob Hope Airport to implement a mandatory nighttime curfew.[37]

Sherman secured federal funds to initiate several improvements at the 101/405 interchange.[38]

Animal rights

Sherman’s voting record has consistently earned him a 100% rating from the Humane Society, which has awarded him the “Humane Champion” award for five consecutive years.[32][39]

Fiscal Policy

Congressman Sherman "led the House revolt" against the original $700 billion bailout plan, known as the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP).[40] Sherman introduced the "Too Big to Fail, Too Big to Exist Act", with regard to large financial entities.[41]

Financial crisis

During the debate over the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008, (commonly referred to as "the bailout of the U.S. financial system"), Sherman was an early and outspoken critic of the proposal, leading the House revolt against the bailout bill, a move which made him "spectacularly unpopular with both the Republican and Democratic leaderships, not to mention K Street".[42] Sherman argued that Bush and his advisors had created a panic atmosphere in an effort to get lawmakers to rubber-stamp the bill.[43]

Social Security and health care

Sherman has said he is "opposed to creating a voucher system for Medicare". He wants to avoid "turn[ing] Social Security into a welfare program", instead keeping it "for people who contribute to it".[44]

For his voting record and efforts in Congress, Sherman has consistently earned a 100% rating from the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, and from the AARP (American Association of Retired Persons).[32] Sherman supported the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

Sherman helped secure funds to develop a new women and children's patient wing at El Proyecto del Barrio’s Family Health Care Clinic in Winnetka.[45]


Sherman introduced the Preserving Equal Access to Mortgage Finance Programs Act (HR 1754), which raises the conforming loan limit for FHA loans in high-cost areas such as Sherman's district.[46][47]

Sherman frequently holds seminars for Valley residents in his district to address issues of home purchasing, home refinancing, and foreclosure avoidance.[48][49]

Civil liberties

Sherman's legislative record received a 100% rating from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in 2011, a 100% from the National Organization for Women (NOW) in 2007-2008, a 100% from the Human Rights Campaign in 2009-2010, and a 98% rating from the NAACP in 2009-2010.[50]

Sherman co-sponsored the Due Process Guarantee Act,[51] which amends the Non-Detention Act of 1971 to provide that a Congressional authorization for the use of military force does not authorize the indefinite detention - without charge or trial - of U.S. citizens.

In 2011, Sherman voted against the re-authorization of the Patriot Act[52] because of concerns that it would infringe on certain civil liberties, including the "library provision" that allows the FBI to acquire records about what books a person checks out from the library.

Foreign relations

In August 2010, Sherman introduced legislation aimed at rescinding China's Most Favored Nation status as long as there was not "a more level playing field between our two nations".[53] He said that "the U.S.-China trade relationship is horrendously lopsided".[53]

Sherman has introduced or co-sponsored more than 20 bills in the 111th and 112th Congresses that he says, "enact tougher sanctions to isolate Iran economically and diplomatically".[54] His efforts have included legislation designed to close loopholes for U.S. companies with subsidiaries operating in Iran, and to curtail U.S. funding of international organizations providing loans to Iran.[55]

Sherman has been a strong supporter and advocate of the U.S-Israel relationship, consistently supporting aid to Israel.[56] In 2004, Brad Sherman first introduced the U.S.-Israel Energy Cooperation Act.[57] It provides grant money to joint ventures between American and Israeli academics and private sector companies that conduct research and develop energy-efficient and renewable energy technologies.

On July 9, 2014, Sherman appeared as a guest commentator on the Al-Jazeera America’s network. During his appearance, Sherman went after the Qatar-based owners of Al-Jazeera, criticizing the owners for funding Hamas. Sherman said, "Every one of those rockets [fired by Hamas into Israeli cities] is a war crime, almost every one. Of course it's a war crime committed by Hamas. And of course the owners of this TV network help fund Hamas." Sherman emphasized that Hamas often aims attacks at civilian targets.[58] The owners of Al-Jazeera that Sherman mentioned is the government of Qatar.[59]

In December 2014, Sherman and Congressman Pete Roskam (R-IL) requested new sanctions on Qatar in a letter to Secretary of Treasury Jack Lew. They also asked for a detailed accounting of public and private financing from within Qatar for Hamas, Al-Qaeda, the Islamic State, and the al-Nusra Front.[60]

Sherman introduced legislation to exclusively allow Israel to be part of the visa waiver program, which would permit nationals from Israel to enter the US as temporary visitors for tourism or business for up to 90 days without obtaining a visa, without the conditions of reciprocity required for other nations. This led to criticism from some quarters that Sherman is insufficiently concerned with the rights of American citizens, in contrast to those of Israeli citizens.[61]

As a senior member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Sherman has focused on Congressional recognition of the Armenian Genocide, as well as increasing funding to Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh.[62][63][64]


Sherman and his wife, who are Jewish, have been members of Valley Beth Shalom - a conservative synagogue in Encino, California - for many years.

In his role as a congressman, Sherman has appeared at events sponsored by virtually every religious denomination practiced in America - including Orthodox Jewish,[65][66] Reform Jewish, Conservative Jewish, Reconstructionist Jewish, Traditional Persian Jewish,[67] Sephardic Jewish, the Church of Scientology,[68][69] Muslim, Catholic,[70] Roman Catholic, Coptic Christian, The Assyrian Church, Greek Orthodox, the Armenian Church,[71][72] Sikh,[73][74][75] Buddhism, Hindu, Russian Orthodox, the Hungarian reformed Orthodox Church, Episcopalian, Methodist, Presbyterian, the Church of Christ, non-denominational Christian, and evangelical Christian.

Sherman expressed condolences to the Sikh community following the deadly shootings at a Sikh temple in August 2012.[76][77] After the September 11th terrorist attacks, Sherman joined with colleagues in introducing a resolution to condemn bigotry and violence against Sikh-Americans.[78] Sherman has advocated on behalf of religious minorities outside the United States, including Hindus of Pakistan and Christians and Jews in the Arab world.[79] Sherman introduced the Religious Minorities in the Arab World Resolution, which calls for the protection of the rights and freedoms of ethno-religious minorities, particularly in Egypt and Iraq.[80]

Internet policy

In 2011, Sherman co-sponsored SOPA.[81] Sherman’s 2012 opponent Howard Berman in California’s new 30th congressional district was the original co-sponsor of the SOPA legislation.[82]


Sherman is a strong supporter of LGBT rights, and an advocate of equality. He earned a 100% rating from The Human Rights Campaign,[83] the largest LGBT advocacy group in the country.

Sherman is a member of the LGBT Equality Caucus,[84] which serves to promote lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender equality. Sherman supports same-sex marriage,[85] and supported the overturning of the military’s “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell Policy.[86]

Sherman was an original co-sponsor of Congressman Jared Polis's Student Non-Discrimination Act.[87] Sherman is also a co-sponsor of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act.[88] In 2009, Sherman voted for the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act,[89] which imposes additional federal penalties for crimes motivated by hatred on the basis of race, religion, or actual or perceived sexual orientation.


Sherman is pro-choice. He has earned a 100% rating from NARAL and Planned Parenthood.[90][91]

Gun control

Sherman has worked to expand the definition of armor-piercing ammunition in US law. He was a sponsor of the Protect Law Enforcement Armor (PLEA) Act.[92] Sherman has received a 100% rating from The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.[31]

International trade

Sherman has opposed the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA), arguing that the agreements cost American jobs, fail to protect foreign workers, harm the environment, and cost U.S. taxpayers billions of dollars.[93] Sherman has also opposed a Free Trade Agreement with South Korea, arguing that a proposed U.S. trade agreement could undermine U.S. security and economic interests by benefiting China and North Korea.[94]


Sherman has earned a 100% rating from the California Teachers Association, the National Education Association,[95] and the American Federation of Teachers.[96]

Committee assignments

Personal life

On December 3, 2006, Sherman married Lisa Nicola Kaplan, a foreign affairs officer for the U.S. State Department.[97] The couple’s first child, Molly Hannah Sherman, was born on January 14, 2009.[98] Their second child, Naomi Claire Sherman, was born on February 6, 2010.[99] Their third child, Lucy Rayna Sherman, was born on August 8, 2011.[100]


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External links

Wikisource has original works written by or about:
Brad Sherman
Political offices
Preceded by
Conway Collis
Member, California Board of Equalization, 4th District
Succeeded by
John Chiang
United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Anthony C. Beilenson
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 24th congressional district

Succeeded by
Elton Gallegly
Preceded by
Adam Schiff
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 27th congressional district

Succeeded by
Judy Chu
Preceded by
Henry Waxman
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 30th congressional district

United States order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Pete Sessions
United States Representatives by seniority
Succeeded by
John Shimkus
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