|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives|
from California's 33rd district
January 3, 2015
|Member of the California Senate|
from the 28th district
February 18, 2011 - November 30, 2014
|Member of the California State Assembly|
from the 53rd district
September 21, 2005 - November 30, 2010
March 29, 1969|
Stanford University (BA, BS)|
Georgetown University (JD)
|Service/branch||United States Air Force|
|Years of service||
|Unit||Judge Advocate General's Corps|
|Hanyu Pinyin||Liú Yúnpíng|
Ted W. Lieu (; born March 29, 1969) is an American politician and US Air Force Reserve colonel, currently serving as the US Representative for California's 33rd congressional district, since 2015. A member of the Democratic Party, he was California State Senator representing the 28th Senate district from February 2011 to November 2014, after being elected to fill the seat of deceased Senator Jenny Oropeza. Lieu was also a California State Assemblyman, representing the 53rd Assembly district from September 2005 to November 2010 after being elected to fill the seat of deceased Assemblyman Mike Gordon.
Lieu actively served in the United States Air Force Judge Advocate General's Corps from 1995 to 1999 and since 2000 has served in the reserve with his current rank of colonel upon his promotion in December 2015.
Born in Taipei, Taiwan, Lieu immigrated with his family to Cleveland, Ohio, where he grew up and graduated from Saint Ignatius High School in 1987. He graduated from Stanford University in 1991 with a B.S. in computer science and a B.A. in political science. He graduated magna cum laude with a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center in 1994, where he was editor-in-chief of the Georgetown Law Journal and received four American Jurisprudence awards.
He also served as a law clerk to Judge Thomas Tang of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
Lieu holds the rank of Colonel in the United States Air Force Reserve. He joined the Air Force in 1995 and served four years on active duty as a member of the Judge Advocate General's Corps. As a military prosecutor and adviser to commanders, he has received various awards and medals for his service, both abroad and locally, including the Meritorious Service Medal with one Oak Leaf Cluster, the Air Force Commendation Medal, and the Humanitarian Service Medal. Since 2000, he has served in the Air Force Reserve. He was promoted to colonel in December 2015.
Lieu previously served as Torrance City Councilman.
Lieu won a September 13, 2005, special election to fill the 53rd Assembly district following the death of incumbent Mike Gordon. Lieu defeated three Republicans, including physician Mary Jo Ford and fellow Torrance City Councilman Paul Nowatka.
He was reelected in November 2006 and again in November 2008.
Lieu was chair of the Assembly Rules Committee. He was a member of the Assembly Governmental Organization Committee, Assembly Judiciary Committee and Assembly Veterans Affairs Committee. Lieu was also Chair of the Asian Pacific Islander Legislative Caucus and Chair of the Assembly Select Committee on Aerospace.
In 2008, in a surprising twist of events in the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) English language controversy, Lieu and State Senator Leland Yee of San Francisco were able to help rescind the LPGA Tour Commission's suspension-penalty policy for players who failed to learn enough English to speak to sponsors and at award ceremonies. Both officials publicly challenged the legality and galvanized community attention to the LPGA's policy in August 2008 when it was released, which resulted in revision of the policy by the end of 2008.
Lieu is a strong supporter of expansion of public transit in West Los Angeles, LAX, and the South Bay.
Lieu coauthored a successful bill to bypass environmental quality regulations to build a football stadium in Los Angeles. The bill was intended to help the efforts of developer Edward P. Roski persuade the National Football League to return to the city, and was controversial among many environmentalists and legislators. Further controversy ensued when it was announced that Roski had given over $500,000 to political campaigns, including $13,000 to Lieu's.
As an assemblyman, Lieu authored laws in the areas of public safety, child sex offenders, domestic violence, the environment, education, health care, veterans' issues and transportation.
Some of his legislative actions include the following:
On January 30, 2014, Senator Lieu voted in favor of California Senate Constitutional Amendment 5. The proposed bill asked California voters to repeal provisions of Proposition 209 and permit state universities to consider an applicant's race, ethnicity or national origin in making admissions decisions. After hearing strong opposition to the bill from Asian-American community, Lieu, along with Senators Leland Yee and Carol Liu, who had also voted for the bill, jointly issued a statement on February 27 calling for the bill to be withheld pending further consultations with the "affected communities."
Lieu's legislative actions as a state senator include:
Lieu was the Democratic candidate for the 33rd congressional district, formerly represented by Henry Waxman, who retired in 2014 after 40 years in Congress. The 2010 redistricting placed a portion of Torrance, including Lieu's home, in the 33rd.
Lieu placed second in the June primary, but defeated Republican Elan Carr in the general election. He is only the third person to represent this district since its creation in 1943 (it was the 19th from 1943 to 1975, the 24th from 1975 to 1993, the 29th from 1993 to 2003, the 30th from 2003 to 2013, and has been the 33rd since 2013).
Lieu successfully passed three laws in the 114th Congress, securing $35 million in funding to the West Los Angeles VA for seismic retrofits; reauthorizing the Advisory Committee on Homeless Veterans; and restoring the Quarterly Financial Report. Lieu also introduced the Climate Solutions Act in the 114th Congress, which aimed to model national energy goals and climate emissions reduction targets after the state of California.
In the 115th Congress, Lieu introduced H.R. 669 - Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act of 2017, which would prohibit the President from using the Armed Forces to conduct a first-use nuclear strike unless such strike is conducted pursuant to a congressional declaration of war expressly authorizing such strike.
On March 8, 2017, Lieu introduced H.R. 1437 - No Money Bail Act of 2017. The bill proposes eliminating the money bail system for holding suspects in pretrial proceedings.
He was voted Democratic Freshman Class President of the House by his colleagues, succeeding Joaquín Castro. Lieu serves on two influential committees in Congress: the House Judiciary Committee and the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
Lieu received praise from the online privacy community when he introduced bipartisan legislation to prevent states from forcing companies to weaken encryption for law enforcement purposes.
On September 16, 2015, Lieu and Justin Amash introduced a bill to reduce funding for the Drug Enforcement Administration's Cannabis Eradication Program, under which real estate and chattels can be seized if they have been used for marijuana trafficking and abuse.
On July 22, it was announced that Lieu would speak at the 2016 Democratic National Convention, along with three other California House Democrats.
On May 10, 2017, Lieu tweeted: "Our 11 year old just asked me if President Trump was part Russian. That would be really funny if it wasn't so really scary." In response, Russia's government-controlled news agency Sputnik accused Lieu of inciting "Russophobic hysteria".
On November 6, 2017, instead of observing a moment of silence for the 26 victims of a church shooting in Texas the previous day, he filmed and posted a video message calling for gun law reform while standing in front of an armed Capitol Hill guard.
In 2012 Lieu authored a bill that bans the provision of sexual orientation change efforts (including conversion therapy) to minors. This bill passed both the State Assembly and Senate with substantial support, and was signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown in 2012. This made California the first U.S. state to have such a ban. Several other states and the District of Columbia have followed in enacting bans on sexual orientation change efforts with minors. As U.S. Representative, Lieu has introduced the Therapeutic Fraud Prevention Act, a bill for a federal ban on conversion therapy, following statements by President Obama opposing the practice.
Proponents of the ban cited sources including several reports of the American Psychological Association that conversion therapy presented a serious health risk "including confusion, depression, guilt, helplessness, hopelessness, shame, social withdrawal, suicidality, substance abuse, stress, disappointment, self-blame, decreased self-esteem and authenticity to others, increased self-hatred, hostility and blame toward parents, feelings of anger and betrayal, loss of friends and potential romantic partners, problems in sexual and emotional intimacy, sexual dysfunction, high-risk sexual behaviors, a feeling of being dehumanized and untrue to self, a loss of faith, and a sense of having wasted time and resources."
Lieu has been publicly raising concerns over U.S. support for Saudi Arabian-led intervention in Yemen. In March 2016, he sent a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry and Secretary of Defense Ash Carter. Lieu wrote in the letter that the "apparent indiscriminate airstrikes on civilian targets in Yemen seem to suggest that either the coalition is grossly negligent in its targeting or is intentionally targeting innocent civilians. ... Some of these strikes look like war crimes to me, and I want to get answers as to why the U.S. appears to be assisting in the execution of war crimes in Yemen."
In April 2017, he again criticized U.S. involvement in Saudi Arabian military campaign in Yemen, highlighting that Al Qaeda in Yemen "has emerged as a de facto ally of the Saudi-led militaries with whom [Trump] administration aims to partner more closely."
On June 22, Lieu played an audio clip of children taken from their parents under the Trump administration's family separation policy crying and calling for their parents. Karen Handel, Republican representative from Georgia, who was presiding over the session, called on Lieu to stop playing the clip, citing a rule (House Rule 17) that prohibits persons on the floor of the House from using "a mobile electronic device that impairs decorum." Lieu responded, "Why are we hiding this from the American people? I think the American people need to hear this."
| Member of the California Assembly
from the 53rd district
Hector De La Torre
| Chair of the Assembly Rules Committee
| Member of the California Senate
from the 28th district
|U.S. House of Representatives|
| Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 33rd congressional district
|Current U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)|
| United States Representatives by seniority