Rep. Lois Capps
Congresswoman Lois Capps
California – 23rd District
Lois Capps was sworn in as a Freshman Member of the 105th Congress on
March 17, 1998, succeeding her late husband, Congressman Walter Capps.
She was the Representative of California’s 22nd District from 1998 to
Since January, 2003, Capps has served as the
Representative of the 23rd District. Her district includes portions of
San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and Ventura Counties.
is committed to helping people improve their daily lives through better
schools, quality health care, and a cleaner environment. Capps is a
respected leader in Congress on issues of public health, passing
legislation to address the national nursing shortage, detect and
prevent domestic violence against women, curb underage drinking,
improve mental health services, provide emergency defibrillators to
local communities, bring CPR instruction to schools, and provide
immediate Medicare coverage to patients suffering from Lou Gehrig’s
Capps has also been at the forefront of efforts to protect
the environment. She led efforts to stop new oil and gas drilling off
our coasts, reduce the amount of new oil drilling in Los Padres
National Park, and protect consumers from shouldering the financial
burden of cleaning up MTBE contamination in their water supplies.
serves on the powerful Committee on Energy and Commerce and is the Vice
Chair of its Health Subcommittee. She also sits on the Subcommittee on
Energy and Environment. From these posts, Capps continues to focus on
Medicare reform, the nursing shortage, cancer, mental health, energy
policy, and the environment. Capps also serves on the influential
Natural Resources Committee and its Subcommittees on Fisheries,
Wildlife and Oceans and National Parks, Forests and Public Lands.
Serving on this committee provides Capps with an opportunity to help
guarantee the long term protection of our nation’s public lands and
coastal waters. On this Committee she works to ensure that we serve as
faithful stewards and manage our precious natural resources in a
During her 20-year tenure as a nurse and
health advocate for the Santa Barbara School District, thousands of
Santa Barbara’s children and families benefited from Capps’ personal
care and leadership. As director of Santa Barbara County’s Teenage
Pregnancy and Parenting Project and the Parent and Child Enrichment
Center, Capps gave countless young parents the support and
encouragement to stay in school while providing them with critical
child development skills to ensure their children grow up in healthy,
loving environments. Capps also taught for 10 years as a part-time
instructor of Early Childhood Education at Santa Barbara City College.
now draws on this extensive healthcare background as founder and
co-chair of the House Nursing Caucus. She also serves as co-chair of
the Congressional Heart and Stroke Coalition, the House Cancer Caucus,
the Congressional School Health and Safety Caucus, and the House
Democratic Task Force on Health.
Capps was born in Ladysmith,
Wisconsin on January 10, 1938. After graduating with honors from
Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Washington with a Bachelor of
Science degree in Nursing, she worked as a nursing instructor in
Portland, Oregon. Capps earned a Master of Arts degree in Religion from
Yale University while working as Head Nurse at Yale New Haven Hospital.
In addition, she earned a Master of Arts degree in Education from the
University of California, Santa Barbara and received honorary
doctorates from Pacific Lutheran University and Pacific Lutheran
Theological Seminary. The daughter of a Lutheran minister, Capps has
been an active member of Grace Lutheran Church since 1964.
was married to Walter Capps for 37 years. Their immediate family
includes: daughter Laura, her husband Bill; son Todd, and his son Aden;
daughter Lisa, who passed away February of 2000; Lisa’s husband,
Nathan, their sons David and Walter, and Nathan’s wife Caitlin.