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Phil Gramm    

Former Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee

William Philip Gramm is an American economist and politician who represented Texas in both houses of Congress. Though he began his political career as a Democrat, Gramm switched to the Republican Party in 1983. In Congress, Gramm sponsored major acts of financial deregulation.

Born in Fort Benning, Georgia, Gramm taught economics at Texas A&M University after earning a doctorate in economics from the University of Georgia. He won election to the United States House of Representatives in 1978, becoming one of the most conservative Democrats in Congress. After being thrown off the House Budget Committee, Gramm resigned from Congress, joined the Republican Party, and won a special election to fill the vacancy caused by his resignation. He won election to the United States Senate in 1984.

Gramm became a member of the Senate Banking Committee in 1999, serving as chairman until 2001. He cosponsored the 1985 Gramm–Rudman–Hollings Balanced Budget Act, which sought to reduce the U.S. federal budget deficit. He also supported deregulation, sponsoring the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000 and the Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act. The latter act repealed provisions of the Glass-Steagall Act which had separated banking, insurance, and brokerage activities.

Gramm sought the presidential nomination in the 1996 Republican primaries but dropped out after the first set of primaries. Gramm retired from Congress in 2002. He became a lobbyist for UBS and founded a public policy and lobbying firm, Gramm Partners. He was a senior economic adviser to John McCain's 2008 presidential campaign.

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