David R. Obey (pronounced Obie) (born October 3, 1938) is an American politician. He has been a Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives since 1969, representing the Seventh Congressional District of Wisconsin (map).
Obey was born in Okmulgee, Oklahoma and grew up in Wausau, Wisconsin, where he graduated from Wausau East High School. He received his Bachelors degree from the University of Wisconsin.
Obey was elected to the Wisconsin State Assembly in 1963 and served there until 1969, when he was elected to the House to replace Melvin R. Laird, who was appointed Secretary of Defense under President Richard Nixon. Obey, only thirty years old at the time of his election, became the youngest member of Congress upon taking his seat. He is now the third-longest serving Democrat in the House, after John Dingell and John Conyers.
In Congress, Obey chaired the commission to write the House's Code of Ethics. Among the reforms he instituted was one requiring members of the House to disclose their personal financial dealings so that the public is made aware of any potential conflicts of interests. Obey is currently the ranking Democrat on the House Appropriations Committee.
In addition to serving in Congress, Obey is an avid musician and has played harmonica on three bluegrass albums recorded with his band, the Capitol Offenses.
Preceded by: Mel Laird United States Representative for the 7th Congressional District of Wisconsin 1969- Succeeded by: Incumbent