John Nathan Hostettler (born June 19 1961), American politician, has been a Republican member of the United States House of Representatives since 1995, representing the 8th District of Indiana (map) in the southwestern part of the state.
A Swiss-American, Hostettler was born in Evansville, Indiana, as the eighth of ten children. He grew up in rural Posey County near the Ohio River and Wabash River. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in Terre Haute, Indiana. He worked as an engineer before entering the U.S. House of Representatives.
As an engineer Hostettler was rarely involved in politics, but after the election of President Bill Clinton he decided to run for Congress out of displeasure with the incoming president and the direction of the country. In January 1994 Hostettler officially announced his candidacy. According to his official website, he ran on a platform that called for:
- returning to the Constitution as the nation's governing document (a reference to judicial activism),
- balancing the budget,
- cutting taxes,
- reforming welfare, and
- strengthening national defense.
He was a signatory to the Contract with America.
Hostettler serves on the House Armed Services Committee and the Judiciary Committee. In 1999, Hostettler was appointed vice-chairman of the Armed Services Research and Development Subcommittee for the 106th Congress. He previously served as chairman of the Congressional Family Caucus and serves on the Republican Study Committee.
On July 10 2002, Hostettler introduced House Amendment 523 to House Resolution 4635 which would have removed the 2% cap on the number of pilots who may be deputized as federal flight deck officers and thus permitted to carry firearms to as well as requiring the Transportation Security Administration to train 20% of all pilots who volunteer for the program within six months of enactment and train 80% by the end of the two-year pilot program. There were no cosponsors to his amendment and it failed in a roll call vote.
Due in part to his staunch conservative ideology, Hostettler has attracted considerable controversy during his political career, even from members of his own party. After refusing to support President Bush's plans to attack Iraq, Vice President Dick Cheney cancelled a fundraising event for Hostettler before a close election.
On April 30, 2002, Hostettler met with eleven breast cancer survivors that were seeking support for more research funding. The women who met with him claimed he only wanted to talk about a possible link between abortion and breast cancer. Although all eleven agree on the exchange that took place, Hostettler denies he said it.
Concealed weapon arrest
He was briefly detained at Louisville International Airport on April 20, 2004 when he attempted to board a flight for Washington, D.C. with a loaded 9 mm Glock pistol in his bag. The congressman explained he had "completely forgot" the gun was there.  On August 10th, he pled guilty to carrying a deadly concealed weapon and agreed to a plea bargained sentence of 60 days that would be suspended for two years. On October 4, 2004, a Kentucky judge issued a bench warrant for his arrest after he failed to pay court costs, but it was set aside a few hours later after his law firm paid the fine.
On June 20, 2005 Hostettler delivered a speech on the floor of the House attacking Democrats for trying to stop allegedly overly aggressive evangelism at the United States Air Force Academy. He accused Democrats of "demonizing" and "denigrating" Christians. He later gave a four-second apology asking that the last sentence of his remarks be withdrawn. His comments were heavily denounced by Democrats.
- Official website
- Campaign contributions
- Hostettler on the issues, from an ad-supported non-partisan website