Dreier was first elected to the United States House of Representatives in 1980, where he served until January 2013. In Congress, he served as the youngest—and the first from California—chairman of the Rules Committee, playing a pivotal role in fashioning all legislation for debate in the House.
He authored the 1995 Congressional reform package that streamlined committee structure, promoted fiscal responsibility, created term limits for committee chairmen and opened committee meetings to the public and press. In 2006, he authored legislation to reform lobbying and ethics laws. Dreier is a longtime advocate of open commerce as an engine of growth and opportunity. During his tenure in Congress, he was a strong ally of both Democratic and Republican administrations in support of passage of free trade agreements.
He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and serves on the board of the International Republican Institute. Dreier is the founding chairman of the bipartisan House Democracy Partnership, which works directly with legislatures in seventeen countries around the globe, helping to build institutions in new and re-emerging democracies. Additionally, he was the founding chair of the Congressional Trade Working Group that has built support for trade agreements for more than twenty years.
Dreier received his B.A. from Claremont McKenna College in 1975 and his M.A. in American government from Claremont Graduate University the following year.