|U.S. Senate, Minnesota|
|July 7, 2009-Present|
|January 3, 2015|
|Years in position||4|
|Predecessor||Norm Coleman (R)|
|Elections and appointments|
|First elected||November 4, 2008|
|Next election||November 4, 2014|
|Birthday||May 31, 1951|
|Place of birth||New York, NY|
|Profession||Writer, Radio Host|
Based on analysis of multiple outside rankings, Franken is one of the most reliable Democratic votes, meaning he can be considered a safe vote for the Democratic Party in Congress.
Franken born in 1951 in New York, NY, but was raised in St. Louis Park, MN. He earned his B.A. from the Harvard University in 1973 and went on to become a screenwriter for Saturday Night Live. Prior to his political career, Franken had also hosted his own national radio show and written several New York Times-bestselling books.
Below is an abbreviated outline of Franken's professional and political career:
- Screenwriter, Author
- Radio Host The Al Franken Show, 2004-2007
- U.S. Senate, 2009-Present
Franken serves on the following Senate committees:
- United States Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources
- Subcommittee on Water and Power
- Subcommittee on Public Lands, Forests, and Mining
- Subcommittee on Energy
- United States Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
- Subcommittee on Employment and Workplace Safety
- Subcommittee on Children and Families
- United States Senate Committee on Indian Affairs
- United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary
- Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology and the Law Chair
- Subcommittee on The Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights
- Bankruptcy and the Courts subcommittee
- Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights subcommittee
Franken served on the following Senate committees:
- Indian Affairs Committee
- Energy and Natural Resources Committee
- Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee
- Judiciary Committee
The 113th Congress has had 22 out of 4,315 introduced bills enacted into law (0.5%) as of August 1, 2013. Comparatively, the 112th Congress had 1.5% of introduced bills enacted into law in the first session. The Senate has confirmed 9,272 out of 15,834 executive nominations received thus far (58.6%). For more information pertaining to Franken's voting record in the 113th Congress, please see the below sections.
John Brennan CIA nomination
Franken voted for the confirmation of John Brennan as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. The nomination was confirmed by the Senate on March 7, 2013, with a vote of 63 - 34. Most Democrats supported the nomination, while Republicans were somewhat divided with roughly one-third supporting the nomination.
No Budget, No Pay Act of 2013
Franken voted for H.R.325 -- No Budget, No Pay Act of 2013. The bill passed the Senate on January 31, 2013, with a vote of 64 - 34. The purpose of the bill was to temporarily suspended the debt ceiling and withhold the pay of members of Congress until a budget could be passed. The vote largely followed party lines with Democrats overwhelmingly supporting it and many Republicans in opposition to the bill.
- See also: United States budget debate, 2013
During the shutdown in October 2013, the Senate rejected, down party lines, every House-originated bill that stripped the budget of funding for the Affordable Care Act. A deal was reached late on October 16, 2013, just hours before the debt ceiling deadline. The bill to reopen the government, H.R. 2775, lifted the $16.7 trillion debt limit and funds the government through January 15, 2014. Federal employees also received retroactive pay for the shutdown period. The only concession made by Senate Democrats was to require income verification for Obamacare subsidies. The final vote on H.R. 2775 was 81-18, with all 18 votes against the bill from Republican members. Franken voted with the Democratic Party for the bill.
Completion of fence along Mexico border
Franken voted against Senate Amendment 1197 -- Requires the Completion of the Fence Along the United States-Mexico Border. The amendment was rejected by the Senate on June 18, 2013, with a vote of 39 - 54. The purpose of the amendment was to require the completion of 350 miles of fence described in the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 before registered provisional immigrant status may be granted. It would also require 700 miles of fence be completed before the status of registered provisional immigrants may be changed to permanent resident status. The vote followed party lines.
Franken voted for S.47 -- Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013. The bill was passed by the Senate on February 12, 2013, with a vote of 78 - 22. The purpose of the bill was to combat violence against women, from domestic violence to international trafficking in persons. All 22 dissenting votes were cast by Republicans.
Previous congressional sessions
Franken voted for the fiscal cliff compromise bill, which made permanent most of the Bush tax cuts originally passed in 2001 and 2003 while also raising tax rates on the highest income levels. The bill was passed in the Senate by a 89 - 8 vote on January 1, 2013.
Senator Franken serves on the Senate Judiciary Subcommittees on Administrative Oversight and the Courts, Antitrust, Competition Policy, and Consumer Rights, and Human Rights and the Law.
On November 4, 2008, Franken won election to the United States Senate. He defeated Norm Coleman, Dean Barkley (I), Charles Aldrich (L), James Niemackl (C), Michael Cavlan (I, Write-In), and Anthony Keith Price (I, Write-In) in the general election. He won election after a lengthy hand recount that did not declare him the winner until after June of 2009.
Comprehensive donor information for Franken is available dating back to 2008. Based on available campaign finance records, Franken raised a total of $22,502,124 during that time period. This information was last updated on April 24, 2013.
|Al Franken's Campaign Contribution History|
|2012||U.S. Senate (Minnesota)||$22,502,124|
|Grand Total Raised||$22,502,124|
Candidates for Congress are required to file up to seven main reports with the Federal Election Commission during the 2014 elections season. Below are Franken's reports.
|Al Franken (2014) Campaign Finance Reports|
|Report||Date Filed||Beginning Balance||Total Contributions|
for Reporting Period
|Expenditures||Cash on Hand|
The website OpenCongress tracks the voting records of each member to determine with whom he or she votes most and least often. The results include a member from each party.
Franken most often votes with:
Franken least often votes with:
Ideology and leadership
Lifetime voting record
According to the website GovTrack, Franken missed 2 of 1,061 roll call votes from Jul 2009 to Apr 2013, which is 0.2% of votes during that period. This is better than the median of 1.7% among the lifetime records of senators currently serving. 
Congressional staff salaries
The website Legistorm compiles staff salary information for members of Congress. Franken paid his congressional staff a total of $2,780,125 in 2011. He ranked 31st on the list of the lowest paid Democratic senatorial staff salaries and ranked 25th overall of the lowest paid senatorial staff salaries in 2011. Overall, Minnesota ranked 46th in average salary for senatorial staff. The average U.S. Senate congressional staff was paid $2,529,141.70 in fiscal year 2011.
Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by OpenSecrets.org, Franken's net worth as of 2011 was estimated between $4,200,057 and $12,659,000. This averages to $8,429,528, which is a decrease of 3.64% since 2010. This is lower than the $20,795,450 average net worth for Democratic senators in 2011. 
Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by OpenSecrets.org, Franken's net worth as of 2010 was estimated between $4,554,050 and $12,941,000. That averages to $8,747,525, which is lower than the average net worth of Democratic senators in 2010 of $19,383,524.
National Journal vote ratings
- See also: National Journal vote ratings
Each year, National Journal publishes an analysis of how liberally or conservatively each member of Congress voted, as compared to other members, in the previous year. More information about the analysis process can be found on the vote ratings page.
According to the data released in 2013, Franken was ranked the 13th most liberal senator during 2012.
According to the data released in 2012, Al Franken was ranked the 13th most liberal senator during 2011.
Voting with party
The website OpenCongress tracks how often members of Congress vote with the majority of the chamber caucus. According to the website, Al Franken has voted with the Democratic Party 98.5% of the time, which ranked 2nd among the 52 Senate Democratic members as of June 2013.
Franken has been married to his wife, Frannie, since 1977. The couple has two grown children.
This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term "Al + Franken + Minnesota + Senate"
- All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.
- Al Franken: 'We Have to Consider Extending the Deadline for the Mandate' - The Weekly Standard (blog)
- Franken open to individual mandate delay - Washington Post (blog)
- Sen. Al Franken Discusses College Affordability at Apple Valley Event - KSTP.com
- Sen. Al Franken Makes a Pit Stop in Royal Oak - Patch.com
- Personal stories used as spin over new health law - Marshall Independent
- Shift of national work to Minnesota results in benefit delays for local veterans - St. Cloud Times
- Take a real look at Congressional Obamacare health plans - MedCity News
- Expected Vote This Week on Rep. Mel Watt to Be FHFA Director - Politic365
- A judge's view: Let tragedies bolster political will to end gun violence - Duluth News Tribune
- Shift to St. Paul results in benefit delays for Minnesota veterans - St. Cloud Times
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- Voting record:
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- Media coverage:
- Column archive at The Huffington Post
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Campaign website, "About Al", accessed October 24, 2013
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Official Senate Site "About Al," Accessed November 2, 2011
- ↑ Congressional Quarterly "Senate Committee List" Accessed January 22, 2013
- ↑ U.S. Senate Official Website "Committee Assignments," Accessed November 2, 2011
- ↑ Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity, First Session of the 112th Congress, accessed September 5, 2013
- ↑ Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity," August 1, 2013
- ↑ Project Vote Smart, "PN 48 - Nomination of John Brennan to be Director of the Central Intelligence Agency - Voting Record," accessed September 25, 2013
- ↑ Project Vote Smart, "HR 325 - To Ensure the Complete and Timely Payment of the Obligations of the United States Government Until May 19, 2013 - Voting Record," accessed September 25, 2013
- ↑ The Washington Post, "Reid, McConnell propose bipartisan Senate bill to end shutdown, extend borrowing," accessed October 16, 2013
- ↑ Senate.gov, "H.R. 2775 As Amended," accessed October 31, 2013
- ↑ Project Vote Smart, "S Amdt 1197 - Requires the Completion of the Fence Along the United States-Mexico Border - Voting Record," accessed September 25, 2013
- ↑ Project Vote Smart, "S 47 - Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 - Voting Record," accessed September 25, 2013
- ↑ U.S. Senate "Roll Call Vote on the Fiscal Cliff" Accessed January 4, 2013.
- ↑ "Senate Judiciary" List of previous members
- ↑ 15.0 15.1 "Senator Al Franken" Official Biography
- ↑ U.S. Congress House Clerk "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 4, 2008"
- ↑ Open Secrets "Donor history for Al Franken" April 2013
- ↑ Federal Election Commission "Franken 2014 Summary reports," Accessed July 25, 2013
- ↑ FEC "April Quarterly," Accessed July 25, 2013
- ↑ FEC "July Quarterly," Accessed July 25, 2013
- ↑ FEC "October Quarterly," Accessed October 30, 2013
- ↑ OpenCongress, "Al Franken," Accessed August 8, 2013
- ↑ Gov Track "Al Franken," Accessed June 28, 2013
- ↑ GovTrack, "Al Franken" Accessed April 2013
- ↑ "Al Franken"
- ↑ OpenSecrets.org, "Franken, (D-Minnesota), 2011"
- ↑ OpenSecrets.org, "Franken, (D-Minnesota), 2010"
- ↑ National Journal, "TABLE: House Liberal Scores by Issue Area," February 26, 2013
- ↑ National Journal, "Searchable Vote Ratings Tables: House," February 23, 2012
- ↑ OpenCongress "Voting With Party"
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