Betty McCollum

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Betty McCollum
Betty McCollum.jpg
U.S. House, Minnesota, District 4
In office
January 3, 2001-Present
Term ends
January 3, 2015
Years in position 5
PredecessorBruce Vento (D)
Base salary$174,000/year
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 6, 2012
Cost per vote$4.36 in 2012
First electedNovember 7, 2000
Next generalNovember 4, 2014
Campaign $$5,571,874
Term limitsN/A
Prior offices
Minnesota House of Representatives
High schoolSouth St. Paul High School
Bachelor'sCollege of St. Catherine
BirthdayJuly 12, 1954
Place of birthMinneapolis, Minnesota
ProfessionSaleswoman, Teacher
Net worth$112,505.50
ReligionRoman Catholic
Office website
Campaign website
Betty Louise McCollum (b. July 12, 1954, in Minneapolis, MN) is a Democratic member of the U.S. House of Representatives representing Minnesota's 4th Congressional District. McCollum was first elected to the House in 2000.

McCollum won re-election in 2012.[1] She is running for re-election to the U.S. House to represent the 4th Congressional District of Minnesota in 2014.[2] She ran uncontested for the Democratic nomination in the primary election on August 12, 2014.[3]

Based on analysis of multiple outside rankings, McCollum is one of the most reliable Democratic votes, meaning she can be considered a safe vote for the Democratic Party in Congress.


McCollum was born in 1954 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She graduated from South St. Paul High School and went on to earn her B.A. from the College of St. Catherine in St. Paul.[4]


Below is an abbreviated outline of McCollum's political career:[4]

Prior to her political career, McCollum worked as a saleswoman and a high school social science teacher.[5]

Committee assignments

U.S. House


McCollum serves on the following committees:[6]


McCollum served on the following House committees:[7]

Key votes

113th Congress


The 113th Congress has had 55 out of 5,401 introduced bills enacted into law (1 percent) as of November 30, 2013. Comparatively, the 112th Congress had 1.14 percent of introduced bills enacted into law in the first session.[8] For more information pertaining to McCollum's voting record in the 113th Congress, please see the below sections.[9]

National security


Nay3.png McCollum voted in opposition of HR 1960 - the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014. The bill passed the House on June 14, 2013, with a vote of 315 - 108. Both parties were somewhat divided on the vote.[10]

DHS Appropriations

Nay3.png McCollum voted in opposition of HR 2217 - the DHS Appropriations Act (2014) Act of 2014. The bill passed the House on June 6, 2013, with a vote of 245 - 182 and was largely along party lines.[10]

Keystone Pipeline Amendment

Yea3.png McCollum voted in favor of House Amendment 69, which would have amended HR 3 to "require that the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, in consultation with the Department of Homeland Security, conduct a study of the vulnerabilities of the Keystone XL pipeline to a terrorist attack and certify that necessary protections have been put in place." The amendment failed on May 22, 2013, with a vote of 176 - 239 and was largely along party lines.[10]

CISPA (2013)

Nay3.png McCollum voted in opposition of HR 624 - the CISPA (2013). The bill passed the House on April 18, 2013, with a vote of 288 - 127. The bill permitted federal intelligence agencies to share cybersecurity intelligence and information with private entities and utilities.[11] The bill was largely supported by Republicans, but divided the Democratic Party.[10]


Farm Bill

See also: United States Farm Bill 2013

Nay3.png McCollum voted against the Farm Bill on July 11, 2013. The bill passed in a 216-208 vote.[12] The bill passed included farm policy, but did not include food stamps.[13]

King Amendment

McCollum signed a letter sent to Collin Peterson in August 2013, asking him to keep Steve King's amendment out of the final Farm Bill.[14] The "Protect Interstate Commerce Act" amendment prevents states from applying their own laws on agricultural products to agricultural products from another state.[15]. King introduced the amendment in response to a law in California, requiring a larger size cage for egg-producing chickens. King represents Iowa, which is a large egg producer.

Government shutdown

See also: United States budget debate, 2013

Nay3.pngOn September 30, 2013, the House passed a final stopgap spending bill before the shutdown went into effect. The bill included a one-year delay of the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate and would have also stripped the bill of federal subsidies for congressional members and staff. It passed through the House with a vote of 228-201.[16] At 1 a.m. on October 1, 2013, one hour after the shutdown officially began, the House voted to move forward with going to a conference. In short order, Sen. Harry Reid rejected the call to conference.[17] McCollum voted against the stopgap spending bill that would have delayed the individual mandate.[16]

Yea3.png The shutdown ended on October 16, 2013, when the House took a vote on HR 2775 after it was approved by the Senate. The bill to reopen the government lifted the $16.7 trillion debt limit and funded 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.[18] The House passed the legislation shortly after the Senate, by a vote of 285-144, with all 144 votes against the legislation coming from Republican members. McCollum voted for HR 2775.[19]


Source: This graphic was generated by Find The Best.

Morton Memos Prohibition

Nay3.png McCollum voted against House Amendment 136 - Prohibits the Enforcement of the Immigration Executive Order. The amendment was adopted by the House on June 6, 2013, with a vote of 224 - 201. The purpose of the amendment as stated on the official text is to "prohibit the use of funds to finalize, implement, administer, or enforce the Morton Memos." These memos would have granted administrative amnesty to certain illegal aliens residing in the United States.[20] The vote largely followed party lines.[21]


Repealing Obamacare

Nay3.pngMcCollum has voted against all attempts to repeal or delay the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.[22]

Social issues

Violence Against Women Act

Yea3.png McCollum voted to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act which provides aid to prosecute cases of violent acts against women and men.[23]


Nay3.png McCollum voted against HR 1797 - Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. The resolution passed the House on June 18, 2013, with a vote of 228 - 196. The purpose of the bill was to ban abortions that would take place 20 or more weeks after fertilization.[24]

Previous congressional sessions

Fiscal Cliff

Yea3.png McCollum 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. She was 1 of 172 Democrats that voted in favor of the bill. The bill was passed in the House by a 257-167 vote on January 1, 2013.[25]

National security

Nay3.png McCollum voted against extending the PATRIOT Act's roving wiretaps in 2011.[26]

Foreign policy

Removal of troops from Afghanistan

Nay3.png McCollum opposed a resolution to withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan.[27]

American involvement in Libya

Nay3.png McCollum opposed a ban on using armed forces in Libya without Congressional approval in 2011.[27]


On The Issues Vote Match

Betty McCollum's Vote Match results from On The Issues.
See also: On The Issues Vote Match

On The Issues conducts a VoteMatch analysis of elected officials based on 20 issue areas. Rather than relying on incumbents to complete the quiz themselves, the VoteMatch analysis is conducted using voting records, statements to the media, debate transcripts or citations from books authored by or about the candidate. Based on the results of the quiz, McCollum is a Populist-Leaning Liberal. McCollum received a score of 70 percent on social issues and 2 percent on economic issues.[28]

On The Issues organization logo.

The table below contains the results of analysis compiled by staff at On The Issues.

On The Issues Vote Quiz[29]
Economic Issues Social Issues
Issue Stance Issue Stance
Legally require hiring women & minorities Strongly Favors Abortion is a woman's unrestricted right Strongly Favors
Expand ObamaCare Strongly Favors Comfortable with same-sex marriage Strongly Favors
Vouchers for school choice Strongly Opposes Keep God in the public sphere Opposes
Absolute right to gun ownership Strongly Opposes Human needs over animal rights Strongly Opposes
Higher taxes on the wealthy Strongly Favors Stricter punishment reduces crime Opposes
Support & expand free trade Strongly Opposes Pathway to citizenship for illegal aliens Strongly Favors
Stricter limits on political campaign funds Strongly Favors Maintain US sovereignty from UN Strongly Opposes
Prioritize green energy Strongly Favors Expand the military Opposes
Stimulus better than market-led recovery Strongly Favors Stay out of Iran Favors
Privatize Social Security Opposes Never legalize marijuana Opposes
Note: Information last updated: 2014.[28]

Housing grants

In February 2012, McCollum announced that St. Paul, Minnesota, neighborhoods had received $459,000 in grants for housing through a federal Affordable Housing Program. She said the funds would "benefit struggling Minnesotans in the short-term."[30]

Washington Redskins

McCollum took to her Twitter account in favor of changing the name of Washington's football team. She tweeted, "The word Red****s is a racial slur. It is offensive/demeaning to Native Americans and all Americans alike. #changethename." She sent a letter to Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton, local politicians and the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority requesting they limit use of the Redskins logo when the Redskins played the Vikings on November 7, 2013. She acknowledged the NFL's right to free speech, "but the people of Minnesota do not have an obligation to open the doors of our public sports facility and allow for a for-profit entity to display and promote their racial slur." She also said that she planned to join the American Indian Movement in a protest aimed at Redskins owner Daniel Snyder. Snyder refused to change the name of his team.[31]



See also: Minnesota's 4th Congressional District elections, 2014

McCollum is running for re-election to the U.S. House in 2014. She ran uncontested for the Democratic nomination in the primary election on August 12, 2014.[3] The general election takes place November 4, 2014.


See also: Minnesota's 4th Congressional District elections, 2012

McCollum won re-election in 2012.[32] She defeated Diana Longrie and Brian Stalboerger in the Democratic primary.[33] She defeated Republican challenger Tony Hernandez and independent candidate Steve Carlson in the November general election.[1]

U.S. House, Minnesota District 4 General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngBetty McCollum Incumbent 62.3% 216,685
     Republican Tony Hernandez 31.5% 109,659
     Independence Steve Carlson 6.1% 21,135
     NA Write-in 0.1% 512
Total Votes 347,991
Source: Minnesota Secretary of State, "Official Election Results, 2012 General Election" (dead link)
Minnesota's 4th Congressional District Democratic Primary, 2012
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngBetty McCollum Incumbent 84.2% 27,304
Diana Longrie 9.9% 3,215
Brian Stalboerger 5.9% 1,921
Total Votes 32,440


McCollum was endorsed by the following organizations and individuals for the 2012 election:[34]

Full history

Campaign donors

Fundraising events

The below chart from Find The Best tracks the fundraising events McCollum attends.

Source: This graphic was generated by Find The Best.

Comprehensive donor history

Comprehensive donor information for McCollum is available dating back to 2000. Based on available campaign finance records, McCollum raised a total of $5,571,874 during that time period. This information was last updated on May 16, 2013.[41]

Betty McCollum's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2012 U.S. House (Minnesota, District 4) Won $931,989
2010 U.S. House (Minnesota, District 4) Won $844,301
2008 U.S. House (Minnesota, District 4) Won $722,054
2006 U.S. House (Minnesota, District 4) Won $562,752
2004 U.S. House (Minnesota, District 4) Won $687,907
2002 U.S. House (Minnesota, District 4) Won $657,435
2000 U.S. House (Minnesota, District 4) Won $1,165,436
Grand Total Raised $5,571,874

Source: This graphic was generated by Find The Best.


Candidates for Congress are required to file up to seven main reports with the Federal Election Commission during the 2014 elections season. Below are Betty McCollum's reports.[42]

Betty McCollum (2014) Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
April Quarterly[43]April 12, 2013$48,013.91$101,121.26$(86,293.09)$62,842.08
July Quarterly[44]July 12, 2013$62,842.08$58,967.27$(63,752.34)$58,057.01
October Quarterly[45]October 12, 2013$58,057.01$99,751.25$(68,731.55)$89,076.71
Year-End Quarterly[46]December 31, 2013$89,076$93,142$(58,130)$124,088
April Quarterly[47]April 12, 2014$124,088.88$144,652.00$(54,661.67)$214,079.21
July QuarterlyJuly 15, 2014$214,079.00$114,963.00$(80,122.00)$249,036.00
Running totals


McCollum won election to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2012. During that election cycle, McCollum's campaign committee raised a total of $931,990 and spent $942,684.[48]

Cost per vote

McCollum spent $4.36 per vote received in 2012.


McCollum won re-election to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2010. During that re-election cycle, McCollum's campaign committee raised a total of $844,301 and spent $862,848.[49]

Personal Gain Index

Congressional Personal Gain Index graphic.png
See also: Personal Gain Index (U.S. Congress)

The Personal Gain Index (U.S. Congress) is a four-part measurement that illustrates the extent to which members of the U.S. Congress have prospered during their tenure as public servants.
It consists of four different metrics:

PGI: Change in net worth

See also: Changes in Net Worth of U.S. Senators and Representatives (Personal Gain Index) and Net worth of United States Senators and Representatives
Net Worth Metric graphic.png

Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by, McCullum's net worth as of 2012 was estimated between $25,011 and $200,000. That averages to $112,505.50, which is lower than the average net worth of Democratic representatives in 2012 of $5,700,168.36. McCollum ranked as the 377th most wealthy representative in 2012.[50] Between 2004 and 2012, McCollum's calculated net worth[51] increased by an average of 9 percent per year. Between 2004 and 2012, the average annual percentage increase for a member of Congress was 15.4 percent.[52]

Betty McCollum Yearly Net Worth
YearAverage Net Worth
Growth from 2004 to 2012:73%
Average annual growth:9%[53]
Comparatively, the American citizen experienced a median yearly decline in net worth of -0.94%.[54]
The data used to calculate changes in net worth may include changes resulting from assets gained through marriage, inheritance, changes in family estates and/or trusts, changes in family business ownership and many other variables unrelated to a member's behavior in Congress.

PGI: Donation Concentration Metric

See also: The Donation Concentration Metric (U.S. Congress Personal Gain Index)

Filings required by the Federal Election Commission report on the industries that give to each candidate. Using campaign filings and information calculated by, Ballotpedia calculated the percentage of donations by industry received by each incumbent over the course of his or her career (or 1989 and later, if elected prior to 1988). McCollum received the most donations from individuals and PACs employed by the Lawyers/Law Firms industry.

From 1999-2014, 26.91 percent of McCollum's career contributions came from the top five industries as listed below.[55]

Donation Concentration Metric graphic.png
Betty McCollum Campaign Contributions
Total Raised $6,270,700
Total Spent $6,065,843
Top five industries that contributed to campaign committee
Lawyers/Law Firms$411,957
Public Sector Unions$364,927
Industrial Unions$322,150
Building Trade Unions$306,300
% total in top industry6.57%
% total in top two industries12.39%
% total in top five industries26.91%


Ideology and leadership

See also: GovTrack's Political Spectrum & Legislative Leadership ranking

Based on an analysis of bill sponsorship by GovTrack, McCollum is a "far-left Democrat" as of July 2014.[56] This was the same rating McCollum received in June 2013.

Like-minded colleagues

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.[57]

McCollum most often votes with:

McCollum least often votes with:

Source: This graphic was generated by Find The Best.

Lifetime voting record

See also: Lifetime voting records of United States Senators and Representatives

According to the website GovTrack, McCollum missed 263 of 9,662 roll call votes from January 2001 to July 2014. This amounts to 2.7 percent, which is worse than the median of 2.5 percent among current congressional representatives as of July 2014.[56]

Congressional staff salaries

See also: Staff salaries of United States Senators and Representatives

The website Legistorm compiles staff salary information for members of Congress. McCollum paid her congressional staff a total of $948,570 in 2011. Overall, Minnesota ranked 26th in average salary for representative staff. The average U.S. House of Representatives congressional staff was paid $954,912.20 in fiscal year 2011.[58]

Staff bonuses

According to an analysis by CNN, McCollum was one of nearly 25 percent of House members who gave their staff bonuses in 2012. McCollum's staff was given an apparent $24,650.00 in bonus money.[59]

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 in the previous year. Click the link above for the full ratings of all members of Congress.


McCollum ranked 57th in the liberal rankings in 2013.[60]


McCollum ranked 38th in the liberal rankings in 2012. This was the most liberal ranking earned by a representative from Minnesota in 2012.[61]


McCollum ranked 61st in the liberal rankings in 2011.[62]

Voting with party

The website OpenCongress tracks how often members of Congress vote with the majority of the chamber caucus.


McCollum voted with the Democratic Party 91.8 percent of the time, which ranked 134th among the 204 House Democratic members as of July 2014.[63]


McCollum voted with the Democratic Party 96.2 percent of the time, which ranked 22nd among the 201 House Democratic members as of June 2013.[64]


McCollum raised her family in North St. Paul, Minnesota, and now resides in St. Paul. She is divorced.[65]

Recent news

This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term Betty + McCollum + Minnesota + House

All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.

Betty McCollum News Feed

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See also

External links

Political Tracker has an article on:
Betty McCollum


  1. 1.0 1.1 ABC News, "General Election Results 2012-Minnesota," accessed November 7, 2012
  2. Minnesota Secretary of State, "2014 State General Election Candidate Filings," accessed June 11, 2014
  3. 3.0 3.1 Associated Press, "Minnesota - 2014 Primary Results," accessed August 12, 2014
  4. 4.0 4.1 Biographical Guide to Members of Congress, "Betty McCollum," accessed December 8, 2011
  5. Congresswoman Betty McCollum, Representing the 4th District of Minnesota, "Congresswoman McCollum's Biography," accessed October 14, 2014
  6., "House Committee Rosters for the 113th Congress"
  7. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "House of Representatives Committee Assignments," accessed December 8, 2011
  8. Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity, First Session of the 112th Congress," accessed September 5, 2013
  9. Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity, Second Session of the 113th Congress," accessed March 4, 2014
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 Project Vote Smart, "Representative Betty McCollum's Voting Records on National Security," accessed September 26, 2013
  11. The Library of Congress, "H.R.624 CISPA (2013) (Referred in Senate - RFS)," accessed August 27, 2013
  12. Vote Smart, "McCollum on agriculture," accessed September 26, 2013
  13. New York Times, "House Republicans Push Through Farm Bill, Without Food Stamps," accessed September 17, 2013
  14. Vote Smart, "Letter to Ranking Member Collin Peterson, House Committee on Agriculture - Reject Rep. King's Provision on Farm Bill," accessed September 26, 2013
  15., "King Farm Bill Amendment Angers Animal Advocates," accessed September 18, 2013
  16. 16.0 16.1 Clerk of the U.S. House, "Final vote results for Roll Call 504," accessed October 31, 2013
  17. Buzzfeed, "Government Shutdown: How We Got Here," accessed October 1, 2013
  18. The Washington Post, "Reid, McConnell propose bipartisan Senate bill to end shutdown, extend borrowing," accessed October 16, 2013
  19. U.S. House, "Final vote results for Roll Call 550," accessed October 31, 2013
  20. The Library of Congress, "H.AMDT.136," accessed August 28, 2013
  21. Project Vote Smart, "Representative Betty McCollum's Voting Records on Immigration," accessed September 26, 2013
  22. Project Vote Smart, "Representative Betty McCollum's Voting Records on Issue: Health and Healthcare," accessed September 26, 2013
  23. On the Issues, "McCollum on Civil Rights," accessed September 11, 2013
  24. Project Vote Smart, "McCollum on abortion," accessed September 26, 2013
  25. U.S. House, "Roll Call Vote on the Fiscal Cliff," accessed January 4, 2013
  26. On the Issues, "McCollum on Homeland Security," accessed September 11, 2013
  27. 27.0 27.1 On the Issues, "Betty McCollum on War and Peace," accessed September 11, 2013
  28. 28.0 28.1 On The Issues, "Betty McCollum Vote Match," accessed June 17, 2014
  29. The questions in the quiz are broken down into two sections -- social and economic. In social questions, liberals and libertarians agree in choosing the less-government answers, while conservatives and populists agree in choosing the more-restrictive answers. For the economic questions, conservatives and libertarians agree in choosing the less-government answers, while liberals and populists agree in choosing the more-restrictive answers.
  30. Real Estate Rama, "Congresswoman Betty McCollum Announces St. Paul Neighborhoods Receive $459,000 in Housing Grants," accessed February 13, 2012
  31. Roll Call, "McCollum to Protest Redskins' Arrival on Her Home Turf," accessed November 6, 2013
  32. Star Tribune, "Bachmann back in race -- for her seat in Congress," accessed February 11, 2012
  33. CBS, "Primary Results," accessed May 30, 2013
  34. Betty McCollum, "Endorsements," accessed October 9, 2012
  35. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2010," accessed March 28, 2013
  36. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 4, 2008," accessed March 28, 2013
  37. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 7, 2006," accessed March 28, 2013
  38. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2004," accessed March 28, 2013
  39. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 5, 2002," accessed March 28, 2013
  40. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 7, 2000," accessed March 28, 2013
  41. OpenSecrets, "Betty McCollum," accessed May 16, 2013
  42. Federal Election Commission, "McCollum 2014 Summary reports," accessed July 18, 2013
  43. FEC, "April Quarterly," accessed July 18, 2013
  44. FEC, "July Quarterly," accessed July 18, 2013
  45. FEC, "October Quarterly," accessed October 23, 2013
  46. FEC, "Year-End Quarterly," accessed February 11, 204
  47. FEC, "April Quarterly," accessed May 16, 2014
  48. OpenSecrets, " 2012 Re-Election Cycle," accessed February 15, 2013
  49. OpenSecrets, "Betty McCollum 2010 Re-Election Cycle," accessed December 8, 2011
  50. OpenSecrets, "Betty McCollum (D-MN), 2012," accessed February 18, 2014
  51. This figure represents the average annual percentage growth from either 2004 (if the member entered office in 2004 or earlier) or their first year in office (as noted in the chart below) to 2012, divided by the number of years calculated.
  52. This number was found by dividing each member's total net worth growth percentage by the number of years included in the calculation.
  53. This figure represents the total percentage growth divided by the number of years for which there are net worth figures for each member.
  54. This figure was calculated using median asset data from the Census Bureau. Please see the Congressional Net Worth data for Ballotpedia spreadsheet for more information on this calculation.
  55., "Rep. Betty McCollum," accessed September 23, 2014
  56. 56.0 56.1 GovTrack, "Betty McCollum," accessed July 28, 2014
  57. OpenCongress, "Betty McCollum," accessed July 28, 2014
  58. LegiStorm, "Betty McCollum," accessed October 9, 2012
  59. CNN Politics, "Congressional bonuses in a time of cuts," accessed March 8, 2013
  60. National Journal, "2013 Congressional Vote Ratings," accessed July 28, 2014
  61. National Journal, "TABLE: House Liberal Scores by Issue Area," accessed February 26, 2013
  62. National Journal, "Searchable Vote Ratings Tables: House," accessed February 23, 2012
  63. OpenCongress, "Voting With Party," accessed July 2014
  64. OpenCongress, "Voting With Party," accessed July 2014
  65. Official House Site, "Biography," accessed December 8, 2011
Political offices
Preceded by
Bruce Vento
U.S. House of Representatives - Minnesota, District 4
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Minnesota House of Representatives
Succeeded by