Brian Higgins

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Brian Higgins
Brian Higgins.JPG
U.S. House, New York, District 26
Incumbent
In office
January 3, 2005-Present
Term ends
January 3, 2015
Years in position 9
PartyDemocratic
PredecessorKathy Hochul (D)
Compensation
Base salary$174,000/year
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 6, 2012
Cost per vote$4.86 in 2012
First electedNovember 2, 2004
Next generalNovember 4, 2014
Campaign $$4,788,556
Term limitsN/A
Prior offices
New York State Assembly
1999-2004
Buffalo Common Council
1988-1994
Education
Bachelor'sBuffalo State College
Master'sBuffalo State College, Harvard University
Personal
BirthdayOctober 6, 1959
Place of birthBuffalo, New York
ProfessionCollege Lecturer, Politician
Net worth$32,004
ReligionRoman Catholic
Websites
Office website
Brian Higgins (b. October 6, 1959, in Buffalo, NY) is a Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives representing New York's 26th Congressional District. Higgins was first elected to the House in 2004 and is currently serving his fifth consecutive term, having won re-election on November 6, 2012. Before redistricting in 2012, Higgins had previously served the 27th District.

Higgins is a 2014 Democratic and Working Families Party candidate seeking re-election to the U.S. House to represent the 26th Congressional District of New York.[1] He ran unopposed for both nominations in the primary on June 24, 2014.[2]

Prior to being elected to the House, Higgins was a member of the Buffalo Common Council and the New York State Assembly, he also served as an instructor in the History and Economics Departments at Buffalo State College.

Based on analysis of multiple outside rankings, Higgins is an average Democratic member of Congress, meaning he will vote with the Democratic Party on the majority of bills.

Biography

Higgins was born in Buffalo, New York. He earned a B.A. from Buffalo State College in 1984, an M.A. in 1985 and an M.P.A. from Harvard University in 1996.[3]

Career

Higgins was an instructor in the History and Economics departments at Buffalo State College, where he previously earned his undergraduate degree in Political Science, before serving in public office.[1]

Committee assignments

U.S. House

2013-2014

Higgins serves on the following committees:[4]

  • Committee on Foreign Affairs
    • Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa
    • Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia and Emerging Threats
  • Committee on Homeland Security
    • Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness, Response, and Communications
    • Subcommittee on Counterterriorism and Intelligence - Ranking Member

2011-2012

Higgins served on the following committees:[5]

Key votes

113th Congress

CongressLogo.png

The 113th Congress has had 55 out of 5,401 introduced bills enacted into law (1%) as of November 30, 2013. Comparatively, the 112th Congress had 1.14% of introduced bills enacted into law in the first session.[7] For more information pertaining to Higgins's voting record in the 113th Congress, please see the below sections.[8]

National security

NDAA

Voted "Yes" Higgins voted in support 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.[9]

DHS Appropriations

Voted "No" Higgins 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.[9]

Keystone Pipeline Amendment

Voted "Yes" Higgins 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.[9]

CISPA (2013)

Voted "Yes" Higgins voted in support of HR 624 - the CISPA (2013). The bill passed the House on April 18, 2013, with a vote of 288 - 127. The bill would allow federal intelligence agencies to share cybersecurity intelligence and information with private entities and utilities.[10] The bill was largely supported by Republicans, but divided the Democratic Party.[9]

Economy

Farm Bill

See also: United States Farm Bill 2013

Voted "No" Higgins voted against the Farm Bill on July 11, 2013. The bill passed in a 216-208 vote.[11] The bill passed included farm policy, but did not include food stamps.[12]

King Amendment

Higgins signed a letter sent to Collin Peterson in August 2013, asking him to keep Steve King's amendment out of the final Farm Bill.[13] The "Protect Interstate Commerce Act" amendment prevents states from applying their own laws on agricultural products to agricultural products from another state.[14]. 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

Voted "No" On 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.[15] 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.[16] Higgins voted against the stopgap spending bill that would have delayed the individual mandate.[17]

Voted "Yes" The shutdown finally 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. Higgins voted for HR 2775.[19]

Immigration

Morton Memos Prohibition

Voted "No" Higgins 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]

Healthcare

Repealing Obamacare

Voted "No" Higgins has voted against all attempts to repeal or delay the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.[22]

Social issues

Abortion

Voted "No" Higgins 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 is to ban abortions that would take place 20 or more weeks after fertilization.[23]

Previous congressional sessions

Fiscal Cliff

Voted "Yes" Higgins 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. He was one of 172 Democrats who voted in favor of the bill. The bill was passed in the House by a 257 - 167 vote on January 1, 2013.[24]

Issues

On The Issues Vote Match

Brian Higgins' 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, Higgins is a Populist-Leaning Liberal. Higgins received a score of 64 percent on social issues and 12 percent on economic issues.[25]

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[26]
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 Favors Human needs over animal rights Strongly Opposes
Higher taxes on the wealthy Strongly Favors Stricter punishment reduces crime Opposes
Support & expand free trade Opposes Pathway to citizenship for illegal aliens Strongly Favors
Stricter limits on political campaign funds Strongly Favors Maintain US sovereignty from UN Opposes
Prioritize green energy Strongly Favors Expand the military Opposes
Stimulus better than market-led recovery Strongly Favors Stay out of Iran Opposes
Privatize Social Security Strongly Opposes Never legalize marijuana Opposes
Note: Information last updated: 2014.[25]

Elections

2014

See also: New York's 26th Congressional District elections, 2014

Higgins is running in the 2014 election for the U.S. House to represent New York's 26th District. Higgins ran unopposed for the Democratic and Working Families Party nominations in the primary on June 24, 2014. The general election takes place November 4, 2014.

2012

See also: New York's 26th Congressional District elections, 2012

Higgins won re-election in 2012, and due to New York's redistricting, he ran in the newly redrawn 26th District.[27] He was unopposed in the Democratic and Working Families Party primaries and defeated Michael Madigan (R) in the general election on November 6, 2012.[28][29]

U.S. House, New York District 26 General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngBrian Higgins Incumbent 69.7% 212,588
     Republican Michael Madigan 23.5% 71,666
     N/A Blank/Void/Scattering 6.8% 20,707
Total Votes 304,961
Source: New York State Board of Elections "U.S. House of Representatives Results"

Full history


Campaign donors

Comprehensive donor information for Higgins is available dating back to 2004. Based on available campaign finance records, Higgins raised a total of $5,879,718 during that time period. This information was last updated on March 23, 2013.[34]

Brian Higgins's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2012 U.S. House of Representatives (New York, District 26) Won $1,091,162
2010 U.S. House of Representatives (New York, District 27) Won $1,113,936
2008 U.S. House of Representatives (New York, District 27) Won $1,088,825
2006 U.S. House of Representatives (New York, District 27) Won $1,227,884
2004 U.S. House of Representatives (New York, District 27) Won $1,357,911
Grand Total Raised $5,879,718

Individual breakdown

2014

Candidates for Congress are required to file up to seven main reports with the Federal Election Commission during the 2014 elections season. Below are Higgins’ reports.[35]

Brian Higgins (2014) Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
April Quarterly[36]April 15, 2013$429,442.61$51,046.21$(54,016.97)$426,471.85
July Quarterly[37]July 15, 2013$426,471.85$137,561.97$(68,178.72)$495,855.10
October Quarterly[38]October 15, 2013$498,943.00$73,665.54$(117,916.35)$454,692.19
Year-End Quarterly[39]December 31, 2013$454,692$259,755$(59,330)$642,194
April Quarterly[40]April 15, 2014$642,194.86$73,311.98$(51,883.10)$663,623.74
Running totals
$595,340.7$(351,325.14)

2012

Breakdown of the source of Higgins' campaign funds before the 2012 election.

Higgins won election to the U.S. House in 2012. During that election cycle, Higgins' campaign committee raised a total of $1,091,162 and spent $1,031,410.[41]

Cost per vote

Higgins spent $4.86 per vote received in 2012.

2010

Breakdown of the source of Higgins' campaign funds before the 2010 election.
Higgins was re-elected to the U.S. House in 2010 for a fourth term. His campaign committee raised a total of $1,113,936 and spent $1,350,836.[42]
U.S. House, New York District 27, 2010 - Brian Higgins Campaign Contributions
Total Raised $1,113,936
Total Spent $1,350,836
Total Raised by General Election Opponent $149,996
Total Spent by General Election Opponent $149,735
Top contributors to Brian Higgins's campaign committee
National Assn of Realtors$11,000
Taurus Capital Partners$10,600
American Assn for Justice$10,000
Bricklayers Union$10,000
Finmeccanica SpA$10,000
Top 5 industries that contributed to campaign committee
Lawyers/Law Firms$85,450
Health Professionals$52,050
Securities & Investment$45,150
Real Estate$43,350
Building Trade Unions$41,000

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 OpenSecrets.org, Higgins' net worth as of 2012 was estimated between $-41,991 and $105,999. That averages to $32,004, which is lower than the average net worth of Democratic representatives in 2012 of $5,700,168.36. Higgins ranked as the 398th most wealthy representative in 2012.[43] Between 2004 and 2012, Higgins' calculated net worth increased from $-303,858 to $32,004. Between 2004 and 2012, the average annual percentage increase for a member of Congress was 15.4 percent.[44]

Brian Higgins Yearly Net Worth
YearAverage Net Worth
2004$-303,858
2012$32,004
Growth from 2004 to 2012:N/A
Average annual growth:N/A
Comparatively, the American citizen experienced a median yearly decline in net worth of -0.94%.[45]
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.

Analysis

Ideology and leadership

Based on an analysis of bill sponsorship by GovTrack, Rep. Higgins is a "rank-and-file Democrat," as of June 21, 2013.[46]

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.[47]

Higgins most often votes with:

Higgins least often votes with:

Lifetime voting record

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

According to the website GovTrack, Higgins missed 294 of 6,453 roll call votes from Jan 2005 to Apr 2013, which is 4.6% of votes during that period. This is worse than the median of 2.2% among the lifetime records of representatives currently serving.[48]

Congressional staff salaries

See also: Staff salaries of United States Senators and Representatives

The website Legistorm compiles staff salary information for members of Congress. Higgins paid his congressional staff a total of $1,168,721 in 2011. Overall, New York ranked 28th in average salary for representative staff. The average U.S. House of Representatives congressional staff was paid $954,912.20 in fiscal year 2011.[49]

Staff bonuses

According to an analysis by CNN, Higgins was one of nearly 25 percent of House members who gave their staff bonuses in 2012. Higgins's staff was given an apparent $3,000.00 in bonus money.[50]

National Journal vote ratings

See also: National Journal vote ratings

2012

Each year National Journal publishes an analysis of how liberally or conservatively each member of Congress voted in the previous year. Higgins tied with one other member of the U.S. House of Representatives, ranking 133rd in the liberal rankings among members of the U.S. House.[51]

2011

Each year National Journal publishes an analysis of how liberally or conservatively each member of Congress voted in the previous year. Higgins ranked 148th in the liberal rankings among members of the U.S. House.[52]

Voting with party

June 2013

Brian Higgins voted with the Democratic Party 92.5 percent of the time, which ranked 114th among the 201 House Democratic members as of June 2013.[53]

Personal

Higgins, his wife Mary Jane, and their two children, John and Maeve, reside in South Buffalo, New York.[1]

Recent news

This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term Brian + Higgins + New York + House

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

Brian Higgins News Feed

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See also

External links

Track-at-political-tracker-com.png
Political Tracker has an article on:
Brian Higgins


References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Congressman Brian Higgins, Western New York, "Biography"
  2. Associated Press, "New York - Summary Vote Results," accessed June 24, 2014
  3. Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, "HIGGINS, Brian, (1959 - )"
  4. CQ.com, "House Committee Rosters for the 113th Congress," accessed March 3, 2013
  5. Congressman Brian Higgins, Western New York, "Committee and Caucus Work"
  6. Committee on Foreign Affairs, Chairman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, "Members"
  7. Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity, First Session of the 112th Congress," accessed September 5, 2013
  8. Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity, Second Session of the 113th Congress," accessed March 4, 2014
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 Project Vote Smart, "Representative Higgins' Voting Records on National Security," accessed October 10, 2013
  10. The Library of Congress, "H.R.624 CISPA (2013) (Referred in Senate - RFS)," accessed August 27, 2013
  11. Vote Smart, "Higgins on agriculture," accessed October 10, 2013
  12. New York Times, "House Republicans Push Through Farm Bill, Without Food Stamps," accessed September 17, 2013
  13. Vote Smart, "Letter to Ranking Member Collin Peterson, House Committee on Agriculture - Reject Rep. King's Provision on Farm Bill," accessed September 23, 2013
  14. Time.com, "King Farm Bill Amendment Angers Animal Advocates," accessed September 18, 2013
  15. Clerk of the U.S. House, "Final vote results for Roll Call 504," accessed October 31, 2013
  16. Buzzfeed, "Government Shutdown: How We Got Here," accessed October 1, 2013
  17. Clerk of the U.S. House, "Final vote results for Roll Call 504," accessed October 31, 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 Higgins' Voting Records on Immigration," accessed October 10, 2013
  22. Project Vote Smart, "Representative Higgins' Voting Records on Issue: Health and Healthcare," accessed October 10, 2013
  23. Project Vote Smart, "Higgins on abortion," accessed October 10, 2013
  24. U.S. House, "Roll Call Vote on the Fiscal Cliff," accessed January 4, 2013
  25. 25.0 25.1 On The Issues, "Brian Higgins Vote Match," accessed June 19, 2014
  26. 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.
  27. Buffalo News, "Hochul starts strong as finances are reported," April 17, 2012
  28. AP/CSPAN "New York-Summary Vote Report," June 26, 2012
  29. Politico, "2012 Election Map, New York"
  30. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2010," accessed March 28, 2013
  31. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 4, 2008," accessed March 28, 2013
  32. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 7, 2006," accessed March 28, 2013
  33. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2004," accessed March 28, 2013
  34. Open Secrets, "Career Fundraising for Brian Higgins" March 2013
  35. Federal Election Commission, "Brian Higgins Summary Report," accessed August 1, 2013
  36. Federal Election Commission, "Brian Higgins April Quarterly," accessed August 1st, 2013
  37. Federal Election Commission, "Brian Higgins July Quarterly," accessed July 30, 2013
  38. Federal Election Commission, "Brian Higgins October Quarterly," accessed October 28, 2013
  39. Federal Election Commission, "Brian Higgins Year-End Quarterly," accessed February 13, 2014
  40. Federal Election Commission, "Brian Higgins April Quarterly," accessed April 28, 2014
  41. Open Secrets, "Brian Higgins 2012 Election Cycle," accessed February 26, 2013
  42. Open Secrets, "Brian M. Higgins 2010 Election Data," accessed December 24, 2011
  43. OpenSecrets.org,"Brian Higgins (D-NY), 2012," accessed February 18, 2014
  44. This number was found by dividing each member's total net worth growth percentage by the number of years included in the calculation.
  45. 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.
  46. GovTrack, "Higgins" accessed June 21,2013
  47. OpenCongress, "Brian Higgins," accessed August 7, 2013
  48. GovTrack, "Brian Higgins" accessed April 2013
  49. LegiStorm, "Brian M. Higgins," accessed October 1, 2012
  50. CNN Politics, "Congressional bonuses in a time of cuts," accessed March 8, 2013
  51. National Journal, "2012 Congressional Vote Ratings," accessed March 6, 2013
  52. National Journal, "Searchable Vote Ratings Tables: House," accessed February 23, 2012
  53. OpenCongress, "Voting With Party," accessed July 2014
Political offices
Preceded by
Kathy Hochul
U.S. House of Representatives - New York District 26
2013–Present
Succeeded by
'
Preceded by
Jack Quinn
U.S. House of Representatives - New York District 27
2011–2013
Succeeded by
Chris Collins
Preceded by
'
New York State Assembly
1999-2004
Succeeded by
'
Preceded by
'
Buffalo Common Council
1988-1994
Succeeded by
'