Brian Schatz

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Brian E. Schatz
Brian Schatz, official portrait, 113th Congress 2.jpg
U.S. Senate, Hawaii
In office
December 6, 2010 - Present
Term ends
January 3, 2017
Years in position 3
PredecessorDaniel Akaka (D)
Base salary$174,000/year
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 4, 2014
Cost per vote$20.89 in 2014
First electedNovember 4, 2014
Next generalNovember 8, 2016
Campaign $$7,740,184
AppointedDecember 26, 2012
Appointed byGovernor Neil Abercrombie
Term limitsN/A
Prior offices
Lieutenant Governor of Hawaii
Hawaii House of Representatives
1998 - 2006
Bachelor'sPomona College
Date of birthOctober 20, 1972
Place of birthAnn Arbor, Michigan
Net worth$319,508
Office website
Campaign website
Brian E. Schatz (b. October 20, 1972, in Ann Arbor, MI) is a Democratic member of the U.S. Senate from Hawaii. He was appointed on December 26, 2012, by Governor Neil Abercrombie to fill the vacancy left by the death of veteran Sen. Daniel Inouye (D). Schatz was sworn into office on Thursday, December 27, 2012.[1][2][3]

He ran against Cam Cavasso in the 2014 Hawaii Special Election. Brian Schatz won the general election on November 4, 2014.

Schatz was serving as the Democratic Lieutenant Governor of Hawaii at the time of his appointment to the U.S. Senate.[3] He served as Lieutenant Governor of Hawaii from 2010 to 2012 and previously served in the Hawaii House of Representatives from 1998 to 2006.[3]

Schatz ran for election to the remainder of the term in the 2014 special election.[4] He won the tight Democratic primary. Schatz and Colleen Hanabusa were separated by less than one percent of the votes.[5]

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


Below is an abbreviated outline of Schatz's academic, professional and political career:[6]

Committee assignments

U.S. Senate


Schatz serves on the following committees:[7]


Schatz served on the following Senate committees:[8]

  • United States Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation
    • Subcommittee on Surface Transportation and Merchant Marine Infrastructure, Safety, and Security
    • Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries, and Coast Guard
    • Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, and Insurance
    • Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, and the Internet
    • Subcommittee on Aviation Operations, Safety, and Security
  • Energy and Natural Resources Committee
    • Subcommittee on Water and Power
    • Subcommittee on Public Lands, Forests, and Mining
    • Subcommittee on National Parks
  • United States Senate Committee on Indian Affairs

Key votes

113th Congress


The second session of the 113th Congress enacted into law 114 out of the 3,036 introduced bills (3.8 percent). Comparatively, the 112th Congress had 4.2 percent of introduced bills enacted into law in the second session.[9] The Senate confirmed 13,949 out of 18,323 executive nominations received (76.1 percent). For more information pertaining to Schatz's voting record in the 113th Congress, please see the below sections.[10]

National security

John Brennan CIA nomination

Yea3.png Schatz 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.[11]


Farm bill

Yea3.png On February 4, 2014, the Democratic controlled Senate approved the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013, H.R. 2642, also known as the Farm Bill.[12] It passed the Senate with a vote of 68-32. The nearly 1,000-page bill reformed and continued various programs of the Department of Agriculture through 2018. The $1 trillion bill expanded crop insurance for farmers by $7 billion over the next decade and created new subsidies for rice and peanut growers that will kick in if or when prices drop; however, cuts to the food stamp program cut an average of $90 per month for 1.7 million people in 15 states.[13] Schatz joined with 46 other Democratic senators in favor of the bill.

2014 Budget

Yea3.png On January 16, 2014, the Democratic-controlled Senate approved H.R. 3547, a $1.1 trillion spending bill to fund the government through September 30, 2014.[14][15] The Senate voted 72-26 for the 1,582 page bill, with 17 Republicans and 55 Democrats voting in favor of the bill.[15] The omnibus package included 12 annual spending bills to fund federal operations.[16] It included a 1 percent increase in the paychecks of federal workers and military personnel, a $1 billion increase in Head Start funding for early childhood education, reduced funding to the Internal Revenue Service and the Environmental Protection Agency and left the Affordable Care Act without any drastic cuts. Schatz voted with the Democratic Party in favor of the bill.[14][15]

Government shutdown

See also: United States budget debate, 2013

Yea3.png 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 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.[17] The final vote on H.R. 2775 was 81-18, with all 18 votes against the bill from Republican members. Schatz voted with the Democratic Party in favor of the bill.[18]

No Budget, No Pay Act of 2013

Yea3.png Schatz 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 suspend 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.[11]


Mexico-U.S. border

Nay3.png Schatz 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.[11]

Social issues

Violence Against Women (2013)

Yea3.png Schatz 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.[11]

Previous congressional sessions

Fiscal Cliff

Yea3.png Schatz 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 an 89 - 8 vote on January 1, 2013.[19]


On The Issues Vote Match

Brian Schatz'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, Schatz is a Moderate Liberal Populist. Schatz received a score of 50 percent on social issues and 29 percent on economic issues.[20]

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[21]
Economic Issues Social Issues
Issue Stance Issue Stance
Legally require hiring women & minorities 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 Opposes Keep God in the public sphere Unknown
Absolute right to gun ownership Strongly Opposes Human needs over animal rights Strongly Opposes
Higher taxes on the wealthy Strongly Opposes Stricter punishment reduces crime Favors
Support & expand free trade Favors Pathway to citizenship for illegal aliens Favors
Stricter limits on political campaign funds Strongly Favors Maintain US sovereignty from UN Unknown
Prioritize green energy Strongly Favors Expand the military Unknown
Stimulus better than market-led recovery Favors Stay out of Iran Favors
Privatize Social Security Strongly Opposes Never legalize marijuana Favors
Note: Information last updated: 2014.[20] If you notice the rating has changed, email us.

National security

American response in Syria

See also: United States involvement in Syria

Schatz announced on September 5, 2013, that he did not support a Senate resolution to authorize military force in Syria.[22]

”Though all of us are outraged by the Assad regime’s use of chemical weapons, I have concluded that a military strike against Syria is not the answer. Therefore, I will oppose this resolution,” Schatz said in a statement.[22]


Honolulu Harbor molasses spill

In early September 2013, 1,400 tons of molasses spilled into Honolulu Harbor. The resulting damage was the death of thousands of fish. In response, Schatz called for a review of the molasses shipping system. "It's clear that this wasn't just a mechanical failure of a pipe but also a systems failure," Schatz stated.[23]



See also: United States Senate special election in Hawaii, 2014

On December 26, 2012, Gov. Abercrombie named Schatz to fill the vacant seat in the U.S. Senate left by the death of Daniel Inouye. The announcement came as a surprise to many who had expected Abercrombie to honor the late Senator's deathbed request to appoint Rep. Colleen Hanabusa as his replacement.[2]

U.S. Senate, Hawaii General Election, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngBrian Schatz Incumbent 66.8% 246,770
     Republican Cam Cavasso 26.5% 97,983
     Libertarian Michael Kokoski 2.4% 8,936
Total Votes 353,689
Source: State of Hawaii, Secretary of State

Schatz ran for election to the remainder of the term in 2014.[24] Schatz won the 2014 Democratic primary. Challenger Colleen Hanabusa and incumbent Brian Schatz were separated by less than one percent of the votes.[5]

U.S. Senate, Hawaii Democratic Primary, 2014
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngBrian Schatz Incumbent 49.3% 115,445
Colleen Hanabusa 48.6% 113,663
Brian Evans 2.1% 4,842
Total Votes 233,950
Source: Hawaii Office of Elections

Primary vulnerability

Schatz was named by National Journal as one of the top five incumbent senators at risk of losing his or her primary election. Four of the five most vulnerable senators were Republican.[25]


Brian Schatz's first ad, released in March 2014, "Commitment."

Brian Schatz's second ad, released in April 2014, "Opportunity."

Brian Schatz's third ad, released in April 2014, "Two Reaons."


On June 15, 2013, the Hawaii Government Employees Association endorsed Schatz over U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa in the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate.[26] He received other endorsements from:[27]

  • The State of Hawaii Organization of Police Officers
  • Hawaii Firefighters Association
  • United Food and Commercial Workers Local 480
  • Hawaii Building & Construction Trades Council
  • Plumbers Local 675
  • Elevator Constructors Local 126
  • Drywall, Tapers and Finishers Local 1944
  • Glaziers Local 1889
  • Boilermakers Local 204
  • Painters and Allied Trades Local 1791
  • IBEW Local 1186
  • Heat and Frost Insulators Local 132
  • Teamsters Local 996
  • Roofers Local 221
  • Iron Workers Local 625
  • IBEW Local 1260
  • University of Hawaii Professional Assembly
  • League of Conservation Voters
  • Ocean Champions
  • The National Weather Service Employees Organization
  • The Council for a Livable World.


See also: Hawaii lieutenant gubernatorial election, 2010 and Lieutenant Governor elections, 2010

Schatz ran on a ticket with Neil Abercrombie. The pair defeated Duke Aiona/Lynn Finnegan (R), Daniel H. Cunningham/Deborah Spence (Free Energy) and Tom Pollard/Leonard I. Kama (Non-Partisan) in the general election on November 2, 2010.

Governor and Lt. Governor of Hawaii, 2010
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngNeil Abercrombie and Brian Schatz 58.2% 222,724
     Republican Duke Aiona and Lynn Finnegan 41.1% 157,311
     Free Energy Daniel Cunningham and Deborah Spence 0.3% 1,265
     Nonpartisan Tom Pollard and Leonard Kama 0.3% 1,263
Total Votes 382,563

Campaign donors

Fundraising events

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

Source: This graphic was generated by Find The Best.

Comprehensive donor history

Comprehensive donor information for Schatz is available dating back to 1998. Based on available campaign finance records, Schatz raised a total of $7,740,184 during that time period. This information was last updated on April 21, 2015.[28][29]

Brian Schatz's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2014 U.S. Senate (Hawaii) Won $6,109,936
2012 Lieutenant Governor of Hawaii* Not up for election $402,760
2010 Lieutenant Governor of Hawaii* Not up for election $1,059,313
2004 Hawaii State House District 25 Won $72,615
2002 Hawaii State House District 25 Won $20,618
2000 Hawaii State House District 24 Won $60,467
1998 Hawaii State House District 24 Won $14,475
Grand Total Raised $7,740,184
*These were joint-tickets with Governor Neil Abercrombie


Schatz won election to the U.S. Senate in 2014. During that election cycle, Schatz's campaign committee raised a total of $6,109,936 and spent $5,156,058.[30] This is less than the average $10.6 million spent by Senate winners in 2014.[31]

Cost per vote

Schatz spent $20.89 per general election vote received in 2014.

U.S. Senate, Hawaii, 2014 - Brian Schatz Campaign Contributions
Total Raised $6,109,936
Total Spent $5,156,058
Total Raised by Election Runner-up $559,586
Total Spent by Election Runner-up $539,273
Top contributors to Brian Schatz's campaign committee
League of Conservation Voters$83,019
Comcast Corp$34,300
Navatek Ltd$32,600
WPP Group$31,900
Top 5 industries that contributed to campaign committee
Lawyers/Law Firms$639,653
Real Estate$322,528
Leadership PACs$260,200
Securities & Investment$194,020
Sea Transport$137,300

Candidates for Congress were required to file up to seven main reports with the Federal Election Commission during the 2014 elections season. Below are Schatz's reports.[32]

2000-2004 and 2010

Ballotpedia collects information on campaign donors for each year in which a candidate or incumbent is running for election. The following table offers a breakdown of Brian Schatz's donors each year.[40] Click [show] for more information.

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 two-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 two 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, Schatz's net worth as of 2012 was estimated between $135,016 and $504,000. That averages to $319,508, which was lower than the average net worth of Democratic senators in 2012 of $13,566,333. Schatz ranked as the 89th most wealthy senator in 2012.[41] Between 2004 and 2012, the average annual percentage increase for a member of Congress was 15.4 percent.[42]

Brian Schatz Yearly Net Worth
YearAverage Net Worth
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). Schatz received the most donations from individuals and PACs employed by the Lawyers/Law Firms industry.

From 2005-2014, 28.2 percent of Schatz's career contributions came from the top five industries as listed below.[43]

Donation Concentration Metric graphic.png
Brian Schatz Campaign Contributions
Total Raised $5,227,072
Total Spent $4,250,107
Top five industries that contributed to campaign committee
Lawyers/Law Firms$633,203
Real Estate$320,895
Leadership PACs$221,200
Securities & Investment$165,970
% total in top industry12.11%
% total in top two industries18.25%
% total in top five industries28.2%


Ideology and leadership

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

Based on an analysis of bill sponsorship by GovTrack, Schatz was a "moderate Democratic follower" as of July 22, 2014.[44]

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.[45]

Schatz most often votes with:

Schatz least often votes with:

Lifetime voting record

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

According to the website GovTrack, Schatz missed 35 of 544 roll call votes from December 2012 to July 2014. This amounts to 6.4 percent, which is worse than the median of 2.0% among currently serving senators as of July 2014.[46]

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.


Schatz ranked 1st in the liberal rankings in 2013.[47]

Voting with party

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


Schatz voted with the Democratic Party 98.1 percent of the time, which ranked 5th among the 53 Senate Democratic members as of July 2014.[48]


Schatz voted with the Democratic Party 97.7 percent of the time, which ranked 7th among the 52 Senate Democratic members as of June 2013.[49]

Recent news

This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term Brian + Schatz + Hawaii + Senate

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

Brian Schatz News Feed

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See also

External links


  1. Hawaii Reporter, "Lt. Gov. Brian Schatz to Replace Inouye in U.S. Senate," accessed December 26, 2012
  2. 2.0 2.1 The Washington Post, "Hawaii governor picks Brian Schatz for Inouye’s seat," accessed December 26, 2012
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Bioguide, "Brian Schatz," accessed June 20, 2013
  4. Civil Beat, "Inouye's Last Wish Is Abercrombie's Biggest Burden," accessed December 24, 2012
  5. 5.0 5.1 Chronicle, "Schatz, Hanabusa Senate primary too close to call," accessed August 10, 2014
  6. Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, "Brian Schatz," accessed January 22, 2015
  7. United States Senate, "Committee Assignments of the 114th Congress," accessed February 17, 2015
  8. Congressional Quarterly, "Senate Committee List," accessed January 22, 2013
  9. Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity, First Session of the 112th Congress," accessed September 5, 2013
  10. Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity, Second Session of the 113th Congress," accessed March 4, 2014
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 Project Vote Smart, "Brian Schatz Key Votes," accessed October 16, 2013
  12., "H.R. 2642 (Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013)," accessed February 12, 2014
  13. NY Times, "Senate Passes Long-Stalled Farm Bill, With Clear Winners and Losers," accessed February 12, 2014
  14. 14.0 14.1 Politico, "Senate approves $1.1 trillion spending bill," accessed January 20, 2014
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 U.S. Senate, "January 16 Vote," accessed January 20, 2014
  16. Roll Call, "House Passes $1.1 Trillion Omnibus," accessed January 20, 2014
  17. The Washington Post, "Reid, McConnell propose bipartisan Senate bill to end shutdown, extend borrowing," accessed October 16, 2013
  18., "H.R. 2775 As Amended," accessed October 31, 2013
  19. U.S. Senate, "Roll Call Vote on the Fiscal Cliff," accessed January 4, 2013
  20. 20.0 20.1 On The Issues, "Brian Schatz Vote Match," accessed June 23, 2014
  21. 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.
  22. 22.0 22.1 Politico, "Joe Manchin, Brian Schatz ‘no’ on Syria resolution," accessed September 6, 2013
  23. Politico, "Hawaii Senator Brian Schatz wants review after molasses spill," accessed September 16, 2013
  24. Civil Beat, "Inouye's Last Wish Is Abercrombie's Biggest Burden," accessed December 24, 2012
  25. National Journal, "Ranking the Top 5 Senators Vulnerable in 2014 Primaries," accessed December 31, 2013
  26. Hawaii Star Advertiser, "HGEA endorses Schatz for Senate," accessed June 18, 2013
  27. Brian Schatz, "Endorsements," accessed June 18, 2013 (dead link)
  28. Follow the Money, "Career fundraising for Brian Schatz," accessed July 18, 2013
  29. Open Secrets, "Sen. Brian Schatz," accessed April 21, 2015
  30. Open Secrets, "Brian Schatz 2014 Election Cycle," accessed April 13, 2015
  31. Open Secrets, "Winning vs. Spending," accessed April 13, 2015
  32. Federal Election Commission, "Brian Schatz 2014 Summary reports," accessed October 29, 2013
  33. Federal Election Commission, "April quarterly," accessed July 26, 2013
  34. Federal Election Commission, "July Quarterly," accessed July 26, 2013
  35. Federal Election Commission, "October Quarterly," accessed October 29, 2013
  36. Federal Election Commission, "Year End Report," accessed February 19, 2014
  37. Federal Election Commission, "April Quarterly," accessed April 19, 2014
  38. Federal Election Commission, "July Quarterly," accessed July 16, 2014
  39. Federal Election Commission, "October Quarterly," accessed October 20, 2014
  40. Follow the, "Home," accessed February 17, 2015
  41. OpenSecrets, "Schatz, (D-HI), 2012," accessed February 18, 2014
  42. This number was found by dividing each member's total net worth growth percentage by the number of years included in the calculation.
  43., "Sen. Brian Schatz," accessed September 18, 2014
  44. GovTrack, "Brian Schatz," accessed July 22, 2014
  45. OpenCongress, "Rep. Brian E. Schatz," accessed August 2, 2013
  46. GovTrack, "Brian Schatz," accessed July 13, 2014
  47. National Journal, "2013 Congressional Vote Ratings," July 22, 2014
  48. OpenCongress, "Voting With Party," accessed July 2014
  49. OpenCongress, "Voting With Party," accessed July 2014
Political offices
Preceded by
Daniel Akaka (D)
U.S. Senate - Hawaii
Succeeded by