Dan Coats

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Dan Coats
Dan Coats 113th Congress.jpg
U.S. Senate, Indiana
In office
January 3, 2011-Present
Term ends
January 3, 2017
Years in position 4
PredecessorEvan Bayh (D)
Base salary$174,000/year
Elections and appointments
First electedNovember 2, 2010
Campaign $$4,396,274
Term limitsN/A
Prior offices
United States Ambassador to Germany
U.S. House of Representatives
U.S. Senate
High schoolJackson High School (1961)
Bachelor'sWheaton College (1965)
J.D.Indiana University School of Law (1971)
Military service
Service/branchUnited States Army
Years of service1966-1968
Date of birthMay 16, 1943
Place of birthJackson, Michigan
Net worth$4,673,518.50
Office website
Campaign website
Daniel Ray "Dan" Coats (b. May 16, 1943, in Jackson, MI) is a Republican member of the U.S. Senate from the state of Indiana. Coats was first elected to the Senate in 2010.

He previously served as the United States Ambassador to Germany from 2001 to 2005, as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1981 to 1988 and in the U.S. Senate from 1989 to 1999.[1][2]

Coats will retire at the end of his current term and will not seek re-election in 2016.[3]

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


Coats was born in Jackson, MI. He attended local public schools, and graduated from Jackson High School in 1961. He then studied at Wheaton College in Illinois, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science in 1965. At Wheaton, he was an active student athlete on the soccer team. He served in the United States Army from 1966 to 1968, and earned a Juris Doctor from Indiana University School of Law at Indianapolis in 1971. He also served as assistant vice president of a Fort Wayne life insurance company.[4]


Below is an abbreviated outline of Coats' academic, professional and political career:[5]

Committee assignments

U.S. Senate


Coats serves on the following committees:[6]


Coats served on the following Senate committees:[7][8]

  • Appropriations Committee
    • Subcommittee on Transportation and Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies
    • Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs
    • Subcommittee on Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies
    • Subcommittee on Department of Homeland
    • Subcommittee on Department of Defense
  • Select Committee on Intelligence
  • Joint Economic Committee
  • Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation
    • Subcommittee on Surface Transportation and Merchant Marine Infrastructure, Safety, and Security
    • Subcommittee on Science and Space
    • Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries, and Coast Guard
    • Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, and Insurance
    • Subcommittee on Competitiveness, Innovation, and Export Promotion
    • Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, and the Internet


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.[10] The Senate confirmed 13,949 out of 18,323 executive nominations received (76.1 percent). For more information pertaining to Coats's voting record in the 113th Congress, please see the below sections.[11]

National security

John Brennan CIA nomination

Yea3.png Coats 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.[12]


Source: This graphic was generated by Find The Best.

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.[13] 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 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.[14] Coats joined with 19 other Republican 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.[15][16] The Senate voted 72-26 for the 1,582 page bill, with 17 Republicans and 55 Democrats voting in favor of the bill.[16] The omnibus package included 12 annual spending bills to fund federal operations.[17] 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. Coats voted with the 17 Republican and the 55 Democratic members in favor of the bill.[15][16]

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.[18] The final vote on H.R. 2775 was 81-18, with all 18 votes against the bill from Republican members. Coats voted with the Democratic Party for the bill.[19]

No Budget, No Pay Act of 2013

Yea3.png Coats 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.[12]


Mexico-U.S. border

Nay3.png Coats 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.[12]

Social issues

Violence Against Women (2013)

Yea3.png Coats 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.[12]

Previous congressional sessions

Fiscal Cliff

Yea3.png Coats 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.[20]


On The Issues Vote Match

Dan Coats'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, Coats is a Moderate Populist Conservative. Coats received a score of 39 percent on social issues and 59 percent on economic issues.[21]

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[22]
Economic Issues Social Issues
Issue Stance Issue Stance
Legally require hiring women & minorities Strongly Opposes Abortion is a woman's unrestricted right Strongly Opposes
Expand ObamaCare Strongly Opposes Comfortable with same-sex marriage Strongly Opposes
Vouchers for school choice Opposes Keep God in the public sphere Neutral
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 Opposes
Support & expand free trade Opposes Pathway to citizenship for illegal aliens Strongly Opposes
Stricter limits on political campaign funds Opposes Maintain US sovereignty from UN Neutral
Prioritize green energy Strongly Opposes Expand the military Opposes
Stimulus better than market-led recovery Opposes Stay out of Iran Strongly Opposes
Privatize Social Security Opposes Never legalize marijuana Strongly Opposes
Note: Information last updated: 2014.[21] If you notice the rating has changed, email us.

National Security

Letter to Iran

On March 9, 2015, Senator Tom Cotton wrote a letter to Iran's leadership, warning them that signing a nuclear deal with the Obama administration without congressional approval was merely an "executive agreement". The letter also stated that "The next president could revoke such an executive agreement with the stroke of a pen and future Congresses could modify the terms of the agreement at any time." The letter was signed by 47 Republican members of the Senate. Coats was one of the seven Republican members of the Senate who did not sign the letter.[23]

The letter caused intense backlash from both the Obama administration and the public. Vice President Joe Biden said of the letter, "In thirty-six years in the United States Senate, I cannot recall another instance in which senators wrote directly to advise another country — much less a longtime foreign adversary — that the president does not have the constitutional authority to reach a meaningful understanding with them."[24] On Twitter, the hashtag "47Traitors" became the top trending topic in the world, and a debate raged as to whether the 47 who signed the letter were traitors or patriots.[25]

Drones filibuster

See also: Rand Paul filibuster of John Brennan's CIA Nomination in March 2013

On March 6, 2013, Senator Rand Paul (R) led a 13-hour filibuster of President Obama's CIA Director nominee, John Brennan. Paul started the filibuster in order to highlight his concerns about the administration's drone policies. In particular, Paul said he was concerned about whether a drone could be used to kill an American citizen within the United States border, without any due process involved. Paul and other civil liberties activists criticized President Obama for not offering a clear response to the question. A total of 14 senators joined Paul in the filibuster -- 13 Republicans and one Democrat.[26][27][28]

According to the website Breitbart, Coats was one of 30 Republican senators who did not support the filibuster.[29][30]

The day after the filibuster, Attorney General Eric Holder sent a letter to Paul, responding to the filibuster. Holder wrote, "Does the president have the authority to use a weaponized drone to kill an American not engaged in combat on U.S. soil? The answer to that is no."[31]



See also: United States Senate election in Indiana, 2016

Coats will retire at the end of his current term and will not seek re-election in 2016.[3]


On November 2, 2010, Coats won election to the United States Senate. He defeated Brad Ellsworth (D), Rebecca Sink-Burris (L), Jim Miller (I), and Jack Rooney (I) in the general election.[32]

U.S. Senate, Indiana General Election, 2010
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngDan Coats 54.6% 952,116
     Democratic Brad Ellsworth 40% 697,775
     Libertarian Rebecca Sink-Burris 5.4% 94,330
     Independent Jim Miller 0% 161
     Independent Jack Rooney 0% 99
Total Votes 1,744,481

Campaign donors

Fundraising events

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

Source: This graphic was generated by Find The Best.

Comprehensive donor history

Comprehensive donor information for Coats is available dating back to 2010. Based on available campaign finance records, Coats raised a total of $4,396,274 during that time period. This information was last updated on April 3, 2013.[33]

Dan Coats's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2010 U.S. Senate (Indiana) Won $4,396,274
Grand Total Raised $4,396,274

Source: This graphic was generated by Find The Best.


Coats won election to the U.S. Senate in 2010. During that election cycle, Coats' campaign committee raised a total of $4,396,274 and spent $3,478,713.[34]

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 OpenSecrets.org, Coats's net worth as of 2012 was estimated between $2,892,037 and $6,455,000. That averages to $4,673,518.50, which is lower than the average net worth of Republican senators in 2012 of $6,956,438.47. Coats ranked as the 30th most wealthy senator in 2012.[35] Between 2009 and 2012, Coats' calculated net worth[36] decreased by an average of 2 percent per year. Between 2004 and 2012, the average annual percentage increase for a member of Congress was 15.4 percent.[37]

Dan Coats Yearly Net Worth
YearAverage Net Worth
Growth from 2009 to 2012:-5%
Average annual growth:-2%[38]
Comparatively, the American citizen experienced a median yearly decline in net worth of -0.94%.[39]
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 OpenSecrets.org, 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). Coats received the most donations from individuals and PACs employed by the Insurance industry.

From 1989-2014, 14.95 percent of Coats' career contributions came from the top five industries as listed below.[40]

Donation Concentration Metric graphic.png
Dan Coats Campaign Contributions
Total Raised $14,200,678
Total Spent $13,590,240
Top five industries that contributed to campaign committee
Securities & Investment$432,341
Lawyers/Law Firms$418,167
Health Professionals$391,377
% total in top industry3.38%
% total in top two industries6.42%
% total in top five industries14.95%


Ideology and leadership

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

Based on an analysis of bill sponsorship by GovTrack, Coats was a "far-right Republican," as of July 22, 2014. Coats was rated as a "moderate Republican follower" in June 2013.[41]

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.[42]

Coats most often votes with:

Coats 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, Coats missed 90 of 4,453 roll call votes from January 1989 to July 2014. This amounts to 2.0 percent, which is equal to the median of 2.0% among currently serving senators as of July 2014.[43]

Congressional staff salaries

See also: Staff salaries of United States Senators and Representatives

The website Legistorm compiles staff salary information for members of Congress. Coats paid his congressional staff a total of $1,744,992 in 2011. He ranked 9th on the list of the lowest paid Republican senatorial staff salaries and ranked 10th overall of the lowest paid senatorial staff salaries in 2011. Overall, Indiana ranked 11th in average salary for senatorial staff. The average U.S. Senate congressional staff was paid $2,529,141.70 in fiscal year 2011.[44]

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.


Coats ranked 23rd in the conservative rankings in 2013.[45]


Coats ranked 30th in the conservative rankings in 2012.[46]


Coats ranked 25th in the conservative rankings in 2011.[47]

Voting with party

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


Coats voted with the Republican Party 92.9 percent of the time, which ranked 4th among the 45 Senate Republican members as of July 2014.[48]


Coats voted with the Republican Party 92 percent of the time, which ranked 5th among the 46 Senate Republican members as of June 2013.[49]

Recent news

This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term Dan + Coats + Indiana + Senate

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

Dan Coats News Feed

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See also

External links

Suggest a link
Political Tracker has an article on:
Daniel Coats


  1. Bioguide, "Dan Coats," accessed June 21, 2013
  2. Project Vote Smart, "Daniel Coats," accessed April 2, 2014
  3. 3.0 3.1 Howey Politics, "Sen. Coats will not seek reelection in 2016; won't endorse," March 24, 2015
  4. United States Senator Dan Coats of Indiana, "Meet Dan," accessed October 14, 2011
  5. Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, "COATS, Daniel Ray, (1943 - )," accessed February 13, 2015
  6. United States Senate, "Committee Assignments of the 114th Congress," accessed February 17, 2015
  7. Congressional Quarterly, "Senate Committee List," accessed January 22, 2013
  8. United States Senate, "Dan Coats Committee Assignments," accessed March 29, 2014
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 United States Senator:Dan Coats of Indiana, "Meet Dan:Committee Assignments," accessed October 14, 2011
  10. Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity, First Session of the 112th Congress," accessed September 5, 2013
  11. Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity, Second Session of the 113th Congress," accessed March 4, 2014
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 Project Vote Smart, "Dan Coats Key Votes," accessed October 16, 2013
  13. Senate.gov, "H.R. 2642 (Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013)," accessed February 12, 2014
  14. New York Times, "Senate Passes Long-Stalled Farm Bill, With Clear Winners and Losers," accessed February 12, 2014
  15. 15.0 15.1 Politico, "Senate approves $1.1 trillion spending bill," accessed January 20, 2014
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 U.S. Senate, "January 16 Vote," accessed January 20, 2014
  17. Roll Call, "House Passes $1.1 Trillion Omnibus," accessed January 20, 2014
  18. The Washington Post, "Reid, McConnell propose bipartisan Senate bill to end shutdown, extend borrowing," accessed October 16, 2013
  19. Senate.gov, "H.R. 2775 As Amended," accessed October 31, 2013
  20. U.S. Senate, "Roll Call Vote on the Fiscal Cliff," accessed January 4, 2013
  21. 21.0 21.1 On The Issues, "Dan Coats Vote Match," accessed June 23, 2014
  22. 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.
  23. The Wall Street Journal, "Text of GOP Senators’ Letter to Iran’s Leaders on Nuclear Talks," March 9, 2015
  24. Fox News, "Firestorm erupts over GOP letter challenging Obama's power to approve Iran nuclear deal," March 10, 2015
  25. Ut San Diego, "Traitors or patriots? Senator's letter to Iran creates firestorm," March 11, 2015
  26. CNN, "Rand Paul says he's heard from White House after filibuster," March 7, 2013
  27. USA Today, "Rand Paul filibuster ranks among Senate's longest," March 7, 2013
  28. ABC News, "Rand Paul wins applause from GOP and liberals," March 7, 2013
  29. Breitbart, "AWOL: Meet the GOP senators who refused to stand with Rand," March 7, 2013
  30. Politico, "Rand Paul filibuster blasted by Sens. John McCain, Lindsey Graham," March 7, 2013
  31. Washington Post, "Eric Holder responds to Rand Paul with ‘no’," March 7, 2013
  32. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2010," accessed March 28, 2013
  33. Open Secrets, "Dan Coats," accessed April 3, 2013
  34. Open Secrets, "Dan Coats 2010 Election Cycle," accessed November 8, 2011
  35. OpenSecrets, "Dan Coats (R-IN), 2012," accessed February 18, 2014
  36. 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.
  37. This number was found by dividing each member's total net worth growth percentage by the number of years included in the calculation.
  38. This figure represents the total percentage growth divided by the number of years for which there are net worth figures for each member.
  39. 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.
  40. OpenSecrets.org, "Sen. Dan Coats," accessed September 18, 2014
  41. GovTrack, "Dan Coats," accessed July 22, 2014
  42. OpenCongress, "Rep. Dan Coats," accessed July 22, 2014
  43. GovTrack, "Dan Coats," accessed July 22, 2014
  44. LegiStorm, "Dan Coats" accessed 2012
  45. National Journal, "2013 Senate Vote Ratings," accessed July 22, 2014
  46. National Journal, "2012 Congressional Vote Ratings," accessed February 28, 2013
  47. National Journal, "Searchable Vote Ratings Tables: Senate," accessed February 23, 2012
  48. OpenCongress, "Voting With Party," accessed July 2014
  49. OpenCongress, "Voting With Party," accessed July 2014
Political offices
Preceded by
Evan Bayh
U.S. Senate-Indiana
Succeeded by
Preceded by
U.S. Ambassador to German
Succeeded by
Preceded by
U.S. Senate-Indiana
Succeeded by
Preceded by
U.S. House-Indiana
Succeeded by