Deb Fischer

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Deb Fischer
U.S. Senate, Nebraska
In office
January 3, 2013-present
Term ends
January 3, 2019
Years in position 2
PredecessorBen Nelson (D)
Base salary$174,000/year
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 6, 2012
First electedNovember 6, 2012
Next generalNovember, 2018
Campaign $$5,253,975
Term limitsN/A
Prior offices
Nebraska State Senate District 43
Bachelor'sUniversity of Nebraska Lincoln, 1988
Date of birthMarch 1, 1951
Place of birthLincoln, NE
ProfessionRancher, Sunny Slope Ranch
Net worth(2012) $323,501
Office website
Personal website
Campaign website
Deb Fischer (b. March 1, 1951, in Lincoln, NE) is a Republican member of the United States Senate from the state of Nebraska. She was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 2012.[1]

Fischer defeated former Governor and U.S. Senator Bob Kerrey and independent candidate Russell Anderson in the November general election. Incumbent Senator Ben Nelson (D) did not seek re-election in 2012. Fischer succeeded him on January 3, 2013.[2]

Prior to her election to the Senate, Fischer served as a member of the Nebraska Unicameral, representing District 43, from 2005 to 2013.

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


Born March 1, 1951, in Lincoln, Nebraska, Sen. Fischer is a cattle rancher from Valentine, Nebraska. Her experience prior to election to the Nebraska State Legislature includes being a member of the Sandhills Cattle Association, the Nebraska Cattlemen, the Valentine Rural High School Board of Education, the AgBuilders of Nebraska, the Nebraska Department of Agriculture’s Rural Rehabilitation Review Board, the Nebraska Agricultural Leadership Council and the Governor’s Ag Advisory Council.[3]


Below is an abbreviated outline of Fischer's academic, professional and political career:[4]

  • 2013-Present: U.S. Senator from Nebraska
  • 2005-2012: Nebraska Unicameral Legislature
  • 2000-2004: Nebraska Coordinating Commission for Postsecondary Education
  • 1990-2004: Valentine Rural High School Board of Education

Committee assignments

U.S. Senate


Fischer serves on the following committees:[5]


Fischer served on the following Senate committees:[6]

State Legislature


In the 2011-2012 legislative session, Fischer served on these committees:


In the 2009-2010 legislative session, Fischer served on these committees:

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.[7] The Senate confirmed 13,949 out of 18,323 executive nominations received (76.1 percent). For more information pertaining to Fischer's voting record in the 113th Congress, please see the below sections.[8]

National security

John Brennan CIA nomination

Nay3.png Fischer voted against 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.[9]

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.[10][11][12]

According to the website Breitbart, Fischer was one of 30 Republican senators who did not support the filibuster.[13][14]

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."[15]


No Budget, No Pay Act of 2013

Nay3.png Fischer voted against 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.[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.[17] The final vote on H.R. 2775 was 81-18, with all 18 votes against the bill from Republican members. Fischer voted with the Democratic Party for the bill.[18]


Source: This graphic was generated by Find The Best.

Mexico-U.S. border

Yea3.png Fischer voted for 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.[19]

Social issues

Violence Against Women (2013)

Yea3.png Fischer 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.[20]


On The Issues Vote Match

Deb Fischer'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, Fischer is a Hard-Core Conservative. Fischer received a score of 18 percent on social issues and 80 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 Unknown Keep God in the public sphere Strongly Favors
Absolute right to gun ownership Favors Human needs over animal rights Favors
Higher taxes on the wealthy Strongly Opposes Stricter punishment reduces crime Strongly Favors
Support & expand free trade Unknown Pathway to citizenship for illegal aliens Strongly Opposes
Stricter limits on political campaign funds Strongly Favors Maintain US sovereignty from UN Strongly Favors
Prioritize green energy Strongly Opposes Expand the military Strongly Favors
Stimulus better than market-led recovery Strongly 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 (R-Ark.) 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. Fischer was one of the 47 who signed the letter. No Democrats signed it.[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]

Campaign themes


On her campaign website, Fischer listed the following nine issues:[26]

  • 2nd Amendment Rights
  • "I’m a strong supporter of the 2nd Amendment and I’ve opposed every attempt by liberals to intrude on our right to own firearms. In the Nebraska Legislature, I have an A+ rating from the National Rifle Association. In the U.S. Senate, I will continue to be an advocate for gun owners and our constitutional rights."
  • Agriculture
  • "As someone involved in a family ranch business, I know firsthand the challenges and responsibilities people in agriculture face. Agriculture plays a crucial role in our Nebraska economy and provides a stable and safe food supply for our nation and for the world. As a U.S. Senator, I can be a key ally for Nebraska agriculture."
  • Energy
  • "Being dependent on oil coming from countries who are – or who soon could be – enemies of the United States just isn’t wise. I support efforts to produce new sources of energy from wind and solar power and want to advance those technologies so they can become competitive with fossil fuels. In the meantime, I support efforts to increase efficient energy use and to use new technologies to reduce energy consumption. I support renewable energy sources, including ethanol, but I still believe the United States needs to be committed to exploring and recovering all of the potential energy sources we have here at home. In times where gasoline is approaching four dollars per gallon, I strongly believe that we need promote responsible oil drilling in our country."
  • Healthcare
  • "The government takeover of health care supported by President Obama and Senator Ben Nelson will move medical care in the wrong direction. As your U.S. Senator, I will vote to repeal Obamacare."
  • Illegal Immigration
  • "Keeping our borders secure is a primary responsibility of the federal government. If elected, I will support increased agents/troops on our southern border to beef up security. I support the E-verify system of validating legal immigrants when they apply for a new job. I will not tolerate those who break immigration laws and enter our country illegally."
  • National Security
  • "The most important job of the federal government is to keep us safe and secure. Our brave men and women in uniform perform their duty to protect all of us admirably and effectively. In the Senate, I will not play politics with our security and our troops. I will give our military the tools they need to keep America safe and free, and I will ensure our troops and their families are supported and that their needs are met."
  • Protecting Life
  • "I am proud to be pro-life and to have had a solid pro-life voting record during my seven years in the Nebraska Legislature. I will continue to support a culture of life by supporting pro-life policies in U.S. Senate."
  • Small Businesses
  • "Congress needs to set legislative priorities that will reward entrepreneurship, growth and innovation. When elected to the U.S. Senate, Deb Fischer will have five legislative priorities that she will address to give our small businesses a chance to succeed and create jobs."
  • Taxes and Spending
  • "Our federal debt is almost $15 trillion dollars. That is just unacceptable. We simply can not continue to print money to pay our national debt. Our first priority must be to cut federal spending. We cannot tax our way to prosperity like President Obama has proposed. The appetite for big spending programs is strong in Washington D.C. and we need to change politics-as-usual. That’s why I strongly support a balanced budget amendment at the federal level."[26]



See also: United States Senate elections in Nebraska, 2012

Fischer won election to the U.S. Senate in 2012.[27] Fischer defeated Bob Kerrey (D) and Russell Anderson (I) in the general election. She defeated Jon Bruning, Sharyn Elander, Pat Flynn, Don Stenberg and Spencer Zimmerman in the May 15 Republican primary.[28] She had been trailing in the polls heading into the primary. Outside groups spent more than $2 million on advertising, with more than $1 million going into attack ads against Bruning.[29][30]

U.S. Senate, Nebraska General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngDeb Fischer 57.8% 455,593
     Democratic Bob Kerrey 42.2% 332,979
Total Votes 788,572
Source: Nebraska Secretary of State "Official Election Results, 2012 General Election"
US Senate - Nebraska Republican Primary, 2012
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngDeb Fischer 6.7% 79,941
Jon Bruning 58.6% 701,067
Don Stenberg 30.2% 361,727
Pat Flynn 4.3% 51,413
Spencer Zimmerman 0.1% 1,601
Sharyn Elander 0.1% 1,294
Total Votes 1,197,043


On September 21, 2011, Fischer announced that the following 13 state senators in the Nebraska Unicameral had endorsed her candidacy for the U.S. Senate:[31]


On November 4, 2008, Fischer won re-election to the 43rd District Seat in the Nebraska Senate unopposed.[32]

Nebraska State Senate, District 43 (2008)
Candidates Votes
Green check mark transparent.png Deb Fischer 13,756

Campaign donors

Fundraising events

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

Source: This graphic was generated by Find The Best.

Comprehensive donor history

Comprehensive donor information for Fischer is available dating back to 2012. Based on available campaign finance records, Fischer raised a total of $5,253,975 during that time period. This information was last updated on April 24, 2013.[33]

Deb Fischer's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2012 U.S.Senate (Nebraska) Won $5,253,975
Grand Total Raised $5,253,975

Source: This graphic was generated by Find The Best.


Fischer won election to the U.S. Senate election in 2012. During that election cycle, Fischer's campaign committee raised a total of $5,253,975 and spent $5,146,461.[34]

Cost per vote

Fischer spent $11.53 per vote received in 2012.


In 2008, Fischer collected $68,927 in donations.[35]

Her five largest contributors in 2008 were:

Donor Amount
Nebraska Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors $2,500
Nebraska Chamber Of Commerce and Industry $2,244
Nebraska Association of Nurse Anesthetists $2,000
Nebraska Realtors Association $1,500
Nebraska Farm Bureau $1,500

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, Fischer's net worth as of 2012 was estimated between $-4,403,992 and $4,899,995. That averages to $248,001.50, which is lower than the average net worth of Republican senators in 2012 of $6,956,438.47. Fischer ranked as the 51st most wealthy senator in 2012.[36] Between 2011 and 2012, Fischer's calculated net worth[37] decreased by an average of 25 percent per year. Between 2004 and 2012, the average annual percentage increase for a member of Congress was 15.4 percent.[38]

Deb Fischer Yearly Net Worth
YearAverage Net Worth
Growth from 2011 to 2012:-25%
Average annual growth:-25%[39]
Comparatively, the American citizen experienced a median yearly decline in net worth of -0.94%.[40]
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). Fischer received the most donations from individuals and PACs employed by the Retired industry.

From 2011-2014, 19.61 percent of Fischer's career contributions came from the top five industries as listed below.[41]

Donation Concentration Metric graphic.png
Deb Fischer Campaign Contributions
Total Raised $5,711,816
Total Spent $5,628,833
Top five industries that contributed to campaign committee
Leadership PACs$264,308
Crop Production & Basic Processing$173,912
Commercial Banks$155,750
% total in top industry5.9%
% total in top two industries10.53%
% total in top five industries19.61%


Ideology and leadership

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

Based on an analysis of bill sponsorship by GovTrack, Fischer was a "moderate Republican follower" as of July 2014.[42]

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.[43]

Fischer most often votes with:

Fischer 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, Fischer missed 0 of 524 roll call votes from January 2013 to July 2014. This amounts to 0.0 percent, which is better than the median of 2.0 percent among current senators as of July 2014.[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. Click the link above for the full ratings of all members of Congress.


Fischer ranked 26th in the conservative rankings in 2013.[45]

Voting with party

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


Fischer voted with the Republican Party 91.9 percent of the time, which ranked fifth among the 45 Senate Republican members as of July 2014.


Fischer voted with the Republican Party 91.9 percent of the time, which ranked eighth among the 46 Senate Republican members as of June 2013.


Fischer (née Strobel) has been married to Bruce Fischer since 1972; they have three children. She is a part-time rancher by trade.[46]

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Contact information

Sen. Deb Fischer
District 43
Room 1110
P.O. Box 94604
State Capitol
Lincoln, NE 68509
Phone: (402) 471-2628

See also

External links

Suggest a link
Political Tracker has an article on:
Debra Fischer


  1. Deb Fischer 2012 campaign website, "Home," accessed January 21, 2012
  2. Politico, "2012 House Race Results," accessed November 6, 2012
  3. Unicameral Update, "Senator moonlights as cowpoke on weekends," accessed January 26, 2008 (dead link)
  4. Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, "Deb Fischer," accessed July 1, 2011
  5. United States Senate, "Committee Assignments of the 114th Congress," accessed February 17, 2015
  6. Congressional Quarterly, "Senate Committee List," accessed January 22, 2013
  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. Project Vote Smart, "PN 48 - Nomination of John Brennan to be Director of the Central Intelligence Agency - Voting Record," accessed September 25, 2013
  10. CNN, "Rand Paul says he's heard from White House after filibuster," March 7, 2013
  11. USA Today, "Rand Paul filibuster ranks among Senate's longest," March 7, 2013
  12. ABC News, "Rand Paul wins applause from GOP and liberals," March 7, 2013
  13. Breitbart, "AWOL: Meet the GOP senators who refused to stand with Rand," March 7, 2013
  14. Politico, "Rand Paul filibuster blasted by Sens. John McCain, Lindsey Graham," March 7, 2013
  15. Washington Post, "Eric Holder responds to Rand Paul with ‘no’," March 7, 2013
  16. Project Vote Smart, "HR 325 - To Ensure the Complete and Timely Payment of the Obligations of the United States Government Until May 19, 2013 - Voting Record," accessed September 25, 2013
  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. Project Vote Smart, "S Amdt 1197 - Requires the Completion of the Fence Along the United States-Mexico Border - Voting Record," accessed September 25, 2013
  20. Project Vote Smart, "S 47 - Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 - Voting Record," accessed September 25, 2013
  21. 21.0 21.1 On The Issues, "Deb Fischer Vote Match," accessed June 20, 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. 26.0 26.1 Deb Fischer for US Senate, "Issues: Deb Fischer 2012," May 6, 2012 (dead link)
  27. Deb Fischer 2012 campaign website, "Home," accessed January 21, 2012
  28. Wall Street Journal, "Nebraska's Deb Fischer Pulls Upset in Primary," accessed March 16, 2012
  29. iWatch News, "Super PAC cash plays big role in Nebraska Senate race," May 15, 2012
  30. Nebraska Secretary of State, "Canvass Report," accessed October 11, 2012
  31., "Sen. Deb Fischer Announces Endorsements from 13 Neb. State Senators," accessed May 13, 2014
  32. Nebraska Secretary of State, "2008 General Election Results," accessed April 10, 2014
  33. Open Secrets, "Donor history for Deb Fischer," April 24, 2013
  34. Open Secrets, " 2012 Election Cycle," accessed March 2013
  35. Follow the Money, "2008 contributions to Deb Fischer," accessed June 17, 2010
  36. OpenSecrets, "Deb Fischer," (R-NE), 2012," accessed February 18, 2014
  37. 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.
  38. This number was found by dividing each member's total net worth growth percentage by the number of years included in the calculation.
  39. This figure represents the total percentage growth divided by the number of years for which there are net worth figures for each member.
  40. 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.
  41., "Sen. Deb Fischer," accessed September 18, 2014
  42. GovTrack, "Deb Fischer," accessed July 22, 2014
  43. OpenCongress, "Deb Fischer," accessed July 22, 2014
  44. GovTrack, "Deb Fischer," accessed July 22, 2014
  45. National Journal, "2013 Congressional Vote Ratings," accessed July 22, 2014
  46. Politico, "10 facts about Deb Fischer," accessed June 13, 2012
Political offices
Preceded by
Ben Nelson (D)
United States Senate - Nebraska
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Nebraska State Senate District 43
Succeeded by
Al Davis