John Barrasso

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John Barrasso
John Barrasso.jpg
U.S. Senate, Wyoming
In office
Term ends
January 3, 2019
Years in position 8
PredecessorCraig L. Thomas (R)
Base salary$174,000/year
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 6, 2012
Cost per vote$24.31 in 2012
First electedNovember 4, 2008
Next generalNovember 2018
Term limitsN/A
Prior offices
Wyoming State Senate
Bachelor'sGeorgetown University
M.D.Georgetown University School of Medicine
Date of birthJuly 21, 1952
Place of birthReading, Pa.
Net worth5,673,508
Office website
John Barrasso (b. July 21, 1952, in Reading, Pa.) is a Republican member of the U.S. Senate from the state of Wyoming. Barrasso was appointed to the Senate in 2007 to fill the late Craig L. Thomas' seat. He won the special election for the seat in 2008.[1] Barrasso won re-election in 2012.[2]

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


Barrasso earned his bachelor's and M.D. from Georgetown University. He spent 24 years as an orthopedic surgeon before entering politics.[3] Prior to his election to the U.S. Senate, Barrasso served in the Wyoming State Senate.


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

Committee assignments

U.S. Senate


Barrasso serves on the following committees:[5]


Barrasso served on the following Senate committees:[6]

  • Energy and Natural Resources Committee
    • Subcommittee on Water and Power
    • Subcommittee on Public Lands, Forests, and Mining
    • Subcommittee on National Parks
  • Environment and Public Works Committee
    • Subcommittee on Water and Wildlife
    • Subcommittee on Transportation and Infrastructure
    • Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety
  • Foreign Relations Committee
    • The Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere, Peace Corps and Global Narcotics Affairs
    • The Subcommittee on International Development and Foreign Assistance, Economic Affairs and International Environmental Protection, and Peace Corps Ranking Member
    • The Subcommittee on European Affairs
    • The Subcommittee on African Affairs
  • Indian Affairs Committee - Vice Chairman


Barrasso served on the following Senate committees:[3]

Barrasso was also vice-chairman of the Senate Republican Conference and chairman of the Senate Western Caucus.[3]

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 Barrasso's voting record in the 113th Congress, please see the below sections.[8]

National security

Committee vote on Syria
See also: United States involvement in Syria

Nay3.png On September 4, 2013, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee narrowly approved an authorization for President Obama to use limited force against Syria.[9][10]

The vote came after a three-hour briefing with top Obama administration officials, including Secretary of State John Kerry and James Clapper, the director of national intelligence.[11]

Of the nine Democratic members and eight Republican members that make up the committee, seven Democrats and three Republicans voted in favor, while five Republicans and two Democrats opposed the authorization.[11] A single "present" vote was cast by Ed Markey (D). Barrasso was one of the five Republicans who opposed the authorization.[12]

John Brennan CIA nomination

Nay3.png Barrasso 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.[13]

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 were critical of 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.[14][15][16]

Barrasso was one of the 13 Republican senators who joined Paul in his filibuster.[17][18]

According to the website Breitbart, 30 Republican senators did not support the filibuster.[19][20]

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."[21]


Farm bill

Nay3.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.[22] 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.[23] Barrasso voted with 22 other Republican senators against the bill.

2014 Budget

Nay3.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.[24][25] The Senate voted 72-26 for the 1,582 page bill, with 17 Republicans and 55 Democrats voting in favor of the bill.[25] The omnibus package included 12 annual spending bills to fund federal operations.[26] 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. Barrasso voted with 25 other Republican members against the bill.[24][25]

No Budget, No Pay Act of 2013

Nay3.png Barrasso 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.[27]

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.[28] The final vote on H.R. 2775 was 81-18, with all 18 votes against the bill from Republican members. Barrasso voted with the Democratic Party for the bill.[29]


Source: This graphic was generated by Find The Best.
Mexico-U.S. border

Yea3.png Barrasso 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.[30]

Social issues

Violence Against Women (2013)

Nay3.png Barrasso voted against 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.[31]

Previous congressional sessions

Fiscal Cliff

Yea3.png Barrasso 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.[32]


On The Issues Vote Match

Barrasso'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, Barrasso is a Populist-Leaning Conservative. Barrasso received a score of 18 percent on social issues and 73 percent on economic issues.[33]

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[34]
Economic Issues Social Issues
Issue Stance Issue Stance
Legally require hiring women & minorities Opposes Abortion is a woman's unrestricted right Strongly Opposes
Expand ObamaCare Strongly Opposes Comfortable with same-sex marriage Unknown
Vouchers for school choice Favors Keep God in the public sphere Strongly Favors
Absolute right to gun ownership Favors Human needs over animal rights Opposes
Higher taxes on the wealthy Strongly Opposes Stricter punishment reduces crime Unknown
Support & expand free trade Neutral Pathway to citizenship for illegal aliens Strongly Opposes
Stricter limits on political campaign funds Favors Maintain US sovereignty from UN Opposes
Prioritize green energy Strongly Opposes Expand the military Favors
Stimulus better than market-led recovery Strongly Opposes Stay out of Iran Strongly Opposes
Privatize Social Security Opposes Never legalize marijuana Favors
Note: Information last updated: 2014.[33] 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. Barrasso was one of the 47 who signed the letter. No Democrats signed it.[35]

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."[36] 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.[37]

Presidential preference


See also: Endorsements by state officials of presidential candidates in the 2012 election

John Barrasso endorsed Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential election. [38]



See also: United States Senate elections in Wyoming, 2012

Barasso ran for re-election in 2012. He defeated Emmett Mavy and Thomas Bleming in the August 21 Republican primary. He defeated Tim Chesnut (D) in the general election on November 6, 2012.[2][39][40]

U.S. Senate, Wyoming General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Tim Chesnut 21.7% 53,019
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngJohn Barrasso Incumbent 75.8% 185,250
     Country Joel Otto 2.5% 6,176
Total Votes 244,445
Source: Wyoming Secretary of State, "Official Election Results, 2012 General Election"

Full history

Campaign donors

Fundraising events

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

Source: This graphic was generated by Find The Best.

Comprehensive donor information for Barrasso is available dating back to 2008. Based on available campaign finance records, Barrasso raised a total of $9,707,650 during that time period. This information was last updated on April 25, 2013.[42]

John Barrasso's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2012 Won $7,121,673
2008 U.S. Senate (Wyoming) Won $2,585,977
Grand Total Raised $9,707,650

Source: This graphic was generated by Find The Best.


Barrasso won re-election to the U.S. Senate in 2008. During that re-election cycle, Barrasso's campaign committee raised a total of $7,121,673 and spent $4,502,827.[43]

Cost per vote

Barrasso spent $24.31 per vote received in 2012.


Breakdown of the source of Barrasso's campaign funds before the 2008 election.

Barrasso won re-election to the U.S. Senate in 2008. During that re-election cycle, Barrasso's campaign committee raised a total of $2,585,977 and spent $1,981,441.[44]

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, Barrasso's net worth as of 2012 was estimated between $2,698,016 to $8,649,000. That averages to $5,673,508, which is lower than the average net worth of Republican Senate members in 2012 of $6,956,438.47. Barrasso ranked as the 25th most wealthy senator in 2012.[45] Between 2007 and 2012, Barrasso's calculated net worth[46] decreased by an average of 4 percent per year. Between 2004 and 2012, the average annual percentage increase for a member of Congress was 15.4 percent.[47]

John Barrasso Yearly Net Worth
YearAverage Net Worth
Growth from 2007 to 2012:-21%
Average annual growth:-4%[48]
Comparatively, the American citizen experienced a median yearly decline in net worth of -0.94%.[49]
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). In the 113th Congress, Barrasso is the vice chair of the Indian Affairs Committee. Barrasso received the most donations from individuals and PACs employed by the Health Professionals industry.

From 1995-2014, 32.73 percent of Barrasso's career contributions came from the top five industries as listed below.[50]

Donation Concentration Metric graphic.png
John Barrasso Campaign Contributions
Total Raised $8,338,326
Total Spent $5,540,540
Vice Chair of the Indian Affairs Committee
Top five industries that contributed to campaign committee
Health Professionals$1,036,851
Oil & Gas$555,366
Leadership PACs$463,478
Pharmaceuticals/Health Products$343,389
Electric Utilities$330,050
% total in top industry12.43%
% total in top two industries19.1%
% total in top five industries32.73%


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.[51]

Barrasso most often votes with:

Barrasso least often votes with:

Source: This graphic was generated by Find The Best.

Ideology and leadership

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

Based on an analysis of bill sponsorship by GovTrack, Barrasso was a "far-right Republican," as of August 14, 2014.[52] This was the same rating Barrasso received in July 2013.[53]

Lifetime voting record

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

According to the website GovTrack, Barrasso missed 12 of 2,160 roll call votes from June 2007 to July 2014. This amounts to 0.6 percent, which is better than the median of 2.0 percent among current senators as of July 2014.[54]

Congressional staff salaries

See also: Staff salaries of United States Senators and Representatives

The website Legistorm compiles staff salary information for members of Congress. Barrasso paid his congressional staff a total of $2,158,029 in 2011. He ranked 15th on the list of the lowest paid Republican senatorial staff salaries and ranked 19th overall of the lowest paid senatorial staff salaries in 2011. Overall, Wyoming ranked 49th in average salary for senatorial staff. The average U.S. Senate congressional staff was paid $2,529,141.70 in fiscal year 2011.[55]

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.


Barrasso ranked sixth in the conservative rankings in 2013.[56]


Barrasso ranked 18th in the conservative rankings in 2012.[57]


Barrasso ranked fifth in the conservative rankings in 2011.[58]

Voting with party


Barrasso voted with the Republican Party 91.3 percent of the time, which ranked 8th among the 45 Senate Republican members as of August 2014.[59]


Barrasso voted with the Republican Party 90.4 percent of the time, which ranked 16th among the 46 Senate Republican members as of June 2013.[60]


Barrasso lives with his wife, Bobbi, in Casper, Wyo. He has three children.

Recent news

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

John Barrasso News Feed

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See also

External links

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John Barrasso


  1. Biographical Directory to the United States Congress, "John Barrasso," accessed October 19, 2011
  2. 2.0 2.1 CNN, "Wyoming Senate Race - 2012 Election Center"
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 John Barrasso's Official Senate website, "Biography," accessed October 19, 2011
  4. Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, "Barrasso," accessed July 5, 2013
  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. Politico, "Senate panel approves Syria measure," accessed September 5, 2013
  10. USA Today, "Senate committee approves Syria attack resolution," accessed September 5, 2013
  11. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named syriacommitteevote
  12. Politico, "How Senate Foreign Relations Committee members voted on Syria," accessed September 5, 2013
  13. Project Vote Smart, "PN 48 - Nomination of John Brennan to be Director of the Central Intelligence Agency - Voting Record," accessed September 25, 2013
  14. CNN, "Rand Paul says he's heard from White House after filibuster," March 7, 2013
  15. USA Today, "Rand Paul filibuster ranks among Senate's longest," March 7, 2013
  16. ABC News, "Rand Paul Wins Applause From GOP and Liberals," March 7, 2013
  17. The Blaze, "Here Are All the GOP Senators That Participated in Rand Paul’s 12+ Hour Filibuster… and the Ones Who Didn’t," March 7, 2013
  18. Los Angeles Times, "Sen. Rand Paul ends marathon filibuster of John Brennan," March 7, 2013
  19. Breitbart, "AWOL: Meet The GOP Senators Who Refused to Stand With Rand," March 7, 2013
  20. Politico, "Rand Paul filibuster blasted by Sens. John McCain, Lindsey Graham," March 7, 2013
  21. Washington Post, "Eric Holder responds to Rand Paul with ‘no’," March 7, 2013
  22., "H.R. 2642 (Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013)," accessed February 12, 2014
  23. New York Times, "Senate Passes Long-Stalled Farm Bill, With Clear Winners and Losers," accessed February 12, 2014
  24. 24.0 24.1 Politico, "Senate approves $1.1 trillion spending bill," accessed January 20, 2014
  25. 25.0 25.1 25.2 U.S. Senate, "January 16 Vote," accessed January 20, 2014
  26. Roll Call, "House Passes $1.1 Trillion Omnibus," accessed January 20, 2014
  27. 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
  28. The Washington Post, "Reid, McConnell propose bipartisan Senate bill to end shutdown, extend borrowing," accessed October 16, 2013
  29., "H.R. 2775 As Amended," accessed October 31, 2013
  30. Project Vote Smart, "S Amdt 1197 - Requires the Completion of the Fence Along the United States-Mexico Border - Voting Record," accessed September 25, 2013
  31. Project Vote Smart, "S 47 - Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 - Voting Record," accessed September 25, 2013
  32. U.S. Senate, "Roll Call Vote on the Fiscal Cliff," accessed January 4, 2013
  33. 33.0 33.1 On The Issues, "Barrasso Vote Match," accessed July 7, 2014
  34. 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.
  35. The Wall Street Journal, "Text of GOP Senators’ Letter to Iran’s Leaders on Nuclear Talks," March 9, 2015
  36. Fox News, "Firestorm erupts over GOP letter challenging Obama's power to approve Iran nuclear deal," March 10, 2015
  37. Ut San Diego, "Traitors or patriots? Senator's letter to Iran creates firestorm," March 11, 2015
  38., "Senators Mike Enzi and John Barrasso Endorse Mitt Romney," April 14, 2012
  39. Wyoming Elections Division, "2012 Primary Candidate Roster," accessed June 10, 2012
  40. Associated Press, "primary results"
  41. U.S. Congress House Clerk "Statistics of the Presidential and Congressional Elections of November 4, 2008," accessed October 19, 2011
  42. Open Secrets, "Donor history for John Barrasso," accessed April 25, 2013
  43. Open Secrets, "John A. Barrasso 2012 Election Cycle," accessed October 22, 2013
  44. Open Secrets, "John A. Barrasso 2008 Election Cycle," accessed November 29, 2011
  45. OpenSecrets, "Barrasso, 2012," accessed January 14, 2014
  46. This figure represents the total 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).
  47. This number was found by dividing each member's total net worth growth percentage by the number of years included in the calculation.
  48. This figure represents the total percentage growth divided by the number of years for which there are net worth figures for each member.
  49. 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.
  50., "Sen. John Barrasso," accessed October 2, 2014
  51. OpenCongress, "John Barrasso," accessed August 8, 2013
  52. GovTrack, "John Barrasso," accessed August 14, 2014
  53. GovTrack, "John Barrasso," accessed July 5, 2013
  54. GovTrack, "Barrasso," accessed April 11, 2013
  55. LegiStorm, "John Barrasso"
  56. National Journal, "2013 Congressional Vote Ratings," August 14, 2014
  57. National Journal, "2012 Congressional Vote Ratings," February 28, 2013
  58. National Journal, "Searchable Vote Ratings Tables: Senate," accessed February 23, 2012
  59. OpenCongress, "Voting With Party," accessed July 2014
  60. OpenCongress, "Voting With Party," accessed July 2014
Political offices
Preceded by
Craig L. Thomas
U.S. Senate - Wyoming
Succeeded by