Joseph Pitts (Pennsylvania)

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Joseph R. Pitts
Joe Pitts PA.jpg
U.S. House, Pennsylvania, District 16
Incumbent
In office
1997-Present
Term ends
January 3, 2015
Years in position 17
PartyRepublican
PredecessorRobert Smith Walker (R)
Compensation
Base salary$174,000/year
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 6, 2012
Cost per vote$7.74 in 2012
First electedNovember 5, 1996
Next generalNovember 4, 2014
Campaign $$4,768,130
Term limitsN/A
Prior offices
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
1973-1997
Education
Bachelor'sAsbury College
Master'sWest Chester University
Military service
Service/branchU.S. Air Force
Personal
BirthdayOctober 10, 1939
Place of birthLexington, Kentucky
Net worth$896,004
Websites
Office website
Personal website
Campaign website

Joseph R. Pitts (b. October 10, 1939, in Lexington, Kentucky) is a Republican member of the U.S. House of Representatives from the state of Pennsylvania. Pitts was first elected by voters from Pennsylvania's 16th Congressional District in 1996.

Pitts is running for re-election to the U.S. House in 2014. He ran unopposed in the Republican primary on May 20, 2014.[1] The general election takes place November 4, 2014.

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

Biography

Pitts was born in Lexington, Kentucky. He earned a bachelor's degree in 1961 from Asbury College and a master's degree in 1972 from West Chester University. Before becoming a congressman, Pitts was a member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. He served in the U.S. Air Force from 1963-1969.

Career

Committee assignments

U.S. House

2013-2014

Pitts serves on the following committees:[2]

2011-2012

Pitts served on the following committees:[3]

Key votes

113th Congress

CongressLogo.png

The 113th Congress has had 55 out of 5,401 introduced bills enacted into law (1%) as of November 30, 2013. Comparatively, the 112th Congress had 1.14% of introduced bills enacted into law in the first session.[4] For more information pertaining to Pitts's voting record in the 113th Congress, please see the below sections.[5]

National security

DHS Appropriations

Voted "Yes" Pitts voted in favor of HR 2217 - the DHS Appropriations Act (2014) Act of 2014. The bill passed the House on June 6, 2013, with a vote of 245 - 182 and was largely along party lines.[6]

Keystone Pipeline Amendment

Voted "No" Pitts voted against House Amendment 69, which would have amended HR 3 to "require that the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, in consultation with the Department of Homeland Security, conduct a study of the vulnerabilities of the Keystone XL pipeline to a terrorist attack and certify that necessary protections have been put in place." The amendment failed on May 22, 2013, with a vote of 176 - 239 and was largely along party lines.[6]

CISPA (2013)

Voted "Yes" Pitts voted in favor of HR 624 - the CISPA (2013). The bill passed the House on April 18, 2013, with a vote of 288 - 127. The bill would allow federal intelligence agencies to share cybersecurity intelligence and information with private entities and utilities.[7] The bill was largely supported by Republicans, but divided the Democratic Party.[6]

NDAA

Voted "Yes" Pitts voted in favor of HR 1960 - the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014. The bill passed the House on June 14, 2013, with a vote of 315 - 108. Both parties were somewhat divided on the vote.[6]

Economy

Farm bill

Voted "No" On January 29, 2014, the U.S. House approved the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013, H.R. 2642, also known as the Farm Bill.[8] The bill passed by a vote of 251-166. 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 would kick in when prices drop.[9][10] However, cuts to the food stamp program cut an average of $90 per month for 1.7 million people in 15 states.[10] Pitts voted with 62 other Republican representatives against the bill.

2014 Budget

Voted "Yes" On January 15, 2014, the Republican-run House approved H.R. 3547, a $1.1 trillion spending bill to fund the government through September 30, 2014.[11][12] The House voted 359-67 for the 1,582 page bill, with 64 Republicans and three Democrats voting against the bill.[12] The omnibus package included 12 annual spending bills to fund federal operations.[13] It included a 1% 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 protected the Affordable Care Act from any drastic cuts. Pitts voted with the majority of the Republican party in favor of the bill.[11]

Government shutdown
See also: United States budget debate, 2013

Voted "Yes" On September 30, 2013, the House passed a final stopgap spending bill before the shutdown went into effect. The bill included a one-year delay of the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate and would have also stripped the bill of federal subsidies for congressional members and staff. It passed through the House with a vote of 228-201.[14] At 1 a.m. on October 1, 2013, one hour after the shutdown officially began, the House voted to move forward with going to a conference. In short order, Sen. Harry Reid rejected the call to conference.[15] Pitss voted to approve the stopgap spending bill that would have delayed the individual mandate.[16]

Voted "No" The shutdown finally ended on October 16, 2013, when the House took a vote on HR 2775 after it was approved by the Senate. The bill to reopen the government lifted the $16.7 trillion debt limit and funded the government through January 15, 2014. Federal employees also received retroactive pay for the shutdown period. The only concession made by Senate Democrats was to require income verification for Obamacare subsidies.[17] The House passed the legislation shortly after the Senate, by a vote of 285-144, with all 144 votes against the legislation coming from Republican members. Pitts voted against HR 2775.[18]

Immigration

Morton Memos Prohibition

Voted "Yes" Pitts voted in favor of House Amendment 136 - Prohibits the Enforcement of the Immigration Executive Order. The amendment was adopted by the House on June 6, 2013, with a vote of 224 - 201. The purpose of the amendment as stated on the official text is to "prohibit the use of funds to finalize, implement, administer, or enforce the Morton Memos." These memos would have granted administrative amnesty to certain illegal aliens residing in the United States. The vote largely followed party lines.[6]

Healthcare

Healthcare Reform Rules

Voted "Yes" Pitts voted in favor of House Amendment 450 - Requires Congressional Approval for Any Rules Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The amendment was adopted by the House on August 2, 2013, with a vote of 227-185. The amendment requires all changes to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act be approved by Congress before taking effect. The vote was largely along party lines.[6]

Keep the IRS Off Your Healthcare Act

Voted "Yes" Pitts voted in favor of HR 2009 - Keep the IRS Off Your Healthcare Act of 2013. The bill passed through the House on August 2, 2013, with a vote of 232-185. The bill would prevent the IRS and Treasury Secretary from enforcing the powers provided to them in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The vote largely followed party lines.[6]

Social issues

Amash amendment

Voted "No" Pitts voted against House Amendment 413 - Prohibits the National Security Agency from Collecting Records Under the Patriot Act. The amendment failed on July 4, 2013, by a vote of 205-217. The amendment would have prohibited the collection of records by the National Security Agency under the Patriot Act. Both parties were split on the vote.[6]

Previous congressional sessions

Fiscal Cliff

Voted "Yes" Pitts voted for the fiscal cliff compromise bill, which made permanent most of the Bush tax cuts originally passed in 2001 and 2003 while also raising tax rates on the highest income levels. He was 1 of 85 Republicans that voted in favor of the bill. The bill was passed in the House by a 257 - 167 vote on January 1, 2013.[19]

Issues

On The Issues Vote Match

Pitts' 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, Pitts is a Hard-Core Conservative. Pitts received a score of 14 percent on social issues and 94 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 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 Strongly Favors Keep God in the public sphere Strongly Favors
Absolute right to gun ownership Strongly Favors Human needs over animal rights Favors
Higher taxes on the wealthy Strongly Opposes Stricter punishment reduces crime Favors
Support & expand free trade Favors Pathway to citizenship for illegal aliens Strongly Opposes
Stricter limits on political campaign funds Favors Maintain US sovereignty from UN Strongly Favors
Prioritize green energy Strongly Opposes Expand the military Strongly Favors
Stimulus better than market-led recovery Opposes Stay out of Iran Strongly Opposes
Privatize Social Security Strongly Favors Never legalize marijuana Favors
Note: Information last updated: 2014.[20]

Elections

2014

See also: Pennsylvania's 16th Congressional District elections, 2014

Pitts is running for re-election to the U.S. House in 2014. He ran unopposed in the Republican primary on May 20, 2014.[1] The general election takes place November 4, 2014.

2012

See also: Pennsylvania's 16th Congressional District elections, 2012

Pitts ran in the 2012 election for the U.S. House to represent Pennsylvania's 16th District. He was uncontested in the Republican primary on April 24, 2012. Pitts faced Aryanna Strader (D) in the general election on November 6, 2012.[22]

The Washington Post listed the House of Representatives elections in Pennsylvania in 2012 as one of the ten states that could have determined whether Democrats gained control of the House or Republicans would hold its majority in 2013.[23] Ohio tied with Pennsylvania for 9th on the list.[23]

U.S. House, Pennsylvania District 16 General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Aryanna Strader 39% 111,185
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngJoseph R. Pitts Incumbent 54.8% 156,192
     Independent John Murphy 4.3% 12,250
     Independent James Bednarski 1.8% 5,154
Total Votes 284,781
Source: Pennsylvania Department of State "Official Election Results, 2012 General Election"

Full history


Campaign donors

Comprehensive donor information for Pitts is available dating back to 2000. Based on available campaign finance records, Pitts raised a total of $4,768,130 during that time period. This information was last updated on April 18, 2013.[32]

Joseph Pitts (Pennsylvania)'s Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2012 US House (Pennsylvania, District 16) Won $1,312,423
2010 US House (Pennsylvania, District 16) Won $759,218
2008 US House (Pennsylvania, District 16) Won $625,290
2006 US House (Pennsylvania, District 16) Won $506,238
2004 US House (Pennsylvania, District 16) Won $542,444
2002 US House (Pennsylvania, District 16) Won $402,588
2000 US House (Pennsylvania, District 16) Won $619,929
Grand Total Raised $4,768,130

2014

Candidates for Congress are required to file reports with the Federal Election Commission during the 2014 elections season. Below are Joseph R. Pitts' reports.[33]

Joseph R. Pitts (2014) Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
April Quarterly[34]April 15, 2013$183,946.14$164,029.00$(54,533.88)$293,441.26
Mid-Year Report[35]July 15, 2013$293,441.26$223,403.31$(188,135.57)$328,709.00
October Quarterly[36]October 13, 2013$328,709.00$88,135.00$(114,395.27)$302,448.73
Year-End[37]January 29, 2014$302,448$96,793$(71,969)$327,272
April Quarterly[38]April 14, 2014$327,272.34$174,807.77$(81,873.81)$420,206.30
Running totals
$747,168.08$(510,907.53)

2012

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

Pitts won re-election to the U.S. House in 2012. During that election cycle, his campaign committee raised a total of $1,312,423 and spent $1,208,910.[39] This is less than the average $1.5 million spent by House winners in 2012.[40]

Cost per vote

Pitts spent $7.74 per vote received in 2012.

2010

Pitts won re-election to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2010. During that re-election cycle, Pitts's campaign committee raised a total of $759,218 and spent $828,984.[41]

His top 5 contributors between 2009-2010 were:

U.S. House, Pennsylvania District 16, 2010 - Joseph Pitts (Pennsylvania) Campaign Contributions
Total Raised $759,218
Total Spent $828,984
Total Raised by General Election Opponent $409,696
Total Spent by General Election Opponent $373,301
Top contributors to Joseph Pitts (Pennsylvania)'s campaign committee
American College of Cardiology$10,000
American College of Radiology$10,000
AT&T Inc$10,000
Comcast Corp$10,000
Every Republican is Crucial PAC$10,000
Top 5 industries that contributed to campaign committee
Health Professionals$101,400
Pharmaceuticals/Health Products$41,300
Electric Utilities$29,999
Oil & Gas$28,000
TV/Movies/Music$26,300


Personal Gain Index

Congressional Personal Gain Index graphic.png
See also: Personal Gain Index (U.S. Congress)

The Personal Gain Index (U.S. Congress) is a four-part measurement that illustrates the extent to which members of the U.S. Congress have prospered during their tenure as public servants.
It consists of four different metrics:

PGI: Change in net worth

See also: Changes in Net Worth of U.S. Senators and Representatives (Personal Gain Index) and Net worth of United States Senators and Representatives
Net Worth Metric graphic.png

Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by OpenSecrets.org, Pitts' net worth as of 2012 was estimated between $562,008 to $1,230,000. That averages to $896,004, which is lower than the average net worth of Republican House members in 2012 of $7,614,097.96. Pitts ranked as the 219th most wealthy representative in 2012.[42] Between 2004 and 2012, Pitts' calculated net worth[43] increased by an average of 6 percent per year. Between 2004 and 2012, the average annual percentage increase for a member of Congress was 15.4 percent.[44]

Joesph Pitts Yearly Net Worth
YearAverage Net Worth
2004$596,169
2012$896,004
Growth from 2004 to 2012:50%
Average annual growth:6%[45]
Comparatively, the American citizen experienced a median yearly decline in net worth of -0.94%.[46]
The data used to calculate changes in net worth may include changes resulting from assets gained through marriage, inheritance, changes in family estates and/or trusts, changes in family business ownership and many other variables unrelated to a member's behavior in Congress.

Analysis

Ideology and leadership

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

Based on an analysis of bill sponsorship by GovTrack, Pitts is a "far-right Republican leader" as of July 2014.[47] This was the same rating Pitts received in June 2013.[48]

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.[49]

Pitts most often votes with:

Pitts least often votes with:

Lifetime voting record

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

According to the website GovTrack, Pitts missed 305 of 12,045 roll call votes from January 1997 to July 2014. This amounts to 2.5%, which is the same as the median of 2.5% among the lifetime records of representatives currently serving as of July 2014.[50]

Congressional staff salaries

See also: Staff salaries of United States Senators and Representatives

The website Legistorm compiles staff salary information for members of Congress. Pitts paid his congressional staff a total of $1,002,095 in 2011. Overall, Pennsylvania ranked 34th in average salary for representative staff. The average U.S. House of Representatives congressional staff was paid $954,912.20 in fiscal year 2011.[51]

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.

2013

Pitts ranked 11th in the conservative rankings in 2013.[52]

2012

Pitts ranked 126th in the conservative rankings in 2012.[53]

2011

Pitts ranked 34th in the conservative rankings in 2011.[54]

Voting with party

2014

Joseph R. Pitts voted with the Republican Party 95.7 percent of the time, which ranked 47th among the 234 House Republican members as of July 2014.[55]

2013

Joseph R. Pitts voted with the Republican Party 98.7 percent of the time, which ranked 7th among the 234 House Republican members as of June 2013.[56]

2011

Joseph R. Pitts voted with the Republican Party 93.9 percent of the time, which ranked 79 among the 242 House Republican members as of December 2011.[57]

Personal

Pitts is married to his wife, Virginia. They have three children.

Recent news

This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term Joseph + Pitts + Pennsylvania + House

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

Joseph Pitts News Feed

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See also

External links

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Associated Press, "Pennsylvania - Summary Vote Results," May 20, 2014
  2. CQ.com, "House Committee Rosters for the 113th Congress," accessed March 3, 2013
  3. Congressman Joe Pitts, 16th Congressional District, "Committees and Caucuses"
  4. Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity, First Session of the 112th Congress," accessed September 5, 2013
  5. Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity, Second Session of the 113th Congress," accessed March 4, 2014
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 6.7 Project Vote Smart, "Joseph Pitts Key Votes," accessed October 16, 2013
  7. The Library of Congress, "H.R.624 CISPA (2013) (Referred in Senate - RFS)," accessed August 27, 2013
  8. Clerk of U.S. House, "Roll Call Vote 31: H.R. 2642," accessed February 12, 2014
  9. Politico, "House clears farm bill," accessed February 12, 2014
  10. 10.0 10.1 New York Times, "Senate passes long-stalled Farm Bill, With clear winners and losers," accessed February 12, 2014
  11. 11.0 11.1 CNN.com, "House passes compromise $1.1 trillion budget for 2014," accessed January 20, 2014
  12. 12.0 12.1 U.S. House, "Roll Call Vote 21," accessed January 20, 2014
  13. Roll Call, "House passes $1.1 trillion omnibus," accessed January 20, 2014
  14. Clerk of the U.S. House, "Final vote results for Roll Call 504," accessed October 31, 2013
  15. Buzzfeed, "Government Shutdown: How We Got Here," accessed October 1, 2013
  16. Clerk of the U.S. House, "Final vote results for Roll Call 504," accessed October 31, 2013
  17. The Washington Post, "Reid, McConnell propose bipartisan Senate bill to end shutdown, extend borrowing," accessed October 16, 2013
  18. U.S. House, "Final vote results for Roll Call 550," accessed October 31, 2013
  19. U.S. House, "Roll Call Vote on the Fiscal Cliff," accessed January 4, 2013
  20. 20.0 20.1 On The Issues, "Pitts Vote Match," accessed July 7, 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. Pennsylvania Department of State, "2012 General Primary Unofficial Returns," April 24, 2012
  23. 23.0 23.1 Washington Post, "The 10 states that will determine control of the House in 2012," accessed April 25, 2012
  24. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2010," accessed March 28, 2013
  25. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 4, 2008," accessed March 28, 2013
  26. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 7, 2006," accessed March 28, 2013
  27. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2004," accessed March 28, 2013
  28. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 5, 2002," accessed March 28, 2013
  29. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 7, 2000," accessed March 28, 2013
  30. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 3, 1998," accessed March 28, 2013
  31. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 5, 1996," accessed March 28, 2013
  32. Open Secrets, "Career Fundraising for Joe Pitts," accessed April 18, 2013
  33. Federal Election Commission, "Joseph Pitts 2014 Summary reports," accessed October 28, 2013
  34. Federal Election Commission, "April Quarterly," accessed July 22, 2013
  35. Federal Election Commission, "Mid-Year Report," accessed July 22, 2013
  36. Federal Election Commission, "October Quarterly," accessed October 28, 2013
  37. Federal Election Commission, "Pitts Year-End," accessed February 5, 2014
  38. Federal Election Commission, "April Quarterly," accessed April 21, 2014
  39. Open Secrets, "Joe Pitts' 2012 Election Cycle," accessed March 4, 2013
  40. Open Secrets, "Election 2012: The Big Picture Shows Record Cost of Winning a Seat in Congress," accessed June 19, 2013
  41. Open Secrets, "Joseph R. Pitts 2010 Election Cycle," accessed November 16, 2011
  42. OpenSecrets, "Pitts, 2012," accessed January 14, 2014
  43. 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).
  44. This number was found by dividing each member's total net worth growth percentage by the number of years included in the calculation.
  45. This figure represents the total percentage growth divided by the number of years for which there are net worth figures for each member.
  46. 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.
  47. GovTrack, "Pitts," accessed July 23, 2014
  48. GovTrack, "Pitts," accessed June 19, 2013
  49. OpenCongress, "Rep. Joseph R. Pitts," accessed July 23, 2014
  50. GovTrack, "Joseph Pitts," accessed July 23, 2014
  51. Pitts.html LegiStorm, "Joseph R Pitts," accessed September 18, 2012
  52. National Journal, "TABLE: House Liberal Scores by Issue Area," July 23, 2014
  53. National Journal, "TABLE: House Liberal Scores by Issue Area," February 21, 2013
  54. National Journal, "Searchable Vote Ratings Tables: House," accessed February 23, 2012
  55. OpenCongress, "Voting With Party," accessed July 2014
  56. OpenCongress, "Voting With Party," accessed July 2014
  57. OpenCongress, "Voting With Party," accessed July 2014
Political offices
Preceded by
Robert Walker
U.S. House of Representatives - Pennsylvania, District 16
1997–Present
Succeeded by
'
Preceded by
'
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
1973-1997
Succeeded by
'