Mark Kirk

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Mark Kirk
Mark Kirk.jpg
U.S. Senate, Illinois
Incumbent
In office
January 3, 2011-Present
Term ends
January 3, 2017
Years in position 4
PartyRepublican
PredecessorRoland W. Burris (D)
Compensation
Base salary$174,000/year
Elections and appointments
First elected2010
Next generalNovember 2016
Campaign $$28,447,411
Term limitsN/A
Prior offices
U.S. House of Representatives
2001-2010
Education
High schoolNew Trier East High School (1977)
Bachelor'sCornell University
Master'sLondon School of Economics
J.D.Georgetown University Law Center
Military service
Service/branchUnited States Navy
Years of service1989-Present
Personal
Date of birthSeptember 15, 1959
Place of birthChampaign, Illinois
ProfessionAttorney, Commander in U.S. Navy Reserve
Net worth$383,001
ReligionUnited Church of Christ[1]
Websites
Office website
Campaign website
Mark Steven Kirk (b. September 15, 1959, in Champaign, IL) is a Republican member of the U.S. Senate from the state of Illinois. Kirk was elected to the Senate on November 2, 2010, winning a special election to serve the final weeks of President Barack Obama's Senate term, in addition to winning a regular six-year term that began on January 3, 2011.[2]

Kirk had a stroke on January 21, 2012, and as a result was unable to work while recovering. He missed all 189 roll-call votes in the Senate in 2012.[3]

On November 4, 2013, Kirk gave his first speech since suffering a major stroke in January 2012, in which he urged support of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) to ban workplace discrimination against gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender workers.[4]

He is scheduled to run for re-election in 2016.

Kirk previously was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 2001 to 2010.[5]

Based on analysis of multiple outside rankings, Kirk is a more moderate right of center Republican Party vote. As a result, he may break with the Republican Party line more than his fellow members.

Biography

Born in Champaign, IL, he graduated from Cornell University, London School of Economics, and Georgetown University Law Center. He practiced law throughout the 1980s and 1990s. He joined the United States Navy Reserve in 1989 and was recalled to active duty for the 1999 NATO bombing of Yugoslavia. He participated in Operation Northern Watch in Iraq the following year. He remains a member of the U.S Navy Reserve, now holding the rank of Commander.

Kirk was elected to the House in 2000. During his fifth term in November 2010 he won a special election to finish the final months of former Senator Barack Obama's term and he began a six-year Senate term beginning in 2011.[2]

Career

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

Committee assignments

U.S. Senate

2015-2016

Kirk serves on the following committees:[7]

2013-2014

Kirk served on the following Senate committees:[8][9]

  • 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 Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and Related Agencies
    • Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies
  • Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee
    • Subcommittee on Securities, Insurance and Investment
    • Subcommittee on National Security and International Trade and Finance
    • Subcommittee on Housing, Transportation and Community Development
  • Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee
    • Subcommittee on Primary Health and Aging
    • Subcommittee on Children and Families
  • United States Senate Special Committee on Aging

2011-2012

Key votes

114th Congress

CongressLogo.png

The first session of the 114th Congress has enacted into law 6 out of the 2,616 introduced bills (0.2 percent). Comparatively, the 113th Congress had 1.3 percent of introduced bills enacted into law in the first session.[11] The Senate has confirmed 3,934 out of 5,051 executive nominations received (77.9 percent). For more information pertaining to Kirk's voting record in the 114th Congress, please see the below sections.[12]

Economic and fiscal

2016 Budget proposal

Yea3.png On May 5, 2015, the Senate voted to approve SConRes11, a congressional budget proposal for fiscal year 2016, by a vote of 51-48. The non-binding resolution will be used to create 12 appropriations bills to fund the government before funding runs out on October 1. The vote marked the first time since 2009 that Congress approved a joint budget resolution. All 44 Democrats voted against the resolution. Kirk voted with 50 other Republican senators to approve the bill.[13][14][15]

Domestic

Federalism

Loretta Lynch AG nomination

Yea3.png On April 23, 2015, the Senate voted to confirm Loretta Lynch as United States Attorney General by a vote of 56-43. All 44 Democratic senators voted to confirm Lynch. Kirk voted with nine other Republican senators to confirm Lynch.[16]

113th Congress

The second session of the 113th Congress enacted into law 224 out of the 3215 introduced bills (7 percent). Comparatively, the 112th Congress had 4.2 percent of introduced bills enacted into law in the second session.[17] The Senate confirmed 13,949 out of 18,323 executive nominations received (76.1 percent). For more information pertaining to Kirk's voting record in the 113th Congress, please see the below sections.[18]

National security

John Brennan CIA nomination

Yea3.png Kirk 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.[19]

Economy


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.[20] 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.[21] Kirk 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.[22][23] The Senate voted 72-26 for the 1,582 page bill, with 17 Republicans and 55 Democrats voting in favor of the bill.[23] The omnibus package included 12 annual spending bills to fund federal operations.[24] 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. Kirk voted with the 17 Republican and the 55 Democratic members in favor of the bill.[22][23]

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.[25] The final vote on H.R. 2775 was 81-18, with all 18 votes against the bill from Republican members. Kirk voted with the Democratic Party for the bill.[26]

No Budget, No Pay Act of 2013

Nay3.png Kirk 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.[19]

Immigration

Mexico-U.S. border

Yea3.png Kirk 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 Kirk 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.[19]

Background checks on gun sales

Yea3.png On April 17, 2013, the U.S. Senate took a vote on and defeated a measure that would have expanded federal background checks for firearms purchases.[27] The vote was 54-46, with supporters falling six votes short of the required 60-vote threshold.[28] Kirk was one of the 4 Republican Senators who voted in favor of the measure.[29]

Previous congressional sessions

Fiscal Cliff

Neutral/Abstain Kirk did not cast a vote regarding 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.[30]

Issues

On The Issues Vote Match

Mark Kirk'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 analysis, Kirk is a Moderate Libertarian Conservative.[31] Note: We are working to resolve inaccuracies with this information. Thank you for your patience.

On The Issues organization logo.


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. Kirk was one of the 47 who signed the letter. No Democrats signed it.[32]

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."[33] 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.[34]

Social issues

Gay marriage

Kirk became the second Republican Senator to speak out in favor of gay marriage in April 2013.[35] He followed Rob Portman (R) of Ohio, who announced his support of same-sex marriage in August 2014.[35]

In a statement on April 2, 2013, Kirk stated, "“When I climbed the Capitol steps in January, I promised myself that I would return to the Senate with an open mind and greater respect for others. Same-sex couples should have the right to civil marriage. Our time on this earth is limited, I know that better than most. Life comes down to who you love and who loves you back— government has no place in the middle.”[36]

Illness

Kirk had a stroke on January 21, 2012, and as a result was unable to work while recovering. He missed all 189 roll-call votes in the Senate in 2012.[37]

Presidential preference

2012

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

Mark Kirk endorsed Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential election. [38]

Elections

2010

On November 2, 2010, Kirk won election to the United States Senate. He defeated Alexander "Alexi" Giannoulias (D), LeAlan M. Jones (G), Mike Labno (L), Robert L. "Bob" Zadek (I), Will Boyd (I), Corey Dabney (I), Susanne Atanus (I), Shon-Tiyon "Santiago" Horton (I), Avner Nager (I), Stan Jagla (I), Darren Raichart (I) and Lowell M. Seida (I) in the general election.[39]

U.S. Senate, Illinois General Election, 2010
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngMark Steve Kirk 48% 1,778,698
     Democratic Alexander "Alexi" Giannoulias 46.4% 1,719,478
     Green LeAlan M. Jones 3.2% 117,914
     Libertarian Mike Labno 2.4% 87,247
     Independent Robert L. "Bob" Zadek 0% 561
     Independent Will Boyd 0% 468
     Independent Corey Dabney 0% 33
     Independent Susanne Atanus 0% 19
     Independent Shon-Tiyon "Santiago" Horton 0% 16
     Independent Avner Nager 0% 15
     Independent Stan Jagla 0% 12
     Independent Darren Raichart 0% 9
     Independent Lowell M. Seida 0% 3
Total Votes 3,704,473

Campaign donors

Fundraising events

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


Source: This graphic was generated by Find The Best.


Comprehensive donor history

Comprehensive donor information for Kirk is available dating back to 2000. Based on available campaign finance records, Kirk raised a total of $28,447,411 during that time period. This information was last updated on April 3, 2013.[40]

Mark Kirk's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2010 U.S. Senate (Illinois) Won $14,305,287
2008 U.S. House (Illinois, District 10) Won $5,451,604
2006 U.S. House (Illinois, District 10) Won $3,168,367
2004 U.S. House (Illinois, District 10) Won $1,747,924
2002 U.S. House (Illinois, District 10) Won $1,705,510
2000 U.S. House (Illinois, District 10) Won $2,068,719
Grand Total Raised $28,447,411


Source: This graphic was generated by Find The Best.

2010

Kirk won election to the U.S. Senate in 2010. During that election cycle, Kirk's campaign committee raised a total of $14,305,287 and spent $14,079,356 .[41]


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, Kirk's net worth as of 2012 was estimated between $251,002 and $515,000. That averages to $383,001, which is lower than the average net worth of Republican senators in 2012 of $6,956,438.47. Kirk ranked as the 88th most wealthy senator in 2012.[42] Between 2004 and 2012, Kirk's calculated net worth[43] decreased by an average of 5 percent per year. Between 2004 and 2012, the average annual percentage increase for a member of Congress was 15.4 percent.[44]

Mark Kirk Yearly Net Worth
YearAverage Net Worth
2004$633,241
2012$383,001
Growth from 2004 to 2012:-40%
Average annual growth:-5%[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.

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). Kirk received the most donations from individuals and PACs employed by the Retired industry.

From 1999-2014, 33.13 percent of Kirk's career contributions came from the top five industries as listed below.[47]

Donation Concentration Metric graphic.png
Mark Kirk Campaign Contributions
Total Raised $31,240,748
Total Spent $29,821,057
Top five industries that contributed to campaign committee
Retired$2,921,007
Securities & Investment$2,849,582
Pro-Israel$1,716,133
Lawyers/Law Firms$1,547,249
Health Professionals$1,314,968
% total in top industry9.35%
% total in top two industries18.47%
% total in top five industries33.13%

Analysis

Ideology and leadership

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

Based on an analysis of bill sponsorship by GovTrack, Kirk was a "centrist Republican," as of July 22, 2014. This was the same rating Kirk 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]

Kirk most often votes with:

Kirk 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, Kirk missed 311 of 1,058 roll call votes from November 2010 to July 2014. This amounts to 29.4 percent, which is worse than the median of 2.0% among currently serving senators as of July 2014.[50]

Congressional staff salaries

See also: Staff salaries of United States Senators and Representatives

2011

The website Legistorm compiles staff salary information for members of Congress. Kirk paid his congressional staff a total of $2,451,707 in 2011. He ranked 25th on the list of the lowest paid Republican senatorial staff salaries and ranked 34th overall of the lowest paid senatorial staff salaries in 2011. Overall, Illinois ranked 9th in average salary for senatorial staff. The average U.S. Senate congressional staff was paid $2,529,141.70 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.

2013

Kirk ranked 36th in the conservative rankings in 2013.[52]

2011

Kirk ranked 43rd in the conservative rankings in 2011.[53]

Voting with party

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

2014

Kirk voted with the Republican Party 72.7 percent of the time, which ranked 43rd among the 45 Senate Republican members as of July 2014.[54]

2013

Kirk voted with the Republican Party 73.8 percent of the time, which ranked 44th among the 46 Senate Republican members as of June 2013.[55]

Recent news

This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term Mark + Kirk + Illinois + Senate

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

Mark Kirk News Feed

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See also

External links

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References

  1. United Church of Christ News, "Barack Obama, candidate for President, is UCC," accessed October 14, 2011
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Mark Kirk--Senator for Illinois, "About Mark," accessed October 14, 2011
  3. Chicago Tribune, "Return uncertain for 2 Illinois members of Congress," accessed September 10, 2012
  4. Chicago Tribune, "Kirk gives 1st Senate speech after stroke, backs bill against anti-gay bias," accessed November 11, 2013
  5. Bioguide, "Mark Kirk," accessed June 21, 2013
  6. Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, "KIRK, Mark Steven, (1959 - )," accessed February 13, 2015
  7. United States Senate, "Committee Assignments of the 114th Congress," accessed February 17, 2015
  8. Congressional Quarterly, "Senate Committee List," accessed January 22, 2013
  9. United States Senate, "Mark Kirk Committee Assignments," accessed March 29, 2014
  10. Mark Kirk--Senator for Illinois, "Committee Assignments," accessed October 14, 2011
  11. Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity, First Session of the 113th Congress," accessed April 29, 2015
  12. Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity, First Session of the One Hundred Fourteenth Congress," April 13, 2015
  13. Congress.gov, "S.Con.Res.11," accessed May 5, 2015
  14. Senate.gov, "On the Conference Report (Conference Report to Accompany S. Con. Res. 11)," accessed May 5, 2015
  15. The Hill, "Republicans pass a budget, flexing power of majority," accessed May 5, 2015
  16. Senate.gov, "On the Nomination (Confirmation Loretta E. Lynch, of New York, to be Attorney General)," accessed April 29, 2015
  17. Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity, First Session of the 112th Congress," accessed September 5, 2013
  18. Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity, Second Session of the 113th Congress," accessed March 4, 2014
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 19.3 Project Vote Smart, "Mark Kirk Key Votes," accessed October 16, 2013
  20. Senate.gov, "H.R. 2642 (Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013)," accessed February 12, 2014
  21. New York Times, "Senate Passes Long-Stalled Farm Bill, With Clear Winners and Losers," accessed February 12, 2014
  22. 22.0 22.1 Politico, "Senate approves $1.1 trillion spending bill," accessed January 20, 2014
  23. 23.0 23.1 23.2 U.S. Senate, "January 16 Vote," accessed January 20, 2014
  24. Roll Call, "House Passes $1.1 Trillion Omnibus," accessed January 20, 2014
  25. The Washington Post, "Reid, McConnell propose bipartisan Senate bill to end shutdown, extend borrowing," accessed October 16, 2013
  26. Senate.gov, "H.R. 2775 As Amended," accessed October 31, 2013
  27. NPR "Senate Rejects Expanded Background Checks For Gun Sales" accessed April 19, 2013
  28. Fox News "Background check plan defeated in Senate, Obama rips gun bill opponents" accessed April 19, 2013
  29. NPR "Historically Speaking, No Surprise In Senate Gun Control Vote" accessed April 19, 2013
  30. U.S. Senate, "Roll Call Vote on the Fiscal Cliff," accessed January 4, 2013
  31. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named ontheissues
  32. The Wall Street Journal, "Text of GOP Senators’ Letter to Iran’s Leaders on Nuclear Talks," March 9, 2015
  33. Fox News, "Firestorm erupts over GOP letter challenging Obama's power to approve Iran nuclear deal," March 10, 2015
  34. Ut San Diego, "Traitors or patriots? Senator's letter to Iran creates firestorm," March 11, 2015
  35. 35.0 35.1 Politico, "Mark Kirk endorses gay marriage," accessed April 2, 2013
  36. U.S. Senate, "Mark Kirk," accessed April 2, 2013
  37. Chicago Tribune, "Return uncertain for 2 Illinois members of Congress," accessed September 10, 2012
  38. Chicago Tribune, "Kirk to throw support to Romney," accessed December 19, 2011
  39. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2010," accessed March 28, 2013
  40. Open Secrets, "Mark Kirk," accessed April 3, 2013
  41. Open Secrets, "Mark Kirk 2010 Election Cycle," accessed November 7, 2011
  42. OpenSecrets, "Mark Kirk (R-IL), 2012," accessed February 18, 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. OpenSecrets.org, "Sen. Mark Kirk," accessed September 18, 2014
  48. GovTrack, "Mark Kirk," accessed July 22, 2014
  49. OpenCongress, "Rep. Mark Kirk," accessed July 22, 2014
  50. GovTrack, "Mark Kirk," accessed July 22, 2014
  51. LegiStorm, "Mark Kirk" accessed 2012
  52. National Journal, "2013 Senate Vote Ratings," accessed July 22, 2014
  53. National Journal, "Searchable Vote Ratings Tables: Senate," accessed February 23, 2012
  54. OpenCongress, "Voting With Party," accessed July 2014
  55. OpenCongress, "Voting With Party," accessed July 2014
Political offices
Preceded by
Roland Burris
U.S. Senate-Illinois
2010–present
Succeeded by
-
Preceded by
'
U.S. House of Representatives-Illinois
2001–2010
Succeeded by
'