Michael Bennet

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Michael Bennet
Michael Bennet.jpg
U.S. Senate, Colorado
Incumbent
In office
2009-Present
Term ends
January 3, 2017
Years in position 5
PartyDemocratic
PredecessorKen Salazar (D)
Compensation
Base salary$174,000/year
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 2, 2010
Next generalNovember 8, 2016
Campaign $$11,536,750
AppointedJanuary 22, 2009
Term limitsN/A
Education
Bachelor'sWesleyan University
J.D.Yale Law School
Personal
BirthdayNovember 28, 1964
Place of birthNew Delhi, India
Net worth$9,784,515
Websites
Office website
Michael Bennet (b. November 28, 1964, in New Delhi, India) is a Democratic member of the U.S. Senate from the state of Colorado. Bennet was first appointed to the Senate in 2009. He then won election in 2010, defeating Ken Buck, Bob Kinsey, Maclyn Stringer, Jason Napolitano, Charley Miller and J. Moromisato in the general election.

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

Career

Below is an abbreviated outline of Bennet's academic, professional and political career:[1]

  • 1987: Graduated from Wesleyan University with B.A.
  • 1993: Graduated from Yale Law School with J.D.
  • 1995-1997: Counsel to U.S. deputy attorney general
  • 1997: Special assistant U.S. attorney, Conn.
  • 1997-2003: Managing director, Anschutz Investment Co.
  • 2003-2005: Chief of staff to mayor of Denver
  • 2005-2009: Superintendent, Denver Public Schools
  • 2009-Present: U.S. Senator from Colorado

Committee assignments

U.S. Senate

2013-2014

Bennet serves on the following Senate committees:[2]

  • Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry
    • Subcommittee on Nutrition, Specialty Crops, Food and Agricultural Research
    • Subcommittee on Conservation, Forestry and Natural Resources
    • Subcommittee on Jobs, Rural Economic Growth and Energy Innovation
  • Finance
    • The Subcommittee on International Trade, Customs, and Global Competitiveness
    • The Subcommittee on Energy, Natural Resources, and Infrastructure
    • The Subcommittee on Taxation and IRS Oversight Chair
  • Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
    • Subcommittee on Employment and Workplace Safety
    • Subcommittee on Children and Families

2011-2012

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.[3] The Senate has confirmed 16,878 out of 19,009 executive nominations received thus far (88.8%). For more information pertaining to Bennet's voting record in the 113th Congress, please see the below sections.[4]

National security

John Brennan CIA nomination

Voted "Yes" Bennet 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.[5]

Economy

Farm bill

Voted "Yes" 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.[6] 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 if or 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.[7] Bennet joined with 46 other Democratic senators in favor of the bill.

2014 Budget

Voted "Yes" 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.[8][9] The Senate voted 72-26 for the 1,582 page bill, with 17 Republicans and 55 Democrats voting in favor of the bill.[9] The omnibus package included 12 annual spending bills to fund federal operations.[10] 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 left the Affordable Care Act without any drastic cuts. Bennet voted with the Democratic party in favor of the bill.[8][9]

Government shutdown

See also: United States budget debate, 2013

Voted "Yes" 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.[11] The final vote on H.R. 2775 was 81-18, with all 18 votes against the bill from Republican members. Bennet voted with the Democratic Party for the bill.[12]

No Budget, No Pay Act of 2013

Voted "Yes" Bennet voted for H.R.325 -- No Budget, No Pay Act of 2013. The bill passed the Senate on January 31, 2013, with a vote of 64 - 34. The purpose of the bill was to temporarily suspend the debt ceiling and withhold the pay of members of Congress until a budget could be passed. The vote largely followed party lines with Democrats overwhelmingly supporting it and many Republicans in opposition to the bill.[13]

Immigration

Mexico-U.S. border

Voted "No" Bennet voted against Senate Amendment 1197 -- Requires the Completion of the Fence Along the United States-Mexico Border. The amendment was rejected by the Senate on June 18, 2013, with a vote of 39 - 54. The purpose of the amendment was to require the completion of 350 miles of fence described in the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 before registered provisional immigrant status may be granted. It would also require 700 miles of fence be completed before the status of registered provisional immigrants may be changed to permanent resident status. The vote followed party lines.[14]

Social issues

Violence Against Women (2013)

Voted "Yes" Bennet 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.[15]

Previous congressional sessions

Fiscal Cliff

Voted "No" Bennet voted against 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 one of three Democrats that voted against the bill. The bill was passed in the Senate by an 89 - 8 vote on January 1, 2013.[16]

Other legislation

Senator Bennet voted for the stimulus bill.[17] According to polling, 57% of U.S. voters believe that the stimulus has either hurt the economy (36%) or had no impact (21%), while 38% believe the stimulus helped the economy.[18]

Bennet also supported the health care reform bill.[19] Polls showed that 57% of likely voters at least somewhat favor repeal of the health care reform bill, including 46% who strongly favor repeal. Meanwhile, 35% of likely voters oppose repeal and 51% of likely voters believe the health care reform bill will be bad for the country, while 36% believe it will be beneficial.[20]

Finally, Bennet voted against an amendment that would have defunded the Obama Administration's lawsuit against Arizona over its new immigration law. As of July 8, 2010, 56% of U.S. voters were opposed to the Obama Administration's challenge to the Arizona immigration law.[21]

Issues

On The Issues Vote Match

Michael Bennet'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, Bennet is a Moderate Liberal Populist. Bennet received a score of 42 percent on social issues and 37 percent on economic issues.[22]

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[23]
Economic Issues Social Issues
Issue Stance Issue Stance
Legally require hiring women & minorities Favors Abortion is a woman's unrestricted right Favors
Expand ObamaCare Neutral Comfortable with same-sex marriage Strongly Favors
Vouchers for school choice Opposes Keep God in the public sphere Unknown
Absolute right to gun ownership Opposes Human needs over animal rights Opposes
Higher taxes on the wealthy Strongly Favors Stricter punishment reduces crime Unknown
Support & expand free trade Favors Pathway to citizenship for illegal aliens Strongly Favors
Stricter limits on political campaign funds Strongly Favors Maintain US sovereignty from UN Unknown
Prioritize green energy Neutral Expand the military Strongly Favors
Stimulus better than market-led recovery Opposes Stay out of Iran Opposes
Privatize Social Security Strongly Opposes Never legalize marijuana Strongly Favors
Note: Information last updated: 2014.[22]

Gang of Eight

Bennet is a member of the group of senators deemed the "Gang of Eight." This term is used to reference eight of the most influential Senators on immigration reform and includes four senators from each party.[24] The group calls for comprehensive and bipartisan immigration legislation that includes their "four basic pillars":

  • 1. A “tough but fair path to citizenship . . . .contingent upon securing our borders and tracking whether legal immigrants have left the country as required”;
  • 2. Reform our legal immigration system with a greater eye toward our economic needs;
  • 3. Workplace verification; and
  • 4. Setting up a system for admitting future workers (although the term “guest worker” is not used).[25]

Elections

2010

On November 2, 2010, Michael Bennet won election to the United States Senate. He defeated Ken Buck (R), Bob Kinsey (G), Maclyn Stringer (L), Jason Napolitano (Independent Reform), Charley Miller (Unaffiliated) and J. Moromisato (Unaffiliated) in the general election.[26]

U.S. Senate, Colorado General Election, 2010
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngMichael Bennet incumbent 48.1% 851,590
     Republican Ken Buck 46.4% 822,731
     Green Bob Kinsey 2.2% 38,768
     Libertarian Maclyn Stringer 1.3% 22,589
     Independent Reform Jason Napolitano 1.1% 19,415
     Unaffiliated Charley Miller 0.6% 11,330
     Unaffiliated J. Moromisato 0.3% 5,767
Total Votes 1,772,190

Campaign donors

Comprehensive donor information for Bennet is available dating back to 2010. Based on available campaign finance records, Bennet raised a total of $11,536,750 during that time period. This information was last updated on March 25, 2013.[27]

Michael Bennet's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2010 US Senate (Colorado) Won $11,536,750
Grand Total Raised $11,536,750

2010

Breakdown of the source of Bennet's campaign funds before the 2010 election.

Bennet won re-election to the U.S. Senate in 2010. During that re-election cycle, Bennet's campaign committee raised a total of $11,536,750 and spent $10,875,565.[28]

His top 5 contributors between 2005-2010 were:

U.S. Senate election, Colorado, 2010 - Michael Bennet Campaign Contributions
Total Raised $11,536,750
Total Spent $10,875,565
Total Raised by General Election Opponent $4,953,818
Total Spent by General Election Opponent $4,791,784
Top contributors to Michael Bennet's campaign committee
Brownstein, Hyatt et al$85,884
Blackstone Group$57,100
Comcast Corp$52,950
Hogan Lovells$51,750
League of Conservation Voters$45,142
Top 5 industries that contributed to campaign committee
Lawyers/Law Firms$1,363,660
Securities & Investment$1,075,024
Retired$704,870
Real Estate$539,795
Misc Finance$381,657

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 pioneered by the Government Accountability Institute:

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, Bennet's net worth as of 2012 was estimated between $4,259,031 and $15,310,000. That averages to $9,784,515, which is lower than the average net worth of Democratic senators in 2012 of $13,566,333.90. Bennet ranked as the 16th most wealthy senator in 2012.[29] Between 2004 and 2012, Bennet's calculated net worth[30] decreased 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.[31]

Michael Bennet Yearly Net Worth
YearAverage Net Worth
2004$17,796,229
2012$9,784,515
Growth from 2004 to 2012:-45%
Average annual growth:-6%[32]
Comparatively, the American citizen experienced a median yearly decline in net worth of -0.94%.[33]
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, Bennet is a "rank-and-file Democrat" as of July 2014. This was the same rating Bennet received in June 2013.[34]

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.[35]

Bennet most often votes with:

Bennet least often votes with:

Lifetime voting record

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

According to the website GovTrack, Bennet missed 14 of 1,691 roll call votes from January 2009 to July 2014. This amounts to 0.8 percent, which is better than the median of 2 percent among current senators as of July 2014.[36]

Congressional staff salaries

See also: Staff salaries of United States Senators and Representatives

The website Legistorm compiles staff salary information for members of Congress. Bennet paid his congressional staff a total of $2,633,822 in 2011. He ranked 21st on the list of the lowest paid Democratic senatorial staff salaries and ranked 58th overall of the lowest paid senatorial staff salaries in 2011. Overall, Colorado ranked 18th in average salary for senatorial staff. The average U.S. Senate congressional staff was paid $2,529,141.70 in fiscal year 2011.[37]

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

Bennet ranked 40th in the liberal rankings among U.S. senators in 2013.[38]

2012

Bennet ranked 45th in the liberal rankings among U.S. senators in 2012.[39]

2011

Bennet ranked 40th in the liberal rankings among U.S. senators in 2011.[40]

Voting with party

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

2014

Bennet voted with the Democratic Party 93.8 percent of the time, which ranked 34th among the 53 Senate Democratic members as of July 2014.[41]

2013

Bennet voted with the Democratic Party 92.4 percent of the time, which ranked 34th among the 52 Senate Democratic members as of June 2013.[42]

Personal

Bennet and his wife, Susan, have three children.

Recent news

This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term Michael + Bennet + Colorado + Senate

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

Michael Bennet News Feed

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See also

External links

Track-at-political-tracker-com.png
Political Tracker has an article on:
Michael Bennet

References

  1. Biographical Director of the United States Congress, "Michael F. Bennet," accessed October 20, 2011
  2. Congressional Quarterly, "Senate Committee List," accessed January 18, 2013
  3. Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity, First Session of the 112th Congress," accessed September 5, 2013
  4. Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity, Second Session of the 113th Congress," accessed March 4, 2014
  5. Project Vote Smart, "PN 48 - Nomination of John Brennan to be Director of the Central Intelligence Agency - Voting Record," accessed September 25, 2013
  6. Senate.gov, "H.R. 2642 (Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013)," accessed February 12, 2014
  7. NY Times, "Senate Passes Long-Stalled Farm Bill, With Clear Winners and Losers," accessed February 12, 2014
  8. 8.0 8.1 Politico, "Senate approves $1.1 trillion spending bill," accessed January 20, 2014
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 U.S. Senate, "January 16 Vote," accessed January 20, 2014
  10. Roll Call, "House Passes $1.1 Trillion Omnibus," accessed January 20, 2014
  11. The Washington Post, "Reid, McConnell propose bipartisan Senate bill to end shutdown, extend borrowing," accessed October 16, 2013
  12. Senate.gov, "H.R. 2775 As Amended," accessed October 31, 2013
  13. 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
  14. Project Vote Smart, "S Amdt 1197 - Requires the Completion of the Fence Along the United States-Mexico Border - Voting Record," accessed September 25, 2013
  15. Project Vote Smart, "S 47 - Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 - Voting Record," accessed September 25, 2013
  16. U.S. Senate, "Roll Call Vote on the Fiscal Cliff," accessed January 4, 2013
  17. [http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/02/10/AR2009021003665.html Washington Post, "Senate Vote on Stimulus Package," February 11, 2009
  18. Rasmussen, "38% Say Stimulus Plan Helped Economy, 36% Say It Hurt," August 24, 2010
  19. GovTrack, "H.R. 3590 (111th): Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (On Passage of the Bill)," December 24, 2009
  20. Rasmussen, "61% Favor Repeal of Healthcare Law," September 20, 2010
  21. Rasmussen Reports, "56% Oppose Justice Department Challenge of Arizona Law; 61% Favor Similar Law In Their State," July 8, 2010
  22. 22.0 22.1 On The Issues, "Michael Bennet Vote Match," accessed June 18, 2014
  23. 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.
  24. ABC News, "Who Are the Gang Of 8 in Senate Immigration Debate?" accessed May 7, 2013
  25. Washington Post, "Gang of Eight immigration plan: Reality-based legislating" accessed May 7, 2013
  26. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2010," accessed March 28, 2013
  27. Open Secrets, "Career Fundraising for Michael Bennet," accessed March 25, 2013
  28. Open Secrets, "Michael Bennet 2010 Election Cycle," accessed October 22, 2011
  29. OpenSecrets, "Michael F. Bennet (D-Colo), 2012," accessed March 4, 2013
  30. 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).
  31. This number was found by dividing each member's total net worth growth percentage by the number of years included in the calculation.
  32. This figure represents the total percentage growth divided by the number of years for which there are net worth figures for each member.
  33. 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.
  34. GovTrack, "Michael Bennet," accessed July 17, 2014
  35. OpenCongress, "Michael Bennet," accessed July 14, 2014
  36. GovTrack, "Michael Bennet," accessed July 17, 2014
  37. LegiStorm, "Michael Bennet," accessed August 6, 2012
  38. National Journal, "2013 Senate Vote Ratings," accessed July 17, 2014
  39. National Journal, "2012 Congressional Vote Ratings," February 21, 2013
  40. National Journal, "Searchable Vote Ratings Tables: Senate," accessed February 23, 2012
  41. OpenCongress, "Voting With Party," accessed July 2014
  42. OpenCongress, "Voting With Party," accessed July 2014
Political offices
Preceded by
Ken Salazar
U.S. Senate - Colorado
2009-Present
Succeeded by
-