Mike Johanns

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Mike Johanns
Mike Johanns.jpg
U.S. Senate, Nebraska
Former senator
In office
January 3, 2009-January 3, 2015
PredecessorChuck Hagel (R)
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 4, 2008
First electedNovember 4, 2008
Term limitsN/A
Prior offices
United States Secretary of Agriculture
January 21, 2005 – September 20, 2007
Governor of Nebraska
January 7, 1999 – January 20, 2005
Mayor of Lincoln
Lincoln City Council
Lancaster County Board
Bachelor'sSt. Mary's University
J.D.Creighton University
Date of birthJune 18, 1950
Place of birthOsage, Iowa
Net worth(2012) $4,360,518
ReligionRoman Catholic
Michael Owen "Mike" Johanns (b. June 18, 1950, in Osage, IA) was a Republican member of the U.S. Senate from the state of Nebraska. Johanns was first elected to the Senate in 2009. On February 18, 2013, he announced that he would not run for re-election in 2014.[1]

Prior to his election to the U.S. Senate, Johanns served in President George W. Bush's cabinet from 2005-2009 as the Secretary of Agriculture.[2]


Johanns was born in Osage, Iowa, and grew up living and working on his family's farm. After graduating from high school, Johanns went on to study at Saint Mary's University of Minnesota in Winona. He earned a law degree from Creighton University.[3]


Below is an abbreviated outline of Johanns' academic, professional and political career:[2]

  • 1989-1991: Lincoln City Council
  • 1991-1998: Mayor of Lincoln, Nebraska
  • 1999-2005: Governor of Nebraska
  • 2005-2009: Secretary of Agriculture in the Cabinet of President George W. Bush
  • 2009-2015: Member of the United States Senate from Nebraska

Committee assignments

U.S. Senate


Johanns served on the following Senate committees:[4]

  • Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry
    • Subcommittee on Livestock, Dairy, Poultry, Marketing and Agriculture Security
    • Subcommittee on Jobs, Rural Economic Growth and Energy Innovation
    • Subcommittee on Commodities, Markets, Trade and Risk Management
  • Committee on Veterans' Affairs
  • Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs
    • Subcommittee on Securities, Insurance and Investment
    • Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Protection Members
    • Subcommittee on Economic Policy
  • United States Senate Committee on Appropriations
    • 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 Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies
    • Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government Members Ranking member


Johanns served on the following committees:[5]

  • Subcommittee on Energy, Science and Technology
  • Subcommittee on Domestic and Foreign Marketing, Inspection, and Plant and Animal Health (Ranking Member)
  • Subcommittee on Production, Income Protection and Price Support
  • Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation
    • Subcommittee on Aviation Operations, Safety, and Security
    • Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, and the Internet
    • Subcommittee on Competitiveness, Innovation, and Export Promotion
    • Subcommittee on Science and Space
    • Subcommittee on Surface Transportation and Merchant Marine Infrastructure, Safety, and Security
  • Impeachment Trial Committee on the Articles against Judge G. Thomas Porteous, Jr.

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

National security

John Brennan CIA nomination

Nay3.png Johanns 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.[8]

Drones filibuster
See also: Rand Paul filibuster of John Brennan's CIA Nomination in March 2013

On March 6, 2013, Senator Rand Paul (R) led a 13-hour filibuster of President Obama's CIA Director nominee, John Brennan. Paul started the filibuster in order to highlight his concerns about the administration's drone policies. In particular, Paul said he was concerned about whether a drone could be used to kill an American citizen within the United States border, without any due process involved. Paul and other civil liberties activists criticized President Obama for not offering a clear response to the question. A total of 14 senators joined Paul in the filibuster -- 13 Republicans and one Democrat.[9][10][11]

According to the website Breitbart, Johanns was one of 30 Republican senators who did not support the filibuster.[12][13]

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."[14]


No Budget, No Pay Act of 2013

Nay3.png Johanns 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.[15]

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


Source: This graphic was generated by Find The Best.

Mexico-U.S. border

Yea3.png Johanns 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.[18]

Social issues

Violence Against Women (2013)

Nay3.png Johanns 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.[19]

Previous congressional sessions

Fiscal Cliff

Yea3.png Johanns 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.[20]


On The Issues Vote Match

Mike Johanns' 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, Johanns is a Moderate Conservative. Johanns received a score of 28 percent on social issues and 63 percent on economic issues.[21]

On The Issues organization logo.

The table below contains the results of analysis compiled by staff at On The Issues.

On The Issues Vote Quiz[22]
Economic Issues Social Issues
Issue Stance Issue Stance
Legally require hiring women & minorities Opposes Abortion is a woman's unrestricted right Strongly Opposes
Expand ObamaCare Opposes Comfortable with same-sex marriage Strongly Opposes
Vouchers for school choice Favors Keep God in the public sphere Favors
Absolute right to gun ownership Strongly Favors Human needs over animal rights Opposes
Higher taxes on the wealthy Strongly Opposes Stricter punishment reduces crime Favors
Support & expand free trade Strongly Favors Pathway to citizenship for illegal aliens Opposes
Stricter limits on political campaign funds Strongly Favors Maintain US sovereignty from UN Strongly Favors
Prioritize green energy Opposes Expand the military Strongly Favors
Stimulus better than market-led recovery Strongly Opposes Stay out of Iran Strongly Opposes
Privatize Social Security Opposes Never legalize marijuana Favors
Note: Information last updated: 2014.[21] If you notice the rating has changed, email us.

Presidential preference


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

Mike Johanns endorsed Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential election. [23]



See also: United States Senate elections in Nebraska, 2014

Johanns did not run for re-election.[1]


On November 4, 2008, Johanns was elected to the United States Senate. He defeated Scott Kleeb (D), Kelly Renee Rosberg (Nebraska) and Steve Larrick (Green).[24]

U.S. Senate, Nebraska General Election, 2008
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngMike Johanns 57.5% 455,854
     Democratic Scott Kleeb 40.1% 317,456
     Nebraska Kelly Renee Rosberg 1.4% 11,438
     Green Steven R. Larrick 1% 7,763
Total Votes 792,511

Campaign donors

Fundraising events

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

Source: This graphic was generated by Find The Best.

Comprehensive donor history

Comprehensive donor information for Johanns is available dating back to 2008. Based on available campaign finance records, Johanns raised a total of $3,907,749 during that time period. This information was last updated on April 24, 2013.[25]

Mike Johanns's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2008 U.S. Senate (Nebraska) Won $3,907,749
Grand Total Raised $3,907,749

Source: This graphic was generated by Find The Best.


Candidates for Congress were required to file up to seven main reports with the Federal Election Commission during the 2014 elections season. Below are Johanns' reports.[26]

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, Johanns' net worth as of 2012 was estimated between $3,186,034 and $6,043,001. That averages to $4,614,517.50, which is lower than the average net worth of Republican senators in 2012 of $6,956,438.47. Johanns ranked as the 31st most wealthy senator in 2012.[30] Between 2008 and 2012, Johanns' calculated net worth[31] increased by an average of 12 percent per year. Between 2004 and 2012, the average annual percentage increase for a member of Congress was 15.4 percent.[32]

Mike Johanns Yearly Net Worth
YearAverage Net Worth
Growth from 2008 to 2012:47%
Average annual growth:12%[33]
Comparatively, the American citizen experienced a median yearly decline in net worth of -0.94%.[34]
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). Johanns received the most donations from individuals and PACs employed by the Insurance industry.

From 2007-2014, 22.42 percent of Johanns' career contributions came from the top five industries as listed below.[35]

Donation Concentration Metric graphic.png
Mike Johanns Campaign Contributions
Total Raised $4,623,957
Total Spent $4,365,559
Top five industries that contributed to campaign committee
Leadership PACs$224,930
Real Estate$171,140
Lawyers/Law Firms$170,949
% total in top industry5.3%
% total in top two industries10.16%
% total in top five industries22.42%


Ideology and leadership

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

Based on an analysis of bill sponsorship by GovTrack, Johanns was a "moderate Republican leader" as of July 2014.[36] Johanns was rated as a "rank-and-file Republican" in July 2013.

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.[37]

Johanns most often voted with:

Johanns least often voted 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, Johanns missed 57 of 1,706 roll call votes from January 2009 to July 2014. This amounts to 3.3 percent, which is worse than the median of 2.0 percent among current senators as of July 2014.[38]

Congressional staff salaries

See also: Staff salaries of United States Senators and Representatives

The website Legistorm compiles staff salary information for members of Congress. Johanns paid his congressional staff a total of $2,287,429 in 2011. He ranked 18th on the list of the lowest paid Republican senatorial staff salaries and ranked 24th overall of the lowest paid senatorial staff salaries in 2011. Overall, Nebraska ranked 38th in average salary for senatorial staff. The average U.S. Senate congressional staff was paid $2,529,141.70 in fiscal year 2011.[39]

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.


Johanns ranked 31st in the conservative rankings in 2013.[40]


Johanns ranked 39th in the conservative rankings in 2012.[41]


Johanns ranked 39th in the conservative rankings in 2011.[42]

Voting with party

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


Johanns voted with the Republican Party 88.1 percent of the time, which ranked 20th among the 45 Senate Republican members as of July 2014.[43]


Johanns voted with the Republican Party 86.6 percent of the time, which ranked 27th among the 46 Senate Republican members as of June 2013.[44]


Johanns is married to Stephanie Johanns, a former Lancaster County Commissioner and Nebraska State Senator. They have two children and five grandchildren.[3]

Recent news

This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term Mike + Johanns + Nebraska + Senate

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

Mike Johanns News Feed

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See also

External links

Political Tracker has an article on:
Mike Johanns


  1. 1.0 1.1 NY Times.com, "Republican Senator From Nebraska Won’t Run in 2014," accessed February 18, 2013
  2. 2.0 2.1 Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, "Johanns," accessed July 1, 2013
  3. 3.0 3.1 The White House, President George W. Bush (archive), "Mike Johanns, Former Secretary of Agriculture," accessed January 9, 2015
  4. Congressional Quarterly, "Senate Committee List," accessed January 22, 2013
  5. Official Senate Page of Mike Johanns, "Committee Assignments for Senator Johanns," accessed October 22, 2011
  6. Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity, First Session of the 112th Congress," accessed September 5, 2013
  7. Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity, Second Session of the 113th Congress," accessed March 4, 2014
  8. Project Vote Smart, "PN 48 - Nomination of John Brennan to be Director of the Central Intelligence Agency - Voting Record," accessed September 25, 2013
  9. CNN, "Rand Paul says he's heard from White House after filibuster," March 7, 2013
  10. USA Today, "Rand Paul filibuster ranks among Senate's longest," March 7, 2013
  11. ABC News, "Rand Paul wins applause from GOP and liberals," March 7, 2013
  12. Breitbart, "AWOL: Meet the GOP senators who refused to stand with Rand," March 7, 2013
  13. Politico, "Rand Paul filibuster blasted by Sens. John McCain, Lindsey Graham," March 7, 2013
  14. Washington Post, "Eric Holder responds to Rand Paul with ‘no’," March 7, 2013
  15. 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
  16. The Washington Post, "Reid, McConnell propose bipartisan Senate bill to end shutdown, extend borrowing," accessed October 16, 2013
  17. Senate.gov, "H.R. 2775 As Amended," accessed October 31, 2013
  18. Project Vote Smart, "S Amdt 1197 - Requires the Completion of the Fence Along the United States-Mexico Border - Voting Record," accessed September 25, 2013
  19. Project Vote Smart, "S 47 - Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 - Voting Record," accessed September 25, 2013
  20. U.S. Senate, "Roll Call Vote on the Fiscal Cliff," accessed January 4, 2013
  21. 21.0 21.1 On The Issues, "Mike Johanns Vote Match," accessed June 23, 2014
  22. The questions in the quiz are broken down into two sections -- social and economic. In social questions, liberals and libertarians agree in choosing the less-government answers, while conservatives and populists agree in choosing the more restrictive answers. For the economic questions, conservatives and libertarians agree in choosing the less-government answers, while liberals and populists agree in choosing the more restrictive answers.
  23. CBS News, "Nebraska's Johanns to endorse Romney," December 21, 2011
  24. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 4, 2008," accessed March 28, 2013
  25. Open Secrets, "Donor history for Mike Johanns," April 2013
  26. Federal Election Commission, "Johanns 2014 Summary reports," accessed August 1, 2013
  27. FEC, "April Quarterly," accessed August 1, 2013
  28. FEC, "July Quarterly," accessed August 1, 2013
  29. FEC, "October Quarterly," accessed October 30 2013
  30. OpenSecrets, "Johanns, (R-NE), 2012," accessed February 18, 2014
  31. This figure represents the average annual percentage growth from either 2004 (if the member entered office in 2004 or earlier) or their first year in office (as noted in the chart below) to 2012, divided by the number of years calculated.
  32. This number was found by dividing each member's total net worth growth percentage by the number of years included in the calculation.
  33. This figure represents the total percentage growth divided by the number of years for which there are net worth figures for each member.
  34. 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.
  35. OpenSecrets.org, "Sen. Mike Johanns," accessed September 18, 2014
  36. GovTrack, "Mike Johanns," accessed July 22, 2014
  37. OpenCongress, "Mike Johanns," accessed July 22, 2014
  38. GovTrack, "Mike Johanns," accessed July 22, 2014
  39. LegiStorm, "Mike Johanns," accessed August 16, 2012
  40. National Journal, "2013 Congressional Vote Ratings," accessed July 22, 2014
  41. National Journal, "TABLE: House Liberal Scores by Issue Area," accessed February 26, 2013
  42. National Journal, "Searchable Vote Ratings Tables: House," accessed February 23, 2012
  43. OpenCongress, "Voting With Party," accessed July 2014
  44. OpenCongress, "Voting With Party," accessed July 2014
Political offices
Preceded by
Chuck Hagel
U.S. Senate - Nebraska
Succeeded by
Ben Sasse
Preceded by
Ann Veneman
United States Secretary of Agriculture
Succeeded by
Ed Schafer
Preceded by
Ben Nelson
Governor of Nebraska
Succeeded by
Dave Heineman
Preceded by
Bill Harris
Mayor of Lincoln
Succeeded by
Dale Young
Preceded by
Lincoln City Council
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Lancaster County Board
Succeeded by