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Pat Roberts

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Pat Roberts
Pat Roberts.jpg
U.S. Senate, Kansas
In office
Term ends
January 3, 2021
Years in position 18
PredecessorNancy Landon Kassebaum (R)
Base salary$174,000/year
Elections and appointments
First electedNovember 5, 1996
Next generalNovember 2020
Campaign $$8,214,728
Term limitsN/A
Prior offices
U.S. House of Representatives
High schoolHolton High School
Bachelor'sKansas State University
Military service
Service/branchU.S. Marine Corps
Years of service1958-1962
Date of birthApril 20, 1936
Place of birthTopeka, KS
Net worth$1,695,514
Office website
Campaign website
Charles Patrick "Pat" Roberts (b. April 20, 1936, in Topeka, KS) is a Republican member of the U.S. Senate from the state of Kansas. Roberts was first elected to the Senate in 1996.[1]

He ran for re-election to the U.S. Senate in 2014. Roberts defeated challengers Greg Orman (I) and Randall Batson (L) in the general election on November 4, 2014.

Roberts previously was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1981 to 1997.[1]

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


Roberts was born in 1936 in Topeka, KS. He graduated from Holton High School in 1954, and earned his bachelor's degree from Kansas State University in 1958. Roberts went on to serve as a captain in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1958-62.[1]


Below is an abbreviated outline of Roberts' political career:[2]

Committee assignments

U.S. Senate


Roberts serves on the following Senate committees:[3]


Roberts served on the following Senate committees:[4][5]


Roberts served on the following Senate committees:[6]

Key votes

113th Congress


The second session of the 113th Congress enacted into law 114 out of the 3,036 introduced bills (3.8 percent). Comparatively, the 112th Congress had 4.2 percent of introduced bills enacted into law in the second session.[7] The Senate confirmed 13,949 out of 18,323 executive nominations received (76.1 percent). For more information pertaining to Roberts's voting record in the 113th Congress, please see the below sections.[8]

National security

John Brennan CIA nomination

Nay3.png Roberts 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.[9]


Source: This graphic was generated by Find The Best.

Farm bill

Nay3.png On February 4, 2014, the Democratic controlled Senate approved the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013, H.R. 2642, also known as the Farm Bill.[10] 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.[11] Roberts voted with 22 other Republican senators against the bill.

2014 Budget

Nay3.png On January 16, 2014, the Democratic-controlled Senate approved H.R. 3547, a $1.1 trillion spending bill to fund the government through September 30, 2014.[12][13] The Senate voted 72-26 for the 1,582 page bill, with 17 Republicans and 55 Democrats voting in favor of the bill.[13] The omnibus package included 12 annual spending bills to fund federal operations.[14] 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. Roberts voted with 25 other Republican members against the bill.[12][13]

Government shutdown

See also: United States budget debate, 2013

Nay3.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.[15] The final vote on H.R. 2775 was 81-18, with all 18 votes against the bill from Republican members. Roberts voted with the Republican Party against the bill.[16]

Statement on government shutdown

A shutdown solution was signed into law on October 17, 2013, with Roberts voting against the measure. He released an official statement regarding the shutdown solution:

"We are $17 trillion in debt, and looming mandatory spending obligations threaten to increase our debt exponentially. The current shutdown and debt crisis are severe, but if we fail to address government spending, we will be looking at a permanent shutdown. We will be faced with bankruptcy."[17]

No Budget, No Pay Act of 2013

Nay3.png Roberts 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.[9]


Mexico-U.S. border

Yea3.png Roberts voted in favor of 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.[9]

Social issues

Violence Against Women (2013)

Nay3.png Roberts 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.[9]

Previous congressional sessions

Fiscal Cliff

Yea3.png Roberts 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.[18]


On The Issues Vote Match

Pat Roberts' 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, Roberts is a Moderate Conservative. Roberts received a score of 32 percent on social issues and 69 percent on economic issues.[19]

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[20]
Economic Issues Social Issues
Issue Stance Issue Stance
Legally require hiring women & minorities Strongly 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 Opposes Keep God in the public sphere Favors
Absolute right to gun ownership Neutral Human needs over animal rights Opposes
Higher taxes on the wealthy Strongly Opposes Stricter punishment reduces crime Favors
Support & expand free trade Opposes Pathway to citizenship for illegal aliens Strongly Opposes
Stricter limits on political campaign funds Strongly Opposes Maintain US sovereignty from UN Opposes
Prioritize green energy Strongly Opposes Expand the military Opposes
Stimulus better than market-led recovery Strongly Opposes Stay out of Iran Strongly Opposes
Privatize Social Security Favors Never legalize marijuana Opposes
Note: Information last updated: 2014.[19]

National security

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.[21][22][23]

According to the website Breitbart, Roberts was one of 30 Republican senators who did not support the filibuster.[24][25]

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."[26]



See also: United States Senate elections in Kansas, 2014

Roberts ran for re-election to the U.S. Senate in 2014. Roberts won the Republican nomination in the primary on August 5, 2014.[27] The general election took place November 4, 2014.

U.S. Senate, Kansas General Election, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngPat Roberts Incumbent 53.1% 460,350
     Independent Greg Orman 42.5% 368,372
     Libertarian Randall Batson 4.3% 37,469
Total Votes 866,191
Source: Kentucky Secretary of State Official Results
U.S. Senate, Kansas Republican Primary, 2014
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngPat Roberts Incumbent 48.1% 127,089
Milton Wolf 40.8% 107,799
D.J. Smith 5.8% 15,288
Alvin Zahnter 5.4% 14,164
Total Votes 264,340
Source: Kansas Secretary of State


General election match-up
Poll Pat Roberts (R) Chad Taylor (D)Randall Batson (L)Greg Orman (I)UndecidedMargin of ErrorSample Size
October 22-26, 2014
Gravis Marketing
October 20-21, 2014
Remington Research Group
October 9-12, 2014
Public Policy Polling
October 9-12, 2014
CNN Opinion Research
October 2-6, 2014
NBC News/Marist
September/October 27-1, 2014
Public Policy Polling
September 11-14, 2014
September 4-7, 2014
Public Policy Polling
August 14-17, 2014
Rasmussen Reports
August 6-7, 2014
July 17-22, 2014
June 19-23, 2014
Public Policy Polling
February 18-20, 2014
AVERAGES 40.77% 13.77% 2.38% 30% 10.38% +/-3.31 979.31
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to


In a February 2014 interview, Roberts acknowledged that he did not have a home of his own in Kansas and that the residence he lists as his voting address belongs to two longtime supporters and donors — C. Duane and Phyllis Ross.[28] He reportedly established his voting address the day before his challenger, Milton Wolf, announced his candidacy in 2013.[28]


On November 4, 2008, Roberts won re-election to the United States Senate. He defeated Jim Slattery (D), Randall L. Hodgkinson (L) and Joseph L. Martin (Reformed Party) in the general election.[29]

U.S. Senate, Kansas General Election, 2008
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngPat Roberts Incumbent 60.1% 727,121
     Democratic Jim Slattery 36.5% 441,399
     Libertarian Randall L. Hodgkinson 2.1% 25,727
     Reformed Joseph L. Martin 1.4% 16,443
Total Votes 1,210,690

Full history

Campaign donors

Fundraising events

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

Source: This graphic was generated by Find The Best.

Comprehensive donor history

Comprehensive donor information for Roberts is available dating back to 2002. Based on available campaign finance records, Roberts raised a total of $8,214,728 during that time period. This information was last updated on April 3, 2013.[40]

Pat Roberts's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2008 U.S. Senate (Kansas) Won $6,506,851
2002 U.S. Senate (Kansas) Won $1,707,877
Grand Total Raised $8,214,728

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 Roberts's reports.[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, Roberts's net worth as of 2012 was estimated between $850,029 and $2,540,999. That averages to $1,695,514, which is lower than the average net worth of Republican senators in 2012 of $6,956,438.47. Roberts ranked as the 55th most wealthy senator in 2012.[49] Between 2004 and 2012, Roberts' calculated net worth[50] decreased by an average of 3 percent per year. Between 2004 and 2012, the average annual percentage increase for a member of Congress was 15.4 percent.[51]

Pat Roberts Yearly Net Worth
YearAverage Net Worth
Growth from 2004 to 2012:-23%
Average annual growth:-3%[52]
Comparatively, the American citizen experienced a median yearly decline in net worth of -0.94%.[53]
The data used to calculate changes in net worth may include changes resulting from assets gained through marriage, inheritance, changes in family estates and/or trusts, changes in family business ownership and many other variables unrelated to a member's behavior in Congress.

PGI: Donation Concentration Metric

See also: The Donation Concentration Metric (U.S. Congress Personal Gain Index)

Filings required by the Federal Election Commission report on the industries that give to each candidate. Using campaign filings and information calculated by, Ballotpedia calculated the percentage of donations by industry received by each incumbent over the course of his or her career (or 1989 and later, if elected prior to 1988). In the 113th Congress, Roberts was the ranking Republican member of the United States Senate Committee on Rules and Administration. Roberts received the most donations from individuals and PACs employed by the Agricultural Services/Products industry.

From 1989-2014, 21.9 percent of Roberts' career contributions came from the top five industries as listed below.[54]

Donation Concentration Metric graphic.png
Pat Roberts Campaign Contributions
Total Raised $16,097,824
Total Spent $14,982,235
Ranking member of the United States Senate Committee on Rules and Administration
Top five industries that contributed to campaign committee
Agricultural Services/Products$820,454
Leadership PACs$782,472
Health Professionals$678,260
Oil & Gas$650,050
Securities & Investment$594,962
% total in top industry5.1%
% total in top two industries9.96%
% total in top five industries21.9%


Ideology and leadership

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

Based on an analysis of bill sponsorship by GovTrack, Roberts was a "far-right Republican," as of July 23, 2014. Roberts was rated as a "rank-and-file Republican" in June 2013.[55]

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.[56]

Roberts most often votes with:

Roberts 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, Roberts missed 142 of 5,606 roll call votes from January 1997 to July 2014. This amounts to 2.5 percent, which is worse than the median of 2.0% among currently serving senators as of July 2014.[57]

Congressional staff salaries

See also: Staff salaries of United States Senators and Representatives

The website Legistorm compiles staff salary information for members of Congress. Roberts paid his congressional staff a total of $2,691,541 in 2011. He ranked 8th on the list of the highest paid Republican senatorial staff salaries and ranked 34th overall of the lowest paid senatorial staff salaries in 2011. Overall, Kansas ranked 20th in average salary for senatorial staff. The average U.S. Senate congressional staff was paid $2,529,141.70 in fiscal year 2011.[58]

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.


Roberts ranked 8th in the conservative rankings in 2013.[59]


Roberts ranked 26th in the conservative rankings in 2012.[60]


Roberts ranked 29th in the conservative rankings in 2011.[61]

Voting with party

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


Roberts voted with the Republican Party 89.4 percent of the time, which ranked 16th among the 45 Senate Republican members as of July 2014.[62]


Roberts voted with the Republican Party 89.9 percent of the time, which ranked 19th among the 46 Senate Republican members as of June 2013.[63]


Roberts has been married to his wife Franki (nee Fann) since 1969. They have three children and four grandchildren.[2]

Recent news

This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term Pat + Roberts + Kansas + Senate

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

Pat Roberts News Feed

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See also

External links


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Bioguide, "Pat Roberts," accessed June 21, 2013
  2. 2.0 2.1 Official Senate website, "Biography page," accessed October 12, 2011
  3. United States Senate, "Committee Assignments," accessed February 4, 2015
  4. Congressional Quarterly, "Senate Committee List," accessed January 22, 2013
  5. United States Senate, "Committee Assignments," accessed March 29,2 014
  6. Official Senate website, "Committee assignments page," accessed October 18, 2011
  7. Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity, First Session of the 112th Congress," accessed September 5, 2013
  8. Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity, Second Session of the 113th Congress," accessed March 4, 2014
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 Project Vote Smart, "Pat Roberts Key Votes," accessed October 17, 2013
  10., "H.R. 2642 (Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013)," accessed February 12, 2014
  11. New York Times, "Senate Passes Long-Stalled Farm Bill, With Clear Winners and Losers," accessed February 12, 2014
  12. 12.0 12.1 Politico, "Senate approves $1.1 trillion spending bill," accessed January 20, 2014
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 U.S. Senate, "January 16 Vote," accessed January 20, 2014
  14. Roll Call, "House Passes $1.1 Trillion Omnibus," accessed January 20, 2014
  15. The Washington Post, "Reid, McConnell propose bipartisan Senate bill to end shutdown, extend borrowing," accessed October 16, 2013
  16., "H.R. 2775 As Amended," accessed October 31, 2013
  17., "5 Kansas stances on the government shutdown solution," accessed October 23, 2013
  18. U.S. Senate, "Roll Call Vote on the Fiscal Cliff," accessed January 4, 2013
  19. 19.0 19.1 On The Issues, "Pat Roberts Vote Match," accessed June 23, 2014
  20. 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.
  21. CNN, "Rand Paul says he's heard from White House after filibuster," March 7, 2013
  22. USA Today, "Rand Paul filibuster ranks among Senate's longest," March 7, 2013
  23. ABC News, "Rand Paul wins applause from GOP and liberals," March 7, 2013
  24. Breitbart, "AWOL: Meet the GOP senators who refused to stand with Rand," March 7, 2013
  25. Politico, "Rand Paul filibuster blasted by Sens. John McCain, Lindsey Graham," March 7, 2013
  26. Washington Post, "Eric Holder responds to Rand Paul with ‘no’," March 7, 2013
  27. Associated Press, "Primary Results 2014," accessed August 5, 2014
  28. 28.0 28.1 NY Times, "Lacking a House, a Senator Is Renewing His Ties in Kansas," accessed February 8, 2014
  29. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 4, 2008," accessed March 28, 2013
  30. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 5, 2002," accessed March 28, 2013
  31. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 5, 1996," accessed March 28, 2013
  32. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 8, 1994," accessed March 28, 2013
  33. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 3, 1992," accessed March 28, 2013
  34. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 6, 1990," accessed March 28, 2013
  35. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 8, 1988," accessed March 28, 2013
  36. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 4, 1986," accessed March 28, 2013
  37. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 6, 1984," accessed March 28, 2013
  38. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 1982," accessed March 28, 2013
  39. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 4, 1980," accessed March 28, 2013
  40. Open Secrets, "Pat Roberts," accessed April 3, 2013
  41. Federal Election Commission, "Pat Roberts 2014 Summary reports," accessed October 29, 2013
  42. Federal Election Commission, "April Quarterly," accessed July 26, 2013
  43. Federal Election Commission, "July Quarterly," accessed July 26, 2013
  44. Federal Election Commission, "October Quarterly," accessed October 29, 2013
  45. Federal Election Commission, "Year End Report," accessed February 19, 2014
  46. Federal Election Commission, "April Quarterly Report," accessed September 4, 2014
  47. Federal Election Commission, "July Quarterly Report," accessed September 4, 2014
  48. Federal Election Commission, "Pre-Primary Report," accessed September 4, 2014
  49. OpenSecrets, "Pat Roberts (R-KS), 2012," accessed February 18, 2014
  50. 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).
  51. This number was found by dividing each member's total net worth growth percentage by the number of years included in the calculation.
  52. This figure represents the total percentage growth divided by the number of years for which there are net worth figures for each member.
  53. 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.
  54., "Sen. Pat Roberts," accessed September 18, 2014
  55. GovTrack, "Pat Roberts," accessed July 23, 2014
  56. OpenCongress, "Rep. Pat Roberts," accessed July 23, 2014
  57. GovTrack, "Pat Roberts," accessed July 23, 2014
  58. LegiStorm, "Pat Roberts" accessed 2012
  59. National Journal, "2013 Senate Vote Ratings," accessed July 23, 2014
  60. National Journal, "2012 Congressional Vote Ratings," accessed February 28, 2013
  61. National Journal, "Searchable Vote Ratings Tables: Senate," accessed February 23, 2012
  62. OpenCongress, "Voting With Party," accessed July 2014
  63. OpenCongress, "Voting With Party," accessed July 2014
Political offices
Preceded by
Nancy Kassebaum Baker
U.S. Senate - Kansas
Succeeded by
Preceded by
U.S. House - Kansas
Succeeded by