Richard Burr

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Richard Burr
Richard Burr.jpg
U.S. Senate, North Carolina
In office
January 3, 2005-Present
Term ends
January 3, 2017
Years in position 9
PredecessorJohn Edwards (D)
Base salary$174,000/year
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 2, 2010
First electedNovember 2, 2004
Next generalNovember 8, 2016
Campaign $$24,349,171
Term limitsN/A
Prior offices
U.S. House of Representatives from North Carolina's 5th District
Bachelor'sWake Forest University
BirthdayNovember 30, 1955
Place of birthCharlottesville, Virginia
ProfessionSales Executive
Net worth$2,151,517
Office website
Campaign website
Richard Mauze Burr (b. November 30, 1955, in Charlottesville, VA) is a Republican member of the United States Senate from North Carolina. He was first elected to the Senate in 2004.[1]

Burr previously was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from North Carolina's 5th Congressional District from 1995 to 2005.[1]

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


Burr was born in Charlottesville, Virginia. He graduated from Richard J. Reynolds High School in Winston-Salem, NC in 1974 and earned a B.A. from Wake Forest University in 1978.[2]


Prior to running for Congress, Burr worked for 17 years as a sales manager for Carswell Distributing Company, a distributor of lawn equipment.[1]

Committee assignments

U.S. Senate


Burr serves on the following Senate committees:[3]


Burr served on the following committees:[4]

Key votes

113th Congress


The 113th Congress has had 55 out of 5,401 introduced bills enacted into law (1 percent) as of November 30, 2013. Comparatively, the 112th Congress had 1.14 percent of introduced bills enacted into law in the first session.[5] The Senate has confirmed 16,878 out of 19,009 executive nominations received thus far (88.8 percent). For more information pertaining to Burr's voting record in the 113th Congress, please see the below sections.[6]

National security

John Brennan CIA nomination

Yea3.png Burr 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.[7]

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 have been critical that President Obama did not offer a clear response to the question. A total of 14 senators joined Paul in the filibuster -- 13 Republicans and one Democrat.[8][9][10]

According to the website Breitbart, Burr was 1 of 30 Republican senators who did not support the filibuster.[11][12]

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."[13]


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.[14] The final vote on H.R. 2775 was 81-18, with all 18 votes against the bill from Republican members. Burr voted with the Democratic Party for the bill.[15]

No Budget, No Pay Act of 2013

Nay3.png Burr 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.[16]


Mexico-U.S. border

Yea3.png Burr 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.[17]

Social issues

Violence Against Women (2013)

Yea3.png Burr 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.[18]

Previous congressional sessions

Fiscal Cliff

Yea3.png Burr 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.[19]


On The Issues Vote Match

Richard Burr'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, Burr is a Hard-Core Conservative. Burr received a score of 14 percent on social issues and 76 percent on economic issues.[20]

On The Issues organization logo.

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

On The Issues Vote Quiz[21]
Economic Issues Social Issues
Issue Stance Issue Stance
Legally require hiring women & minorities Opposes Abortion is a woman's unrestricted right Strongly Opposes
Expand ObamaCare Strongly Opposes Comfortable with same-sex marriage Strongly Opposes
Vouchers for school choice Opposes Keep God in the public sphere Strongly Favors
Absolute right to gun ownership Favors Human needs over animal rights Opposes
Higher taxes on the wealthy Strongly Opposes Stricter punishment reduces crime Strongly Favors
Support & expand free trade Favors Pathway to citizenship for illegal aliens Opposes
Stricter limits on political campaign funds Opposes Maintain US sovereignty from UN Opposes
Prioritize green energy Strongly Opposes Expand the military Favors
Stimulus better than market-led recovery Strongly Opposes Stay out of Iran Strongly Opposes
Privatize Social Security Favors Never legalize marijuana Strongly Favors
Note: Information last updated: 2014.[20]

Presidential preference


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

Richard Burr endorsed Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential election. [22]

Senate Conservative Fund target

The Senate Conservative Fund targeted Burr in August 2013 with two weeks of radio ads designed to push Senate Republicans to support Utah's Mike Lee's effort to defund Obamacare.[23]



On November 2, 2010, Burr was re-elected to the United States Senate for a second term. He defeated Elaine Marshall (D), Michael Beitler (Libertarian) and the write-in candidates.[24]

U.S. Senate, North Carolina General Election, 2010
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngRichard Burr Incumbent 54.8% 1,458,046
     Democratic Elaine Marshall 43% 1,145,074
     Libertarian Michael Beitler 2.1% 55,687
     Independent Write-in 0% 1,272
Total Votes 2,660,079

Full history

Campaign donors

Comprehensive donor information for Burr is available dating back to 2000. Based on available campaign finance records, Burr raised a total of $24,349,171 during that time period. This information was last updated on April 23, 2013.[26]

Richard Burr's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2010 U.S. Senate (North Carolina) Won $10,868,382
2004 U.S. Senate (North Carolina) Won $11,302,395
2002 U.S House of Representatives (North Carolina District 5) Won $1,210,424
2000 U.S House of Representatives (North Carolina District 5) Won $967,970
Grand Total Raised $24,349,171


Breakdown of the source of Burr's campaign funds before the 2010 election.
Burr was re-elected to the U.S. Senate for a second term in 2010. His campaign committee raised a total of $10,868,382 and spent $6,274,147.[27]
U.S. Senate, North Carolina, 2010 - Richard Burr Campaign Contributions
Total Raised $10,868,382
Total Spent $6,274,147
Total Raised by General Election Opponent $2,894,468
Total Spent by General Election Opponent $2,845,246
Top contributors to Richard Burr's campaign committee
New Breed Inc$84,050
Reynolds American$76,901
Scana Corp$62,099
Womble, Carlyle et al$61,377
Duke Energy$52,895
Top 5 industries that contributed to campaign committee
Health Professionals$523,742
Lawyers/Law Firms$472,755
Pharmaceuticals/Health Products$467,124

Personal Gain Index

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

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

PGI: Change in net worth

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

Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by, Burr's net worth as of 2012 was estimated between $2,293,365 and $4,021,356. That averages to $3,157,360.50, which is lower than the average net worth of Republican senators in 2012 of $6,956,438.47. Burr ranked as the 43rd most wealthy senator in 2012.[28] Between 2004 and 2012, Burr's calculated net worth[29] increased by an average of 52 percent per year. Between 2004 and 2014, the average annual percentage increase for a member of Congress was 15.4 percent.[30]

Richard Burr Yearly Net Worth
YearAverage Net Worth
Growth from 2004 to 2012:413%
Average annual growth:52%[31]
Comparatively, the American citizen experienced a median yearly decline in net worth of -0.94%.[32]
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.


Ideology and leadership

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

Based on an analysis of bill sponsorship by GovTrack, Burr is a "rank-and-file Republican" as of July 2014.[33] This was the same rating Burr received in June 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.[34]

Burr most often votes with:

Burr least often votes with:

Lifetime voting record

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

According to the website GovTrack, Burr missed 94 of 3,015 roll call votes from January 2005 to July 2014. This amounts to 3.1 percent, which is worse than the median of 2.0 percent among current senators as of July 2014.[35]

Congressional staff salaries

See also: Staff salaries of United States Senators and Representatives

The website Legistorm compiles staff salary information for members of Congress. Burr paid his congressional staff a total of $2,542,700 in 2011. He ranked 18th on the list of the highest paid Republican senatorial staff salaries and ranked 34th overall of the highest paid senatorial staff salaries in 2011. Overall, North Carolina ranked 34th in average salary for senatorial staff. The average U.S. Senate congressional staff was paid $2,529,141.70 in fiscal year 2011.[36]

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.


Burr ranked 27th in the conservative rankings in 2013.[37]


Burr ranked 23rd in the conservative rankings in 2012.[38]


Burr ranked 7th in the conservative rankings in 2011.[39]

Voting with party

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


Burr voted with the Republican Party 94.9 percent of the time, which ranked 1st among the 45 Senate Republican members as of July 2014.[40]


Burr voted with the Republican Party 93.8 percent of the time, which ranked 2nd among the 46 Senate Republican members as of June 2013.[41]


Richard and his wife, Brooke, have two sons.[42]

Recent news

This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term Richard + Burr + North Carolina + Senate

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

Richard Burr News Feed

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See also

External links

Political Tracker has an article on:
Richard Burr


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Richard Burr, U.S. Senator North Carolina, "About Senator Burr - Biography"
  2. Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, "BURR, Richard M., (1955 - )"
  3. Congressional Quarterly, "Senate Committee List" accessed January 22, 2013
  4. Richard Burr, U.S. Senator North Carolina, "Issues & Legislation - Committee Assignments"
  5. Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity, First Session of the 112th Congress," accessed September 5, 2013
  6. Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity, Second Session of the 113th Congress," accessed March 4, 2014
  7. Project Vote Smart, "PN 48 - Nomination of John Brennan to be Director of the Central Intelligence Agency - Voting Record," accessed September 25, 2013
  8. CNN, "Rand Paul says he's heard from White House after filibuster," March 7, 2013
  9. USA Today, "Rand Paul filibuster ranks among Senate's longest," March 7, 2013
  10. ABC News, "Rand Paul wins applause from GOP and liberals," March 7, 2013
  11. Breitbart, "AWOL: Meet the GOP senators who refused to stand with Rand," March 7, 2013
  12. Politico, "Rand Paul filibuster blasted by Sens. John McCain, Lindsey Graham," March 7, 2013
  13. Washington Post, "Eric Holder responds to Rand Paul with ‘no’," March 7, 2013
  14. The Washington Post, "Reid, McConnell propose bipartisan Senate bill to end shutdown, extend borrowing," accessed October 16, 2013
  15., "H.R. 2775 As Amended," accessed October 31, 2013
  16. 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
  17. Project Vote Smart, "S Amdt 1197 - Requires the Completion of the Fence Along the United States-Mexico Border - Voting Record," accessed September 25, 2013
  18. Project Vote Smart, "S 47 - Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 - Voting Record," accessed September 25, 2013
  19. U.S. Senate, "Roll Call Vote on the Fiscal Cliff" accessed January 4, 2013
  20. 20.0 20.1 On The Issues, "Richard Burr Vote Match," accessed June 23, 2014
  21. The questions in the quiz are broken down into two sections -- social and economic. In social questions, liberals and libertarians agree in choosing the less-government answers, while conservatives and populists agree in choosing the more-restrictive answers. For the economic questions, conservatives and libertarians agree in choosing the less-government answers, while liberals and populists agree in choosing the more-restrictive answers.
  22. Washington Post, "Romney nabs N.C. Sen. Richard Burr endorsement, gaining support of one-quarter of Senate GOP," December 29, 2011
  23. The Hill, "Senate Conservatives Fund targets Isakson with latest 'defund ObamaCare' ad," August 22, 2013
  24. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2010"
  25. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2004," accessed March 28, 2013
  26. Open Secrets, "Career Fundraising for Richard Burr" April 2013
  27. Open Secrets, "Richard Burr 2010 Election Data," accessed November 5, 2011
  28. OpenSecrets, "Burr, (R-NC), 2012," accessed February 18, 2014
  29. 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.
  30. This number was found by dividing each member's total net worth growth percentage by the number of years included in the calculation.
  31. This figure represents the total percentage growth divided by the number of years for which there are net worth figures for each member.
  32. 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.
  33. GovTrack, "Richard Burr," accessed July 24, 2014
  34. OpenCongress, "Richard Burr," accessed July 24, 2014
  35. GovTrack, "Richard Burr," accessed July 24, 2014
  36. LegiStorm, "Richard Burr"
  37. National Journal, "2013 Congressional Vote Ratings," accessed July 24, 2014
  38. National Journal, "2012 Congressional Vote Ratings," accessed March 7, 2013
  39. National Journal, "Searchable Vote Ratings Tables: House," accessed February 23, 2012
  40. OpenCongress, "Voting With Party," accessed July 2014
  41. OpenCongress, "Voting With Party," accessed July 2014
  42. Richard Burr, U.S. Senator North Carolina, "About Senator Burr - Biography"
Political offices
Preceded by
John Edwards
United States Senate
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Stephen L. Neal
United States House of Representatives - District 5
Succeeded by
Virginia Foxx