Rob Portman

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Rob Portman
Rob Portman.jpg
U.S. Senate, Ohio
In office
Term ends
January 3, 2017
Years in position 4
PredecessorGeorge Voinovich (R)
Base salary$174,000/year
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 2, 2010
First electedNovember 2, 2010
Next generalNovember 8, 2016
Campaign $$24,349,171
Term limitsN/A
Prior offices
Representative, United States House of Representatives
Director, White House Legislative Affairs
Associate Counsel to the President
Bachelor'sDartmouth College, 1979
J.D.University of Michigan Law School, 1984
Date of birthDecember 12, 1955
Place of birthCincinnati, OH
Net worth(2012) $13,924,561.50
Office website
Personal website
Campaign website
Rob Portman (b. December 12, 1955, in Cincinnati, OH) is a Republican member of the U.S. Senate from Ohio. Portman was first elected to the Senate in 2010 and is currently serving his first term. Portman was considered to be a possible candidate for Mitt Romney's choice of a vice-presidential candidate in 2012, but ultimately he was not selected.[1][2]

Portman is scheduled to run for re-election in Ohio on November 8, 2016.

Prior to his election to the Senate, Portman served as Director of the Office of Management and Budget for former President George W. Bush.

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


Below is an abbreviated outline of Portman's academic, professional and political career:[3]

  • 2011-Present: U.S Senator from Ohio
  • 2006-2007: Served as Director, Office of Management and Budget, in the cabinet of President George W. Bush
  • 2005-2006: Served as U.S. Trade Representative in the cabinet of President of George W. Bush
  • 1993-2005: Served as Republican to U.S. Congress from Ohio
  • 1989-1991: Served as deputy assistant and director, Office of Legislative Affairs, White House Office
  • 1989: Served as associate counsel to President George H. W. Bush
  • 1984: Graduated from University of Michigan School of Law, Ann Arbor, Mich.
  • 1979: Graduated from Dartmouth College, Hanover

Committee assignments

U.S. Senate


Portman serves on the following committees:[4]


Portman served on the following Senate committees:[5]

  • Budget
  • Energy and Natural Resources
    • Subcommittee on National Parks Ranking member
    • Subcommittee on Energy
  • Finance
    • The Subcommittee on Social Security, Pensions, and Family Policy
    • The Subcommittee on International Trade, Customs, and Global Competitiveness
  • Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs
    • Subcommittee on Emergency Management, Intergovernmental Relations, and the District of Columbia
    • Subcommittee on the Efficiency and Effectiveness of Federal Programs and the Federal Workforce Ranking member
    • Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations


Portman 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 Portman's voting record in the 113th Congress, please see the below sections.[8]

National security

John Brennan CIA nomination

Nay3.png Portman 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]

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.[10][11][12]

According to the website Breitbart, Portman was one of 30 Republican senators who did not support the filibuster.[13][14]

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."[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. Portman voted with the Democratic Party for the bill.[17]

No Budget, No Pay Act of 2013

Nay3.png Portman 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.[18]


Source: This graphic was generated by Find The Best.

Mexico-U.S. border

Yea3.png Portman 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 Portman 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.[20]

Previous congressional sessions

Fiscal Cliff

Yea3.png Portman 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.[21]


On The Issues Vote Match

Rob Portman'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, Portman is a Libertarian-Leaning Conservative. Portman received a score of 25 percent on social issues and 91 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 Opposes Abortion is a woman's unrestricted right Strongly Opposes
Expand ObamaCare Strongly Opposes Comfortable with same-sex marriage Neutral
Vouchers for school choice Strongly Favors Keep God in the public sphere Strongly 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 Strongly Favors
Support & expand free trade Strongly Favors Pathway to citizenship for illegal aliens Favors
Stricter limits on political campaign funds Opposes Maintain US sovereignty from UN Strongly Favors
Prioritize green energy Strongly Opposes Expand the military Strongly Favors
Stimulus better than market-led recovery Unknown Stay out of Iran Strongly Opposes
Privatize Social Security Favors Never legalize marijuana Favors
Note: Information last updated: 2014.[22] If you notice the rating has changed, email us.

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. Portman was one of the 47 who signed the letter. No Democrats signed it.[24]

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."[25] 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.[26]

Political positions

Gay marriage

Portman reversed his long-held opposition to same-sex marriage in March 2013, saying it was spurred by his son’s disclosure that he was gay.[27] Though his shift was welcomed by gay rights advocates as an example of how a family’s love could change minds, many social conservatives denounced Portman and vowed to block his re-election.[27]

Presidential preference


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

Rob Portman endorsed Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential election. [28]



See also: United States Senate election in Ohio, 2016

In early 2015, Portman confirmed that he would seek re-election to the U.S. Senate in 2016. He stated, "I look forward to an official campaign announcement tour in February, kicking off in Columbus."[29]


See also: Possible presidential candidates, 2016

On December 2, 2014, Portman announced that he would not run for President of the United States in 2016, and would instead seek re-election to the U.S. Senate. About his decision, Portman stated, "With the new Republican majority, I see a real opportunity over the next two years to break the gridlock in Washington and actually get things done to help Ohioans and all Americans. That’s where I believe I can play the most constructive role."[30]


On November 2, 2010, Portman won election to the United States Senate. He defeated Lee Fisher (D), Michael L. Pryce (I), Eric W. Deaton (Constitution), Daniel H. LaBotz (Socialist) and Arthur T. Sullivan (Write-in) in the general election.[31]

U.S. Senate, Ohio General Election, 2010
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngRob Portman 56.8% 2,168,742
     Democrat Lee Fisher 39.4% 1,503,297
     Independent Michael L. Pryce 1.3% 50,101
     Constitution Eric W. Deaton 1.7% 65,856
     Socialist Daniel H. LaBotz 0.7% 26,454
     Write-in Arthur T. Sullivan 0% 648
Total Votes 3,815,098

Campaign donors

Fundraising events

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

Source: This graphic was generated by Find The Best.

Comprehensive donor history

Comprehensive donor information for Portman is available dating back to 2000. Based on available campaign finance records, Portman raised a total of $24,349,171 during that time period. This information was last updated on April 23, 2013.[32]

Rob Portman'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

Source: This graphic was generated by Find The Best.


Portman reported $5.8 million cash on hand at the end of 2014.[29]

Portman ended 2013 with more than $4.4 million in campaign funds, including a final quarter fundraising total of $1.3 million. This was a particularly notable sum given that Portman still had nearly three years before his next re-election campaign in 2016. Lists of possible presidential and vice-presidential candidates often featured Portman, and he could have used funds raised for his 2016 re-election for a presidential bid instead.[33] However, Portman announced in early December 2014 that he would not run for president and would instead seek re-election to the U.S. Senate in 2016.[34]


Portman won election to the U.S. Senate in 2010. During that re-election cycle, Portman's campaign committee raised a total of $16,540,629 and spent $15,054,910.[35]

His top five contributors between 2001-2006 were:

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, Portman's net worth as of 2012 was estimated between $7,365,124 to $20,483,999. That averages to $13,924,561.50, which is higher than the average net worth of Republican Senate members in 2012 of $6,956,438.47. Portman ranked as the 15th most wealthy senator in 2012.[36] Between 2004 and 2012, Portman's calculated net worth[37] increased by an average of 1 percent per year. Between 2004 and 2012, the average annual percentage increase for a member of Congress was 15.4 percent.[38]

Rob Portman Yearly Net Worth
YearAverage Net Worth
Growth from 2004 to 2012:7%
Average annual growth:1%[39]
Comparatively, the American citizen experienced a median yearly decline in net worth of -0.94%.[40]
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). Portman received the most donations from individuals and PACs employed by the Securities & Investment industry.

From 1991-2014, 31.73 percent of Portman's career contributions came from the top five industries as listed below.[41]

Donation Concentration Metric graphic.png
Rob Portman Campaign Contributions
Total Raised $23,653,018
Total Spent $10,682,374
Top five industries that contributed to campaign committee
Securities & Investment$1,833,031
Lawyers/Law Firms$1,448,930
Misc Manufacturing & Distributing$1,132,366
% total in top industry7.75%
% total in top two industries15.25%
% total in top five industries31.73%


Ideology and leadership

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

Based on an analysis of bill sponsorship by GovTrack, Portman was a "moderate Republican leader" as of July 2014.[42] Portman was rated as a "rank-and-file Republican" 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.[43]

Portman most often votes with:

Portman 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, Portman missed 7 of 1,018 roll call votes from January 2011 to July 2014. This amounts to 0.7 percent, which is better than the median of 2.0 percent among current senators as of July 2014.[44]

Congressional staff salaries

See also: Staff salaries of United States Senators and Representatives

The website Legistorm compiles staff salary information for members of Congress. Portman paid his congressional staff a total of $1,903,924 in 2011. He ranked 11th on the list of the lowest paid Republican senatorial staff salaries and ranked 13th overall of the lowest paid senatorial staff salaries in 2011. Overall, Ohio ranked 8th in average salary for senatorial staff. The average U.S. Senate congressional staff was paid $2,529,141.70 in fiscal year 2011.[45]

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.


Portman ranked 28th in the conservative rankings in 2013.[46]


Portman ranked 33rd in the conservative rankings in 2012.[47]


Portman ranked 35th in the conservative rankings in 2011.[48]

Voting with party

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


Portman voted with the Republican Party 93.8 percent of the time, which ranked second among the 45 Senate Republican members as of July 2014.[49]


Portman voted with the Republican Party 95.5 percent of the time, which ranked first among the 46 Senate Republican members as of June 2013.[50]


Portman and his wife, Jane Dudley, have three children.[51]

Recent news

This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term Rob + Portman + Ohio + Senate

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

Rob Portman News Feed

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See also

External links

Suggest a link


  1., "Mitt Romney chooses Paul Ryan as running mate," August 11, 2012
  2. New York Times, "A senator who knows Washington’s ways," accessed July 3, 2012
  3. Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, "Rob Portman," accessed October 24, 2011
  4. United States Senate, "Committee Assignments of the 114th Congress," accessed February 17, 2015
  5. Congressional Quarterly, "Senate Committee List," accessed January 22, 2013
  6. Project Vote Smart, "Rob Portman's Biography," accessed April 2, 2014
  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. Project Vote Smart, "PN 48 - Nomination of John Brennan to be Director of the Central Intelligence Agency - Voting Record," accessed September 25, 2013
  10. CNN, "Rand Paul says he's heard from White House after filibuster," March 7, 2013
  11. USA Today, "Rand Paul filibuster ranks among Senate's longest," March 7, 2013
  12. ABC News, "Rand Paul wins applause from GOP and liberals," March 7, 2013
  13. Breitbart, "AWOL: Meet the GOP senators who refused to stand with Rand," March 7, 2013
  14. Politico, "Rand Paul filibuster blasted by Sens. John McCain, Lindsey Graham," March 7, 2013
  15. Washington Post, "Eric Holder responds to Rand Paul with ‘no’," March 7, 2013
  16. The Washington Post, "Reid, McConnell propose bipartisan Senate bill to end shutdown, extend borrowing," accessed October 16, 2013
  17., "H.R. 2775 As Amended," accessed October 31, 2013
  18. 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
  19. Project Vote Smart, "S Amdt 1197 - Requires the Completion of the Fence Along the United States-Mexico Border - Voting Record," accessed September 25, 2013
  20. Project Vote Smart, "S 47 - Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 - Voting Record," accessed September 25, 2013
  21. U.S. Senate, "Roll Call Vote on the Fiscal Cliff," accessed January 4, 2013
  22. 22.0 22.1 On The Issues, "Rob Portman Vote Match," accessed June 23, 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. The Wall Street Journal, "Text of GOP Senators’ Letter to Iran’s Leaders on Nuclear Talks," March 9, 2015
  25. Fox News, "Firestorm erupts over GOP letter challenging Obama's power to approve Iran nuclear deal," March 10, 2015
  26. Ut San Diego, "Traitors or patriots? Senator's letter to Iran creates firestorm," March 11, 2015
  27. 27.0 27.1 New York Times, "Doubts and downloads in Ohio after Portman’s shift on gay marriage," accessed April 5, 2013
  28., "VP rumors start as Terrace Park's Portman endorses Romney," January 19, 2012
  29. 29.0 29.1 The Business Journal, "Portman Re-election Campaign Reports $5.8M Cash on Hand," accessed January 8, 2015
  30. Politico, "Rob Portman won’t run for president in 2016," accessed December 3, 2014
  31. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2010," accessed March 28, 2013
  32. Open Secrets, "Career Fundraising for Richard Burr," April 2013
  33. Wall Street Journal, "Sen. Portman fills coffers well ahead of ’16 re-election," January 27, 2014
  34. Politico, "Rob Portman won’t run for president in 2016," accessed December 3, 2014
  35. Open Secrets, "Rob Portman 2010 Election Cycle," accessed October 29, 2011
  36. Open Secrets, "Portman, 2012," accessed January 14, 2014
  37. 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.
  38. This number was found by dividing each member's total net worth growth percentage by the number of years included in the calculation.
  39. This figure represents the total percentage growth divided by the number of years for which there are net worth figures for each member.
  40. 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.
  41., "Sen. Rob Portman," accessed September 23, 2014
  42. GovTrack, "Rob Portman," accessed July 28, 2014
  43. OpenCongress, "Rob Portman," accessed July 28, 2014
  44. GovTrack, "Rob Portman," accessed July 28, 2014
  45. LegiStorm, "Rob Portman," accessed August 17, 2012
  46. National Journal, "2013 Congressional Vote Ratings," accessed July 28, 2014
  47. National Journal, "2012 Congressional Vote Ratings," accessed March 7, 2013
  48. National Journal, "Searchable Vote Ratings Tables: House," accessed February 23, 2012
  49. OpenCongress, "Voting With Party," accessed July 2014
  50. OpenCongress, "Voting With Party," accessed July 2014
  51., "Biography," accessed April 2, 2014
Political offices
Preceded by
George Voinovich
U.S. Senate - Ohio
Succeeded by