|U.S. Senate, Maryland|
|January 3, 1987-Present|
|January 3, 2017|
|Years in position||27|
|Predecessor||Charles McC. Mathias, Jr. (R)|
|Elections and appointments|
|Last election||November 2, 2010|
|First elected||November 4, 1986|
|Next general||November 8, 2016|
|U.S. House of Representatives|
|High school||Institute of Notre Dame|
|Bachelor's||Mount Saint Agnes College|
|Master's||University of Maryland School of Social Work|
|Place of birth||Baltimore, MD|
- 1 Biography
- 2 Career
- 3 Committee assignments
- 4 Key votes
- 4.1 113th Congress
- 4.2 National security
- 4.3 Economy
- 4.4 Immigration
- 4.5 Social issues
- 4.6 Previous congressional sessions
- 5 Issues
- 6 Elections
- 7 Campaign donors
- 8 Personal Gain Index
- 9 Analysis
- 10 Personal
- 11 Recent news
- 12 See also
- 13 External links
- 14 References
Mikulski is scheduled to run for re-election in January, 2019.
Prior to her election in the Senate, Mikulski served as a member of the Baltimore city council.Cite error: Invalid
refs with no content must have a name
Based on analysis of multiple outside rankings, Mikulski is one of the most reliable Democratic votes, meaning she can be considered a safe vote for the Democratic Party in Congress.
Mikulski was born on July 20, 1936, in East Baltimore, MD. She earned her B.A. from Mt. Saint Agnes College (now a part of Loyola Maryland University) in 1958 and went on obtain her Master's from the University of Maryland School of Social Work in 1965. Mikulski worked as a social worker and college professor prior to her career in politics.
Below is an abbreviated version of Mikulski's political career:
- Baltimore City Council, 1971-1976
- U.S. House of Representatives, 1977-1987
- U.S. Senate, 1987-Present
- Appropriations Committee
- Subcommittee on Transportation and Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies
- Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs
- Subcommittee on Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies
- Subcommittee on Legislative Branch
- 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 Department of Homeland
- Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government Members
- Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development
- Subcommittee on Department of Defense
- Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies
- Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies
- Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee
- Subcommittee on Primary Health and Aging
- Subcommittee on Children and Families
- Select Committee on Intelligence
Mikulski served on the following Senate committees:
- Appropriations Committee
- Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee
- Select Committee on Intelligence
The 113th Congress has had 55 out of 5,401 introduced bills enacted into law (1%) as of November 30, 2013. Comparatively, the 112th Congress had 1.14% of introduced bills enacted into law in the first session. The Senate has confirmed 16,878 out of 19,009 executive nominations received thus far (88.8%). For more information pertaining to Mikulski's voting record in the 113th Congress, please see the below sections.
John Brennan CIA nomination
Mikulski 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.
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. It passed the Senate with a vote of 68-32. The nearly 1,000-page bill reformed and continued various programs of the Department of Agriculture through 2018. The $1 trillion bill expanded crop insurance for farmers by $7 billion over the next decade and created new subsidies for rice and peanut growers that will kick in if or when prices drop; however, cuts to the food stamp program cut an average of $90 per month for 1.7 million people in 15 states. Mikulski joined with 46 other Democratic senators in favor of the bill.
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. The Senate voted 72-26 for the 1,582 page bill, with 17 Republicans and 55 Democrats voting in favor of the bill. The omnibus package included 12 annual spending bills to fund federal operations. It included a 1% increase in the paychecks of federal workers and military personnel, a $1 billion increase in Head Start funding for early childhood education, reduced funding to the Internal Revenue Service and the Environmental Protection Agency and left the Affordable Care Act without any drastic cuts. Mikulski voted with the Democratic party in favor of the bill.
- See also: United States budget debate, 2013
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. The final vote on H.R. 2775 was 81-18, with all 18 votes against the bill from Republican members. Mikulski voted with the Democratic Party for the bill.
No Budget, No Pay Act of 2013
Mikulski voted for H.R.325 -- No Budget, No Pay Act of 2013. The bill passed the Senate on January 31, 2013, with a vote of 64 - 34. The purpose of the bill was to temporarily suspend the debt ceiling and withhold the pay of members of Congress until a budget could be passed. The vote largely followed party lines with Democrats overwhelmingly supporting it and many Republicans in opposition to the bill.
2013 Senate Budget Proposal
Mikulski voted for the 2013 Senate Budget Proposal. On March 23, 2013, after an all-night debate that ended just before 5 a.m., by a 50 to 49 vote the Democratically controlled Senate approved its first budget in four years. No Republicans voted for the Senate plan, and four Democrats opposed it. All four are from red states and are up for re-election in 2014. Mikulski was one of the four Democrats who voted against the budget proposal.
The approved plan is a $3.7 trillion budget for 2014 and would provide a fast track for passage of tax increases, trim spending modestly and leave the government still deeply in the red for the next decade.
The approval of a budget in the Senate began the process of setting up contentious, and potentially fruitless, negotiations with the Republican-controlled House starting in April to reconcile two vastly different plans for dealing with the nation’s economic and budgetary problems.
The House plan would have brought the government’s taxes and spending into balance by 2023 with cuts to domestic spending even below the levels of automatic across-the-board cuts for federal programs now, and it orders up dramatic and controversial changes to Medicare and the tax code.
The Senate plan differed greatly, and included $100 billion in upfront infrastructure spending to bolster the economy and calls for special fast-track rules to overhaul the tax code and raise $975 billion over 10 years in legislation that could not be filibustered. Even with that tax increase and prescribed spending cuts, the plan approved by the Senate would leave the government with a $566 billion annual deficit in 10 years, and $5.2 trillion in additional debt over that window.
Mikulski did not vote on 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.
Violence Against Women (2013)
Mikulski 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.
Previous congressional sessions
Mikulski 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.
On The Issues Vote Match
- 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, Mikulski is a Moderate Liberal. Mikulski received a score of 66 percent on social issues and 36 percent on economic issues.
The table below contains the results of analysis compiled by staff at On The Issues.
|On The Issues Vote Quiz|
|Economic Issues||Social Issues|
|Legally require hiring women & minorities||Favors||Abortion is a woman's unrestricted right||Favors|
|Expand ObamaCare||Opposes||Comfortable with same-sex marriage||Favors|
|Vouchers for school choice||Strongly Opposes||Keep God in the public sphere||Strongly Opposes|
|Absolute right to gun ownership||Strongly Opposes||Human needs over animal rights||Strongly Opposes|
|Higher taxes on the wealthy||Strongly Opposes||Stricter punishment reduces crime||Opposes|
|Support & expand free trade||Strongly Opposes||Pathway to citizenship for illegal aliens||Opposes|
|Stricter limits on political campaign funds||Opposes||Maintain US sovereignty from UN||Strongly Opposes|
|Prioritize green energy||Opposes||Expand the military||Strongly Opposes|
|Stimulus better than market-led recovery||Opposes||Stay out of Iran||Opposes|
|Privatize Social Security||Strongly Opposes||Never legalize marijuana||Strongly Opposes|
|Note: Information last updated: 2014.|
American response in Syria
- See also: United States involvement in Syria
Mikulski said on September 5, 2013, that she was persuaded that Syrian leader Bashar Assad was responsible for the August 2013 chemical weapons attack but remained undecided on whether a U.S. military strike is the best response.
"What we heard today made a compelling forensic case, one, that nerve gas was used and, No. 2, that it was used by the Assad regime," said Mikulski.
"In briefings like this, I was convinced that there was no compelling evidence that Saddam Hussein had nuclear weapons. I was right about that. I do believe that today there was compelling evidence presented that [Assad] did use nerve gas against his own people. Now, the next question is what is the best way to deter him from ever using that again," she said.
Mikulski said on September 9, 2013, that she supports giving President Barack Obama authorization to strike Syria.
"I believe the president's plan is the best response to protecting U.S. security interests in the region," Mikulski, the chairwoman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, said during a lengthy speech on the Senate floor.
"Therefore…after really great reflection and as much due diligence as I could do, I want to announce today to my colleagues and most of all to the people of Maryland who have supported me, that I will support the president's request for a targeted, limited military action against the Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime in response to the horrific, grim and ghoulish use of chemical weapons," she said.
On November 2, 2010, Barbara Mikulski won re-election to the United States Senate. She defeated Eric Wargotz (R), Richard Shawver (Constitution), Kenniss Henry (Green), Claud L. Ashbury (Write-in, R), Donald Kaplan (Write-in), James T. Lynch, Jr. (Write-in, D), Lih Young (Write-in), Denise L. Whittington (Write-in), Robert J. Evans (Write-in) and Mary Catherine Podlesak (Write-in, R) in the general election.
To view the full congressional electoral history for Barbara Mikulski, click [show] to expand the section.
Comprehensive donor information for Mikulski is available dating back to 2004. Based on available campaign finance records, Mikulski raised a total of $11,939,823 during that time period. This information was last updated on April 19, 2013.
|Barbara Mikulski's Campaign Contribution History|
|Grand Total Raised||$11,939,823|
Mikulski won re-election to the U.S. Senate in 2010. During that re-election cycle, Mikulski's campaign committee raised a total of $5,508,300 and spent $4,891,554.
|U.S. Senate, Maryland, 2010 - Barbara Mikulski Campaign Contributions|
|Total Raised by General Election Opponent||$932,526|
|Total Spent by General Election Opponent||$932,330|
|Top contributors to Barbara Mikulski's campaign committee|
|Law Offices of Peter G Angelos||$49,000|
|Johns Hopkins U||$36,150|
|Van Scoyoc Assoc||$34,388|
|Orbital Sciences Corp||$18,000|
|Top 5 industries that contributed to campaign committee|
Personal Gain Index
- See also: Personal Gain Index (U.S. Congress)
- See also: Personal Gain Index (U.S. Congress)
The Personal Gain Index (U.S. Congress) is a four-part measurement that illustrates the extent to which members of the U.S. Congress have prospered during their tenure as public servants.
It consists of four different metrics pioneered by the Government Accountability Institute:
- Changes in Net Worth
- The K-Street Metric
- The Donation Concentration Metric
- The Stock Oversight and Trades Metric
PGI: Change in net worth
Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by OpenSecrets.org, Mikulski's net worth as of 2012 was estimated between $227,016 and $682,000. That averages to $454,508, which is lower than the average net worth of Democratic senators in 2012 of $13,566,333. Mikulski ranked as the 85th most wealthy senator in 2012. Between 2004 and 2012, Mikulski's calculated net worth decreased 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.
|Barbara Mikulski Yearly Net Worth|
|Year||Average Net Worth|
|Growth from 2004 to 2012:||-11%|
|Average annual growth:||-1%|
|Comparatively, the American citizen experienced a median yearly decline in net worth of -0.94%.|
Ideology and leadership
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.
Mikulski most often votes with:
Mikulski least often votes with:
Lifetime voting record
According to the website GovTrack, Mikulski missed 309 of 9,229 roll call votes from January 1987 to July 2014, which is 3.3% of votes during that period. This is worse than the median of 2.0% among the lifetime records of senators currently serving.
Congressional staff salaries
The website Legistorm compiles staff salary information for members of Congress. Mikulski paid her congressional staff a total of $2,546,660 in 2011. She ranked 16th on the list of the lowest paid Democratic senatorial staff salaries and ranked 47th overall of the lowest paid senatorial staff salaries in 2011. Overall, Maryland ranked 33rd in average salary for senatorial staff. The average U.S. Senate congressional staff was paid $2,529,141.70 in fiscal year 2011.
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, as compared to other members, in the previous year. More information about the analysis process can be found on the vote ratings page.
Mikulski ranked 5th in the liberal rankings in 2013.
Mikulski ranked 5th in the liberal rankings in 2012.
Mikulski ranked 5th in the liberal rankings in 2011.
Voting with party
The website OpenCongress tracks how often members of Congress vote with the majority of the chamber caucus.
Mikulski voted with the Democratic Party 98.7 percent of the time, which ranked 3rd among the 53 Senate Democratic members as of July 2014.
This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term Barbara + Mikulski + Maryland + Senate
- All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.
- United States Senate
- U.S. Senate delegation from Maryland
- United States Senate elections, 2014
- Social media:
- Political profiles:
- Financial (federal level):
- Interest group ratings:
- Issue positions:
- Public statements:
- Voting record:
- Works by or about:
- Media appearances:
- Media coverage:
- Bioguide U.S. Senate, "Barbara Mikulski," accessed August 13, 2013
<ref>tag; no text was provided for refs named
Cite error: Invalid
- Biographical Guide to Members of Congress, "Barbara Mikulski," accessed October 25, 2011
- Congressional Quarterly, "Senate Committee List," accessed January 18, 2013
- United States Senate, "Committee Assignments," accessed March 29, 2014
- Official Senate Website, "Committee Assignments," accessed October 25, 2011
- Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity, First Session of the 112th Congress," accessed September 5, 2013
- Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity, Second Session of the 113th Congress," accessed March 4, 2014
- Project Vote Smartm "Barbara Mikulski Key Votes," accessed October 17, 2013
- Senate.gov, "H.R. 2642 (Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013)," accessed February 12, 2014
- NY Times, "Senate Passes Long-Stalled Farm Bill, With Clear Winners and Losers," accessed February 12, 2014
- Politico, "Senate approves $1.1 trillion spending bill," accessed January 20, 2014
- U.S. Senate, "January 16 Vote," accessed January 20, 2014
- Roll Call, "House Passes $1.1 Trillion Omnibus," accessed January 20, 2014
- The Washington Post, "Reid, McConnell propose bipartisan Senate bill to end shutdown, extend borrowing," accessed October 16, 2013
- Senate.gov, "H.R. 2775 As Amended," accessed October 31, 2013
- U.S. Senate, "Roll Call Vote on the Fiscal Cliff," accessed January 4, 2013
- On The Issues, "Barbara Mikulski Vote Match," accessed June 24, 2014
- 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.
- Baltimore Sun, "Mikulski convinced by evidence but undecided on strikes," accessed September 5, 2013
- U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2010," accessed March 28, 2013
- U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2004," accessed March 28, 2013
- U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 3, 1998," accessed March 28, 2013
- U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 3, 1992," accessed March 28, 2013
- U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 4, 1986," accessed March 28, 2013
- Open Secrets, "Career Fundraising for Barbara Mikulski," accessed April 2013
- Open Secrets, "Barbara Mikulski 2010 Election Cycle," accessed October 25, 2011
- OpenSecrets, "Mikulski, (D-MD), 2012," accessed February 18, 2014
- 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.
- This number was found by dividing each member's total net worth growth percentage by the number of years included in the calculation.
- This figure represents the total percentage growth divided by the number of years for which there are net worth figures for each member.
- 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.
- GovTrack, "Barbara Mikulski," accessed July 22, 2014
- OpenCongress, "Barbara Mikulski," accessed July 22, 2014
- GovTrack, "Brbara Mikulski," accessed July 22, 2014
- LegiStorm, "Barbara Mikulski," accessed 2012
- National Journal, "2013 Senate Vote Ratings," accessed July 22, 2014
- National Journal, "TABLE: House Liberal Scores by Issue Area," accessed February 26, 2013
- National Journal, "Searchable Vote Ratings Tables: House," accessed February 23, 2012
- OpenCongress, "Voting With Party," accessed July 2014
- Official Website, "Biography," accessed October 25, 2011
Charles Mathias, Jr.
|U.S. Senate - Maryland
| Succeeded by|
|U.S. House - Maryland
| Succeeded by|