SLP Badge Transparent.png
Read the
State Legislative Tracker
New edition available now!

Debbie Stabenow

From Ballotpedia
(Redirected from Deborah A. Stabenow)
Jump to: navigation, search
Debbie Stabenow
Debbie Stabenow.jpg
U.S. Senate, Michigan
In office
January 3, 2001-Present
Term ends
January 3, 2019
Years in position 13
PredecessorSpencer Abraham (R)
Base salary$174,000/year
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 6, 2012
Cost per vote$4.91 in 2012
First electedNovember 7, 2000
Next generalNovember 2018
Campaign $$22,665,612
Term limitsN/A
Prior offices
U.S. House of Representatives
Michigan State Senate
Michigan State House of Representatives
High schoolClare High School
Bachelor'sMichigan State University
Master'sMichigan State University
BirthdayApril 29, 1950
Place of birthGladwin, MI
ProfessionSocial Worker
Net worth$32,500.50
Office website
Campaign website
Deborah Ann Greer "Debbie" Stabenow (b. April 29, 1950, in Gladwin, MI) is a Democratic member of the U.S. Senate from the state of Michigan. Stabenow was first elected to the Senate in 2000.

Stabenow most recently won re-election to the Senate in 2012. She ran unopposed in the August 7 Democratic primary. She defeated Pete Hoekstra (R), Scotty Boman (L), Harley Mikkelson (G), Richard Matkin (UST) and John Litle (NLP) in the general election on November 6, 2012.

Stabenow began her political career in the Michigan House of Representatives, where she served from 1979 until her election to the State Senate in 1990. She served in the Senate until 1994 and was later elected to the U.S. House in 1996. Stabenow served in that position until her election to the U.S. Senate in 2000.

Based on analysis of multiple outside rankings, Stabenow is an average Democratic member of Congress, meaning she will vote with the Democratic Party on the majority of bills.


Stabenow was born in 1950 in Gladwin, MI, and attended high school in Clare, MI. She earned both her B.A. and her M.S.W. from Michigan State University in 1972 and 1975, respectively. Stabenow has also worked as a social worker.[1]


Below is an abbreviated outline of Stabenow's political career:[1]

  • Michigan State House of Representatives, 1979-1990
  • Michigan State Senate, 1991-1994
  • U.S. House of Representatives, 1997-2001
  • U.S. Senate, 2001-Present

Committee assignments

U.S. Senate


Stabenow serves on the following Senate committees:[2]

  • Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee Chairwoman
    • Subcommittee on Livestock, Dairy, Poultry, Marketing and Agriculture Security
    • Subcommittee on Nutrition, Specialty Crops, Food and Agricultural Research
    • Subcommittee on Conservation, Forestry and Natural Resources
    • Subcommittee on Jobs, Rural Economic Growth and Energy Innovation
    • Subcommittee on Commodities, Markets, Trade and Risk Management
  • Budget Committee
  • Energy and Natural Resources Committee
    • Subcommittee on Water and Power
    • Subcommittee on National Parks
    • Subcommittee on Energy
  • Finance Committee
    • The Subcommittee on International Energy, Natural Resources, and Infrastructure Chair
    • The Subcommittee on International Trade, Customs, and Global Competitiveness
    • The Subcommittee on Healthcare


Stabenow served on the following Senate committees:[3]

Key votes

113th Congress


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.[4] The Senate has confirmed 16,878 out of 19,009 executive nominations received thus far (88.8%). For more information pertaining to Stabenow's voting record in the 113th Congress, please see the below sections.[5]

National security

John Brennan CIA nomination

Voted "Yes" Stabenow 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.[6]


Farm bill

Voted "Yes" 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.[7] 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.[8] Stabenow joined with 46 other Democratic senators in favor of the bill.

2014 Budget

Voted "Yes" 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.[9][10] The Senate voted 72-26 for the 1,582 page bill, with 17 Republicans and 55 Democrats voting in favor of the bill.[10] The omnibus package included 12 annual spending bills to fund federal operations.[11] 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. Stabenow voted with the Democratic party in favor of the bill.[9][10]

Government shutdown

See also: United States budget debate, 2013

Voted "Yes" 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.[12] The final vote on H.R. 2775 was 81-18, with all 18 votes against the bill from Republican members. Stabenow voted with the Democratic Party for the bill.[13]

Stabenow donated her pay earned during the shutdown to charity.[14]

No Budget, No Pay Act of 2013

Voted "Yes" Stabenow 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.[15]


Mexico-U.S. border

Voted "No" Stabenow voted against 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.[16]

Social issues

Violence Against Women (2013)

Voted "Yes" Stabenow 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.[17]

Previous congressional sessions

Fiscal Cliff

Voted "Yes" Stabenow 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

Stabenow'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, Stabenow is a Moderate Liberal Populist. Stabenow received a score of 56 percent on social issues and 36 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 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 Opposes
Absolute right to gun ownership Strongly Opposes Human needs over animal rights Strongly Opposes
Higher taxes on the wealthy Opposes Stricter punishment reduces crime Favors
Support & expand free trade 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 Opposes
Stimulus better than market-led recovery Opposes Stay out of Iran Opposes
Privatize Social Security Opposes Never legalize marijuana Strongly Opposes
Note: Information last updated: 2014.[19]



See also: United States Senate elections in Michigan, 2012

Stabenow won re-election to the U.S. Senate in 2012.[21] She ran unopposed in the August 7 Democratic primary. She defeated Pete Hoekstra (R), Scotty Boman (L), Harley Mikkelson (G), Richard Matkin (UST) and John Litle (NLP) in the general election on November 6, 2012.[22]

U.S. Senate, Michigan General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngDebbie Stabenow Incumbent 58.8% 2,735,826
     Republican Pete Hoekstra 38% 1,767,386
     Libertarian Scotty Boman 1.8% 84,480
     Green Harley Mikkelson 0.6% 27,890
     UST Richard Matkin 0.6% 26,038
     NLP John Litle 0.2% 11,229
Total Votes 4,652,849
Source: Michigan Secretary of State "Official Election Results, 2012 General Election"


Debbie Stabenow vs. Pete Hoekstra
Poll Debbie Stabenow Pete HoekstraNeitherDon't knowMargin of ErrorSample Size
(September 20, 2012)
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. 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

Campaign donors

Comprehensive donor information for Stabenow is available dating back to 2000. Based on available campaign finance records, Stabenow raised a total of $35,027,401 during that time period. This information was last updated on April 24, 2013.[25]

Debbie Stabenow's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2012 U.S. Senate (Michigan) Won $14,376,142
2006 U.S. Senate (Michigan) Won $12,361,789
2000 U.S. Senate (Michigan) Won $8,289,470
Grand Total Raised $35,027,401


Breakdown of the source of Stabenow's campaign funds before the 2012 election.

Stabenow won re-election to the U.S. Senate in 2012. During that re-election cycle, Stabenow's campaign committee raised a total of $14,376,099 and spent $13,434,824.[26] This is more than the average $10.2 million spent by Senate winners in 2012.[27]

Cost per vote

Stabenow spent $4.91 per vote received in 2012.

Out-of-state donations

According to an Open Secrets report, Stabenow ranked among the top ten senate candidates receiving out-of-state donations during the 2012 election cycle. She received $3,399,022, or 54.8%, of her donations from outside of Michigan.[28]


Breakdown of the source of Stabenow's campaign funds before the 2006 election.

Stabenow won re-election to the U.S. Senate in 2006. During that re-election cycle, Stabenow's campaign committee raised a total of $12,361,789 and spent $12,426,541.[29]

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 pioneered by the Government Accountability Institute:

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, Stabenow's net worth as of 2012 was estimated between $15,001 and $50,000. That averages to $32,500.50, which is lower than the average net worth of Democratic senators in 2012 of $13,566,333. Stabenow ranked as the 98th most wealthy senator in 2012.[30] Between 2004 and 2012, Stabenow's calculated net worth[31] decreased by an average of 11 percent per year. Between 2004 and 2012, the average annual percentage increase for a member of Congress was 15.4 percent.[32]

Debbie Stabenow Yearly Net Worth
YearAverage Net Worth
Growth from 2004 to 2012:-88%
Average annual growth:-11%[33]
Comparatively, the American citizen experienced a median yearly decline in net worth of -0.94%.[34]
The data used to calculate changes in net worth may include changes resulting from assets gained through marriage, inheritance, changes in family estates and/or trusts, changes in family business ownership and many other variables unrelated to a member's behavior in Congress.


Ideology and leadership

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

Based on an analysis of bill sponsorship by GovTrack, Stabenow is a "rank-and-file Democrat" as of June 2013.[35]

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.[36]

Stabenow most often votes with:

Stabenow least often votes with:

Lifetime voting record

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

According to the website GovTrack, Stabenow missed 32 of 3,888 roll call votes from Jan 2001 to Apr 2013, which is 0.8% of votes during that period. This is better than the median of 1.7% among the lifetime records of senators currently serving.[37]

Congressional staff salaries

See also: Staff salaries of United States Senators and Representatives

The website Legistorm compiles staff salary information for members of Congress. Stabenow paid her congressional staff a total of $3,016,045 in 2011. She ranked 11th on the list of the highest paid Democratic senatorial staff salaries and ranked 13th overall of the highest paid senatorial staff salaries in 2011. Overall, Michigan ranked 6th in average salary for senatorial staff. The average U.S. Senate congressional staff was paid $2,529,141.70 in fiscal year 2011.[38]

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.


Stabenow ranked 22nd in the liberal rankings among U.S. senators during 2012.[39]


Stabenow ranked 22nd in the liberal rankings among U.S. senators during 2011.[40]

Voting with party


Stabenow voted with the Democratic Party 97.5 percent of the time, which ranked 8th among the 52 Senate Democratic members as of June 2013.[41]


Stabenow lives in Lansing, MI. She has two children and two grandchildren.[42]

Recent news

This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term Debbie + Stabenow + Michigan + Senate

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

Debbie Stabenow News Feed

  • Loading...

External links


  1. 1.0 1.1 Biographical Guide to Members of Congress, "Debbie Stabenow," accessed October 29, 2011
  2. Congressional Quarterly, "Senate Committee List," accessed January 18, 2013
  3. Official U.S. Senate Website, "Committee Assignments," accessed October 29, 2011
  4. Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity, First Session of the 112th Congress," accessed September 5, 2013
  5. Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity, Second Session of the 113th Congress," accessed March 4, 2014
  6. Project Vote Smart, "PN 48 - Nomination of John Brennan to be Director of the Central Intelligence Agency - Voting Record," accessed September 25, 2013
  7., "H.R. 2642 (Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013)," accessed February 12, 2014
  8. NY Times, "Senate Passes Long-Stalled Farm Bill, With Clear Winners and Losers," accessed February 12, 2014
  9. 9.0 9.1 Politico, "Senate approves $1.1 trillion spending bill," accessed January 20, 2014
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 U.S. Senate, "January 16 Vote," accessed January 20, 2014
  11. Roll Call, "House Passes $1.1 Trillion Omnibus," accessed January 20, 2014
  12. The Washington Post, "Reid, McConnell propose bipartisan Senate bill to end shutdown, extend borrowing," accessed October 16, 2013
  13., "H.R. 2775 As Amended," accessed October 31, 2013
  14. Washington Post, "Which lawmakers will refuse their pay during the shutdown?," accessed October 2, 2013
  15. Project Vote Smart, "HR 325 - To Ensure the Complete and Timely Payment of the Obligations of the United States Government Until May 19, 2013 - Voting Record," accessed September 25, 2013
  16. Project Vote Smart, "S Amdt 1197 - Requires the Completion of the Fence Along the United States-Mexico Border - Voting Record," accessed September 25, 2013
  17. Project Vote Smart, "S 47 - Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 - Voting Record," accessed September 25, 2013
  18. U.S. Senate, "Roll Call Vote on the Fiscal Cliff," accessed January 4, 2013
  19. 19.0 19.1 On The Issues, "Debbie Stabenow Vote Match," accessed June 20, 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. Politico, "2012 Election Map, Michigan," accessed November 15 15, 2012
  22. Associated Press, "2012 primary results," accessed November 7, 2012
  23. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 7, 2006," accessed March 28, 2013
  24. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 7, 2000," accessed March 28, 2013
  25. Open Secrets, "Donor history for Debbie Stabenow," April 2013
  26. Open Secrets, "Debbie Stabenow 2012 Election Cycle," accessed February 2013
  27. Open Secrets, "Election 2012: The Big Picture Shows Record Cost of Winning a Seat in Congress," accessed June 19, 2013
  28. OpenSecrets, "More than 60 Lawmakers Relied Mostly on Out-of-State Money," May 7, 2013
  29. Open Secrets, "Debbie Stabenow 2006 Election Cycle," accessed October 2011
  30. OpenSecrets, "Stabenow, (D-MI), 2012," accessed February 18, 2014
  31. This figure represents the average annual percentage growth from either 2004 (if the member entered office in 2004 or earlier) or their first year in office (as noted in the chart below) to 2012, divided by the number of years calculated.
  32. This number was found by dividing each member's total net worth growth percentage by the number of years included in the calculation.
  33. This figure represents the total percentage growth divided by the number of years for which there are net worth figures for each member.
  34. This figure was calculated using median asset data from the Census Bureau. Please see the Congressional Net Worth data for Ballotpedia spreadsheet for more information on this calculation.
  35. GovTrack, "Debbie Stabenow," accessed June 7, 2013
  36. OpenCongress, "Debbie Stabenow," accessed August 8, 2013
  37. GovTrack, "Debbie Stabenow," accessed April 2013
  38. LegiStorm, "Debbie Stabenow," accessed April 15, 2012
  39. National Journal, "TABLE: House Liberal Scores by Issue Area," February 26, 2013
  40. National Journal, "Searchable Vote Ratings Tables: House," accessed February 23, 2012
  41. OpenCongress, "Voting With Party," accessed July 2014
  42. Official Site, "About," accessed October 29 2011
Political offices
Preceded by
Spencer Abraham
U.S. Senate - Michigan
Succeeded by