Jeff Fortenberry

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Jeffrey Fortenberry
Jeff Fortenberry.jpg
U.S. House, Nebraska, District 1
In office
January 3, 2005-Present
Term ends
January 3, 2017
Years in position 10
PredecessorDoug Bereuter (R)
Base salary$174,000/year
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 4, 2014
Cost per vote$2.19 in 2012
First electedNovember 2, 2004
Next generalNovember 8, 2016
Campaign $$4,350,582
Term limitsN/A
Prior offices
Lincoln City Council
Bachelor'sLouisiana State University
Master'sGeorgetown University, Franciscan University of Steubenville
Date of birthDecember 27, 1960
Place of birthBaton Rouge, Louisiana
ProfessionPublishing executive
Net worth(2012) $249,502.50
ReligionRoman Catholic
Office website
Campaign website
Jeffrey Lane "Jeff" Fortenberry (b. December 27, 1960, in Baton Rouge, LA) is a Republican member of the United States House of Representatives from Nebraska. He was elected by voters from Nebraska's 1st Congressional District.

Fortenberry was first elected in 2004 and is currently serving his sixth consecutive term, having won re-election to the U.S. House in 2014. He won the Republican nomination in the primary election on May 13, 2014.

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


Fortenberry was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He earned a B.A. in economics from Louisiana State University in 1982 and a Master's of Public Policy in 1986 from Georgetown University, in addition to a Master's of Theology from the Franciscan University of Steubenville in 1996.[1]


Below is an abbreviated outline of Fortenberry's academic, professional and political career:[1]

Prior to his congressional career, Fortenberry worked as an executive in the publishing industry.

Committee assignments

U.S. House


Fortenberry served on the following committees:[2]

  • Committee on Appropriations
    • Subcommittee on Agriculture and Rural Development
    • Subcommittee on Legislative Branch
    • Subcommittee on Military Construction, Veterans Affairs Vice Chairman


Fortenberry served on the following committees:[3]

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.[4] For more information pertaining to Fortenberry's voting record in the 113th Congress, please see the below sections.[5]

National security


Yea3.png Fortenberry supported HR 1960 - the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014. The bill passed the House on June 14, 2013, with a vote of 315 - 108. Both parties were somewhat divided on the vote.[6]

DHS Appropriations

Yea3.png Fortenberry supported HR 2217 - the DHS Appropriations Act (2014) Act of 2014. The bill passed the House on June 6, 2013, with a vote of 245 - 182 and was largely along party lines.[6]

Keystone Pipeline Amendment

Nay3.pngFortenberry supported House Amendment 69, which would have amended HR 3 to "require that the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, in consultation with the Department of Homeland Security, conduct a study of the vulnerabilities of the Keystone XL pipeline to a terrorist attack and certify that necessary protections have been put in place." The amendment failed on May 22, 2013, with a vote of 176 - 239 and was largely along party lines.[6]

CISPA (2013)

Yea3.png Fortenberry supported HR 624 - the CISPA (2013). The bill passed the House on April 18, 2013, with a vote of 288 - 127. The bill permitted federal intelligence agencies to share cybersecurity intelligence and information with private entities and utilities.[7] The bill was largely supported by Republicans, but divided the Democratic Party.[6]


Farm Bill

See also: United States Farm Bill 2013

Yea3.png Fortenberry supported the Farm Bill on July 11, 2013. The bill passed in a 216-208 vote.[8] The bill passed included farm policy, but did not include food stamps.[9]

Government shutdown

See also: United States budget debate, 2013

Yea3.png On September 30, 2013, the House passed a final stopgap spending bill before the shutdown went into effect. The bill included a one-year delay of the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate and would have also stripped the bill of federal subsidies for congressional members and staff. It passed through the House with a vote of 228-201.[10] At 1 a.m. on October 1, 2013, one hour after the shutdown officially began, the House voted to move forward with going to a conference. In short order, Sen. Harry Reid rejected the call to conference.[11] Fortenberry voted to approve the stopgap spending bill that would have delayed the individual mandate.[10]

Yea3.png The shutdown ended on October 16, 2013, when the House took a vote on HR 2775 after it was approved by the Senate. The bill to reopen the government 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 House passed the legislation shortly after the Senate, by a vote of 285-144, with all 144 votes against the legislation coming from Republican members. Fortenberry voted for HR 2775.[13]


Source: This graphic was generated by Find The Best.

Morton Memos Prohibition

Yea3.png Fortenberry supported House Amendment 136 - Prohibits the Enforcement of the Immigration Executive Order. The amendment was adopted by the House on June 6, 2013, with a vote of 224 - 201. The purpose of the amendment as stated on the official text is to "prohibit the use of funds to finalize, implement, administer, or enforce the Morton Memos." These memos would have granted administrative amnesty to certain illegal aliens residing in the United States.[14] The vote largely followed party lines.[15]



Yea3.png Fortenberry supported repealing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and Healthcare-Related Provisions in the Healthcare and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010.[16]

Social issues


Yea3.png Fortenberry supported HR 1797 - Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. The resolution passed the House on June 18, 2013, with a vote of 228 - 196. The purpose of the bill was to ban abortions that would take place 20 or more weeks after fertilization.[17]

Government affairs

HR 676

See also: Boehner's lawsuit against the Obama administration

Yea3.png On July 30, 2014, the U.S. House approved a resolution 225 to 201 to sue President Barack Obama for exceeding his constitutional authority. Five Republicans--Thomas Massie of Kentucky, Paul Broun of Georgia, Scott Garrett of New Jersey, Walter Jones of North Carolina and Steve Stockman of Texas-- voted with Democrats against the lawsuit.[18] Fortenberry joined the other 224 Republicans in favor of the lawsuit. All Democrats voted against the resolution.[19][20]

Previous congressional sessions

Fiscal Cliff

Yea3.png Fortenberry 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. He was 1 of 85 Republicans that voted in favor of the bill. The bill was passed in the House by a 257-167 vote on January 1, 2013.[21]


On The Issues Vote Match

Jeff Fortenberry'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, Fortenberry is a Hard-Core Conservative. Fortenberry received a score of 17 percent on social issues and 87 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 Strongly Opposes Abortion is a woman's unrestricted right Strongly Opposes
Expand ObamaCare Opposes Comfortable with same-sex marriage Strongly Opposes
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 Opposes
Support & expand free trade Favors Pathway to citizenship for illegal aliens Strongly Opposes
Stricter limits on political campaign funds Favors Maintain US sovereignty from UN Strongly Favors
Prioritize green energy Opposes Expand the military Neutral
Stimulus better than market-led recovery Opposes Stay out of Iran Strongly Opposes
Privatize Social Security Unknown Never legalize marijuana Strongly Favors
Note: Information last updated: 2014.[22]



See also: Nebraska's 1st Congressional District elections, 2014

Fortenberry ran in the 2014 election for the U.S. House to represent Nebraska's 1st District. Fortenberry won the Republican nomination in the primary on May 13, 2014. He defeated Dennis Crawford (D) in the general election on November 4, 2014.

U.S. House, Nebraska District 1 General Election, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngJeff Fortenberry Incumbent 68.8% 123,219
     Democratic Dennis Crawford 31.2% 55,838
Total Votes 179,057
Source: Nebraska Secretary of State
U.S. House, Nebraska District 1 Republican Primary, 2014
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngJeff Fortenberry Incumbent 86.1% 63,673
Jessica L. Turek 8% 5,902
Dennis Parker 6% 4,407
Total Votes 73,982
Source: Nebraska Secretary of State

Fortenberry was reportedly considering a bid to succeed outgoing freshman U.S. Senator Mike Johanns in the 2014 elections, but decided to run for re-election to the House of Representatives instead.[24]


See also: Nebraska's 1st Congressional District elections, 2012

Fortenberry sought re-election in 2012. He defeated his primary opponents Jessica L. Turek and Dennis Parker in the May 15, 2012, Republican primary.[25] He faced Korey L. Reiman (D) in the November general election.[26]

U.S. House, Nebraska District 1 General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Korey L. Reiman 31.7% 81,206
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngJeff Fortenberry Incumbent 68.3% 174,889
Total Votes 256,095
Source: Nebraska Secretary of State "Official Election Results, 2012 General Election"
U.S. House, Nebraska District 1 Republican Primary, 2012
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngJeff Fortenberry Incumbent 86.4% 55,658
Jessica L. Turek 8.2% 5,255
Dennis Parker 5.4% 3,511
Total Votes 64,424

Full history

Campaign donors

Fundraising events

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

Source: This graphic was generated by Find The Best.

Comprehensive donor history

Comprehensive donor information for Fortenberry is available dating back to 2004. Based on available campaign finance records, Fortenberry raised a total of $4,350,582 during that time period. This information was last updated on May 16, 2013.[31]

Jeff Fortenberry's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2012 U.S. House (Nebraska, District 1) Won $698,413
2010 U.S. House (Nebraska, District 1) Won $568,390
2008 U.S. House (Nebraska, District 1) Won $725,529
2006 U.S. House (Nebraska, District 1) Won $1,144,271
2004 U.S. House (Nebraska, District 1) Won $1,213,979
Grand Total Raised $4,350,582

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 Fortenberry's reports.[32]

Jeff Fortenberry (2014) Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
April Quarterly[33]April 15, 2013$770,946.77$71,461.20$(25,465.28)$816,942.69
July Quarterly[34]July 15, 2013$816,942.69$111,508.84$(30,563.59)$897,887.94
October Quarterly[35]October 15, 2013$897,887.94$105,444.24$(18,798.42)$984,533.76
Year-End Quarterly[36]December 31, 2013$984,533$92,020$(35,885)$1,030,469
April Quarterly[37]April 15, 2014$1,030,469.46$103,551.74$(55,545.65)$1,078,475.55
Pre-Primary[38]May 1, 2014$1,078,475.55$17,249.28$(6,293.73)$1,089,431.1
July Quarterly[39]October 20, 2014$1,126,096.54$92,997.71$(56,332.27)$1,162,761.98
October Quarterly[40]October 15, 2014$1,126,096.54$123,341.55$(65,924.44)$1,183,513.65
Running totals


Fortenberry won election to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2012. During that election cycle, Fortenberry's campaign committee raised a total of $698,414 and spent $381,322.[41]

Cost per vote

Fortenberry spent $2.19 per vote received in 2012.


Fortenberry was re-elected to the U.S. House in 2010 for a fourth term. His campaign committee raised a total of $568,390 and spent $513,943.[42]

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, Fortenberry's net worth as of 2012 was estimated between $104,006 and $394,999. That averages to $249,502.50, which is lower than the average net worth of Democratic representatives in 2012 of $5,700,168.36. Fortenberry ranked as the 332nd most wealthy representative in 2012.[43] Between 2004 and 2012, Fortenberry's calculated net worth[44] decreased by an average of 6 percent per year. Between 2004 and 2012, the average annual percentage increase for a member of Congress was 15.4 percent.[45]

Jeff Fortenberry Yearly Net Worth
YearAverage Net Worth
Growth from 2004 to 2012:-52%
Average annual growth:-6%[46]
Comparatively, the American citizen experienced a median yearly decline in net worth of -0.94%.[47]
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). Fortenberry received the most donations from individuals and PACs employed by the Leadership PACs industry.

From 2003-2014, 27.42 percent of Fortenberry's career contributions came from the top five industries as listed below.[48]

Donation Concentration Metric graphic.png
Jeff Fortenberry Campaign Contributions
Total Raised $4,945,741
Total Spent $3,819,642
Top five industries that contributed to campaign committee
Leadership PACs$456,638
Health Professionals$326,277
Commercial Banks$189,085
% total in top industry9.23%
% total in top two industries15.83%
% total in top five industries27.42%


Ideology and leadership

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

Based on an analysis of bill sponsorship by GovTrack, Fortenberry was a "rank-and-file Republican" as of July 2014.[49] This was the same rating Fortenberry 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.[50]

Fortenberry most often votes with:

Fortenberry 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, Fortenberry missed 227 of 7,448 roll call votes from January 2005 to July 2014. This amounts to 3.0 percent, which is worse than the median of 2.5 percent among current congressional representatives as of July 2014.[49]

Congressional staff salaries

See also: Staff salaries of United States Senators and Representatives

The website Legistorm compiles staff salary information for members of Congress. Fortenberry paid his congressional staff a total of $975,289 in 2011. Overall, Nebraska ranked 20th in average salary for representative staff. The average U.S. House of Representatives congressional staff was paid $954,912.20 in fiscal year 2011.[51]

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.


Fortenberry ranked 191st in the conservative rankings in 2013.[52]


Fortenberry ranked 207th in the conservative rankings in 2012.[53]


Fortenberry ranked 202nd in the conservative rankings in 2011. This was the most liberal ranking held by one of Nebraska's representatives.[54]

Voting with party

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


Fortenberry voted with the Republican Party 93.6 percent of the time, which ranked 144th among the 234 House Republican members as of July 2014.[55]


Fortenberry voted with the Republican Party 96.6 percent of the time, which ranked 96th among the 234 House Republican members as of June 2013.[56]


Fortenberry and his wife Celeste live in Lincoln, where they raise five young daughters.[57] Fortenberry is a Roman Catholic.[58]

Recent news

This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term Jeff + Fortenberry + Nebraska + House

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

Jeff Fortenberry News Feed

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See also

External links



  1. 1.0 1.1 Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, "FORTENBERRY, Jeff, (1960 - )," accessed October 13, 2014
  2., "House Committee Rosters for the 113th Congress," accessed March 13, 2014
  3. Congressman Jeff Fortenberry, Proudly Serving the 1st Congressional District of Nebraska, "Committee Information," accessed November 13, 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. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Project Vote Smart, "Representative Jeff Fortenberry's Voting Records on National Security," accessed September 27, 2013
  7. The Library of Congress, "Bill Summary & Status - 113th Congress (2013 - 2014) - H.R.624," accessed August 27, 2013
  8. Project Vote Smart, "Fortenberry on agriculture," accessed September 27, 2013
  9. New York Times, "House Republicans Push Through Farm Bill, Without Food Stamps," accessed September 17, 2013
  10. 10.0 10.1 Clerk of the U.S. House, "Final vote results for Roll Call 504," accessed October 31, 2013
  11. Buzzfeed, "Government Shutdown: How We Got Here," accessed October 1, 2013
  12. The Washington Post, "Reid, McConnell propose bipartisan Senate bill to end shutdown, extend borrowing," accessed October 16, 2013
  13. U.S. House, "Final vote results for Roll Call 550," accessed October 31, 2013
  14. The Library of Congress, "H.AMDT.136," accessed August 28, 2013
  15. Project Vote Smart, "Representative Jeff Fortenberry's Voting Records on Immigration," accessed September 27, 2013
  16. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named vote
  17. Project Vote Smart, "Fortenberry on abortion," accessed September 27, 2013
  18. U.S. House, "House Resolution 676," accessed July 30, 2014
  19. Yahoo News, "Suing Obama: GOP-led House gives the go-ahead," accessed July 30, 2014
  20. Washington Post, "House clears way for lawsuit against Obama," accessed July 30, 2014
  21. U.S. House, "Roll Call Vote on the Fiscal Cliff," accessed January 4, 2013
  22. 22.0 22.1 On The Issues, "Jeff Fortenberry Vote Match," accessed June 18, 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. Roll Call, "Heineman, Fortenberry Considering Senate Run in Nebraska," accessed February 18, 2013
  25. The Board of State Canvassers of the State of Nebraska, "Primary Election, May 15, 2012," accessed September 25, 2012
  26. Nebraska Secretary of State, "Election Results," accessed May 15, 2012
  27. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2010," accessed March 28, 2013
  28. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 4, 2008," accessed March 28, 2013
  29. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 7, 2006," accessed March 28, 2013
  30. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2004," accessed March 28, 2013
  31. Open Secrets, "Jeff Forenberry," accessed May 16, 2013
  32. Federal Election Commission, "Fortenberry 2014 Summary reports," accessed July 18, 2014
  33. FEC, "April Quarterly," accessed July 18, 2013
  34. FEC, "July Quarterly," accessed July 18, 2013
  35. FEC, "October Quarterly," accessed October 25, 2013
  36. FEC, "Year-End Quarterly," accessed February 12, 2014
  37. FEC, "April Quarterly," accessed May 13, 2014
  38. FEC, "Pre-Primary," accessed October 22, 2014
  39. FEC, "July Quarterly," accessed October 22, 2014
  40. FEC, "October Quarterly," accessed October 22, 2014
  41. Open Secrets, "2012 Re-Election Cycle," accessed June 18, 2013
  42. Open Secrets, "Denny Rehberg 2010 Election Data," accessed November 12, 2011
  43. Open Secrets, "Jeff Fortenberry (D-NE), 2012," accessed February 18, 2014
  44. 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.
  45. This number was found by dividing each member's total net worth growth percentage by the number of years included in the calculation.
  46. This figure represents the total percentage growth divided by the number of years for which there are net worth figures for each member.
  47. 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.
  48., "Rep. Jeff Fortenberry," accessed September 23, 2014
  49. 49.0 49.1 GovTrack, "Jeff Fortenberry," accessed July 29, 2014
  50. OpenCongress, "Jeff Fortenberry," accessed July 29, 2014
  51. LegiStorm, "Jeff Fortenberry," accessed October 8, 2012
  52. National Journal, "2013 Congressional Vote Ratings," accessed July 29, 2014
  53. National Journal, "TABLE: House Liberal Scores by Issue Area," accessed February 26, 2013
  54. National Journal, "Searchable Vote Ratings Tables: House," accessed February 23, 2012
  55. OpenCongress, "Voting With Party," accessed July 2014
  56. OpenCongress, "Voting With Party," accessed July 2014
  57. Jeff Fortenberry, United States Congress, "About Jeff," accessed November 13, 2011
  58. Roll Call, "Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-Neb.)," accessed October 9, 2014
Political offices
Preceded by
Doug Bereuter
U.S. House of Representatives - Nebraska, District 1
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Lincoln City Council
Succeeded by