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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, 2015
Years in position 9
PredecessorDoug Bereuter (R)
Base salary$174,000/year
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 6, 2012
Cost per vote$2.19 in 2012
First electedNovember 2, 2004
Next generalNovember 4, 2014
Campaign $$4,350,582
Term limitsN/A
Prior offices
Lincoln City Council
Bachelor'sLouisiana State University
Master'sGeorgetown University, Franciscan University of Steubenville
BirthdayDecember 27, 1960
Place of birthBaton Rouge, Louisiana
ProfessionRancher, Publishing executive
Net worth$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 ran successfully for re-election in 2012.[1] He defeated his primary opponents Jessica L. Turek and Dennis Parker in the May 15, 2012, Republican primary. He faced Democrat Korey L. Reiman in the November general election.[2][3]

He is running for re-election to the U.S. House in 2014. He won the Republican nomination in the primary election on May 13, 2014. The general election takes place November 4, 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, 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.[4]


In the private sector, Fortenberry was an executive in the publishing industry.

Committee assignments

U.S. House


Fortenberry serves on the following committees:[5]

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


Fortenberry served on the following committees:[6]

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.[7] For more information pertaining to Fortenberry's voting record in the 113th Congress, please see the below sections.[8]

National security


Voted "Yes" 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.[9]

DHS Appropriations

Voted "Yes" 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.[9]

Keystone Pipeline Amendment

Voted "No" Fortenberry 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.[9]

CISPA (2013)

Voted "Yes" Fortenberry supported HR 624 - the CISPA (2013). The bill passed the House on April 18, 2013, with a vote of 288 - 127. The bill would allow federal intelligence agencies to share cybersecurity intelligence and information with private entities and utilities.[10] The bill was largely supported by Republicans, but divided the Democratic Party.[9]


Farm Bill

See also: United States Farm Bill 2013

Voted "Yes" Fortenberry supported the Farm Bill on July 11, 2013. The bill passed in a 216-208 vote.[11] The bill passed included farm policy, but did not include food stamps.[12]

Government shutdown

See also: United States budget debate, 2013

Voted "Yes" 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.[13] 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.[14] Fortenberry voted to approve the stopgap spending bill that would have delayed the individual mandate.[13]

Voted "Yes" The shutdown finally 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.[15] 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.[16]


Morton Memos Prohibition

Voted "Yes" 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.[17] The vote largely followed party lines.[18]



Voted "Yes" Fortenberry supported repealing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and Healthcare-Related Provisions in the Healthcare and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010.[19]

Social issues


Voted "Yes" 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 is to ban abortions that would take place 20 or more weeks after fertilization.[20]

Previous congressional sessions

Fiscal Cliff

Voted "Yes" 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 is running 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. The general election takes place November 4, 2014.

U.S. House, Nebraska District 1 Republican Primary, 2014
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngJeff Fortenberry Incumbent 86.1% 63,437
Jessica L. Turek 8% 5,890
Dennis Parker 6% 4,389
Total Votes 73,716
Source: Results via Associated Press Vote totals above are unofficial and will be updated once official totals are made available.

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

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


Candidates for Congress are 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
Running totals


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

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.[38]

Cost per vote

Fortenberry spent $2.19 per vote received in 2012.


Breakdown of the source of Fortenberry's campaign funds before the 2010 election.
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.[39]
U.S. House, Nebraska District 1, 2010 - Jeff Fortenberry Campaign Contributions
Total Raised $568,390
Total Spent $513,943
Total Raised by General Election Opponent $21,624
Total Spent by General Election Opponent $20,490
Top contributors to Jeff Fortenberry's campaign committee
American Bankers Assn$10,000
Tuesday Group PAC$10,000
Village Development$9,700
Sandhills Publishing$9,650
BryanLGH Health System$9,600
Top 5 industries that contributed to campaign committee
Health Professionals$52,026
Lawyers/Law Firms$26,112
Real Estate$21,950

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.[40] Between 2004 and 2012, Fortenberry's calculated net worth[41] 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.[42]

Jeff Fortenberry Yearly Net Worth
YearAverage Net Worth
Growth from 2004 to 2012:-52%
Average annual growth:-6%[43]
Comparatively, the American citizen experienced a median yearly decline in net worth of -0.94%.[44]
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, Fortenberry is a "rank-and-file Republican," as of June 18, 2013.[45]

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.[46]

Fortenberry most often votes with:

Fortenberry least often votes with:

Lifetime voting record

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

According to the website GovTrack, Fortenberry missed 204 of 6,443 roll call votes from Jan 2005 to Apr 2013, which is 3.2% of votes during that period. This is worse than the median of 2.2% among the lifetime records of representatives currently serving.[45]

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.[47]

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.


According to the data released in 2013, Fortenberry was ranked the 207th most conservative representative during 2012.[48]


According to the data released in 2012, Fortenberry was ranked the 202nd most liberal representative during 2011. This is the most liberal ranking held by one of Nebraska's representatives.[49]

Voting with party


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.[50]


Jeff and his wife Celeste live in Lincoln, where they raise five young daughters.[51]

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

Political Tracker has an article on:
Jeffrey Fortenberry


  1. Nebraska Secretary of State, "2012 Primary Candidates List," accessed March 3, 2012
  2. Nebraska Secretary of State, "Election Results," accessed May 15, 2012
  3. Politico, "2012 House Race Results," accessed November 6, 2012
  4. Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, "FORTENBERRY, Jeff, (1960 - )"
  5., "House Committee Rosters for the 113th Congress"
  6. Congressman Jeff Fortenberry, Proudly Serving the 1st Congressional District of Nebraska, "Committee Information"
  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. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 Project Vote Smart, "Representative Jeff Fortenberry's Voting Records on National Security," accessed September 27, 2013
  10. The Library of Congress, "H.R.624 CISPA (2013) (Referred in Senate - RFS)," accessed August 27, 2013
  11. Project Vote Smart, "Fortenberry on agriculture," accessed September 27, 2013
  12. New York Times, "House Republicans Push Through Farm Bill, Without Food Stamps," accessed September 17, 2013
  13. 13.0 13.1 Clerk of the U.S. House, "Final vote results for Roll Call 504," accessed October 31, 2013
  14. Buzzfeed, "Government Shutdown: How We Got Here," accessed October 1, 2013
  15. The Washington Post, "Reid, McConnell propose bipartisan Senate bill to end shutdown, extend borrowing," accessed October 16, 2013
  16. U.S. House, "Final vote results for Roll Call 550," accessed October 31, 2013
  17. The Library of Congress, "H.AMDT.136," accessed August 28, 2013
  18. Project Vote Smart, "Representative Jeff Fortenberry's Voting Records on Immigration," accessed September 27, 2013
  19. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named vote
  20. Project Vote Smart, "Fortenberry on abortion," accessed September 27, 2013
  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"
  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. Open Secrets, "2012 Re-Election Cycle," accessed June 18, 2013
  39. Open Secrets, "Denny Rehberg 2010 Election Data," accessed November 12, 2011
  40. Open Secrets, "Jeff Fortenberry (D-NE), 2012," accessed February 18, 2014
  41. 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.
  42. This number was found by dividing each member's total net worth growth percentage by the number of years included in the calculation.
  43. This figure represents the total percentage growth divided by the number of years for which there are net worth figures for each member.
  44. 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.
  45. 45.0 45.1 GovTrack, "Jeff Fortenberry," accessed June 18, 2013
  46. OpenCongress, "Jeff Fortenberry," accessed August 6, 2013
  47. LegiStorm, "Jeff Fortenberry," accessed October 8, 2012
  48. National Journal, "TABLE: House Liberal Scores by Issue Area," accessed February 26, 2013
  49. National Journal, "Searchable Vote Ratings Tables: House," accessed February 23, 2012
  50. OpenCongress, "Voting With Party," accessed July 2014
  51. Jeff Fortenberry, United States Congress, "About Jeff"
Political offices
Preceded by
Doug Bereuter
U.S. House of Representatives - Nebraska, District 1
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Lincoln City Council
Succeeded by