Kirsten Gillibrand

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Kirsten Gillibrand
Kirsten Gillibrand.jpg
U.S. Senate, New York
In office
January 26, 2009-Present
Term ends
January 3, 2019
Years in position 6
PredecessorHillary Rodham Clinton (D)
Base salary$174,000/year
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 6, 2012
First electedNovember 2, 2010
Next generalNovember 2018
Campaign $$36,437,810
AppointedJanuary 26, 2009
Appointed byNew York Governor David Paterson
Term limitsN/A
Prior offices
U.S. House of Representatives from New York's 20th District
Bachelor'sDartmouth College
J.D.University of California, Los Angeles
Date of birthDecember 9, 1966
Place of birthAlbany, New York
Net worth(2012) $102,003
ReligionRoman Catholicism
Office website
Campaign website
Kirsten Elizabeth Rutnick Gillibrand (b. December 9, 1966, in Albany, NY) is a Democratic member of the United States Senate from New York. Gillibrand was first appointed to the Senate in 2009 and is currently serving her first full term, having won re-election on November 6, 2012.[1][2]

Gillibrand is set to run for re-election in New York in November 2018. She is also considered a possible presidential candidate in 2016.

Gillibrand served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 2007 to 2009. In 2009, she was appointed to fill the Senate seat vacated through Hillary Clinton's appointment to Secretary of State. In 2010, she then won the required special election to the seat with 63 percent of the vote.[3]

Based on analysis of multiple outside rankings, Gillibrand is one of the most reliable Democratic votes, meaning she can be considered a safe vote for the Democratic Party in Congress.


Gillibrand grew up in Albany. She went on to Dartmouth College and then attended UCLA Law School and graduated with a Juris Doctor in 1991.[4]

In 1991, Gillibrand practiced law privately in Manhattan. In 1992 she took leave from private practice to serve as a law clerk to Judge Roger Miner on the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in Albany. Gillibrand later served as Special Counsel to the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. In 1999, Gillibrand began working on Hillary Clinton's 2000 U.S. Senate campaign. In 2001, Gillibrand became a partner at the Manhattan office of Boies, Schiller & Flexner. She left Boies in 2005 to begin her 2006 campaign for congress.[5]


Below is an abbreviated outline of Gillibrand's academic, professional and political career:[6]

  • 2009-Present: U.S. Senator from New York
  • 2007-2009: U.S. House of Representatives
  • 1991: Graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles, with a J.D.
  • 1988: Graduated from Dartmouth College with an A.B.

Committee assignments

U.S. Senate


Gillibrand serves on the following committees:[7]


Gillibrand served on the following Senate committees:[8]


Gillibrand served on the following committees:[9]

Key votes

114th Congress


The first session of the 114th Congress has enacted into law 6 out of the 2,616 introduced bills (0.2 percent). Comparatively, the 113th Congress had 1.3 percent of introduced bills enacted into law in the first session.[10] The Senate has confirmed 3,934 out of 5,051 executive nominations received (77.9 percent). For more information pertaining to Gillibrand's voting record in the 114th Congress, please see the below sections.[11]

Economic and fiscal

2016 Budget proposal

Nay3.png On May 5, 2015, the Senate voted to approve SConRes11, a congressional budget proposal for fiscal year 2016, by a vote of 51-48. The non-binding resolution will be used to create 12 appropriations bills to fund the government before funding runs out on October 1. The vote marked the first time since 2009 that Congress approved a joint budget resolution. All 44 Democrats, including Gillibrand, voted against the resolution.[12][13][14]

113th Congress

The second session of the 113th Congress enacted into law 224 out of the 3215 introduced bills (7 percent). Comparatively, the 112th Congress had 4.2 percent of introduced bills enacted into law in the second session.[15] The Senate confirmed 13,949 out of 18,323 executive nominations received (76.1 percent). For more information pertaining to Gillibrand's voting record in the 113th Congress, please see the below sections.[16]

National security

John Brennan CIA nomination

Yea3.png Gillibrand 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.[17]

Rooney undersecretary of the Navy nomination

Gillibrand put a hold on Jo Ann Rooney's nomination on October 31, 2013. Gillibrand criticized Rooney's remarks in a confirmation hearing. Rooney said, "A judge advocate outside the chain of command will be looking at a case through a different lens than a military commander."

"I believe the impact would be decisions based on evidence, rather than the interest in preserving good order and discipline. I believe this will result in fewer prosecutions and therefore defeat the problem that I understand it seeks to address."

Gillibrand explained her concern over Rooney's remarks asking, "If you were a service member raped on duty, why would you have confidence to come forward and report after hearing that basing decisions to prosecute solely on evidence would be a bad outcome? Jo Ann Rooney’s testimony should send chills down the spine of any member of the armed services seeking justice."[18]


No Budget, No Pay Act of 2013

Yea3.png Gillibrand 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.[19]

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.[20] The final vote on H.R. 2775 was 81-18, with all 18 votes against the bill from Republican members. Gillibrand voted with the Democratic Party for the bill.[21]


Source: This graphic was generated by Find The Best.

Mexico-U.S. border

Nay3.png Gillibrand 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.[22]

Social issues

Violence Against Women (2013)

Yea3.png Gillibrand 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.[23]

Previous congressional sessions

Fiscal Cliff

Yea3.png Gillibrand 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.[24]

House of Representatives

As a Member of the House of Representatives, Gillibrand supported the auto bailout.[25] As of September 13, 2010, 56 percent of Americans disapproved of the auto bailout, while 43 percent supported it.[26]


As a Member of the Senate, Gillibrand voted for the stimulus bill.[27] Fifty-seven percent of U.S. voters believed that the stimulus had either hurt the economy (36 percent) or had no impact (21 percent). Thirty-eight percent believed the stimulus helped the economy.[28]

Gillibrand also voted in favor of the health care reform bill.[29] Fifty-seven percent of likely voters at least somewhat favored repeal of the health care reform bill, including 46 percent who strongly favored repeal. Thirty-five percent of likely voters opposed repeal. Fifty-one percent of likely voters believed the health care reform bill would be bad for the country, while 36 percent believed it would be beneficial.[30]

Finally, Gillibrand voted against an amendment that would have defunded the Obama Administration's lawsuit against Arizona over its new immigration law. As of July 8, 2010, 56 percent of U.S. voters were opposed to the Obama Administration's challenge to the Arizona immigration law.[31]


On The Issues Vote Match

Kirsten Gillibrand'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 analysis, Gillibrand is a Hard-Core Liberal.[32] Note: We are working to resolve inaccuracies with this information. Thank you for your patience.

On The Issues organization logo.



See also: Possible presidential candidates, 2016

When asked on November 17, 2013, if she was considering a run for the presidency, Gillibrand stated, "I am on the bandwagon for Hillary Clinton in 2016."[33] There have been 16 Senators elected to the presidency, including Barack Obama.[34]


See also: United States Senate elections in New York, 2012

Gillibrand won re-election in 2012. She ran unopposed in the June 26, 2012, Democratic primary. She defeated Chris Edes (L), Wendy Long (R), Colia Clark (G) and John Mangelli (CSP) in the general election on November 6, 2012.

U.S. Senate, New York General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngKirsten Gillibrand Incumbent 67.6% 4,808,878
     Republican Wendy Long 24.7% 1,755,466
     Green Colia Clark 0.6% 42,442
     Libertarian Chris Edes 0.4% 31,894
     CSP John Mangelli 0.3% 21,985
     N/A Blank/Void/Scattering 6.4% 455,963
Total Votes 7,116,628
Source: New York State Board of Elections "U.S. Senate Results"

Full history

Campaign donors

Fundraising events

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

Source: This graphic was generated by Find The Best.

Comprehensive donor history

Comprehensive donor information for Gillibrand is available dating back to 2012. Based on available campaign finance records, Gillibrand raised a total of $36,437,810 during that time period. This information was last updated on March 23, 2013.[36]

Kirsten Gillibrand's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2012 U.S. Senate (New York) Won $15,735,457
2010 U.S. Senate (New York) Won $13,418,545
2008 U.S. House (New York, District 20) Won $4,649,651
2006 U.S. House (New York, District 20) Won $2,634,157
Grand Total Raised $36,437,810

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 Gillibrand’s reports.[37]

Kirsten Gillibrand (2014) Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
April Quarterly[38]April 15, 2013$1,973,971.51$131,936.35$(212,605.78)$1,893,302
July Quarterly[39]July 15, 2013$1,893,302.08$101,372.35$(96,282.96)$1,898,391.47
Running totals


Lobbyist contributions

In an analysis by Open Secrets of the Top 10 Recipients of Contributions from Lobbyists in 2013, Gillibrand was one of 115 members of Congress who did not report any contributions from lobbyists in 2013 as of July 3, 2013.[40]


Gillibrand won election to the U.S. Senate in 2012. During that election cycle, Gillibrand's campaign committee raised a total of $15,735,457 and spent $14,257,872.[41] This is more than the average of $10.2 million spent by Senate winners in 2012.[42]

Cost per vote

Gillibrand spent $2.97 per vote received in 2012.


Gillibrand was elected to keep her appointment to the U.S. Senate in 2010. Her campaign committee raised a total of $13,418,545 and spent $13,007,808.[43]

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, Gillibrand's net worth as of 2012 was estimated between $166,004 and $416,000. That averages to $291,002, which is lower than the average net worth of Democratic senators in 2012 of $13,566,333.90. Gillibrand ranked as the 90th most wealthy senator in 2012.[44] Between 2006 and 2012, Gillibrand's calculated net worth[45] decreased by an average of 9 percent per year. Between 2004 and 2012, the average annual percentage increase for a member of Congress was 15.4 percent.[46]

Kirsten Gillibrand Yearly Net Worth
YearAverage Net Worth
Growth from 2006 to 2012:-53%
Average annual growth:-9%[47]
Comparatively, the American citizen experienced a median yearly decline in net worth of -0.94%.[48]
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). Gillibrand received the most donations from individuals and PACs employed by the Lawyers/Law Firms industry.

From 2005-2014, 35.47 percent of Gillibrand's career contributions came from the top five industries as listed below.[49]

Donation Concentration Metric graphic.png
Kirsten Gillibrand Campaign Contributions
Total Raised $37,340,662
Total Spent $35,651,597
Top five industries that contributed to campaign committee
Lawyers/Law Firms$5,359,845
Securities & Investment$3,531,480
Real Estate$1,553,202
Women's Issues$1,471,003
% total in top industry14.35%
% total in top two industries23.81%
% total in top five industries35.47%


Ideology and leadership

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

Based on an analysis of bill sponsorship by GovTrack, Gillibrand is a "far-left Democratic leader" as of July 2014.[50] Gillibrand was rated as a "far-left Democrat" 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.[51]

Gillibrand most often votes with:

Gillibrand 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, Gillibrand missed 13 of 1,698 roll call votes from January 2009 to July 2014. This amounts to 0.8 percent, which is better than the median of 2.0 percent among current senators as of July 2014.[52]

Congressional staff salaries

See also: Staff salaries of United States Senators and Representatives

The website Legistorm compiles staff salary information for members of Congress. Gillibrand paid her congressional staff a total of $3,321,631 in 2011. She ranked fifth on the list of the highest paid Democratic senatorial staff salaries and ranked seventh overall of the highest paid senatorial staff salaries in 2011. Overall, New York ranked fourth in average salary for senatorial staff. The average U.S. Senate congressional staff was paid $2,529,141.70 in fiscal year 2011.[53]

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.


Gillibrand ranked fifth in the liberal rankings in 2013.[54]


Gillibrand ranked 13th in the liberal rankings in 2012.[55]


Gillibrand ranked first in the liberal rankings in 2011.[56]

Voting with party

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


Gillibrand voted with the Democratic Party 96.9 percent of the time, which ranked 12th among the 53 Senate Democratic members as of July 2014.[57]


Gillibrand voted with the Democratic Party 96.9 percent of the time, which ranked 11th among the 51 Senate Democratic members as of June 2013.[58]


Gillibrand and her husband Jonathan live in Brunswick with their two sons, Theo and Henry.[59]

Recent news

This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term Kirsten + Gillibrand + New York + Senate

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

Kirsten Gillibrand News Feed

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See also

External links

Suggest a link


  1. Capital New York, "Gillibrand campaign emails supporters about Cenedella's 'misogynistic rhetoric,'" January 24, 2012
  2. PolitickerNY, "George Maragos, Nassau County Comptroller, First Out of Gate Against Gillibrand," accessed January 6, 2012
  3. Bioguide, "GILLIBRAND, Kirsten, (1966 - )," accessed June 24, 2013
  4. Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, "GILLIBRAND, Kirsten, (1966 - )," accessed November 4, 2011
  5. New York Daily News, "Who is Kirsten Gillibrand? New York congresswoman to take Clinton's Senate seat," accessed November 4, 2011
  6. Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, "GILLIBRAND, Kirsten, (1966 - )," accessed February 13, 2015
  7. United States Senate, "Committee Assignments of the 114th Congress," accessed February 17, 2015
  8. Congressional Quarterly, "Senate Committee List," accessed January 18, 2013
  9. Kirsten Gillibrand, United States Senator for New York, "Kirsten Gillibrand," accessed November 4, 2011
  10. Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity, First Session of the 113th Congress," accessed April 29, 2015
  11. Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity, First Session of the One Hundred Fourteenth Congress," April 13, 2015
  12., "S.Con.Res.11," accessed May 5, 2015
  13., "On the Conference Report (Conference Report to Accompany S. Con. Res. 11)," accessed May 5, 2015
  14. The Hill, "Republicans pass a budget, flexing power of majority," accessed May 5, 2015
  15. Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity, First Session of the 112th Congress," accessed September 5, 2013
  16. Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity, Second Session of the 113th Congress," accessed March 4, 2014
  17. Project Vote Smart, "PN 48 - Nomination of John Brennan to be Director of the Central Intelligence Agency - Voting Record," accessed September 25, 2013
  18. The Hill, "Gillibrand holds up Navy nominee," accessed November 4, 2013
  19. 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
  20. The Washington Post, "Reid, McConnell propose bipartisan Senate bill to end shutdown, extend borrowing," accessed October 16, 2013
  21., "H.R. 2775 As Amended," accessed October 31, 2013
  22. Project Vote Smart, "S Amdt 1197 - Requires the Completion of the Fence Along the United States-Mexico Border - Voting Record," accessed September 25, 2013
  23. Project Vote Smart, "S 47 - Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 - Voting Record," accessed September 25, 2013
  24. U.S. Senate, "Roll Call Vote on the Fiscal Cliff," accessed January 4, 2013
  25. US House Clerk, "Roll Call 690," December 10, 2008
  26. Gallup, "Among Recent Bills, Financial Reform a Lone Plus for Congress," September 13, 2010
  27. Washington Post, "Senate Vote on Stimulus Package," accessed February 11, 2009
  28. Rasmussen, "38% Say Stimulus Plan Helped Economy, 36% Say It Hurt," August 24, 2010
  29. Govtrack, "H.R. 3590 (111th): Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (On Passage of the Bill)," December 24, 2009
  30. Rasmussen, "61% Favor Repeal of Healthcare Law," September 20, 2010
  31. Rasmussen Reports, "56% Oppose Justice Department Challenge of Arizona Law; 61% Favor Similar Law In Their State," July 8, 2010
  32. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named ontheissues
  33. Washington Post, "Gillibrand: I'm on the Hillary Clinton 2016 'bandwagon'," November 17, 2013
  34. United States Senate, "Senators Who Became President," accessed October 16, 2013
  35. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2010," accessed March 28, 2013
  36. Open Secrets, "Career Fundraising for Kirsten Gillibrand," March 23, 2013
  37. Federal Election Commission, "Kirsten Gillibrand Summary Report," accessed August 3, 2013
  38. Federal Election Commission, "Kirsten Gillibrand April Quarterly," accessed August 3, 2013
  39. Federal Election Commission, "Kirsten Gillibrand July Quarterly," accessed August 3, 2013
  40. Open Secrets, "Top Recipients of Lobbyists Cash in 2013," accessed July 3, 2013
  41. Open Secrets, "Kirsten Gillibrand 2012 Election Cycle," accessed February 26, 2013
  42. Open Secrets, "Election 2012: The Big Picture Shows Record Cost of Winning a Seat in Congress," accessed October 19, 2013
  43. Open Secrets, "Kirsten Gillibrand 2010 Election Data," accessed November 4, 2011
  44. OpenSecrets, "Gillibrand, (D-NY), 2012," accessed February 18, 2014
  45. 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.
  46. This number was found by dividing each member's total net worth growth percentage by the number of years included in the calculation.
  47. This figure represents the total percentage growth divided by the number of years for which there are net worth figures for each member.
  48. 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.
  49., "Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand," accessed September 18, 2014
  50. GovTrack, "Kirstin Gillibrand," accessed July 24, 2014
  51. OpenCongress, "Kirsten Gillibrand," accessed July 24, 2014
  52. GovTrack, "Kirsten Gillibrand," accessed July 24, 2014
  53. LegiStorm, "Kirsten Gillibrand," accessed August 16, 2012
  54. National Journal, "2013 Congressional Vote Ratings," accessed July 24, 2014
  55. National Journal, "2012 Congressional Vote Ratings," accessed March 6, 2013
  56. National Journal, "Searchable Vote Ratings Tables: House," accessed February 23, 2012
  57. OpenCongress, "Voting With Party," accessed July 2014
  58. OpenCongress, "Voting With Party," accessed July 2014
  59. Kirsten Gillibrand, United States Senator for New York, "Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, A voice for the people of New York," accessed November 4, 2011
Political offices
Preceded by
Hillary Rodham Clinton
U.S. Senate - New York
Succeeded by
Preceded by
John E. Sweeney
U.S. House of Representatives - District 20
Succeeded by
Scott Murphy