Tim Johnson, South Dakota

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Tim Johnson
Tim Johnson.jpg
U.S. Senate, South Dakota
In office
Term ends
January 3, 2015
Years in position 17
PredecessorLarry L. Pressler (R)
Base salary$174,000/year
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 4, 2008
First electedNovember 5, 1996
Next general November 4, 2014
Term limitsN/A
Prior offices
Representative, U. S. House of Representatives
Senator, South Dakota Senate
Representative, South Dakota House of Representatives
Bachelor'sUniversity of South Dakota, 1969
Master'sUniversity of South Dakota, 1970
J.D.University of South Dakota, 1975
Military service
Years of service1969
BirthdayDecember 28, 1946
Place of birthCanton, SD
Net worth$1,201,522
Office website
Tim Johnson (b. December 28, 1946, in Canton, South Dakota) is a Democratic member of the U.S. Senate from the state of South Dakota. Johnson was first elected to the Senate in 1996. On March 25, 2013 he announced that he will not run for re-election in 2014. He joins a growing list of incumbents not running for re-election in 2014.[1]

Prior to his election to the U.S. Senate, Johnson served ten years in the U.S. House of Representatives.[2]

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


Johnson received his bachelor's and his master's from the University of South Dakota in 1969 and 1970, respectfully. He earned his J.D. from the University of South Dakota in 1975.[2]


Below is an abbreviated outline of Johnson's academic, professional and political career:[2]

  • 1971-1972: Served as budget advisor, Michigan Senate
  • 1975: Began practicing law in Vermillion, S.D.
  • 1979-1982: Served as a member of the South Dakota House of Representatives
  • 1983-1986: Served as a member of the South Dakota Senate
  • 1985: Served as Clay County deputy State’s attorney
  • 1987-1997: Served as a Democrat in the U.S. Congress
  • 1997-Present: U.S Senator from South Dakota

Committee assignments

U.S. Senate


Johnson serves on the following committees:[3]

  • Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Chairman
    • Subcommittee on Securities, Insurance and Investment
    • Subcommittee on National Security and International Trade and Finance
    • Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Protection Members
    • Subcommittee on Housing, Transportation and Community Development
  • Appropriations
    • Subcommittee on Transportation and Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies
    • Subcommittee on Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies
    • Subcommittee on Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies
    • Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development
    • Subcommittee on Department of Defense
    • Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies
  • Energy and Natural Resources
    • Subcommittee on Water and Power
    • Subcommittee on Public Lands, Forests, and Mining
    • Subcommittee on Energy
  • United States Senate Committee on Indian Affairs


Johnson served on the following Senate committees:[4]


Legislative actions

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.[5] The Senate has confirmed 16,878 out of 19,009 executive nominations received thus far (88.8%). For more information pertaining to Johnson's voting record in the 113th Congress, please see the below sections.[6]

National security

John Brennan CIA nomination

Voted "Yes" Johnson 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.[7]


Johnson, along with Senators Carl Levin and Dianne Feinstein sent a letter to the Director of National Intelligence asking for regular updates on Iran's nuclear weapons program. Their requests included .".. periodic briefings from the Intelligence Community, every 45 days beginning on January 30, 2014, concerning whether Iran is acting consistent with the terms of the interim agreement regarding Iran’s nuclear activities."[8]


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.[9] 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 would kick in if or when prices were to drop.[10] However, cuts to the food stamp program cut an average of $90 per month for 1.7 million people in 15 states.[10] Johnson 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.[11][12] The Senate voted 72-26 for the 1,582 page bill, with 17 Republicans and 55 Democrats voting in favor of the bill.[12] The omnibus package included 12 annual spending bills to fund federal operations.[13] 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. Johnson voted with the Democratic party in favor of the bill.[11][12]

No Budget, No Pay Act of 2013

Voted "Yes" Johnson 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.[14]

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.[15] The final vote on H.R. 2775 was 81-18, with all 18 votes against the bill from Republican members. Johnson voted with the Democratic Party for the bill.[16]


Mexico-U.S. border

Voted "No" Johnson 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.[17]

Social issues

Violence Against Women (2013)

Voted "Yes" Johnson 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.[18]

Gay marriage

Johnson switched from his previous opposition of same-sex marriage to endorsing it on April 8, 2013.[19][20]

In a statement he stated "After lengthy consideration, my views have evolved sufficiently to support marriage equality legislation. This position doesn't require any religious denomination to alter any of its tenets; it simply forbids government from discrimination regarding who can marry whom."[19]

Previous congressional sessions

Fiscal Cliff

Voted "Yes" Johnson 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 a 89-8 vote on January 1, 2013.[21]



Johnson announced on March 25, 2013 that he is not running for re-election in 2014.[1] He joins a growing list of incumbents not running for re-election in 2014.

The FiscalTimes compiled a list of the seven most vulnerable Senate seats up for election in 2014. The seven included in the list are: Alaska, Arkansas, Iowa, Louisiana, North Carolina, South Dakota, and West Virginia. Going into the 2014 election, all seven seats are held by Democrats.[22]

Former two-term Gov. Mike Rounds (R) is running for this seat.[22] South Dakota has been strongly Republican at the presidential level and increasingly so for other federal elections; however, South Dakota has a record of mixing partisan affiliations of its congressional delegation in Washington.[22]

Full history

Campaign donors

Comprehensive donor information for Johnson is available dating back to 2008. Based on available campaign finance records, Johnson raised a total of $13,395,649 during that time period. This information was last updated on April 25, 2013.[31]

Tim Johnson, South Dakota's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2008 U.S. Senate (South Dakota) Won $6,423,536
2002 U.S. Senate (South Dakota) Won $6,972,113
Grand Total Raised $13,395,649


Johnson won re-election to the U.S. Senate in 2008. During that re-election cycle, Johnson's campaign committee raised a total of $6,423,536 and spent $5,595,062.[32]

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 personally benefited from their tenure as public servants.
It consists of four different metrics pioneered by the Government Accountability Institute:

PGI: 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 OpenSecrets.org, Johnson's net worth as of 2012 was estimated between $550,044 to $1,853,000. That averages to $1,201,522, which is lower than the average net worth of Democratic Senate members in 2012 of $13,566,333.90. Johnson ranked as the 62nd most wealthy senator in 2012.[33] Between 2004 and 2012, Johnson's calculated net worth[34] increased 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.[35]

Tim Johnson Yearly Net Worth
YearAverage Net Worth
Growth from 2004 to 2012:90%
Average annual growth:11%[36]
Comparatively, the American citizen experienced a median yearly decline in net worth of -0.94%.[37]
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.


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.[38]

Johnson most often votes with:

Johnson least often votes with:

Ideology and leadership

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

Based on an analysis of bill sponsorship by GovTrack, Johnson is a "rank-and-file Democrat," as of July 2, 2013.[39]

Lifetime voting record

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

According to the website GovTrack, Johnson missed 399 of 5,170 roll call votes from January 1997 to April 2013. This amounts to 7.7%, which is worse than the median of 1.7% among current senators as of April 2013.[40]

Congressional staff salaries

See also: Staff salaries of United States Senators and Representatives

The website Legistorm compiles staff salary information for members of Congress. Johnson paid his congressional staff a total of $2,723,199 in 2011. He ranks 22nd on the list of the highest paid Democratic senatorial staff salaries and ranks 29th overall of the highest paid senatorial staff salaries in 2011. Overall, South Dakota ranks 16th in average salary for senatorial staff. The average U.S. Senate congressional staff was paid $2,529,141.70 in fiscal year 2011.[41]

Staff bonuses

According to an analysis by CNN, Johnson is one of nearly 25% of House members who gave their staff bonuses in 2012. Johnson's staff was given an apparent $33,371.67 in bonus money.[42]

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. Johnson was 1 of 2 members who ranked 22nd in the liberal rankings in 2012.[43]


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. Johnson ranked 28th in the liberal rankings.[44]

Political positions

Voting with party


The website OpenCongress tracks how often members of Congress vote with the majority of the chamber caucus. According to the website, Tim Johnson has voted with the Democratic Party 95.6% of the time, which ranked 22nd among the 52 Senate Democratic members as of June 2013.[45]


Johnson and his wife, Barbara, have three children.

Recent news

This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term Tim + Johnson + South Dakota + Senate

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

Tim Johnson News Feed

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See also

External links


  1. 1.0 1.1 Argus Leader, "Sen. Johnson announces retirement," accessed March 27, 2013
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, "Tim Johnson," accessed November 4, 2011
  3. Congressional Quarterly, "Senate Committee List," accessed January 18, 2013
  4. Senate Democrats, "112th Senate Committee Assignments," accessed August 6, 2013
  5. Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity, First Session of the 112th Congress," accessed September 5, 2013
  6. Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity, Second Session of the 113th Congress," accessed March 4, 2014
  7. Project Vote Smart, "PN 48 - Nomination of John Brennan to be Director of the Central Intelligence Agency - Voting Record," accessed September 25, 2013
  8. Roll Call, "Democratic Committee Leaders Ask for Iran Intel Briefings," accessed December 6, 2013
  9. Senate.gov, "H.R. 2642 (Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013 )," accessed February 12, 2014
  10. 10.0 10.1 NY Times, "Senate Passes Long-Stalled Farm Bill, With Clear Winners and Losers," accessed February 12, 2014
  11. 11.0 11.1 Politico, "Senate approves $1.1 trillion spending bill," accessed January 20, 2014
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 U.S. Senate, "January 16 Vote," accessed January 20, 2014
  13. Roll Call, "House Passes $1.1 Trillion Omnibus," accessed January 20, 2014
  14. 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
  15. The Washington Post, "Reid, McConnell propose bipartisan Senate bill to end shutdown, extend borrowing," accessed October 16, 2013
  16. Senate.gov, "H.R. 2775 As Amended," accessed October 31, 2013
  17. Project Vote Smart, "S Amdt 1197 - Requires the Completion of the Fence Along the United States-Mexico Border - Voting Record," accessed September 25, 2013
  18. Project Vote Smart, "S 47 - Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 - Voting Record," accessed September 25, 2013
  19. 19.0 19.1 Talking Points Memo, "Sen. Tim Johnson Endorses Gay Marriage" accessed April 9, 2013
  20. Huffingtonpost.com, "Gay Marriage Rights: The 10 Democratic Senators Who Still Say No" March 2013
  21. U.S. Senate, "Roll Call Vote on the Fiscal Cliff," accessed January 4, 2013
  22. 22.0 22.1 22.2 Fiscal Times, "7 Senate Seats Most at Risk—Hint: They’re All Blue," accessed February 15, 2013
  23. U.S. Congress House Clerk "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 4, 2008"
  24. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 5, 2002," accessed March 28, 2013
  25. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 5, 1996," accessed March 28, 2013
  26. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 8, 1994," accessed March 28, 2013
  27. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 3, 1992," accessed March 28, 2013
  28. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 6, 1990," accessed March 28, 2013
  29. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 8, 1988," accessed March 28, 2013
  30. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 4, 1986," accessed March 28, 2013
  31. Open Secrets, "Donor history for Tim Johnson," accessed April 25, 2013
  32. Open Secrets, "Tim Johnson 2008 Election Cycle," accessed November 4, 2011
  33. OpenSecrets, "Casey, 2012," accessed January 14, 2014
  34. This figure represents the total 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).
  35. This number was found by dividing each member's total net worth growth percentage by the number of years included in the calculation.
  36. This figure represents the total percentage growth divided by the number of years for which there are net worth figures for each member.
  37. 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.
  38. OpenCongress, "Tim Johnson," accessed August 8, 2013
  39. GovTrack, "Johnson," accessed July 2, 2013
  40. GovTrack, "Johnson," accessed April 11, 2013
  41. LegiStorm, "Tim Johnson," accessed August 6, 2012
  42. CNN Politics, "Congressional bonuses in a time of cuts," accessed March 8, 2013
  43. National Journal, "2012 Congressional Vote Ratings," February 28, 2013
  44. National Journal, "Searchable Vote Ratings Tables: Senate," accessed February 23, 2012
  45. OpenCongress, "Voting With Party," accessed June 6, 2013
Political offices
Preceded by
Larry Pressler
U.S. Senate - South Dakota
Succeeded by