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Barbara Mikulski

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Barbara Mikulski
Barbara Mikulski.jpg
U.S. Senate, Maryland
In office
January 3rd, 1987-Present
Term ends
January 3, 2017
Years in position 28
PredecessorCharles McC. Mathias, Jr. (R)
Base salary$174,000/year
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 2, 2010
First electedNovember 4, 1986
Next generalNovember 8, 2016
Campaign $$11,939,823
Term limitsN/A
Prior offices
U.S. House of Representatives
High schoolInstitute of Notre Dame
Bachelor'sMount Saint Agnes College
Master'sUniversity of Maryland School of Social Work
Place of birthBaltimore, MD
ProfessionSocial Worker
Net worth$379,008
ReligionRoman Catholic
Office website
Barbara Ann Mikulski (b. July 20, 1936, in Baltimore, Maryland) is a Democratic member of the United States Senate representing Maryland. Mikulski was first elected to the Senate in 1986 and is currently serving her fifth term.[1]

Mikulski is scheduled to run for re-election in January, 2019. Prior to her election in the Senate, Mikulski served as a member of the Baltimore city council.Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; refs with no content must have a name

She previously was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1977 to 1987.[2]

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


Mikulski was born in 1936 in East Baltimore, MD. She earned her B.A. from Mt. Saint Agnes College (now a part of Loyola Maryland University) in 1958 and went on obtain her Masters from the University of Maryland School of Social Work in 1965. Mikulski worked as a social worker and college professor prior to her career in politics.[3]


Below is an abbreviated version of Mikulski's political career:[3]

  • Baltimore City Council, 1971-1976
  • U.S. House of Representatives, 1977-1987
  • U.S. Senate, 1987-Present

Committee assignments

U.S. Senate


Mikulski serves on the following Senate committees:[4]

  • Appropriations Committee
    • Subcommittee on Transportation and Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies
    • Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs
    • Subcommittee on Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies
    • Subcommittee on Legislative Branch
    • Subcommittee on Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and Related Agencies
    • Subcommittee on Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies
    • Subcommittee on Department of Homeland
    • Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government Members
    • Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development
    • Subcommittee on Department of Defense
    • Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies
    • Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies
  • Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee
    • Subcommittee on Primary Health and Aging
    • Subcommittee on Children and Families
  • Select Committee on Intelligence


Mikulski served on the following Senate committees:[5]


American response in Syria

See also: United States involvement in Syria

Mikulski said on September 5, 2013, that she was persuaded that Syrian leader Bashar Assad was responsible for the August 2013 chemical weapons attack but remained undecided on whether a U.S. military strike is the best response.[6]

"What we heard today made a compelling forensic case, one, that nerve gas was used and, No. 2, that it was used by the Assad regime," said Mikulski.[6]

"In briefings like this, I was convinced that there was no compelling evidence that Saddam Hussein had nuclear weapons. I was right about that. I do believe that today there was compelling evidence presented that [Assad] did use nerve gas against his own people. Now, the next question is what is the best way to deter him from ever using that again," she said.[6]

Mikulski said on September 9, 2013, that she supports giving President Barack Obama authorization to strike Syria.[7]

"I believe the president's plan is the best response to protecting U.S. security interests in the region," Mikulski, the chairwoman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, said during a lengthy speech on the Senate floor.[7]

"Therefore…after really great reflection and as much due diligence as I could do, I want to announce today to my colleagues and most of all to the people of Maryland who have supported me, that I will support the president's request for a targeted, limited military action against the Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime in response to the horrific, grim and ghoulish use of chemical weapons," she said.[7]

Specific votes

Fiscal Cliff

Voted "Yes" Mikulski 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.[8]



On November 2, 2010, Barbara Mikulski (D) won re-election to the United States Senate. She defeated Eric Wargotz (R), Richard Shawver (Constitution), Kenniss Henry (Green), Claud L. Ashbury (Write-in, R), Donald Kaplan (Write-in), James T. Lynch, Jr. (Write-in, D), Lih Young (Write-in), Denise L. Whittington (Write-in), Robert J. Evans (Write-in) and Mary Catherine Podlesak (Write-in, R) in the general election.[9]

U.S. Senate, Maryland General Election, 2010
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngBarbara Mikulski incumbent 62.2% 1,140,531
     Republican Eric Wargotz 35.8% 655,666
     Constitution Richard Shawver 0.8% 14,746
     Green Kenniss Henry 1.1% 20,717
     N/A Write-in 0.1% 1,644
     Write-in Republican Claud L. Ashbury 0% 204
     N/A Donald Kaplan 0% 110
     Write-in Democratic James T. Lynch, Jr. 0% 84
     N/A Lih Young 0% 80
     N/A Denise L. Whittington 0% 56
     N/A Robert J. Evans 0% 14
     Write-in Republican Mary Catherine Podlesak 0% 6
Total Votes 1,833,858

Full history

Campaign donors

Comprehensive donor information for Mikulski is available dating back to 2004. Based on available campaign finance records, Mikulski raised a total of $11,939,823 during that time period. This information was last updated on April 19, 2013.[14]

Barbara Mikulski's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2010 U.S. Senate Won $5,508,300
2004 U.S. Senate Won $6,431,523
Grand Total Raised $11,939,823


Candidates for Congress are required to file up to seven main reports with the Federal Election Commission during the 2014 elections season. Below are Mikulski’s reports.[15]

Barbara Mikulski (2014) Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
April Quarterly[16]April 15, 2013$706,652.84$193,341.96$(50,364.61)$849,630.19
July Quarterly[17]July 15, 2013$849,630.19$117,306.68$(60,441.97)$906,495.10
Running totals


Breakdown of the source of Mikulski's campaign funds before the 2010 election.

Mikulski won re-election to the U.S. Senate in 2010. During that re-election cycle, Mikulski's campaign committee raised a total of $5,508,300 and spent $4,891,554.[18]


Ideology and leadership

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

Based on an analysis of bill sponsorship by GovTrack, Mikulski is a "rank-and-file Democrat" August 13, 2013.[19]

Ideology and leadership

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

Based on an analysis of bill sponsorship by GovTrack, Mikulski is a "rank-and-file Democrat" as of July 23, 2013.[20]

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.[21]

Mikulski most often votes with:

Mikulski least often votes with:

Lifetime voting record

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

According to the website GovTrack, Mikulski missed 298 of 8,801 roll call votes from Jan 1987 to Apr 2013, which is 3.4% of votes during that period. This is worse than the median of 1.7% among the lifetime records of senators currently serving. [22]

Congressional staff salaries

See also: Staff salaries of United States Senators and Representatives

The website Legistorm compiles staff salary information for members of Congress. Mikulski paid her congressional staff a total of $2,546,660 in 2011. She ranked 16th on the list of the lowest paid Democratic senatorial staff salaries and ranked 47th overall of the lowest paid senatorial staff salaries in 2011. Overall, Maryland ranked 33rd in average salary for senatorial staff. The average U.S. Senate congressional staff was paid $2,529,141.70 in fiscal year 2011.[23]

Net worth

See also: Net Worth of United States Senators and Representatives


Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by, Mikulski's net worth as of 2011 was estimated between $191,016 and $567,000. This averages to $379,008, which is a 12.63% increase since 2010. It is lower than the average net worth of Democratic senators in 2011 of $20,795,450.[24]


Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by, Mikulski's net worth as of 2010 was estimated between $156,016 and $517,000. That averages to $336,508, which is lower than the average net worth of Democratic senators in 2010 of $19,383,524.[25]

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, Mikulski was ranked the 5th most liberal senator during 2012.[26]


According to the data released in 2012, Barbara Mikulski was ranked the fifth most liberal senator during 2011.[27]


Mikulski is unmarried and lives in Baltimore, MD.[28]

Recent news

This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term Barbara + Mikulski + Maryland + Senate

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

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External links


  1. Bioguide U.S. Senate "Barbara Mikulski" August 13, 2013
  2. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named bg
  3. 3.0 3.1 Biographical Guide to Members of Congress "Barbara Mikulski," Accessed October 25, 2011
  4. Congressional Quarterly "Senate Committee List" Accessed January 18, 2013
  5. Official Senate Website "Committee Assignments," Accessed October 25, 2011
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Baltimore Sun, "Mikulski convinced by evidence but undecided on strikes," accessed September 5, 2013
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Baltimore Sun, "Maryland Sen. Barbara Mikulski says she supports Syria strike," accessed September 10, 2013
  8. U.S. Senate "Roll Call Vote on the Fiscal Cliff" Accessed January 4, 2013.
  9. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2010," accessed March 28, 2013
  10. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2004," accessed March 28, 2013
  11. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 3, 1998," accessed March 28, 2013
  12. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 3, 1992," accessed March 28, 2013
  13. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 4, 1986," accessed March 28, 2013
  14. Open Secrets "Career Fundraising for Barbara Mikulski" April 2013
  15. Federal Election Commission "Barbara Mikulski Summary Report," Accessed August 3, 2013
  16. Federal Election Commission "Barbara Mikulski April Quarterly," Accessed August 3, 2013
  17. Federal Election Commission "Barbara Mikulski July Quarterly," Accessed August 3, 2013
  18. Open Secrets "Barbara Mikulski 2010 Election Cycle," Accessed October 25, 2011
  19. GovTrack, "Barbara Mikulski," Accessed August 13, 2013
  20. Gov Track "Barbara Mikulski," accessed July 23, 2013
  21. [ OpenCongress, "Barbara Mikulski," Accessed August 8, 2013]
  22. [h GovTrack, "Brbara Mikulski" Accessed April 2013]
  23. LegiStorm "Barbara Mikulski"
  24., "Mikulski, (D-Maryland), 2011"
  25., "Mikulski, (D-Maryland), 2010"
  26. National Journal, "TABLE: House Liberal Scores by Issue Area," February 26, 2013
  27. National Journal, "Searchable Vote Ratings Tables: House," February 23, 2012
  28. Official Website "Biography," Accessed October 25, 2011
Political offices
Preceded by
Charles Mathias, Jr.
U.S. Senate - Maryland
Succeeded by