|U.S. House, Texas, District 16|
|January 3, 2013-Present|
|January 3, 2015|
|Years in position||2|
|Predecessor||Silvestre Reyes (D)|
|Elections and appointments|
|First elected||November 6, 2012|
|Next general||November 4, 2014|
|El Paso City Council|
|Date of birth||September 26, 1972|
|Place of birth||El Paso, Texas|
|Profession||Small Business Owner|
- 1 Biography
- 2 Career
- 3 Committee assignments
- 4 Issues
- 4.1 Legislative actions
- 4.1.1 113th Congress
- 4.1.2 National security
- 4.1.3 Economy
- 4.1.4 Immigration
- 4.1.5 Healthcare
- 4.1.6 Social issues
- 4.2 Campaign issues
- 4.1 Legislative actions
- 5 Elections
- 6 Campaign donors
- 7 Analysis
- 8 Personal
- 9 Recent news
- 10 See also
- 11 External links
- 12 References
Based on analysis of multiple outside rankings, O'Rourke is an average Democratic member of Congress, meaning he will vote with the Democratic Party on the majority of bills.
O'Rourke grew up in El Paso. He graduated from Columbia University in 1995 with a degree in English. After he graduated, he got a job with a Manhattan web technology company. After three years, he returned to El Paso and co-founded Stanton Street Technology, an internet services and software company, in 1999.
- 2005-2011: El Paso City Council
- 1999-present: Owner, Stanton Street Technology Group
- 2013-present: U.S. House of Representatives from Texas
O'Rourke serves on the following committees:
- Committee on Homeland Security
- Subcommittee on Border, Maritime Security
- Subcommittee on Oversight and Management Efficiency
- Committee on Veterans' Affairs
- Subcommittee on Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs
- Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations
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. For more information pertaining to O'Rourke's voting record in the 113th Congress, please see the below sections.
American response in Syria
- See also: United States involvement in Syria
Rep. Scott Rigell wrote in the letter in August 2013, “engaging our military in Syria when no direct threat to the United States exists and without prior congressional authorization would violate the separation of powers that is clearly delineated in the Constitution.”
The members of Congress believed that Obama should have asked Congress for permission before engaging in Libya. The letter asked, “If the use of 221 Tomahawk cruise missles, [sic] 704 Joint Direct Attack Munitions, and 42 Predator Hellfire missiles expended in Libya does not constitute ‘hostilities,’ what does?”
The letter stated, “If you deem that military action in Syria is necessary, Congress can reconvene at your request. We stand ready to come back into session, consider the facts before us, and share the burden of decisions made regarding U.S. involvement in the quickly escalating Syrian conflict."
On August 29, 2013, more than 50 House Democrats signed a letter written by California Rep. Barbara Lee that called for a congressional resolution on strikes, and cautioned that the dire situation in Syria "should not draw us into an unwise war—especially without adhering to our constitutional requirements." The letter also called on the Obama administration to work with the U.N. Security Council “to build international consensus” condemning the alleged use of chemical weapons. O'Rourke was one of the 50 Democrats in the House to sign the letter.
National Defense Authorization Act
O'Rourke voted for 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.
Department of Homeland Security Appropriations
O'Rourke voted against HR 2217 - the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act of 2014. The bill passed the House on June 6, 2013, with a vote of 245 - 182 that was largely along party lines.
Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act
O'Rourke voted against HR 624 - the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act. 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. The bill was largely supported by Republicans but divided the Democratic Party.
Federal Statutory Pay Adjustment Elimination
O'Rourke voted against HR 273 - Eliminates the 2013 Statutory Pay Adjustment for Federal Employees. The bill passed the House on February 15, 2013, with a vote of 261 - 154. The bill would prevent a 0.5% pay increase for all federal workers from taking effect, saving the federal government $11 billion over 10 years.
Morton Memos Enforcement Prohibition
O'Rourke voted against 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. The vote largely followed party lines.
Health Care Reform Rules
O'Rourke voted against House Amendment 450 - Requires Congressional Approval for Any Rules Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The amendment was adopted by the House on August 2, 2013, with a vote of 227-185. The amendment requires that all changes to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act be approved by Congress before taking effect. The vote was largely along party lines.
O'Rourke voted against HR 1797 - Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. The resolution passed the House on June 18, 2013, with a vote of 228 - 196 that largely followed party lines. The purpose of the bill is to ban abortions that would take place 20 or more weeks after fertilization.
- See also: United States Farm Bill 2013
In June 2013, more than two dozen House Democrats, including O'Rourke, took part in a SNAP challenge, feeding themselves for a week on the average benefit level of a SNAP recipient. Participants agreed to eat all meals from a limited food budget comparable to that of a SNAP participant, approximately $1.50 per meal, or $4.50 a day.
O'Rourke's campaign website listed the following issues:
- End Corruption
- Excerpt: "The corruption that plagues our community has to stop, but we need reform and new leadership, especially in D.C. where members of Congress use our tax dollars to get re-elected. I will sponsor a bill to set term limits for representatives, so that they focus on getting the job done instead of the special interests that keep them in office."
- True Democrat
- Excerpt: "Instead of focusing on issues that are important to El Pasoans like the economy, jobs and ensuring that our community is well-represented in D.C., the incumbent has chosen to ask if I am a Democrat. Although I put community and country before party and partisan politics, I think my track record shows that I represent the best aspects of the Democratic Party."
- Congressional Reform
- Excerpt: "Each year the same people in Congress make the same self-serving decisions that leave us unprepared to revive a depressed economy, reverse a growing debt burden and renew America's leadership in the 21st century. The country is fed up. Congress' approval rating is now at 9%. So why does Congress have a re-election rate that rivals that of a Middle East dictator (93% over the last 5 years), despite having the lowest approval rating in history?"
- Healthcare Reform
- Excerpt: "While these are important issues to address, the act fails to address problems that are specific to El Paso and the border. As your congressman I will work to make sure that future legislation that carries out the provisions of the PPACA will help, and not hurt, El Paso."
- Reyes Works?
- Excerpt: "You may have seen the billboards reading "Reyes Works", here are the facts: Reyes has one of the worst voting and attendance records in Congress."
- Jobs and the Economy
- Excerpt: "There is greater economic opportunity in this region than in almost any other part of Americas right now. Whether it's our enviable position as the world's largest bi-national metroplex, having the country's largest military installation at Ft. Bliss or the country's newest four-year medical school as the anchor for the Medical Center of the Americas, there is abundant opportunity here."
- Veterans Affairs
- Excerpt: "Our veterans have honorably served our nation. It's time that our nation return the commitment and ensure that they are treated fairly, with dignity and respect. Unfortunately, as far too many veterans in El Paso have shared with me, they do not have the support they are owed."
- Excerpt: "Investment in education is key to the economic vitality of the nation and the region. As we move away from becoming a manufacturing nation, most jobs will come from a highly skilled labor force. Currently, the U.S. must hire 227,000 scientists and engineers from abroad to keep up with the demand in the U.S. economy."
- Fort Bliss
- Excerpt: "From the time of General John Pershing to the stewardship provided today by Major General Pittard, El Paso has been fortunate to have a strong relationship with Ft. Bliss. I will work to ensure that relationship produces more jobs and economic activity for local businesses in the future."
- Term Limits
- Excerpt: "Unfortunately, most house members are career politicians who are more concerned with the next election cycle than in making these tough decisions. They put personal considerations, party loyalty and payback to lobbyists and big donors before principle. "
O'Rourke is set to run for re-election to the U.S. House in 2014. If he runs, he will seek the Democratic nomination in the primary election on March 4, 2014. The general election took place November 4, 2014.
O'Rourke won election in the 2012 election for the U.S. House, representing Texas' 16th District. He defeated incumbent Silvestre Reyes, Ben Mendoza, and Jerome Tilghman in the Democratic primary on May 29, 2012. He then defeated Barbara Carrasco (R) and Junart Sodoy (L) in the November 6, 2012, general election.
According to Politico, Beto O'Rourke presented Reyes' first real primary threat since the incumbent was elected. O'Rourke portrayed Reyes as unresponsive and entrenched; the challenger also raised significant funding and stands to receive support from the Campaign for Primary Accountability. Reyes responded by gathering endorsements from Barack Obama and Bill Clinton, as well as pointing out O'Rourke's support of marijuana legalization.
|U.S. House, Texas District 16 General Election, 2012|
|Source: Texas Secretary of State "Official Election Results, 2012 General Election"|
|U.S. House, Texas District 16 Democratic Primary, 2012|
|Silvestre Reyes Incumbent||44.3%||20,440|
|Paul Johnson, Jr.||0.9%||419|
O'Rourke's opponent, incumbent Silvestre Reyes was targeted by the Super PAC Campaign for Primary Accountability in the 16th district Democratic primary. The PAC targeted Reyes, because he served for a long time, his constituents were dissatisfied, and there was a capable challenger.
A Reyes spokesperson criticized the Campaign for Primary Accountability's implicit support of primary Reyes challenger O'Rourke, pointing out that Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor had contributed to the PAC for its efforts in a Republican primary in Illinois. The Huffington Post reports that O'Rourke responded by distancing himself from Cantor, saying he is unfamiliar with the House Majority Leader's politics, but that "if he is emblematic about Republican ideology," O'Rourke would rarely agree with Cantor.
Comprehensive donor information for O'Rourke is available dating back to 2012. Based on available campaign finance records, O'Rourke raised a total of $685,661 during that time period. This information was last updated on March 25, 2013.
|Beto O'Rourke's Campaign Contribution History|
|2012||US House (Texas, District 16)||$685,661|
|Grand Total Raised||$685,661|
|Beto O'Rourke (2014) Campaign Finance Reports|
|Report||Date Filed||Beginning Balance||Total Contributions|
for Reporting Period
|Expenditures||Cash on Hand|
|April Quarterly||April 15, 2013||$66,920.12||$116,506.56||$(38,346.24)||$145,080.44|
|July Quarterly||July 15, 2013||$145,080.44||$102,846.00||$(30,746.58)||$217,179.86|
O'Rourke won election to the U.S. House in 2012. During that election cycle, O'Rourke's campaign committee raised a total of $685,661 and spent $618,526. This is less than the average $1.5 million spent by House winners in 2012.
Cost per vote
O'Rourke spent $6.10 per vote received in 2012.
|U.S. House of Representatives, Texas' 16th Congressional District, 2012 - Beto O'Rourke Campaign Contributions|
|Total Raised by Election Runner-up||$132,479|
|Total Spent by Election Runner-up||$132,575|
|Top contributors to Beto O'Rourke's campaign committee|
|Hoy Fox Automotive||$7,000|
|Alameda Thrifty Pharmacy||$6,650|
|Top 5 industries that contributed to campaign committee|
Ideology and leadership
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.
O'Rourke most often votes with:
O'Rourke least often votes with:
Lifetime voting record
According to the website GovTrack, O'Rourke missed 0 of 89 roll call votes from January 2013 to March 2013. This amounts to 0.0%, which is better than the median of 2.2% among current congressional representatives as of March 2013.
Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by OpenSecrets.org, O'Rourke's net worth as of 2011 was estimated between $-1,546,154 to $14,853,840. That averages to $6,653,843, which is higher than the average net worth of Democratic House members in 2011 of $5,107,874.
Voting with party
The website OpenCongress tracks how often members of Congress vote with the majority of the chamber caucus. According to the website, O'Rourke has voted with the Democratic Party 96.2% of the time. This ranked 63rd among the 201 House Democrats as of June 2013.
O'Rourke lives in Sunset Heights with his wife, Amy Sanders, and their three children.
This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term Beto + O'Rourke + Texas + Congress
- All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.
- Texas' 16th congressional district elections, 2012
- United States House of Representatives elections in Texas, 2012
- U.S. House elections, 2012
- Social media:
- Political profiles:
- Financial (federal level):
- Interest group ratings:
- Issue positions:
- Public statements:
- Voting record:
- Media appearances:
- Media coverage:
- El Paso Times, "Beto O'Rourke to challenge Reyes for Congress", September 1, 2011
- National Journal "Texas, 16th House District: Beto O'Rourke (D)," November 7, 2012
- CQ.com, House Committee Rosters for the 113th Congress
- Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity, First Session of the 112th Congress," accessed September 5, 2013
- Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity, Second Session of the 113th Congress," accessed March 4, 2014
- Yahoo, "65 Lawmakers Ask Obama to Consult on Syria," accessed August 28, 2013
- Politico, "33 lawmakers: Congress must approve Syria action," accessed August 28, 2013
- Washington Post, "More than 50 House Democrats also want Syria strike resolution," accessed September 2, 2013
- Project Vote Smart, "HR 1960 - National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014 - Voting Record," accessed September 16, 2013
- Project Vote Smart, "HR 2217 - Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act of 2014 - Voting Record," accessed September 16, 2013
- Project Vote Smart, "HR 624 - Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act - Voting Record," accessed September 16, 2013
- Project Vote Smart, "HR 273 - Eliminates the 2013 Statutory Pay Adjustment for Federal Employees - Voting Record," accessed September 16, 2013
- The Library of Congress, "H.AMDT.136," accessed September 16, 2013
- Project Vote Smart, "H Amdt 136 - Prohibits the Enforcement of the Immigration Executive Order - Voting Record," accessed September 16, 2013
- Project Votesmart, "H Amdt 450 - Requires Congressional Approval for Any Rules Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act - Voting Record," accessed September 16, 2013
- Project Vote Smart, "HR 1797 - Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act - Voting Record," accessed September 16, 2013
- U.S. House.gov, "Full Member List of Congressional Snap Challenge," accessed September 25, 2013 (dead link)
- Feeding America, "Taking the SNAP Challenge," accessed September 25, 2013
- Campaign website
- Republican candidate list
- Unofficial Republican primary results
- Politico "5 incumbents facing primary fight," May 3, 2012
- Houston Chronicle blog "Houston-based super PAC targeting more Texas incumbents," April 8, 2012
- Huffington Post "Eric Cantor Chaos: Campaign For Primary Accountability Donation Becomes Texas Democratic Issue," April 11, 2012
- Open Secrets "Career Fundraising for Beto O'Rourke," Accessed March 25, 2013
- Federal Election Commission "Beto O'Rourke Summary Report," Accessed July 24, 2013
- 'Federal Election Commission "Beto O'Rourke April Quarterly," Accessed July 24, 2013
- 'Federal Election Commission "Beto O'Rourke July Quarterly," Accessed July 24, 2013
- Open Secrets "Beto O'Rourke 2012 Election Cycle," Accessed March 5, 2013
- Open Secrets, "Election 2012: The Big Picture Shows Record Cost of Winning a Seat in Congress," June 19, 2013
- Gov Track "Beto O'Rourke," Accessed June 4, 2013
- OpenCongress, "Beto O'Rourke," Accessed August 2, 2013
- GovTrack, "Beto O'Rourke," Accessed April 2, 2013
- OpenSecrets.org "Beto O'Rourke (D-Texas), 2011," accessed February 22, 2013
- OpenCongress "Voting With Party," Accessed June 4, 2013
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