Bill Owens

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Bill Owens
Bill owens.jpg
U.S. House, New York, District 21
In office
November 3, 2009-Present
Term ends
January 3, 2015
Years in position 6
Base salary$174,000/year
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 6, 2012
First electedNovember 3, 2009
Next generalNovember 4, 2014
Term limitsN/A
Bachelor'sManhattan College
J.D.Fordham University
Military service
Service/branchUnited States Air Force
Date of birthJanuary, 20, 1949
Place of birthBrooklyn, New York
ProfessionLawyer, Businessperson
Net worth$2,622,015
ReligionRoman Catholic
Office website
Campaign website
William Lewis “Bill” Owens (b. January, 20, 1949) is a Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives from New York. Owens was elected by voters from New York's 21st congressional district. Prior to the 2012 general election, he was the incumbent in the 23rd district. Due to redistricting, he ran in the newly redrawn 21st district.

Based on an analysis of bill sponsorship by GovTrack, Owens is a "centrist Democratic follower".[1]


Owens was born in Brooklyn, New York. He earned a B.A. from Manhattan College in 1971 and an M.A. from Fordham University in 1974.[2]


After graduating from law school, Owens enlisted in the U.S. Air Force and served as a Captain at Plattsburgh Air Force Base. After completing his service, Owens decided to stay in the North Country, where he built a private law practice, and served as faculty of the State University of New York, from 1978 to 1986.[3]

Committee assignments

U.S. House


Owens serves on the following committees:[4]


Owens served on the following committees:[5]


Political positions

Specific Votes

During the campaign for a special election for Congress, Owens said the following:

  • The public option had no place in the health care reform bill.[6]
  • He was opposed to any health care bill that cut Medicare benefits
  • He was opposed to taxing health care benefits
  • He was opposed to increasing taxes on the middle class.[7]

After making these promises on his campaign website, Owens voted for HR 3962 as one of his first official acts in Congress. HR 3962 has a public option, cuts Medicare benefits, taxes health care benefits and increases taxes on the middle class.

Owens voted in favor of the health care reform bill.[8] 57% of likely voters at least somewhat favor repeal of the health care reform bill, including 46% who strongly favor repeal. 35% of likely voters oppose repeal. 51% of likely voters believe the health care reform bill will be bad for the country, while 36% believe it will be beneficial.[9]

Fiscal Cliff

Voted "Yes" Owens 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 one of 172 Democrats that voted in favor of the bill. The bill was passed in the House by a 257/167 vote on January 1, 2013.[10]



See also: New York's 21st congressional district elections, 2012

Owens won re-election in 2012, but due to New York's redistricting, he ran in the newly redrawn 21st district.[11] He was unopposed in the Democratic primary and defeated Matt Doheny (R) and Donald Hassig (G) in the November 6, 2012, general election.[12][13]

U.S. House, New York District 21 General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngBill Owens Incumbent 47.1% 126,631
     Republican Matthew Doheny 45.3% 121,646
     Green Donald Hassig 1.6% 4,174
     N/A Blank/Void/Scattering 6.1% 16,290
Total Votes 268,741
Source: New York State Board of Elections "U.S. House of Representatives Results"


On November 2, 2010, Owens was elected to the United States House for a second term. He defeated Matthew A. Doheny (R whom also ran on the Independence Party ticket), and Douglas L. Hoffman (Conservative).[14]

U.S. House, New York Congressional District 23 General Election, 2010
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngBill Owens Incumbent 45.1% 82,232
     Republican Matthew A. Doheny 44% 80,237
     Conservative Douglas L. Hoffman 5.8% 10,507
     Blank/Scattering 5.2% 9,534
Total Votes 182,510

Campaign donors


Bill Owens Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
April Quarterly[15]April 15, 2012$553,552.75$240,588.63$(75,656.74)$718,484.64
July Quarterly[16]July 13, 2012$752,994.89$163,174.29$(22,648.05)$893,521.13
October Quarterly[17]October 15, 2012$893,521.13$437,330.41$(560,819.53)$770,032.01
Running totals


Breakdown of the source of Owens' campaign funds before the 2010 election.
Owens was re-elected to the U.S. House in 2010 for a second term. His campaign committee raised a total of $2,829,090 and spent $2,812,845.[18]


Congressional Staff Salaries

See also: Staff salaries of United States Senators and Representatives

The website Legistorm compiles staff salary information for members of Congress. Owens paid his congressional staff a total of $799,365 in 2011. Overall, New York ranked 28th in average salary for representative staff. The average U.S. House of Representatives congressional staff was paid $954,912.20 in fiscal year 2011.[19]

Net worth

See also: Net Worth of United States Senators and Representatives


Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by - The Center for Responsive Politics, Owens' net worth as of 2011 was estimated between $1,552,031 to $3,691,999. That averages to $2,622,015, which is lower than the average net worth of Democratic House members in 2011 of $5,107,874. His average net worth decreased by 20.69% from 2010.[20]


Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by - The Center for Responsive Politics, Owens' net worth as of 2010 was estimated between $1,985,032 to $4,626,999. Averaging to a net worth of $3,306,015.50 which was lower than the average net worth of Democrats in 2010 of $4,465,875.[21]

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. Owens tied with one other member of the U.S. House of Representatives, ranking 170th in the liberal rankings among members of the U.S. House.[22]

Percentage voting with party

November 2011

Bill Owens voted with the Democratic Party 73.6% of the time, which ranked 179th among the 192 House Democratic members as of December 2011.[23]

Recent news

This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term Bill + Owens + New York + House

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

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Owens and his wife Jane still reside in Plattsburgh, New York. They have three grown children, and four grandchildren.[24]

External links


  1. Gov Track "William Owens" Accessed April 19, 2012
  2. Biographical Directory of the United States Congress "OWENS, William, (1949 - )"
  3. Congressman Bill Owens, Representing New York's 23rd District "Biography"
  4., "House Committee Rosters for the 113th Congress"
  5. Congressman Bill Owens, Representing New York's 23rd District "Committees and Caucuses"
  6. Politico, "Dem House candidate against public option", August 11, 2009
  7. Gouverner Times, "Owens Breaks 4 Campaign Promises in first hour in Congress", November 6, 2009
  8. US House Clerk "Roll Call 165," March 21, 2010
  9. Rasmussen "61% Favor Repeal of Health Care Law," September 20, 2010
  10. U.S. House "Roll Call Vote on the Fiscal Cliff" Accessed January 4, 2013.
  11. Post Star "GOP sues to remove Owens from third-party ballot line," May 1, 2012
  12. AP/CSPAN "New York-Summary Vote Report," June 26, 2012
  13. Politico "2012 Election Map, New York"
  14. U.S. Congress House Clerk "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2010"
  15. Federal Election Commission, "Bill Owens's April Quarterly Report," Accessed October 17, 2012
  16. Federal Election Commission, "Bill Owens's July Quarterly Report," Accessed October 17, 2012
  17. Federal Election Commission, "Bill Owens's October Quarterly Report," Accessed October 17, 2012
  18. Open Secrets "Bill Owens 2010 Election Data," Accessed December 23, 2011
  19. LegiStorm, "Bill Owens," Accessed October 1, 2012
  20. "Bill Owens (D-NY), 2011, 2011," accessed February 19, 2013
  21., "Bill Owens (D-NY), 2010," Accessed October 1, 2012
  22. National Journal, "Searchable Vote Ratings Tables: House," February 23, 2012
  23. OpenCongress, "Voting With Party," accessed July 2014
  24. Congressman Bill Owens, Representing New York's 23rd District "Biography"
Political offices
Preceded by
Paul Tonko
U.S. House of Representatives - New York, District 21
Succeeded by
Preceded by
John McHugh
U.S. House of Representatives - New York, District 23
Succeeded by
Tom Reed