Bill Owens

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Bill Owens
Bill owens.jpg
U.S. House, New York, District 21
Incumbent
In office
November 3, 2009-Present
Term ends
January 3, 2015
Years in position 5
PartyDemocratic
PredecessorPaul Tonko (D)
Compensation
Base salary$174,000/year
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 6, 2012
Cost per vote$15.32 in 2012
First electedNovember 3, 2009
Next generalNovember 4, 2014
Campaign $$4,797,568
Term limitsN/A
Education
Bachelor'sManhattan College
J.D.Fordham University
Military service
Service/branchUnited States Air Force
Personal
BirthdayJanuary, 20, 1949
Place of birthBrooklyn, New York
ProfessionLawyer, Businessperson
Net worth$2,622,015
ReligionRoman Catholic
Websites
Office website
Campaign website
Bill Owens (b. January 20, 1949, in Brooklyn, New York) is a Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives representing New York's 21st congressional district. Owens was first elected to the House in 2009 and is currently serving his second consecutive term, having won re-election on November 6, 2012. Prior to redistricting in 2012, Owens had previously served New York's 23rd congressional district.

Owens is running for re-election in New York's 21st congressional district in the general election on November 4, 2014. He is a member of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's Frontline Program. The program is designed to help protect vulnerable Democratic incumbents heading into the 2014 election.[1]

Prior to his congressional career Gibson served as a Captain in the U.S. Air Force and built a private law practice in New York.

Based on analysis of multiple outside rankings, Owens is a more moderate left of center Democratic Party vote. As a result, he may break with the Democratic Party line more than his fellow members.

Biography

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]

Career

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

2013-2014

Owens serves on the following committees:[4]

2011-2012

Owens served on the following committees:[5]

Issues

Legislative actions

113th Congress

CongressLogo.png

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.[6] For more information pertaining to Owens's voting record in the 113th Congress, please see the below sections.[7]

National security

National Defense Authorization Act

Voted "Yes" Owens voted in support of 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.[8]

Department of Homeland Security Appropriations

Voted "Yes" Owens voted in support of 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 and was largely along party lines.[8]

Keystone Pipeline Amendment

Voted "No" Owens voted in opposition of House Amendment 69, which would have amended HR 3 to "require that the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, in consultation with the Department of Homeland Security, conduct a study of the vulnerabilities of the Keystone XL pipeline to a terrorist attack and certify that necessary protections have been put in place." The amendment failed on May 22, 2013, with a vote of 176 - 239 and was largely along party lines.[8]

Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act

Voted "Yes" Owens voted in support of 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.[9] The bill was largely supported by Republicans but divided the Democratic Party.[8]

Economy

2013 Farm Bill
See also: United States Farm Bill 2013

Voted "No" The comprehensive farm bill failed in the House due largely in part to the votes of 8 Democratic House members who joined the Republican majority to vote down the measure.[10] Reps. Collin Peterson, John Barrow, Bishop, Cheri Bustos, Sean Maloney, Mike McIntyre, Owens, and Tim Walz were the 8 Democratic members who voted to reject the bill.[10] According to analysis by OpenSecrets, many of these Democratic members have received significant political contributions from agricultural organizations that benefit from crop insurance subsidies.[10] Five of the eight are on the House Agriculture Committee--Peterson, Bustos, Maloney, McIntyre, and Walz-- from which agribusiness firms routinely target committee members with sizable contributions.[10]

Immigration

Morton Memos Enforcement Prohibition

Voted "No" Owens 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.[11] The vote largely followed party lines.[12]

Healthcare

Repealing Obamacare

Voted "No" Owens has voted against all attempts to repeal or delay the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.[13]

Social issues

Abortion

Voted "No" Owens 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. The purpose of the bill is to ban abortions that would take place 20 or more weeks after fertilization.[14]

Previous congressional sessions

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 1 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.[15]

Campaign themes

2012

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.[16]
  • 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.[17]

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.[18] 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.[19]

Elections

2014

See also: New York's 21st congressional district elections, 2014

Owens is running for re-election to the U.S. House in 2014. He is seeking the Democratic nomination in the primary election. The general election takes place November 4, 2014.

He is a member of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's Frontline Program. The program is designed to help protect vulnerable Democratic incumbents heading into the 2014 election.[1]

2012

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.[20] He was unopposed in the Democratic primary and defeated Matt Doheny (R) and Donald Hassig (G) in the November 6, 2012, general election.[21][22]

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"

Full history


Campaign donors

Comprehensive donor information for Owens is available dating back to 2010. Based on available campaign finance records, Owens raised a total of $4,797,568 during that time period. This information was last updated on March 23, 2013.[24]

Bill Owens's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2012 U.S. House of Representatives (New York, District 21) Won $1,968,478
2010 U.S. House of Representatives (New York, District 23) Won $2,829,090
Grand Total Raised $4,797,568

Individual breakdown

2014

Candidates for Congress are required to file up to seven main reports with the Federal Election Commission during the 2014 elections season. Below are Owens’ reports.[25]

Bill Owens (2014) Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
April Quarterly[26]April 15, 2013$15,447.11$165,782.76$(44,541.43)$136,688.44
July Quarterly[27]July 15, 2013$136,688.44$230,465.29$(60,722.51)$306,431.22
October Quarterly[28]10/15/2013$306,431.22$212,991.29$(71,491.65)$447,930.86
Running totals
$609,239.34$(176,755.59)

2012

Breakdown of the source of Owens' campaign funds before the 2012 election.

Owens won election to the U.S. House in 2012. During that election cycle, Owens' campaign committee raised a total of $1,968,478 and spent $1,939,276.[29]

Cost per vote

Owens spent $15.32 per vote received in 2012.

2010

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.[30]
U.S. House, New York District 21, 2010 - Bill Owens Campaign Contributions
Total Raised $2,829,090
Total Spent $2,812,845
Total Raised by General Election Opponent $3,448,912
Total Spent by General Election Opponent $3,440,808
Top contributors to Bill Owens's campaign committee
JStreetPAC$56,427
Democratic Congressional Campaign Cmte$24,325
AmeriPAC: The Fund for a Greater America$20,000
BRIDGE PAC$20,000
PAC to the Future$20,000
Top 5 industries that contributed to campaign committee
Leadership PACs$254,500
Lawyers/Law Firms$211,797
Candidate Committees$153,250
Public Sector Unions$103,000
Real Estate$99,975

Analysis

Ideology and leadership

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

Based on an analysis of bill sponsorship by GovTrack, Owens is a "centrist Democratic follower" as of June 21, 2013.[31]

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.[32]

Owens most often votes with:

Owens least often votes with:


Lifetime voting record

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

According to the website GovTrack, Owens missed 51 of 2,497 roll call votes from Nov 2009 to Apr 2013, which is 2.0% of votes during that period. This is better than the median of 2.2% among the lifetime records of representatives currently serving. [33]

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.[34]

Staff bonuses

According to an analysis by CNN, Owens is one of nearly 25% of House members who gave their staff bonuses in 2012. Owens's staff was given an apparent $31,000.00 in bonus money.[35]

Net worth

See also: Net Worth of United States Senators and Representatives

2011

Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by OpenSecrets.org, 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.[36]

2010

Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by OpenSecrets.org, 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.[37]

National Journal vote ratings

See also: National Journal vote ratings

2012

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 169th in the liberal rankings among members of the U.S. House.[38]

2011

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.[39]

Voting with party

November 2011

The website OpenCongress tracks how often members of Congress vote with the majority of the chamber caucus. According to the website, Bill Owens has voted with the Democratic Party 73.7% of the time, which ranked 199th among the 201 House Democratic members as of June, 2013.

Personal

Owens and his wife Jane still reside in Plattsburgh, New York. They have three grown children, and four grandchildren.[40]

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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See also

External links

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, "DCCC Chairman Steve Israel Announces 2013-2014 Frontline Members," March 5, 2013
  2. Biographical Directory of the United States Congress "OWENS, William, (1949 - )"
  3. Congressman Bill Owens, Representing New York's 23rd District "Biography"
  4. CQ.com, "House Committee Rosters for the 113th Congress"
  5. Congressman Bill Owens, Representing New York's 23rd District "Committees and Caucuses"
  6. Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity, First Session of the 112th Congress," accessed September 5, 2013
  7. Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity, Second Session of the 113th Congress," accessed March 4, 2014
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 Project Vote Smart, "Representative Owens' Voting Records on National Security," accessed October 10, 2013
  9. The Library of Congress, "H.R.624 Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (Referred in Senate - RFS)," accessed August 27, 2013
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 Open Secrets "Agribusiness and the Farm Bill: Wayward Dems Benefit from Contributions" Accessed July 19, 2013
  11. The Library of Congress, "H.AMDT.136," accessed August 28, 2013
  12. Project Vote Smart, "Representative Owens' Voting Records on Immigration," accessed October 10, 2013
  13. Project Vote Smart, "Representative Owens' Voting Records on Issue: Health and Health Care," accessed October 10, 2013
  14. Project Vote Smart, "Owens on abortion," accessed October 10, 2013
  15. U.S. House "Roll Call Vote on the Fiscal Cliff" Accessed January 4, 2013.
  16. Politico, "Dem House candidate against public option", August 11, 2009
  17. Gouverner Times, "Owens Breaks 4 Campaign Promises in first hour in Congress", November 6, 2009
  18. US House Clerk "Roll Call 165," March 21, 2010
  19. Rasmussen "61% Favor Repeal of Health Care Law," September 20, 2010
  20. Post Star "GOP sues to remove Owens from third-party ballot line," May 1, 2012
  21. AP/CSPAN "New York-Summary Vote Report," June 26, 2012
  22. Politico "2012 Election Map, New York"
  23. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2010," accessed March 28, 2013
  24. Open Secrets "Career Fundraising for Bill Owens" March 2013
  25. Federal Election Commission "Bill Owens Summary Report," Accessed August 1, 2013
  26. Federal Election Commission "Bill Owens April Quarterly," Accessed August 1st, 2013
  27. Federal Election Commission "Bill Owens July Quarterly," Accessed July 30, 2013
  28. Federal Election Commission "Bill Owens October Quarterly," Accessed October 28, 2013
  29. Open Secrets "Bill Owens 2012 Election Cycle," Accessed February 26, 2013
  30. Open Secrets "Bill Owens 2010 Election Data," Accessed December 23, 2011
  31. Gov Track "William Owens" Accessed June 21, 2013
  32. OpenCongress, "Bill Owens," Accessed August 6, 2013
  33. GovTrack, "Bill Owens" Accessed April 2013
  34. LegiStorm, "Bill Owens," Accessed October 1, 2012
  35. CNN Politics, "Congressional bonuses in a time of cuts," accessed March 8, 2013
  36. OpenSecrets.org "Bill Owens (D-NY), 2011, 2011," accessed February 19, 2013
  37. OpenSecrets.org, "Bill Owens (D-NY), 2010," Accessed October 1, 2012
  38. National Journal, "2012 Congressional Vote Ratings," March 6, 2013
  39. National Journal, "Searchable Vote Ratings Tables: House," February 23, 2012
  40. 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
2013–Present
Succeeded by
'
Preceded by
John McHugh
U.S. House of Representatives - New York, District 23
2009–2013
Succeeded by
Tom Reed