Difference between revisions of "Brian Higgins"

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Revision as of 14:15, 21 October 2013

Brian Higgins
Brian Higgins.JPG
U.S. House, New York, District 26
Incumbent
In office
January 3, 2005-Present
Term ends
January 3, 2015
Years in position 9
PartyDemocratic
PredecessorKathy Hochul (D)
Compensation
Base salary$174,000/year
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 6, 2012
Cost per vote$4.86 in 2012
First electedNovember 2, 2004
Next generalNovember 4, 2014
Campaign $$4,788,556
Term limitsN/A
Prior offices
New York State Assembly
1999-2004
Buffalo Common Council
1988-1994
Education
Bachelor'sBuffalo State College
Master'sBuffalo State College, Harvard University
Personal
BirthdayOctober 6, 1959
Place of birthBuffalo, New York
ProfessionCollege Lecturer, Politician
Net worth$130,006
ReligionRoman Catholic
Websites
Office website
Brian Higgins (b. October 6, 1959, in Buffalo, New York) is a Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives representing New York's 26th congressional district. Higgins was first elected to the House in 2004 and is currently serving his fifth consecutive term, having won re-election on November 6, 2012. Before redistricting in 2012 Higgins had previously served the 28th district.

Higgins is set to run for re-election in New York's 26th congressional district in the general election on November 4, 2014.[1]

Prior to being elected to the House Higgins was a member of the Buffalo Common Council and the New York State Assembly, he also served as an instructor in the History and Economics Departments at Buffalo State College.

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

Biography

Higgins was born in Buffalo, New York. He earned a B.A. from Buffalo State College in 1984, an M.A. in 1985, and an M.P.A. from Harvard University in 1996.[2]

Career

Higgins was an instructor in the History and Economics departments at Buffalo State College, where he previously earned his undergraduate degree in Political Science, before serving in public office.[1]

Committee assignments

U.S. House

2013-2014

Higgins serves on the following committees:[3]

  • Committee on Foreign Affairs
    • Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa
    • Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia and Emerging Threats
  • Committee on Homeland Security
    • Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness, Response, and Communications
    • Subcommittee on Counterterriorism and Intelligence - Ranking Member

2011-2012

Higgins served on the following committees:[4]

Issues

Legislative actions

113th Congress

CongressLogo.png

The 113th Congress has had 55 out of 5,401 introduced bills enacted into law (1 percent) as of November 30, 2013. Comparatively, the 112th Congress had 1.14 percent of introduced bills enacted into law in the first session.[6] For more information pertaining to Higgins's voting record in the 113th Congress, please see the below sections.[7]

National security

National Defense Authorization Act

Voted "Yes" Higgins 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 "No" Higgins voted in opposition 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 "Yes" Higgins voted in favor 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" Higgins 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

Farm Bill
See also: United States Farm Bill 2013

Voted "No" Higgins voted against the Farm Bill on July 11, 2013. The bill passed in a 216-208 vote.[10] The bill passed included farm policy, but did not include food stamps.[11]

King Amendment

Higgins signed a letter sent to Collin Peterson in August 2013, asking him to keep Steve King's amendment out of the final Farm Bill.[12] The "Protect Interstate Commerce Act" amendment prevents states from applying their own laws on agricultural products to agricultural products from another state.[13]. King introduced the amendment in response to a law in California, requiring a larger size cage for egg-producing chickens. King represents Iowa, which is a large egg producer.

Immigration

Morton Memos Enforcement Prohibition

Voted "No" Higgins 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.[14] The vote largely followed party lines.[15]

Healthcare

Repealing Obamacare

Voted "No" Higgins has voted against all attempts to repeal or delay the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.[16]

Social issues

Abortion

Voted "No" Higgins 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.[17]

Previous congressional sessions

Specific votes

Fiscal Cliff

Voted "Yes" Higgins 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.[18]

Elections

2014

See also: New York's 26th congressional district elections, 2014

Higgins 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. The general election took place November 4, 2014.

2012

See also: New York's 26th congressional district elections, 2012

Higgins won re-election in 2012, and due to New York's redistricting, he ran in the newly redrawn 26th district.[19] He was unopposed in the Democratic and Working Families Party primaries and defeated Michael Madigan (R) in the November 6, 2012, general election.[20][21]

U.S. House, New York District 26 General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngBrian Higgins Incumbent 69.7% 212,588
     Republican Michael Madigan 23.5% 71,666
     N/A Blank/Void/Scattering 6.8% 20,707
Total Votes 304,961
Source: New York State Board of Elections "U.S. House of Representatives Results"

Full history


Campaign donors

Comprehensive donor information for Higgins is available dating back to 2004. Based on available campaign finance records, Higgins raised a total of $4,788,556 during that time period. This information was last updated on March 23, 2013.[26]

Brian Higgins's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2010 U.S. House of Representatives (New York, District 27) Won $1,113,936
2008 U.S. House of Representatives (New York, District 27) Won $1,088,825
2006 U.S. House of Representatives (New York, District 27) Won $1,227,884
2004 U.S. House of Representatives (New York, District 27) Won $1,357,911
Grand Total Raised $4,788,556

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 Higgins’ reports.[27]

Brian Higgins (2014) Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
April Quarterly[28]April 15, 2013$429,442.61$51,046.21$(54,016.97)$426,471.85
July Quarterly[29]July 15, 2013$426,471.85$137,561.97$(68,178.72)$495,855.10
Running totals
$188,608.18$(122,195.69)


2012

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

Higgins won election to the U.S. House in 2012. During that election cycle, Higgins' campaign committee raised a total of $1,091,162 and spent $1,031,410.[30]

Cost per vote

Higgins spent $4.86 per vote received in 2012.

2010

Breakdown of the source of Higgins' campaign funds before the 2010 election.
Higgins was re-elected to the U.S. House in 2010 for a fourth term. His campaign committee raised a total of $1,113,936 and spent $1,350,836.[31]

Analysis

Ideology and leadership

Based on an analysis of bill sponsorship by GovTrack, Rep. Higgins is a "rank-and-file Democrat" as of June 21, 2013.[32]

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.[33]

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, Higgins missed 294 of 6,453 roll call votes from Jan 2005 to Apr 2013, which is 4.6% of votes during that period. This is worse than the median of 2.2% among the lifetime records of representatives currently serving. [34]

Congressional staff salaries

See also: Staff salaries of United States Senators and Representatives

The website Legistorm compiles staff salary information for members of Congress. Higgins paid his congressional staff a total of $1,168,721 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.[35]

Staff bonuses

According to an analysis by CNN, Higgins was one of nearly 25 percent of House members who gave their staff bonuses in 2012. Higgins's staff was given an apparent $3,000.00 in bonus money.[36]

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, Higgins' net worth as of 2011 was estimated between $3,013 to $256,999. That averages to $130,006, which is lower than the average net worth of Democratic House members in 2011 of $5,107,874. His average net worth decreased by 10.96% from 2010.[37]

2010

Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by OpenSecrets.org, Higgins' net worth as of 2010 was estimated between $16,011 to $275,999. Averaging to a net worth of $146,005 which was lower than the average net worth of Democrats in 2010 of $4,465,875.[38]

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. Higgins tied with one other member of the U.S. House of Representatives, ranking 133rd in the liberal rankings among members of the U.S. House.[39]

2011

Each year National Journal publishes an analysis of how liberally or conservatively each member of Congress voted in the previous year. Higgins ranked 148th in the liberal rankings among members of the U.S. House.[40]

Voting with party

June 2013

Brian Higgins voted with the Democratic Party 92.5% of the time, which ranked 114th among the 201 House Democratic members as of June 2013.[41]

Personal

Higgins, his wife Mary Jane, and their two children, John and Maeve, reside in South Buffalo, New York.[1]

Recent news

This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term Brian + Higgins + 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 1.2 Congressman Brian Higgins, Western New York "Biography"
  2. Biographical Directory of the United States Congress "HIGGINS, Brian, (1959 - )"
  3. CQ.com, "House Committee Rosters for the 113th Congress"
  4. Congressman Brian Higgins, Western New York "Committee and Caucus Work"
  5. Committee on Foreign Affairs, Chairman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen "Members"
  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 Higgins' 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. Vote Smart, "Higgins on agriculture", accessed October 10, 2013
  11. New York Times, "House Republicans Push Through Farm Bill, Without Food Stamps", accessed September 17, 2013
  12. Vote Smart, "Letter to Ranking Member Collin Peterson, House Committee on Agriculture - Reject Rep. King's Provision on Farm Bill", accessed September 23, 2013
  13. Time.com, "King Farm Bill Amendment Angers Animal Advocates", accessed September 18, 2013
  14. The Library of Congress, "H.AMDT.136," accessed August 28, 2013
  15. Project Vote Smart, "Representative Higgins' Voting Records on Immigration," accessed October 10, 2013
  16. Project Vote Smart, "Representative Higgins' Voting Records on Issue: Health and Health Care," accessed October 10, 2013
  17. Project Vote Smart, "Higgins on abortion," accessed October 10, 2013
  18. U.S. House "Roll Call Vote on the Fiscal Cliff" Accessed January 4, 2013.
  19. Buffalo News "Hochul starts strong as finances are reported," April 17, 2012
  20. AP/CSPAN "New York-Summary Vote Report," June 26, 2012
  21. Politico "2012 Election Map, New York"
  22. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2010," accessed March 28, 2013
  23. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 4, 2008," accessed March 28, 2013
  24. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 7, 2006," accessed March 28, 2013
  25. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2004," accessed March 28, 2013
  26. Open Secrets "Career Fundraising for Brian Higgins" March 2013
  27. Federal Election Commission "Brian Higgins Summary Report," Accessed August 1, 2013
  28. Federal Election Commission "Brian Higgins April Quarterly," Accessed August 1st, 2013
  29. Federal Election Commission "Brian Higgins July Quarterly," Accessed July 30, 2013
  30. Open Secrets "Brian Higgins 2012 Election Cycle," Accessed February 26, 2013
  31. Open Secrets "Brian M. Higgins 2010 Election Data," Accessed December 24, 2011
  32. Gov Track "Higgins" Accessed June 21,2013
  33. OpenCongress, "Brian Higgins," Accessed August 7, 2013
  34. GovTrack, "Brian Higgins" Accessed April 2013
  35. LegiStorm, "Brian M. Higgins," Accessed October 1, 2012
  36. CNN Politics, "Congressional bonuses in a time of cuts," accessed March 8, 2013
  37. OpenSecrets.org "Brian M. Higgins (D-NY), 2011, 2011," accessed February 19, 2013
  38. OpenSecrets.org, "Brian M. Higgins (D-NY), 2010," Accessed October 1, 2012
  39. National Journal, "2012 Congressional Vote Ratings," March 6, 2013
  40. National Journal, "Searchable Vote Ratings Tables: House," February 23, 2012
  41. OpenCongress, "Voting With Party," accessed July 2014
Political offices
Preceded by
Kathy Hochul
U.S. House of Representatives - New York District 26
2013–Present
Succeeded by
'
Preceded by
Jack Quinn
U.S. House of Representatives - New York District 27
2011–2013
Succeeded by
Chris Collins
Preceded by
'
New York State Assembly
1999-2004
Succeeded by
'
Preceded by
'
Buffalo Common Council
1988-1994
Succeeded by
'