Brian Schatz

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Brian E. Schatz
Brian E. Schatz.jpg
U.S. Senate, Hawaii
In office
December 6, 2010 - Present
Term ends
January 3, 2015
Years in position 3
PredecessorDaniel Akaka (D)
Base salary$174,000/year
Elections and appointments
Next generalNovember 4, 2014
Campaign $$1,630,248
AppointedDecember 26, 2012
Appointed byGovernor Neil Abercrombie
Term limitsN/A
Prior offices
Lieutenant Governor of Hawaii
Hawaii House of Representatives
1998 - 2006
Bachelor'sPomona College
Date of birthOctober 20, 1972
Place of birthAnn Arbor, Michigan
Net worth$319,508
Office website
Campaign website
Brian E. Schatz (b. October 20, 1972, in Ann Arbor, MI) is a Democratic member of the U.S. Senate from Hawaii. He was appointed on December 26, 2012, by Governor Neil Abercrombie to fill the vacancy left by the death of veteran Sen. Daniel Inouye (D). Schatz was sworn into office on Thursday, December 27, 2012.[1][2][3]

Schatz was serving as the Democratic Lieutenant Governor of Hawaii at the time of his appointment to the U.S. Senate.[3] He served as Lieutenant Governor of Hawaii from 2010 to 2012 and previously served in the Hawaii House of Representatives from 1998 to 2006.[3]

Schatz ran for election to the remainder of the term in the 2014 special election.[4] He won the tight Democratic primary. Schatz and Colleen Hanabusa were separated by less than one percent of the votes.[5]

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


Committee assignments

U.S. Senate


Schatz serves on the following Senate committees[6]:

Key votes

113th Congress


The second session of the 113th Congress enacted into law 224 out of the 3215 introduced bills (7 percent). Comparatively, the 112th Congress had 4.2 percent of introduced bills enacted into law in the second session.[7] The Senate confirmed 13,949 out of 18,323 executive nominations received (76.1 percent). For more information pertaining to Schatz's voting record in the 113th Congress, please see the below sections.[8]

National security

John Brennan CIA nomination

Yea3.png Schatz voted for the confirmation of John Brennan as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. The nomination was confirmed by the Senate on March 7, 2013, with a vote of 63 - 34. Most Democrats supported the nomination, while Republicans were somewhat divided with roughly one-third supporting the nomination.[9]


Farm bill

Yea3.png On February 4, 2014, the Democratic controlled Senate approved the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013, H.R. 2642, also known as the Farm Bill.[10] It passed the Senate with a vote of 68-32. The nearly 1,000-page bill reformed and continued various programs of the Department of Agriculture through 2018. The $1 trillion bill expanded crop insurance for farmers by $7 billion over the next decade and created new subsidies for rice and peanut growers that will kick in if or when prices drop; however, cuts to the food stamp program cut an average of $90 per month for 1.7 million people in 15 states.[11] Schatz joined with 46 other Democratic senators in favor of the bill.

2014 Budget

Yea3.png On January 16, 2014, the Democratic-controlled Senate approved H.R. 3547, a $1.1 trillion spending bill to fund the government through September 30, 2014.[12][13] The Senate voted 72-26 for the 1,582 page bill, with 17 Republicans and 55 Democrats voting in favor of the bill.[13] The omnibus package included 12 annual spending bills to fund federal operations.[14] It included a 1 percent increase in the paychecks of federal workers and military personnel, a $1 billion increase in Head Start funding for early childhood education, reduced funding to the Internal Revenue Service and the Environmental Protection Agency and left the Affordable Care Act without any drastic cuts. Schatz voted with the Democratic Party in favor of the bill.[12][13]

Government shutdown

See also: United States budget debate, 2013

Yea3.png During the shutdown in October 2013, the Senate rejected, down party lines, every House-originated bill that stripped the budget of funding for the Affordable Care Act. A deal was reached late on October 16, 2013, just hours before the debt ceiling deadline. The bill to reopen the government, H.R. 2775, lifted the $16.7 trillion debt limit and funded the government through January 15, 2014. Federal employees also received retroactive pay for the shutdown period. The only concession made by Senate Democrats was to require income verification for Obamacare subsidies.[15] The final vote on H.R. 2775 was 81-18, with all 18 votes against the bill from Republican members. Schatz voted with the Democratic Party in favor of the bill.[16]

No Budget, No Pay Act of 2013

Yea3.png Schatz voted for H.R.325 -- No Budget, No Pay Act of 2013. The bill passed the Senate on January 31, 2013, with a vote of 64 - 34. The purpose of the bill was to temporarily suspend the debt ceiling and withhold the pay of members of Congress until a budget could be passed. The vote largely followed party lines with Democrats overwhelmingly supporting it and many Republicans in opposition to the bill.[9]

2013 Senate Budget Proposal

Yea3.png Schatz voted in favor of the 2013 Senate Budget Proposal.[9] On March 23, after an all-night debate that ended just before 5 a.m., by a 50 to 49 vote the Democratically controlled Senate approved its first budget in four years. No Republicans voted for the Senate plan, and four Democrats opposed it. All four are from red states and are up for re-election in 2014. Schatz was one of the four Democrats who voted against the budget proposal.[9]

The approved plan is a $3.7 trillion budget for 2014 and would provide a fast track for passage of tax increases, trim spending modestly and leave the government still deeply in the red for the next decade.

The approval of a budget in the Senate began the process of setting up contentious, and potentially fruitless, negotiations with the Republican-controlled House starting in April to reconcile two vastly different plans for dealing with the nation’s economic and budgetary problems.

The House plan would have brought the government’s taxes and spending into balance by 2023 with cuts to domestic spending even below the levels of automatic across-the-board cuts for federal programs now, and it orders up dramatic and controversial changes to Medicare and the tax code.

The Senate plan differed greatly, and included $100 billion in upfront infrastructure spending to bolster the economy and calls for special fast-track rules to overhaul the tax code and raise $975 billion over 10 years in legislation that could not be filibustered. Even with that tax increase and prescribed spending cuts, the plan approved by the Senate would leave the government with a $566 billion annual deficit in 10 years, and $5.2 trillion in additional debt over that window.


Mexico-U.S. border

Nay3.png Schatz voted against Senate Amendment 1197 -- Requires the Completion of the Fence Along the United States-Mexico Border. The amendment was rejected by the Senate on June 18, 2013, with a vote of 39 - 54. The purpose of the amendment was to require the completion of 350 miles of fence described in the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 before registered provisional immigrant status may be granted. It would also require 700 miles of fence be completed before the status of registered provisional immigrants may be changed to permanent resident status. The vote followed party lines.[9]

Social issues

Violence Against Women (2013)

Yea3.png Schatz voted for S.47 -- Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013. The bill was passed by the Senate on February 12, 2013, with a vote of 78 - 22. The purpose of the bill was to combat violence against women, from domestic violence to international trafficking in persons. All 22 dissenting votes were cast by Republicans.[9]

Previous congressional sessions

Fiscal Cliff

Yea3.png Schatz 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 an 89 - 8 vote on January 1, 2013.[17]


On The Issues Vote Match

Brian Schatz's Vote Match results from On The Issues.
See also: On The Issues Vote Match

On The Issues conducts a VoteMatch analysis of elected officials based on 20 issue areas. Rather than relying on incumbents to complete the quiz themselves, the VoteMatch analysis is conducted using voting records, statements to the media, debate transcripts or citations from books authored by or about the candidate. Based on the results of the quiz, Schatz is a Moderate Liberal Populist. Schatz received a score of 50 percent on social issues and 29 percent on economic issues.[18]

Note: We are working to resolve inaccuracies with this information. Thank you for your patience.

On The Issues organization logo.

National security

American response in Syria

See also: United States involvement in Syria

Schatz announced on September 5, 2013, that he did not support a Senate resolution to authorize military force in Syria.[19]

”Though all of us are outraged by the Assad regime’s use of chemical weapons, I have concluded that a military strike against Syria is not the answer. Therefore, I will oppose this resolution,” Schatz said in a statement.[19]


Honolulu Harbor molasses spill

In early September 2013, 1,400 tons of molasses spilled into Honolulu Harbor. The resulting damage was the death of thousands of fish. In response, Schatz called for a review of the molasses shipping system. "It's clear that this wasn't just a mechanical failure of a pipe but also a systems failure," Schatz stated.[20]



See also: United States Senate special election in Hawaii, 2014

On December 26, 2012, Gov. Abercrombie named Schatz to fill the vacant seat in the U.S. Senate left by the death of Daniel Inouye. The announcement came as a surprise to many who had expected Abercrombie to honor the late Senator's deathbed request to appoint Rep. Colleen Hanabusa as his replacement.[2]

Schatz ran for election to the remainder of the term in 2014.[21] The 2014 Democratic primary was too close to call. Colleen Hanabusa and incumbent Brian Schatz were separated by less than one percent of the votes.[5]

U.S. Senate, Hawaii Democratic Primary, 2014
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngBrian Schatz Incumbent 49.3% 115,445
Colleen Hanabusa 48.6% 113,663
Brian Evans 2.1% 4,842
Total Votes 233,950
Source: Hawaii Office of Elections

Primary vulnerability

Schatz was named by National Journal as one of the top five incumbent senators at risk of losing his or her primary election. Four of the five most vulnerable senators were Republican.[22]


Brian Schatz's first ad, released in March 2014, "Commitment."

Brian Schatz's second ad, released in April 2014, "Opportunity."

Brian Schatz's third ad, released in April 2014, "Two Reaons."
  • Brian Schatz released his first ad of the campaign on March 25, 2014, "Commitment."[23][24][25] The ad featured Schatz’s family, including his wife Linda’s parents, and highlighted his efforts on Social Security.[25] The ad began with Schatz saying, "More than 200,000 people in Hawaii receive Social Security benefits each year. They're the reason I've stood up to every attempt to cut Social Security."[24]
  • Schatz released his second ad on April 13, 2014, focused on pay disparity between men and women.[26]
    • The ad began with a photo of Schatz as a child on a Hawaii playground before it transitioned to him as an adult in a classroom full of smiling, multi-ethnic children. He then stated that, as a state and federal lawmaker, he has sponsored legislation to cut the gap between men and women’s pay, while the words “Paycheck Fairness Act” appeared on screen.[26]
  • Schatz's third ad, released on April 30, 2014, focused on gun control.[27] The ad, which featured quotes from President Barack Obama, focused on Schatz's record on gun control in the Senate and stated that his top two reasons for voting in favor of gun regulation are his two children.[27]
  • Schatz's fourth ad, released on June 27, 2014, emphasized his work on lowering student loan interest rates.[28]


On June 15, 2013, the Hawaii Government Employees Association endorsed Schatz over U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa in the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate.[29] He received other endorsements from:[30]

  • The State of Hawaii Organization of Police Officers
  • Hawaii Firefighters Association
  • United Food and Commercial Workers Local 480
  • Hawaii Building & Construction Trades Council
  • Plumbers Local 675
  • Elevator Constructors Local 126
  • Drywall, Tapers and Finishers Local 1944
  • Glaziers Local 1889
  • Boilermakers Local 204
  • Painters and Allied Trades Local 1791
  • IBEW Local 1186
  • Heat and Frost Insulators Local 132
  • Teamsters Local 996
  • Roofers Local 221
  • Iron Workers Local 625
  • IBEW Local 1260
  • University of Hawaii Professional Assembly
  • League of Conservation Voters
  • Ocean Champions
  • The National Weather Service Employees Organization
  • The Council for a Livable World.


See also: Hawaii lieutenant gubernatorial election, 2010 and Lieutenant Governor elections, 2010

Schatz ran on a ticket with Neil Abercrombie. The pair defeated Duke Aiona/Lynn Finnegan (R), Daniel H. Cunningham/Deborah Spence (Free Energy) and Tom Pollard/Leonard I. Kama (Non-Partisan) in the general election on November 2, 2010.

Governor and Lt. Governor of Hawaii, 2010
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngNeil Abercrombie and Brian Schatz 58.2% 222,724
     Republican Duke Aiona and Lynn Finnegan 41.1% 157,311
     Free Energy Daniel Cunningham and Deborah Spence 0.3% 1,265
     Non-partisan Tom Pollard and Leonard Kama 0.3% 1,263
Total Votes 382,563

Campaign donors

Comprehensive donor information for Schatz is available dating back to 1998. Based on available campaign finance records, Schatz raised a total of $1,630,248 during that time period. This information was last updated on July 18, 2013.[31]

Brian Schatz's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2012 Lieutenant Governor of Hawaii* Not up for election $402,760
2010 Lieutenant Governor of Hawaii* Not up for election $1,059,313
2004 Hawaii State House District 25 Won $72,615
2002 Hawaii State House District 25 Won $20,618
2000 Hawaii State House District 24 Won $60,467
1998 Hawaii State House District 24 Won $14,475
Grand Total Raised $1,630,248
*These were joint-tickets with Governor Neil Abercrombie


Candidates for Congress are required to file up to seven main reports with the Federal Election Commission during the 2014 elections season. Below are Schatz's reports.[32]

2000-2004 and 2010

Ballotpedia collects information on campaign donors for each year in which a candidate or incumbent is running for election. The following table offers a breakdown of Brian Schatz's donors each year.[40] Click [show] for more information.

Personal Gain Index

Congressional Personal Gain Index graphic.png
See also: Personal Gain Index (U.S. Congress)

The Personal Gain Index (U.S. Congress) is a four-part measurement that illustrates the extent to which members of the U.S. Congress have prospered during their tenure as public servants.
It consists of four different metrics:

PGI: Change in net worth

See also: Changes in Net Worth of U.S. Senators and Representatives (Personal Gain Index) and Net worth of United States Senators and Representatives
Net Worth Metric graphic.png

Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by, Schatz's net worth as of 2012 was estimated between $135,016 and $504,000. That averages to $319,508, which is lower than the average net worth of Democratic senators in 2012 of $13,566,333. Schatz ranked as the 89th most wealthy senator in 2012.[41] Between 2004 and 2012, the average annual percentage increase for a member of Congress was 15.4 percent.[42]

Brian Schatz Yearly Net Worth
YearAverage Net Worth
The data used to calculate changes in net worth may include changes resulting from assets gained through marriage, inheritance, changes in family estates and/or trusts, changes in family business ownership and many other variables unrelated to a member's behavior in Congress.


Ideology and leadership

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

Based on an analysis of bill sponsorship by GovTrack, Schatz is a "moderate Democratic follower" as of July 22, 2014.[43]

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.[44]

Schatz most often votes with:

Schatz least often votes with:

Lifetime voting record

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

According to the website GovTrack, Schatz missed 35 of 544 roll call votes from December 2012 to July 2014. This amounts to 6.4 percent, which is worse than the median of 2.0% among currently serving senators as of July 2014.[45]

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. Click the link above for the full ratings of all members of Congress.


Schatz ranked 1st in the liberal rankings in 2013.[46]

Voting with party

The website OpenCongress tracks how often members of Congress vote with the majority of the chamber caucus.


Schatz voted with the Democratic Party 98.1 percent of the time, which ranked 5th among the 53 Senate Democratic members as of July 2014.[47]


Schatz voted with the Democratic Party 97.7 percent of the time, which ranked 7th among the 52 Senate Democratic members as of June 2013.[48]

Recent news

This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term Brian + Schatz + Hawaii + Senate

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

Brian Schatz News Feed

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See also

External links


  1. Hawaii Reporter, "Lt. Gov. Brian Schatz to Replace Inouye in U.S. Senate," accessed December 26, 2012
  2. 2.0 2.1 The Washington Post, "Hawaii governor picks Brian Schatz for Inouye’s seat," accessed December 26, 2012
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Bioguide, "Brian Schatz," accessed June 20, 2013
  4. Civil Beat, "Inouye's Last Wish Is Abercrombie's Biggest Burden," accessed December 24, 2012
  5. 5.0 5.1 Chronicle, "Schatz, Hanabusa Senate primary too close to call," accessed August 10, 2014
  6. Congressional Quarterly, "Senate Committee List," accessed January 22, 2013
  7. Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity, First Session of the 112th Congress," accessed September 5, 2013
  8. Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity, Second Session of the 113th Congress," accessed March 4, 2014
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 9.5 Project Vote Smart, "Brian Schatz Key Votes," accessed October 16, 2013
  10., "H.R. 2642 (Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013)," accessed February 12, 2014
  11. NY Times, "Senate Passes Long-Stalled Farm Bill, With Clear Winners and Losers," accessed February 12, 2014
  12. 12.0 12.1 Politico, "Senate approves $1.1 trillion spending bill," accessed January 20, 2014
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 U.S. Senate, "January 16 Vote," accessed January 20, 2014
  14. Roll Call, "House Passes $1.1 Trillion Omnibus," accessed January 20, 2014
  15. The Washington Post, "Reid, McConnell propose bipartisan Senate bill to end shutdown, extend borrowing," accessed October 16, 2013
  16., "H.R. 2775 As Amended," accessed October 31, 2013
  17. U.S. Senate, "Roll Call Vote on the Fiscal Cliff," accessed January 4, 2013
  18. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named ontheissues
  19. 19.0 19.1 Politico, "Joe Manchin, Brian Schatz ‘no’ on Syria resolution," accessed September 6, 2013
  20. Politico, "Hawaii Senator Brian Schatz wants review after molasses spill," accessed September 16, 2013
  21. Civil Beat, "Inouye's Last Wish Is Abercrombie's Biggest Burden," accessed December 24, 2012
  22. National Journal, "Ranking the Top 5 Senators Vulnerable in 2014 Primaries," accessed December 31, 2013
  23. The Hill, "Sen. Schatz touts family, Social Security stance in first Hawaii primary ad," accessed March 26, 2014
  24. 24.0 24.1 Honolulu Civil Beat, "Ad Watch: Sen. Brian Schatz's First TV Spot," accessed March 26, 2014
  25. 25.0 25.1 Roll Call, "Brian Schatz Launches First TV Ad in Hawaii Senate Primary," accessed March 26, 2014
  26. 26.0 26.1 Civil Beat, "Ad Watch: Schatz Touts Equal Pay for Women in Latest TV Spot," accessed April 14, 2014
  27. 27.0 27.1 Real Clear Politics, "Brian Schatz Ad On Gun Control Quotes President Obama," accessed May 5, 2014
  28. National Journal, "Walker Not Target of Investigation; Schatz Out With New Ad; Hagan Tops Tillis in Poll," accessed July 2, 2014
  29. Hawaii Star Advertiser, "HGEA endorses Schatz for Senate," accessed June 18, 2013
  30. Brian Schatz, "Endorsements," accessed June 18, 2013
  31. Follow the Money, "Career fundraising for Brian Schatz," accessed July 18, 2013
  32. Federal Election Commission, "Brian Schatz 2014 Summary reports," accessed October 29, 2013
  33. Federal Election Commission, "April quarterly," accessed July 26, 2013
  34. Federal Election Commission, "July Quarterly," accessed July 26, 2013
  35. Federal Election Commission, "October Quarterly," accessed October 29, 2013
  36. Federal Election Commission, "Year End Report," accessed February 19, 2014
  37. Federal Election Commission, "April Quarterly," accessed April 19, 2014
  38. Federal Election Commission, "July Quarterly," accessed July 16, 2014
  39. Federal Election Commission, "October Quarterly," accessed October 20, 2014
  40. Follow the, "Home," accessed February 17, 2015
  41. OpenSecrets, "Schatz, (D-HI), 2012," accessed February 18, 2014
  42. This number was found by dividing each member's total net worth growth percentage by the number of years included in the calculation.
  43. GovTrack, "Brian Schatz," accessed July 22, 2014
  44. OpenCongress, "Rep. Brian E. Schatz," accessed August 2, 2013
  45. GovTrack, "Brian Schatz," accessed July 2014
  46. National Journal, "2013 Congressional Vote Ratings," July 22, 2014
  47. OpenCongress, "Voting With Party," accessed July 2014
  48. OpenCongress, "Voting With Party," accessed July 2014
Political offices
Preceded by
Daniel Akaka (D)
U.S. Senate - Hawaii
Succeeded by