Difference between revisions of "Carl Levin"

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|First elected = November 7, 1978
|First elected = November 7, 1978
|Term limits =
|Term limits =
|Next election = [[United_States_Senate_elections_in_Michigan,_2014| November 4, 2014]]
|Next election =  
|Campaign $=5,276,484
|Campaign $=5,276,484
|Prior office =
|Prior office =

Revision as of 11:00, 21 August 2014

Carl Levin
Carl Levin.jpg
U.S. Senate, Michigan
In office
January 3, 1979-Present
Term ends
January 3, 2015
Years in position 36
PredecessorRobert P. Griffin (R)
Base salary$174,000/year
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 4, 2008
First electedNovember 7, 1978
Campaign $$5,276,484
Term limitsN/A
Bachelor'sSwarthmore College
J.D.Harvard Law School
Date of birthJune 28, 1934
Place of birthDetroit, MI
Net worth$1,679,007
Office website
Campaign website
Carl Milton Levin (b. June 28, 1934, in Detroit, MI) is a Democratic member of the U.S. Senate from the state of Michigan. Levin was first elected to the Senate in 1978. Levin is the brother of Rep. Sandy Levin from Michigan's 9th Congressional District.[1]

Levin most recently won re-election in 2008. He defeated Jack Hoogendyk, Jr. (R) in the general election.

Prior to his election to the Senate, Levin served on the Detroit City Council from 1969 to 1977. From 1974 to 1977 he served as its President.

On March 7, 2013, Levin announced that he will retire rather than seek re-election in 2014.[2][3]

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


Levin was born in 1934 in Detroit, Michigan, where he also attended high school. He earned his B.A. from Swarthmore College in 1956 and his J.D. from Harvard Law School in 1959. Levin has also worked as an attorney.[4]


Below is an abbreviated outline of Levin's professional and political career[4]:

  • Assistant Attorney General and General Counsel for the Michigan Civil Rights Commission 1964-1967
  • Special Assistant Attorney General for the State of Michigan and Chief Appellate Defender for the City of Detroit 1968-1969
  • Member, Detroit City Council 1969-1973
  • President, Detroit City Council 1974-1977
  • U.S. Senate, 1979-Present

Committee assignments

U.S. Senate


Levin serves on the following Senate committees:[5]


Levin served 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 Levin's voting record in the 113th Congress, please see the below sections.[8]

National security

American response in Syria

See also: United States involvement in Syria

Levin said on August 30, 2013, that any potential military intervention in Syria should come after the completion of U.N. inspections and that the effort would be blunted without the support of a "large number of nations."[9]

“I again expressed my view that the United States should not undertake a kinetic strike before the U.N. inspectors complete their work, and that the impact of such a strike would be weakened if it does not have the participation and support of a large number of nations, including Arab nations," Levin said in a statement. "I also urged the Administration to send a powerful message to the Assad regime by immediately getting lethal aid to vetted elements of the Syrian opposition. Doing so can change the balance militarily and also contribute to a political solution in Syria.”[9]

John Brennan CIA nomination

Yea3.png Levin 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.[10]


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.[11] 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.[12] Levin 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.[13][14] The Senate voted 72-26 for the 1,582 page bill, with 17 Republicans and 55 Democrats voting in favor of the bill.[14] The omnibus package included 12 annual spending bills to fund federal operations.[15] 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. Levin voted with the Democratic Party in favor of the bill.[13][14]

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.[16] The final vote on H.R. 2775 was 81-18, with all 18 votes against the bill from Republican members. Levin voted with the Democratic Party for the bill.[17]

No Budget, No Pay Act of 2013

Yea3.png Levin 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.[18]


Mexico-U.S. border

Nay3.png Levin 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.[19]

Social issues

Violence Against Women (2013)

Yea3.png Levin 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.[20]

Previous congressional sessions

Fiscal Cliff

Yea3.png Levin 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.[21]


On The Issues Vote Match

Levin'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, Levin is a Hard-Core Liberal. Levin received a score of 85 percent on social issues and 15 percent on economic issues.[22]

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

On The Issues organization logo.



See also: United States Senate elections in Michigan, 2014

On March 7, 2013, Levin announced his plans to retire rather than seek re-election in 2014.[2]


On November 4, 2008, Carl Levin won re-election to the United States Senate. He defeated Jack Hoogendyk, Jr. (R), Scotty Boman (L), Harley G. Mikkelson (G), Michael N. Nikitin (U.S. Taxpayers Party) and Doug Dern (Natural Law) in the general election.[23]

U.S. Senate, Michigan General Election, 2008
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngCarl Levin incumbent 62.7% 3,038,386
     Republican Jack Hoogendyk, Jr. 33.8% 1,641,070
     Libertarian Scotty Boman 1.6% 76,347
     Green Harley G. Mikkelson 0.9% 43,440
     U.S. Taxpayers Party Michael N. Nikitin 0.6% 30,827
     Natural Law Doug Dern 0.4% 18,550
Total Votes 4,848,620

Campaign donors

Comprehensive donor information for Levin is available dating back to 2000. Based on available campaign finance records, Levin raised a total of $5,276,484 during that time period. This information was last updated on April 24, 2013.[29]

Carl Levin's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2002 U.S. Senate (Michigan) Won $5,276,484
Grand Total Raised $5,276,484


Candidates for Congress are required to file up to seven main reports with the Federal Election Commission during the 2014 elections season. Below are Levin’s reports.[30]

Carl Levin (2014) Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
April Quarterly[31]April 15, 2013$232,805.55$2,534.71$(45,245.23)$190,095.03
July Quarterly[32]July 15, 2013$190,095.03$36.73$(44,035.47)$146,096.29
October Quarterly[33]October 15, 2013$146,096.29$74.64$(12,196.97)$133,973.96
Running totals


Breakdown of the source of Levin's campaign funds before the 2008 election.

Levin won re-election to the U.S. Senate in 2008. During that re-election cycle, Levin's campaign committee raised a total of $8,632,073 and spent $6,732,980.[34]

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 OpenSecrets.org, Levin's net worth as of 2012 was estimated between $1,027,014 and $2,331,000. That averages to $1,679,007, which is lower than the average net worth of Democratic senators in 2012 of $13,566,333. Levin ranked as the 56th most wealthy senator in 2012.[35] Between 2004 and 2012, Levin's calculated net worth[36] decreased by an average of 2 percent per year. Between 2004 and 2014, the average annual percentage increase for a member of Congress was 15.4 percent.[37]

Carl Levin Yearly Net Worth
YearAverage Net Worth
Growth from 2004 to 2012:-16%
Average annual growth:-2%[38]
Comparatively, the American citizen experienced a median yearly decline in net worth of -0.94%.[39]
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, Levin is a "rank-and-file Democrat" as of July 2014.[40] This was the same rating Levin received in June 2013.

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.[41]

Levin most often votes with:

Levin least often votes with:

Lifetime voting record

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

According to the website GovTrack, Levin missed 163 of 12,652 roll call votes from February 1979 to July 2014. This amounts to 1.3 percent, which is better than the median of 2.0 percent among current congressional senators as of July 2014.[42]

Congressional staff salaries

See also: Staff salaries of United States Senators and Representatives

The website Legistorm compiles staff salary information for members of Congress. Levin paid his congressional staff a total of $3,212,530 in 2011. He ranked 7th on the list of the highest paid Democratic senatorial staff salaries and ranked 9th overall of the highest paid senatorial staff salaries in 2011. Overall, Michigan ranked 6th in average salary for senatorial staff. The average U.S. Senate congressional staff was paid $2,529,141.70 in fiscal year 2011.[43]

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.


Levin ranked 28th in the liberal rankings in July 2014.[44]


Levin ranked 49th in the liberal rankings in 2012.[45]


Levin ranked 49th in the liberal rankings in 2011.[46]

Voting with party

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


Levin voted with the Democratic Party 96.9 percent of the time, which ranked 13th among the 53 Senate Democratic members as of July 2014.[47]


Levin voted with the Democratic Party 95.7 percent of the time, which ranked 17th among the 52 Senate Democratic members as of June 2013.[48]


Levin has been married to his wife Barbara (nee Halpern) since 1961. They have three daughters and six grandchildren.[49]

Recent news

This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term Carl + Levin + Michigan + Senate

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

Carl Levin News Feed

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See also

External links

Political Tracker has an article on:
Carl Levin


  1. NPR, "Brothers Levin Near The End Of A 32-Year Congressional Partnership," January 28, 2014
  2. 2.0 2.1 Washington Post, Sen. Carl Levin "(D-Mich.) won’t seek re-election in 2014," March 8, 2013
  3. POLITICO, "Michigan Sen. Carl Levin to retire," March 7, 2013
  4. 4.0 4.1 Biographical Guide to Members of Congress, "Carl Levin," accessed October 29, 2011
  5. Congressional Quarterly, "Senate Committee List," accessed January 22, 2013
  6. U.S. Senate Official Website, "Commmittee Assignments," accessed October 29, 2011
  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 Talking Points Memo, "Levin: Syria Intervention Would Suffer Without Support Of ‘Large Number Of Nations’," accessed September 2, 2012
  10. Project Vote Smart, "PN 48 - Nomination of John Brennan to be Director of the Central Intelligence Agency - Voting Record," accessed September 25, 2013
  11. Senate.gov, "H.R. 2642 (Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013)," accessed February 12, 2014
  12. NY Times, "Senate Passes Long-Stalled Farm Bill, With Clear Winners and Losers," accessed February 12, 2014
  13. 13.0 13.1 Politico, "Senate approves $1.1 trillion spending bill," accessed January 20, 2014
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 U.S. Senate, "January 16 Vote," accessed January 20, 2014
  15. Roll Call, "House Passes $1.1 Trillion Omnibus," accessed January 20, 2014
  16. The Washington Post, "Reid, McConnell propose bipartisan Senate bill to end shutdown, extend borrowing," accessed October 16, 2013
  17. Senate.gov, "H.R. 2775 As Amended," accessed October 31, 2013
  18. Project Vote Smart, "HR 325 - To Ensure the Complete and Timely Payment of the Obligations of the United States Government Until May 19, 2013 - Voting Record," accessed September 25, 2013
  19. Project Vote Smart, "S Amdt 1197 - Requires the Completion of the Fence Along the United States-Mexico Border - Voting Record," accessed September 25, 2013
  20. Project Vote Smart, "S 47 - Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 - Voting Record," accessed September 25, 2013
  21. U.S. Senate, "Roll Call Vote on the Fiscal Cliff," accessed January 4, 2013
  22. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named ontheissues
  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 5, 2002," accessed March 28, 2013
  25. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 5, 1996," accessed March 28, 2013
  26. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 6, 1990," accessed March 28, 2013
  27. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 6, 1984," accessed March 28, 2013
  28. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 7, 1978," accessed March 28, 2013
  29. Open Secrets, "Donor history for Carl Levin," April 15, 2013
  30. Federal Election Commission, "Carl Levin Summary Report," accessed August 3, 2013
  31. Federal Election Commission, "Carl Levin April Quarterly," accessed August 3, 2013
  32. Federal Election Commission, "Carl Levin July Quarterly," accessed August 3, 2013
  33. Federal Election Commission, "Carl Levin October Quarterly," accessed October 28, 2013
  34. Open Secrets, "Carl Levin 2008 Election Cycle," accessed October 29, 2011
  35. OpenSecrets, "Levin, (D-MI), 2012," accessed February 18, 2014
  36. This figure represents the average annual percentage growth from either 2004 (if the member entered office in 2004 or earlier) or their first year in office (as noted in the chart below) to 2012, divided by the number of years calculated.
  37. This number was found by dividing each member's total net worth growth percentage by the number of years included in the calculation.
  38. This figure represents the total percentage growth divided by the number of years for which there are net worth figures for each member.
  39. This figure was calculated using median asset data from the Census Bureau. Please see the Congressional Net Worth data for Ballotpedia spreadsheet for more information on this calculation.
  40. GovTrack, "Carl Levin," accessed July 30, 2014
  41. OpenCongress, "Carl Levin," accessed August 8, 2013
  42. GovTrack, "Carl Levin," accessed July 30, 2014
  43. LegiStorm, "Carl Levin," accessed April 15, 2012
  44. National Journal, "2013 Congressional Vote Ratings," accessed July 30, 2014
  45. National Journal, "TABLE: House Liberal Scores by Issue Area," February 26, 2013
  46. National Journal, "Searchable Vote Ratings Tables: House," accessed February 23, 2012
  47. OpenCongress, "Voting With Party," accessed July 2014
  48. OpenCongress, "Voting With Party," accessed July 2014
  49. Official Site, "About," accessed October 29, 2011
Political offices
Preceded by
Robert P. Griffin
U.S. Senate - Michigan
Succeeded by