Debbie Wasserman Schultz

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Debbie Wasserman Schultz
Debbie Wasserman Schultz.jpg
U.S. House, Florida, District 23
In office
January 3, 2005-Present
Term ends
January 3, 2015
Years in position 10
PredecessorAlcee L. Hastings (D)
Chairwoman, Democratic National Committee
Base salary$174,000/year
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 6, 2012
First elected2004
Next generalNovember 4, 2014
Campaign $$9,842,213
Term limitsN/A
Prior offices
Florida State Senate, 34th District
Florida State Senate, 32nd District
Florida House of Representatives, 97th District
Bachelor'sUniversity of Florida (1988)
Master'sUniversity of Florida (1990)
Date of birthSeptember 27, 1966
Place of birthForest Hills, New York
Net worth-$126,495
Office website
Campaign website
Debbie Wasserman Schultz (b. September 27, 1966, in Forest Hills, New York) is a Democratic member of the U.S. House of Representatives. Wasserman Schultz was elected by voters from Florida's 23rd congressional district.

Wasserman Schultz was first elected to the U.S. House in 2004 from District 20 and was most recently re-elected in District 23 in 2012.[1]

She previously served as in District 34 of the Florida State Senate from 2003 to 2004, District 32 of the Florida State Senate from 2001 to 2003 and District 97 of the Florida House of Representatives from 1993 to 2001.[2]

She serves as one of the Chief Deputy Whips of the Democratic caucus for the 113th Congress.[3] She also serves as the current chair of the Democratic National Committee.

She is set to run for re-election to the U.S. House in 2014. If she runs, she will seek the Democratic nomination in the primary election.

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


Debbie Wasserman Schultz was born in 1966 on Long Island, New York. She attended the University of Florida and graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science in 1988 and with a Master’s Degree in 1990.[4]


Committee assignments

U.S. House


Wasserman Schultz serves on the following committees:[5]


Wasserman Schultz served on the following committees:[6]



House Judiciary Committee

Wasserman Schultz was first appointed into the House Judiciary Committee after being sworn into her second term in Congress on January of 2007.[9] She also served on the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security.

Head of Democratic National Committee

Wasserman Schultz angered many top leaders in the party she leads as Democratic National Committee (DNC) chair when she went public with her plans to use the connections she has made in her national job to position herself for a statewide run in Florida or even a bid to replace Nancy Pelosi as Democratic leader in the House.[10][11][12]

In an interview in August 2013 Wasserman Schultz revealed that she planned to use her position as the head of the DNC and its extensive and deep-pocketed donor network to construct a stronger and more expansive political operation, to at least “double” the money she gives to Democrats in the House, Senate and state capitals around the country.[13][14]

While House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D) has been the top House Democratic fundraiser, Minority Whip Steny Hoyer is perceived as the next in line when she steps aside.[14] Wasserman Schultz’s political team explicitly said her goal for the 2014 cycle is to match Hoyer’s contributions to candidates — approximately $2.5 million —positioning her to be a player.[14]

“I don’t really do anything halfway,” Wasserman Schultz commented in an interview with Politico. “We thought with the higher profile I have at the DNC, and the donor relationships I’ve been able to build — and thankfully, a lot of people who want to help me be successful, because we share the same goals. We kind of put the leadership PAC on steroids. That’s the best way to describe it.”[14][13]

Not everyone has been happy about her ambition, and one senior Democratic source said the White House was “absolutely outraged” by Wasserman Schultz’s comments.[14] “This is unbelievable. So much for supporting the president or electing Democrats,” remarked a top Democratic political adviser. “She was honest that this is about her.”[14]

DNC campaign in Arizona, Texas and Georgia

Wasserman Schultz will take part in a campaign-style trip through three Republican-leaning states— Arizona, Texas and Georgia — where the Democratic Party badly wants to make inroads, Democratic National Committee (DNC) officials announced on August 21, 2013.[15] As part of the tour, she will address a meeting of the DNC in Arizona before heading to Texas and Georgia for party-building events.[15]

In Texas, she reportedly will appear at a fundraiser with Rep. Joaquin Castro (D), the first-term San Antonio congressman national Democrats have embraced as a rising star.[15]

All three states have been solidly conservative in national elections, but Democrats see the potential to make them more electorally competitive thanks to their growing racial diversity.

“Diversity is our hallmark and it is also the direction that the country is going,” Wasserman Schultz said in an interview in August 2013. “That’s why we’re very hopeful about the Democratic Party’s prospects in states like Texas and Arizona and Georgia.”Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; refs with no content must have a name

DNC officials said the meeting in Arizona would be an opportunity to re-emphasize the party’s commitment to tapping — and representing — the changing national electorate. The committee plans to launch a nationwide push to register new voters “and play offense in places like Arizona, Texas and Georgia,” a Democratic official said.[15] The party also aims to expand and develop the set of tactical tools Democrats wielded to great effect in 2012: building out their digital and voter-targeting operations, and intensifying staff and candidate training through the Association of State Democratic Chairs.[15]

“This issue is more important in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision that struck down parts of the Voting Rights Act. The Voter Protection department is tracking legislative and court actions and working with allied groups to counter actions that infringe on citizens’ rights,” the DNC official added.[15]

National Democrats have vowed during the midterm cycle to put Georgia’s open-seat Senate race in play, holding up nonprofit executive Michelle Nunn as a potential map-broadening candidate.[15]

In Texas, a group of former Obama strategists have founded Battleground Texas, an outside group focused on registering and engaging the Lone Star State’s changing electorate in the hope of putting Texas in play in future election cycles.[15]Texas, we look at as a huge opportunity,” Wasserman Schultz said. “We’re making Texas a priority and I expect to make significant gains.”

RNC spokeswoman Kirsten Kukowski responded to Wasserman Schultz’s planned political travel by pointing to the two committees’ financial scoreboard.[15] “The DNC is $18 million in debt and they appear to be struggling to raise money. I wish them luck trying to make inroads in three states while the RNC is well on our way to building a 50-state strategy and completely overhauling how we contact voters,” Kukowski said.[15]

Legislative actions

113th Congress


The second session of the 113th Congress enacted into law 114 out of the 3,036 introduced bills (3.8 percent). Comparatively, the 112th Congress had 4.2 percent of introduced bills enacted into law in the second session.[16] For more information pertaining to Wasserman Schultz's voting record in the 113th Congress, please see the below sections.[17]

American response in Syria

See also: United States involvement in Syria

On September 3, 2013, Wasserman Schultz said the U.S. would be bolstered with support from “dozens” of international allies if the United States makes military strikes against Syria.[18] “I mean we have, from the briefings that I’ve received, there are dozens of countries who are going to stand with the United States, who will engage with us on military action and also that back us up,” Wasserman Schultz told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on “Piers Morgan Live.”[18]

“In both military and diplomatic and political support, there are dozens of nations who had committed to back us up,” she said.[18]

However, Wasserman Schultz said she was not at “liberty to say” specifically what countries have expressed supporting in missile strikes, because some of the information she received was classified.[18] Echoing the sentiments of John McCain (R), Wasserman Schultz has been vocal on her support of intervention adding “and voting this down would be catastrophic for our credibility.”[18]

Schulz also emphasized the need to need to support U.S. allies in the region. “And we’ll make sure that not only that we can protect our allies in the region from the strengthening of Assad’s hands, if we don’t respond, like Israel and Jordan and Turkey, but also that we stand against moral obscenities, as Secretary Kerry rightly labeled this chemical weapons attack, and make sure that it’s understood that you will receive a severe and certain response from the United States and our allies when you violate international norms, like Assad has.”[19]

Fiscal Cliff

Voted "Yes" Wasserman Schultz 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. She 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.[20]



See also: Florida's 23rd congressional district elections, 2014

Wasserman Schultz is set to run for re-election to the U.S. House in 2014. If she runs, she will seek the Democratic nomination in the primary election.The general election took place November 4, 2014.


See also: Florida's 23rd congressional district elections, 2012

Wasserman Schultz was running in the 2012 election for the U.S. House, representing Florida's 23rd District. She won the nomination on the Democratic ticket.[21] The signature filing deadline was June 8, 2012, with the primary taking place on August 14, 2012. Wasserman Schultz ran unopposed in the Democratic primary on August 14, 2012.[22] She was re-elected on November 6, 2012.[23]

U.S. House, Florida District 23 General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngDebbie Wasserman Schultz Incumbent 63.2% 174,205
     Republican Karen Harrington 35.6% 98,096
     Independent Ilya Katz 1.1% 3,129
Total Votes 275,430
Source: Florida Secretary of State "Official Election Results, 2012 General Election"

Full history

Campaign donors

Comprehensive donor information for Wasserman Schultz is available dating back to 2004. Based on available campaign finance records, Wasserman Schultz raised a total of $9,842,213 during that time period. This information was last updated on April 4, 2013.[27]

Debbie Wasserman Schultz's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2012 U.S. House (Florida, District 23) Won $3,629,324
2010 U.S. House (Florida, District 20) Won $1,930,111
2008 U.S. House (Florida, District 20) Won $1,721,750
2006 U.S. House (Florida, District 20) Won $1,036,924
2004 U.S. House (Florida, District 20) Won $1,524,104
Grand Total Raised $9,842,213


Candidates for Congress are required to file up to seven main reports with the Federal Election Commission during the 2014 elections season. Below are Wasserman Schultz's reports.[28]

Debbie Wasserman Schultz (2014) Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
April Quarterly[29]4/15/2013$530,196.58$230,323.42$(305,287.57)$455,232.43
July Quarterly[30]7/15/2013$455,232.43$263,188.86$(282,968.45)$435,452.84
Running totals


Breakdown of the source of Wasserman Schultz's campaign funds before the 2012 election.

Wasserman Schultz won re-election to the U.S. House in 2012. During that election cycle, Wasserman Schultz's campaign committee raised a total of $3,629,324 and spent $3,520,041.[31] This is more than the average $1.5 million spent by House winners in 2012.[32]

Cost per vote

Wasserman Schultz spent $20.21 per vote received in 2012.


Breakdown of the source of Wasserman Schultz's campaign funds before the 2010 election.

Shultz won re-election to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2010. During that re-election cycle, Wasserman Schultz's campaign committee raised a total of $1,930,111 and spent $2,018,504.[33]


Ideology and leadership

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

Based on an analysis of bill sponsorship by GovTrack, Wasserman Schultz is a "moderate Democratic leader," as of June 13, 2013.[34]

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.[35]

Wasserman Schultz most often votes with:

Wasserman Schultz least often votes with:

Lifetime voting record

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

According to the website GovTrack, Wasserman Schultz missed 292 of 6,440 roll call votes from Jan 2005 to Mar 2013. This amounts to 4.5%, which is worse than the median of 2.2% among current congressional representatives as of March 2013.[36]

Congressional staff salaries

See also: Staff salaries of United States Senators and Representatives

The website Legistorm compiles staff salary information for members of Congress. Wasserman Schultz paid her congressional staff a total of $1,145,335 in 2011. She ranks 29th on the list of the highest paid Democratic representative staff salaries and ranks 36th overall of the highest paid representative staff salaries in 2011. Overall, Florida ranks 36th in average salary for representative staff. The average U.S. House of Representatives congressional staff was paid $954,912.20 in fiscal year 2011.[37]

Net worth

See also: Net Worth of United States Senators and Representatives


Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by, Wasserman Schultz's net worth as of 2011 was estimated between -$439,987 and $186,997. That averages to -$126,495, which is lower than the average net worth of Democratic representatives in 2011 of $5,107,874. Her average net worth decreased by 360.05% from 2010.[38]


Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by, Wasserman Schultz's net worth as of 2010 was estimated between $-289,989 and $234,997. That averages to $-27,496, which is lower than the average net worth of Democratic representatives in 2010 of $4,465,875.[39]

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. Wasserman Schultz ranked 62nd in the liberal rankings in 2012.[40]


Each year National Journal publishes an analysis of how liberally or conservatively each member of Congress voted in the previous year. Wasserman Schultz ranked 98th in the liberal rankings.[41]

Voting with party


Debbie Wasserman Schultz voted with the Democratic Party 96% of the time, which ranked 35th among the 201 House Democratic members as of June 2013.[42]


Wasserman Schultz has been married to Steve Schultz for 20 years and together they have three children. Wasserman Schlutz resides with her family in Weston, Florida.

Recent news

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External links

Official U.S. House website
Official mobile website
Official campaign website


  1. ABC News "2012 General Election Results"
  2. Project Votesmart "Debbie Wasserman Schultz" Accessed June 13, 2013
  3. Office of the Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer "Hoyer Announces Whip Team for the 113th Congress," January 4, 2013
  4. Debbie Wasserman Schlutz for Congress "Meet Debbie" Accessed October 20, 2011
  5., "House Committee Rosters for the 113th Congress"
  6. 6.0 6.1 Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz "Committees and Caucuses" Accessed October 20, 2011
  7. Debbie Wasserman Schultz for Congress "Meet Debbie" Accessed October 20, 2011
  8. Debbie Wasserman Schultz for Congress "Meet Debbie" Accessed October 20, 2011
  9. "Government Printing Office" House Judiciary Committee:107th Congress(See Page ii)
  10. Hot Air "Eminently reasonable DNC chair manages to anger own party" Accessed August 5, 2013
  11. Buzz Feed Politics "Democratic Party Chief Angers Democrats" Accessed August 5, 2013
  12. Miami Herald "It’s August. Again. Time for anonymous Dems to attack Debbie Wasserman Schultz. Again." Accessed August 5, 2013
  13. 13.0 13.1 Politico "DNC chair looks to leverage money into power" Accessed August 5, 2013
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 14.4 14.5 Biz PAC Review "WH ‘absolutely outraged’ Wasserman Schultz using DNC for own ambitions" Accessed August 5, 2013
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 15.4 15.5 15.6 15.7 15.8 15.9 Politico, "DNC chief heads out to three red states," accessed August 22, 2013
  16. Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity, First Session of the 112th Congress," accessed September 5, 2013
  17. Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity, Second Session of the 113th Congress," accessed March 4, 2014
  18. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named syria
  19. Politico, "DNC head Debbie Wasserman Schultz: U.S. has 'dozens' of allies," accessed September 4, 2013
  20. U.S. House "Roll Call Vote on the Fiscal Cliff" Accessed January 4, 2013.
  21. Miami Herald "Could Allen West and Debbie Wasserman Schultz run against each other in '12?" Accessed December 3, 2011
  22. AP Results "U.S. House Results" Accessed August 14, 2012
  23. ABC News "2012 General Election Results"
  24. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2010," accessed March 28, 2013
  25. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 4, 2008," accessed March 28, 2013
  26. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2004," accessed March 28, 2013
  27. Open Secrets "Debbie Wasserman Schultz" Accessed April 4, 2013
  28. Federal Election Commission "Debbie Wasserman Schultz 2014 Summary reports," Accessed July 22, 2013
  29. Federal Election Commission "April Quarterly" Accessed July 22, 2013
  30. Federal Election Commission "July Quarterly" Accessed July 22, 2013
  31. Open Secrets "Debbie Wasserman Schultz 2012 Election Cycle," Accessed February 13, 2013
  32. Open Secrets, "Election 2012: The Big Picture Shows Record Cost of Winning a Seat in Congress," June 19, 2013
  33. Open Secrets "Debbie Wasserman Schultz 2010 Election Cycle," Accessed October 27, 2011
  34. Gov Track "Wasserman Schultz" Accessed June 13, 2013
  35. OpenCongress, "Rep. DebbieWasserman Schultz," Accessed August 1, 2013
  36. GovTrack, "Debbie Wasserman Schultz," Accessed March 29, 2013
  37. LegiStorm "Debbie Wasserman Schultz"
  38., "Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla), 2011"
  39., "Wasserman Schultz, (D-Florida), 2010"
  40. National Journal, "2012 Congressional Vote Ratings," February 27, 2013
  41. National Journal, "Searchable Vote Ratings Tables: House," February 23, 2012
  42. OpenCongress, "Voting With Party," accessed July 2014
Political offices
Preceded by
Alcee L. Hastings (D)
U.S. House of Representatives - Florida, District 23
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Peter Deutsch
U.S. House of Representatives - Florida, District 20
Succeeded by
Alcee L. Hastings (D)
Preceded by
Florida State Senate, District 34
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Florida State Senate, District 32
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Florida House of Representatives, District 97
Succeeded by