Dennis Ross

From Ballotpedia
Revision as of 13:01, 5 March 2014 by Jennifer S (Talk | contribs)

Jump to: navigation, search
Dennis A. Ross
Dennis A. Ross.jpg
U.S. House, Florida, District 15
In office
Term ends
January 3, 2015
Years in position 4
PredecessorBill Posey (R)
Base salary$174,000/year
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 6, 2012
First elected2010
Next generalNovember 4, 2014
Campaign $$2,058,462
Term limitsN/A
Prior offices
Florida House of Representatives, District 63
Chairman, Polk County Republican Executive Committee
High schoolLakeland Senior High School (1977)
Bachelor'sUniversity of Florida, Auburn University(1981)
J.D.Samford University's Cumberland School of Law (1987)
Date of birthOctober 18, 1959
Place of birthLakeland, Florida
Net worth$2,951,000.50
Office website
Campaign website
Dennis A. Ross campaign logo

Dennis Alan Ross (b. October 18, 1959, in Lakeland, Florida) is a Republican member of the U.S. House of Representatives. Ross was elected by voters from Florida's 15th Congressional District.

Due to redistricting, Ross ran in the 2012 election for the U.S. House to represent Florida's 15th District.[1][2] Ross was first elected to the U.S. House in 2010 from District 12.[3]

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

Based on analysis of multiple outside rankings, Ross is one of the most reliable Republican votes, meaning he can be considered a safe vote for the Republican Party in Congress.


Born and raised in Lakeland, Florida, Ross was the youngest of five children. He attended Catholic school for nine years before graduating from Lakeland Senior High School in 1977.

After high school, he attended the University of Florida before transferring to Auburn University where he graduated in 1981 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Organizational Management. He then graduated from Samford University's Cumberland School of Law in 1987.[3]


Committee assignments

U.S. House


Ross serves on the following committees:[4]


Ross served on the following committees:[5]

  • Republican Study Committee
  • Tea Party Caucus


Legislative actions

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

National security

American response in Syria
See also: United States involvement in Syria

Ross released a statement on September 2, 2013, saying, "Yesterday, I attended a classified briefing for Members of Congress on the assessment of Syria...I join President Obama in strongly condemning the regime's use of chemical weapons against their people. However, the decision to use military force against Bashar al-Assad is one that the President of the United States must seek approval first from Congress. Last week, 140 of my colleagues and I sent a letter to the president stating that engaging our military in Syria when no direct threat to the United States exists and without prior Congressional authorization would violate the separation of powers that is clearly delineated in the Constitution.

After being briefed yesterday, I continue to not support the use of military force in Syria at this time. What is the compelling national interest at stake that requires our military involvement? I have yet to learn of any exit strategy, or what may be the impact of retaliatory strikes by Assad against our allies. I believe that the most prudent option to resolve the conflict in Syria is to continue to work in a more concerted diplomatic manner with other countries in the region.”[8]

Relevancy Act

An amendment that would have prevented the government from funding data collection from anyone besides those "subject to an investigation," proposed by Justin Amash (R), was narrowly defeated in July 2013.[9]

However, Ross introduced a new proposal, H.R. 2603, The Relevancy Act, for consideration by the House in September 2013.[9] The bill requires an FBI investigation to be of a specific person or group of persons, and it requires the tangible things sought and collected by the NSA to be related to a person that is subject to an investigation.[9] It also prevents the FBI from seeking a secret order requiring companies like Verizon to turn over all of its caller data to the NSA.[10]

“The law requires that the records be relevant to the investigation. Conducting mass surveillance on all records from every Verizon subscriber goes far beyond the scope of the law and is an invasion of our freedoms and privacy,” said Ross. “This bill provides a starting point to make essential reforms. I look forward to working with the committee to ensure that we as a country keep our citizens safe from terrorist attacks while protecting our personal freedoms.”[10]

"When I looked at the business records exemption of the Patriot Act, it essentially says that whatever is being sought by application for discovery, meaning metadata records, things of that nature, there has to be some relevancy between that and an ongoing terrorism investigation," Ross explained in an interview in August 2013.[9]

"I believe the FISA court has gone too far because why is it that my mother-in-law, who's 74 years old, has a cellphone and now her metadata is relevant to an ongoing terrorist investigation? Our bill would have required that they have to specifically say persons or groups of persons as to why in the application there's a relevancy between that sought and a terrorist investigation. We have to be careful that we protect our liberties, and I think that we've done a great job of maintaining our national security, but at what expense are we starting to do that? So I think we need to have the debate on NSA and FISA courts to make sure ... they're not going so far as to not give due process to innocent civilians."[9]

Department of Homeland Security Appropriations

Voted "Yes" Ross voted in favor 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.[11]

Keystone Pipeline Amendment

Voted "No" Ross voted against 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.[11]

CISPA (2013)

Voted "Yes" Ross voted in favor of HR 624 - the CISPA (2013). 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.[12] The bill was largely supported by Republicans, but divided the Democratic Party.[11]


Voted "Yes" Ross voted in favor 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.[11]


Farm bill

Yea3.png On January 29, 2014, the U.S. House approved the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013, H.R. 2642, also known as the Farm Bill.[13] The bill passed by a vote of 251-166. 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 would kick in when prices drop.[14][15] However, cuts to the food stamp program cut an average of $90 per month for 1.7 million people in 15 states.[15] Ross voted with 161 other Republican representatives in favor of the bill.

2014 Budget

Yea3.png On January 15, 2014, the Republican-run House approved H.R. 3547, a $1.1 trillion spending bill to fund the government through September 30, 2014.[16][17] The House voted 359-67 for the 1,582-page bill, with 64 Republicans and three Democrats voting against the bill.[17] The omnibus package included 12 annual spending bills to fund federal operations.[18] It increased the paychecks of federal workers and military personnel by 1 percent, increased Head Start funding for early childhood education by $1 billion, reduced funding to the Internal Revenue Service and the Environmental Protection Agency, and protected the Affordable Care Act from any drastic cuts. Ross voted with the majority of the Republican party in favor of the bill.[16]

Government shutdown
See also: United States budget debate, 2013

Voted "Yes" On September 30, 2013, the House passed a final stopgap spending bill before the shutdown went into effect. The bill included a one-year delay of the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate and would have also stripped the bill of federal subsidies for congressional members and staff. It passed through the House with a vote of 228-201.[19] At 1 a.m. on October 1, 2013, one hour after the shutdown officially began, the House voted to move forward with going to a conference. In short order, Sen. Harry Reid rejected the call to conference.[20] Ross voted to approve the stopgap spending bill that would have delayed the individual mandate.[21]

Voted "No" The shutdown finally ended on October 16, 2013, when the House took a vote on HR 2775 after it was approved by the Senate. The bill to reopen the government lifted the $16.7 trillion debt limit and funds 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.[22] The House passed the legislation shortly after the Senate, by a vote of 285-144, with all 144 votes against the legislation coming from Republican members. Ross voted against HR 2775.[23]


Morton Memos Prohibition

Voted "Yes" Ross voted in favor of 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. The vote largely followed party lines.[11]


Health Care Reform Rules

Voted "Yes" Ross voted in favor of House Amendment 450 - Requires Congressional Approval for Any Rules Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The amendment was adopted by the House on August 2, 2013, with a vote of 227-185. The amendment requires all changes to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act be approved by Congress before taking effect. The vote was largely along party lines.[11]

Keep the IRS Off Your Health Care Act

Voted "Yes" Ross voted in favor of HR 2009 - Keep the IRS Off Your Health Care Act of 2013. The bill passed through the House on August 2, 2013, with a vote of 232-185. The bill would prevent the IRS and Treasury Secretary from enforcing the powers provided to them in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The vote largely followed party lines.[11]

Social issues

Amash amendment

Voted "Yes" Ross voted in favor of House Amendment 413 - Prohibits the National Security Agency from Collecting Records Under the Patriot Act. The amendment failed on July 4, 2013, by a vote of 205-217. The amendment would have prohibited the collection of records by the National Security Agency under the Patriot Act. Both parties were split on the vote.[11]

Previous congressional sessions

Fiscal Cliff

Voted "No" Ross voted against 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 151 Republicans that voted against the bill. The bill was passed in the House by a 257 - 167 vote on January 1, 2013.[24]

Campaign themes


Ross's campaign website listed the following issues:[25]

  • Spending & Our Nation's Debt
Excerpt: "Our nation continues to spend way more than it takes in each and every year. With our national debt topping $15 trillion, Washington needs to show real leadership by passing a BALANCED BUDGET AMENDMENT to our Constitution. This is the only effective way to make politicians cut spending and rein in government waste. "
  • Job Creation
Excerpt: "For years, “Jobs and the Economy” has been the issue of each and every political campaign. The simple answer to what Washington can do to create jobs is “get out of the way”."
  • Protecting Seniors Social Security and Medicare
Excerpt: "Keeping our promises to seniors is a top priority for anyone who is elected to serve in Washington. As your Representative, I will make fight to make Medicare solvent for this generation and generations beyond as well as making sure Social Security is there for the millions of seniors who paid into the system and depend on their benefits."



See also: Florida's 15th Congressional District elections, 2014

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


See also: Florida's 15th Congressional District elections, 2012

Due to redistricting, Ross ran in the 2012 election for the U.S. House to represent Florida's 15th District. Ross sought re-election on the Republican ticket. The signature filing deadline was June 8, 2012, with the primary taking place on August 14, 2012. Ross ran unopposed in the Republican primary on August 14, 2012.[26] He ran unopposed for re-election on November 6, 2012.[27]

Full history

Campaign donors

Comprehensive donor information for Ross is available dating back to 2010. Based on available campaign finance records, Ross raised a total of $2,058,462 during that time period. This information was last updated on April 4, 2013.[29]

Dennis Ross's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2012 U.S. House (Florida, District 15) Won $883,780
2010 U.S. House (Florida, District 12) Won $1,174,682
Grand Total Raised $2,058,462


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


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

Ross won re-election to the U.S. House in 2012. During that election cycle, Ross's campaign committee raised a total of $1,020,415 and spent $801,764.[39] This is less than the average $1.5 million spent by House winners in 2012.[40]


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

Ross won election to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2010. During that election cycle, Ross's campaign committee raised a total of $1,174,682 and spent $1,151,469.[41]


Ideology and leadership

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

Based on an analysis of bill sponsorship by GovTrack, Ross is a "lonley far-right Republican follower," as of June 12, 2013.[42]

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.[43]

Ross most often votes with:

Ross least often votes with:

Lifetime voting record

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

According to the website GovTrack, Ross missed 22 of 1,695 roll call votes from January 2011 to March 2013. This amounts to 1.3%, which is better than the median of 2.2% among current congressional representatives as of March 2013.[44]

Congressional staff salaries

See also: Staff salaries of United States Senators and Representatives

The website Legistorm compiles staff salary information for members of Congress. Ross paid his congressional staff a total of $973,361 in 2011. He ranks 173rd on the list of the lowest paid Republican representative staff salaries and ranks 233rd overall of the lowest 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.[45]

Staff bonuses

According to an analysis by CNN, Ross was one of nearly 25 percent of House members who gave their staff bonuses in 2012. Ross's staff was given an apparent $56,000.00 in bonus money.[46]

Net worth

See also: Net Worth of United States Senators and Representatives

Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by, Ross's net worth as of 2012 was estimated between $-3,097,996 to $8,999,997 . That averages to $2,951,000.50, which is lower than the average net worth of Republican representatives in 2012 of $6,956,438.47. Ross ranked as the 109th most wealthy representative in 2012.[47]

Dennis Ross Yearly Net Worth
YearAvg. Net Worth% Difference from previous year

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.


Ross ranked 15th in the conservative rankings in 2012.[48]


Ross ranked 1st in the conservative rankings.[49]

Voting with party


Dennis A. Ross voted with the Republican Party 97.8% of the time, which ranked 24th among the 233 House Republican members as of June 2013.[50]


In 1983, Ross and his wife Cindy were married in Lakeland.[51] Ross and Cindy have two sons.[51]

Recent news

This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term Dennis + Ross + Florida + House

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

Dennis Ross News Feed

  • Loading...

See also

External links


  1. The Ledger "Lawsuit Filed Over New Map" Accessed February 14, 2012
  2. ABC News "2012 General Election Results"
  3. 3.0 3.1 Congressman Dennis Ross "Biography" Accessed October 18, 2011
  4., "House Committee Rosters for the 113th Congress"
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Congressman Dennis Ross "Committees" Accessed October 18, 2011
  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. Office of Dennis Ross, "Ross Statement on Classified Congressional Briefing on Syria," accessed September 11, 2013
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 CL Tampa, "Dennis Ross hopes his "Relevancy Act" regarding NSA spying gets backing from House," accessed August 30, 2013
  10. 10.0 10.1 Dennis Ross, "Ross Introduces Relevancy Act to Protect Americans’ Freedom from Mass FBI Probes," accessed August 30, 2013
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 11.5 11.6 11.7 Project Votesmart, "Dennis A. Ross's Voting Record," accessed September 23, 2013
  12. The Library of Congress, "H.R.624 CISPA (2013) (Referred in Senate - RFS)," accessed August 27, 2013
  13. Clerk of U.S. House, "Roll Call Vote 31: H.R. 2642," accessed February 12, 2014
  14. Politico, "House clears farm bill," accessed February 12, 2014
  15. 15.0 15.1 New York Times, "Senate passes long-stalled farm bill, with clear winners and losers," accessed February 12, 2014
  16. 16.0 16.1, "House passes compromise $1.1 trillion budget for 2014," accessed January 20, 2014
  17. 17.0 17.1 U.S. House, "Roll Call Vote 21," accessed January 20, 2014
  18. Roll Call, "House passes $1.1 trillion omnibus," accessed January 20, 2014
  19. Clerk of the U.S. House, "Final vote results for Roll Call 504," accessed October 31, 2013
  20. Buzzfeed, "Government Shutdown: How We Got Here," accessed October 1, 2013
  21. Clerk of the U.S. House, "Final vote results for Roll Call 504," accessed October 31, 2013
  22. The Washington Post, "Reid, McConnell propose bipartisan Senate bill to end shutdown, extend borrowing," accessed October 16, 2013
  23. U.S. House, "Final vote results for Roll Call 550," accessed October 31, 2013
  24. U.S. House "Roll Call Vote on the Fiscal Cliff" Accessed January 4, 2013.
  25. Campaign website, Issues
  26. AP Results "U.S. House Results" Accessed August 14, 2012
  27. ABC News "2012 General Election Results"
  28. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2010," accessed March 28, 2013
  29. Open Secrets "Dennis A. Ross" Accessed April 4, 2013
  30. Federal Election Commission "Dennis A. Ross 2014 Summary reports," Accessed July 22, 2013
  31. Federal Election Commission, "April Quarterly" July 22, 2013
  32. Federal Election Commission, "July Quarterly" accessed July 22, 2013
  33. Federal Election Commission, "October Quarterly," accessed October 23, 2013
  34. Federal Election Commission, "Year End Report," accessed February 10, 2014
  35. Federal Election Commission, "April Quarterly," accessed April 21, 2014
  36. Federal Election Commission, "Dennis Ross July Quarterly," accessed September 30, 2014
  37. Federal Election Commission, "Dennis Ross Pre-Primary," accessed September 30, 2014
  38. Federal Election Commission, "Dennis Ross October Quarterly," accessed October 20, 2014
  39. Open Secrets "Dennis Ross 2012 Election Cycle," Accessed February 13, 2013
  40. Open Secrets, "Election 2012: The Big Picture Shows Record Cost of Winning a Seat in Congress," June 19, 2013
  41. Open Secrets "Dennis A. Ross 2010 Election Cycle," Accessed October 27, 2011
  42. Gov Track "Ross" Accessed June 12, 2013
  43. OpenCongress, "Rep. Dennis Ross," Accessed July 31, 2013
  44. GovTrack, "Dennis Ross," Accessed March 29, 2013
  45. LegiStorm "Dennis Ross"
  46. CNN Politics, "Congressional bonuses in a time of cuts," accessed March 8, 2013
  47., "Ross, (R-Fl), 2012"
  48. National Journal, "2012 Congressional Vote Ratings," February 27, 2013
  49. National Journal, "Searchable Vote Ratings Tables: House," February 23, 2012
  50. OpenCongress, "Voting With Party," accessed July 2014
  51. 51.0 51.1 Dennis Ross for Congress "About Dennis" Accessed October 18, 2011
Political offices
Preceded by
Bill Posey (R)
U.S. House of Representatives - Florida, District 15
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Adam Putnam
U.S. House of Representatives - Florida, District 12
Succeeded by
Gus Bilirakis (R)
Preceded by
Florida House of Representatives, District 63
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Chairman, Polk County Republican Executive Committee
Succeeded by