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|Place of birth = Bakersfield, California
|Place of birth = Bakersfield, California
|Profession = Businessman
|Profession = Businessman
|Net worth  = $495,516
|Net worth  = $564,515
|Religion = Lutheran - LCMS
|Religion = Lutheran - LCMS
|Office website =
|Office website =

Revision as of 16:45, 30 January 2014

Erik Paulsen
Erik Paulsen.jpg
U.S. House, Minnesota, District 3
In office
January 3, 2009-Present
Term ends
January 3, 2015
Years in position 6
PredecessorJim Ramstad (R)
Base salary$174,000/year
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 6, 2012
Cost per vote$11.55 in 2012
First electedNovember 4, 2008
Next generalNovember 4, 2014
Campaign $$8,584,178
Term limitsN/A
Prior offices
Minnesota House of Representatives
High schoolChaska High School, Chaska, MN
Bachelor'sSt. Olaf College
Date of birthMay 14, 1965
Place of birthBakersfield, California
Net worth$564,515
ReligionLutheran - LCMS
Office website
Campaign website
Erik Paulsen (b. May 14, 1965, in Bakersfield, California) is a Republican member of the U.S. House of Representatives representing Minnesota's 3rd Congressional District. Paulsen was first elected to the House in 2008. He won re-election in 2012.[1] He ran for re-election in 2014.

Previously, Paulsen served in the Minnesota House of Representatives from 1995 to 2008.[2]

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


Paulsen was born in 1965 in Bakersfield, California. After graduating from public high school in Chaska, Minnesota, he went on to earn his B.A. at St. Olaf College in 1987. Prior to his political career, Paulsen worked as a businessman.[2]


Below is an abbreviated outline of Paulsen's political career:[2]

Committee assignments

U.S. House


Paulsen serves on the following committees:[3]


Paulsen served on the following House committees:[4]


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

National security


Voted "Yes" Paulsen 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.[7]

DHS Appropriations

Voted "Yes" Paulsen voted in support 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.[7]

Keystone Pipeline Amendment

Voted "No" Paulsen voted in opposition 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.[7]

CISPA (2013)

Voted "Yes" Paulsen voted in support 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.[8] The bill was largely supported by Republicans, but divided the Democratic Party.[7]


Farm Bill
See also: United States Farm Bill 2013

Voted "Yes" Paulsen supported the Farm Bill on July 11, 2013. The bill passed in a 216-208 vote.[9] The bill passed included farm policy, but did not include food stamps.[10]

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.[11] 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.[12] Paulsen voted to approve the stopgap spending bill that would have delayed the individual mandate.[13]

Voted "Yes" 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.[14] 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. Paulsen voted for HR 2775.[15]


Morton Memos Prohibition

Voted "Yes" Paulsen supported 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.[16] The vote largely followed party lines.[17]


Repealing Obamacare

Voted "Yes" Paulsen has supported all attempts to repeal or delay the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.[18]

Social issues

Violence Against Women Act

Voted "Yes" Paulsen voted to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act which provides aid to prosecute cases of violent acts against women and men.[19]


Voted "Yes" Paulsen supported 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.[20]

Previous congressional sessions

Fiscal Cliff

Voted "No" Paulsen 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.[21]

National security

Voted "Yes" Paulsen voted in favor of extending the PATRIOT Act's roving wiretaps in 2011.[22]

Foreign policy
Removal of troops from Afghanistan

Voted "No" Paulsen opposed a resolution to withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan.[23]

American involvement in Libya

Voted "Yes" Paulsen supported a ban on using armed forces in Libya without Congressional approval in 2011.[23]


Voted "Yes" Paulsen supported opening the Outer Continental Shelf for oil drilling in 2011.[24]

Voted "No" Paulsen opposed allowing the EPA to regulate greenhouse gases in 2011.[24]

Presidential preference


See also: Endorsements by state officials of presidential candidates in the 2012 election

Erik Paulsen endorsed Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential election. [25]



See also: Minnesota's 3rd Congressional District elections, 2014

Paulsen ran for re-election to the U.S. House in 2014. He is seeking the Republican nomination in the primary election. The general election took place November 4, 2014.


See also: Minnesota's 3rd Congressional District elections, 2012

Paulsen won re-election in 2012.[26] He defeated John W. Howard III in the Republican primary.[27] He defeated Democratic challenger Brian Barnes in the November general election.[28]

U.S. House, Minnesota District 3 General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngErik Paulsen Incumbent 58.1% 222,335
     Democratic Brian Barnes 41.8% 159,937
     NA Write-in 0.1% 433
Total Votes 382,705
Source: Minnesota Secretary of State, "Official Election Results, 2012 General Election" (dead link)
Minnesota's 3rd Congressional District Republican Primary, 2012
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngErik Paulsen Incumbent 90.2% 18,672
John Howard 9.8% 2,032
Total Votes 20,704

Erik Paulsen, "Math Guy Part II"


Paulsen was endorsed by the organizations and individuals below for the 2012 election:[29]

  • Minnesota Farm Bureau
  • Fraternal Order of Police
  • Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association
  • Minneapolis Federation of Police
  • TwinWest Chamber of Commerce
  • United States Chamber of Commerce
  • National Federation of Independent Business SAFE Trust

Full history

Campaign donors

Comprehensive donor information for Paulsen is available dating back to 2008. Based on available campaign finance records, Paulsen raised a total of $8,584,178 during that time period. This information was last updated on May 16, 2013.[32]

Erik Paulsen's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2012 U.S. House (Minnesota, District 3) Won $3,113,793
2010 U.S. House (Minnesota, District 3) Won $2,688,948
2008 U.S. House (Minnesota, District 3) Won $2,781,437
Grand Total Raised $8,584,178


Candidates for Congress were required to file up to seven main reports with the Federal Election Commission during the 2014 elections season. Below are Paulsen's reports.[33]


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

Paulsen won election to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2012. During that election cycle, Paulsen's campaign committee raised a total of $3,113,793 and spent $2,567,483.[39]

Cost per vote

Paulsen spent $11.55 per vote received in 2012.


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

Paulsen won re-election to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2010. During that re-election cycle, Paulsen's campaign committee raised a total of $2,688,948 and spent $2,575,922.[40]


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]

Paulsen most often votes with:

Paulsen least often votes with:

Ideology and leadership

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

Based on an analysis of bill sponsorship by GovTrack, Paulsen is a "moderate Republican leader," as of June 11, 2013[42]

Lifetime voting record

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

According to the website GovTrack, Paulsen missed 39 of 3,353 roll call votes from Jan 2009 to Apr 2013, which is 1.2% of votes during that period. This is better than the median of 2.2% among the lifetime records of representatives currently serving.[43]

Congressional Staff Salaries

See also: Staff salaries of United States Senators and Representatives

The website Legistorm compiles staff salary information for members of Congress. Paulsen paid his congressional staff a total of $899,145 in 2011. Overall, Minnesota ranked 26th in average salary for representative staff. The average U.S. House of Representatives congressional staff was paid $954,912.20 in fiscal year 2011.[44]

Net worth

See also: Net Worth of United States Senators and Representatives

Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by, Paulsen's net worth as of 2012 was estimated between $250,030 and $879,000. That averages to $564,515, which is lower than the average net worth of Republican representatives in 2012 of $7,614,097.96. Paulsen ranked as the 258th most wealthy representative in 2012.[45]

Erik Paulsen 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, as compared to other members, in the previous year. More information about the analysis process can be found on the vote ratings page.


According to the data released in 2013, Paulsen was ranked the 110th most conservative representative during 2012.[46]


According to the data released in 2012, Paulsen was ranked the 107th most conservative representative during 2011.[47]

Voting with party


Erik Paulsen voted with the Republican Party 97.8% of the time, which ranked 30th among the 234 House Republican members as of June 2013.[48]


Paulsen lives in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, with his wife, Kelly, and their four daughters.[49]

Recent news

This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term Erik + Paulsen + Minnesota + House

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

Erik Paulsen News Feed

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External links


  1. ABC News, "General Election Results 2012-Minnesota," November 7, 2012
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Biographical Guide to Members of Congress "Erik Paulsen" Accessed December 8, 2011
  3., "House Committee Rosters for the 113th Congress"
  4. U.S. Congress House Clerk "House of Representatives Committee Assignments" Accessed December 8, 2011
  5. Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity, First Session of the 112th Congress," accessed September 5, 2013
  6. Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity, Second Session of the 113th Congress," accessed March 4, 2014
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 Project Vote Smart, "Representative Erik Paulsen's Voting Records on National Security," accessed September 26, 2013
  8. The Library of Congress, "H.R.624 CISPA (2013) (Referred in Senate - RFS)," accessed August 27, 2013
  9. Vote Smart, "Paulsen on agriculture", accessed September 26, 2013
  10. New York Times, "House Republicans Push Through Farm Bill, Without Food Stamps", accessed September 17, 2013
  11. Clerk of the U.S. House, "Final vote results for Roll Call 504," accessed October 31, 2013
  12. Buzzfeed, "Government Shutdown: How We Got Here," accessed October 1, 2013
  13. Clerk of the U.S. House, "Final vote results for Roll Call 504," accessed October 31, 2013
  14. The Washington Post, "Reid, McConnell propose bipartisan Senate bill to end shutdown, extend borrowing," accessed October 16, 2013
  15. U.S. House, "Final vote results for Roll Call 550," accessed October 31, 2013
  16. The Library of Congress, "H.AMDT.136," accessed August 28, 2013
  17. Project Vote Smart, "Representative Erik Paulsen's Voting Records on Immigration," accessed September 26, 2013
  18. Project Vote Smart, "Representative Erik Paulsen's Voting Records on Issue: Health and Health Care," accessed September 26, 2013
  19. On the Issues, "Paulsen on Civil Rights", accessed September 11, 2013
  20. Project Vote Smart, "Paulsen on abortion", accessed September 26, 2013
  21. U.S. House "Roll Call Vote on the Fiscal Cliff" Accessed January 4, 2013.
  22. On the Issues, "Paulsen on Homeland Security", accessed September 11, 2013
  23. 23.0 23.1 On the Issues, "Erik Paulsen on War and Peace", accessed September 11, 2013
  24. 24.0 24.1 On the Issues, "Paulsen", accessed September 11, 2013
  25. The Republic, "Minnesota's Paulsen endorses Romney for president; had previously been Pawlenty supporter," January 26, 2012
  26. Minnesota Public Radio "Barnes to challenge Paulsen," Accessed February 10, 2012
  27. CBS "Primary results" Accessed May 30, 2013
  28. ABC News, "General Election Results 2012-Minnesota," November 7, 2012
  29. Erik Paulsen "News Archives" Accessed October 9, 2012
  30. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2010," accessed March 28, 2013
  31. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 4, 2008," accessed March 28, 2013
  32. Open Secrets "Erik Paulsen" Accessed May 16, 2013
  33. Federal Election Commission, "Paulsen 2014 Summary reports," accessed July 18, 2013
  34. FEC, "April Quarterly," accessed July 18, 2013
  35. FEC, "July Quarterly," accessed July 18, 2013
  36. FEC, "October Quarterly," accessed October 23, 2013
  37. FEC, "Year-End Quarterly," accessed February 11, 2014
  38. FEC, "April Quarterly," accessed May 16, 2014
  39. Open Secrets " 2012 Re-Election Cycle," Accessed February 15, 2013
  40. Open Secrets "Erik Paulsen 2010 Re-Election Cycle," Accessed December 8, 2011
  41. "Erik Paulsen," Accessed August 5, 2013
  42. Gov Track "Erik Paulsen," Accessed June 11, 2012
  43. GovTrack, "Erik Paulsen" Accessed April 2013
  44. LegiStorm, "Erik Paulsen," Accessed October 9, 2012
  45.,"Erik Paulsen (R-MN), 2012"]
  46. National Journal, "TABLE: House Liberal Scores by Issue Area," February 26, 2013
  47. National Journal, "Searchable Vote Ratings Tables: House," February 23, 2012
  48. OpenCongress, "Voting With Party," accessed July 2014
  49. Official House Site "Biography," Accessed December 8, 2011
Political offices
Preceded by
Jim Ramstad
U.S. House of Representatives - Minnesota, District 3
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Minnesota House of Representatives
Succeeded by