John Lewis (Georgia)

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John Lewis
John Lewis.jpg
U.S. House, Georgia, District 5
In office
January 3, 1987-Present
Term ends
January 3, 2015
Years in position 27
PredecessorWyche Fowler, Jr. (D)
3rd Chairman, Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee
Base salary$174,000/year
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 6, 2012
Cost per vote$5.55 in 2012
First electedNovember 4, 1986
Next primaryMay 20, 2014
Next generalNovember 4, 2014
Campaign $$5,590,088
Term limitsN/A
Prior offices
Atlanta City Council
High schoolPike County Training High School
Bachelor'sAmerican Baptist Theological Seminary, Fisk University
BirthdayFebruary 21, 1940
Place of birthTroy, Alabama
ProfessionCivil Rights Leader, Political Consultant
Net worth$72,004.50
Office website
Campaign website
John Robert Lewis (b. February 21, 1940, in Troy, Alabama) is a Democratic member of the U.S. House of Representatives. Lewis was elected by voters from Georgia's 5th Congressional District. Lewis was first elected to the U.S. House in 1986.[1]

Lewis ran in the 2012 election for the U.S. House to represent Georgia's 5th District.[2] He won the general election on November 6, 2012.[3][4]

Lewis was one of the "Big Six" leaders in the American Civil Rights Movement and chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC).[5] Lewis, at the age of 23 and a leader in the civil rights movement, took the podium at the March on Washington in 1963 as the youngest speaker. He is also the only living speaker from the 1963 March on Washington.[6]

Lewis serves as the Senior Chief Deputy Whips of the Democratic caucus for the 113th Congress.[7]

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


Lewis was born on February 21, 1940, outside of Troy, Alabama. He grew up on his family's farm and attended segregated public schools in Pike County, Alabama.[1]

As a student at American Baptist College, Lewis organized sit-in demonstrations at segregated lunch counters in Nashville, Tennessee. In 1961, he volunteered to participate in the Freedom Rides. During the height of the Movement, from 1963 to 1966, Lewis was named Chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), which he helped form. SNCC was largely responsible for organizing student activism in the Movement, including sit-ins and other activities.[1]

By 1963, he was dubbed one of the Big Six leaders of the Civil Rights Movement. (The others were Whitney Young, A. Phillip Randolph, Martin Luther King Jr., James Farmer and Roy Wilkins). At the age of 23, he was an architect of and a keynote speaker at the historic March on Washington in August 1963.[8][1]

Lewis holds a B.A. in Religion and Philosophy from Fisk University, and is a graduate of the American Baptist Theological Seminary, both in Nashville, Tennessee.[1]


Committee assignments

U.S. House


Lewis serves on the following committees:[9][10]




Arrest during immigration protest

See also: Gang of Eight

On October 8, 2013, eight Democratic members of Congress were arrested while attending a protest calling for comprehensive immigration reform in front of the U.S. Capitol.[12]

The eight included Lewis, Luis Gutierrez, Charlie Rangel, Raul Grijalva, Joseph Crowley, Jan Schakowsky, Keith Ellison and Al Green.[12] The politicians, along with activists who attended an immigration rally on the National Mall, staged a sit-in near the west side of the Capitol.[12] Authorities arrested the lawmakers for crowding and disrupting the streets around the Capitol. Almost 200 people were arrested by police during the protest.[12]

"We cannot rest, we cannot be satisfied until we have comprehensive immigration reform," Lewis said.[12]

Lewis had been arrested 45 times previously, according to his twitter account. Lewis has been known to participate in sit-ins and protests throughout his many years in Congress.[12]

March on Washington speech

Lewis says Martin Luther King Jr. asked him to tone down the speech he delivered during the March on Washington 50 years ago.[13]

Appearing on CBS’s Face the Nation, the Georgia Democrat said he had planned to chastise President John F. Kennedy for not acting fast enough on civil rights.[13]

“Some people thought my speech as a little too strong, some would say maybe a little too militant,” Lewis said. “I said in the beginning, in my prepared text, I thought the Kennedy-proposed legislation was too little and that it was too late. And in another part of the speech, I said, ‘You tell us to wait. You tell us to be patient. We cannot wait. We cannot be patient. We want our freedom and we want it now.’”

But King, Lewis said, asked him to moderate his words before delivering the speech. “Dr. King said, as he read some of the text, said, ‘John, that doesn't sound like you,’” Lewis said. “I couldn't say no to Martin Luther King Jr. He was my inspiration. He was my hero.”[13]

Legislative actions

113th Congress

The 113th Congress has had 55 out of 5,401 introduced bills enacted into law (1%) as of November 30, 2013. Comparatively, the 112th Congress had 1.14% of introduced bills enacted into law in the first session.[14] For more information pertaining to Lewis's voting record in the 113th Congress, please see the below sections.[15]

National security

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

On August 29, 2013, more than 50 House Democrats signed a letter written by California Rep. Barbara Lee that called for a congressional resolution on strikes, and cautioned that the dire situation in Syria "should not draw us into an unwise war—especially without adhering to our constitutional requirements."[16][17] The letter also called on the Obama administration to work with the U.N. Security Council “to build international consensus” condemning the alleged use of chemical weapons. Lewis was 1 of the 50 Democrats in the House to sign the letter.[16][17]

On September 2, 2013, Lewis said, "Once Congressional debate begins and the Congress has had a full briefing, we will make a statement. We do not want to do so without that preparation."[18]

DHS Appropriations

Voted "No" Lewis voted against 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.[19]

Keystone Pipeline Amendment

Voted "Yes" Lewis voted in favor 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.[19]

CISPA (2013)

Voted "No" Lewis voted against 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.[20] The bill was largely supported by Republicans, but divided the Democratic Party.[19]


Voted "Yes" Lewis 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.[19]


Farm bill

Nay3.png On January 29, 2014, the U.S. House approved the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013, H.R. 2642, known as the Farm Bill.[21] The bill passed by a vote of 251-166. The nearly 1,000-page bill provides for the reform and continuation of agricultural and other 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.[22][23] However, cuts to the food stamp program cut an average of $90 per month for 1.7 million people in 15 states.[23] Lewis voted with 102 other Democratic representatives against 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.[24][25] The House voted 359-67 for the 1,582 page bill, with 64 Republicans and three Democrats voting against the bill.[25] The omnibus package included 12 annual spending bills to fund federal operations.[26] It included a 1% 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 protected the Affordable Care Act from any drastic cuts. Lewis joined with the majority of the Democratic party and voted in favor of the bill.[24][25]

Government shutdown
See also: United States budget debate, 2013

Voted "No" 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.[27] 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.[28] Lewis voted against the stopgap spending bill that would have delayed the individual mandate.[29]

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.[30] 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. Lewis voted for HR 2775.[31]

Federal Pay Adjustment Elimination

Voted "No" Lewis voted against HR 273 - Eliminates the 2013 Statutory Pay Adjustment for Federal Employees. The bill passed the House on February 15, 2013, with a vote of 261 - 154. The bill would prevent a 0.5% pay increase for all federal workers from taking effect, saving the federal government $11 billion over 10 years.[19]


Morton Memos Prohibition

Voted "No" Lewis voted against 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.[19]


Healthcare Reform Rules

Voted "No" Lewis voted against 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.[19]

Keep the IRS Off Your Healthcare Act

Voted "No" Lewis voted against HR 2009 - Keep the IRS Off Your Healthcare 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.[19]

Social issues

Amash amendment

Voted "Yes" Lewis 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.[19]

Previous congressional sessions

Fiscal Cliff

Neutral/Abstain Lewis did not cast a vote regarding 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 House by a 257 - 167 vote on January 1, 2013.[32]



See also: Georgia's 5th Congressional District elections, 2014

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


See also: Georgia's 5th Congressional District elections, 2012

Lewis ran in the 2012 election for the U.S. House to represent Georgia's 5th District. Lewis sought re-election on the Democratic ticket. The signature filing deadline was May 25, 2012, with the primary taking place on July 31, 2012. Michael Johnson was defeated by Lewis in the Democratic primary[3]. Lewis defeated Howard Stopeck (R) in the general election on November 6, 2012.

U.S. House, Georgia District 5 General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngJohn Lewis Incumbent 84.4% 234,330
     Republican Howard Stopeck 15.6% 43,335
Total Votes 277,665
Source: Georgia Secretary of State "Official Election Results, 2012 General Election"
U.S. House, Georgia District 5 Democratic Primary, 2012
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngJohn Lewis Incumbent 80.8% 69,985
Michael Johnson 19.2% 16,666
Total Votes 86,651

Full history

Campaign donors

Comprehensive donor information for Lewis is available dating back to 2000. Based on available campaign finance records, Lewis raised a total of $5,590,088 during that time period. This information was last updated on April 5, 2013.[37]

John Lewis (Georgia)'s Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2012 U.S. House (Georgia, District 5) Won $1,238,299
2010 U.S. House (Georgia, District 5) Won $1,013,992
2008 U.S. House (Georgia, District 5) Won $1,267,597
2006 U.S. House (Georgia, District 5) Won $628,202
2004 U.S. House (Georgia, District 5) Won $421,030
2002 U.S. House (Georgia, District 5) Won $338,831
2000 U.S. House (Georgia, District 5) Won $682,137
Grand Total Raised $5,590,088


Candidates for Congress are required to file up to seven main reports with the Federal Election Commission during the 2014 elections season. Below are Lewis' reports.[38]

John Lewis (2014) Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
April Quarterly[39]April 17, 2013$206,722.39$46,925.00$(53,392.65)$200,254.74
July Quarterly[40]July 15, 2013$200,254.74$62,568.40$(58,153.97)$204,669.17
October Quarterly[41]October 13, 2013$204,669.17$76,021.42$(64,340.96)$216,349.63
Year-end[42]January 31, 2014$216,349$96,392$(91,868)$
April Quarterly[43]April 15, 2014$220,874$55,309$(87,884)$188,299
Running totals


Breakdown of the source of Lewis' campaign funds before the 2012 election.

Lewis won re-election to the U.S. House in 2012. During that election cycle, Lewis' campaign committee raised a total of $1,238,299 and spent $1,300,095.[44] This is less than the average $1.5 million spent by House winners in 2012.[45]

Cost per vote

Lewis spent $5.55 per vote received in 2012.


Breakdown of the source of Lewis' campaign funds before the 2010 election.

Lewis won re-election to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2010. During that re-election cycle, Lewis' campaign committee raised a total of $1,013,992 and spent $1,115,868.[46]

U.S. House, Georgia District 5, 2010 - John Lewis (Georgia) Campaign Contributions
Total Raised $1,013,992
Total Spent $1,115,868
Total Raised by General Election Opponent $107,759
Total Spent by General Election Opponent $92,206
Top contributors to John Lewis (Georgia)'s campaign committee
DaVita Inc$25,700
Gentiva Health Services$13,000
National Assn of Realtors$10,500
AFLAC Inc$10,000
American Assn for Justice$10,000
Top 5 industries that contributed to campaign committee
Lawyers/Law Firms$89,450
Health Professionals$68,700
Health Services/HMOs$68,150
Public Sector Unions$41,000


Ideology and leadership

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

Based on an analysis of bill sponsorship by GovTrack, Lewis is a "far-left Democratic leader," as of June 13, 2013.[47]

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.[48]

Lewis most often votes with:

Lewis least often votes with:

Lifetime voting record

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

According to the website GovTrack, Lewis missed 1,056 of 16,284 roll call votes from January 1987 to March 2013. This amounts to 6.5%, which is worse than the median of 2.2% among current congressional representatives as of March 2013.[49]

Congressional staff salaries

See also: Staff salaries of United States Senators and Representatives

The website Legistorm compiles staff salary information for members of Congress. Lewis paid his congressional staff a total of $1,109,123 in 2011. He ranks 47th on the list of the highest paid Democratic representative staff salaries and ranks 57th overall of the highest paid representative staff salaries in 2011. Overall, Georgia ranks 24th in average salary for representative staff. The average U.S. House of Representatives congressional staff was paid $954,912.20 in fiscal year 2011.[50]

Net worth

See also: Net Worth of United States Senators and Representatives

Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by, Lewis's net worth as of 2012 was estimated between $9,009 to $135,000. That averages to $72,004.50, which is lower than the average net worth of Democratic representatives in 2012 of $5,700,168.36. Lewis ranked as the 386th most wealthy representative in 2012.[51]

John Lewis 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.

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.


Lewis ranked 1st in the liberal rankings in 2012.[52]


Lewis ranked 21st in the liberal rankings.[53]

Voting with party


John Lewis voted with the Democratic Party 95.8% of the time, which ranked 40th among the 201 House Democratic members as of June 2013.[54]


Lewis lives in Atlanta, Georgia, and is married to Lillian Miles. They have one son, John Miles.[1]

Recent news

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

John Lewis News Feed

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See also

External links


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 The Online Office of Congressman John Lewis "Biography of John Lewis" accessed October 27, 2011
  2. "Lewis to defend congressional seat in 2012" accessed December 4, 2011
  3. 3.0 3.1 Associated Press "Results" accessed July 31, 2012
  4. Politico, "2012 House Race Results," November 6, 2012
  5. Howard University, "The Big Six: John Lewis and His Contemporaries," accessed August 26, 2013
  6. NBC News, "7 Things to Know About Rep. John Lewis (D-GA)," accessed August 26, 2013
  7. Office of the Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer "Hoyer Announces Whip Team for the 113th Congress," January 4, 2013
  8. 8.0 8.1 John Lewis for Congress "Meet John Lewis" accessed October 27, 2011
  9., "House Committee Rosters for the 113th Congress," accessed March 3, 2013
  10. U.S. House of Representatives, "Committee Assignments," accessed March 29, 2014
  11. The Online Office of Congressman John Lewis "House Committees and Subcommittees" accessed October 27, 2011
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 12.5 NBC News, "Democratic lawmakers arrested during immigration protest," accessed October 9, 2013
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 Politico, "Lewis: King asked to tone down March speech," accessed August 26, 2013
  14. Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity, First Session of the 112th Congress," accessed September 5, 2013
  15. Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity, Second Session of the 113th Congress," accessed March 4, 2014
  16. 16.0 16.1 Office of Barbara Lee, "Lee Letter to President Obama," accessed September 2, 2013
  17. 17.0 17.1 Washington Post, "More than 50 House Democrats also want Syria strike resolution," accessed September 2, 2013
  18. 11, "Georgia lawmakers explain their positions on Syria," accessed September 5, 2013
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 19.3 19.4 19.5 19.6 19.7 19.8 Project Votesmart, "John Lewis Key Votes," accessed September 30, 2013
  20. The Library of Congress, "H.R.624 CISPA (2013) (Referred in Senate - RFS)," accessed August 27, 2013
  21. Clerk of U.S. House, "Roll Call Vote 31: H.R. 2642," accessed February 12, 2014
  22. Politico, "House clears Farm Bill," accessed February 12, 2014
  23. 23.0 23.1 New York Times, "Senate passes long-stalled Farm Bill, with clear winners and losers," accessed February 12, 2014
  24. 24.0 24.1, "House passes compromise $1.1 trillion budget for 2014," accessed January 20, 2014
  25. 25.0 25.1 25.2 U.S. House, "Roll Call Vote 21," accessed January 20, 2014
  26. Roll Call, "House passes $1.1 trillion omnibus," accessed January 20, 2014
  27. Clerk of the U.S. House, "Final vote results for Roll Call 504," accessed October 31, 2013
  28. Buzzfeed, "Government Shutdown: How We Got Here," accessed October 1, 2013
  29. Clerk of the U.S. House, "Final vote results for Roll Call 504," accessed October 31, 2013
  30. The Washington Post, "Reid, McConnell propose bipartisan Senate bill to end shutdown, extend borrowing," accessed October 16, 2013
  31. U.S. House, "Final vote results for Roll Call 550," accessed October 31, 2013
  32. U.S. House, "Roll Call Vote on the Fiscal Cliff," accessed January 4, 2013
  33. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2010," accessed March 28, 2013
  34. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 4, 2008," accessed March 28, 2013
  35. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 7, 2000," accessed March 28, 2013
  36. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 3, 1998," accessed March 28, 2013
  37. Open Secrets, "John Lewis" accessed April 5, 2013
  38. Federal Election Commission, "John Lewis 2014 Summary reports," accessed July 23, 2013
  39. Federal Election Commission, "April Quarterly" accessed July 23, 2013
  40. Federal Election Commission, "July Quarterly" accessed July 23, 2013
  41. Federal Election Commission, "October Quarterly," accessed October 23, 2013
  42. Federal Election Commission, "Year End Report," accessed February 10, 2014
  43. Federal Election Commission, "April Quarterly," accessed April 21, 2014
  44. Open Secrets, "John Lewis 2012 Election Cycle," accessed February 20, 2013
  45. Open Secrets, "Election 2012: The Big Picture Shows Record Cost of Winning a Seat in Congress," June 19, 2013
  46. Open Secrets, "John Kerry 2008 Election Cycle," accessed October 2011
  47. GovTrack, "Lewis" accessed June 13, 2013
  48. OpenCongress, "Rep. John Lewis," accessed August 1, 2013
  49. GovTrack, "John Lewis," accessed March 29, 2013
  50. LegiStorm, "John Lewis"
  51., "John Lewis (D-GA), 2012," accessed February 18, 2014
  52. National Journal, "2012 Congressional Vote Ratings," February 27, 2013
  53. National Journal, "Searchable Vote Ratings Tables: House," February 23, 2012
  54. OpenCongress, "Voting With Party," accessed July 2014
Political offices
Preceded by
Wyche Fowler
U.S. House of Representatives - Georgia, District 5
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Atlanta City Council
Succeeded by