John Sarbanes

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John Sarbanes
John Sarbanes.jpg
U.S. House, Maryland, District 3
In office
January 3, 2007-Present
Term ends
January 3, 2015
Years in position 8
PredecessorBen Cardin (D)
Base salary$174,000/year
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 6, 2012
Cost per vote$3.00 in 2012
First electedNovember 7, 2006
Next primaryJune 24, 2014
Next generalNovember 4, 2014
Campaign $$4,395,733
Term limitsN/A
High schoolGilman School
Bachelor'sPrinceton University
J.D.Harvard Law School
Date of birthMay 22, 1962
Place of birthBaltimore, Maryland
Net worth$219,004.50
ReligionGreek Orthodox
Office website
Campaign website
John Sarbanes campaign logo
John Peter Spyros Sarbanes (b. May 22, 1962, in Baltimore, Maryland) is a Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives representing Maryland's 3rd Congressional District. Sarbanes was first elected to the House in 2006 and is currently serving his fourth consecutive term, having won re-election on November 6, 2012.[1]

Sarbanes is set to run for re-election in Maryland's 3rd Congressional District in the general election on November 4, 2014.

Prior to his election to the House, Sarbanes worked as an attorney and was chairman of the firm's health care practice.[2]

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


Sarbanes, the son of former Maryland senator Paul Sarbanes, was born in 1962 in Baltimore, Maryland. He earned his A.B. from Princeton University and his J.D. from Harvard Law School in 1984 and 1988, respectively.[3]


Prior to his political career, Sarbanes worked as an attorney.

Committee assignments

U.S. House


Sarbanes serves on the following committees:[4][5]


Sarbanes served on the following committees:[6]


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.[7] For more information pertaining to Sarbanes'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

In a statement released on September 5, 2013, Sarbanes said the use of chemical weapons "demands a forceful and unequivocal response" and said he found "persuasive the president's arguments that a strike is warranted in order to give teeth to the international ban on chemical weapons and in order to demonstrate American resolve in the Middle East."[9]

However, he added that did not necessarily mean he would support a resolution.[9]

"I share the conviction of many of my colleagues that any strike be limited in time and scope and otherwise designed to minimize the risk of drawing the United States into a broader military engagement," he said. "Those are the standards I will use in determining my support for any resolution that members of the House of Representatives are asked to vote upon."[9]

DHS Appropriations

Voted "Yes" Sarbanes 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.[10]

Keystone Pipeline Amendment

Neutral/Abstain Sarbanes did not vote on 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.[10]

CISPA (2013)

Voted "No" Sarbanes 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.[11] The bill was largely supported by Republicans, but divided the Democratic Party.[10]


Voted "Yes" Sarbanes 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.[10]


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.[12] 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.[13][14] However, cuts to the food stamp program cut an average of $90 per month for 1.7 million people in 15 states.[14] Sarbanes 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.[15][16] The House voted 359-67 for the 1,582 page bill, with 64 Republicans and three Democrats voting against the bill.[16] The omnibus package included 12 annual spending bills to fund federal operations.[17] 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 protected the Affordable Care Act from any drastic cuts. Sarbanes joined with the majority of the Democratic party and voted in favor of the bill.[15][16]

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.[18] 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.[19] Sarbanes voted against the stopgap spending bill that would have delayed the individual mandate.[20]

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 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.[21] 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. Sarbanes voted for HR 2775.[22]


Morton Memos Prohibition

Voted "No" Sarbanes 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.[10]


Healthcare Reform Rules

Voted "No" Sarbanes 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.[10]

Keep the IRS Off Your Healthcare Act

Voted "No" Sarbanes 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.[10]

Social issues

Amash amendment

Voted "Yes" Sarbanes 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.[10]

Previous congressional sessions

Fiscal Cliff

Voted "Yes" Sarbanes 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. He was 1 of 172 Democrats who voted in favor of the bill. The bill was passed in the House by a 257 - 167 vote on January 1, 2013.[23]


See also: Maryland gubernatorial and lieutenant gubernatorial election, 2014

Sarbanes endorsed the gubernatorial bid of Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown on September 23, 2013, calling him “a proven and resourceful leader.”[24]

“I have had the pleasure of working with Lieutenant Governor Brown on a variety of initiatives, including the effort to implement health care reform in our state and to ensure that the Baltimore region is maximizing the opportunities presented by BRAC,” Sarbanes said in a statement.[24]

Campaign themes


The following are issues which were highlighted on Sarbanes' campaign website.[25]

  • Grassroots Democracy Act

Sarbanes sponsored the Grassroots Democracy Act. This bill would "fundamentally change how Congressional campaigns are funded. It empowers grassroots supporters, includes a $50 tax credit for campaign contributions and a "People's Fund" to help candidates be heard when they are up against Super PACs."[25]

  • Healthcare

Excerpt: "We must follow through on implementation of the new health reform law so that all Americans have the opportunity to see a doctor when they need one."[25]

  • Social Security

Excerpt: "We owe it to our seniors and future retirees to keep Social Security and Medicare strong. They are among the most successful government programs in history and have provided dignity in retirement for millions of Americans."[25]

  • Education

Excerpt: "We must rein in the skyrocketing costs of higher education and provide a career path for every aspiring young person. That’s why I worked to establish loan forgiveness programs that make student debt more manageable."[25]

  • Environment

Excerpt: "I have authored several bills to protect the Chesapeake Bay, including the No Child Left Inside Act, which promotes outdoor learning and teaches our children to be environmental stewards and live healthy, balanced lives."[25]



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

Sarbanes 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 took place November 4, 2014.


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

Sarbanes ran in the 2012 election for the U.S. House to represent Maryland's 3rd District.

On March 30, 2012, the 3rd District was included in a list released by the National Journal of the top ten most contorted congressional districts due to redistricting.[26]

Sarbanes won re-election on the Democratic ticket. The signature filing deadline for candidates wishing to run was January 11, 2012. Sarbanes defeated David Lockwood in the April 3, 2012, Democratic primary. He defeated Eric Delano Knowles in the November general election.

The organization Progressive Maryland endorsed Sarbanes in the his run for re-election in Maryland's 3rd District.[27][28][29]

John Sarbanes, "Congressman John Sarbanes' report on the first day of the DNC 2012"
U.S. House, Maryland District 3 General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngJohn Sarbanes Incumbent 66.8% 213,747
     Republican Eric Delano Knowles 29.6% 94,549
     Libertarian Paul Drgos, Jr. 3.4% 11,028
     N/A Other Write-ins 0.2% 535
Total Votes 319,859
Source: Maryland State Board of Elections "Representative in Congress"
U.S. House, Maryland District 3 Democratic Primary, 2012
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngJohn Sarbanes Incumbent 86.4% 32,527
David Lockwood 13.6% 5,111
Total Votes 37,638

Full history

Campaign donors

Comprehensive donor information for Sarbanes is available dating back to 2006. Based on available campaign finance records, Sarbanes raised a total of $4,395,733 during that time period. This information was last updated on May 16, 2013.[33]

John Sarbanes's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2012 U.S. House (Maryland, District 3) Won $1,010,366
2010 U.S. House (Maryland, District 3) Won $908,856
2008 U.S. House (Maryland, District 3) Won $1,012,936
2006 U.S. House (Maryland, District 3) Won $1,463,575
Grand Total Raised $4,395,733


Candidates for Congress are required to file up to seven main reports with the Federal Election Commission during the 2014 elections season. Below are Sarbanes’ reports.[34]

John Sarbanes (2014) Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
April Quarterly[35]April 4, 2013$728,898.11$58,215.00$(82,023.60)$705,089.51
July Quarterly[36]July 9, 2013$705,089.51$139,928.00$(98,391.97)$746,625.54
October Quarterly[37]October 13, 2013$746,625.54$131,444.00$(68,302.41)$809,767.13
Year-end[38]January 31, 2014$809,767$174,368$(76,225)$907,909
April Quarterly[39]April 15, 2014$907,909$114,199$(86,670)$935,438
July Quarterly[40]July 15, 2014$927,880$48,750$(43,544)$933,086
October Quarterly[41]October 15, 2014$933,086$43,400$(129,396)$847,089
Running totals


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

Sarbanes won re-election to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2012. During that election cycle, Sarbanes' campaign committee raised a total of $1,010,367 and spent $640,836.[42]

Cost per vote

Sarbanes spent $3.00 per vote received in 2012.


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

Sarbanes won re-election to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2010. During that election cycle, Sarbanes' campaign committee raised a total of $908,856 and spent $829,909.[43]


Ideology and leadership

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

Based on an analysis of bill sponsorship by GovTrack, Sarbanes is a "rank-and-file Democrat" as of June 21, 2013.[44]

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.[45]

Sarbanes most often votes with:

Sarbanes least often votes with:

Lifetime voting record

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

According to the website GovTrack, Sarbanes missed 55 of 5,226 roll call votes from January 2007 to March 2013, which is 1.1% of votes during that period. This is better than the median of 2.2% among the lifetime records of representatives currently serving.[46]

Congressional staff salaries

See also: Staff salaries of United States Senators and Representatives

The website Legistorm compiles staff salary information for members of Congress. Sarbanes paid his congressional staff a total of $994,951 in 2011. He ranked 73rd on the list of the lowest paid Democratic representative staff salaries and ranked 171st overall of the lowest paid representative staff salaries in 2011. Overall, Maryland ranked 11th in average salary for representative staff. The average U.S. House of Representatives congressional staff was paid $954,912.20 in fiscal year 2011.[47]

Net worth

See also: Net worth of United States Senators and Representatives

Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by, Sarbanes's net worth as of 2012 was estimated between $93,009 and $345,000. That averages to $219,004.50, which is lower than the average net worth of Democratic representatives in 2012 of $5,700,168.36. Sarbanes ranked as the 341st most wealthy representative in 2012.[48]

John Sarbanes 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.


Sarbanes ranked 55th in the liberal rankings in 2012.[49]


Sarbanes ranked 65th in the liberal rankins in 2011.[50]

Voting with party

June 2013

John Sarbanes voted with the Democratic Party 94.6% of the time, which ranked 33 among the 201 House Democratic members as of June 2013.[51]


Sarbanes lives in Towson, Maryland, with his wife and children.[52]

Recent news

This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term John + Sarbanes + Maryland + House

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

John Sarbanes News Feed

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See also

External links


  1. Politico, "2012 Election Map, Maryland," accessed 2012
  2. U.S. House of Representatives, "John Sarbanes," accessed November 2, 2013
  3. Biographical Guide to Members of Congress, "John Sarbanes," accessed November 30, 2011
  4., "House Committee Rosters for the 113th Congress," accessed March 3, 2013
  5. U.S. House of Representatives, "Committee assignments," accessed March 31, 2014
  6. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "House of Representatives Committee Assignments," accessed November 30, 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 9.2 Baltimore Sun, "Mikulski convinced by evidence but undecided on strikes," accessed September 5, 2013
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 10.5 10.6 10.7 Project Vote Smart, "John Sarbanes Key Votes," accessed October 14, 2013
  11. The Library of Congress, "H.R.624 CISPA (2013) (Referred in Senate - RFS)," accessed August 27, 2013
  12. Clerk of U.S. House, "Roll Call Vote 31: H.R. 2642," accessed February 12, 2014
  13. Politico, "House clears Farm Bill," accessed February 12, 2014
  14. 14.0 14.1 New York Times, "Senate passes long-stalled Farm Bill, with clear winners and losers," accessed February 12, 2014
  15. 15.0 15.1, "House passes compromise $1.1 trillion budget for 2014," accessed January 20, 2014
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 U.S. House, "Roll Call Vote 21," accessed January 20, 2014
  17. Roll Call, "House passes $1.1 trillion omnibus," accessed January 20, 2014
  18. Clerk of the U.S. House, "Final vote results for Roll Call 504," accessed October 31, 2013
  19. Buzzfeed, "Government Shutdown: How We Got Here," accessed October 1, 2013
  20. Clerk of the U.S. House, "Final vote results for Roll Call 504," accessed October 31, 2013
  21. The Washington Post, "Reid, McConnell propose bipartisan Senate bill to end shutdown, extend borrowing," accessed October 16, 2013
  22. U.S. House, "Final vote results for Roll Call 550," accessed October 31, 2013
  23. U.S. House, "Roll Call Vote on the Fiscal Cliff," accessed January 4, 2013
  24. 24.0 24.1 Washington Post, "John Sarbanes adds his name to those backing Brown’s bid for Md. governor," accessed September 25, 2013
  25. 25.0 25.1 25.2 25.3 25.4 25.5 John Sarbanes' Official Campaign Website, "Issues," accessed 2012
  26. National Journal, "Modern Gerrymanders: 10 Most Contorted Congressional Districts—MAPS," accessed March 31, 2012
  27. Hometown Annapolis, "Maryland gets C on Transparency," accessed March 26, 2012
  28. Progressive Maryland, "2012 Candidates," accessed March 26, 2012
  29. Maryland State Board of Elections, "2012 Primary Elections," accessed 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. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 7, 2006," accessed March 28, 2013
  33. Open Secrets, "John Sarbanes," accessed May 16, 2013
  34. Federal Election Commission, "John Sarbanes 2014 Summary reports," accessed October 28, 2013
  35. Federal Election Commission, "John Sarbanes April Quarterly," accessed July 25, 2013
  36. Federal Election Commission, "John Sarbanes July Quarterly," accessed July 25, 2013
  37. Federal Election Commission, "October Quarterly," accessed October 28, 2013
  38. Federal Election Commission, "Year End Report," accessed February 17, 2014
  39. Federal Election Commission, "April Quarterly," accessed April 21, 2014
  40. Federal Election Commission, "July Quarterly," accessed October 15, 2014]
  41. Federal Election Commission, "October Quarterly," accessed October 15, 2014
  42. Open Secrets, "2012 Re-Election Cycle," accessed February 16, 2013
  43. Open Secrets, "John Sarbanes 2010 Re-Election Cycle," accessed November 30, 2011
  44. GovTrack, "Sarbanes," accessed June 21, 2013
  45. OpenCongress, "John Sarbanes," accessed August 5, 2013
  46. GovTrack, "John Sarbanes," accessed April 2013
  47. LegiStorm, "Sarbanes," accessed 2012
  48. OpenSecrets, "Sarbanes (D-MD), 2012," accessed February 18, 2014
  49. National Journal, "TABLE: House Liberal Scores by Issue Area," accessed February 26, 2013
  50. National Journal, "Searchable Vote Ratings Tables: House," accessed February 23, 2012
  51. OpenCongress, "Voting With Party," accessed July 2014
  52. Official House Site, "Biography," accessed November 30, 2011
Political offices
Preceded by
Ben Cardin (D)
U.S. House of Representatives - Maryland, District 3
Succeeded by