Michael Bennet

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Michael Bennet
Michael Bennet.jpg
U.S. Senate, Colorado
In office
Term ends
January 3, 2017
Years in position 6
PredecessorKen Salazar (D)
Base salary$174,000/year
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 2, 2010
Next generalNovember 8, 2016
Campaign $$11,536,750
AppointedJanuary 22, 2009
Term limitsN/A
Bachelor'sWesleyan University
J.D.Yale Law School
Date of birthNovember 28, 1964
Place of birthNew Delhi, India
Net worth$12,108,015
Office website
Michael Bennet (b. November 28, 1964) is a Democratic member of the U.S. Senate from the state of Colorado. Bennet was first appointed to the Senate in 2009.

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


Below is an abbreviated outline of Bennet's academic, professional and political career:[1]

  • 1987: Graduated from Wesleyan University with B.A.
  • 1993: Graduated from Yale Law School with J.D.
  • 1995-1997: Counsel to U.S. deputy attorney general
  • 1997: Special assistant U.S. attorney, Conn.
  • 1997-2003: Managing director, Anschutz Investment Co.
  • 2003-2005: Chief of staff to mayor of Denver
  • 2005-2009: Superintendent, Denver Public Schools
  • 2009-Present: U.S. Senator from Colorado

Committee assignments

U.S. Senate


Bennet serves on the following Senate committees[2]:

  • Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry
    • Subcommittee on Nutrition, Specialty Crops, Food and Agricultural Research
    • Subcommittee on Conservation, Forestry and Natural Resources
    • Subcommittee on Jobs, Rural Economic Growth and Energy Innovation
  • Finance
    • The Subcommittee on International Trade, Customs, and Global Competitiveness
    • The Subcommittee on Energy, Natural Resources, and Infrastructure
    • The Subcommittee on Taxation and IRS Oversight Chair
  • Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
    • Subcommittee on Employment and Workplace Safety
    • Subcommittee on Children and Families



Gang of Eight

Bennet is a member of the group of senators deemed the "Gang of Eight." This term is used to reference eight of the most influential Senators on immigration reform and includes four senators from each party.[3] The group calls for comprehensive and bipartisan immigration legislation that includes their "four basic pillars":

  • 1. A “tough but fair path to citizenship . . . .contingent upon securing our borders and tracking whether legal immigrants have left the country as required”;
  • 2. Reform our legal immigration system with a greater eye toward our economic needs;
  • 3. Workplace verification; and
  • 4. Setting up a system for admitting future workers (although the term “guest worker” is not used).[4]

Specific votes

Senator Bennet voted for the stimulus bill.[5] 57% of U.S. voters believe that the stimulus has either hurt the economy (36%) or had no impact (21%). 38% believe the stimulus helped the economy. [6]

Bennet also supported the health care reform bill.[7] 57% of likely voters at least somewhat favor repeal of the health care reform bill, including 46% who strongly favor repeal. 35% of likely voters oppose repeal. 51% of likely voters believe the health care reform bill will be bad for the country, while 36% believe it will be beneficial.[8]

Finally, Bennet voted against an amendment that would have defunded the Obama Administration's lawsuit against Arizona over its new immigration law.[9] As of July 8, 2010, 56% of U.S. voters were opposed to the Obama Administration's challenge to the Arizona immigration law.[10]

Fiscal Cliff

Voted "No" Bennet 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 one of three Democrats that voted against the bill. The bill was passed in the Senate by a 89/8 vote on January 1, 2013.[11]



On November 2, 2010, Michael Bennet won election to the United States Senate. He defeated Ken Buck (R), Bob Kinsey (G), Maclyn Stringer (L), Jason Napolitano (Independent Reform), Charley Miller (Unaffiliated) and J. Moromisato (Unaffiliated) in the general election.[12]

U.S. Senate, Colorado General Election, 2010
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngMichael Bennet incumbent 48.1% 851,590
     Republican Ken Buck 46.4% 822,731
     Green Bob Kinsey 2.2% 38,768
     Libertarian Maclyn Stringer 1.3% 22,589
     Independent Reform Jason Napolitano 1.1% 19,415
     Unaffiliated Charley Miller 0.6% 11,330
     Unaffiliated J. Moromisato 0.3% 5,767
Total Votes 1,772,190

Campaign donors

Comprehensive donor information for Bennet is available dating back to 2010. Based on available campaign finance records, Bennet raised a total of $11,536,750 during that time period. This information was last updated on March 25, 2013.[13]

Michael Bennet's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2010 US Senate (Colorado) Won $11,536,750
Grand Total Raised $11,536,750


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

Bennet won re-election to the U.S. Senate in 2010. During that re-election cycle, Bennet's campaign committee raised a total of $11,536,750 and spent $10,875,565.[14]

His top 5 contributors between 2005-2010 were:


Ideology and leadership

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

Based on an analysis of bill sponsorship by GovTrack, Bennet is a "rank-and-file Democrat" as of June 2013.[15]

Lifetime voting record

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

According to the website GovTrack, Bennet missed 6 of 1,264 roll call votes from January 2009 to March 2013. This amounts to 0.5%, which is better than the median of 1.7% among current senators as of March 2013.[16]

Congressional staff salaries

See also: Staff salaries of United States Senators and Representatives

The website Legistorm compiles staff salary information for members of Congress. Bennet paid his congressional staff a total of $2,633,822 in 2011. He ranked 21 on the list of the lowest paid Democratic Senatorial Staff Salaries and he ranked 58th overall of the lowest paid Senatorial Staff Salaries in 2011. Overall, Colorado ranked 18th in average salary for senatorial staff. The average U.S. Senate congressional staff was paid $2,529,141.70 in fiscal year 2011.[17]

Net worth

See also: Net Worth of United States Senators and Representatives


Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by OpenSecrets.org - The Center for Responsive Politics, Bennet's net worth as of 2011 was estimated between $4,901,030 and $19,315,000. That averages to $12,108,015, which is lower than the average net worth of Democratic Senators in 2011 of $20,795,450. His average net worth decreased by 0.96% from 2010.[18]


Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by OpenSecrets.org - The Center for Responsive Politics, Bennet's net worth as of 2010 was estimated between $4,986,027 and $19,465,000. That averages to $3,466,263.50, which is lower than the average net worth of Democratic Senators in 2010 of $19,383,524 .[19]

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. Bennet ranked 45th in the liberal rankings among U.S. Senators in 2012.[20]


Each year National Journal publishes an analysis of how liberally or conservatively each member of congress voted in the previous year. Bennet ranked 40th in the liberal rankings among U.S. Senators.[21]

Voting with party


Bennet voted with the Democratic Party 92.4% of the time, which ranked 34th among the 52 Senate Democratic members as of June 2013.[22]


Bennet and his wife, Susan, have three children.

Recent news

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External links


  1. Biographical Director of the United States Congress "Michael F. Bennet," Accessed October 20, 2011
  2. Congressional Quarterly "Senate Committee List" Accessed January 18, 2013
  3. ABC News "Who Are the Gang Of 8 in Senate Immigration Debate?" Accessed May 7, 2013
  4. Washington Post "Gang of Eight immigration plan: Reality-based legislating" Accessed May 7, 2013
  5. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/02/10/AR2009021003665.html
  6. Rasmussen "38% Say Stimulus Plan Helped Economy, 36% Say It Hurt," August 24, 2010
  7. http://www.govtrack.us/congress/vote.xpd?vote=s2009-396
  8. Rasmussen "61% Favor Repeal of Health Care Law," September 20, 2010
  9. http://www.govtrack.us/congress/vote.xpd?vote=s2010-2144
  10. http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/current_events/immigration/56_oppose_justice_department_challenge_of_arizona_law_61_favor_similar_law_in_their_state
  11. U.S. Senate "Roll Call Vote on the Fiscal Cliff" Accessed January 4, 2013.
  12. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2010," accessed March 28, 2013
  13. Open Secrets "Career Fundraising for Michael Bennet," Accessed March 25, 2013
  14. Open Secrets "Michael Bennet 2010 Election Cycle," Accessed October 22 2011
  15. Gov Track "Michael Bennet," Accessed June 7, 2013
  16. GovTrack, "Michael Bennet," Accessed April 2, 2013
  17. LegiStorm "Michael Bennet"
  18. OpenSecrets.org, "Bennet, (D-Col), 2011"
  19. OpenSecrets.org, "Bennet, (D-Col), 2010"
  20. National Journal, "2012 Congressional Vote Ratings," February 21, 2013
  21. National Journal, "Searchable Vote Ratings Tables: Senate," February 23, 2012
  22. OpenCongress, "Voting With Party," accessed July 2014
Political offices
Preceded by
Ken Salazar
U.S. Senate - Colorado
Succeeded by