Difference between revisions of "Michele Bachmann"

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Revision as of 07:27, 10 June 2014

Michele Bachmann
Michele Bachmann.jpg
U.S. House, Minnesota, District 6
In office
January 3, 2007-Present
Term ends
January 3, 2015
Years in position 8
PredecessorMark Kennedy (R)
Base salary$174,000/year
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 6, 2012
First electedNovember 7, 2006
Next generalNovember 4, 2014
Campaign $$34,679,659
Term limitsN/A
Prior offices
Minnesota State Senate
High schoolAnoka High School, Anoka, MN
Bachelor'sWinona State University
J.D.Coburn School of Law, Oral Roberts University
Date of birthApril 6, 1956
Place of birthWaterloo, IA
Net worth$1,186,007
ReligionEvangelical Christian
Office website
Campaign website
Michele Marie Bachmann (b. April 6, 1956, in Waterloo, Iowa) is a Republican member of the U.S. House of Representatives representing Minnesota's 6th Congressional District. Bachmann was first elected to the House in 2006.[1] She won re-election on November 6, 2012.[2]

On May 29, 2013, Bachmann announced that she would not be seeking re-election to Minnesota's 6th Congressional District for a fifth term. Jim Graves, her 2012 opponent, lost to Bachmann by only 1.2% and was planning on challenging her again this cycle. She is also under a Federal Election Commission investigation of her 2012 presidential campaign's finances.[3]

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


Bachmann was born in 1956 in Waterloo, IA. She earned her B.A. from Winona State University in 1978 and her J.D. from Oral Roberts University's Coburn School of Law. She also earned an L.L.M. from the College of William and Mary in 1988. Prior to her political career, Bachmann worked as a tax attorney in the US Treasury Department.[4]


Below is an abbreviated outline of Bachmann's professional and political career:[4]

  • 2001-2007: Minnesota State Senate
  • 2007-Present: U.S. House of Representatives, 6th Congressional District of Minnesota

Committee assignments

U.S. House


Bachmann serves on the following committees:[5]


Bachmann served on the following House committees[6]:


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.[7] For more information pertaining to Bachmann's voting record in the 113th Congress, please see the below sections.[8]

National security

NSA surveillance programs amendment

The U.S. House of Representatives voted on July 24, 2013 and narrowly defeated an amendment brought by Justin Amash meant to halt the National Security Agency's bulk collection of surveillance data.[9] The amendment would have stripped funding for an NSA program that collects the telephone records of people in the United States, but not the content of calls.[10]

The vote scrambled the usual ideological fault lines in the House, with conservative Republicans siding with liberal Democrats.[11] The House voted 205-217 to defeat the amendment with more Democrats than Republicans voting in favor of the amendment.[12][10][13] From Amash's own party, 134 Republicans voted against the amendment, with only 94 agreeing with it, while 111 Democrats voted for the amendment, with 83 voting against.[12]

Among the Republicans opposing the measure was Michele Bachmann. Bachmann defended the NSA's data collection programs, arguing that "here’s no Fourth Amendment expectation of privacy or right to the business-record exception" concerning the collection of phone metadata.[12] She continued by saying, “If we take this program and remove from the United States the distinct advantage that we have versus any other country, it will be those who are seeking to achieve the goals of Islamic jihad who will benefit by putting the United States at risk, and it will be the United States which will be at risk. I believe that we need to win the War on Terror. We need to defeat the goals and aims of Islamic jihad, and for that reason I will be voting no on the Amash amendment.”[12] Bachman was joined by, among others, Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor in opposing the amendment.[12]

The House on July 24, 2013 overwhelmingly passed a separate NSA amendment, put forward by Rep. Mike Pompeo, that was intended as a middle ground but was blasted by civil liberties advocates as achieving nothing.[10] The measure would ensure that the NSA is barred from acquiring or storing the content of emails and phone calls of people in the United States, but it would allow the NSA to continue storing phone metadata.[10]


Neutral/Abstain Bachmann did not vote on 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.[14]

DHS Appropriations

Voted "Yes" Bachmann voted in support of HR 2217 - the DHS Appropriations Act (2014) Act of 2014. The bill passed the House on June 6, 2013, with a vote of 245 - 182 and was largely along party lines.[14]

Keystone Pipeline Amendment

Voted "No" Bachmann opposed 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.[14]


Farm Bill
See also: United States Farm Bill 2013

Voted "Yes" Bachmann voted for the Farm Bill on July 11, 2013. The bill passed in a 216-208 vote.[15] The bill passed included farm policy, but did not include food stamps.[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.[17] 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.[18] Bachmann voted against the stopgap spending bill that would have delayed the individual mandate.[17]

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 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.[19] 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. Bachmann voted against HR 2775.[20]


Morton Memos Prohibition

Voted "Yes" Bachmann voted for 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.[21] The vote largely followed party lines.[22]


Repealing Obamacare

Voted "Yes" Bachmann has supported all attempts to repeal or delay the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.[23]

Bachmann criticized President Obama in December 2013 on Fox News. She said, "He has rewritten the Constitution for himself as a part of his effort to fundamentally transform the United States of America." She added, "What are these delays about, what do they have in common? They all put off the very negative effects of Obamacare until the next election. That’s what this is all about. This is all political management. But we believe the constitution has to be respected." In a final jab, Bachamann said, "He doesn’t want to be bound by any law, and that’s the rub. The Constitution says no man is above the law, including the president of the United States. I think the president would be very, sorely unimpressed with what he hears today."[24]

Social issues


Voted "Yes" Bachmann voted for 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.[25]

Violence Against Women Act

Voted "No" Bachmann voted against the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act which provides aid to prosecute cases of violent acts against women and men.[26]

WWII Memorial

A group of World War II veterans, associated with the Mississippi Gulf Coast Honor Flight, wanting to pay their respects at the WWII Memorial were met with signs and barriers upon their arrival. They refused to let their trip be affected by the government shutdown and made their way through the barriers. Many congressional members from both parties spoke their approval of the move, including Sen. Sherrod Brown and Rep. Michele Bachmann, who was in attendance. Rep. Steve King and Rep. Steve Palazzo aided the veterans by distracting park police and helping move the gates.[27]

Previous congressional sessions

Fiscal Cliff

Voted "No" Bachmann 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. She 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.[28]

National security

Voted "Yes" Bachmann voted in favor of extending the PATRIOT Act's roving wiretaps in 2011.[29]

Removal of troops from Afghanistan

Voted "No" Bachmann opposed a resolution to withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan.[30]

American involvement in Libya

Voted "Yes" Bachmann supported a ban on using armed forces in Libya without Congressional approval in 2011.[30]

FEC fines

Bachmann's House campaign committee will have to pay $8,000 in fines for failing to report $208,502 in contributions and $206,499 in spending during the 2010 election cycle. Her committee will also send a representative to a FEC conference and have an external review of her 2013 and 2014 filings.[31]

Bachmann is also under FBI scrutiny over campaign funding misuse related to her 2012 presidential campaign. Andy Parrish, her former chief of staff has reportedly said in a sworn affidavit that Bachmann "knew and approved of" payments to Iowa state Senator Kent Sorenson. Legislators are not allowed to be employed by political campaigns. Peter Waldron, national field coordinator in Iowa for Bachmann's campaign, filed a FEC complaint alleging that Bachmann paid Sorenson and misused leadership PAC funds to pay campaign staff, including consultant Guy Short.[32]

In addition, Bachmann is also facing an investigation by the Office of Congressional Ethics over the campaign funding misuse allegations. Both Sorneson and Bachmann deny any payments were made.[33]

In November 2013, Sorenson's residence in Des Moines was raided by the FBI. According to attorney Theodore Sporer, "They took computers and things that would be used to verify or validate communications with presidential entities."[34]

Israel trip

Bachmann was gifted a free trip to Israel in November 2013 by the U.S. Israel Education Association. Bachmann took her son along with her on the trip. According to Roll Call, "The purpose of the trip was to receive briefings on the U.S. Israel relationship and Israel’s relationship to other countries in the region." The trip agenda included sightseeing and tours of the Defense Ministry and Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd. The trip cost a total of $25,274.[35]



See also: Minnesota's 6th Congressional District elections, 2014

On May 29, 2013, Bachmann announced she will not seek re-election in 2014 explaining, "The law limits anyone from serving as president of the United States for more than eight years. And in my opinion, well, eight years is also long enough for any individual to serve as a representative for a specific congressional district."[36]

A May 15, 2013 poll by Public Policy Polling showed Jim Graves, Bachmann's likely Democratic challenger in 2014, leading Bachmann 47% to 45%, respectively, with a 4.4 point margin of error. This race would have been a rematch of the 2012 election, one that Graves lost by 1.2%. Bachmann had already started to run campaign ads.[37]


Congressional run

See also: Minnesota's 6th Congressional District elections, 2012

Bachmann ran successfully for re-election for the 6th Congressional District. She defeated Aubrey Immelman and Stephen Thompson in the Republican primary.[38] She defeated Jim Graves in the November general election.[2]

U.S. House, Minnesota District 6 General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngMichele Bachmann Incumbent 50.5% 179,240
     Democratic Jim Graves 49.3% 174,944
     NA Write-in 0.3% 969
Total Votes 355,153
Source: Minnesota Secretary of State, "Official Election Results, 2012 General Election" (dead link)
Minnesota's 6th Congressional District Republican Primary, 2012
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngMichele Bachmann Incumbent 80.3% 14,569
Stephen Thompson 12.8% 2,322
Aubrey Immelman 6.8% 1,242
Total Votes 18,133

Presidential run

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

Bachmann launched her campaign to run in the 2012 presidential election on June 13, 2011.[39] After finishing in sixth place in the Iowa caucuses, she suspended her campaign, making the announcement on January 4, 2012. She received only 5 percent of the vote in her home state of Iowa.[40]

Full history

Campaign donors

Comprehensive donor information for Bachmann is available dating back to 2006. Based on available campaign finance records, Bachmann raised a total of $34,679,659 during that time period. This information was last updated on May 16, 2013.[44]

Michele Bachmann's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2012 U.S. House (Minnesota, District 6) Won $14,995,937
2010 U.S. House (Minnesota, District 6) Won $13,562,811
2008 U.S. House (Minnesota, District 6) Won $3,494,045
2006 U.S. House (Minnesota, District 6) Won $2,626,866
Grand Total Raised $34,679,659


Despite Bachmann's announcement that she would not seek re-election in 2014, her campaign committee continued to report contributions and expenditures to the Federal Election Commission. Below are Bachmann's reports.[45]


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

Bachmann won election to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2012. During that election cycle, Bachmann's campaign committee raised a total of $14,995,937 and spent $11,946,232.[51]

Cost per vote

Bachmann spent $66.65 per vote received in 2012.


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

Bachmann won re-election to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2010. During that re-election cycle, Bachmann's campaign committee raised a total of $13,562,811 and spent $11,661,973.[52]


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.[53]

Bachmann most often votes with:

Bachmann least often votes with:

Ideology and leadership

Based on an analysis of bill sponsorship by GovTrack, Bachmann is a "far-right Republican leader," as of September 26, 2013.[54]

Lifetime voting record

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

According to the website GovTrack, Bachmann missed 562 of 5,229 roll call votes from Jan 2007 to Apr 2013, which is 10.7% of votes during that period. This is worse than the median of 2.2% among the lifetime records of representatives currently serving.[54]

Congressional Staff Salaries

See also: Staff salaries of United States Senators and Representatives

The website Legistorm compiles staff salary information for members of Congress. Bachmann paid her congressional staff a total of $891,620 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.[55]

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, Bachmann's net worth as of 2012 was estimated between $67,016 and $2,304,998. That averages to $1,186,007, which is lower than the average net worth of Republican representatives in 2012 of $7,614,097.96. Bachmann ranked as the 188th most wealthy representative in 2012.[56]

Michele Bachmann Yearly Net Worth
YearAverage Net Worth
Growth from 2006 to 2012:-2%
Average annual growth:-0%[57]
Comparatively, the American citizen experienced a median yearly decline in net worth of -0.94%.[58]
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, 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, Bachmann was ranked the 80th most conservative representative during 2012.[59]


According to the data released in 2012, Michele Bachmann was ranked the 101st most conservative representative during 2011.[60]

Voting with party


Michele Bachmann voted with the Republican Party 95.9% of the time, which ranked 125th among the 234 House Republican members as of June 2013.[61]


Bachmann (nee Amble) has been married to her husband, Marcus, for over thirty years. They have five biological children and have raised twenty three foster children. They live in Stillwater, MN.[62]

Recent news

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

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

Michele Bachmann News Feed

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See also

External links



  1. WBUR, "5 Things You May Not Know About Michele Bachmann," accessed December 15, 2011
  2. 2.0 2.1 ABC News, "General Election Results 2012-Minnesota," accessed November 7, 2012
  3. Politico, "Michele Bachmann not running again," accessed May 29, 2013
  4. 4.0 4.1 Biographical Guide to Members of Congress, "Michele Bachmann," accessed December 10, 2011
  5. CQ.com, "House Committee Rosters for the 113th Congress"
  6. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "House of Representatives Committee Assignments," accessed December 3, 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. Huffington Post, "Justin Amash Amendment To Stop NSA Data Collection Voted Down In House (UPDATE)," accessed July 26, 2013
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 Politico, "Justin Amash prevails as amendment fails," accessed July 26, 2013
  11. Politico, "How the Justin Amash NSA amendment got a vote," accessed July 26, 2013
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 The Atlantic Wire, "The Amash Amendment Fails, Barely," accessed July 26, 2013
  13. United States House, "Final Vote Results," accessed July 26, 2013
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 Project Vote Smart, "Representative Michele Bachmann's Voting Records on National Security," accessed September 26, 2013
  15. Vote Smart, "Bachmann on agriculture," accessed September 26, 2013
  16. New York Times, "House Republicans Push Through Farm Bill, Without Food Stamps," accessed September 17, 2013
  17. 17.0 17.1 Clerk of the U.S. House, "Final vote results for Roll Call 504," accessed October 31, 2013
  18. Buzzfeed, "Government Shutdown: How We Got Here," accessed October 1, 2013
  19. The Washington Post, "Reid, McConnell propose bipartisan Senate bill to end shutdown, extend borrowing," accessed October 16, 2013
  20. U.S. House, "Final vote results for Roll Call 550," accessed October 31, 2013
  21. The Library of Congress, "H.AMDT.136," accessed August 28, 2013
  22. Project Vote Smart, "Representative Michele Bachmann's Voting Records on Immigration," accessed September 26, 2013
  23. Project Vote Smart, "Representative Michele Bachmann's Voting Records on Issue: Health and Healthcare," accessed September 26, 2013
  24. Politico, "Michele Bachmann: Obama rewrote Constitution," accessed December 3, 2013
  25. Project Vote Smart, "Bachmann on abortion," accessed September 26, 2013
  26. On the Issues, "Bachmann on Civil Rights," accessed September 11, 2013
  27. Huffington Post, "Badass WWII Veterans Storm Memorial On National Mall, Defy Government Shutdown Closure," accessed October 1, 2013
  28. U.S. House, "Roll Call Vote on the Fiscal Cliff," accessed January 4, 2013
  29. On the Issues, "Bachmann on Homeland Security," accessed September 11, 2013
  30. 30.0 30.1 On the Issues, "Michele Bachmann on War and Peace," accessed September 11, 2013
  31. Politico, "FEC fines Michele Bachmann's campaign," accessed May 31, 2013
  32. Washington Post, "FBI interested in Bachmann campaign finance case," accessed May 21, 2013
  33. Washington Post, "Michele Bachmann faces congressional ethics probe," accessed May 21, 2013
  34. Star Tribune, "FBI raids home of top Bachmann aide in Iowa," accessed December 4, 2013
  35. Roll Call, "Rep. Michele Bachmann Takes Son on Free Trip to Israel," accessed November 26, 2013
  36. Politico, "Michele Bachmann not running again," accessed May 29, 2013
  37. Politco, "Poll: Michele Bachmann in for tight fight," accessed May 21, 2013
  38. CBS, "Primary Results 2012," accessed May 30, 2013
  39. CNN, "Rep. Michele Bachmann makes presidential run official," accessed June 13, 2011
  40. ABC News, "Michele Bachmann Drops Out of Presidential Race," accessed January 4, 2012
  41. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2010," accessed March 28, 2013
  42. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 4, 2008," accessed March 28, 2013
  43. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 7, 2006," accessed March 28, 2013
  44. OpenSecrets, "Michele Bachmann," accessed May 16, 2013
  45. Federal Election Commission, "Bachmann 2014 Summary reports," accessed July 18, 2013
  46. FEC, "April Quarterly," accessed July 18, 2013
  47. FEC, "July Quarterly," accessed July 18, 2013
  48. FEC, "October Quarterly," accessed October 23, 2013
  49. FEC, "Year-End Quarterly," accessed February 11, 2014
  50. FEC, "April Quarterly," accessed May 16, 2014
  51. OpenSecrets, "2012 Re-Election Cycle," accessed February 15, 2013
  52. OpenSecrets, "Michele Bachmann 2010 Re-Election Cycle," accessed December 11, 2011
  53. OpenCongress, "Michele Bachmann," accessed August 5, 2013
  54. 54.0 54.1 GovTrack, "Michele Bachmann," accessed September 26, 2012
  55. LegiStorm, "Michele Bachmann," accessed October 8, 2012
  56. OpenSecrets, "Michele Bachmann (R-MN), 2012," accessed February 18, 2014
  57. This figure represents the total percentage growth divided by the number of years for which there are net worth figures for each member.
  58. This figure was calculated using median asset data from the Census Bureau. Please see the Congressional Net Worth data for Ballotpedia spreadsheet for more information on this calculation.
  59. National Journal, "TABLE: House Liberal Scores by Issue Area," accessed February 26, 2013
  60. National Journal, "Searchable Vote Ratings Tables: House," accessed February 23, 2012
  61. OpenCongress, "Voting With Party," accessed July 2014
  62. Official House Site, "Biography," accessed December 11, 2011
Political offices
Preceded by
Mark Kennedy
U.S. House of Representatives - Minneosta District 6
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Minnesota State Senate
Succeeded by