Niki Tsongas

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Niki Tsongas
Niki Tsongas.jpg
U.S. House, Massachusetts, District 3
In office
October 16, 2007-Present
Term ends
January 3, 2015
Years in position 8
PredecessorJim McGovern (D)
Base salary$174,000/year
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 6, 2012
First electedOctober 16, 2007
Next generalNovember 4, 2014
Campaign $$6,850,301
Term limitsN/A
Bachelor'sSmith College
J.D.Boston University
Date of birthApril 26, 1946
Place of birthChico, California
ProfessionAttorney, social worker
Net worth$4,634,023
Office website
Campaign website
Niki Tsongas (b. April 26, 1946) is a Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives representing Massachusetts' 3rd congressional district. Tsongas was first elected to the House in a 2007 special election replacing Rep. Marty Meehan whose resignation is due to becoming the Chancellor of University of Massachusetts Lowell. Tsongas is currently serving her fourth consecutive term, having won re-election on November 6, 2012. Tsongas Previously served Massachusetts' 5th congressional district but due to 2010 redistricting she now represents district 3. [1]

Tsongas is set to run for re-election in Massachusetts' 3rd congressional district in the general election on November 4, 2014.

Prior to her congressional career Tsongas worked in the Department of Welfare as well as opening Lowell, Massachusetts' first all-female law firm. [2]

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


Tsongas was born in Chico, California. Her father, Colonel Russell Elmer Sauvage, was an engineer in the United States Air Force, and survived the devastating attacks on Pearl Harbor. [3] After finishing high school in Japan, where her father was stationed, Niki spent one year at Michigan State University before transferring to Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts. She then went on to get a law degree at Boston University. In 1969, she married the late Paul Tsongas, a former Massachusetts Congressman and Senator. She has three daughters.


Tsongas worked as a social worker for the Department of Welfare before opening the first all-female law practice in Lowell, Massachusetts. From 1997 to 2009, she was Dean of External Affairs at Middlesex Community College. She has served as a member of Congress since 2007. [4]

Committee assignments

U.S. House


Tsongas serves on the following committees:[5]


Tsongas served on the following committees:

Voting record

Specific votes

Tsongas voted for TARP.[8] According to a Gallup poll from September 13, 2010, 61% of Americans disapprove of TARP, while 37% approve.[9]

Tsongas also supported the auto bailout.[10] As of September 13, 2010: 56% of Americans disapproved of the auto bailout, while 43% supported it.[11]

In addition, Rep. Tsongas voted for the stimulus bill.[12] 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. [13]

Tsongas also voted in favor of the "Cash for Clunkers" bill.[14] According to a June 2009 Rasmussen Reports poll, 54% of likely U.S. voters opposed Cash for Clunkers, while 35% supported it.[15]

Tsongas supported the "Cap and Trade" bill.[16] Just after the bill’s passage, 42% of likely U.S. voters said that cap and trade would hurt the economy, while 19% believed it would help. 15% said that the bill would have no impact.[17]

Finally, Tsongas voted in favor of the health care reform bill.[18] 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.[19]

Fiscal Cliff

Voted "Yes" Tsongas 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. She was one of 172 Democrats that voted in favor of the bill. The bill was passed in the House by a 257/167 vote on January 1, 2013.[20]

Campaign themes


On her campaign website, Tsongas listed eight issues. They are:[21]

  • Jobs and Economy

On her website, Tsongas says, "Because this recession has affected people who never expected to need help, and I believe government can be the catalyst to jumpstarting our economy."

  • Support Troops and Veterans

On her website, Tsongas says, "Because these are the people I grew up with and as a member of the Armed Services Committee, it is my responsibility to support and protect the men and women serving on our behalf, and our veterans whose lives have been changed forever by the experience of war."

  • Deficit Reduction

On her website, Tsongas says, "As a member of the Budget Committee, I know we cannot continue to mortgage the future of our children and grandchildren by charging government expenses on the national credit card. Crafting a budget for the nation must be done responsibly and with an understanding of the long term consequences of our choices."

  • Education

On her website, Tsongas says, "I believe there are few issues as vital to our economic future as developing a trained and educated workforce."

  • Dignified Retirement

On her website, Tsongas says, "Because if you’ve worked hard your whole life like my parents did, you deserve to be able to rely on your savings, pension and the solid foundation of Social Security."

  • Energy

On her website, Tsongas says, "Because addressing climate change and reducing our dependence on foreign oil is not just about solving the global warming problem facing the next generation – it has the immediate effect of creating high paying job opportunities if we invest in alternative technologies now."

  • Hold institutions accountable

On her website, Tsongas says, "For our long-term success, we need to guarantee that financial firms have the tools they need to help grow the economy but also have the safeguards necessary to prevent another crisis."

  • Defend rights of the people

On her website, Tsongas says, "I have advocated for the extension of equal rights, the repeal of discriminatory laws like Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, the elimination of hate-motivated violence, and the improved health and well being for all, regardless of sexual orientation, gender, or expression." [21]



See also Redistricting in Massachusetts and United States House of Representatives elections in Massachusetts, 2012

Due to redistricting, Tsongas sought re-election in the 3rd Congressional District of Massachusetts. She faced no opposition in the Democratic primary on September 6, 2012. [22]

U.S. House, Massachusetts District 3 General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngNiki Tsongas Incumbent 63.3% 212,119
     Republican Jon Golnik 32.6% 109,372
     N/A All Others 0.1% 262
     N/A Blank Votes 4% 13,358
Total Votes 335,111
Source: Massachusetts Secretary of State "Return of Votes"

Full history

Campaign donors

Comprehensive donor information for Tsongas is available dating back to 2008. Based on available campaign finance records, Tsongas raised a total of $6,850,301 during that time period. This information was last updated on May 16, 2013.[26]

Niki Tsongas's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2012 U.S. House (Massachusetts, District 3) Won $1,606,981
2010 U.S. House (Massachusetts, District 5) Won $1,950,422
2008 U.S. House (Massachusetts, District 5) Won $3,292,898
Grand Total Raised $6,850,301


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

Tsongas won election to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2012. During that election cycle, Tsongas' campaign committee raised a total of $1,606,982 and spent $1,440,655.[27]


Tsongas won re-election to the U.S. House in 2010. In that cycle, she raised a total of $1,950,442 and spent $1,932,912. [28]


Ideology and leadership

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

Based on an analysis of bill sponsorship by GovTrack, Tsongas is a "rank-and-file Democrat" as of June 24, 2013.[29]

Lifetime voting record

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

According to the website GovTrack, Tsongas missed 132 of 4,245 roll call votes from Oct 2007 to Mar 2013, which is 3.1% of votes during that period. This is worse than the median of 2.2% among the lifetime records of representatives currently serving.[30]

Congressional staff salaries

See also: Staff salaries of United States Senators and Representatives

The website Legistorm compiles staff salary information for members of Congress. Tsongas paid her congressional staff a total of $1,079,583 in 2011. She ranked 65th on the list of the highest paid Democratic Representative Staff Salaries and she ranked 85th overall of the highest paid Representative Staff Salaries in 2011. Overall, Massachusetts ranked 2nd in average salary for representative staff. The average U.S. House of Representatives congressional staff was paid $954,912.20 in fiscal year 2011.[31]

Net worth

See also: Net Worth of United States Senators and Representatives


Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by - The Center for Responsive Politics, Tsongas' net worth as of 2011 was estimated between $1,298,049 and $7,969,998. This averages to $4,634,023, which is a 1.49% increase since 2010. This is lower than the $5,107,874 average net worth for Democratic representatives in 2011.[32]


Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by - The Center for Responsive Politics, Tsongas' net worth as of 2010 was estimated between $1,252,045 and $7,879,998. That averages to $4,566,021.50, which is lower than the average net worth of Democratic Representatives in 2010 of $4,465,875.[33]

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, Tsongas was ranked the 78th most liberal representative during 2012.[34]


According to the data released in 2012, Niki Tsongas was ranked the 106th most liberal representative during 2011.[35]

Voting with party

June 2013

Niki Tsongas voted with the Democratic Party 95.6% of the time, which ranked 15 among the 201 House Democratic members as of June 2013.[36]


Tsongas was married to Paul Tsongas, who died in 1997. She has three daughters.

Recent news

This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term Niki + Tsongas + Massachusetts + House

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

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External links


Wikipedia® has an article on:


  1. [1]
  2. [2]
  3. Official U.S. House Website "Biography," Accessed December 4, 2011
  4. Washington Post Who Runs Gov accessed December 1, 2011
  5., "House Committee Rosters for the 113th Congress"
  6. House Armed Services Committee Members
  7. Natural Resources Committee Members
  9. Gallup "Among Recent Bills, Financial Reform a Lone Plus for Congress," September 13, 2010
  10. US House Clerk "Roll Call 690" December 10, 2008
  11. Gallup "Among Recent Bills, Financial Reform a Lone Plus for Congress," September 13, 2010
  12. US House Clerk "Roll Call 46," January 28, 2009
  13. Rasmussen "38% Say Stimulus Plan Helped Economy, 36% Say It Hurt," August 24, 2010
  14. US House Clerk "Roll Call 314," June 9, 2009
  15. Rasmussen "54% Oppose “Cash for Clunkers” Plan To Spur Purchase of Greener Cars," June 23, 2009
  16. U.S. House Clerk "Roll Call Vote on Cap and Trade Bill," 2009
  17. Rasmussen "42% Say Climate Change Bill Will Hurt The Economy," June 30, 2009
  18. US House Clerk "Roll Call 165," March 21, 2010
  19. Rasmussen "61% Favor Repeal of Health Care Law," September 20, 2010
  20. U.S. House "Roll Call Vote on the Fiscal Cliff" Accessed January 4, 2013.
  21. 21.0 21.1 Niki Tsongas for Congress "Issues" August 11, 2012
  22. Eagle Tribune "Ex-Gov. Cellucci to chair Golnik 3rd District race" Accessed January 22, 2012
  23. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2010," accessed March 28, 2013
  24. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 4, 2008," accessed March 28, 2013
  26. Open Secrets "Niki Tsongas" Accessed May 16, 2013
  27. Open Secrets " 2012 Re-Election Cycle," Accessed February 15, 2013
  28. Open Secrets Niki Tsongas 2010 Election Cycle
  29. Gov Track "Tsongas" Accessed June 24, 2013
  30. GovTrack, "Niki Tsongas" Accessed April 2013
  31. LegiStorm "Nikki Tsongas"
  32., "Tsongas, (D-Massachusetts), 2011"
  33., "Tsongas, (D-Massachusetts), 2010"
  34. National Journal, "TABLE: House Liberal Scores by Issue Area," February 26, 2013
  35. National Journal, "Searchable Vote Ratings Tables: House," February 23, 2012
  36. OpenCongress, "Voting With Party," accessed July 2014
Political offices
Preceded by
Jim McGovern
U.S. House of Representatives - Massachusetts District 3
Succeeded by
Preceded by
U.S. House of Representatives - Massachusetts District 5
Succeeded by
Ed Markey (D)