Robin Kelly

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Robin Kelly
Robin Kelly.png
U.S. House, Illinois, District 2
In office
April 11, 2013-Present
Term ends
January 3, 2015
Years in position 1
PredecessorJesse L. Jackson, Jr. (D)
Elections and appointments
First elected2013
Next generalNovember 4, 2014
Term limitsN/A
Prior offices
Illinois House of Representatives, District 38
Bachelor'sBradley University, 1977
Master'sBradley University, 1982
Ph.D.Northern Illinois University, 2004
BirthdayApril 30, 1956
Place of birthNew York, NY
Office website
Campaign website
Robin Kelly campaign logo
Robin Kelly (b. April 30, 1956, in New York, New York) is a Democratic member of the U.S. House representing Illinois' 2nd Congressional District.[1]

Kelly won election to the U.S. House in the special election for the 2nd Congressional District of Illinois for the open seat left by Jesse L. Jackson, Jr.. Kelly won the Democratic primary on February 26, 2013. and won in the general election on April 9, 2013.[2][3]

She served in the Illinois House of Representatives from 2002 to 2006.[4]

Kelly is running for re-election to the U.S. House in 2014. She ran unopposed in the Democratic primary on March 18, 2014.[5] The general election takes place November 4, 2014.

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


Kelly earned her BA and MA from Bradley University in 1977 and 1982, respectively.[4]


She served from District 38 of the Illinois House of Representatives from 2002 to 2006.[4]

Committee assignments

U.S. House


Kelly serves on the following committees:[6][7]

Key votes

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.[8] For more information pertaining to Kelly's voting record in the 113th Congress, please see the below sections.[9]

National security

DHS Appropriations

Voted "No" Kelly voted against 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.[10]

Keystone Pipeline Amendment

Voted "Yes" Kelly 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.[10]

CISPA (2013)

Voted "Yes" Kelly voted in favor of 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" Kelly 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

Voted "Yes" On January 29, 2014, the U.S. House approved the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013, H.R. 2642, also known as the Farm Bill.[12] The bill passed by a vote of 251-166. The nearly 1,000-page bill reformed and continued various 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] Kelly voted with 88 other Democratic representatives in favor of the bill.

2014 Budget

Voted "Yes" 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% 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. Kelly 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] Kelly 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. Kelly voted for HR 2775.[22]


Morton Memos Prohibition

Voted "No" Kelly 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" Kelly 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" Kelly 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 "No" Kelly voted against 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]


On The Issues Vote Match

Robin Kelly's Vote Match results from On The Issues.
See also: On The Issues Vote Match

On The Issues conducts a VoteMatch analysis of all Congressional members based on 20 issue areas. Rather than relying on incumbents to complete the quiz themselves, the VoteMatch analysis is conducted using voting records, statements to the media, debate transcripts or citations from books authored by or about the candidate. Based on the results of the quiz, Kelly is a Liberal Populist. Kelly received a score of 50 percent on personal issues and 24 percent on economic issues.[23]

On The Issues organization logo.
On The Issues Vote Quiz
Economic Issues Social Issues
Issue Stance Issue Stance
Legally require hiring women & minorities Strongly Favors Abortion is a woman's unrestricted right Strongly Favors
Expand ObamaCare Unknown Comfortable with same-sex marriage Unknown
Vouchers for school choice Opposes Keep God in the public sphere Unknown
Absolute right to gun ownership Strongly Opposes Human needs over animal rights Unknown
Higher taxes on the wealthy Unknown Stricter punishment reduces crime Unknown
Support & expand free trade Strongly Opposes Pathway to citizenship for illegal aliens Unknown
Stricter limits on political campaign funds Strongly Favors Maintain US sovereignty from UN Unknown
Prioritize green energy Unknown Expand the military Unknown
Stimulus better than market-led recovery Favors Stay out of Iran Unknown
Privatize Social Security Strongly Opposes Never legalize marijuana Unknown
Note: Information last updated in 2014.[23]

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."[24][25] 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. Kelly was 1 of the 50 Democrats in the House to sign the letter.[24][25]


Statement on government shutdown

See also: United States budget debate, 2013

Kelly released a statement on the shutdown: “Today, due to the irresponsible tactics of House Republicans, the federal government has shut down for the first time in 17 years. Let’s be clear: This shutdown is not about the Affordable Care Act. It’s about a faction of the Republican Party putting their extremist ideology ahead of the best interests of the American people. The shutdown will be devastating to our country’s fragile economic recovery. Millions of Americans will be left in limbo – federal employees who will be furloughed, veterans who will see their disability payments disrupted and small business owners whose loan applications will be delayed. These are the very real consequences of partisan game playing. We cannot and should not govern by ultimatum. Congress owes it to the American people to immediately pass a bi-partisan spending plan to re-open the government.”[26]

Social issues

SNAP challenge

See also: United States Farm Bill 2013

In June 2013, more than two dozen House Democrats, including Kelly, took part in a SNAP challenge, feeding themselves for a week on the average benefit level of a SNAP recipient.[27]

The SNAP Challenge encouraged participants to get a sense of what life is like for millions of low-income Americans facing hunger. By accepting the SNAP Challenge, participants committed to eat all meals from a limited food budget comparable to that of a SNAP participant, approximately $1.50 per meal, or $4.50 a day.[28]

Campaign themes


Kelly's website highlighted the following campaign themes:[29]

  • Supporting Small Businesses
Excerpt: "Small businesses are the backbone of our nation’s economy and the engines of our recovery. As your next Congresswoman, I will work to make the business climate in the 2nd District one that nurtures and supports the entrepreneurial spirit."
  • Supporting the Middle Class
Excerpt: "I will fight back against the Republicans’ assault on the middle class and work to protect the social safety net that was put in place to help hardworking families in tough times."
  • Protecting Seniors
Excerpt: "I will work to protect Social Security and Medicare so that our seniors have the support they’ve earned and deserve."
  • Transportation
Excerpt: "I will work to create opportunities for residents and businesses in the 2nd District to participate in infrastructure projects in the district. It’s only right that our residents have a hand in projects that will help shape our future."
  • Women's Health
Excerpt: "I believe in a woman’s right to choose and in her right to make her own decisions about her body and her healthcare."
  • Constituent Services
Excerpt: "My door will always be open. And when I’m not in Washington, D.C. fighting for you, I’ll be traveling the District meeting with you, hearing your concerns and using them to inform the work I’ll do on your behalf."



See also: Illinois' 2nd Congressional District elections, 2014

Kelly is running for re-election to the U.S. House in 2014. She ran unopposed in the Democratic primary on March 18, 2014.[5] The general election takes place November 4, 2014.


See also: Illinois' 2nd Congressional District special election, 2013

Kelly won in the 2013 special election for the U.S. House, representing Illinois' 2nd District. The election was held to replace Jesse Jackson, Jr.. Kelly won the Democratic primary on February 26th, 2012 and won the general election.[2] The general election took place on April 9, 2013.[30]


  • Bobby Rush, current U.S. Representative, Illinois 1st Congressional District:
"Robin Kelly is a woman of integrity and conviction, and President Obama, Congressman Davis and I need her as our partner in ending gun violence."[31]
  • Mike Quigley, current U.S. Representative, Illinois' 5th Congressional District:
"Robin has proven herself to be a dedicated public servant and is the right person to represent Chicago and the Southland."[32]
  • Danny Davis, current U.S. Representative, Illinois' 7th Congressional District:
"[Kelly is the right person] if we are going to stop the NRA in their tracks, and make our communities safe again."[31]
  • Jan Schakowsky, current U.S. Representative, Illinois' 9th Congressional District:
"One of the reasons is the gun issue. [Kelly] has the view that we need to do some sensible violence prevention legislation."[33]
U.S. House, Illinois District 2 Special Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngRobin Kelly 70.7% 58,834
     Republican Paul McKinley 22.1% 18,387
     Independent Elizabeth Pahlke 3% 2,525
     Green LeAlan M. Jones 1.8% 1,531
     Independent Marcus Lewis 1.6% 1,359
     Independent Curtis Llong Bey 0.7% 548
     Write-in Steve Piekarczyk 0% 9
Total Votes 83,193
Source: Results via Illinois State Board of Elections
U.S. House, Illinois District 2 Special Democratic Primary, 2013
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngRobin Kelly 53.3% 31,079
Debbie Halvorson 25.1% 14,650
Anthony Beale 11.1% 6,457
Joyce Washington 4.4% 2,563
Ernest Fenton 2.6% 1,545
Anthony Williams 1.1% 641
Mel Reynolds 0.8% 459
Clifford Eagleton 0.4% 207
Fatimah Muhammad 0.3% 194
Gregory Haynes 0.2% 144
Larry Pickens 0.2% 127
John Blyth 0.2% 104
Victor Jonathan 0.2% 91
Charles Rayburn 0.1% 74
Denise Anita Hill 0% 4
Total Votes 58,339
Source: Results via Illinois State Board of Elections

Campaign donors


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

Robin Kelly (2014) Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
April Quarterly[35]May 10, 2013$126,156.09$55,191.19$(21,858.40)$160,488.88
July Quarterly[36]July 15, 2013$92,302.08$60,302.34$(43,454.78)$109,149.64
October Quarterly[37]October 13, 2013$109,149.64$74,693.22$(50,163.31)$133,679.55
Year-end[38]January 31, 2014$133,679$83,281$(80,893)$136,067
Pre-Primary[39]March 6, 2014$136,067$21,945$(36,346)$121,665
April Quarterly[40]April 15, 2014$121,665$105,205$(47,627)$179,243
Running totals

Personal Gain Index

Congressional Personal Gain Index graphic.png
See also: Personal Gain Index (U.S. Congress)

The Personal Gain Index (U.S. Congress) is a four-part measurement that illustrates the extent to which members of the U.S. Congress have personally benefited from their tenure as public servants.
It consists of four different metrics pioneered by the Government Accountability Institute:

  • The Net Worth Metric
  • The K-Street Metric (coming soon)
  • The Donation Concentration Metric (coming soon)
  • The Stock Oversight and Trades Metric (coming soon)



Illinois' 3rd Congressional District, Democratic primary
Poll Debbie Halvorson Toi HutchinsonRobin KellyNapoleon HarrisMel ReynoldsAnthony BealeOtherUndecidedMargin of ErrorSample Size
GBA Strategies (January 3-7)
Normington-Petts (January 8-10)
AVERAGES 20.5% 14% 11.5% 8% 7.5% 7.5% 3.5% 27.5% +/-4.65 450
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to


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.[41]

Kelly most often votes with:

Kelly least often votes with:

Voting with party


The website OpenCongress tracks how often members of Congress vote with the majority of the chamber caucus. According to the website, Robin Kelly has voted with the Democratic Party 96.5% of the time, which ranked 18th among the 201 House Democratic members as of June 2013.[42]


Kelly and her husband, Nathaniel, have two children.[43]

Recent news

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See also

External links

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  1. U.S. House, "Robin Kelly Sworn into Office," accessed April 12, 2013
  2. 2.0 2.1 Associated Press, "Illinois - Summary Vote Results," accessed February 26, 2013
  3. Politico, "2013 Election Results," accessed April 9, 2013
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Project Vote Smart, "Biography" accessed June 16, 2013
  5. 5.0 5.1 Associated Press, "Primary Election 2014," accessed March 18, 2014
  6., "House Committee Rosters for the 113th Congress," accessed March 29, 2014
  7. U.S. House of Representatives, "Committee Assignments," accessed March 29, 2014
  8. Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity, First Session of the 112th Congress," accessed September 5, 2013
  9. Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity, Second Session of the 113th Congress," accessed March 4, 2014
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 10.5 10.6 10.7 Project Vote Smart, "Robin Kelly," accessed October 1, 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 NY 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. 23.0 23.1 On The Issues, "Robin Kelly Vote Match," accessed June 30, 2014
  24. 24.0 24.1 Office of Barbara Lee, "Lee Letter to President Obama," accessed September 2, 2013
  25. 25.0 25.1 Washington Post, "More than 50 House Democrats also want Syria strike resolution," accessed September 2, 2013
  26. Progress, "U.S. Government Shutdown: How Did We Get Here And What's Next?," accessed October 2, 2013
  27. U.S., "Full Member List of Congressional Snap Challenge," accessed September 25, 2013
  28. Feeding America, "Taking the SNAP Challenge," accessed September 25, 2013
  29. Robin Kelly for Congress Campaign Website' "The Issues," accessed February 20, 2013
  30. Politico, "2013 Election Results," accessed April 9, 2013
  31. 31.0 31.1 Chicago Tribune, "U.S. Reps. Rush, Davis back Kelly for Jackson Jr. seat," accessed February 10, 2013
  32. eNews Park Forest, "Congressman Mike Quigley Endorses Robin Kelly for 2nd Congressional District Special Election," accessed February 19, 2013
  33. Roll Call, "Illinois: Schakowsky to Endorse Robin Kelly in Special Election," accessed February 13, 2013
  34. Federal Election Commission, "Robin Kelly 2014 Summary reports," accessed July 23, 2013
  35. Federal Election Commission, "April Quarterly" accessed July 23, 2013
  36. Federal Election Commission, "July Quarterly" accessed July 23, 2013
  37. Federal Election Commission, "October Quarterly," accessed October 23, 2013
  38. Federal Election Commission, "Year End Report," accessed February 11, 2014
  39. Federal Election Commission, "Pre Primary," accessed April 22, 2014
  40. Federal Election Commission, "April Quarterly," accessed April 21, 2014
  41. OpenCongress, "Rep. Robin Kelly," accessed August 1, 2013
  42. OpenCongress, "Voting With Party," accessed June 6, 2013
  43. Project Vote Smart, "Biography from Project Vote Smart," accessed 2013
Political offices
Preceded by
Jesse L. Jackson, Jr. (D)
U.S. House - Illinois District 2
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Illinois House of Representatives, District 38
Succeeded by