Difference between revisions of "Scott DesJarlais"

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|Place of birth =Des Moines, IA
|Place of birth =Des Moines, IA
|Profession =
|Profession =
|Net worth=$548,005
|Net worth=$565,505.50
|Religion =
|Religion =
|Office website =http://desjarlais.house.gov/
|Office website =http://desjarlais.house.gov/

Revision as of 16:30, 17 January 2014

Scott DesJarlais
Scott DesJarlais.jpg
U.S. House, Tennessee, District 4
In office
Term ends
January 3, 2015
Years in position 4
PredecessorLincoln Davis (D)
Base salary$174,000/year
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 6, 2012
Cost per vote$9.85 in 2012
First electedNovember 2, 2010
Next generalNovember 4, 2014
Campaign $$2,199,170
Term limitsN/A
Bachelor'sUniversity of South Dakota, 1987
M.D.University of South Dakota, 1991
Date of birthFebruary 21, 1964
Place of birthDes Moines, IA
Net worth$565,505.50
Office website
Campaign website

Scott DesJarlais (b. February 21, 1964, in Des Moines, Iowa) is a Republican member of the U.S. House of Representatives from the state of Tennessee, representing the 4th District. DesJarlais was first elected in 2010. He was re-elected in 2012.

Prior to his election to the U.S. House, DesJarlais worked as a physician.[1]

DesJarlais ran for re-election in 2014. As of July 2013, he faces Republican primary challenges from state Sen. Jim Tracy and state Rep. Joe Carr.[2] The general election took place November 4, 2014.

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


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

  • 1987: Graduated from University of South Dakota
  • 1991: Graduated from University of South Dakota, Vermillion, S. Dak.
  • 2011-Present: U.S Representative from Tennessee

Committee assignments

U.S. House


DesJarlais serves on the following committees:[3]



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.[4] For more information pertaining to DesJarlais's voting record in the 113th Congress, please see the below sections.[5]

National security

See also: United States involvement in Syria

DesJarlais opposes military strikes on Syria in retaliation for Syria's chemical weapon attacks. He said, "My questions were, what is our plan and what is our endgame? And is there a direct threat to America and its allies? … I don't think there's any guarantee that this conflict won't escalate, and I think there would absolutely be unintended consequences. I think it's shortsighted to launch a limited strike without expecting it." He added, "If there is a mass genocide going on, I think the world will act, but right now, the evidence I've looked at does not indicate that what has happened on Aug. 21 would indicate a need for a U.S. strike over the past year. I don't think there was a seminal moment on Aug. 21 that would mandate an American intervention."[6]


Voted "Yes" DesJarlais 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.[7]

DHS Appropriations

Voted "Yes" DesJarlais voted in support 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.[7]

Keystone Pipeline Amendment

Voted "No" DesJarlais voted against 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.[7]

CISPA (2013)

Voted "Yes" DesJarlais voted in support 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.[8] The bill was largely supported by Republicans, but divided the Democratic Party.[7]


Farm Bill
See also: United States Farm Bill 2013

Voted "Yes" DesJarlais voted for July 11, 2013 Farm Bill. The bill passed in a 216-208 vote.[9] The bill passed included farm policy, but did not include food stamps.[10]

Government shutdown
See also: United States budget debate, 2013

Voted "Yes" 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.[11] 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.[12] DesJarlais voted to approve the stopgap spending bill that would have delayed the individual mandate.[13]

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 funds 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.[14] 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. DesJarlais voted against HR 2775.[15]


August 2013 town hall meeting with DesJarlais
Town hall meeting

During a town hall meeting in August 2013, DesJarlais was asked by an 11-year-old girl what she could do to keep her undocumented father in the U.S. with her. Her father is in the process of being deported, according to the National Day Laborer Organizing Network. DesJarlais replied, “Thank you for being here, and thank you for coming forward and speaking…the answer still kinda remains the same: we have laws and we need to follow those laws, and that’s where we’re at.” Following his reply to the girl, the crowd applauded and cheered.[16]

Morton Memos Prohibition

Voted "Yes" DesJarlais supported 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.[17] The vote largely followed party lines.[18]


Repealing Obamacare

Voted "Yes" DesJarlais supported all attempts to repeal or delay the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.[19]

Social issues


Voted "Yes" DesJarlais supported 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.[20]

Previous congressional sessions

Fiscal Cliff

Voted "No" DesJarlais 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 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.[21]

Campaign themes


According to DesJarlais' website, his campaign themes included:

  • Jobs: "Entrepreneurs and hard-working Americans should be rewarded and not punished for their achievements."
  • Healthcare: "Americans experience the best healthcare at affordable prices when big insurance and big government aren’t meddlesome middlemen interfering in the doctor patient relationship."
  • Social Security: "We must phase in incremental solutions to give younger generations an opportunity to participate in these programs and to secure their futures, while keeping the promises made to our current seniors 55 and older."[22]

Campaign mailings

According to the House Statement of Disbursements, between October and December of 2011, DesJarlais spent $224,346.33 on official mailings to constituents - making him number one in the House. In defense of the spending, DesJarlais said, "We decided early on that one of our top priorities would be constituent outreach. This strategy has allowed me to incorporate the opinions and beliefs of 4th District residents into the important issues being debated in Congress."[23]

Presidential preference


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

Scott DesJarlais endorsed Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential election. [24]



See also: Tennessee's 4th Congressional District elections, 2014

DesJarlais ran for re-election in 2014.[2] He sought the Republican nomination in the primary election. The general election took place November 4, 2014.

DesJarlais made Roll Call's "Ten Most Vulnerable", list for the third quarter. DesJarlais is crippled by personal scandal and his primary opponent Jim Tracy is outraising DesJarlais . In fact, according to Roll Call, if they had ranked the members by vulnerability, DesJarlais would have topped the list.[25]


See also: Tennessee's 4th Congressional District elections, 2012

DesJarlais was re-elected.[26] DesJarlais was re-elected in 2012 to the U.S. House, representing Tennessee's 4th District. DesJarlais defeated Shannon Kelley in the August 2 Republican primary. He faced Eric Stewart (D) in the general election on November 6, 2012.[27]

An October 2012 article in The Daily named DesJarlais one of the 20 worst candidates in 2012.[28]

U.S. House, Tennessee District 4 General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Eric Stewart 44.2% 102,022
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngScott DesJarlais Incumbent 55.8% 128,568
Total Votes 230,590
Source: Tennessee Secretary of State "Official Election Results, 2012 General Election"
U.S. House, Tennessee District 4 Republican Primary, 2012
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngScott DesJarlais Incumbent 76.8% 36,088
Shannon Kelley 23.2% 10,927
Total Votes 47,015

Full history

Campaign donors

Comprehensive donor information for DeJarlais is available dating back to 2010. Based on available campaign finance records, DeJarlais raised a total of $2,199,170 during that time period. This information was last updated on April 2, 2013.[30]

Scott DesJarlais's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2012 US House (Tennessee, District 4) Won $1,260,459
2010 US House (Tennessee, District 4) Won $938,711
Grand Total Raised $2,199,170


Candidates for Congress were required to file up to seven main reports with the Federal Election Commission during the 2014 elections season. Below are DesJarlais' reports.[31]


Breakdown of the source of DesJarlais' campaign funds before the 2012 election.
DesJarlais won re-election to the U.S. House in 2012. During that re-election cycle, DesJarlais' campaign committee raised a total of $1,260,459 and spent $1,266,554.[37]

Cost per vote

DesJarlais spent $9.85 per vote received in 2012.


DesJarlais won election to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2010. During that re-election cycle, DesJarlais's campaign committee raised a total of $938,711 and spent $923,280.[38]


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.[39]

DesJarlais most often votes with:

DesJarlais least often votes with:

Ideology and leadership

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

Based on an analysis of bill sponsorship by GovTrack, DesJarlais is a "rank-and-file Republican," as of June 26, 2013.[40]

Lifetime voting record

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

According to the website GovTrack, DesJarlais missed 9 of 1,698 roll call votes from January 2011 to April 2013. This amounts to .5%, which is better than the median of 2.2% among current congressional representatives as of March 2013.[41]

Congressional staff salaries

See also: Staff salaries of United States Senators and Representatives

The website Legistorm compiles staff salary information for members of Congress. Desjarlais paid his congressional staff a total of $573,613 in 2011. Overall, Tennessee ranks 39th in average salary for representative staff. The average U.S. House of Representatives congressional staff was paid $954,912.20 in fiscal year 2011.[42]

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, DesJarlais' net worth as of 2012 was estimated between $221,014 to $909,997. That averages to $565,505.50, which is lower than the average net worth of Republican House members in 2012 of $7,614,097.96. DesJarlais ranked as the 257th most wealthy representative in 2012.[43]

Scott DesJarlais Yearly Net Worth
YearAvg. Net Worth% Difference from previous year

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. DesJarlais was 1 of 3 members who ranked 59th in the conservative rankings in 2012.[44]


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. DesJarlais ranked 131st in the conservative rankings.[45]

Voting with party


DesJarlais voted with the Republican Party 95.6% of the time, which ranked 137th among the 234 House Republican members as of June 2013.[46]


Scott DesJarlais is married to Amy. They have 3 children.

DesJarlais had a previous marriage end in divorce in 2001. On October 10, 2012, the Huffington Post obtained the transcript of a September 2000 phone call in which DeJarlais pressured his mistress into obtaining an abortion. According to the transcript, DesJarlais, who is a pro-life doctor, was trying to save his marriage. When confronted with the transcript, DeJarlais did not deny its contents, but instead characterized the story as a "desperate personal attack."[47] In the phone transcript, DeJarlais says, "You told me you'd have an abortion, and now we're getting too far along without one...If we need to go to Atlanta, or whatever, to get this solved and get it over with so we can get on with our lives, then let's do it." DeJarlais blames the woman for becoming pregnant, saying, "You lied to me about something that caused us to be in this situation, and that's not my fault, that's yours." The woman responded "Well, it's your fault for sleeping with your patient."[47]

On October 11, 2012, the day after the transcript became public, DeJarlais said, "I don't mind telling people that there was no pregnancy, and no abortion...But I also don't mind telling people that this was a protracted two-year divorce back in 1999 and 2000. There was some difficult times, for sure."[48]

Recent news

This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term Scott + DesJarlais + Tennessee + House

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

Scott DesJarlais News Feed

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External links


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress "DesJarlais," Accessed June 26, 2013
  2. 2.0 2.1 timesfreepress.com, "Congressman Scott DesJarlais plans to launch re-election campaign Aug. 7 ," Jul 24, 2013
  3. CQ.com, House Committee Rosters for the 113th Congress
  4. Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity, First Session of the 112th Congress," accessed September 5, 2013
  5. Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity, Second Session of the 113th Congress," accessed March 4, 2014
  6. Nooga.com, "Rep. Scott DesJarlais opposes Syria intervention, Rep. Chuck Fleischmann still undecided", accessed September 4, 2013
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 Project Vote Smart, "Representative DesJarlais' Voting Records on National Security," accessed October 16, 2013
  8. The Library of Congress, "H.R.624 CISPA (2013) (Referred in Senate - RFS)," accessed August 27, 2013
  9. Vote Smart, "DesJarlais", accessed October 15, 2013
  10. New York Times, "House Republicans Push Through Farm Bill, Without Food Stamps", accessed September 17, 2013
  11. Clerk of the U.S. House, "Final vote results for Roll Call 504," accessed October 31, 2013
  12. Buzzfeed, "Government Shutdown: How We Got Here," accessed October 1, 2013
  13. Clerk of the U.S. House, "Final vote results for Roll Call 504," accessed October 31, 2013
  14. The Washington Post, "Reid, McConnell propose bipartisan Senate bill to end shutdown, extend borrowing," accessed October 16, 2013
  15. U.S. House, "Final vote results for Roll Call 550," accessed October 31, 2013
  16. MSNBC.com, "Crowd cheers as GOP rep. tells girl her dad will be deported", accessed August 20, 2013
  17. The Library of Congress, "H.AMDT.136," accessed August 28, 2013
  18. Project Vote Smart, "Representative DesJarlais' Voting Records on Immigration," accessed October 15, 2013
  19. Project Vote Smart, "Representative DesJarlais' Voting Records on Issue: Health and Health Care," accessed October 16, 2013
  20. Project Vote Smart, "DesJarlais on abortion," accessed October 16, 2013
  21. U.S. House "Roll Call Vote on the Fiscal Cliff" Accessed January 4, 2013.
  22. Scott DesJarlais for Congress, "Issues," Accessed September 11, 2012
  23. Chattanooga Times Free Press "Congressman Scott DesJarlais spends $224,000 on mailings" Accessed March 16, 2012
  24. The Hill, "2012 GOP Lawmaker Endorsements for President," accessed March 21, 2012
  25. ‘’Roll Call’’, “Roll Call's 10 Most Vulnerable House Members Revealed”, accessed November 5, 2013
  26. Politico "2012 Election Map, Tennessee"
  27. Associated Press primary results
  28. The Daily, "The worst candidates of 2012," October 29, 2012
  29. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2010," accessed March 28, 2013
  30. Open Secrets "Career Fundraising for Scott DesJarlais," Accessed April 2, 2013
  31. Federal Election Commission, "DesJarlais Summary reports," accessed July 24, 2013
  32. Federal Election Commission, "April Quarterly," accessed July 24, 2013
  33. Federal Election Commission, "July Quarterly," accessed July 24, 2013
  34. Federal Election Commission, "October Quarterly," accessed October 29, 2013
  35. Federal Election Commission, "DesJarlais Year-End," accessed February 5, 2014
  36. Federal Election Commission, "April Quarterly," accessed April 17, 2014
  37. Open Secrets "DesJarlais Campaign Contributions," Accessed March 1, 2013
  38. Open Secrets "Scott DesJarlais 2010 Election Cycle," Accessed November 16, 2011
  39. OpenCongress, "DesJarlais," Accessed August 6, 2013
  40. Gov Track "Scott DesJarlais," Accessed June 26, 2013
  41. GovTrack, "DesJarlais," Accessed April 10, 2013
  42. LegiStorm, "Scott Eugene Desjarlais," Accessed September 18, 2012
  43. OpenSecrets.org "DesJarlais, 2012," accessed January 14, 2014
  44. National Journal, "2012 Congressional Vote Ratings," February 28, 2013
  45. National Journal, "Searchable Vote Ratings Tables: House," February 23, 2012
  46. OpenCongress, "Voting With Party," accessed July 2014
  47. 47.0 47.1 Huffington Post, "Scott DesJarlais, Pro-Life Republican Congressman And Doctor, Pressured Mistress Patient To Get Abortion," October 10, 2012
  48. Huffington Post, "Scott DesJarlais: Mistress Was Not Pregnant, No Abortion," October 11, 2012
Political offices
Preceded by
Lincoln Davis
U.S. House of Representatives - Tennessee District 4
Succeeded by