Difference between revisions of "Suzan DelBene"

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DelBene has lived in many places and lists Washington state and Colorado as two of her favorites.  She considers herself an "outdoorsy person."<ref>[http://hoh.rollcall.com/take-five-suzan-delbene/ ''Roll Call'', "Take Five: Suzan DelBene", accessed November 4, 2013]</ref>
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Revision as of 14:21, 4 November 2013

Suzan DelBene
Suzan DelBene.png
U.S. House, Washington, District 1
In office
November 13, 2012-Present
Term ends
January 3, 2015
Years in position 3
PredecessorJay Inslee (D)
Base salary$174,000/year
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 6, 2012
First electedNovember 6, 2012
Next generalNovember 4, 2014
Campaign $$4,420,726
Term limitsN/A
Bachelor'sReed College
Master'sUniversity of Washington
Date of birthFebruary 17, 1963
Place of birthSelma, Alabama
Net worth$53,234,032
Office website
Campaign website
Suzan DelBene (b. February 17, 1963, in Selma, Alabama) is a Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives representing Washington's 1st congressional district. DelBene was first elected in 2012 to complete Jay Inslee's term, due to Inslee resigning to run for governor of Washington.[1][2]

DelBene ran for re-election in Washington's 1st congressional district in the general election on November 4, 2014.

Prior to her congressional career DelBene was Vice President of the Microsoft Corporation.[3]

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

Committee assignments

U.S. House


DelBene serves on the following committees:[4]

  • Committee on Agriculture
    • Subcommittee on Conservation, Energy, and Forestry
    • Subcommittee on Horticulture, Research, Biotechnology, and Foreign Agriculture
  • Committee on Judiciary
    • Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet
    • Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform, Commercial, and Antitrust Law


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.[5] For more information pertaining to DelBene's voting record in the 113th Congress, please see the below sections.[6]

National security

National Defense Authorization Act

Voted "Yes" DelBene 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]

Department of Homeland Security Appropriations

Voted "No" DelBene voted in opposition 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 "Yes" DelBene 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.[7]

Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act

Voted "No" DelBene voted in opposition of HR 624 - the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act. 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]


Government shutdown
See also: United States budget debate, 2013#Government Shutdown and Default Prevention Act

In a statement released October 1, 2013, DelBene said, “For as long as this unnecessary shutdown occurs, hundreds of thousands of public servants will be working without pay. When sequestration began earlier this year, I returned 8.2% of my salary back to the Treasury, and for the duration of this shutdown, I will return the remainder of my personal salary as well."[9]

Farm Bill
See also: United States Farm Bill 2013

Voted "No" DelBene voted against the July 11, 2013 Farm Bill. The bill passed in a 216-208 vote.[10] The bill passed included farm policy, but did not include food stamps.[11]

King Amendment

DelBene signed a letter sent to Collin Peterson in August 2013, asking him to keep Steve King's amendment out of the final Farm Bill.[12] The "Protect Interstate Commerce Act" amendment prevents states from applying their own laws on agricultural products to agricultural products from another state.[13]. King introduced the amendment in response to a law in California, requiring a larger size cage for egg-producing chickens. King represents Iowa, which is a large egg producer.


Morton Memos Enforcement Prohibition

Voted "No" DelBene 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.[14] The vote largely followed party lines.[15]


Repealing Obamacare

Voted "No" DelBene has voted against all attempts to repeal or delay the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.[16]

Social issues

SNAP challenge
See also: United States Farm Bill 2013

In June 2013, more than two dozen House Democrats, including DelBene, took part in a SNAP challenge, feeding themselves for a week on the average benefit level of a SNAP recipient.[17] Participants agreed 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.[18]


Voted "No" DelBene voted against 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.[19]

Previous congressional sessions

Fiscal Cliff

Voted "Yes" DelBene 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 1 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


According to her website, DelBene's campaign platform included the following issues[21]:

  • Worker training programs
  • College tuition assistance
  • Higher taxes on those making more than $1 million per year



See also: Washington's 1st congressional district elections, 2014

Race background

Frontline Program

Incumbent Suzan DelBene (D) is a member of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's Frontline Program. The program was designed to help protect vulnerable Democratic incumbents during the 2014 election cycle.[22]

Young Guns Program

Challenger Pedro Celis (R) was a member of the National Republican Congressional Committee's Young Guns Program. The program was designed to help candidates challenging incumbent Democrats in targeted races.[23]


See also: Washington's 1st congressional district elections, 2012

DelBene won the 2012 election for the U.S. House, representing Washington's 1st District.[1] She won the nomination as a Democrat, defeating Darcy Burner (D), Darshan Rauniyar (D), Laura Ruderman (D), Steve Hobbs (D), John Koster (R), and Larry Ishmael (I) in the August 7 primary. The top two vote-getters in the primary, regardless of party, appear on the general election ballot.[24] She and John Koster advanced past the blanket primary and faced off in the general election on November 6, 2012.[25]

A large field of Democrats competed for the party nod, while county councilman John Koster was unopposed on the Republican ticket. Early polling put Koster well ahead of Democratic frontrunner Darcy Burner. Burner, a progressive activist, had capitalized on anti-wealthy sentiment to pull ahead of former executive DelBene.[26]

In late July, however, an ad blitz from DelBene had pushed her past Burner into the second spot behind Koster in the polls.[27]$2.3 million of DelBene's campaign funds came from her own bank account, although she has raised $500,000 of independent funds as well.Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; refs with no content must have a name Burner said DelBene is trying to buy the election, but DelBene, who is worth $53 million, said she joined her supporters in investing in her campaign.[28][27]

At a July event, the candidates had an opportunity to name their highest priority. Burner raised concerns about Super PACs and voiced support of the Affordable Care Act. DelBene said she would focus on job creation. Darshan Rauniyar and Steve Hobbs promised to bring a new face to politics. Laura Ruderman stressed greater health care access. The only Republican in the race, Koster emphasized the need for smaller government.[29]

Adding another layer of financial interest is a Super PAC run by one candidate's parent. Laura Ruderman's mother runs Progress for Washington,[27] which by July 31 had spent almost $200,000 against DelBene.[30]

U.S. House, Washington District 1 General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngSuzan DelBene 53.9% 177,025
     Republican John Koster 46.1% 151,187
Total Votes 328,212
Source: Washington Secretary of State "Official Election Results, 2012 General Election"
U.S. House, Washington District 1 Primary, 2012
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngJohn Koster (R) 44.9% 67,185
Green check mark transparent.pngSuzan DelBene (D) 22.5% 33,670
Darcy Burner (D) 13.9% 20,844
Laura Ruderman (D) 7.1% 10,582
Steve Hobbs (D) 6.9% 10,279
Darshan Rauniyar (D) 2.8% 4,134
Larry Ishmael (I) 2% 3,062
Total Votes 149,756

One month short term special election

See also: Washington's 1st congressional district special election, 2012

DelBene also won a special election to fill retiring representative Jay Inslee's seat for a one-month term before the 2012-2014 term begins.[32] The special election took place on the same primary and general election dates as the full term. Washington was redistricted in 2012; the short-term replacement was elected by the pre-2012 district, and the representative for 2012-2014 was elected by the newly redrawn district.[33]

DelBene joined full-term challengers Darcy Burner (D), Laura Ruderman (D), Darshan Rauniyar (D), and John Koster (R), along with six candidates running just for the one-month term: J. Byron Holcomb (D), Brian Berry (D), Brian Sullivan (D), Ruth Morrison (D), Steven Gerdes (R), and Bob Champion (I).[34] As in the full-term election, the top two vote-getters in the August 7 primary will go on the general election ballot.[24]


In a largely self-funded campaign, DelBene challenged Dave Reichert in 2010. Reichert defeated DelBene on November 2, 2010.[26][35]

U.S. House, Washington District 8, 2010
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngDavid G. Reichert Incumbent 52.1% 161,296
     Democratic Suzan DelBene 47.9% 148,581
Total Votes 309,877

Campaign donors

Comprehensive donor information for DelBene is available dating back to 2012. Based on available campaign finance records, DelBene raised a total of $4,420,726 during that time period. This information was last updated on April 4, 2013.[36]

Suzan DelBene's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2012 US House (Washington, District 1) Won $4,420,726
Grand Total Raised $4,420,726


Candidates for Congress are required to file up to seven main reports with the Federal Election Commission during the 2014 elections season. Below are DelBene's reports.[37]

Suzan DelBene (2014) Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
April Quarterly[38]4/15/2013$6,219.01$249,159.77$(60,704.18)$194,674.60
July Quarterly[39]7/15/2013$194,674.60$278,022.76$(91,313.28)$381,384.08
October Quarterly[40]10/14/2013$381,384.08$232,237.94$(81,991.07)$531,630.95
Running totals


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

DelBene won re-election to the U.S. House in 2012. During that re-election cycle, DelBene's campaign committee raised a total of $4,420,726 and spent $4,496,799.[41]

Cost per vote

DelBene spent $25.40 per vote received in 2012.


Ideology and leadership

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

Based on an analysis of bill sponsorship by GovTrack, DelBene is a "centrist Democratic follower" as of July 3, 2013.[42]

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.[43]

Delbene most often votes with:

Delbene least often votes with:

Lifetime voting record

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

According to the website GovTrack, DelBene missed 1 of 151 roll call votes from November 2012 to April 2013. This amounts to 0.7%, which is better than the median of 2.2% among current congressional representatives as of April 2013.[44]

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, DelBene's net worth as of 2011 was estimated between $23,223,064 and $83,245,000. That averages to $53,234,032, which is higher than the average net worth of Democratic representatives in 2011 of $5,107,874.[45]

Voting with party

Suzan DelBene voted with the Democratic Party 94.9% of the time, which ranked 32 among the 201 House Democratic members as of July 2013.[46]


DelBene has lived in many places and lists Washington state and Colorado as two of her favorites. She considers herself an "outdoorsy person."[47]

Recent news

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External links

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  1. 1.0 1.1 CNN "Washington Districts Race - 2012 Election Center"
  2. Politico "3 fill House vacancies" Accessed November 13, 2012
  3. The National Journal "Washington District 1 2012," accessed July, 2013
  4. CQ.com, House Committee Rosters for the 113th Congress
  5. Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity, First Session of the 112th Congress," accessed September 5, 2013
  6. Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity, Second Session of the 113th Congress," accessed March 4, 2014
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 Project Vote Smart, "Representative DelBene's Voting Records on National Security," accessed October 16, 2013
  8. The Library of Congress, "H.R.624 Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (Referred in Senate - RFS)," accessed August 27, 2013
  9. Washington Post, "Which lawmakers will refuse their pay during the shutdown?," accessed October 2, 2013
  10. Vote Smart, "DelBene on agriculture", accessed October 16, 2013
  11. New York Times, "House Republicans Push Through Farm Bill, Without Food Stamps", accessed September 17, 2013
  12. Vote Smart, "Letter to Ranking Member Collin Peterson, House Committee on Agriculture - Reject Rep. King's Provision on Farm Bill", accessed September 23, 2013
  13. Time.com, "King Farm Bill Amendment Angers Animal Advocates", accessed September 18, 2013
  14. The Library of Congress, "H.AMDT.136," accessed August 28, 2013
  15. Project Vote Smart, "Representative DelBene's Voting Records on Immigration," accessed October 16, 2013
  16. Project Vote Smart, "Representative DelBene's Voting Records on Issue: Health and Health Care," accessed October 16, 2013
  17. U.S. House.gov, "Full Member List of Congressional Snap Challenge," accessed September 25, 2013 (dead link)
  18. Feeding America, "Taking the SNAP Challenge," accessed September 25, 2013
  19. Project Vote Smart, "DelBene on abortion," accessed October 16, 2013
  20. U.S. House "Roll Call Vote on the Fiscal Cliff" Accessed January 4, 2013.
  21. Susan DelBene campaign website "Issues," Accessed August 2, 2012
  22. Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, "DCCC Chairman Steve Israel Announces 2013-2014 Frontline Members," March 5, 2013
  23. The Washington Post, "House Republicans show California love with latest ‘Young Guns,’" June 10, 2014
  24. 24.0 24.1 Washington Secretary of State "Top 2 Primary: FAQ," Accessed May 17, 2012
  25. AP Primary Results
  26. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named st
  27. 27.0 27.1 27.2 Seattle Times "Voters face crowded ballots for 1st District," July 31, 2012
  28. Seattle Times "DelBene adds $400,000 in own money campaign; total of $2.3 million," July 29, 2012
  29. Seattle Times "Congressional District 1 candidates stake their ground, as poll shows movement," July 28, 2012
  30. Open Secrets "Progress for Washington Independent Expenditures," Accessed July 31, 2012
  31. Our Campaigns, "WA District 1 - Open Primary," accessed May 30, 2013
  32. Seattle Times "2012 Washington Election Results"
  33. Seattle Times "Special election to replace Inslee for 1 month," April 2, 2012
  34. Washington Secretary of State "Candidate Filings," Accessed May 18, 2012
  35. U.S. Congress House Clerk "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2010"
  36. Open Secrets "Career Fundraising for Suzan DelBene," Accessed April 4, 2013
  37. Federal Election Commission "Suzan DelBene 2014 Summary reports," Accessed August 1, 2013
  38. Federal Election Commission "April Quarterly" Accessed August 1, 2013
  39. Federal Election Commission "July Quarterly" Accessed August 1, 2013
  40. Federal Election Commission "October Quarterly" Accessed October 29, 2013
  41. Open Secrets "DelBene Campaign Contributions," Accessed February 26, 2013
  42. Gov Track "Suzan DelBene," Accessed July 3, 2013
  43. OpenCongress, "Rep. Suzan Delbene," accessed August 8, 2013
  44. GovTrack, "Suzan Delbene," Accessed April 11, 2013
  45. OpenSecrets.org, "DelBene (D-WA), 2011"
  46. OpenCongress, "Voting With Party," accessed July 2014
  47. Roll Call, "Take Five: Suzan DelBene", accessed November 4, 2013
Political offices
Preceded by
Jay Inslee
U.S. House of Representatives - Washington, District 1
Succeeded by