Tammy Duckworth

From Ballotpedia
Revision as of 15:39, 31 March 2014 by Jennifer S (Talk | contribs)

Jump to: navigation, search
Tammy Duckworth
Tammy Duckworth.jpg
U.S. House, Illinois, District 8
Term ends
January 3, 2015
Years in position 2
PredecessorJoe Walsh (R)
Base salary$174,000/year
Elections and appointments
First electedNovember 6, 2012
Next primaryMarch 18, 2014
Next generalNovember 4, 2014
Campaign $$5,309,495
Term limitsN/A
Bachelor'sUniversity of Hawaii
Master'sGeorge Washington University
Military service
Service/branchIllinois Army National Guard
Years of service1992-Present
Date of birthMarch 12, 1968
Place of birthBangkok, Thailand
Net worth$570,526.50
Office website
Campaign website
Tammy Duckworth campaign logo
Tammy Duckworth (b. March 12, 1968, in Bangkok, Thailand) is a Democratic U.S. House member, representing the 8th Congressional District of Illinois. She was first elected to the U.S. House in 2012.[1]

Duckworth secured the backing of Illinois' most influential political figures in the 2012 Democratic primary against Raja Krishnamoorthi.[2] She won the general election on November 6, 2012.[3]

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

She is a member of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's "Frontline" program.[5][6]

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


Duckworth is a graduate of the University of Hawaii and received a Masters of Arts in International Affairs from George Washington University.[1]


Below is an abbreviated outline of Duckworth's professional and political career[7]

  • 2013-Present: U.S. House, District 8
  • 2009-2011: Assistant secretary, U.S. Veterans Affairs Department
  • 2006-2009: Director, Illinois Veterans Affairs Department
  • 2003-2004: Manager, Rotary International
  • 1992-Present: Army National Guard

Committee assignments

U.S. House


Duckworth serves on the following committees:[8][9]


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.[10] For more information pertaining to Duckworth's voting record in the 113th Congress, please see the below sections.[11]

National security

Situation in Syria
See also: United States involvement in Syria

On August 30, 2013, Duckworth wrote a response to the situation in Syria that appeared on the Daily Kos.[12] In the article she said, "Syria is undergoing a humanitarian crisis. While the United States cannot stand by as innocent civilians are being massacred, it's my responsibility as a Member of Congress to make sure we don't commit resources, the most precious of which are our men and women in uniform, with no comprehensive plan for our involvement.

While I support the President's authority to initiate action since he was elected by this nation and in light of the divisiveness in Congress today, I will have tough questions for the Administration should they intervene prior to Congressional approval.

In the days ahead I will be seeking more information from our military and intelligence communities. But until I feel it's imperative to our national security, I will not support preemptive intervention in Syria.

America shouldn't bear the burden unilaterally, especially since none of our allies, including those in the region, have committed to action.

It's military families like mine that are the first to bleed when our nation makes this kind of commitment. It's my obligation to make sure our government honors our troops willingness to sacrifice when we make such a decision."[12]

On September 10, 2013, Duckworth expressed deep skepticism about the prospect of the U.S. conducting limited missile strikes against Syria after its apparent deadly use of chemical weapons.[13]

Duckworth, in answer to a reporter's question, said she was "very skeptical" that military intervention would be limited.[13]

"I've heard the discussion before that this is going to be a limited attack and it will be done in a short amount of time," she said. "War is messy. War is never that simple."[13]

DHS Appropriations

Voted "Yes" Duckworth voted in favor 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.[14]

Keystone Pipeline Amendment

Voted "Yes" Duckworth 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.[14]

CISPA (2013)

Voted "Yes" Duckworth 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.[15] The bill was largely supported by Republicans, but divided the Democratic Party.[14]


Voted "Yes" Duckworth 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.[14]


Farm bill

Yea3.png 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.[16] 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.[17][18] However, cuts to the food stamp program cut an average of $90 per month for 1.7 million people in 15 states.[18] Duckworth voted with 88 other Democratic representatives in favor of the bill.

2014 Budget

Yea3.png 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.[19][20] The House voted 359-67 for the 1,582 page bill, with 64 Republicans and three Democrats voting against the bill.[20] The omnibus package included 12 annual spending bills to fund federal operations.[21] It included a 1 percent 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 the protection of the Affordable Care Act from any drastic cuts. Duckworth joined with the majority of the Democratic party and voted in favor of the bill.[19][20]

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.[22] 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.[23] Duckworth voted against the stopgap spending bill that would have delayed the individual mandate.[24]

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 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.[25] 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. Duckworth voted for HR 2775.[26]


Immigration reform bill

On her website in August 2013, Duckworth posted an appeal to voters to add their names to a petition to urge House action on immigration reform.[27][28].

In her appeal she said, "I am a daughter of the American Revolution and my mom is an immigrant who proudly became a citizen in her 50s. Since coming to America, she has watched her two children serve in our nation's military and seen me elected to the United States Congress. So many of the families in my district have stories like my mom's, about immigrants who moved here to be reunited with family or to provide a better life for their children. Like my mom, they wish to become full citizens of the country they love.

That's why I'm teaming up with my neighboring members of Congress, Brad Schneider and Bill Foster, who also represent districts with large numbers of immigrants, to advocate for an immigration system that works for our constituents.

While the Senate has passed comprehensive legislation, John Boehner and the GOP House leadership want to divide up immigration into several different bills rather than agree on one comprehensive solution. That won't work for the people in my district. To fix our broken immigration system, we need a solution that secures our border and provides a pathway to citizenship for those who hope to pursue the American Dream.

While we're in our districts this month, Brad, Bill and I have held a joint press conference to build support for comprehensive reform. We're also talking with our constituents about what reform would mean for them."[28]

Morton Memos Prohibition

Voted "No" Duckworth 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.[14]


Health Care Reform Rules

Voted "No" Duckworth 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.[14]

Keep the IRS Off Your Health Care Act

Voted "No" Duckworth voted against HR 2009 - Keep the IRS Off Your Health Care 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.[14]

Social issues

Amash amendment

Voted "No" Duckworth 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.[14]


Hawaii's 1st Congressional District

See also: Hawaii's 1st Congressional District elections, 2014

Duckworth campaigned in November 2013 for state Representative Mark Takai in his bid for the 1st District seat.[29]

“I’m standing with Mark Takai today because he offers two things this Congress is lacking – courage and the ability to get things done,” Duckworth said. “Mark has served with me in uniform in the Middle East, and in his two decades in the Hawaii State House he’s stood up for our fellow vets, authored the state’s College Savings Program and led initiatives to protect retirement security and to create a new clean energy economy."[29]

Takai said he was “proud and honored” to be endorsed by Duckworth, “a true American hero.”[29]

“I can’t wait to stand side-by-side with Tammy Duckworth in Congress to protect our fellow vets, and work together on the things we both care passionately about like making college more affordable, creating new clean energy jobs and ensuring our seniors are not asked to pay more because the wealthiest Americans are not paying their fair share,” Takai said.[29]


Shaming of witness for claiming veterans disability

Rep. Duckworth Deplores Witness for Claiming Veterans Disability on June 26, 2013

In a House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform hearing on June 26, 2013, Duckworth questioned and gave an earful to businessman Braulio Castillo.[30] Castillo broke his foot in a prep school injury nearly three decades ago at the U.S. Military Preparatory School, which he attended for nine months before playing football in college. He owns a technology business certified as a service-disabled, veteran-owned company eligible for government set aside contracts.[30]

The hearing came after months of investigation by a House probe into whether Castillo’s company won IRS contracts thanks, in part, to help from a top contracting official and friend inside the IRS named Greg Roseman, who pleaded the Fifth Amendment when called to testify.[31]

Castillo's VA doctors gave him a 30 percent disabled rating even though he never saw combat, about which Duckworth was not pleased as her own injuries sustained were only a 20 percent disabled rating.[30]

Before entering politics, Duckworth was a helicopter pilot in the Army.[30] In November 2004, the Black Hawk she was flying was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade and as a result she lost both legs, and nearly lost her right arm.[30] After returning to the U.S. and undergoing rehab, she became director of the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs and later assistant secretary in the federal Department of Veterans Affairs.[30]

Campaign themes


According to Duckworth's website, her campaign themes included:

  • Economy: "Small businesses are critical to the success of our economy. Without the ingenuity and determination that small businesses exhibit everyday in the 8th District, our economy could not thrive."
  • Education: "Education is a valuable resource that we need to invest in now to bolster our economic future. We need to invest in our public schools to make them better and more competitive."
  • Energy: "We need to think creatively about how to build an economy that is less dependent on foreign oil and instead champions American clean energy innovations. We need to build the foundation for a clean energy economy."[32]



See also: Illinois' 8th Congressional District elections, 2014

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


See also: Illinois' 8th Congressional District elections, 2012

Duckworth defeated incumbent Joe Walsh.[33] Duckworth ran in the 2012 election for the U.S. House to represent Illinois' 8th District. Duckworth had sought the nomination on the Democratic ticket.[34] The signature filing deadline was December 27, 2011, with the primary taking place on March 20, 2012. Incumbent Joe Walsh had sought re-election on the Republican ticket.

U.S. House, Illinois District 8 General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngTammy Duckworth 54.7% 123,206
     Republican Joe Walsh Incumbent 45.3% 101,860
     Independent Robert Gregory Canfield 0% 0
Total Votes 225,066
Source: Illinois Board of Elections "2012 General Election Official Vote Totals"
U.S. House, Illinois District 8 Democratic Primary, 2012
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngTammy Duckworth 66.6% 16,991
Raja Krishnamoorthi 33.4% 8,519
Total Votes 25,510

Duckworth defeated Raja Krishnamoorthi in the Democratic primary on March 20, 2012.[3] Incumbent Joe Walsh ran unopposed in the Republican primary. Duckworth defeated Walsh in the general election on November 6, 2012.

Duckworth had secured the backing of most of Illinois' influential political figures in the Democratic primary against Raja Krishnamoorthi.[2] The two were vying to take on Joe Walsh in the "Democratic-leaning, suburban Chicago district,"[2] and the winner was the likely favorite in the general election.[2]

Duckworth had endorsements from Dick Durbin, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, and Obama advisor David Axelrod.[2] Krishnamoorthi was supported by Danny K. Davis and Cook County Board Chair Toni Preckwinkle.[2]



8th Congressional District Race
Poll Tammy Duckworth Joe WalshUndecidedSample Size
"2012 District 8 Poll" September 18-20
"Illinois 8th Congressional District Poll" October 25-26
AVERAGES 53% 39% 7.5% 504
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 editor@ballotpedia.org.

Campaign donors

Comprehensive donor information for Duckworth is available dating back to 2012. Based on available campaign finance records, Duckworth raised a total of $5,309,495 during that time period. This information was last updated on April 5, 2013.[35]

Tammy Duckworth's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2012 U.S. House (Illinois, District 8) Won $5,309,495
Grand Total Raised $5,309,495


Candidates for Congress are required to file up to seven main reports with the Federal Election Commission during the 2014 elections season. Below are Duckworth's reports.[36]

Duckworth was a top freshman fundraiser in the 113th congress as a member of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's "Frontline" program.[45][46]


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

Duckworth won election to the U.S. House in 2012. During that election cycle, Duckworth's campaign committee raised a total of $5,309,495 and spent $5,208,691.[47] This is more than the average $1.5 million spent by House winners in 2012.[48]

Cost per vote

Duckworth spent $42.28 per vote received in 2012.

According to a report on July 12, 2012, Duckworth raised $886,000 in the second quarter.[49]

Duckworth raised over $1.5 million in the third quarter.[50] On October 15, 2012, quarterly reports were submitted by campaigns to the Federal Election Commission. The political blog Daily Kos did an analysis of the fundraising figures and found Democratic challenger Tammy Duckworth outraised Republican incumbent Joe Walsh in the third quarter. Duckworth raised $1,508,000 and has $763,000 cash-on-hand to Walsh's $254,000 in fundraising and $592,000 cash-on-hand.[51]


Ideology and leadership

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


Based on an analysis of bill sponsorship by GovTrack, Duckworth is a "centrist Democrat," as of June 17, 2013.[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]

Duckworth most often votes with:

Duckworth least often votes with:

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 in the previous year.


Information on 2012 vote rating is unavailable.

Lifetime voting record

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

According to the website GovTrack, Duckworth missed 0 of 89 roll call votes from January 2013 to March 2013. This amounts to 0.0%, which is better than the median of 2.2% among current congressional representatives as of March 2013.[54]

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, Duckworth's net worth as of 2012 was estimated between $125,054 and $1,015,999. That averages to $570,526.50, which is lower than the average net worth of Democratic representatives in 2012 of $5,700,168.36. Duckworth ranked as the 256th most wealthy representative in 2012.[55]

Tammy Duckworth Yearly Net Worth
YearAvg. Net Worth% Difference from previous year

Voting with party


Tammy Duckworth voted with the Democratic Party 92.8% of the time, which ranked 149th among the 201 House Democratic members as of June 2013.[56]


On November 12th, 2004, while serving in Iraq as a Black Hawk helicopter pilot, Duckworth's helicopter was hit by an RPG. Duckworth lost both legs and part of the use of her right arm in the explosion, and was awarded the Purple Heart for her combat injuries.[1] Duckworth and her husband Bryan, an Army Major, live in Hoffman Estates where their home was rebuilt for wheelchair access in 2005 by her fellow soldiers and friends. Despite her injuries, she continues to drill as a Lieutenant Colonel in the Illinois Army National Guard.[1]

Recent news

This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term Tammy + Duckworth + Illinois + House

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

Tammy Duckworth News Feed

  • Loading...

See also

External links

Suggest a link


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Tammy Duckworth for Congress "About Tammy" accessed January 14, 2012
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 The Hill "Illinois House races heating up" accessed March 12, 2012
  3. 3.0 3.1 ABC News 7 "Election Results Primary 2012" accessed March 20, 2012
  4. 4.0 4.1 Associated Press, "Primary Election 2014," accessed March 18, 2014
  5. Boston Globe "For freshman in Congress, focus is on raising money" accessed May 13, 2013
  6. Boston Globe "For freshman in Congress, focus is on raising money" accessed May 13, 2013
  7. National Journal, "Illinois, 8th House District," November 6, 2012
  8. CQ.com, "House Committee Rosters for the 113th Congress," accessed March 3, 2013
  9. U.S. House of Representatives, "Committee Assignments," accessed March 29, 2014
  10. Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity, First Session of the 112th Congress," accessed September 5, 2013
  11. Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity, Second Session of the 113th Congress," accessed March 4, 2014
  12. 12.0 12.1 Daily Kos, "Tammy Duckworth on Syria," accessed August 30, 2013
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 Chicago Tribune, "Duckworth says 'war is messy,' opposes strikes," accessed September 11, 2013
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 14.4 14.5 14.6 14.7 Project Votesmart, "Tammy Duckworth Key Votes," accessed October 10, 2013
  15. The Library of Congress, "H.R.624 CISPA (2013) (Referred in Senate - RFS)," accessed August 27, 2013
  16. Clerk of U.S. House, "Roll Call Vote 31: H.R. 2642," accessed February 12, 2014
  17. Politico, "House clears farm bill," accessed February 12, 2014
  18. 18.0 18.1 NY Times, "Senate Passes Long-Stalled Farm Bill, With Clear Winners and Losers," accessed February 12, 2014
  19. 19.0 19.1 CNN.com, "House passes compromise $1.1 trillion budget for 2014," accessed January 20, 2014
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 U.S. House, "Roll Call Vote 21," accessed January 20, 2014
  21. Roll Call, "House passes $1.1 trillion omnibus," accessed January 20, 2014
  22. Clerk of the U.S. House, "Final vote results for Roll Call 504," accessed October 31, 2013
  23. Buzzfeed, "Government Shutdown: How We Got Here," accessed October 1, 2013
  24. Clerk of the U.S. House, "Final vote results for Roll Call 504," accessed October 31, 2013
  25. The Washington Post, "Reid, McConnell propose bipartisan Senate bill to end shutdown, extend borrowing," accessed October 16, 2013
  26. U.S. House, "Final vote results for Roll Call 550," accessed October 31, 2013
  27. Tammy Duckworth.com, "Tell House Republicans to pass comprehensive immigration reform," accessed August 28, 2013
  28. 28.0 28.1 Daily Kos, "IL-08: Tammy Duckworth (D) Puts The Pressure On House Republicans To Pass Immigration Reform," accessed August 28, 2013
  29. 29.0 29.1 29.2 29.3 Watchdog.org, "Illinois congresswoman backs fellow Iraq vet in competitive Hawaii congressional race," accessed November 27, 2013
  30. 30.0 30.1 30.2 30.3 30.4 30.5 The Atlantic "Tammy Duckworth's Impassioned Shaming of a Faux-Disabled Vet" accessed June 27, 2013
  31. Military Times "‘Shame on you,’ disabled vet Duckworth grills IRS contractor" accessed June 27, 2013
  32. Tammy Duckworth for Congress, "Issues," accessed September 27, 2012
  33. Politico, "2012 Election Map, Illinois"
  34. Chicago Tribune "Duckworth to file for congressional race" accessed December 5, 2011
  35. Open Secrets, "Tammy Duckworth" accessed April 5, 2013
  36. Federal Election Commission, "Tammy Duckworth 2014 Summary reports," accessed July 24, 2013
  37. Federal Election Commission, "April Quarterly," accessed July 24, 2013
  38. Federal Election Commission, "July Quarterly," accessed July 24, 2013
  39. Federal Election Commission, "October Quarterly," accessed October 23, 2013
  40. Federal Election Commission, "Year End Report," accessed February 11, 2014
  41. Federal Election Commission, "Pre-Primary," accessed April 23, 2014
  42. Federal Election Commission, "April Quarterly," accessed April 21, 2014
  43. Federal Election Commission, "July Quarterly," accessed October 14, 2014
  44. Federal Election Commission, "October Quarterly," accessed October 20, 2014
  45. Boston Globe "For freshman in Congress, focus is on raising money" accessed May 13, 2013
  46. Boston Globe "For freshman in Congress, focus is on raising money" accessed May 13, 2013
  47. Open Secrets, "Tammy Duckworth 2012 Election Cycle," accessed February 22, 2013
  48. Open Secrets, "Election 2012: The Big Picture Shows Record Cost of Winning a Seat in Congress," June 19, 2013
  49. Tammy Duckworth "Duckworth Breaks One Million Raised For General Election" accessed July 17, 2012
  50. Tammy Duckworth's campaign website
  51. Daily Kos "Third quarter House fundraising: who's got the cash?" October 18, 2012
  52. GovTrack, "Tammy Duckworth" accessed June 17, 2013
  53. OpenCongress, "Rep. Tammy Duckworth," accessed August 1, 2013
  54. GovTrack, "Tammy Duckworth," accessed April 1, 2013
  55. OpenSecrets.org, "Duckworth (D-IL), 2012," accessed February 18, 2014
  56. OpenCongress, "Voting With Party," accessed July 2014
Political offices
Preceded by
Joe Walsh (R)
U.S. House of Representatives - Illinois, District 8
Succeeded by