Difference between revisions of "Tom Harkin"

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{{Neutral vote}} Harkin did not vote on Senate Amendment 1197 -- Requires the Completion of the Fence Along the United States-Mexico Border. The amendment was rejected by the Senate on June 18, 2013, with a vote of 39 - 54. The purpose of the amendment was to require the completion of 350 miles of fence described in the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 before registered provisional immigrant status may be granted. It would also require 700 miles of fence be completed before the status of registered provisional immigrants may be changed to permanent resident status. The vote followed party lines.<ref name="votes"/>
 
{{Neutral vote}} Harkin did not vote on Senate Amendment 1197 -- Requires the Completion of the Fence Along the United States-Mexico Border. The amendment was rejected by the Senate on June 18, 2013, with a vote of 39 - 54. The purpose of the amendment was to require the completion of 350 miles of fence described in the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 before registered provisional immigrant status may be granted. It would also require 700 miles of fence be completed before the status of registered provisional immigrants may be changed to permanent resident status. The vote followed party lines.<ref name="votes"/>
  
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Revision as of 15:24, 13 December 2013

Tom Harkin
Tom Harkin.jpg
U.S. Senate, Iowa
Incumbent
In office
1985-Present
Term ends
January 3, 2015
Years in position 29
PartyDemocratic
PredecessorRoger W. Jepsen (R)
Compensation
Base salary$174,000/year
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 4, 2008
First electedNovember 5, 1984
Next general November 4, 2014
Campaign $$17,864,005
Term limitsN/A
Prior offices
U.S. House of Representatives
1975-1985
Education
High schoolDowling Catholic High School
Bachelor'sIowa State University
J.D.Catholic University of America
Military service
Service/branchU.S. Navy
Years of service1962-1967
Service branchU.S. Naval Reserve
Years of service1968-74
Personal
BirthdayNovember 19, 1939
Place of birthCumming, Iowa
ProfessionAttorney
Net worth$16,012,060
ReligionRoman Catholic
Websites
Office website
Campaign website
Thomas Richard "Tom" Harkin (b. November 19, 1939, in Cumming, Iowa) is a Democratic member of the U.S. Senate from the state of Iowa. Harkin was first elected to the Senate in 1984.[1]

On January 26, 2013, Harkin announced that he would not seek re-election once his current term expires. Upon his retirement, he will have served in the U.S. Senate for 30 years. Prior to this, he served in the U.S. House for ten years. He told USA Today, "I have mixed feelings. You know what, it's somebody else's turn. To walk away from this position and this power is not an easy thing. But I think it's the right thing."[2]

Harkin served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1975 to 1985.[1]

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

Biography

Harkin was born in 1939 in Cumming, Iowa. He earned his B.A. from Iowa State University in in 1962 and his J.D. from Catholic University of America in 1972.

Career

Below is an abbreviated outline of Harkin's career:

Harkin had a legal practice in Des Moines, served in United States Navy and Naval reserves, worked an attorney for Polk County, Iowa, Legal Aid Society in 1973 and was a member on the board of directors for the Iowa Consumers League.[3]

Committee assignments

U.S. Senate

2013-2014

Harkin serves on the following Senate committees[4]:

  • Environment and Public Works Committee Chairman
  • Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Committee
    • Subcommittee on Nutrition, Specialty Crops, Food and Agricultural Research
    • Subcommittee on Conservation, Forestry and Natural Resources
    • Subcommittee on Commodities, Markets, Trade and Risk Management
  • Appropriations Committee
    • Subcommittee on Transportation and Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies
    • Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs
    • Subcommittee on Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and Related Agencies
    • Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development
    • Subcommittee on Department of Defense
    • Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies
  • Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee
  • Health, Education, Labor and Pensions
    • Subcommittee on Children and Families Ex Officio
    • Subcommittee on Primary Health and Aging Ex Officio
    • Subcommittee on Employment and Workplace Safety Ex Officio

2011-2012

Harkin served on the following Senate committees[5]:

Issues

Legislative actions

113th Congress

CongressLogo.png

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.[6] The Senate has confirmed 16,878 out of 19,009 executive nominations received thus far (88.8%). For more information pertaining to Harkin's voting record in the 113th Congress, please see the below sections.[7]

National security

American response in Syria
See also: United States involvement in Syria

The United States should not take military action in Syria without “broad international support” and stronger evidence that chemical weapons have been used on Syria’s civilian population, Harkin said in a statement released after a September 1, 2013, briefing of congressional leaders. Harkin cautioned that U.S. military intervention would not solve the Syrian crisis alone.[8]

“I have just attended a classified Congressional briefing on Syria that quite frankly raised more questions than it answered. I found the evidence presented by Administration officials to be circumstantial. The atrocious use of chemical weapons against civilian is an affront to human values and a violation of international law. It should be condemned by the international community as a whole. The coming debate in Congress will hopefully shine the light on outstanding questions. As will the results of the U.N. inspection team. We must wait for these results before any action is taken. What I hear from Iowans is that the Middle East has a complex history and the conflicts there will not be solved by U.S. military action alone. We should not rush into what may become a new open-ended war without broad international backing or a full understanding of the ramifications.”[8]

John Brennan CIA nomination

Voted "Yes" Harkin voted for the confirmation of John Brennan as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. The nomination was confirmed by the Senate on March 7, 2013, with a vote of 63 - 34. Most Democrats supported the nomination, while Republicans were somewhat divided with roughly one-third supporting the nomination.[9]

Economy

Government shutdown
See also: United States budget debate, 2013

Voted "Yes" During the shutdown in October 2013, the Senate rejected, down party lines, every House-originated bill that stripped the budget of funding for the Affordable Care Act. A deal was reached late on October 16, 2013, just hours before the debt ceiling deadline. The bill to reopen the government, H.R. 2775, 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.[10] The final vote on H.R. 2775 was 81-18, with all 18 votes against the bill from Republican members. Harkin voted with the Democratic Party for the bill.[11]

No Budget, No Pay Act of 2013

Voted "Yes" Harkin voted for H.R.325 -- No Budget, No Pay Act of 2013. The bill passed the Senate on January 31, 2013, with a vote of 64 - 34. The purpose of the bill was to temporarily suspended the debt ceiling and withhold the pay of members of Congress until a budget could be passed. The vote largely followed party lines with Democrats overwhelmingly supporting it and many Republicans in opposition to the bill.[9]

2013 Senate Budget Proposal

Voted "Yes" Harkin voted for the 2013 Senate Budget Proposal.[9] On March 23, after an all-night debate that ended just before 5 a.m., by a 50 to 49 vote the Democratically controlled Senate approved its first budget in four years. No Republicans voted for the Senate plan, and four Democrats opposed it. All four are from red states and are up for re-election in 2014. Harkin was one of the four Democrats who voted against the budget proposal.[9]

The approved plan is a $3.7 trillion budget for 2014 and would provide a fast track for passage of tax increases, trim spending modestly and leave the government still deeply in the red for the next decade.

The approval of a budget in the Senate began the process of setting up contentious, and potentially fruitless, negotiations with the Republican-controlled House starting in April to reconcile two vastly different plans for dealing with the nation’s economic and budgetary problems.

The House plan would have brought the government’s taxes and spending into balance by 2023 with cuts to domestic spending even below the levels of automatic across-the-board cuts for federal programs now, and it orders up dramatic and controversial changes to Medicare and the tax code.

The Senate plan differed greatly, and included $100 billion in upfront infrastructure spending to bolster the economy and calls for special fast-track rules to overhaul the tax code and raise $975 billion over 10 years in legislation that could not be filibustered. Even with that tax increase and prescribed spending cuts, the plan approved by the Senate would leave the government with a $566 billion annual deficit in 10 years, and $5.2 trillion in additional debt over that window.

Healthcare

Healthcare.gov
See also: Healthcare.gov website rollout

Harkin said of the website Healthcare.gov on November 5, 2013, “I want it fixed so the Affordable Care Act will succeed … not be torn down. There are many who have spent the past three years doing nothing but trying to tear this law down. Quite frankly, I feel they’ve kind of surrendered their right to express indignation that it’s not working flawlessly.”[12]

Immigration

Mexico-U.S. border

Neutral/Abstain Harkin did not vote on Senate Amendment 1197 -- Requires the Completion of the Fence Along the United States-Mexico Border. The amendment was rejected by the Senate on June 18, 2013, with a vote of 39 - 54. The purpose of the amendment was to require the completion of 350 miles of fence described in the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 before registered provisional immigrant status may be granted. It would also require 700 miles of fence be completed before the status of registered provisional immigrants may be changed to permanent resident status. The vote followed party lines.[9]

Social Issues

Violence Against Women (2013)

Voted "Yes" Harkin voted for S.47 -- Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013. The bill was passed by the Senate on February 12, 2013, with a vote of 78 - 22. The purpose of the bill was to combat violence against women, from domestic violence to international trafficking in persons. All 22 dissenting votes were cast by Republicans.[9]

Previous congressional sessions

Fiscal Cliff

Voted "No" Harkin 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 one of three Democrats that voted against the bill. The bill was passed in the Senate by a 89 - 8 vote on January 1, 2013.[13]

State of American politics

On the floor of the Senate on September 27, 2013, Harkin gave a speech describing how American politics have reached the level at which "a small group of willful men and women who have a certain ideology." Hark's comment came after the 21 hour long speech by Ted Cruz in the Senate on September 24-25, 2013.[14]

"Since they can't get their way," Harkin said, "they're going to create this confusion and discourse and hope that the public will be so mixed up in who is to blame for this, that they'll blame both sides."[14]

"It's dangerous. It's very dangerous. I believe, Mr. President, we are at one of the most dangerous points in our history right now. Every bit as dangerous as the break-up of the Union before the Civil War," Harkin added.[14]

Elections

2014

See also: United States Senate elections in Iowa, 2014

On January 26, 2013, Harkin announced that he will not seek re-election in 2014.[15]

The FiscalTimes compiled a list of the seven most vulnerable Senate seats up for election in 2014. The seven included in the list are: Alaska, Arkansas, Iowa, Louisiana, North Carolina, South Dakota, and West Virginia. Going into the 2014 election, all seven seats are held by Democrats.[16]

Harkin's decision to retire after five terms in the Senate provides a great opportunity for Republicans.[16] Rep. Bruce Braley (D) is reportedly the likeliest Democratic nominee.[16] On the Republican side, early polling indicates that conservative Rep. Steve King leads the early primary field, but Rep. Tom Latham does better in general election matchups. While there are other Republican possibilities, it seems likely that one of these two would be the front-runner for the nomination.[16]

Full history


Campaign donors

Comprehensive donor information for Harkin is available dating back to 2002. Based on available campaign finance records, Harkin raised a total of $17,864,005 during that time period. This information was last updated on April 3, 2013.[20]

Tom Harkin's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2008 U.S. Senate (Iowa) Won $9,179,122
2002 U.S. Senate (Iowa) Won $8,684,883
Grand Total Raised $17,864,005

Annual Steak-Fry Fundraiser

Harkin held his annual steak-fry fundraiser in September 2013.[21] Those in attendance included Vice president Joe Biden, San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro, Rep. Joaquín Castro and U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.[21]

Analysis

Ideology and leadership

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

Based on an analysis of bill sponsorship by GovTrack, Harkin is a "moderate Democratic leader," as of June 21, 2013.[22]

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.[23]

Harkin most often votes with:

Harkin least often votes with:

Lifetime voting record

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

According to the website GovTrack, Harkin missed 373 of 9,536 roll call votes from Jan 1985 to Mar 2013. This amounts to 3.9%, which is worse than the median of 1.7% among currently serving senators as of March 2013.[24]

Congressional staff salaries

See also: Staff salaries of United States Senators and Representatives

The website Legistorm compiles staff salary information for members of Congress. Harkin paid his congressional staff a total of $2,814,112 in 2011. He ranks 18th on the list of the highest paid Democratic senatorial staff salaries and ranks 21st overall of the highest paid senatorial staff salaries in 2011. Overall, Iowa ranks 26th in average salary for senatorial staff. The average U.S. Senate congressional staff was paid $2,529,141.70 in fiscal year 2011.[25]

Net worth

See also: Net Worth of United States Senators and Representatives

2011

Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by OpenSecrets.org, Harkin's net worth as of 2011 was estimated between $10,006,120 and $22,018,001. That averages to $16,012,060, which is lower than the average net worth of Democratic senators in 2011 of $20,795,450. His average net worth decreased by 3.52% from 2010.[26]

2010

Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by OpenSecrets.org, Harkin's net worth as of 2010 was estimated between $10,276,123 and $22,918,001. That averages to $16,597,062, which is lower than the average net worth of Democratic senators in 2010 of $19,383,524.[27]

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.

2012

Harkin ranked 15th in the liberal rankings in 2012.[28]

2011

Harkin ranked 5th in the liberal rankings in 2011.[29]

Voting with party

2013

The website OpenCongress tracks how often members of Congress vote with the majority of the chamber caucus. According to the website, Tom Harkin has voted with the Democratic Party 96.1% of the time, which ranked 18th among the 52 Senate Democratic members as of June 2013.[30]

Personal

Harkin has been married to his wife Ruth (nee Raduenz) since 1968. They have two daughters and three grandchildren.[31]

Recent news

This section displays the most recent stories in a google news search for the term Tom + Harkin + Iowa + Senate

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

Tom Harkin News Feed

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External links


References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Bioguide "Tom Harkin" Accessed June 21, 2013
  2. USA Today "Iowa Sen. Harkin will not seek re-election," January 26, 2013
  3. Biographical Guide to Members of Congress "Thomas Richard Harkin," Accessed October 18, 2011
  4. Congressional Quarterly "Senate Committee List" Accessed January 18, 2013
  5. Official Senate website "Committees page," Accessed October 18, 2011
  6. Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity, First Session of the 112th Congress," accessed September 5, 2013
  7. Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity, Second Session of the 113th Congress," accessed March 4, 2014
  8. 8.0 8.1 Des Moines Register, "Harkin urges caution on Syria military action," accessed September 2, 2013
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 9.5 Project Votesmart, "Tom Harkin Key Votes," accessed October 16, 2013
  10. The Washington Post, "Reid, McConnell propose bipartisan Senate bill to end shutdown, extend borrowing," accessed October 16, 2013
  11. Senate.gov, "H.R. 2775 As Amended," accessed October 31, 2013
  12. Des Moines Register, "Harkin: I want healthcare.gov fixed so Obamacare will succeed," accessed November 5, 2013
  13. U.S. Senate "Roll Call Vote on the Fiscal Cliff" Accessed January 4, 2013.
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 National Journal, "Senator Says Politics Have Reached Civil War Levels," accessed October 9, 2013
  15. AP "Harkin won't seek 6th senate term"
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 16.3 Fiscal Times " 7 Senate Seats Most at Risk—Hint: They’re All Blue" Accessed February 15, 2013
  17. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 4, 2008," accessed March 28, 2013
  18. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 5, 2002," accessed March 28, 2013
  19. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 5, 1996," accessed March 28, 2013
  20. Open Secrets "Tom Harkin" Accessed April 3, 2013
  21. 21.0 21.1 Des Monies Register, "Video: What you need to know about the Harkin Steak Fry," accessed October 9, 2013
  22. Gov Track "Tom Harkin," Accessed June 21, 2013
  23. OpenCongress, "Rep. Tom Harkin," Accessed August 2, 2013
  24. GovTrack, "Tom Harkin," Accessed March 29, 2013
  25. LegiStorm "Tom Harkin"
  26. OpenSecrets.org, "Tom Harkin, (D-Iowa), 2011"
  27. OpenSecrets.org, "Harkin, (D-IA), 2010"
  28. National Journal, "2012 Congressional Vote Ratings," February 28, 2013
  29. National Journal, "Searchable Vote Ratings Tables: Senate," February 23, 2012
  30. OpenCongress, "Voting With Party," accessed June 6, 2013
  31. Official Senate website "Biography," Accessed October 18, 2011
Political offices
Preceded by
Roger Jepsen
U.S. Senate - Iowa
1985-Present
Succeeded by
-
Preceded by
'
U.S. House - Iowa
1975-1985
Succeeded by
'