Joseph Simon Donnelly Sr. (born September 29, 1955) is an American attorney and politician serving as the seniorUnited States Senator from Indiana, since 2013. He is a member of the Democratic Party.
Born in Massapequa, New York, Donnelly graduated from The University of Notre Dame. He began his career serving on the Indiana State Election Board before working as an attorney in practice. From 1997 to 2001, he was on the MishawakaMarian School Board, serving as its President from 2000 to 2001. In 2004, he won the Democratic nomination for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, losing to Republican incumbent Chris Chocola in the general election. He challenged Chocola again in 2006, winning election with 54% of the vote. He represented Indiana's 2nd congressional district from 2007 to 2013, winning reelection in 2008 and 2010.
In May 2011, Donnelly announced his intentions to run for the U.S. Senate, winning the Democratic nomination one year later in an uncontested primary. He then faced Indiana State TreasurerRichard Mourdock who had defeated 36-year incumbent Richard Lugar in the Republican primary. On November 6, 2012 Donnelly defeated Mourdock in the general election, receiving 50% of the vote to Mourdock's 44%.
He is running for reelection in the 2018 elections.
Early life, education, and law career
Donnelly was born and raised in Massapequa, New York. He graduated from the University of Notre Dame, with a Bachelor of Arts in government in 1977, and earned his Juris Doctor from Notre Dame Law School in 1981. He practiced law at the Nemeth, Feeney and Masters law firm until 1996, when he opened Marking Solutions, a printing and rubber-stamp company.
Early political career
Donnelly served on the Indiana State Election Board from 1988 to 1989. He was a member of the Marian High School Board from 1997 to 2001, and was its president from 2000 to 2001.
He ran for Indiana Attorney General in 1988, but lost at the Democratic state convention. He also ran an unsuccessful campaign for the Indiana Senate in 1990.
In 2004, Donnelly ran for the U.S. Congress from Indiana's 2nd congressional district. He won the Democratic nomination unopposed. Donnelly lost the election to incumbent Republican Chris Chocola, 54%–45%.
U.S. House of Representatives
Main article: United States House of Representatives elections in Indiana, 2006 § District 2
On May 2, 2006, Donnelly defeated Steve Francis for the Democratic nomination for the U.S. Congress from Indiana's second district, setting up a rematch against Republican incumbent Chris Chocola. Because of President George W. Bush's waning popularity, the race was expected to be competitive. The website MoveOn.org targeted Donnelly and ran advertising against him. Chocola maintained a decisive lead in fundraising, raising $3.2 million to Donnelly's $1.5 million. The campaign was heated, with the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee sponsoring ads attacking Chocola as being beholden to moneyed interests in the insurance, pharmaceutical, and energy industries. Chocola returned fire by attacking Donnelly over a late tax filing and by attempting to link him to liberal House leader Nancy Pelosi.
On November 7, 2006, Donnelly defeated Chocola 54%-46%, a difference of 15,145 votes. The key difference between the 2006 and 2004 elections for Donnelly lay in the results in St. Joseph County, the location of South Bend and by far the largest county in the district. Donnelly won that county with 58% of the vote.
Main article: United States House of Representatives elections in Indiana, 2008 § District 2
Donnelly ran unopposed for the Democratic nomination. In the general election, he won re-election to a second term with 67% of the vote.
Main article: United States House of Representatives elections in Indiana, 2010 § District 2
Donnelly ran unopposed for the Democratic nomination. In the general election, he was challenged by Republican nominee State RepresentativeJackie Walorski. Despite the Republican wave in the 2010 midterm elections, Donnelly won re-election to a third term, defeating Walorski 48%-46%.
Donnelly was named to the House Financial Services Committee for the 110th Congress.
Main article: United States Senate election in Indiana, 2012
On May 8, 2012, Donnelly ran unopposed for the Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate. He faced a Tea Party favorite, Indiana State TreasurerRichard Mourdock, who had defeated six-term incumbent Richard Lugar in the Republican primary, and Libertarian nominee Andy Horning.
An issue in the campaign was the auto bailout of 2009, which Donnelly supported and Mourdock said was unconstitutional. Donnelly fashioned himself "a common-sense Hoosier in the tradition of Richard Lugar and Evan Bayh.
Donnelly was endorsed by The Journal Gazette and the South Bend Tribune.
During the campaign Mourdock became embroiled in a controversy after stating that pregnancy from rape is "something that God intended." His remarks were made in a debate on October 23, 2012, during which he explained his opposition to abortion even in the case of rape.
On November 6, 2012 Donnelly defeated Mourdock by a 50% to 44% margin.
On January 3, 2013, Donnelly was sworn into the United States Senate in the 113th Congress by Vice PresidentJoe Biden. Donnelly was the first Democrat to hold this seat since Vance Hartke's defeat by Richard Lugar in 1977. The Lugar Center, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit that founded by former U.S. Senator Richard Lugar in 2013, ranked Donnelly as the #2 most bipartisan member of the 114th United States Congress.
- Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry
- Committee on Armed Services
- Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs
- Special Committee on Aging
Donnelly is a moderate Democrat who "sometimes bucks his party on issues such as abortion, defense spending and the environment." According to Politico, "Donnelly is constantly dogged by Republicans aiming to unseat him" while also facing "disgruntled Democrats who think he's far too conservative." In 2013, the National Journal gave Donnelly a composite score of 52% conservative and 48% liberal. He supported progressive taxation and organized labor, but opposed same-sex marriage and abortion, even in the case of rape, during his 2012 campaign. On April 5, 2013, Senator Donnelly endorsed same-sex marriage on his Facebook page.
In 2017, Donnelly said he was finalizing the sale of approximately $50,000 worth of stock in the Stewart Superior Corporation, an arts and crafts business that operates a factory in Mexico. The sale of stock came after the Associated Press reported that the company benefits from the same trade practices which Donnelly, a longtime critic of outsourcing jobs, has criticized throughout his political career. According to the Associated Press, Donnelly "railed against Carrier Corp. for moving manufacturing jobs to Mexico last year, even as he profited from a family business that relies on Mexican labor to produce dye for ink pads."
In February 2009, Donnelly voted for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
Donnelly voted against the Temporary Payroll Tax Cut Continuation Act of 2011 (a two-month extension of an expiring provision from the American Recovery Act, forestalling an increase in the payroll tax from 4.2% to 6.2%); he voted for the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 (a one-year extension of the same provision). In 2012 Donnelly also voted for H.R. 9, the Small Business Tax Cut Act, which would allow businesses with fewer than 500 employees to receive a tax deduction equal to 20% of their domestic business income.
Donnelly was one of 276 members of Congress who voted for the Tax Relief and Unemployment Insurance Act of 2010, extending the 2001 and 2003Bush-era tax cuts and a 13-month extension of unemployment benefits. In an interview, Donnelly said that he favored making the tax cuts permanent for middle-class Americans and temporarily extending the cuts for families making at least $250,000. In a speech at the 2012 Indiana Democratic Convention, Donnelly said that he would support a temporary one-year extension of all Bush-era tax cuts. "Given our continued economic challenges," he said, "now is the time to keep tax rates low...We need to create jobs, we need to help the middle class and support small businesses, and we need to avoid partisan bickering and delay."
On September 27, 2013, Donnelly voted for the Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2014 (H.J.Res 59).
In 2016, Donnelly received a rating of 10% from FreedomWorks and 15% from Club for Growth; in 2015-16, the National Tax Limitation Committee gave him a 36% rating.
Donnelly opposed President Trump's tax cuts, which put him at odds with many voters in his state. In an October 2017 video addressed to his constituents, Donnelly explained his opposition, given "the only plan out there is missing a lot of important details." On October 20, 2017, the New York Times ran a prominent story recounting President Trump's efforts to win Donnelly's support for his tax plan. Donnelly said he was open to supporting the plan but wanted to see more detail and be assured it would focus on substantial middle-class tax relief. Natalie Strom, a White House spokeswoman, said that on taxes, Donnelly was "still siding with Chuck Schumer instead of supporting tax relief and economic growth for the people of Indiana."
- Financial regulation
During his second term, Donnelly voted for the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.
A March 2012 letter signed by Donnelly and other Democratic members of the House and Senate, urged Commodity Futures Trading Commission Chairman Gary Gensler to curb oil speculation in the commodity market through new provisions in the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.
In July 2012 Donnelly voted in favor of H.R. 459, the Federal Reserve Transparency Act, sponsored by Texas Congressman Ron Paul. The bill requires a full audit of the Federal Reserve, the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, and Federal reserve banks by the Comptroller General.
- Labor issues
In 2007, Donnelly co-sponsored the Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2007. The act allowed Congress to gradually raise the federal minimum wage from $5.15 per hour to $7.25 per hour. Donnelly voted in favor of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.
Donnelly, along with 197 members of the House, was a cosponsor of the Medicare Prescription Drug Price Negotiation Act of 2007. Donnelly voted against the Prescription Drug Imports Act, which would have "allowed funds to be used to prohibit the importation of prescription drugs by anyone who is not a legally sanctioned importer of drugs, a wholesaler, or a pharmacist."
In 2007, Donnelly was a co-sponsor of the Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act (CHIP), which would have added $35 billion and 4 million children to the program over five years by raising the federal cigarette tax by 61 cents to $1 per pack. After passing the House and Senate, the measure was vetoed by President George W. Bush. Donnelly joined 217 Democrats and 42 Republicans in a failed effort to override President Bush's veto.
In March 2010, Donnelly voted in favor of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (commonly called ObamaCare or the Affordable Care Act). In 2013, Donnelly proposed changing the Affordable Care Act's definition of full-time work from 30 hours a week to 40. He also supported repealing the medical device excise tax, a 2.3% tax on the sale of certain medical devices by the manufacturer, producer or importer of the device. In 2012, Donnelly cosponsored the Protect Medical Innovation Act, which would repeal the tax.
After Donnelly voted in 2012 to repeal the medical-device tax that is part of ObamaCare, his 2012 election opponent, Richard Mourdock, said: "Joe Donnelly wants to pick apart Obamacare, but that begs the question: Why didn't he just hold out and not vote for it?"
Donnelly called President Trump's proposed changes in ObamaCare "unacceptable and cruel" and "half-baked," asserting that ObamaCare "benefits millions of Hoosiers."
Donnelly opposed President Donald Trump's nomination of Betsy De Vos as Secretary of Education. "After reviewing her record," he explained, "I share the concerns expressed by many Hoosier educators, students, and families that Betsy DeVos lacks the commitment to public education needed to effectively lead the Department of Education".
In 2011 Donnelly voted to allow Department of Defense funds to be used for military actions in support of the NATOIntervention in Libya. Donnelly also voted in support of the failed resolution to authorize the President to continue the limited use of U.S. Forces in Libya. The resolution stated that Congress does not support deploying, establishing, or maintaining the presence of units and members of U.S. Armed Forces on the ground in Libya unless the purpose of the presence is limited to the defense of U.S. government officials or NATO member forces from imminent danger.[dead link]
Donnelly voted against the Iraq War troop surge of 2007. In July 2007, Donnelly joined 221 other House members in voting for HR 2956, the Responsible Redeployment from Iraq Act. This legislation contained a deadline for withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq.
In 2011, Donnelly aligned himself with Republicans and seven other members of the Blue Dog Coalition in a 204-215 House vote against an accelerated withdrawal from the war in Afghanistan. Donnelly reaffirmed opposition to an accelerated withdrawal from Afghanistan in voting against the Lee amendment, proposed in H.R. 4310, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013. The Lee amendment, if passed, would have prohibited the military spending any money in Afghanistan except for non-combat humanitarian activities, and on activities leading to the withdrawal of American military forces from the country.
In 2011, Donnelly voted against H.R. 2219 which would have cut the U.S. military budget by $8.5 billion, stipulating that no cuts were to be taken from pay or benefit programs supporting members and veterans of the armed forces. These cuts would have reduced the emphasis of the U.S. budget on weapons programs. Donnelly also voted against the failed Polis amendment, which would have cut $640 million in a 2% across-the-board reduction in spending from the 2012 United States Department of Homeland Security appropriations bill. Donnelly voted in favor of the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act. Civil liberties advocates have criticized Donnelly for voting for Section 1021, expanding the president's authority to detain suspected al-Qaeda, Taliban, or associated forces (including U.S. citizens) without a trial. Donnelly has to reauthorize the PATRIOT Act, and to require FISA warrants for wiretaps in the U.S., but not abroad.
Donnelly voted against the DREAM Act on December 8, 2010. In March 2017, he announced support for the Bar Removal of Individuals who Dream and Grow our Economy (BRIDGE) Act, which would allow undocumented young people in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program to work legally and to live with at least temporary assurance of not being deported. He argued that this act would "give these young people, who were brought here through no fault of their own, some clarity and stability." In 2017, NumbersUSA, which is opposed to open immigration, gave him a 0% score; in 2015-16, the Federation for American Immigration Reform, which also supports immigration controls, gave him a 25% rating.
In 2016, the Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund gave him a 77% rating; in 2015-16 EarthRights International gave him a 40% rating; in 2015-16, Environment America gave him a 55% rating.
Donnelly is one of the few Senate Democrats with an "A" rating from the National Rifle Association (NRA) for his consistent support of policies that the NRA supports. He has commended the NRA for its work with children on gun safety.
In 2007, he co-sponsored a bill that repealed the requirement in Washington, D.C. to have guns registered. The bill also repealed the ban on semi-automatic firearms and trigger locks. Two years later, Donnelly supported a law that would enact concealed carry reciprocity across state lines.
In 2013, Donnelly joined three other Senate Democrats in voting against the proposed ban on assault weapons. He also voted to support expanded background checks that same year.
In 2017, he participated in the Chris Murphy gun control filibuster that was intended to persuade Republicans to support legislation that would have barred suspected terrorists and convicted criminals from purchasing guns. "I am a supporter of the Second Amendment," he said. "I'm also someone who believes it's reasonable for all of us to consider smart and responsible ways to reduce gun violence. Those things are not in opposition to each other." Despite Donnelly's participation in the filbuster, a liberal Donnelly supporter, Indianapolis Star columnist Matthew Tully, complained on June 15, 2016, that "Donnelly's overall record on gun policies, first in the House and now in the Senate, and his general avoidance of taking a leadership position on the issue, seems much less tolerable than it did four years ago."
Donnelly opposes abortion. In 2011, he co-sponsored HR 3, the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act. In 2015, Donnelly was one of only two Democratic Senators who voted to defund Planned Parenthood, the other Senator being Joe Manchin of West Virginia. On March 30, 2017, Donnelly voted against H.J.Res. 43, which, when signed by President Trump, nullified a pending federal regulation that would have disallowed states to withhold money from abortion providers. In 2018, he was one of three Democratic Senators who voted to outlaw abortions performed after 20 weeks of pregnancy.
Donnelly has an overall mixed voting record on LGBT rights, receiving a rating of 30% from the Human Rights Campaign in 2010. In 2007, Donnelly cosponsored the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, but in 2009, he voted against the Matthew Shepard Act. However, in October 2009, Donnelly voted for 2009-2010 Defense Appropriations, which included the Matthew Shepard Act, which expanded the federal hate crimes to include sexual orientation, gender identity and disabilities. On May 27, 2010, Donnelly voted against repealing Don't Ask, Don't Tell after military review and certification, though the next day, he voted for the 2010-2011 Defense Appropriation Authorizations bill which included a provision repealing Don't Ask Don't Tell. In December 2010, Donnelly voted in favor of the Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal Act of 2010. Donnelly was one of 17 Democratic Representatives to vote for H Amdt 1416 the Prohibits Use of Funds in Contravention of the Defense of Marriage Act in July 2012. On April 5, 2013, Donnelly announced his support for same-sex marriage. He received a rating of 80% from the Human Rights Campaign in 2017 for his time in the 114th Congress.
In 2013, Donnelly co-sponsored the Senate bill to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act.
In 2015, Donnelly voted for CISPA.
Donnelly was one of four Democrats to vote against the Stream Protection Rule.
Donnelly met his wife, Jill, while attending the University of Notre Dame, the two later married in 1979. They have two children. As of 2013, Donnelly was ranked as the 74th wealthiest member of the U.S. Senate, with an estimated net worth of $781,504.
Donnelly is a practicing Roman Catholic.
|Indiana's 2nd congressional district Democratic primary election, 2006|
|No party||Write-Ins||18||0 %||n/a|
|Democraticgain from Republican||Swing|
- ^"DONNELLY, Joe, (1955 - )". bioguide.congress.gov. Retrieved January 3, 2012.
- ^Henneberger, Melinda (May 8, 2012). "Donnely Wins Democratic Nomination; Washington Post". Washingtonpost.com. Retrieved October 26, 2012.
- ^Wald, Matthew L. (November 6, 2012). "Democrat Wins Race for Senate in Indiana". nytimes.com. Retrieved January 3, 2012.
- ^"News From The Associated Press". Hosted.ap.org. Retrieved May 2, 2012.
- ^"Four NDLS Graduates Elected to U.S. Congress". law.nd.edu. Retrieved November 22, 2012.
- ^"Joe Donnelly for Congress | About Joe | About Joe". Donnellyforuscongress.com. Retrieved December 4, 2011.
- ^ abMoll, Karly (November 7, 2012). "Profile: Indiana Sen.-elect Joe Donnelly". USA Today. Retrieved 29 January 2018.
- ^Willis, Nate (July 9, 2012). "Indiana Senate Race Pits Former Rivals Joe Donnelly, Chris Chocola Against One Another". Huffington Post. Retrieved 29 January 2018.
- ^"Secretary of State : Elections Division: Election Foundation Wide". In.gov. Retrieved July 12, 2010.
- ^Keller, Susan Jo. "The 2nd District in Indiana". New York Times. Retrieved 29 January 2018.
- ^"Total Raised and Spent 2006 Race: Indiana District 02". opensecrets.org. Retrieved January 13, 2013.
- ^Wensits, James (August 4, 2006). "Another Donnelly tax claim, another anti-Chocola ad and more to come". South Bend Tribune. Retrieved 29 January 2018.
- ^"Elections 2006". CNN. Retrieved July 12, 2010.
- ^"U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES / INDIANA 02 / COUNTY RESULTS". cnn.com. Retrieved January 14, 2013.
- ^"May 6, 2008 Primary Election"(PDF). in.gov/sos/elections. Retrieved January 14, 2013.
- ^"U.S. Senate and House - Indiana". usatoday.com. November 5, 2008. Retrieved January 14, 2013.
- ^"2010 Indiana Election Report"
Read our 2017 Report Card for Donnelly.
Donnelly is shown as a purple triangle ▲ in our ideology-leadership chart below. Each dot is a member of the Senate positioned according to our liberal–conservative ideology score (left to right) and our leadership score (leaders are toward the top).
The chart is based on the bills Donnelly has sponsored and cosponsored. See full analysis methodology.
Ratings from Advocacy Organizations
Joe Donnelly sits on the following committees:
- Senate Committee on Armed Services
- Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs
- Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry
- Senate Special Committee on Aging
Donnelly was the primary sponsor of 1 bill that was enacted:
View All »
We consider a bill enacted if one of the following is true: a) it is enacted itself, b) it has a companion bill in the other chamber (as identified by Congress) which was enacted, or c) if about one third or more of its provisions were incorporated into bills that were enacted (as determined by an automated text analysis, applicable beginning with bills in the 110th Congress).
Donnelly sponsors bills primarily in these issue areas:
Armed Forces and National Security (28%)Finance and Financial Sector (13%)Education (13%)Health (13%)Agriculture and Food (10%)Housing and Community Development (8%)Crime and Law Enforcement (8%)Government Operations and Politics (8%)
Some of Donnelly’s most recently sponsored bills include...
View All » | View Cosponsors »
|Donnelly’s Vote||Vote Description|
|Nay||On the Nomination PN47: Jay Clayton, of New York, to be a Member of the Securities and Exchange Commission for a term expiring June 5, 2021|
May 2, 2017. Nomination Confirmed 61/37.
|Nay||On the Nomination PN88: R. Alexander Acosta, of Florida, to be Secretary of Labor|
Apr 27, 2017. Nomination Confirmed 60/38.
|Yea||H.R. 5325: Legislative Branch Appropriations Act, 2017|
Sep 28, 2016. Bill Passed 72/26.
|Yea||H.R. 22: Developing a Reliable and Innovative Vision for the Economy Act|
Dec 3, 2015. Conference Report Agreed to 83/16.
H.R 22, formerly the Hire More Heroes Act, has become the Senate’s vehicle for passage of the Developing a Reliable and Innovative Vision for the Economy Act or DRIVE Act (S. 1647). The DRIVE Act is a major bipartisan transportation bill that would authorize funding ...
|Aye||H.R. 6233 (112th): Agricultural Disaster Assistance Act of 2012|
Aug 2, 2012. Passed 223/197.
|Aye||H.R. 1249 (112th): Leahy-Smith America Invents Act|
Jun 23, 2011. Passed 304/117.
The Leahy–Smith America Invents Act (AIA) is a United States federal statute that was passed by Congress and was signed into law by President Barack Obama on September 16, 2011. The law represents the most significant change to the U.S. patent system since 1952, and ...
|Yea||S. 3729 (111th): National Aeronautics and Space Administration Authorization Act of 2010|
Sep 29, 2010. Passed 304/118.
|Nay||H.Con.Res. 308 (111th): Providing for a conditional adjournment of the House of Representatives.|
Jul 29, 2010. Passed 231/189.
|Nay||H.Res. 1525 (110th): Providing for consideration of the Senate amendments to the bill (H.R. 1424) to amend section 712 of ...|
Oct 3, 2008. Passed 223/205.
From Jan 2013 to Mar 2018, Donnelly missed 13 of 1,533 roll call votes, which is 0.8%. This is better than the median of 1.4% among the lifetime records of senators currently serving. The chart below reports missed votes over time.
Show the numbers...
|Time Period||Votes Eligible||Missed Votes||Percent||Percentile|
The information on this page is originally sourced from a variety of materials, including:
Joe Donnelly is pronounced:
joh // DAW-nuh-lee
The letters stand for sounds according to the following table:
|Letter||Sounds As In|
Capital letters indicate a stressed syllable.