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|This is a profile of a former U.S. Representative. (See the Michigan portal for all incumbents, candidates and blogs.)|
Peter Hoekstra was a Republican member of the U. S. House of Representatives, representing Michigan's 2nd District from 1993 to 2011. The district is based in Muskegon and stretches for 5,500 square miles along Lake Michigan.
Record and controversies
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Hoekstra voted for the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002 that started the Iraq War.
For more information on environmental legislation, see the Energy and Environment Policy Portal
2007 SCHIP Vote
In 2007, Congress took up the reauthorization of the State Children's Health Insurance Program, which provides health care for about 6 million children and 670,000 adults from families who earn too much money qualify for Medicare but not enough to afford health insurance. Congressional Democrats and many Republicans tried to use the opportunity to dramatically expand the program but were opposed by President George W. Bush and other Republicans. In 2006, 5.4 million children were eligible but not enrolled in SCHIP or Medicaid and 9.4 million total children were uninsured.
Hoekstra voted against the first House bill, which passed along party lines. It would have added $47 billion over five years to the $25 billion cost of the program and added about 5 million people to the program, including children, some legal immigrants, pregnant women and adults aged 18 and 19. The bill was financed mainly by an increase in cigarette taxes.
House Democrats, with 45 Republicans, later compromised and passed a bill which expanded the plan by $35 billion and would have insured about 3.5 million more children from families generally making between 250% and 300% of the federal poverty line (about $51,000 to $62,000 for a family of four). Most non-pregnant, childless adults were excluded, as were most legal immigrants and all illegal immigrants. Hoekstra voted against the bill.
After President Bush vetoed the bill, Democratic leaders attempted to override the veto with the same bill but failed. Hoekstra voted against the bill.
House Democrats then attempted to override it with another bill, which gave into Republican demands for increased checks for citizenship, the quick phasing-out of adult coverage, a hard limit of 300% of the federal poverty level and funding for families that covered their children through private insurance instead. Republicans, angry that the vote was scheduled during massive fires in California, blocked the veto override. Hoekstra voted against the bill. For details on the bills and the debate, see the main State Children's Health Insurance Program page.
Chairmanship of the Intelligence Committee
In 2006, while Hoekstra was chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, the committee investigated the actions of former Rep. Duke Cunningham during the time when he had been a member. Cunningham had already been convicted of bribery and was imprisoned for his actions benefitting a defense contractor while on another committee. The Republicans believed that the committee report would be released in a non-partisan manner, which to them signified waiting until after the November elections to make the findings public. On October 17, however, the committee's ranking Democrat, Rep. Jane Harman (D-Calif.), released the committee's full-report detailing Cunningham's systematic abuse of his position. This infuriated committee Republicans, who claimed it was a politically-timed stunt. In September, a summary of the National Intelligence Estimate had leaked to the New York Times, angering Republicans, particularly Rep. Ray LaHood (R-Ill.), who wrote to Hoekstra asking for an investigation into the matter. Later, in response to Harman, LaHood released to the media his earlier letter accusing Democratic staffers of impropriety. 
Almost immediately, Hoekstra suspended a Democratic committee staffer. Hoekstra claimed that it was necessary to examine whether he had leaked the NIE. Democrats immediately declared it political retaliation for Harman releasing the Cunningham report. The staffer, Larry Hanauer, denied all responsibility for the leak and Democrats pointed out that thousands of people had access to the NIE. Harman wrote Hoekstra demanding that Hanauer be reinstated.
Rather than acquiesce to these demands, however, Hoekstra proposed appointing a "a Republican investigator to interview every (Democratic) staff member, review telephone and email records of all staff, review other 'relevant' records, and obtain affidavits."  Committee Democrats responded negatively to the proposal calling it a partisian witch hunt.
Hoekstra was born October 30, 1953 in Groningen, the Netherlands. Hoekstra emigrated to Holland, Michigan at the age of 3 with his family. Coincidentally, Hoekstra's district has the largest concentration of Dutch-Americans in the country. He earned a Bachelor of Arts from Hope College in Holland, Michigan in 1975 and an M.B.A. from the University of Michigan in 1977.
Prior to running for Congress, Hoekstra worked for office furniture manufacturer Herman Miller, eventually rising to vice president for marketing.
In 1992, he ran in the Republican primary for the 2nd District, which had been renumbered from the 9th after the 1990 census. The district had been held for 26 years by Guy Vander Jagt, longtime chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee. However, Hoekstra rode his bicycle across the district, charging that Vander Jagt had been in Congress too long. He promised to serve only six terms (12 years) in the House. He scored a monumental upset, winning by almost six points. This primary win was tantamount to election in the 2nd, which is the most Republican district in Michigan (Republicans have held the district for all but four years since its creation in 1873). He has been reelected six times with virtually no Democratic opposition, never dropping below 65 percent of the vote.
In 2004, Hoekstra announced that he would run for another term after all, citing his membership on the House Select Committee on Intelligence. He faced no significant opposition in the Republican primary, all but clinching a 7th term. Shortly after the primary, he was named chairman of the committee, succeeding Porter Goss, who was named to head the CIA.
On Monday, December 15, 2008, Hoekstra announced he will not seek re-election in 2010. His announcement paves the way for a run at the governor's seat which will be vacated by Democrat Jennifer Granholm due to term limits. His exit will create a substantial opening in the House Select Committee on Intelligence were he is the ranking Republican at the moment. 
Money in politics
This section contains links to – and feeds from – money in politics databases. For specific controversies, see this article's record and controversies section.
Campaign contribution data could not be found.
|Links to more campaign contribution information for Peter Hoekstra
from the Center for Responsive Politics' OpenSecrets.org site.
|Fundraising profile:||2008 election cycle||Career totals|
|Top contributors by organization/corporation:||2008 election cycle||Career totals|
|Top contributors by industry:||2008 election cycle||Career totals|
- Revolving door profile for Peter Hoekstra from the Center for Responsive Politics' OpenSecrets.org website.
- 2006 privately funded travel profile for Peter Hoekstra from the Center for Responsive Politics' OpenSecrets.org website.
- Personal finance profile for Peter Hoekstra from the Center for Responsive Politics' OpenSecrets.org website.
Committees and Affiliations
- House Committee on Education and Labor
- House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence
Committees in the 110th Congress (2007-2008)
- House Committee on Education and Labor
- Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary and Secondary Education
- Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions
- House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence - Ranking Member
Committee assignments in the 109th Congress (2005-2006)
- House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence - Chair
- House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure
- Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation
- Subcommittee on Highways Transit and Pipelines
More Background Data
|On the Web|
Articles and Resources
Articles & Commentary
- Stephen F. Hayes, "Who'll Let the Docs Out? Bush wants to release the Saddam files but his intelligence chief stalls," The Weekly Standard, March 20, 2006.
- Judd Legum, "Defense Department Disavows Santorum’s WMD Claims," Think Progress, June 21, 2006. Also see Rick Santorum (R-Pennsylvania).
- Dafna Linzer, "Lawmakers Cite Weapons Found in Iraq," Washington Post, June 22, 2006: "Last night, intelligence officials reaffirmed that the shells were old and were not the suspected weapons of mass destruction sought in Iraq after the 2003 invasion."
- "Forgotten chemical shells claimed as WMDs," UPI, June 22, 2006: "The shells were hidden during Iraq's 1980-88 war with Iran and then apparently forgotten, the Washington Post reported."
- "Report: Hundreds of WMDs Found in Iraq," Fox News, June 22, 2006.
- "Fox News Debunks Santorum's WMD Claim," Truthdig, June 22, 2006.
- "Two Republicans claim WMD found in Iraq. Santorum, Hoekstra cite sarin-laced shells produced before ’91 Gulf War," MSNBC, June 22, 2006.
- "Lawmakers Say WMDs Were Found In Iraq ... Kind Of. Report reveals discovery of degraded chemical weapons likely buried in 1980s," MTV.com, June 22, 2006.
- Katherine Shrader, "New Intel Report Reignites Iraq Arms Fight," Associated Press (Washington Post), June 22, 2006: "The newly declassified military intelligence report was released Wednesday by National Intelligence Director John Negroponte. Santorum and Hoekstra had urged him to release the report this week during congressional debates on Iraq."
- "Despite all evidence to the contrary, media conservatives continued to hype Santorum's 'weapons of mass destruction'," Media Matters for America, June 23, 2006.
- Rick Santorum and Peter Hoekstra, "Saddam's WMD. Why is our intelligence community holding back?" Opinion Journal, June 26, 2006.
- "Hoekstra: Major program kept from Congress. Republican blasts failure to brief House Intelligence Committee," CNN, July 9, 2006.
- Eric Lichtblau and Scott Shane, "Ally Warned Bush on Keeping Spying From Congress," New York Times, July 9, 2006.
- Charles Babington, "Hoekstra Urges Bush to Impart Intelligence Details," Washington Post, July 10, 2006.
- Tom Regan, "Another secret US intelligence program? House Intelligence Committee only briefed after whistleblower alerts chairman," Christian Science Monitor, July 10, 2006.
- "Report: Cunningham Used Seat for Profit," Associated Press (delivered by CBS News), October 18, 2006.
- "LaHood Admits He Was ‘Playing Politics’ When He Asked For Intel Staffer To Be Suspended," Think Progress, October 20, 2006.
- Katherine Schrader, "House Intel Chair Suspends Staff Member," Washington Post, October 19, 2006.
- Shaun Waterman, "Analysis: Intel leak stirs row," United Press International, October 27, 2006.
- Chris Floyd, "Behind Bush's Nuclear Gift to Terrorism," Empire Burlesque, November 4, 2006. re nuclear weapons
- "GOP Rep. Faults White House on Iraq Site," Associated Press (Washington Post), November 5, 2006.
- "Leaked Letter Reveals Conservative Strategy For Iraq Debate: Don’t Talk About Iraq," Think Progress, February 13, 2007.
- Dana Milbank, "For the GOP, Taking the War Out of the War Debate," Washington Post, February 14, 2007.
- Media Mouse, "West Michigan Representatives and Michigan Senators Vote for Iraq Funding Bill," Mediamouse.org, May 25, 2007.
Local blogs and discussion sites
Semantic data ()
|From the Sunlight Foundation API|
|Current Office: U.S. House of Representatives|
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|U.S. House of Representatives|
Ranking Member On:
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|First Elected to Current Office:
November 3, 1992
|First Took Current Office:
January 3, 1993
November 2, 2010
|Previous Political Work?
None or not available
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Date of Birth: October 30, 1953
November 3, 1992