Thomas Carper

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U.S. Senator

Thomas Carper




Leadership: No leadership position
Committees: Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, Senate Committee on Finance, Senate Committee on Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs, Senate Special Committee on Aging
(subcommittees and past assignments)

Candidates for the DE-Senate Class I Seat:
(Next election: 6 November 2012)

Confirmed: None so far
Considering: None so far
Rumored: None so far
Potential: None so far
Dropped-out: None so far
(more info and editing for the DE-Senate Class I Seat)
On the Web
Official website

Thomas Richard "Tom" Carper, a Democrat, has represented Delaware in the United States Senate since 2000. He is a Deputy Whip.


Record and controversies

Congressional scorecards

Click through the score to see the records of other members of Congress and full descriptions of the individual votes.

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Organization 2007 Scorecard
Score - Agree ratio
2008 Scorecard
Score - Agree ratio
American Civil Liberties Union not avail. not avail.
American Conservative Union not avail. not avail.
AFSCME not avail. not avail.
Americans for Democratic Action not avail. not avail.
Club for Growth not avail. not avail.
Drum Major Institute not avail. not avail.
Family Research Council not avail. not avail.
Information Technology Industry Council not avail. not avail.
League of Conservation Voters not avail. not avail.
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People not avail. not avail.
U.S. Chamber of Commerce not avail. not avail.

Iraq War

Carper voted for the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq in Oct. 2002.

For more information see the chart of U.S. Senate votes on the Iraq War.

Environmental record

For more information on environmental legislation, see the Energy and Environment Policy Portal

Electric Utility Cap and Trade Act

Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Tom Carper (D-Del.) introduced the Electric Utility Cap and Trade Act of 2007 (S.317) on January 17, 2007 to "to amend the Clean Air Act to establish a program to regulate the emission of greenhouse gases from electric utilities." It was referred to the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works.[1] The legislation would set an emissions "cap and trade" system for electric utilities.

Main article: U.S. congressional action on climate change#Electric Utility Cap and Trade Act of 2007 (S.317)

Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act

On April 6, 2006, Sens. Carper, Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), Barack Obama (D-Ill.), and John McCain (R-Ariz.) introduced the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act (S.2590). The bill would require the Office of Management and Budget to create a searchable online database of all governments contracts and has been hailed as a "Google" for federal spending. The bill was signed into law by President George W. Bush on September 26, 2006, and created the website

Main article: Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act

Reparations for Japanese Latin Americans

Carper cosponsored The Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Latin Americans of Japanese Descent Act in the 110th Congress which would establish a commission that would determine the facts and circumstances involving the relocation, internment and deportation of Japanese Latin Americans.[2]

Main article: Redress for Japanese Latin Americans/ U.S. legislation#Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Latin Americans of Japanese Descent Act of 2007


Carper was born January 23, 1947 in Beckley, West Virginia, grew up in Danville, Virginia, and graduated from Whetstone High School in Columbus, Ohio. He graduated from Ohio State University in 1968, where he was in the U.S. Navy ROTC and earned a degree in economics. Serving as a pilot in the U.S. Navy from 1968 until 1973, he saw active duty in Vietnam, piloting submarine hunting planes. He remained in the w:U.S. U.S. Naval Reserve for another 18 years and retired with the rank of Captain. Meanwhile he moved to Delaware and earned an MBA from the University of Delaware in 1975.

While in college at Ohio State University, Carper had worked on the presidential campaign of U.S. Senator Eugene McCarthy, the Minnesota peace candidate. Once in Delaware, he was campaign treasurer for University of Delaware professor, James R. Soles, in his unsuccessful 1974 campaign for the U.S. House of Representatives. Upon receiving his MBA degree in 1975, Carper went to work for the State of Delaware in its economic development office. In 1976, with his good contacts in the Democratic Party leadership and a $5,000 personal loan, Carper convinced the party leaders, and later the voters, that he was the right person to be Delaware State Treasurer. He served three terms, from January 18, 1977 through January 3, 1983, during which time he developed Delaware's first cash management system.

After being convinced to run by Joe Biden, Carper served five terms in the U. S. House of Representatives from January 3, 1983 until January 4, 1993. As a Representative, he was a member of the House Committee on Banking, Finance and Urban Affairs and the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. He chaired the House Subcommittee on Economic Stabilization.

In 1992, the popular incumbent Governor of Delaware, Michael N. Castle, was forced to retire due to term limits. The result was what became known as "the Swap." Castle ran for Carper's seat in the U. S. House of Representatives and Carper ran for Governor. Neither faced any significant opposition.

In 1992 Carper was elected Governor and served two terms from January 19, 1993 until January 3, 2001. As a moderate, business oriented Democrat, two successes were stopping the feared closing of the huge General Motors automobile assemply operation near Newport, and winning the contest with Pennsylvania for the location of the headquarters of pharmaceutical giant, AstraZenaca.

Continuing Pierre S. du Pont, IV's tax cutting policies, he lead an ongoing effort to reduce income tax rates, eliminate the marriage penalty and estate tax, cut the public utility tax, and eliminate the gross receipts tax for many small businesses. By doing so his administration improved the state's credit rating from among the worst in the nation to a respectable "AAA" rating. In educational programs he continued Castle's standards-based education programs, raising standards, testing students, and pushing through a teacher accountability bill. Other programs included a fully funded Head Start program and creation of a prescription drug benefit for seniors.

Because of term limits on the Governor's position Carper had to retire in 2000. Incumbent Senator William V. Roth, Jr. would not retire voluntarily, even though Rep. Michael Castle expressed interest in running for Senate but did not wish to face him in a primary. In a contest between two popular and respected politicians, the issue seemed to be Roth's age versus Carper's relative youth. Carper defeated Roth by over ten points.

Carper is a member of the moderate Democratic Leadership Council (DLC), of which he presently serves as Vice-Chairman. In December 2004 Carper became a part of the Senate Democratic Leadership. As a member of the four person "Executive Committee" he is one of four deputy whips. David Broder of the Washington Post called Carper, "a notably effective and nonpartisan leader, admired and trusted on both sides of the aisle." Carper has worked to institute a national energy policy, a balanced budget, strong environmental protections, welfare reform, and national education standards.

Carper joined in the unsuccesful attempt to tie the Bush administration tax cuts to deficit reduction and has supported additional funding for school choice programs and charter schools. He has also sought additional funding for railroad projects and for rail security. Carper has been a leader on Postal reform issues, limiting Internet taxation, and expanding emission controls. He strongly supported legislation to limit class action lawsuits and also changing the law to restrict personal bankruptcy. In addition, he is a strong proponent of free trade. Carper proposed the creation of a National Park in Delaware, the Coastal Heritage Park, to be in four locations along the Delaware River and Delaware Bay.

Carper will be seeking reelection when his term expires in January 2007, and his seat is considered to be among the safest in the U.S. Senate]]. "The Republicans would like to avoid the spectacle of holding their state convention in late April with the only potential challenger being Michael D. Protack, a constant candidate-in-search-of-an-office," according to Delaware political writer Celia Cohen in her January 13, 2006 Delaware Grapevine article.

2006 elections

In 2006, the Republicans nominated Jan Ting to face Carper in his November 2006 bid for reelection. (See U.S. congressional elections in 2006) [1] Carper retained his seat.

2008 elections

This information was gathered by volunteer researchers as part of the Superdelegate Transparency Project on the superdelegates for the 2008 Democratic presidential primary. For more info see the Delaware superdelegate tracker or visit the STP homepage.

Before Hillary Clinton conceded the race, Thomas Carper, as a superdelegate, had not endorsed a candidate for President.

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.

Top Contributors to during the 2008 Election Cycle
DonorAmount (US Dollars)
JPMorgan Chase & Co$ 43,200
AstraZeneca PLC$ 39,050
Blackstone Group$ 38,000
Ashland Inc$ 35,620
Wells Fargo$ 32,330
DuPont Co$ 26,100
Discover Financial Services$ 23,570
NorPAC$ 22,700
Blue Cross/Blue Shield$ 21,400
Pfizer Inc$ 20,350
Source: The Center for Responsive Politics' site.
Note: Contributions are not from the organizations themselves, but are rather from
the organization's PAC, employees or owners. Totals include subsidiaries and affiliates.
Links to more campaign contribution information for Thomas Carper
from the Center for Responsive Politics' 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

Committees and Affiliations


Committees in the 110th Congress (2007-2008)

Committee assignments in the 109th Congress (2005-2006)

Party leadership

More Background Data

Wikipedia also has an article on Thomas Carper. This article may use content from the Wikipedia article under the terms of the GFDL.


DC office
  • 513 Hart Senate Office Building Washington, DC 20510
    Ph: 202-224-2441 Fax: 202-228-2190
    Webform email
District offices
  • 2215 Federal Building, 300 South New Street, Dover, DE 19904
    Ph: 302-674-3308 Fax: (none entered)
  • 12 The Circle, Georgetown, DE 19947
    Ph: 302-856-7690 Fax: (none entered)
  • 1 Cristina Circle, 301 North Walnut Street, Suite 102L-1, Wilmington, DE 19801
    Ph: 302-573-6291 Fax: (none entered)
On the Web
Campaign office
  • No campaign website entered.
  • No campaign webform email entered.
  • No campaign office information entered.

Articles and resources


  1. OpenCongress: S.317

External resources

External articles

Local blogs and discussion sites

Semantic data (Edit data)