Thomas Harkin

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U.S. Senator

Thomas Harkin




Leadership: No leadership position
Committees: Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, Senate Committee on Appropriations, Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship
(subcommittees and past assignments)

Candidates for the IA-Senate Class II Seat:
(Next election: 4 November 2014)

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 IA-Senate Class II Seat)
On the Web
Official website

Thomas Richard Harkin, a Democrat, has been the junior U. S. Senator from Iowa since 1984.


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.

Want to see someone else's scorecard added to the list? You can do it!

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

Harkin 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

Military Record

While running for his Senate seat, and again while running for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1992, Harkin made statements about his military record that implied he had flown combat missions over North Vietnam. After inquiries by Barry Goldwater and The Wall Street Journal, Harkin clarified that he had flown combat air patrols and reconnaissance missions over Cuba, and had flown aircraft into and out of Vietnam, but had never flown missions in Vietnam and had never engaged enemy aircraft in combat.[1]

Support for stem cell research

Harkin sponsored the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act of 2007 which would have lifted restrictions on stem cell research. It passed the Senate in a vote of 63-34. It was later vetoed by President George W. Bush.[1]

Main article: U.S. federal stem cell legislation#Senate

National security and foreign policy

In late June, 2007, Sen. Harkin and Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) began working on an amendment to the FY2008 Defense Department authorization bill that would close the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay.

Main article: FY 2008 Defense Department authorization



Harkin was born November 19, 1939 in Cumming, Iowa. He graduated from Iowa State University in 1962 and received his J.D. degree from Catholic University of America Law School in 1972. He served in the United States Navy from 1962-1967. Harkin was stationed at Atsugi Naval Air Station in Japan, where he ferried damaged aircraft to and from the airbase, and at Guantanamo Bay, where he flew missions in support of U-2 planes reconnoitering Cuba.

Harkin was an aide to Democratic Congressman Neal Smith, when he accompanied a congressional delegation that went to South Vietnam in 1970. Harkin published photographs he took during the trip and a detailed account of "tiger cages" at Con Son Island prison in Life Magazine on July 17, 1970. The account exposed shocking, inhuman conditions prisoners were forced to endure.

Harkin was an attorney before being elected to the U. S. House of Representatives in 1974, where he served until 1985. In 1984, Harkin was elected to the United States Senate from Iowa and was reelected in 1990, 1996 and 2002.

Congressional Career

While a member of the House, Harkin opposed President Gerald Ford's decision to support Indonesia's invasion of East Timor in 1975. [2]

Harkin is known as an advocate for people with disabilities. In 1990, he wrote and was the chief sponsor of the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Senator Harkin is a staunch supporter of Israel. He is a member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Foreign Operations, which appropriates about $2 billion annually for military financing for Israel. In the Senate, he is the third-largest career recipient of pro-Israel Political Action Committee (PAC) contributions.[3]]

Harkin also supports efforts to raise the minimum wage. In 2006, Harkin, along with Senators Hillary Clinton, Edward M. Kennedy, Jim Jeffords, Patrick Leahy, and Barack Obama authored the Standing with Minimum Wage Earners Act of 2006. This bill would change the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1983 by keeping the wage increase for Congressional members at the same pace as the increase of the federal minimum wage. [4][5]

He ran for President in 1992 and won the Iowa caucus, but ultimately lost the Democratic Party nomination to Governor Bill Clinton of Arkansas.

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)
Zee TV USA$ 19,200
Cavarocchi Ruscio Dennis Assoc$ 18,500
American Chiropractic Assn$ 17,000
Natural Products Assn$ 16,000
Van Scoyoc Assoc$ 15,656
AstraZeneca PLC$ 15,000
Sheet Metal Workers Union$ 15,000
DaVita HealthCare Partners$ 14,700
Delta Dental Plans Assn$ 13,000
DuPont Co$ 12,000
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 Harkin
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)


More Backround Data

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


DC office
  • 731 Hart Senate Office Building Washington, DC 20510
    Ph: 202-224-3254 Fax: 202-224-9369
    Webform email
District offices
  • 150 First Avenue Northeast, Suite 370, Cedar Rapids, IA 52401
    Ph: 319-365-4504 Fax: (none entered)
  • 1606 Brady Street, Suite 323, Davenport, IA 52803
    Ph: 563-322-1338 Fax: (none entered)
  • 210 Walnut Street, Federal Building, Room 733, Des Moines, IA 50309
    Ph: 515-284-4574 Fax: (none entered)
  • 350 West Sixth Street, Federal Building, Room 315, Dubuque, IA 52001
    Ph: 563-582-2130 Fax: (none entered)
  • 320 Sixth Street, Federal Building, Room 110, Sioux City, IA 51101
    Ph: 712-252-1550 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. Jeffrey Young. "Senate passes stem cell research bill," The Hill. April 11, 2007.

External resources

Local blogs and discussion sites

External articles

Articles by Harkin

  • Harkin, Tom and Thomas, C. E. "Five Minutes to Midnight: Why the Nuclear Threat Is Growing Faster Than Ever" Carol Publishing Corporation (1990) ISBN 1559720425.

Semantic data (Edit data)