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Betty McCollum

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Betty McCollum
Betty McCollum, official portrait, 116th Congress.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Minnesota's 4th district
Assumed office
January 3, 2001
Preceded byBruce Vento
Member of the Minnesota House of Representatives
from the 55B district
In office
January 5, 1993 – January 3, 2001
Preceded byHarriet McPherson
Succeeded byScott Wasiluk
Personal details
Betty Louise Dierich

(1954-07-12) July 12, 1954 (age 68)
Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
EducationSt. Catherine University (BA)
WebsiteHouse website

Betty Louise McCollum /məˈkɒləm/ mə-KOL-əm (born July 12, 1954)[1] is an American politician serving as the U.S. representative for Minnesota's 4th congressional district, serving since 2001. She is a member of the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party (DFL). McCollum's district centers on St. Paul, Minnesota's capital city. She is the second woman elected to Congress from Minnesota. McCollum became the dean of Minnesota's congressional delegation in 2021.

Before her election to the U.S. House, McCollum served eight years as a state representative.


McCollum was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She graduated from the College of St. Catherine in St. Paul, Minnesota, in 1976. McCollum has worked as a high school social sciences teacher and as a sales manager.

She first won election to the North St. Paul city council in 1986.[2] In 1992 she was elected to the Minnesota House of Representatives after she defeated an incumbent state representative in the DFL primary. She served four terms in the Minnesota House before being elected to Congress in 2000.[3]

U.S. House of Representatives


After 4th district Representative Bruce Vento decided not to seek a 13th term due to illness in 2000 (he died before the election), McCollum won the DFL nomination to succeed him. The district is heavily Democratic; among Minnesota's congressional districts, only the neighboring Minneapolis-based 5th district is considered more Democratic. The DFL has held the seat without interruption since 1949.

McCollum's main concern during the campaign wasn't her Republican opponent, State Senator Linda Runbeck, but Independence Party candidate Tom Foley. Foley had previously been county attorney for Ramsey County (almost all of which is in the 4th district) as a Democrat. Many thought Foley might siphon off enough votes from McCollum to allow Runbeck to win. However, McCollum defeated Runbeck by a 17-point margin, with Foley in a distant third place. Foley held McCollum to 48% of the vote, making her the only Democrat not to win at least 50% of the vote since Democrats began their present dominance in the district. The district has since reverted to form, and McCollum has been reelected nine times with no substantive opposition.


According to the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University, McCollum held a Bipartisan Index Score of -0.1 in the 116th United States Congress for 2019, which placed her 219th out of 435 members.[4] Based on FiveThirtyEight's congressional vote tracker at ABC News, McCollum voted with Donald Trump's stated public policy positions 11.4% of the time,[5] which ranked her average in the 116th United States Congress when predictive scoring (district partisanship and voting record) is used.[6]

Committee assignments

For the 117th Congress, McCollum has the following committee assignments:

McCollum has previously served on:

McCollum is a longtime member of the House Appropriations Committee, where she remains the only Minnesotan. At the start of the 111th Congress, she was also appointed to the House Budget Committee. House Democrats are not normally allowed to serve on another committee when they also serve on one of the chamber's four exclusive "A" committees—Appropriations, Energy and Commerce, Rules, and Ways and Means—but Speaker Nancy Pelosi and committee chairman Henry Waxman granted McCollum a waiver allowing her to take a second committee slot. McCollum served on the Government Reform Committee during her first term in Congress.[17]

Party leadership, caucus, and other memberships

McCollum is the first woman elected to Congress from Minnesota since Coya Knutson in the 1950s.

McCollum received a 91% progressive rating from Progressive Punch, a self-described nonpartisan group that provides a "searchable database of Congressional voting records from a Progressive perspective",[23] and a 13% conservative rating from the conservative SBE Council.[24]

Political positions

McCollum is pro-choice and supports Planned Parenthood, NARAL Pro-Choice America, and National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association.[25] The latter organization aims to provide access to family planning and reproductive health care services and advocates for reproductive freedom.[26] She indicated on the 2002 National Political Awareness Test that she believed abortions should always be legally available, but only within the first trimester of pregnancy.[27]

McCollum has consistently supported the rights of members in the LGBTQ community.[28] The Human Rights Campaign, one of America's largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality, has continually approved of her voting record.[29][28] In a speech opposing the proposed Federal Marriage Amendment, McCollum said, "Gay and lesbian Americans are citizens who must never be treated as second-class citizens".[30]

She has supported the interests of the elderly with regard to preserving Social Security. She has backed organizations such as the Alliance for Retired Americans and the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, which share the mission to ensure social and economic justice and full civil rights for all citizens so that they may enjoy lives of dignity, personal and family fulfillment and security.[31] In a position paper, McCollum defended her position on Social Security, writing, "We can secure the future of Social Security with common sense and a shared, bipartisan commitment to economic security and fiscal responsibility for all Americans. This is my commitment, and you can count on me to work to protect Social Security and to find a solution that truly protects the retirement security of every American."[32]

McCollum advocates shifting America's energy consumption to cleaner, non-carbon-based sources. Along with Al Franken and Kit Bond, she introduced the Renewable Energy and Efficiency Act, a bill to utilize thermal energy sources and create renewable energy production tax credits.[33] She also voted for the American Recovery and Reinvestment in 2009.[34]

In 2004, McCollum gained national visibility when she and fellow Democrat Jim McDermott of Washington called for Secretary of Education Rod Paige to resign for claiming the National Education Association was "a terrorist organization."

She also introduced amendments in June 2011 and 2012 to cut funding for military bands by $125 million, a proposal opposed by the Fleet Reserve Association and which the National Association for Music Education called "potentially devastating."[35]

McCollum opposes Conceal-and-Carry legislation and voted against Right-to-Carry reciprocity in November 2011.[27]

In July 2019, McCollum voted against a House resolution introduced by Representative Brad Schneider of Illinois opposing the Global Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Movement targeting Israel.[36] The resolution passed 398-17.[37] In February 2020, McCollum called AIPAC a hate group and accused it of hate speech.[38]

In April 2021, McCollum introduced the Defending the Human Rights of Palestinian Children and Families Living under Israeli Military Occupation Act, a bill that aims to prohibit US aid from being used by Israel to detain Palestinian minors, demolish Palestinian homes and further annex West Bank land. The bill requires the State Department to file an annual report to Congress detailing the extent to which US aid from the previous fiscal year was used to bankroll any of the aforementioned activities.[39]

Electoral history

2000 Fourth Congressional District of Minnesota Elections
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Betty McCollum 130,403 48.04%
Republican Linda Runbeck 83,852 30.89%
Independence Tom Foley 55,899 20.59%
Constitution Nicholas Skrivanek 1,285 0.47%
2002 Fourth Congressional District of Minnesota Elections
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Betty McCollum 164,597 62.22% +14.18%
Republican Clyde Billington 89,705 33.91%
Green Scott J. Raskiewicz 9,919 3.75%
2004 Fourth Congressional District of Minnesota Elections
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Betty McCollum 182,387 57.48% −4.74%
Republican Patrice Bataglia 105,467 33.24%
Independence Peter F. Vento 29,099 9.17%
2006 Fourth Congressional District of Minnesota Elections
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Betty McCollum 172,096 69.54% +12.06%
Republican Obi Sium 74,797 30.23%
2008 Fourth Congressional District of Minnesota Elections
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Betty McCollum 216,267 68.44% −1.10%
Republican Ed Matthews 98,936 31.31%
2010 Fourth Congressional District of Minnesota Elections
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Betty McCollum 136,746 59.09% −9.30%
Republican Teresa Collett 80,141 34.63%
Independence Steve Carlson 14,207 6.14%
2012 Fourth Congressional District of Minnesota Elections
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Betty McCollum 216,685 62.27% +3.18%
Republican Tony Hernandez 109,659 31.51%
Independence Steve Carlson 21,135 6.07% -0.07%
2014 Fourth Congressional District of Minnesota Elections
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Betty McCollum 147,857 61.19% -1.08%
Republican Sharna Wahlgren 79,492 32.90%
Independence Dave Thomas 14,059 5.82%
2016 Fourth Congressional District of Minnesota Elections
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Betty McCollum 203,299 57.76% -4.03%
Republican Greg Ryan 121,032 34.39%
Legal Marijuana Now Susan Pendergast Sindt 27,152 7.71%
2018 Fourth Congressional District of Minnesota Elections
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Betty McCollum 216,866 65.99% +8.23%
Republican Greg Ryan 97,746 29.75% -4.64%
Legal Marijuana Now Susan Pendergast Sindt 13,777 4.19% -3.52%
2020 Fourth Congressional District of Minnesota Elections
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic (DFL) Betty McCollum 245,813 63.2% -2.8%
Republican Gene Rechtzigel 112,730 29.0% -
Grassroots Susan Sindt 29,537 7.6% -
Write-in 1,034 0.3 -

See also


  1. ^ "Elections 2008". Chicago Sun-Times. October 23, 2008. Archived from the original on July 16, 2011. Retrieved October 24, 2008.
  2. ^ "Campaign 2004". Minnesota Public Radio. Retrieved February 26, 2007.
  3. ^ "Biography". Congresswoman Betty McCollum. April 12, 2017. Retrieved February 7, 2018.
  4. ^ "The Lugar Center - McCourt School Bipartisan Index House Scores 116th Congress First Session (2019)" (PDF). Georgetown University. Retrieved May 20, 2020.
  5. ^ "Tracking Congress In The Age Of Trump - Betty McCollum". ABC News. January 30, 2017. Retrieved May 20, 2020.
  6. ^ "Tracking Congress In The Age Of Trump". ABC News. January 30, 2017. Retrieved May 20, 2020.
  7. ^ "Membership | U.S. House Committee on Appropriations". September 8, 2014. Retrieved February 20, 2021.
  8. ^ "U.S. House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies | U.S. House Committee on Appropriations". Retrieved February 20, 2021.
  9. ^ "U.S. House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense | U.S. House Committee on Appropriations". Retrieved February 20, 2021.
  10. ^ "U.S. House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies | U.S. House Committee on Appropriations". Retrieved February 20, 2021.
  11. ^ "About Our Members | U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources". Retrieved February 20, 2021.
  12. ^ "Energy and Mineral Resources | U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources". Retrieved May 25, 2021.
  13. ^ "Subcommittee for Indigenous Peoples of the United States | U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources". Retrieved March 7, 2021.
  14. ^ 107th Congress (2001-2002) H.RES.25.EH
  15. ^ 108th Congress (2003-2004) H.RES.670.EH
  16. ^ 107th Congress (2001-2002) H.RES.33.EH
  17. ^ Congresswoman Betty McCollum: Serving Minnesota's Families - Speaker Pelosi Appoints McCollum to House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Archived November 1, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  18. ^ "Native American Caucus Leadership Announced for 117th Congress". April 14, 2021. Retrieved July 28, 2022.
  19. ^ "Membership". Congressional Arts Caucus. Archived from the original on June 12, 2018. Retrieved March 13, 2018.
  20. ^ "Members". Afterschool Alliance. Retrieved April 17, 2018.
  21. ^ "Our Members". U.S. House of Representatives International Conservation Caucus. Archived from the original on August 1, 2018. Retrieved August 1, 2018.
  22. ^ "Members of the Veterinary Medicine Caucus". Veterinary Medicine Caucus. Retrieved October 12, 2018.
  23. ^ "Leading with the Left". Progressive Punch. Retrieved November 2, 2006.
  24. ^ "Congressional Voting Scorecard 2005" (PDF). SBE Council's Congressional Voting Scorecard 2005. Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council. June 2006. Archived from the original (PDF) on September 29, 2006. Retrieved November 2, 2006.
  25. ^ "Betty McCollum: Interest Group Rating". Project Vote Smart. Retrieved January 15, 2012.
  26. ^ "National Special Interest Groups". Project Vote Smart. Retrieved January 15, 2012.
  27. ^ a b "Betty McCollum - Political Courage Test". Project Vote Smart. Retrieved January 15, 2012.
  28. ^ a b "National Special Interest Groups". Project Vote Smart. Retrieved January 15, 2012.
  29. ^ "About Us". Human Rights Campaign. Archived from the original on July 24, 2012. Retrieved January 15, 2012.
  30. ^ "Public Statements". Project Vote Smart. Retrieved January 15, 2012.
  31. ^ "National Special Interest Groups". Project Vote Smart. Retrieved January 15, 2012.
  32. ^ "Public Statements". Project Vote Smart. Retrieved January 15, 2012.
  33. ^ "Franken, Bond, McCollum Introduce Thermal Renewable Energy and Efficiency Act". July 21, 2010. Retrieved January 15, 2012.
  34. ^ "Energy". Retrieved January 15, 2012.
  35. ^ Alaimo, Carol Ann (August 22, 2011). "At Ft. Huachuca and elsewhere, military bands play the blues". Arizona Daily Star.
  36. ^ Clare Foran (July 24, 2019). "Who voted 'no' on the House resolution opposing Israel boycott movement". CNN. Retrieved July 25, 2019.
  37. ^ Schneider, Bradley Scott (July 23, 2019). "H.Res.246 - 116th Congress (2019-2020): Opposing efforts to delegitimize the State of Israel and the Global Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Movement targeting Israel". Retrieved July 25, 2019.
  38. ^ "McCollum Statement: Hate Speech Makes AIPAC a Hate Group". Congresswoman Betty McCollum. February 12, 2020. Retrieved February 28, 2023.
  39. ^ Jacob Magid. "AIPAC pans bill to block US aid from some Israeli activities in West Bank". The Times of Israel. Retrieved April 23, 2021.

Further reading

External links

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Minnesota's 4th congressional district

U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by United States representatives by seniority
Succeeded by
This page was last edited on 1 March 2023, at 20:31
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