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Don Bacon (politician)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Don Bacon
Donald Bacon Official House Photo.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Nebraska's 2nd district
Assumed office
January 3, 2017
Preceded byBrad Ashford
Personal details
Donald John Bacon

(1963-08-16) August 16, 1963 (age 56)
Momence, Illinois, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Angie Bacon
EducationNorthern Illinois University (BA)
University of Phoenix (MBA)
National Defense University (MA)
CommitteesHouse Armed Services Committee, House Agriculture Committee
WebsiteHouse website
Military service
Allegiance United States
Branch/service United States Air Force
Years of service1985–2014
US-O7 insignia.svg
Brigadier General

Donald John Bacon (born August 16, 1963) is an American politician and former military officer serving as the U.S. Representative for Nebraska's 2nd congressional district since 2017. A member of the Republican Party, he was a United States Air Force brigadier general and wing commander at Ramstein Air Base and Offutt Air Force Base until his retirement in 2014.

Education and military career

Bacon is originally from Illinois, the son of Don and Joan Bacon of Bourbonnais.[1] He grew up on a family farm in Momence[2] and graduated from Grace Baptist Academy in Kankakee in 1980.[1]

Don Bacon smiling in a military portrait
Portrait of Air Force Brigadier General Don Bacon

He attended Northern Illinois University and gained his commission through the Reserve Officers' Training Corps. He specialized in electronic warfare, intelligence, reconnaissance and public affairs; he served as a Wing Commander at Ramstein Air Base in Germany and at STRATCOM at Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska, as a Group commander and Squadron Commander at Davis–Monthan Air Force Base in Arizona and an Expeditionary Squadron commander in Iraq.[3] Bacon has earned master's degrees from the National War College of the National Defense University and the University of Phoenix. His final assignment was as Director of ISR Strategy, Plans, Doctrine and Force Development, AF/A2, Headquarters U.S. Air Force at the Pentagon from July 2012.[4]

In 2014, Bacon retired from the U.S. Air Force.[5] During his 29 years in the Air Force, he was awarded the Air Force Distinguished Service Medal, two Legion of Merits and two Bronze Star Medals; he was selected as Europe's top Air Force Wing Commander in 2009.[6] He served as an aide to U.S. Representative Jeff Fortenberry and assistant professor at Bellevue University before running for office.[7]

U.S. House of Representatives



In the 2016 elections, Bacon won the Republican Party primary election for the U.S. House of Representatives in Nebraska's 2nd congressional district,[8] a primarily urban and suburban district in metro Omaha,[9] covering parts of Douglas and Sarpy counties.[10]

The general election race was considered a tossup, with Democratic incumbent Brad Ashford seen as having a slight edge.[11] After a 2005 videotape showing Donald Trump making lewd remarks to Billy Bush, surfaced in October 2016, Bacon said that Trump could not win the presidency and should withdraw from the race in favor of "a strong conservative candidate, like Mike Pence." But Bacon did not say that he would not vote for Trump, since he did not believe "Hillary is the right person. I'm in a quandary."[12]

Bacon defeated Ashford in the general election on November 8, 2016,[13][14] with 48.9% of the vote to Ashford's 47.7%.[15][16] He was the only Republican to defeat an incumbent Democrat in the 2016 House elections.[17]


In 2018, Bacon was reelected, narrowly defeating Democratic nominee Kara Eastman with 51.0% of the vote to her 49.0%.[18]


Bacon is running for reelection in the 2020 elections, again challenged by Democratic nominee Kara Eastman.[19][20]


116th Congress (2019-2020)

In the 116th Congress Bacon sits on the House Armed Services Committee and House Agriculture Committee.[21]

Bacon voted with his party in 87.5% of votes and with Trump in 88.6% of votes in the 116th Congress.[22][23] He ranks 36th of the 435 House members in voting against his party.

In 2019, Bacon ranked 31st out of 435 for bipartisanship according to the Lugar Center.[24]

On December 18, 2019, Bacon voted against both articles of impeachment against Trump. All 195 Republicans in attendance voted against both articles.[25]

115th Congress (2017-2018)

During his freshman term in the 115th Congress Bacon was assigned to the House Agriculture Committee,[9] the House Homeland Security Committee and the House Armed Services Committee.[26]

During the 115th Congress, Bacon voted with his party in 96.9% of votes and with Trump's position in 94% of votes.[23][22]

According to the Lugar Center, Bacon ranked 89th of the 435 House members in bipartisanship in the 115th Congress.[27]


Alongside Democrat Jimmy Panetta, Bacon co-chairs the For Country Caucus[28], a bipartisan group of veterans attempting to find consensus and compromise solutions to issues of the day.

He is a member of the Republican Main Street Partnership,[29] the bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus,[30] the House Baltic Caucus,[31] the Civility and Respect Caucus,[32] and the Congressional Western Caucus.[33]

Political positions

Armed services and foreign policy

Brigadier General Donald Bacon, 55th Wing Commander, salutes the men and women attending his fini flight at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska
Brigadier General Donald Bacon, 55th Wing Commander, salutes the men and women attending his fini flight at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska
Bacon with President Barack Obama in 2009
Bacon with President Barack Obama in 2009

Bacon has been a member of the Armed Services Committee since taking office in 2017.

In a 2016 questionnaire, Bacon called for ISIS to be defeated "with assertive leadership, our superior air power, and special forces."[34] He supported airstrikes in Syria in retaliation for the Assad government's use of chemical weapons.[35] In 2019, Bacon voted for a resolution opposing Trump's move to withdraw U.S. support for the Kurds in Syria, which exposed Kurdish militias to attacks from Turkey.[36]

At a Brookings Institution event in October 2017, Bacon stressed the importance of military readiness and called for U.S. Air Force crews to increase flight hours to enhance readiness. He also said the "gravest threat" to military preparedness was the "partisan divide" in government, which had prevented necessary increases in spending.[37]

Bacon supports a stronger U.S. presence in the Balkans to counter Russia, which he has called a key adversary of the United States.[17] He has expressed alarm regarding Russia's activity in Ukraine and the Balkans, as well as Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections and attempted Russian interference in other nations' elections.[17] Bacon does not consider China a U.S. adversary, but has criticized it for its regional power ambitions and its trade with North Korea, and supports strong U.S. alliances with Japan and Taiwan to counter China.[17]

In July 2017, Bacon voted in favor of legislation to impose additional sanctions against Russia, North Korea, and Iran.[22]

In November 2017, Bacon told an electronic warfare (EW) conference that the U.S. military needed "to elevate the electromagnetic spectrum to an official domain of warfare—alongside land, sea, air, space, and cyberspace–and appoint general officers as EW advocates in all four services and to the joint staff." He said the U.S. should reintensify its EW capabilities, which he said had atrophied after the collapse of the Soviet Union.[38]

In 2019, Bacon voted against a resolution to terminate U.S. military support to Saudi Arabia for the Saudi Arabian-led intervention in Yemen,[22] and against legislation to block U.S. arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.[22]

Bacon is a steadfast backer of Israel, and supports recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital.[39]

Bacon is a consistent supporter of Taiwan. In 2019 he spent time with Representative Salud Carbajal (D-CA) and former Speaker Paul Ryan in Taiwan to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Taiwan Relations Act and open a new informal diplomatic facility in lieu of an Embassy. Bacon said, “we owe it to be clear that Taiwan is a success story and we have to support their democracy.”[40]


Bacon has been a member of the House Agriculture Committee since 2017. In 2019 he urged the United States Army Corps of Engineers to streamline its response to the 2019 Midwestern U.S. floods and pushed to fund levies to shore up flooded farmland and Offut Air Force Base.[41]

Bacon supported the 2018 Republican led omnibus Farm Bill.[42]

In 2019, Bacon cosponsored the Student Agriculture Protection Act to create tax credits on proceeds of crops and livestock grown or raised by students.[43][44]


Bacon is firmly anti-abortion,[7] except to save the life of the mother.[45] In 2017, he voted for legislation to ban abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy[22] and to repeal a rule requiring state and local governments to distribute federal funds to Federally Qualified Health Centers even if they perform abortions,[22] a measure aimed at defunding Planned Parenthood.[46] Bacon said he supported redirecting funds to community health care centers that do not provide abortion services.[46]

Drug policy

In 2018, Bacon said that he supported marijuana decriminalization at the federal level.[45] He said he opposed marijuana legalization as a personal matter, but believed that states should be permitted to make the decision.[45][35] Bacon supported the 2018 Farm Bill, which legalized industrial hemp production.[42]

Economic issues

In 2017, Bacon voted for the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017,[22][47] and for legislation to dismantle major parts of the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.[22] In 2019, he voted against legislation to increase the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour.[22]

Bacon has expressed support for raising the full retirement age for eligibility for Social Security for Americans now under age 40.[45]


Regarding climate change, Bacon has said: "I don't think we know for certain how much of climate change is being caused by normal cyclical changes in weather vs. human causes. I support legislation that allows for continued incremental improvement in our environment, but oppose extreme measures that create significant economic and job disruption."[48] He is a member of the bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus.[30]

Gun policy

In February 2019, Bacon voted against legislation to require universal background checks for firearm sales and legislation to give additional time to law enforcement agencies to conduct background checks for firearm sales.[22] In 2017, he voted for legislation that would have made concealed-carry permits valid across state lines.[22] In 2018, Bacon indicated that he would support a ban on bump stocks.[35]

Health care

Bacon favors repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA), commonly known as Obamacare,[49] and opposes proposals for Medicare for All or single-payer healthcare.[35] In May 2017, he voted for the American Health Care Act of 2017, Republican health-care legislation that would have repealed large portions of the ACA.[22][50][51]


In August 2017, Bacon and five of his House colleagues urged Trump to preserve the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program for undocumented youth brought to the United States as children (also known as "Dreamers"), "until we can pass a permanent legislative solution."[52][17] In 2019, he voted for legislation to create a pathway to citizenship for undocumented youth.[53]

Bacon has expressed support for construction of the U.S.-Mexico border wall supported by Trump.[54] Bacon voted against legislation to end the December 2018–January 2019 government shutdown by appropriating funds without money for a border wall.[22] He said that Trump's attempt to circumvent Congress by declaring a national emergency to redirect money from military construction to building a border wall was not "the right way to go" because it infringed on congressional powers,[54] but voted against a House resolution to overturn the emergency declaration and against overriding Trump's veto of legislation that would have overturned the declaration.[22]

In April 2017, Bacon reintroduced the Kerrie Orozco Act, which would "allow the spouses of first responders, killed in the line of duty, access to a quicker process of becoming an American citizen."[55]


In March 2017, Bacon voted to repeal an FCC rule that barred Internet service providers from sharing data on their customers' activities.[22]

Bacon opposed the continuation of net neutrality in the United States in support of FCC Chairman Ajit Pai's repeal of Title II classification of ISPs.

Racism and civil rights reform

In 2019, Bacon introduced The Justice for Victims of Lynching Act of 2019, with Representative Seth Moulton (D-MA). The bill specified lynching as a unique deprivation of civil rights, and would for the first time make it a federal crime. The language of that law was incorporated into the 2020 Emmett Till Antilynching Act which subsequently passed the House.[56]

Bacon expressed support for "most of" the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2020. He supported mandatory wear of body cameras by police officers while on duty, and a national registry for police misconduct, but opposed ending qualified immunity provisions for officers.[57] He also criticized provisions ending the Department of Defense 1033 program which allows for transfer of surplus military equipment to law enforcement agencies saying "if our police are encountering a serious threat, I don’t want an equal fight for them."[57] He ultimately voted against the legislation in a near party line vote.[58]

Amid the national conversation on racism following the death of George Floyd, Bacon introduced a bill with fellow veteran and House Armed Services Committee Vice Chair Congressman Anthony G. Brown (D-MD) to rename military bases in response to calls to end such honors bestowed upon Confederate soldiers.[59] The bill would form the National Commission on Modernizing Military Installation Designations, which would make recommendations for renaming installations deemed not in line with American values or the mission of the military.[59]

After President Trump said he would "not even consider” any legislation to rename military bases, Bacon offered a sharp rebuke saying "you’re wrong — you need to change" and "we’re not the party of Jim Crow.”[60] [59] The bill has since been incorporated into the National Defense Authorization Act of 2021 and passed both chambers with a veto-proof majority.[61]

Electoral history

Republican primary results, 2016[10]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Don Bacon 32,328 66.0
Republican Chip Maxwell 16,677 34.0
Total votes 49,005 100.0
Nebraska's 2nd congressional district, 2016 [62]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Don Bacon 141,066 48.9
Democratic Brad Ashford (incumbent) 137,602 47.7
Libertarian Steven Laird 9,640 3.4
Total votes 288,308 100.0
Republican gain from Democratic
Republican primary results, 2018
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Don Bacon (incumbent) 33,852 100.0
Total votes 33,852 100.0
Nebraska's 2nd congressional district, 2018
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Don Bacon (incumbent) 126,715 51.0
Democratic Kara Eastman 121,770 49.0
Total votes 248,485 100.0
Republican hold

Personal life

Bacon and his wife, Angie (née Hardison),[1] have four children and several grandchildren, and live in Papillion, Nebraska.[63] He is an Evangelical Christian.


  1. ^ a b c Lee Provost, Momence native elected congressman in Nebraska, Daily Journal (November 23, 2016).
  2. ^ Nebraska Rep. Bacon to serve on House Agriculture Committee, Associated Press (January 11, 2017).
  3. ^ Don Bacon; Military Times;
  4. ^ "Brigadier General Donald J. Bacon". United States Air Force. November 1, 2014.
  5. ^ "Gen. Bacon set to retire". The Daily Journal. Retrieved March 25, 2015.
  6. ^ "Biography". Biography. Retrieved September 21, 2017.
  7. ^ a b Tysver, Robynn (April 26, 2016). "Don Bacon is a 'fresh face' in politics but hardly a political neophyte". Omaha World Herald.
  8. ^ Don Walton (March 25, 2015). "Retired general bids for Ashford House seat". Lincoln Journal Star.
  9. ^ a b Morton, Joseph (January 11, 2017). "Don Bacon, who represents the mostly urban and suburban 2nd District, gets seat on House Agriculture Committee". Omaha World-Herald.
  10. ^ a b Official Report of the Board of State Canvassers: Primary Election May 10, 2016, Compiled by John A. Gale, Nebraska Secretary of State
  11. ^ Loizzo, Mike (September 26, 2016). "Nebraska's 2nd Congressional District Race Remains a Toss-Up". Nebraska Radio Network. Archived from the original on December 26, 2016. Retrieved December 25, 2016.
  12. ^ Tysver, Robynn, Don Bacon says Trump should step down, but he won't rule out voting for him, Omaha World Herald (October 8, 2016).
  13. ^ Williams, Jack (November 9, 2016). "Bacon ousts Ashford in Second Congressional District". Retrieved December 25, 2016.
  14. ^ "Bacon wins Nebraska House Seat After Ashford Concedes". Politico. November 9, 2016. Retrieved December 25, 2016.
  15. ^ "Nebraska U.S. House 2nd District Results: Don Bacon Wins". The New York Times. November 15, 2016. Retrieved November 15, 2016.
  16. ^ "Official Report of the Board of State Canvassers" (PDF). Nebraska Secretary of State. Retrieved December 7, 2016.
  17. ^ a b c d e Gilchrist, Logan, Don Bacon spoke at UNL seminar, students skeptical about his motivations, The Daily Nebraskan (October 19, 2017).
  18. ^ "Nebraska Election Results: Second House District". The New York Times. November 7, 2018. Retrieved November 7, 2018.
  19. ^ Joseph Morton, Iowa's Steve King joins House Republicans in disrupting deposition related to impeachment inquiry, Omaha World-Herald (October 23, 2019).
  20. ^ Cordes, Henry. "Kara Eastman vs. Don Bacon: With primary decided, what happens next?". Retrieved August 6, 2020.
  21. ^ "Official Committee Assignments, 115th Congress". Office of the Clerk, United States House of Representatives. October 17, 2019.
  22. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p Tracking Congress in the Age of Trump: FivethiryEight (last accessed October 31, 2019).
  23. ^ a b Derek Willis, Allison McCartney & Jeremy B. Merrill. "Votes Against Party Majority by Don Bacon (R-Neb.): 115th Congress". Represent Project. ProPublica.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  24. ^ "Our Work". Retrieved June 3, 2020.
  25. ^ Cai, Weiyi; Lai, K. K. Rebecca; Parlapiano, Alicia; White, Jeremy; Buchanan, Larry (December 18, 2019). "Impeachment Results: How Democrats and Republicans Voted". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved May 30, 2020.
  26. ^ "Congress Profiles: 115th Congress (2017–2019), Committee Information". Office of the Clerk, United States House of Representatives. October 17, 2019.
  27. ^ The Lugar Center, Georgetown University McCourt School of Public Policy. "The Lugar Bipartisan Index". The Lugar Center.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  28. ^ "For Country Caucus Statement on Situation in Syria". Representative Mikie Sherrill. October 13, 2019. Retrieved March 9, 2020.
  29. ^ "Members". Republican Mains Street Partnership. Archived from the original on August 26, 2018. Retrieved September 19, 2017.
  30. ^ a b "Climate Solutions Caucus expands to 24". Retrieved September 21, 2017.
  31. ^ "Members". House Baltic Caucus. Retrieved February 21, 2018.
  32. ^ "Bacon and Carbajal Join Civility and Respect Caucus". U.S. Congressman Don Bacon. July 12, 2018. Retrieved March 9, 2020.
  33. ^ "Members". Congressional Western Caucus. Retrieved June 27, 2018.
  34. ^ "Don Bacon on War & Peace". Retrieved March 17, 2018.
  35. ^ a b c d Roseann Moring (April 29, 2018). "Guns, medical marijuana, Russia investigation are hot topics at Don Bacon town hall". Omaha World-Herald.
  36. ^ Griffin Connolly, House Republicans break 2-to-1 against Trump on withdrawal of Kurd support, Roll Call (October 16, 2019).
  37. ^ Livingston, Ian, Reps. Don Bacon and Rick Larsen share their views on defense priorities and challenges; Brookings Institution (October 24, 2017).
  38. ^ Freedberg Jr, Sydney J; Spectrum (EW) Should Be A Warfighting Domain: Rep. Bacon; Breaking Defense; November 29, 2017;
  39. ^ Magid, Aaron. "Meet the 'Most Kosher Bacon' in Congress". Jewish Insider. Retrieved September 21, 2017.
  40. ^ Morton, Joseph (April 17, 2019). "On trip with bipartisan delegation, Bacon calls Taiwan a success, says China shouldn't isolate it". The Omaha World Herald.
  41. ^ Moring, Roseann. "Bacon: It's 'ludicrous' that approval of Offutt levee work took 5 years". Omaha World Herald. Retrieved May 30, 2020.
  42. ^ a b Walton, Don. "Farm bill hailed by congressmen as good for Nebraska". Retrieved May 30, 2020.
  43. ^ Branch, Rhiannon (March 22, 2019). "FFA, 4-H members could save more money through new legislation". Brownfield Agricultural News. Retrieved August 6, 2020.
  44. ^ McCaul, Michael T. (March 14, 2019). "Cosponsors - H.R.1770 - 116th Congress (2019-2020): Student Agriculture Protection Act of 2019". Retrieved August 6, 2020.
  45. ^ a b c d Roseann Moring & Aaron Sanderford, House candidates Don Bacon, Kara Eastman find little to agree on in World-Herald debate, Omaha World-Herald (October 17, 2018).
  46. ^ a b Morton, Joseph (November 4, 2016). "Don Bacon denounces claims in Democrats' health care fliers, calls one attack ad 'very vile'". Omaha World Herald. Retrieved January 10, 2018.
  47. ^ "H.R. 1: Tax Cuts and Jobs Act". GovTrack. Retrieved November 5, 2018.
  48. ^ Byrne, Michael (April 25, 2017). "Nebraska's Climate Change Deniers". Vice. Retrieved March 3, 2018.
  49. ^ Bureau, Joseph Morton / World-Herald. "Affordable Care Act repeal on fast track, but GOP replacement not yet in sight". Retrieved April 1, 2017.
  50. ^ "How the House voted to pass the GOP health-care bill". Washington Post. Retrieved May 4, 2017.
  51. ^ "How every member voted on health care bill". CNN. Retrieved May 4, 2017.
  52. ^ Walton, Don, Rep. Don Bacon urges Trump to protect DACA youths, Lincoln Journal Star (August 25, 2017).
  53. ^ Walton, Don (June 5, 2019). "Nebraska Rep. Bacon crosses aisle to vote for DACA protection". Lincoln Journal Star. Retrieved May 29, 2020.
  54. ^ a b Scott Simon, Nebraska Rep. Don Bacon On Border Wall, NPR, Weekend Edition Saturday (February 16, 2019).
  55. ^ Don Bacon to re-introduce Kerrie Orozco Act, KMTV (April 5, 2017).
  56. ^ "Bacon urges Senate action on bill making lynching a federal hate crime". Ripon Advance. May 20, 2020. Retrieved August 6, 2020.
  57. ^ a b Morton, Joseph (June 29, 2020). "Don Bacon says he supported much of the House police reform bill, but it needed fine-tuning". Retrieved August 6, 2020.
  58. ^ "Roll Call 119, Bill Number: H. R. 7120, 116th Congress, 2nd Session". Roll Call Votes, U.S. House of Representatives. Office of the Clerk, U.S. House of Representatives. June 25, 2020. Retrieved August 6, 2020.
  59. ^ a b c Liewer, Steve (June 11, 2020). "Rep. Don Bacon joins movement to erase Confederate names from Army bases". Retrieved August 6, 2020.
  60. ^ Edmondson, Catie; Cochrane, Emily (July 20, 2020). "Defying Trump, Lawmakers Move to Strip Military Bases of Confederate Names". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved August 6, 2020.
  61. ^ Neuman, Scott (July 24, 2020). "Despite Trump's Veto Threat, Senate Approves Provision To Rename Military Bases". Retrieved August 6, 2020.
  62. ^ "Official Report of the Board of State Canvassers" (PDF). Nebraska Secretary of State. Retrieved December 7, 2016.
  63. ^ Robynn Tysver (March 25, 2015). "Citing military and foreign policy as priorities, retired Brig. Gen. Don Bacon announces bid for Congress". Omaha World-Herald.

External links

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Brad Ashford
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Nebraska's 2nd congressional district

U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Jodey Arrington
United States Representatives by seniority
Succeeded by
Jim Banks
This page was last edited on 6 August 2020, at 06:15
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