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Hal Rogers
Hal Rogers Official Photo 2010.JPG
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Kentucky's 5th district
Assumed office
January 3, 1981
Preceded byTim Lee Carter
Chair of the House Appropriations Committee
In office
January 3, 2011 – January 3, 2017
Preceded byDave Obey
Succeeded byRodney Frelinghuysen
Commonwealth Attorney of Pulaski County and Rockcastle County
In office
Preceded byC. Homer Neikirk[1]
Succeeded byLester Burns[2]
Personal details
Harold Dallas Rogers

(1937-12-31) December 31, 1937 (age 83)
Barrier, Kentucky, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Shirley McDowell
(m. 1958; died 1995)

Cynthia Doyle
(m. 1999)
EducationWestern Kentucky University (BA)
University of Kentucky (LLB)
WebsiteHouse website Edit this at Wikidata
Military service
Allegiance United States
Branch/service United States Army
Years of service1956–1964
UnitKentucky Army National Guard
North Carolina Army National Guard

Harold Dallas Rogers (born December 31, 1937) is an American lawyer and politician serving his 21st term as the U.S. Representative for Kentucky's 5th congressional district, having served since 1981. He is a member of the Republican Party and the dean of the Kentucky congressional delegation.

Early life, education, and early career

Rogers was born in Barrier, Kentucky, attended Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green and received a baccalaureate degree (A.B.) and a law degree (LL.B.) from the University of Kentucky at Lexington. Rogers served in the Kentucky and North Carolina Army National Guard.[3]

As a lawyer Rogers was in private practice and was elected to serve as Commonwealth's Attorney for Pulaski and Rockcastle counties in Kentucky, an office he held from 1969 to his election to Congress in 1980.

Rogers was the Republican nominee for Lieutenant Governor of Kentucky in 1979. He was on the ballot with former Governor of Kentucky Louie B. Nunn. He lost to Democratic nominee John Y. Brown, Jr. 59%-41%.[4] The following year Rogers won election to Congress.

U.S. House of Representatives


In 1980, incumbent Republican U.S. Congressman Tim Lee Carter of Kentucky's 5th congressional district decided to retire. Rogers won the Republican primary with a plurality of 23 percent. The losing candidates included the 1971 gubernatorial nominee, Tom Emberton.[5] He won the general election with 67% of the vote.[6] He has won reelection with at least 65% of the vote since then, except in 1992, when he defeated Democratic State Senator John Doug Hays 55%-45%.[7]


Rogers is the longest-serving Kentucky Republican ever elected to federal office.[8] He represents one of the few ancestrally Republican districts south of the Ohio River. South-central Kentucky, historically the heart of the district, is very similar demographically to East Tennessee. Its voters identified with the Republicans after the Civil War and have supported the GOP ever since. Rogers served as a delegate to multiple Republican National Conventions.[citation needed]

The Center for Rural Development, a 501c(3) nonprofit organization established in Somerset, Kentucky, in March 1996,[9][10][11][12] was Rogers's idea.[10][13]

In 2001 the City of Williamsburg, Kentucky named their new water park and miniature golf facility the Hal Rogers Family Entertainment Center[14] as a "thank-you for the federal money he has brought back to Whitley County, the City of Williamsburg, and the other 40 counties he represents".[15]

On the House/Senate conference decision to bolster the Department of Commerce and support the Clinton Administration priorities, President Clinton remarked, "I commend the congressional leadership, Senator Ernest Hollings, Senator Pete Domenici, Congressman Neal Smith, and Congressman Harold Rogers, for their foresight and support in revitalizing this country through these programs. It is a dramatic step forward for the United States toward a solid economic future."[16]

Kentucky state biographer Amy Witherbee commented: "Rogers's multiple roles on the Appropriations Committee have honed his skills as a bipartisan negotiator, and his economically challenged district often prompts him to stray from hard-line conservative stances. Although voting with his party against raising environmental standards on sports utility vehicles and against a controversial amendment that would have prohibited oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Rogers has been the creator and leading proponent of large environmental protection and clean-up programs throughout the Appalachian region. ... [His] reluctance to involve the federal government in local issues has not deterred him from supporting a multitude of economic development programs aimed at creating new job bases in economically disadvantaged areas, and particularly in Appalachia. In 1993, Rogers was one of only three Republicans to vote for then-President Bill Clinton's economic stimulus package. In March 2003, Rogers's ability to work through the bipartisan tangles of the Appropriations Committee won him the chairmanship on the subcommittee designated to control funding for the new Department of Homeland Security."[17]

Ready evidence is found on March 20, 2008, when the invitation to testify in support of environmental legislation by Democratic House Majority Leader Rocky Adkins,[18] and, on the same day, a rare invitation to speak from the Senate floor was afforded by Republican Senate Majority Leader Senator David L. Williams of Cumberland County as part of the Senate's unanimously passed bipartisan resolution honoring Rogers for his service.[19]

Rogers called a bill to reduce funding for law enforcement "the result of this new Republican majority's commitment to bring about real change in the way Washington spends the people's money".[20]

In 2011 Rogers voted for the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012, which included a controversial provision that allowed the government and the military to indefinitely detain American citizens and others without trial.[21]

In December 2017 Rogers voted for the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.[22]

Rogers, along with all other Senate and House Republicans, voted against the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.[23]


Rogers has been widely criticized by both liberal and conservative pundits for his priorities when it comes to national security. National Review called him "a national disgrace"[24] and Rolling Stone named him one of America's "Ten Worst Congressmen", calling him "Bin Laden's Best Friend" for steering federal homeland security money away from large cities to his home district, which critics claim is one of the least likely terrorist targets in America because of its lack of any notable monuments or population centers.[25] In 2007 Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington named Rogers to its list of the Most Corrupt Members of Congress.[26]

On May 14, 2006, the New York Times reported that Rogers had used his legislative position, as chairman of the House subcommittee that controls the Homeland Security budget, to create "jobs in his home district and profits for companies that are donors to his political causes".[27] The Lexington Herald-Leader in 2005 called Rogers the "Prince of Pork".[28] The Times article reported that Rogers had inserted language ("existing government card issuance centers") into appropriations bills that effectively pushed the federal government into testing – at a cost of $4 million – older, inappropriate technology for a new fraud-resistant green card for permanent legal immigrants, at a production plant in Corbin, Kentucky, within Rogers's district. The study concluded that the smart card approach was far superior. The New York Times found that Rogers had received about $100,000 in contributions from parties with at least some ties to the identification card effort.[29]

In response to these critics, Rogers said, "It should surprise no one that this article from Rolling Stone regarding my activity in connection with the Transportation Worker Identity Card (TWIC) is grossly incorrect, and highly slanderous ... A true and honest analysis would reveal that my sole interest in TWIC is simply to protect America's seaports, airports, and other transportation facilities from terrorist penetration. To purport that my actions have compromised national security in an effort to bring jobs to Kentucky or for personal gain is an absolute lie."[30]

After Iran objected to the interim deployment of an Afloat Forward Staging Base to counter their threats to close the Persian Gulf, Rogers cut the funding for the project.[31][32]

MilCon/VA Bill

On June 12, 2013, the White House threatened to veto the MilCon/VA spending bill because Republicans did not agree with the Senate's number of $1.058 trillion intended for military operations and research, after the MilCon/VA bill received 421 bipartisan votes in House. "We're marking up to $967 billion, the top line under current law," said Rogers, as chairman of United States House Committee on Appropriations.[33]


On January 15, 2013, Rogers introduced H.R. 298, officially titled "To direct the Secretary of the Interior to conduct a special resource study to evaluate the significance of the Mill Springs Battlefield located in Pulaski and Wayne Counties, Kentucky, and the feasibility of its inclusion in the National Park System, and for other purposes".[34] The bill would direct the Secretary of the Interior to conduct a special resource study to evaluate the significance of the Mill Springs Battlefield in Kentucky (relating to the Battle of Mill Springs fought on January 19, 1862, in Pulaski and Wayne Counties during the Civil War) and the feasibility of its inclusion in the National Park System (NPS).[34][35] Rogers said, "the Battle of Mill Springs is a source of great pride and interest to the people I serve."[36] Rogers argued that the Battlefield was a "jewel" and would be "an excellent addition to the National Park Service".[36]

On March 5, 2014, Rogers introduced the To provide for the costs of loan guarantees for Ukraine (H.R. 4152; 113th Congress) into the House. The bill would provide loan guarantees to Ukraine of up to $1 billion, part of the American response to the 2014 Russian military intervention in Ukraine.[37] The bill passed in the House on March 6, 2014.[38]

In 2014 Rogers's committee called for cuts in the National Nuclear Security Administration budget that cast doubt on the Navy's ability to provide an Ohio Replacement Submarine class.[39]

On July 29, 2014, Rogers introduced the Making supplemental appropriations for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2014 (H.R. 5230; 113th Congress), a bill that would provide supplemental FY2014 appropriations to several federal agencies for expenses related to the rise in unaccompanied alien children and alien adults accompanied by an alien minor at the southwest border.[40] The bill would also change the procedures for screening and processing unaccompanied alien children who arrive at the border from certain countries.[40] The bill would provide $659 million in supplemental funding.[41] Rogers urged members to pass the bill, arguing that "more and more immigrants will continue to flood across the border if you fail to act" because resources were running out.[41]

Committee assignments

Caucus memberships

Political positions

ACU Rating

Rogers is considered politically conservative. The American Conservative Union's Center for Legislative Accountability gives him a lifetime rating of 80.04.[44] The politically liberal Americans for Democratic Action gave him a score of 5% for 2019.[45]

Budget & economy

Rogers is in favor of dismantling the Home Affordable Modification Program. He opposed the GM and Chrysler bailout in 2009. He opposes regulating the subprime mortgage industry. He supports a balanced budget amendment.[46]

Domestic issues

Gun control

In 2018, Rogers co-sponsored a bill to "strengthen school safety and security", which required a two-thirds vote for passage, given it was brought up under an expedited process. The House voted 407-10 to approve the bill, which would "provide $50 million a year for a new federal grant program to train students, teachers and law enforcement on how to spot and report signs of gun violence". Named STOP (Students, Teachers, and Officers Preventing) School Violence Act, it would "develop anonymous telephone and online systems where people could report threats of violence". At the same time, it would authorize $25 million for schools to improve and harden their security, such as installing new locks, lights, metal detectors and panic buttons. A separate spending bill would be required to provide money for the grant program.[47]


Rogers supports expanding the juvenile justice system, including renovating and hiring additional prosecutors. Rogers supports the death penalty.[48]


Rogers has a 13 percent rating from the Humane Society for his anti-animal welfare voting record.[49]


Rogers is in favor of ending federal funding for National Public Radio. He opposes net neutrality.[50]

International issues


Rogers supports efforts to make the English language the official language of the US. He supports building a fence along the Mexico-US border.[51]

Russian interference

In July 2018, while serving temporarily as chair of the House Rules committee, Rogers rejected requests to increase federal funding for election security. The U.S. intelligence community had concluded that Russia interfered in the 2016 election and that it was continuing to interfere in election systems as of July 2018.[52]

Social issues


Rogers is anti-abortion. He has a 100 percent rating from the National Right to Life Committee and a zero percent rating from NARAL Pro-Choice America for his abortion-related voting record. He is in favor of banning federal funding from supporting organizations that provide abortions, as well as federal health insurance covering abortions, unless the pregnancy is the result of rape, incest, or threatens the mother's life. He opposes embryonic stem cell research. He opposes human cloning.[53]


Rogers has a "D" rating from NORML for his voting history regarding cannabis-related causes. Rogers opposes veterans having access to medical marijuana if recommended by their Veterans Health Administration doctor and if it is legal for medicinal purposes in their state of residence.[54]

Civil rights

Rogers has a 28 percent rating from the NAACP for his civil rights voting record. He opposes affirmative action.[55]

LGBT, families & children

Rogers has a 92 percent rating from the Christian Coalition for his socially conservative voting record.[56] He has a zero percent rating from the Human Rights Campaign regarding his voting record on LGBT rights. Rogers opposes same-sex marriage. He opposes prohibiting job discrimination based on sexual orientation. He opposes LGBT being allowed to adopt children.[55] Rogers opposes prosecuting anti-gay hate crimes.[48]

Personal life

Rogers has three children with his first wife, Shirley Rogers. She died of cancer in 1995.[57] Rogers remarried. His wife is named Cynthia.[8]

Electoral history

Kentucky's 5th congressional district: Results 1980–2020[58][59][60][61][62]
Year Republican Votes % Democratic Votes % Third Party Party Votes %
1980 Hal Rogers 112,093 67% Ted Marcum 54,027 33%
1982 Hal Rogers 52,928 65% Doye Davenport 28,285 35%
1984 Hal Rogers 125,164 76% Sherman McIntosh 39,783 24%
1986 Hal Rogers 56,760 100% No candidate
1988 Hal Rogers 104,467 100% No candidate
1990 Hal Rogers 64,660 100% No candidate
1992 Hal Rogers 115,255 55% John Hays 95,760 45%
1994 Hal Rogers 82,291 79% Walter Blevins 21,318 21%
1996 Hal Rogers 117,842 100% No candidate
1998 Hal Rogers 142,215 78% Sidney Jane Bailey 39,585 22%
2000 Hal Rogers 145,980 74% Sidney Jane Bailey 52,495 26%
2002 Hal Rogers 137,986 78% Sidney Jane Bailey 38,254 22%
2004 Hal Rogers 177,579 100% No candidate
2006 Hal Rogers 147,201 74% Kenneth Stepp 52,367 26%
2008 Hal Rogers 177,024 84% No candidate Jim Holbert Independent 33,444 16%
2010 Hal Rogers 151,019 77% Jim Holbert 44,034 23%
2012 Hal Rogers 195,408 78% Kenneth Stepp 55,447 22%
2014 Hal Rogers 171,350 78% Kenneth Stepp 47,617 22%
2016 Hal Rogers 221,242 100% No candidate
2018 Hal Rogers 172,093 78% Kenneth Stepp 45,890 21% Billy Ray Wilson Independent 34 1%
2020 Hal Rogers 250,914 84% Matthew Best 47,056 16%

Notes and references

  1. ^ "16 Sep 1969, 9 - Messenger-Inquirer at".
  2. ^ "14 Jun 1981, 7 - The Paducah Sun at".
  3. ^ "A-5th Selects Rogers As Soldier of the Year" (PDF). The Kentucky Guardsman. January 1961. p. 6. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2009-04-11.
  4. ^ "KY Lt. Governor Race – Nov 06, 1979". Our Campaigns. Retrieved 2012-03-08.
  5. ^ "KY District 5 – R Primary Race – May 27, 1980". Our Campaigns. Retrieved 2012-03-08.
  6. ^ "KY District 5 Race – Nov 04, 1980". Our Campaigns. Retrieved 2012-03-08.
  7. ^ "KY District 5 Race – Nov 03, 1992". Our Campaigns. Retrieved 2012-03-08.
  8. ^ a b Mardis, Bill (27 September 2016). "Long-serving Hal Rogers pauses to be honored". Commonwealth Journal. Retrieved 31 December 2017.
  9. ^ "Lexington Herald Leader".
  10. ^ a b "About". Center for Rural Development.
  11. ^ "Center for Rural Development expands service area; Includes Boyd, Carter and Elliott counties". The Lane Report. October 10, 2012.
  12. ^ "Center for Rural Development Among Kentucky PPP Loan Recipients". The Courier-Journal.
  13. ^ Diane Vinokur-Kaplan, Ram A. Cnaan (2014). Cases in Innovative Nonprofits; Organizations That Make a Difference, Sage Publications.
  14. ^ "Kentucky Splash Waterpark – Hal Rogers Entertainment Center". Retrieved 2012-11-09.
  15. ^ "Kentucky Splash Waterpark – Hal Rogers Entertainment Center". Retrieved 2012-11-09.
  16. ^ Clinton, William J (October 19, 1993). "Statement on Congressional Action on Department of Commerce Appropriations". The American Presidency Project.
  17. ^ Witherbee, Amy (2007). "Hal Rogers". Our States: Kentucky.[dead link]
  18. ^ Alessi, Ryan (March 20, 2008). "GOP Congressman backs House Dems' stream bill". Pol Watchers. Archived from the original on March 25, 2008.
  19. ^ "Kentucky Senate honors Congressman Rogers". March 20, 2008. Archived from the original on May 8, 2008.
  20. ^ Faler, Brian. ""Law Enforcement, Environment Funds Cut in Budget Deal". Bloomberg, 12 April 2011.
  21. ^ "NDAA Bill: How Did Your Congress Member Vote?". 16 December 2011. Retrieved 2012-11-09.
  22. ^ Almukhtar, Sarah (19 December 2017). "How Each House Member Voted on the Tax Bill". The New York Times. Retrieved 31 December 2017.
  23. ^ Carl Hulse (March 6, 2021). "After Stimulus Victory in Senate, Reality Sinks in: Bipartisanship Is Dead". New York Times.
  24. ^ "Hal Rogers: A Congressional Disgrace". CBS News. May 17, 2006.
  25. ^ Dickinson, Time (October 17, 2006). "The 10 Worst Congressmen". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on May 3, 2008.
  26. ^ Ronica Shannon. "McConnell, Rogers on 'Most Corrupt' list » Local News". The Richmond Register. Retrieved 2012-03-08.
  27. ^ Lipton, Eric (May 14, 2006). "In Kentucky Hills, a Homeland Security Bonanza". The New York Times.
  28. ^ Cheves, John (February 6, 2005). "Prince of Pork: Hal Rogers Hauls Home Tax Dollars By The Billions". Lexington Herald-Leader.
  29. ^ Lipton, Eric (May 14, 2006). "In Kentucky Hills, a Homeland Security Bonanza". The New York Times.
  30. ^ Neal, Jeff (November 1, 2006). "Rogers: Is he one of nation's 10 worst congressmen?". Commonwealth Journal.
  31. ^ "Floating Base Gives U.S. New Footing in the Persian Gulf". The New York Times. 12 July 2012.
  32. ^ "Funding Spat Could Sink USN Virginia-Class Sub". Defense News. Archived from the original on January 21, 2013.
  33. ^ "Rogers: Make my day". The Ripon Society. June 13, 2013. Archived from the original on 14 May 2014. Retrieved 15 June 2013.
  34. ^ a b "H.R. 298 – Summary". United States Congress. Retrieved 28 April 2014.
  35. ^ Marcos, Cristina (28 April 2014). "House votes to allow more DC penthouses". The Hill. Retrieved 29 April 2014.
  36. ^ a b Smoot, Danielle (28 April 2014). "Rogers' Mill Springs Battlefield Bill Moves Forward". Office of Hal Rogers. Archived from the original on 30 April 2014. Retrieved 29 April 2014.
  37. ^ Cox, Ramsey (25 March 2014). "Reid sets up Ukraine vote for Thursday". The Hill. Retrieved 26 March 2014.
  38. ^ "H.R. 4152 – All Actions". United States Congress. Retrieved 26 March 2014.
  39. ^ LaGrone, Sam (9 July 2014). "Navy Leaders: Dept. of Energy Budget Cuts Threaten Navy's Nuclear Fleet". U.S. NAVAL INSTITUTE. Retrieved 9 July 2014.
  40. ^ a b "H.R. 5230 – Summary". United States Congress. Retrieved 31 July 2014.
  41. ^ a b Marcos, Cristina (31 July 2014). "House cancels border vote". The Hill. Retrieved 31 July 2014.
  42. ^ "Committee Assignments – U.S. Congressman Hal Rogers". Archived from the original on 8 March 2019. Retrieved 8 March 2019.
  43. ^ "Our Members". U.S. House of Representatives International Conservation Caucus. Archived from the original on 1 August 2018. Retrieved 5 August 2018.
  44. ^ "Rep. Harold Rogers". American Conservative Union Foundation. Retrieved 7 June 2021.
  45. ^ "2019 Congressional Voting Record" (PDF). Americans for Democratic Action. Retrieved 7 June 2021.
  46. ^ "Hal Rogers on Budget & Economy". On The Issues. Retrieved 31 December 2017.
  47. ^ Zanona, Melanie (14 March 2018). "House passes school safety bill amid gun protests". The Hill. Retrieved 16 March 2018.
  48. ^ a b "Hal Rogers on Crime". On The Issues. Retrieved 31 December 2017.
  49. ^ "Hal Rogers on Environment". On The Issues. Retrieved 31 December 2017.
  50. ^ "Hal Rogers on Technology". On The Issues. Retrieved 31 December 2017.
  51. ^ "Hal Rogers on Immigration". On The Issues. Retrieved 31 December 2017.
  52. ^ "House GOP refuses to renew election security funding as Democrats fume over Russian interference". Washington Post. Retrieved 2018-07-19.
  53. ^ "Hal Rogers on Abortion". On The Issues. Retrieved 31 December 2017.
  54. ^ "Kentucky Scorecard". NORML. Retrieved 31 December 2017.
  55. ^ a b "Hal Rogers on Civil Rights". On The Issues. Retrieved 31 December 2017.
  56. ^ "Hal Rogers on Families & Children". On The Issues. Retrieved 31 December 2017.
  57. ^ "Shirley Rogers, 55, the wife of Republican Rep. Harold ..." tribunedigital-baltimoresun. Retrieved 31 December 2017.
  58. ^ "Office of the House Clerk – Electoral Statistics". Clerk of the United States House of Representatives.
  59. ^ "Election Results". Federal Election Commission.
  60. ^ "Official 2012 General Election Results" (PDF). Commonwealth of Kentucky. Retrieved July 1, 2013.
  61. ^ "Official 2014 General Election Results" (PDF). Commonwealth of Kentucky. Retrieved January 14, 2015.
  62. ^ "Official 2016 General Election Results" (PDF). Commonwealth of Kentucky. Retrieved April 23, 2017.

External links

Party political offices
Preceded by
Shirley Palmer-Ball
Republican nominee for Lieutenant Governor of Kentucky
Succeeded by
Eugene Stuart
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Tim Carter
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Kentucky's 5th congressional district

Preceded by
Dave Obey
Chair of the House Appropriations Committee
Succeeded by
Rodney Frelinghuysen
U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Don Young
United States representatives by seniority
Succeeded by
Chris Smith
This page was last edited on 19 August 2021, at 03:24
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