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Bart Stupak

Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Michigan's 1st district
Assumed office 
January 3, 1993
Preceded by John Conyers[1]

Born February 29, 1952 (1952-02-29) (age 58)
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Political party Democratic Party
Spouse(s) Laurie Ann Stupak
Children Ken Stupak
Bartholomew Thomas Stupak Jr.(deceased)
Residence Menominee, Michigan
Alma mater Northwestern Michigan College, Saginaw Valley State University, Thomas Cooley Law School
Occupation Police Officer
Religion Roman Catholic

Bartholomew Thomas "Bart" Stupak (born February 29, 1952), has been a Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives since 1993, representing Michigan's 1st congressional district.



Stupak was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and graduated from Gladstone High School in Gladstone, Michigan in 1970. He is an Eagle Scout.[2] He earned his Associate's degree from Northwestern Michigan College, a community college in Traverse City in 1972. He earned his Bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice from Saginaw Valley State University in 1977, graduating magna cum laude, and he earned a Juris Doctor from Thomas M. Cooley Law School in Lansing, Michigan in 1981. He worked as an Escanaba police officer in 1972. Stupak later served as a Michigan State Police Trooper from 1973 to 1984. He also practiced law as an attorney.

Stupak lives in Menominee, Michigan, with his wife, Laurie, who is a former mayor of Menominee, and unsuccessful candidate for the Michigan House of Representatives. Laurie Stupak was defeated by Tom Casperson. In 2008 Casperson unsuccessfully challenged Bart Stupak, the incumbent for Michigan's 1st Congressional district seat in the United States House of Representatives.

The Stupaks' son, Ken, graduated from Pepperdine University's School of Law in 2006 and resides in California. Their other son, Bart Jr., committed suicide in May 2000. The Stupaks have stated their belief that Accutane, an acne medication, contributed to his death.

Political career

Stupak served as a Michigan State Representative from 1989 to 1990, representing Menominee, Delta, and Dickinson counties, after defeating two-term Republican Jim Connors in 1988. In 1990, Stupak decided to run for state senate but lost a hotly contested primary to eventual general election winner Don Koivisto. In 1992, he entered the race for the newly reapportioned 1st district of the U.S. Congress (which formerly was the 11th district, at that time held by Republican Robert William Davis). He entered another heavily contested primary, this time coming out victorious. Stupak defeated former Republican Congressman Philip Ruppe in the general election.

Stupak defeated Republican Don Hooper of Iron River in the 2002, 2004 and 2006 elections. In 2008, Stupak defeated Republican Tom Casperson and Green Jean Treacy for the 1st District House Seat.[3]

Stupak is a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, his only committee assignment. He serves on the Telecommunications & the Internet; Commerce, Trade & Consumer Protection; Environment and Hazardous Materials subcommittees; and as the Chairman of the Oversight and Investigation subcommittee. Because of the 1st District's extensive amount of Great Lakes shoreline (over 1,600 miles), Stupak has been very active on issues related to the protection of the Great Lakes, including opposing sale or diversion of Great Lakes water and drilling for oil and gas under the lakes. Since his election in 1993 he has sponsored 36 bills, but none became law. He cosponsored 157 bills, 5 of which were enacted into law. He has voted with the members of his party 96% of the time. He has abstained from 5% of the votes.[4]

Political positions



Stupak is one of several strongly pro-life Democrats in the House (others include Tim Holden, Kathy Dahlkemper, James Oberstar, Dan Boren, Gene Taylor, and Jim Marshall). He is a leader of Democrats for Life.[5] Stupak's opposition to abortion is consistent with his Catholic faith.[6][7]

Health Care

Based on his opinion that the bill for Health care reform in the United States would provide federal funding for elective abortion, he coauthored and was the lead sponsor of the Stupak Amendment. His language was approved for the House version of the bill but was dropped in the Senate. Stupak has strongly opposed the bill’s passage after the anti-abortion language was removed and has stated that 15-20 like minded pro-life Democrats will do so as well in the final version. In response, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has said that he is simply being an "obstructionist" and that “There is no Federal funding for abortion in the (health care reform) bill.” [8] s Stupak voted against the Medicare Modernization and Prescription Drug Act (HR4954), and the bill was passed.[9]

Financial System

Following the US financial and banking crisis of 2009, Stupak voted against the bill to provide regulation and oversight of the US financial system. The bill was passed. [10]

Civil Liberties

Stupak voted in favor of legislation for hate crimes expansion, and the bill (HR1913) passed in 2009.[11]


Electric utilities and health professionals were among the top four industries contributing to his campaigns in 2006, 2008 and 2010.[12] Of his top 20 largest contributors throughout his political career, 16 of them were unions and associations, two were energy companies, and there was one insurance company and one telecommunications firm.[13]

Involvement with The Family

While in Washington, D.C., Stupak rented a room at the C Street facility of The Fellowship, also known as the Family, a Christian organization which operates the property as a tax-exempt church and subsidized residence for several congressmen and senators.[14][15] Recently Stupak moved out after a group entitled Clergy Voice brought a lawsuit challenging the tax favored status of the facility as a church, including on the grounds that many ordinary church activities did not occur there and due to the secretiveness of the organization.[16][17]

Jeff Sharlet, an author who wrote a book about the organization affiliated with the C Street facility, said, "When I lived with The Family at Ivanwald, a house for younger men being groomed for leadership, I was told that Stupak was a regular visitor to the Cedars." The Cedars, according to the Washington Independent, is also owned by The Family and hosts weekly prayer events.[18] Stupak has denied any affiliation with the Family and appeared to deny knowledge of the organization, stating "I don’t belong to any such group" and that "I don’t know what you’re talking about, [The] Family and all this other stuff."[19]

Stupak's abortion-related amendment to the health care reform bill was co-authored with Fellowship member Representative Joe Pitts.[20]

Committee assignments

Caucus memberships

  • Founder and Co-chair of the Law Enforcement Caucus
  • Co-chair of the Congressional Northern Border Caucus

Stupak—Pitts Amendment

Democrat Bart Stupak and Republican Joe Pitts added an amendment to the health care reform bill so that abortion may not be covered in the public option or in any of the exchange's private plans that take subsidized customers. There is an exception if a woman's life is in danger or in cases of rape or incest. Individuals however are free to purchase separate riders that cover elective abortions. This measure passed the house by a 240-194 margin.[21] Stupak has indicated that he and at least 12 like minded congressman will block passage of the bill if his amendment's language is not included in the final version. He has called President Obama's health care proposal "unacceptable" on the issue of abortion.[22][23] Media Matters, a liberal advocacy group, says that the amendment would make current laws on abortion availability more restrictive, as it would "effectively cause a number of people who currently have abortion (insurance) coverage to lose that coverage."[24]

Electoral history

  • 1992 Democratic primary for Congress
    • Bart Stupak, 48.63%
    • Mike McElroy, 43.11%
    • Daniel Herringa, 8.27%
  • 1992 campaign for Congress
    • Bart Stupak (D), 53.93%
    • Philip Ruppe (R), 43.58%
    • Gerald Aydlott (L), 1.52%
    • Lyman Clark (NL), 0.96%
  • 1994 campaign for Congress
    • Bart Stupak (D), 56.86%
    • Gil Ziegler (R), 41.99%
    • Michael McPeak (NL), 1.12%
  • 1996 campaign for Congress
    • Bart Stupak (D), 70.68%
    • Bob Carr (R), 27.24%
    • Michael C. Oleniczak (L), 1.10%
    • Wendy Conway (NL), 0.96%
  • 1998 campaign for Congress
    • Bart Stupak (D), 58.67%
    • Michelle McManus (R), 39.51%
    • John W. Loosemore (L), 1.04%
    • Wendy Conway (NL), 0.78%
  • 2000 campaign for Congress
    • Bart Stupak (D), 58.39%
    • Chuck Yob (R), 40.37%
    • Wendy Conway (NL), 0.63%
    • John W. Loosemore (L), 0.61%
    • Sven Johnson (I), 0.01%
  • 2002 campaign for Congress
    • Bart Stupak (D), 67.67%
    • Don Hooper (R), 31.10%
    • John W. Loosemore (L), 1.23%
  • 2004 campaign for Congress
    • Bart Stupak (D), 65.57%
    • Don Hooper (R), 32.76%
    • David J. Newland (G), 0.96%
    • John W. Loosemore (L), 0.71%
  • 2006 campaign for Congress
    • Bart Stupak (D), 69.43%
    • Don Hooper (R), 27.99%
    • Joshua J. Warren (Tax.), 0.88%
    • David J. Newland (G), 0.87%
    • Kenneth L. Proctor (L), 0.85%
  • 2008 campaign for Congress
    • Bart Stupak (D), 65.04%
    • Tom Casperson (R), 32.74%
    • Jean Treacy (G), 0.81%
    • Dan Grow (L), 0.77%
    • Joshua J. Warren (Tax.), 0.63%


  1. ^ Congressional districts in Michigan underwent major changes following the 1990 census. Prior to 1990, the 1st district had been in the Metro Detroit area. After 1990, the 1st district encompassed the Upper Peninsula and much of Northern Michigan, areas that were formerly part of the 11th district. The previous representative for these areas was Robert Davis.
  2. ^ "Distinguished Eagle Scout Award". Fact Sheet. Boy Scouts of America. December 31, 2008. Retrieved 2009-04-25. 
  3. ^ 2008 Official Michigan General Election Results - 1st District Representative in Congress
  4. ^ - Stupak voting record
  5. ^
  6. ^ Catholic News Service, Abortion is crime against society, says Pope Benedict Dec 5 2005
  7. ^ Politico. Stupak Aims To Sink Abortion Compromise Dec 19 2009
  8. ^ MSNBC, Rachel Maddow Show, March 11 2010,
  9. ^ Project Vote Smart,
  10. ^ Project vote Smart, Bart Stupak voting record,
  11. ^ Project Vote Smart,
  12. ^ Center for Responsive Politics,
  13. ^ Center for Responsive Politics,
  14. ^ [1]
  15. ^ Parnes, Amie (February 2, 2010). "C Street Cash Questioned." Politico. Retrieved on March 5, 2010
  16. ^ [Complaint]
  17. ^ Parnes, Amie (February 2, 2010). "C Street Cash Questioned." Politico. Retrieved on March 5, 2010
  18. ^ Washington Independent
  19. ^ Brayton, Ed (July 23, 2009). "Stupak denies knowledge of connections to mysterious ‘C Street’ house he lives in." Michigan Messenger. Retrieved on March 5, 2010.
  20. ^ Brayton, Ed (July 23, 2009). "Stupak denies knowledge of connections to mysterious ‘C Street’ house he lives in." Michigan Messenger. Retrieved on March 5, 2010.
  21. ^ Washington Post article, 11-14-09
  22. ^
  23. ^ "Abortion Foe Defies Party on Health Care Bill". New York Times. 2010-01-06. Retrieved 2010-01-07. 
  24. ^ Media Matters, myths and falsehoods about healthcare reform, Sept 8 2009,

External links

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
John Conyers
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Michigan's 1st congressional district

1993 – present


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