Suzan Delbene Committee Assignments


Legislative Metrics

Read our 2017 Report Card for DelBene.

Ideology–Leadership Chart

DelBene is shown as a purple triangle ▲ in our ideology-leadership chart below. Each dot is a member of the House of Representatives positioned according to our liberal–conservative ideology score (left to right) and our leadership score (leaders are toward the top).

The chart is based on the bills DelBene has sponsored and cosponsored. See full analysis methodology.

Ratings from Advocacy Organizations

Committee Membership

Suzan DelBene sits on the following committees:

Enacted Legislation

DelBene was the primary sponsor of 2 bills that were enacted:

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We consider a bill enacted if one of the following is true: a) it is enacted itself, b) it has a companion bill in the other chamber (as identified by Congress) which was enacted, or c) if about one third or more of its provisions were incorporated into bills that were enacted (as determined by an automated text analysis, applicable beginning with bills in the 110th Congress).

Bills Sponsored

Issue Areas

DelBene sponsors bills primarily in these issue areas:

Armed Forces and National Security (21%)Agriculture and Food (16%)Civil Rights and Liberties, Minority Issues (13%)Taxation (13%)Public Lands and Natural Resources (11%)Education (11%)Emergency Management (8%)Health (8%)

Recent Bills

Some of DelBene’s most recently sponsored bills include...

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Voting Record

Key Votes

DelBene’s VoteVote Description
No S. 612: A bill to designate the Federal building and United States courthouse located at 1300 Victoria Street in Laredo, Texas, as the “George P. Kazen Federal Building ...
Dec 8, 2016. Passed 360/61.
No H.R. 4127: Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016
Dec 1, 2015. Passed 364/58.
Aye H.R. 3038: Highway and Transportation Funding Act of 2015, Part II
Jul 15, 2015. Passed 312/119.
Aye H.R. 2146: Defending Public Safety Employees’ Retirement Act
Jun 18, 2015. Passed 218/208.
This vote made H.R. 2146 the vehicle for passage of Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal currently being negotiated. H.R. 2146 was originally introduced as a bill to address issues with retirement funds of federal law enforcement officers and firefighters. ...
Yea H.R. 2048: Uniting and Strengthening America by Fulfilling Rights and Ensuring Effective Discipline Over Monitoring Act of 2015
May 13, 2015. Passed 338/88.
The USA Freedom Act (H.R. 2048, Pub.L. 114–23) is a U.S. law enacted on June 2, 2015 that restored in modified form several provisions of the Patriot Act, which had expired the day before. The act imposes some new limits on the bulk collection of ...
Nay H.R. 83 (113th): Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015
Dec 11, 2014. Passed 219/206.
This bill became the vehicle for passage of the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015 [pdf], which was approved by the House on December 11, 2014 and by the Senate on December 13, 2014. The bill was originally introduced on January 3, 2013 by ...
Nay H.R. 4681 (113th): Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2015
Dec 10, 2014. Passed 325/100.
Aye H.J.Res. 124 (113th): Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2015
Sep 17, 2014. Passed 319/108.
No H.R. 4681 (113th): Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2015
May 30, 2014. Passed 345/59.
Yea H.J.Res. 73 (113th): National Institutes of Health Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2014
Oct 2, 2013. Passed 254/171.

Missed Votes

From Nov 2012 to Mar 2018, DelBene missed 20 of 3,395 roll call votes, which is 0.6%. This is better than the median of 2.3% among the lifetime records of representatives currently serving. The chart below reports missed votes over time.

Show the numbers...

Time PeriodVotes EligibleMissed VotesPercentPercentile
2012 Nov-Dec5000.0%0th
2013 Jan-Jan500.0%0th
2013 Jan-Mar8911.1%42nd
2013 Apr-Jun21500.0%0th
2013 Jul-Sep20000.0%0th
2013 Oct-Dec13700.0%0th
2014 Jan-Mar14874.7%75th
2014 Apr-Jun21910.5%24th
2014 Jul-Sep14700.0%0th
2014 Nov-Dec4900.0%0th
2015 Jan-Mar14400.0%0th
2015 Apr-Jun24400.0%0th
2015 Jul-Sep13900.0%0th
2015 Oct-Dec17700.0%0th
2016 Jan-Mar13764.4%61st
2016 Apr-Jun20400.0%0th
2016 Jul-Sep23200.0%0th
2016 Nov-Dec4836.3%83rd
2017 Jan-Mar20821.0%36th
2017 Apr-Jun13600.0%0th
2017 Jul-Sep19900.0%0th
2017 Oct-Dec16700.0%0th
2018 Jan-Mar10100.0%0th

Primary Sources

The information on this page is originally sourced from a variety of materials, including:

Suzan DelBene is pronounced:

SOO-zun // del-BE-nay

The letters stand for sounds according to the following table:

LetterSounds As In

Capital letters indicate a stressed syllable.

"DelBene" redirects here. It is not to be confused with Floren Delbene or Adriana Ferrarese del Bene.

Suzan Kay DelBene[2] (born February 17, 1962) is an American politician and businesswoman who has been the United States Representative for Washington's 1st congressional district since 2012.

DelBene was the 2010 Democratic nominee for U.S. Representative for Washington's 8th congressional district, but was defeated by incumbent RepublicanDave Reichert.[3] The 2012 general election race in Washington's newly drawn 1st district, in which she faced Republican John Koster, was called in her favor by various media organizations soon after the polls closed.[4][5] She also won the election for the remainder of the term in the vacant 1st district under the pre-2012 boundaries, a seat left vacant by the resignation of Jay Inslee.

Early life and education[edit]

DelBene was born in Selma, Alabama. She is the fifth child in her family. She has lived in Washington for most of her life. At a young age, her family moved to Newport Hills, now Newcastle, Washington. Later, they moved to Mercer Island. In an autobiographical video, DelBene described her family's trouble "paying bills" and the hardship they faced after her father, a longtime airline pilot, lost his job.

After graduating from The Choate School in Wallingford, Connecticut, DelBene went to Reed College in Portland, Oregon where she earned a bachelor's degree in biology. DelBene then continued her education at the University of Washington to earn a Master's degree in Business Administration.[6]

Business career[edit]

DelBene worked at Microsoft from 1989 to 1998 where she was director of marketing and business development for the Interactive Media Group, marketing and sales training for Microsoft's Internet properties, and other business development and product management roles with Windows 95 and early versions of the Microsoft Internet Explorer Web browser software. In 1998 she left to help found and serve as a Vice President. In 2000, she went on to be the CEO of Nimble Technology,[7] leading it through its acquisition by Actuate in 2003. In 2004, she returned to Microsoft to be Corporate Vice President of the Mobile Communications Business, until 2007.[8] From 2008 to 2009, she was a management consultant and strategic advisor to Global Partnerships, a non-profit supporting microfinance and sustainable solutions in Latin America.[9][10] DelBene was named as the director for the Washington State Department of Revenue on November 30, 2010, to replace outgoing director Cindi Holmstrom.[11]

Congressional campaigns[edit]


Main article: United States House of Representatives elections in Washington, 2010 § District 8

in 2010 DelBene ran for election to the U.S. House of Representatives as a Democrat against the incumbent in the 8th Congressional District, Dave Reichert, a Republican. According to DelBene's campaign website, the economy was her top priority.[12] DelBene earned the endorsements of the Seattle Times and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer,[13][14] as well as several Democratic politicians.[15]

DelBene faced Reichert in the general election, after coming in 2nd in the primary voting. In Washington, the top two advance. DelBene lost to Reichert in the general election on November 2. She was subsequently named Washington State Revenue Director by Governor Christine Gregoire on November 30, 2010.


DelBene ran for Congress again in 2012. DelBene won the Democratic nomination for the newly drawn 1st District, previously represented by Jay Inslee, which became more competitive due to redistricting. Inslee had resigned in March to focus on his ultimately successful campaign for governor.[16] DelBene ran in two elections that day against Republican John Koster—a special election for the last two months of Inslee's seventh term (and held in the boundaries of the old 1st), and a regular election for a full two-year term. She defeated Koster in both elections, winning the special election with 60 percent of the vote and the regular election with 54 percent of the vote. Her victory margin in the regular election was wider than expected, considering that the district was about six points less Democratic than its predecessor.[4][5] On November 13, 2012, she was sworn in as the district's Representative in the remainder of the 112th Congress, giving her a leg up in seniority over all but a few other congressmen first elected in 2012.[17]

DelBene spent $2.8 million of her own money in a race in which she raised over $4 million, in a Congressional race that became the most expensive in Washington state history.[18]


DelBene ran for Congress again in 2014 and won against Republican Pedro Celis.[19] Delbene earned 55% of the vote to hold on to her seat.[20]

Policy positions[edit]

As of November 21, 2012, DelBene has a minimal legislative voting record. The following is based on her public statements, her spot in DCCC’s Competitive Red-Blue Program, and Sierra Club’s endorsement of her. She has also published issue positions on her campaign website[21] and House of Representatives website.[22]

DelBene believes that the top priority within her district is job creation and strengthening the economy. She states “In Congress, I will work for policies that increase research and development investments in new, emerging industries. Instead of tax breaks for companies that ship their jobs overseas, I will fight for incentives that encourage businesses to expand their domestic manufacturing footprint.”[23] With regard to Washington Referendum 74, DelBene proclaimed her belief that gay marriage should be legal in Washington, and the federal Defense of Marriage Act should be repealed, because everyone has equal rights under the law.[23] When asked about Washington Initiative 502, DelBene responded that she “support[s] efforts to reclassify Marijuana for medicinal use,” and that she planned on voting YES for I-502.[23] Additionally, DelBene gave a statement on the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act. She espouses that “The Affordable Care Act upheld today is already helping millions in Washington state by allowing children to be covered on their parent’s plans until age 26, preventing insurance companies from denying coverage because of pre-existing conditions and reducing costs of prescription drugs for seniors on Medicare”[24]

Delbene’s earning of a spot on the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC)’s “Red-to-Blue” program on August 8, 2012, is due to the fact that, as Chairman Steve Israel stated, “There is strong grassroots energy behind Suzan DelBene’s campaign because she knows how to create jobs. Her successful career in both the public and private sector gives her the tools and background to be a thoughtful leader who can stand up to a dysfunctional Congress and bring results for Washington’s middle class.”[25]

The Sierra Club, one of the largest grassroots environmental organizations in the U.S., endorsed DelBene on July 20, 2012. This endorsement reflects DelBene’s policy position on environmental and economic issues. She articulates that she “will work tirelessly to ensure our nation takes meaningful steps to build a new economy based on clean and renewable energy sources and reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and foreign oil.” DelBene relays that the 1st Congressional district will fight to promote research and innovation in the field of renewable energy. She furthermore finds it critical that Washington protect its waterways and wild lands.[26]

In addition to the Sierra Club’s endorsement, many other organizations supported DelBene, including Washington State Labor Council, National Education Association, AFT Washington, SEIU, Sheet Metal Workers, Operating Engineers, Communications Workers of America and Aerospace Machinists District 751.

DelBene is a member of the New Democrat Coalition.[27]

Personal life[edit]

Her husband, Kurt DelBene, EVP of Corporate Strategy and Planning at Microsoft, is a venture partner at Madrona Venture Group, a Seattle-based venture capital firm.[28]

See also[edit]


  1. ^DelBene profile,; accessed January 18, 2017.
  2. ^As pronounced by herself in the campaign video "Re-Elect Suzan DelBene for Congress!"
  3. ^"Democrat Suzan DelBene concedes 8th District race". Seattle Times. November 2, 2010. Retrieved January 10, 2011. 
  4. ^ abHeffter, Emily. "DelBene beats Koster in race for U.S. House". Seattle Times. 
  5. ^ abValdes, Manuel. "DelBene wins in Wash. 1st District". Retrieved November 8, 2012. 
  6. ^Gregory Roberts, Democrats target Reichert over his no vote on stimulusSeattle Post-Intelligencer February 23, 2009
  7. ^"Reed Magazine:". Retrieved September 24, 2017. 
  8. ^"Suzan DelBene: Corporate Vice President, Mobile Communications Business". Microsoft. Retrieved September 24, 2017. 
  9. ^Suzan K. DelBeneForbes
  10. ^"Suzan DelBene". Retrieved September 24, 2017. 
  11. ^La Corte, Rachel (November 30, 2010). "Gov. Gregoire appoints Suzan DelBene to cabinet". Seattle Times. Retrieved January 10, 2011. 
  12. ^Why I'm Running DelBene for Congress
  13. ^"The Times endorses Suzan DelBene in the 8th Congressional District". Seattle Times. October 12, 2010. Retrieved October 15, 2010. 
  14. ^"Send DelBene to Congress". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. October 13, 2010. Retrieved October 15, 2010. 
  15. ^Ross Hunter endorses Suzan DelBene for CongressBellevue Reporter Aug 3, 2009
  16. ^Martin, Jonathan (May 12, 2012). "The race is on to fill new 1st Congressional District". Seattle Times. Retrieved May 31, 2012. 
  17. ^Representatives, Office of the Clerk, U.S. House of. "Office of the Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives". Retrieved September 24, 2017. 
  18. ^"DelBene leading Koster for Congress in 1st Dist. - – Local news". Retrieved September 24, 2017. 
  19. ^Press, Associated. "DelBene wins 1st District seat; Larsen wins 2nd District". Retrieved September 24, 2017. 
  20. ^"Congressional District 1". Retrieved September 24, 2017. 
  21. ^"Issues – Suzan DelBene". Retrieved September 24, 2017. 
  22. ^"Legislative Priorities". Retrieved September 24, 2017. 
  23. ^ abc"Meet Suzan DelBene: Candidate for U.S. House of Representatives, District 1 – Government – Edmonds, WA Patch". Retrieved September 24, 2017. 
  24. ^"The Voter's Self Defense System". Vote Smart. Retrieved September 24, 2017. 
  25. ^"The Voter's Self Defense System". Vote Smart. Retrieved September 24, 2017. 
  26. ^"The Voter's Self Defense System". Vote Smart. Retrieved September 24, 2017. 
  27. ^"Members". New Democrat Coalition. Retrieved 6 February 2018. 
  28. ^"Kurt Delbene". Madrona. Retrieved 5 November 2014. 

External links[edit]

DelBene official portrait for the 113th Congressional session


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