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Rep. Pat Meehan (R)

Pat Meehan Contact
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Email: n/a
DC Contact Information

Phone: 202-225-2011

Address: 204 CHOB, DC 20515

Pat Meehan Committees
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Pat Meehan Biography
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  • Elected: 2010, 2nd term.
  • District: Pennsylvania 7
  • Born: Oct. 20, 1955, Cheltenham
  • Home: Drexel Hill
  • Education:

    Bowdoin Col., B.A. 1978; Temple Law Schl., J.D. 1986.

  • Professional Career:

    Practicing atty., 1986-91; 2008-10; counsel, Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., 1991-94; campaign aide, Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., 1994; U.S. atty., 2001-08.

  • Political Career:

    Delaware Cnty. district atty., 1996-2001.

  • Religion:


  • Family: Married (Carolyn); 3 children

Pat Meehan, elected in 2010, is a moderate Republican in the mold of the late Sen. Arlen Specter, his former boss. Read More

Pat Meehan, elected in 2010, is a moderate Republican in the mold of the late Sen. Arlen Specter, his former boss.

Meehan grew up in Cheltenham Township, in Montgomery County, just north of Philadelphia. His father was a construction worker, his mother a secretary. Neither went to college, but Meehan began saving for college when he was 13, working as a caddy at a golf course. He helped pay his tuition at Bowdoin College by working at a rubber factory, where he shoveled rubber pellets into an incinerator. He played hockey in college and between 1979 and 1982 worked as a referee in the National Hockey League, a job that he says was good training for politics. He learned to stand behind controversial calls, to be fair in the public spotlight, and to know when to break up a fight and when to let the players slug it out, Meehan told National Journal. And he said that standing up to angry hockey players also made going to law school seem less intimidating.

Meehan graduated from Temple University law school, and then went to work for the large law firm founded by long ago Philadelphia Mayor Richardson Dilworth (1956-62). He left the firm in 1991 to become counsel to Specter, who later switched parties to become a Democrat. In 1994, Meehan was the campaign manager for Republican Rick Santorum in his successful Senate race against incumbent Democrat Harris Wofford.

With his solid Republican credentials, he was elected district attorney in Delaware County in 1995. In that role, he got substantial publicity for the successful prosecution of millionaire John Eleuthere du Pont for the murder of Olympic wrestler Dave Schultz. He also created a special victims unit that allowed domestic violence cases to be prosecuted without victims having to testify in open court. In 2001, on Specter’s recommendation, Meehan was appointed U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. He brought several high-profile corruption cases against Philadelphia-area politicians, Republicans as well as Democrats, some resulting from wiretaps in the office of Philadelphia Mayor John Street, who himself was not charged with any crime.

When Democratic Rep. Joe Sestak decided to challenge Specter for his Senate seat in 2010, Meehan ran for Sestak’s House seat. Though the 7th District then was trending Democratic, Meehan was a well-known prosecutor with moderate positions on cultural issues. Relying primarily on his Philadelphia-area contacts, he managed to raise $3 million, almost twice that raised by his Democratic opponent, Bryan Lentz, an Iraq war veteran and two-term state representative from Swarthmore.

The two differed on economic issues, with Meehan favoring extension of the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts for all taxpayers, and Lentz saying he would carve out an exception for high-income earners. Meehan was endorsed by the United Aerospace Workers Local 1069, which represents workers at Boeing’s Ridley Park plant. But his campaign took a hit when local newspapers reported that a Republican activist had produced some 39 false signatures on Meehan’s candidacy petition.

Meehan criticized Lentz for casting ghost votes—having someone else vote for him—in Harrisburg. Lentz’s campaign manager vehemently denied it, but then backtracked when Meehan produced testimony from a witness in the spectator’s gallery at the state Capitol. Meehan also charged that Democratic volunteers helped place a third-party conservative on the general election ballot to try to draw votes from him. Meehan won 55%-44%, carrying all three counties in the district.

In the House, Meehan was one of three freshmen appointed to the Republican Steering Committee, a leadership-run panel that makes committee assignments. But he showed plenty of independence, especially on legal issues. He was one of just 17 Republicans to oppose a House-passed amendment in 2012 barring the use of federal funds to defend legal challenges to a provision of the health care law. On the Homeland Security Committee, he was named to chair the panel on cyber security, an issue that has drawn increased attention. He won House passage of his bill in 2012 to establish guidelines for the Homeland Security Department’s sharing of information with state and local law enforcement about threats involving chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons. The House also passed his bill to boost penalties for people trafficking in counterfeit drugs.

On local matters, Meehan worked on a bill to deepen the Delaware River to increase ship traffic and asked the Education Department to investigate Penn State University in 2011 after the explosive child molestation allegations surfaced against former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, who was later convicted and sentenced to at least 30 years in prison.

State Republican lawmakers reshaped Meehan’s district to have it snake across five counties to draw in more GOP voters. His Democratic opponent, Radnor Township Democratic Chair George Badey, tried to highlight some of Meehan’s conservative votes, such as his support of House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s budget. But Meehan won the endorsement of the Philadelphia Council of Building and Construction Trades, an influential union that opposed him in 2010, and coasted to a 59%-41% victory.

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Pat Meehan Election Results
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2012 General
Pat Meehan (R)
Votes: 209,942
Percent: 59.4%
George Badey (D)
Votes: 143,509
Percent: 40.6%
2012 Primary
Pat Meehan (R)
Votes: 55,387
Percent: 100.0%
Prior Winning Percentages
2010 (55%)
Pat Meehan Votes and Bills
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National Journal’s rating system is an objective method of analyzing voting. The liberal score means that the lawmaker’s votes were more liberal than that percentage of his colleagues’ votes. The conservative score means his votes were more conservative than that percentage of his colleagues’ votes. The composite score is an average of a lawmaker’s six issue-based scores. See all NJ Voting

More Liberal
More Conservative
2013 2012 2011
Economic 49 (L) : 51 (C) 48 (L) : 52 (C) 47 (L) : 51 (C)
Social 53 (L) : 46 (C) 55 (L) : 45 (C) 51 (L) : 48 (C)
Foreign 15 (L) : 77 (C) 51 (L) : 48 (C) 50 (L) : 49 (C)
Composite 40.5 (L) : 59.5 (C) 51.5 (L) : 48.5 (C) 50.0 (L) : 50.0 (C)
Interest Group Ratings

The vote ratings by 10 special interest groups provide insight into a lawmaker’s general ideology and the degree to which he or she agrees with the group’s point of view. Two organizations provide just one combined rating for 2011 and 2012, the two sessions of the 112th Congress. They are the ACLU and the ITIC. About the interest groups.

Key House Votes

The key votes show how a member of Congress voted on the major bills of the year. N indicates a "no" vote; Y a "yes" vote. If a member voted "present" or was absent, the bill caption is not shown. For a complete description of the bills included in key votes, see the Almanac's Guide to Usage.

    • Pass GOP budget
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2012
    • End fiscal cliff
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2012
    • Extend payroll tax cut
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2012
    • Find AG in contempt
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2012
    • Stop student loan hike
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2012
    • Repeal health care
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2012
    • Raise debt limit
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2011
    • Pass cut, cap, balance
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2011
    • Defund Planned Parenthood
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2011
    • Repeal lightbulb ban
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2011
    • Add endangered listings
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2011
    • Speed troop withdrawal
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2011
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About Almanac
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The Almanac is a members-only database of searchable profiles compiled and adapted from the Almanac of American Politics. Comprehensive online profiles include biographical and political summaries of elected officials, campaign expenditures, voting records, interest-group ratings, and congressional staff look-ups. In-depth overviews of each state and house district are included as well, along with demographic data, analysis of voting trends, and political histories.
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