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Democrat

Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D)

Chris Van Hollen Contact
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Email: n/a
DC Contact Information

Phone: 202-225-5341

Address: 1707 LHOB, DC 20515

State Office Contact Information

Phone: (301) 424-3501

Address: 51 Monroe Street, Rockville MD 20850-2406

Mount Airy MD

Phone: (301) 829-2181

Address: 205 Center Street, Mount Airy MD 21771

Chris Van Hollen Staff
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Appel, Erika
Legislative Assistant
Cummings, Ken
Senior Legislative Assistant
Appel, Erika
Legislative Assistant
Appel, Erika
Legislative Assistant
Appel, Erika
Legislative Assistant
Appel, Erika
Legislative Assistant
Cummings, Ken
Senior Legislative Assistant
Queen, Cornelius
Legislative Correspondent; Office Manager
Schenning, Sarah
Legislative Director
Queen, Cornelius
Legislative Correspondent; Office Manager
Cummings, Ken
Senior Legislative Assistant
Appel, Erika
Legislative Assistant
Schenning, Sarah
Legislative Director
Jannetta, Ian
Press Secretary
Kretman, Matthew
Director of Outreach
Cruz, Lillian
Deputy District Director for Constituent Services
Appel, Erika
Legislative Assistant
Kretman, Matthew
Director of Outreach
Cruz, Lillian
Deputy District Director for Constituent Services
Kretman, Matthew
Director of Outreach
Schenning, Sarah
Legislative Director
Appel, Erika
Legislative Assistant
Schenning, Sarah
Legislative Director
Appel, Erika
Legislative Assistant
Appel, Erika
Legislative Assistant
Schenning, Sarah
Legislative Director
Cruz, Lillian
Deputy District Director for Constituent Services
Schenning, Sarah
Legislative Director
Queen, Cornelius
Legislative Correspondent; Office Manager
Appel, Erika
Legislative Assistant
Schenning, Sarah
Legislative Director
Appel, Erika
Legislative Assistant
Cruz, Lillian
Deputy District Director for Constituent Services
Cummings, Ken
Senior Legislative Assistant
Cummings, Ken
Senior Legislative Assistant
Cummings, Ken
Senior Legislative Assistant
Appel, Erika
Legislative Assistant
Cruz, Lillian
Deputy District Director for Constituent Services
Cummings, Ken
Senior Legislative Assistant
Schenning, Sarah
Legislative Director
Jannetta, Ian
Press Secretary
Kretman, Matthew
Director of Outreach
Queen, Cornelius
Legislative Correspondent; Office Manager
Cruz, Lillian
Deputy District Director for Constituent Services
Kretman, Matthew
Director of Outreach
Queen, Cornelius
Legislative Correspondent; Office Manager
Cummings, Ken
Senior Legislative Assistant
Cruz, Lillian
Deputy District Director for Constituent Services
Cummings, Ken
Senior Legislative Assistant
Schenning, Sarah
Legislative Director
Kretman, Matthew
Director of Outreach
Schenning, Sarah
Legislative Director
Schenning, Sarah
Legislative Director
Kretman, Matthew
Director of Outreach
Cummings, Ken
Senior Legislative Assistant
Appel, Erika
Legislative Assistant
Appel, Erika
Legislative Assistant
Appel, Erika
Legislative Assistant
Appel, Erika
Legislative Assistant
Cruz, Lillian
Deputy District Director for Constituent Services
Kretman, Matthew
Director of Outreach
Cruz, Lillian
Deputy District Director for Constituent Services
Schenning, Sarah
Legislative Director
Queen, Cornelius
Legislative Correspondent; Office Manager
Appel, Erika
Legislative Assistant
Schenning, Sarah
Legislative Director
Schenning, Sarah
Legislative Director
Cruz, Lillian
Deputy District Director for Constituent Services
Schenning, Sarah
Legislative Director
Cruz, Lillian
Deputy District Director for Constituent Services
Cummings, Ken
Senior Legislative Assistant
Schenning, Sarah
Legislative Director
Appel, Erika
Legislative Assistant
Appel, Erika
Legislative Assistant
Cruz, Lillian
Deputy District Director for Constituent Services
West, Julius
Deputy Director, Member Services
Appel, Erika
Legislative Assistant
Appel, Erika
Legislative Assistant
Cummings, Ken
Senior Legislative Assistant
Cummings, Ken
Senior Legislative Assistant
Appel, Erika
Legislative Assistant
West, Julius
Deputy Director, Member Services
Cruz, Lillian
Deputy District Director for Constituent Services
Cummings, Ken
Senior Legislative Assistant
Queen, Cornelius
Legislative Correspondent; Office Manager
Schenning, Sarah
Legislative Director
Schenning, Sarah
Legislative Director
Kretman, Matthew
Director of Outreach
Schenning, Sarah
Legislative Director
Appel, Erika
Legislative Assistant
Appel, Erika
Legislative Assistant
Cruz, Lillian
Deputy District Director for Constituent Services
Appel, Erika
Legislative Assistant
Cruz, Lillian
Deputy District Director for Constituent Services
Cummings, Ken
Senior Legislative Assistant
Frey, Bridgett
Communications Director
Humphrey, Ann
Constituent Services Representative
Jannetta, Ian
Press Secretary
Joseph, Melissa
Field Representative
Kleinman, Joan
District Director
Kretman, Matthew
Director of Outreach
Lofhjelm, Suzanne
Constituent Services Representative
McManus, Karen
Deputy District Director for Outreach
Perry, Danielle
Constituent Services Representative
Provost, Catherine
Constituent Services Representative
Queen, Cornelius
Legislative Correspondent; Office Manager
Riccio, Andrea
Director of Member Services
Rosen, Sara
Constituent Services Representative
Schenning, Sarah
Legislative Director
Talwar, Ashima
Constituent Services Representative
West, Julius
Deputy Director, Member Services
Wing, John
Legislative Correspondent
Frey, Bridgett
Communications Director
Cruz, Lillian
Deputy District Director for Constituent Services
West, Julius
Deputy Director, Member Services
Kleinman, Joan
District Director
Kretman, Matthew
Director of Outreach
McManus, Karen
Deputy District Director for Outreach
Riccio, Andrea
Director of Member Services
Appel, Erika
Legislative Assistant
Cummings, Ken
Senior Legislative Assistant
Queen, Cornelius
Legislative Correspondent; Office Manager
Wing, John
Legislative Correspondent
Schenning, Sarah
Legislative Director
Queen, Cornelius
Legislative Correspondent; Office Manager
Jannetta, Ian
Press Secretary
Humphrey, Ann
Constituent Services Representative
Joseph, Melissa
Field Representative
Lofhjelm, Suzanne
Constituent Services Representative
Perry, Danielle
Constituent Services Representative
Provost, Catherine
Constituent Services Representative
Rosen, Sara
Constituent Services Representative
Talwar, Ashima
Constituent Services Representative
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Chris Van Hollen Committees
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Budget (Ranking member)
Chris Van Hollen Biography
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  • Elected: 2002, 6th term.
  • District: Maryland 8
  • Born: Jan. 10, 1959, Karachi, Pakistan
  • Home: Kensington
  • Education:

    Swarthmore Col., B.A. 1982, Harvard U., M.P.P. 1985, Georgetown U., J.D. 1990

  • Political Career:

    MD House, 1990-94; MD Senate, 1994-2002.

  • Ethnicity: White/Caucasian
  • Religion:

    Protestant

  • Family: Married (Katherine); 3 children

Chris Van Hollen, first elected in 2002, is one of the most influential Democrats in Congress and among those often mentioned as a possible future House speaker. Wonky, self-assured, and telegenic, Van Hollen earned a prominent role in the Democratic House leadership after helping the party secure its majority in 2006. Read More

Chris Van Hollen, first elected in 2002, is one of the most influential Democrats in Congress and among those often mentioned as a possible future House speaker. Wonky, self-assured, and telegenic, Van Hollen earned a prominent role in the Democratic House leadership after helping the party secure its majority in 2006.

The son of a Foreign Service officer, Van Hollen was born in Pakistan, and grew up around the globe, living in several countries including Sri Lanka, where his father was the U.S. ambassador. He graduated from Swarthmore College, and got a master’s degree from Harvard University and a law degree from Georgetown University. In the 1980s, he worked for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, where he co-authored a report on Iraq’s use of chemical weapons. In 1990, he was elected to the Maryland House of Delegates and in 1994 to the state Senate.

In 2002, Van Hollen ran for the 8th District House seat held by liberal Republican Connie Morella since 1986. Maryland’s Democratic legislature had changed the district after the 2000 census, removing affluent Republican precincts in Potomac and adding heavily Democratic territory to the east. Van Hollen’s chief opponent in the Democratic primary was state Del. Mark Shriver, son of Sargent and Eunice Shriver, who had extensive labor support. Bolstered by the endorsement of The Washington Post, Van Hollen defeated Shriver 43%-41%, with former trade official Ira Shapiro getting 13%.

Van Hollen then had only eight weeks to campaign against Morella, a hard-working and congenial Republican with a liberal voting record suited to the district’s many Democrats. Van Hollen did not directly attack Morella, but argued that she was an enabler of the Republican majority, and that her vote to organize the House with Republicans kept in power conservatives who were out of sync with most district voters. Morella criticized Van Hollen’s record in Annapolis, including his decision to quit a Senate subcommittee over proposed budget cuts. In a race in which the two candidates together spent nearly $6 million, Van Hollen won 52%-47%.

In the House, when his party returned to the minority in 2011, Van Hollen was given the plum assignment as the ranking Democrat on the Budget Committee. He successfully established a cordial working relationship with Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., one of the GOP’s intellectual leaders. “He’s probably one of the best articulators of the Democrats’ position ... but he does it without being too partisan,” Ryan told The Baltimore Sun. The two subsequently teamed up on legislation to grant the president line-item veto authority. But Van Hollen remained a vociferous critic of Republican spending plans. He appeared on cable talk shows and gave speeches at think tanks, seeking to frame the debate over Ryan’s proposals. He argued they would undermine Medicare and that they relied too heavily on cutting spending and not enough on raising taxes on the wealthy. Van Hollen pulled together the Democratic caucus’ disparate elements to propose an alternative budget, which was defeated on a party-line vote.

On another issue, Van Hollen filed a federal lawsuit challenging Federal Election Commission regulations that allowed nonprofit groups, many of them allied with Republicans, to keep their donors anonymous. U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson ruled in April 2012 that the FEC had overstepped its authority in allowing groups that produce so-called “issue ads” to withhold the names of the people paying for the ads.

In 2011, Van Hollen served as the House Democrats’ point man in negotiations over raising the nation’s debt limit and was also named to the bipartisan “super committee” that unsuccessfully sought to craft a long-term deficit deal. He gained prominence in 2012 when Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney tapped Ryan as his running mate, and Van Hollen became the de facto explainer of his party’s objections to Ryan’s budget policies. Recognizing his sparring skills, President Barack Obama’s reelection team tapped him to help prepare Vice President Joe Biden for his debate with Ryan. Van Hollen also crisscrossed the country to campaign for candidates and was a ubiquitous TV presence during the Democratic and Republican conventions. “There are few better at explaining the choice we face in this election,” Obama Deputy Campaign Manager Stephanie Cutter told The Sun.

Van Hollen’s early years in Congress portended a swift rise. He won an early legislative victory when he got a majority, including 26 Republicans, to approve his amendment to limit a plan to outsource more federal jobs. In 2005, he was appointed by then-Rep. Rahm Emanuel of Illinois, the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, to manage candidate recruitment and its “Red to Blue” campaign plan. Working closely with the hard-driving Emanuel, the low-key and genial Van Hollen traveled to many battleground districts for hands-on candidate mentoring.

When Democrats won a majority in 2006, Van Hollen was rewarded with a seat on the powerful Ways and Means Committee. He focused on revisions to the Alternative Minimum Tax, which threatened many of his affluent constituents, changes to make prescription drugs more affordable for low-income consumers, and legislation to curb speculation and market manipulation in oil markets. On other issues, he worked with Emanuel to require lobbyists to make additional disclosure of campaign contributions. He sought more money for the region’s Metro transit system and for initiatives to clean up the Chesapeake Bay.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi showed her confidence in Van Hollen by appointing him to head the DCCC after Emanuel stepped down. He worked closely with her on campaign strategy in both the 2008 and 2010 political seasons. Unlike Emanuel, he developed a harmonious relationship with Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean. His goal was to try to reverse historical forces that generally produced losses for a winning party after a wave election like the one in 2006. He helped Democrats win special elections in unlikely territory—downstate Illinois; Baton Rouge, Louisiana; and northeast Mississippi. He ran a skillful in-house research operation and expanded the field program. He also performed well in the most important function for any DCCC chairman—raising money. The committee took in $176 million in the 2008 election cycle, compared with $118 million for its counterpart NRCC. Overall, Democrats gained 21 seats in November 2008, many in traditionally Republican areas, and Van Hollen and the DCCC got much of the credit. Only four freshman Democrats, all in Republican-leaning areas, were defeated out of a class of 33. The Washington Post dubbed Van Hollen the party’s “Mr. Fix-It.”

After his 2008 electoral success, Van Hollen contemplated a challenge to Caucus Chairman John Larson of Connecticut, a step up the leadership ladder. But Pelosi persuaded him to stay on as DCCC chairman for the 2010 election and also gave him a new leadership post, assistant to the speaker. He remained involved on substantive issues in the 111th Congress (2009-10). In April 2009, he introduced a cap-and-dividend bill, an alternative to the Democrats’ cap-and-trade legislation that would impose a carbon tax on coal, oil and gas producers and distribute the proceeds as dividends to citizens. He was concerned about the effect the stricter cap-and-trade bill would have on members in coal states. The energy bill ultimately died in the Senate. During another major debate, on the health care insurance market overhaul, Van Hollen cosponsored a successful amendment allowing children up to age 26 to stay on their parents’ health insurance—a major talking point for Democrats defending the bill in the 2010 campaign.

When the U.S. Supreme Court in January 2010 overturned many federal restrictions on corporate involvement in campaign advertising, Van Hollen introduced a bill providing for increased disclosure requirements for corporations, which, although modified, eventually passed the House 219-206. Van Hollen also has a strong interest in foreign policy. He sponsored a successful amendment to a Pakistan aid bill in June 2009 with a provision providing for duty-free entry to goods produced in reconstruction zones in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

But much of Van Hollen’s time was necessarily spent on the DCCC’s mandate to hold or increase the Democratic majority in 2010. Sensing the national mood turning against incumbents, he said in February 2009 that his job was to “hold the line” and that there would be no “third wave.” He worked to give freshman Democrats the lead role on popular amendments. He identified 41 “endangered species” members and worked to give those with conservative districts leeway to vote against the leadership on the budget.

His job grew increasingly difficult as poll results rolled in showing an increasing number of Democratic incumbents trailing little-known Republican challengers. In August 2010, he warned that Democrats were in for “a very tough campaign season.” He contributed $1.6 million of his own campaign money to others, but he admitted after the election that he had cut off nine incumbents who could not be saved from further DCCC funding, sending $12 million to districts where Democrats still had hopes of winning in the final days. Van Hollen told The New York Times, “Just on the triage side, we believe we saved 15-20 seats.” Even so, Democrats lost 63 seats—more than either party had lost since the 1948 election.

At home, Van Hollen is almost invulnerable to challenge. When Maryland Sen. Paul Sarbanes announced his retirement in early 2005, Van Hollen gave serious thought to jumping into the multicandidate Democratic primary. With the likely prospect of his advancement in the House, he decided against it, but is said to still be interested in statewide office, particularly if Democrats cannot regain the majority.

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Chris Van Hollen Election Results
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2012 General
Chris Van Hollen (D)
Votes: 217,531
Percent: 63.45%
Ken Timmerman (R)
Votes: 113,033
Percent: 32.97%
Mark Grannis
Votes: 7,235
Percent: 2.11%
2012 Primary
Chris Van Hollen (D)
Votes: 35,989
Percent: 92.21%
George English (D)
Votes: 3,041
Percent: 7.79%
Prior Winning Percentages
2010 (73%), 2008 (75%), 2006 (77%), 2004 (75%), 2002 (52%)
Chris Van Hollen 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 83 (L) : 16 (C) 83 (L) : 16 (C) 86 (L) : 14 (C)
Social 79 (L) : 16 (C) 85 (L) : - (C) 68 (L) : 30 (C)
Foreign 83 (L) : 15 (C) 78 (L) : 21 (C) 68 (L) : 31 (C)
Composite 83.0 (L) : 17.0 (C) 84.8 (L) : 15.2 (C) 74.5 (L) : 25.5 (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.

20112012
FRC00
LCV10091
CFG1217
ITIC-75
NTU1415
20112012
COC38-
ACLU-84
ACU04
ADA8090
AFSCME100-
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: N
    • Year: 2012
    • End fiscal cliff
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2012
    • Extend payroll tax cut
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2012
    • Stop student loan hike
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2012
    • Repeal health care
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2012
    • Raise debt limit
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2011
    • Pass cut, cap, balance
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2011
    • Defund Planned Parenthood
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2011
    • Repeal lightbulb ban
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2011
    • Add endangered listings
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2011
    • Speed troop withdrawal
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2011
    • Regulate financial firms
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2010
    • Pass tax cuts for some
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2010
    • Stop detainee transfers
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2010
    • Legalize immigrants' kids
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2010
    • Repeal don't ask, tell
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2010
    • Limit campaign funds
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2010
    • Overturn Ledbetter
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2009
    • Pass $820 billion stimulus
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2009
    • Let guns in national parks
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2009
    • Pass cap-and-trade
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2009
    • Bar federal abortion funds
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2009
    • Pass health care bill
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2009
    • Bail out financial markets
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2008
    • Repeal D.C. gun law
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2008
    • Overhaul FISA
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2008
    • Increase minimum wage
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2007
    • Expand SCHIP
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2007
    • Raise CAFE standards
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2007
    • Share immigration data
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2007
    • Foreign aid abortion ban
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2007
    • Ban gay bias in workplace
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2007
    • Withdraw troops 8/08
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2007
    • No operations in Iran
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2007
    • Free trade with Peru
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2007
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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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