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Democrat

Rep. Lois Capps (D)

Lois Capps Contact
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Email: n/a
DC Contact Information

Phone: 202-225-3601

Address: 2231 RHOB, DC 20515

Websites: capps.house.gov
State Office Contact Information

Phone: (805) 730-1710

Address: 301 East Carrillo Street, Santa Barbara CA 93101-2611

San Luis Obispo CA

Phone: (805) 546-8348

Fax: (805) 546-8368

Address: 1411 Marsh Street, San Luis Obispo CA 93401-2923

Santa Maria CA

Phone: (805) 349-3832

Fax: (805) 361-0895

Address: 1101 South Broadway, Santa Maria CA 93454-6660

Lois Capps Staff
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Sort by INTEREST NAME TITLE
Siahaan, Erick
Legislative Assistant; Systems Administrator
Casalotti, Adriane
Deputy Chief of Staff; Legislative Director
Shapiro, Aaron
Senior Legislative Assistant
Siahaan, Erick
Legislative Assistant; Systems Administrator
Casalotti, Adriane
Deputy Chief of Staff; Legislative Director
Siahaan, Erick
Legislative Assistant; Systems Administrator
Casalotti, Adriane
Deputy Chief of Staff; Legislative Director
Shapiro, Aaron
Senior Legislative Assistant
Shapiro, Aaron
Senior Legislative Assistant
Siahaan, Erick
Legislative Assistant; Systems Administrator
Siahaan, Erick
Legislative Assistant; Systems Administrator
Young, CJ
Press Assistant; Legislative Assistant
Shapiro, Aaron
Senior Legislative Assistant
Shapiro, Aaron
Senior Legislative Assistant
Shapiro, Aaron
Senior Legislative Assistant
Young, CJ
Press Assistant; Legislative Assistant
Casalotti, Adriane
Deputy Chief of Staff; Legislative Director
Shapiro, Aaron
Senior Legislative Assistant
Siahaan, Erick
Legislative Assistant; Systems Administrator
Siahaan, Erick
Legislative Assistant; Systems Administrator
Casalotti, Adriane
Deputy Chief of Staff; Legislative Director
Siahaan, Erick
Legislative Assistant; Systems Administrator
Siahaan, Erick
Legislative Assistant; Systems Administrator
Shapiro, Aaron
Senior Legislative Assistant
Shapiro, Aaron
Senior Legislative Assistant
Siahaan, Erick
Legislative Assistant; Systems Administrator
Young, CJ
Press Assistant; Legislative Assistant
Shapiro, Aaron
Senior Legislative Assistant
Siahaan, Erick
Legislative Assistant; Systems Administrator
Siahaan, Erick
Legislative Assistant; Systems Administrator
Casalotti, Adriane
Deputy Chief of Staff; Legislative Director
Casalotti, Adriane
Deputy Chief of Staff; Legislative Director
Young, CJ
Press Assistant; Legislative Assistant
Siahaan, Erick
Legislative Assistant; Systems Administrator
Young, CJ
Press Assistant; Legislative Assistant
Siahaan, Erick
Legislative Assistant; Systems Administrator
Young, CJ
Press Assistant; Legislative Assistant
Shapiro, Aaron
Senior Legislative Assistant
Shapiro, Aaron
Senior Legislative Assistant
Shapiro, Aaron
Senior Legislative Assistant
Shapiro, Aaron
Senior Legislative Assistant
Young, CJ
Press Assistant; Legislative Assistant
Shapiro, Aaron
Senior Legislative Assistant
Young, CJ
Press Assistant; Legislative Assistant
Casalotti, Adriane
Deputy Chief of Staff; Legislative Director
Casalotti, Adriane
Deputy Chief of Staff; Legislative Director
Shapiro, Aaron
Senior Legislative Assistant
Shapiro, Aaron
Senior Legislative Assistant
Shapiro, Aaron
Senior Legislative Assistant
Shapiro, Aaron
Senior Legislative Assistant
Siahaan, Erick
Legislative Assistant; Systems Administrator
Siahaan, Erick
Legislative Assistant; Systems Administrator
Casalotti, Adriane
Deputy Chief of Staff; Legislative Director
Siahaan, Erick
Legislative Assistant; Systems Administrator
Shapiro, Aaron
Senior Legislative Assistant
Young, CJ
Press Assistant; Legislative Assistant
Siahaan, Erick
Legislative Assistant; Systems Administrator
Shapiro, Aaron
Senior Legislative Assistant
Shapiro, Aaron
Senior Legislative Assistant
Shapiro, Aaron
Senior Legislative Assistant
Casalotti, Adriane
Deputy Chief of Staff; Legislative Director
Shapiro, Aaron
Senior Legislative Assistant
Shapiro, Aaron
Senior Legislative Assistant
Siahaan, Erick
Legislative Assistant; Systems Administrator
Casalotti, Adriane
Deputy Chief of Staff; Legislative Director
Casalotti, Adriane
Deputy Chief of Staff; Legislative Director
Crafton, Eliot
Knauss Sea Grant Fellow
Culver, Mollie
District Director
Figueroa, Blanca
District Representative
Haas, Greg
District Representative
Hidalgo, Adriana
Staff Assistant; Legislative Correspondent
Meagher, Chris
Press Secretary
Motta, Wendy
District Representative
Reyes, Erica
District Representative
Shapiro, Aaron
Senior Legislative Assistant
Siahaan, Erick
Legislative Assistant; Systems Administrator
Umhofer, Betsy
District Representative
Young, CJ
Press Assistant; Legislative Assistant
Siahaan, Erick
Legislative Assistant; Systems Administrator
Casalotti, Adriane
Deputy Chief of Staff; Legislative Director
Culver, Mollie
District Director
Crafton, Eliot
Knauss Sea Grant Fellow
Shapiro, Aaron
Senior Legislative Assistant
Siahaan, Erick
Legislative Assistant; Systems Administrator
Young, CJ
Press Assistant; Legislative Assistant
Hidalgo, Adriana
Staff Assistant; Legislative Correspondent
Casalotti, Adriane
Deputy Chief of Staff; Legislative Director
Young, CJ
Press Assistant; Legislative Assistant
Meagher, Chris
Press Secretary
Figueroa, Blanca
District Representative
Haas, Greg
District Representative
Motta, Wendy
District Representative
Reyes, Erica
District Representative
Umhofer, Betsy
District Representative
Hidalgo, Adriana
Staff Assistant; Legislative Correspondent
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Lois Capps Committees
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Lois Capps Biography
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  • Elected: March 1998, 8th full term.
  • District: California 24
  • Born: Jan. 10, 1938, Ladysmith, WI
  • Home: Santa Barbara
  • Education:

    Pacific Lutheran U., B.S. 1959, Yale U., M.A. 1964, U. of CA at Santa Barbara, M.A. 1990

  • Professional Career:

    Staff nurse, Visiting Nurses Assn., 1963–64; Head nurse, Yale New Haven Hospital, 1960–63; Instructor, Santa Barbara City Col., 1983–95; Nurse, Santa Barbara Schl. Dist., 1979–96.

  • Ethnicity: White/Caucasian
  • Religion:

    Lutheran

  • Family: Widowed; 3 (1 deceased) children

Lois Capps, a Democrat who first won her seat in 1998, is known for her pleasant disposition—she regularly is named “nicest House member” in Washingtonian’s annual anonymous survey of Capitol Hill staffers. With her background as a nurse and a seat on the Energy and Commerce Committee, Capps has focused on addressing nursing shortages, mental health issues, and reforming Medicare. Read More

Lois Capps, a Democrat who first won her seat in 1998, is known for her pleasant disposition—she regularly is named “nicest House member” in Washingtonian’s annual anonymous survey of Capitol Hill staffers. With her background as a nurse and a seat on the Energy and Commerce Committee, Capps has focused on addressing nursing shortages, mental health issues, and reforming Medicare.

Capps grew up in Wyoming and Montana, the daughter of a Lutheran minister. She graduated from college with a nursing degree and was the head nurse at Yale New Haven Hospital when she met Walter Capps, a student at Yale Divinity School. In 1964, he became a professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Lois Capps became the head elementary school nurse for the Santa Barbara school system, director of the county’s teenage pregnancy and parenting project, and a part-time instructor at Santa Barbara City Community College. In 1996, Walter Capps ran for the U.S. House and defeated Andrea Seastrand, a conservative state Assemblywoman. He died of a heart attack in his first year in office, in October 1997.

Lois Capps ran for his seat against Republican Assemblyman Tom Bordonaro, the favorite of Christian conservatives. Bordonaro, a paraplegic since a car accident in college, emphasized his “blue-collar roots and common values.” Capps had help from labor unions and environmental groups. In the January 1998 primary, she finished first with 45% to 29%. In the runoff, Bordonaro was hurt by divisions in the local GOP, and Capps won a surprisingly large 53%-45% victory. The same two candidates were on the ballot in November. But national Republicans had little hope of winning by then. Capps won 55%-43%.

She is a solid liberal, but she has worked more successfully with Republicans than has the typical California Democrat. “I find it uncomfortable to be around people yelling at each other,” she told the Los Angeles Times in October 2012. She worked with conservative California Republican Darrell Issa in 2011 in asking U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk to support California flower growers in their efforts to compete with competitors in Colombia and other nations. Later, she teamed with Washington’s Cathy McMorris Rodgers, a member of the GOP leadership, on a House-passed measure to bolster research on pediatric diseases, and with Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., on another measure assisting states in streamlining certification requirements for veterans with military medical training who want to continue careers as emergency medical technicians.

Earlier, Capps won enactment of a bill to attract more students into the nursing profession. In 2007, she became vice chair of the Health Subcommittee of Energy and Commerce, an important perch for shaping health care policy. During the 2009-2010 health care overhaul debate, she emerged as a leading opponent of efforts by anti-abortion Rep. Bart Stupak, D-Mich., to prevent federal subsidies to insurance carriers providing abortion coverage to women. She developed what she called “an abortion-neutral compromise” that would have barred direct payments of federal funds in most cases. She succeeded in drawing support from several pro-abortion rights moderates. But Stupak and his allies remained unsatisfied, contending that her proposal would have allowed indirect payments. They held up the final bill’s fate until President Barack Obama brokered a last-minute deal.

In keeping with her district’s interests, Capps also focuses on environmental policy. She sought in 2011 to prevent the Nuclear Regulatory Commission from relicensing the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant in her district until seismic studies were completed to address the area’s vulnerability to earthquakes. After the 2010 BP oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, she pushed for an aggressive federal response, calling for an independent commission to make recommendations on avoiding future disasters. Along with Washington Democrat Jay Inslee, she led an effort to postpone exploratory drilling in the Arctic Ocean. In 2005, she successfully opposed an attempt by California Republicans to convert part of the Channel Islands into a private recreation area for the military.

Capps has had an up-and-down relationship with organized labor. After she voted for normalizing trade relations with China, the Teamsters claimed that she’d betrayed them. She later patched things up, and in recent years she co-sponsored organized labor’s card-check legislation aimed at making it easier for workers to join unions.

In her first reelection bid, in 2000, Capps had serious competition from moderate Republican Mike Stoker, a former Santa Barbara County supervisor. She had a big fundraising edge and won 53%-44%. After promising in 1998 to serve only three terms, she abandoned that pledge. She was not seriously challenged until 2012, when Republican Abel Maldonado ran against her in the redrawn 24th District. A former California state senator and lieutenant governor, Maldonado had a moderate voting record and drew interest from national Republicans who were thrilled to have a Latino candidate running in a district where 29% of voting age citizens were Latinos. But Capps outraised him by more than $1 million, and, in a year in which Obama won California easily, she had no trouble winning, 55%-45%.

Show Less
Lois Capps Election Results
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2012 General (Top-Two General)
Lois Capps (D)
Votes: 156,749
Percent: 55.1%
Abel Maldonado (R)
Votes: 127,746
Percent: 44.9%
2012 Primary (Top-Two Primary)
Lois Capps (D)
Votes: 72,356
Percent: 46.36%
Abel Maldonado (R)
Votes: 46,295
Percent: 29.66%
Chris Mitchum (R)
Votes: 33,604
Percent: 21.53%
Prior Winning Percentages
2010 (58%), 2008 (68%), 2006 (65%), 2004 (63%), 2002 (59%), 2000 (53%), 1998 (55%), 1998 special (53%)
Lois Capps Votes and Bills
Back to top NJ Vote Ratings

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 80 (L) : 20 (C) 71 (L) : 28 (C) 74 (L) : 25 (C)
Social 66 (L) : 32 (C) 85 (L) : - (C) 80 (L) : - (C)
Foreign 83 (L) : 15 (C) 84 (L) : 16 (C) 78 (L) : 18 (C)
Composite 77.0 (L) : 23.0 (C) 82.7 (L) : 17.3 (C) 81.5 (L) : 18.5 (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
LCV94100
CFG116
ITIC-58
NTU1317
20112012
COC25-
ACLU-100
ACU00
ADA9095
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: Y
    • Year: 2012
    • Find AG in contempt
    • 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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