John D. Rockefeller IV

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Jay Rockefeller currently serves as a Senator for West Virginia

Democrat John Davison Rockefeller IV has been a U.S. Senator for West Virginia since 1985. He is married to Sharon Percy Rockefeller. Joe Manchin is the junior Senator for the state.[1]

Record and controversies

General information about important bills and votes for can be found in Congresspedia's articles on legislation. You can add information you find on how John D. Rockefeller IV voted by clicking the "[edit]" link to the right and typing it in. Remember to cite your sources!

H.R. 3590 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (health care reform)

On December 9, 2009, Senator Rockefeller was one of ten Democratic Senators to reach what Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid called a “broad agreement”[1]on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The discussion focused on abandoning or greatly narrowing the public health insurance option. <youtube>Hyz2z7SUtQY</youtube> In exchange, people 55-64 would be able to buy in to Medicare and Medicaid eligibility would be expanded to people within 150 percent of the federal poverty line. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s office released a statement on the compromise:

"I asked Senators Schumer and Pryor to work with some of the most moderate and most progressive members of our diverse caucus, and tonight they have come to a consensus. 
It is a consensus that includes a public option and will help ensure the American people win in two ways: one, insurance companies will face more competition, and two, the American people will have more choices. I know not all 10 Senators in the room agree on every single detail of this, nor will all 60 members of my caucus. But I know we all appreciate the hard work that these progressives and moderates have done to move this historic debate forward. I want to thank Senators Schumer, Pryor, Brown, Carper, Feingold, Harkin, Landrieu, Lincoln, Nelson and Rockefeller for working together for the greater good and never losing sight of our shared goal: making it possible for every American to afford to live a healthy life. As is long-standing practice, we do not disclose details of any proposal before the Congressional Budget Office has a chance to evaluate it. We will wait for that to happen, but in the meantime, tonight we are confident." [2]

Iraq War

Rockefeller voted for the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq in Oct. 2002.

For more information see the chart of U.S. Senate votes on the Iraq War.

Environmental record

For more information on environmental legislation, see the Energy and Environment Policy Portal

Efforts to delay carbon dioxide regulation

Although stating in 2010 that “greenhouse gas emissions are not healthy for our Earth or for her people, and we must take serious action to reduce them," Rockefeller introduced legislation on March 4, 2010, that would delay the EPA's carbon dioxide rules. The bill calls for a "two-year suspension" that will give Congress “the time it needs to address an issue as complicated and expansive as our energy future."[2]

Treatment of detainees

In September 2006, Rockefeller crossed party lines to vote for the Military Commissions Act of 2006. The bill outlawed techniques of interrogation such as torture or rape, but left it up to the president to decide whether or not practices outside the boundaries of the Geneva Accords are appropriate. The bill came as a response to the 2006 Supreme Court ruling that President Bush had violated the Geneva Conventions, which the US had committed to abide by. [3]

Main article: War on Terror detainee legislation

Stem cell research

Rockefeller supports federal funding for stem cell research and in July 2006 voted for the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act of 2005, which permits the federal government to fund embryonic stem cell research, providing that the embryos used are from fertility clinics and were slated to be destroyed if they were not used.

Main article: U.S. federal stem cell legislation

Flag burning

In June 2006, Rockefeller crossed party lines to vote to approve a constitutional amendment banning the desecration of the American Flag. The vote failed, one vote shy of the 2/3 majority needed to send it to state legislatures for ratification. The so called "Flag Burning" amendment has been somewhat of a biannual ritual whenever the Republican party controls Congress. It has been gradually losing support in the House, but gaining it in the Senate, as evidenced by the extremely close vote in 2006.

Main article: Flag burning amendment

Minimum wage

In February of 2007, Senator Rockefeller joined both Republicans and Democrats to support the Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2007, which would increase the minimum wage to $7.15 per hour over the next two years. The bill passed 94-3, with three not voting. [4]

Cuts to federal programs

Senator Rockefeller voted with the Democrats against the Work, Marriage, and Family Promotion Reconciliation Act of 2005, which cuts over $40 billion over five years from federal programs such as welfare, child support and student lending programs. The vote was 50-50 and based almost completely on party lines, with some moderate Republicans negotiating amendments in order to assuage their concerns about the amendment forcing the poor to work longer hours and raising fees for Medicare and Medicaid. Vice President Dick Cheney broke the tie with a vote of Yes, and the bill was signed into law on February 8, 2006. [5]


Senator Rockefeller is pro-choice, and receives a 100% interest group rating from Planned Parenthood. [6]


As Vice-Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee in 2004, Rockefeller helped to create the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act. The bill was designed in conjunction with the recommendations of the 9/11 commission to improve and coordinate US intelligence. It created the position of Director of National Intelligence, who manages the efforts of all 15 of the US Intelligence Agencies, including the FBI and CIA. [7]

On April 12, 2007, Sen. Rockefeller sponsored a motion to move to invoke cloture on the FY2007 Intelligence Authorization Act (S.372). The motion passed 94-3, however a later motion to invoke cloture on April 18 did not.

Main article: Intelligence Authorization Act for FY 2007

As chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee in 2007, Rockefeller is the chief democratic architect of changes to wiretapping law that "radically expand how the government wiretaps inside the United States"[8][9].

Rockefeller has been in favor of giving telecommunications companies immunity from prosecution after the revelations came to light that they had assisted the Bush administration to engage in warrantless wiretapping. He has voted against amendments to strip immunity from the FISA revision bill [10]. Telecommunication companies have contributed significantly to his 2008 election campaign ([11] and see below).

Health care

In 1993 Rockefeller became the principal senate supporter, with Ted Kennedy, behind President Clinton and Hillary's sweeping health care reform package, liaising closely with Hillary, even opening up his mansion in Rock Creek Park for its first strategy meeting. The reform was subsequently defeated by an alliance between the Business Roundtable and a small-business coalition. [12]



Rockefeller was born on June 18, 1937. He was Governor of West Virginia from 1977 to 1985. Rockefeller is a member of the prominent Rockefeller family, the great-grandson of oil tycoon John D. Rockefeller, and nephew of former Governor of Arkansas Winthrop Rockefeller and former Vice President Nelson A. Rockefeller. He was born in New York City and graduated from Harvard with his BA in history and Far Eastern Languages. He now resides in Charleston, WV.

After college, Rockefeller worked for the Peace Corps in Washington, D.C. where he served as the operations director for their largest overseas program in the Philippines. He continued his public service in 1964 and 1965 as a VISTA volunteer, during which he moved to West Virginia.

He was elected to the West Virginia House of Delegates in 1966, and to the office of West Virginia Secretary of State in 1968. He served as president of West Virginia Wesleyan College from 1973 to 1976.

Rockefeller was elected Governor of West Virginia in 1976 and re-elected in 1980. He served as Governor during some of the state's darkest years, when manufacturing plants and coal mines were closing as the national recession of the early 1980s hit West Virginia particularly hard. By working aggressively, taking a long-term view and emphasizing the loyalty and work ethic of West Virginia's workers, Rockefeller has attracted national and international companies to the Mountain State.

Senate career

In 1984, he was elected to the U. S. Senate. He was re-elected in 1990, 1996 and 2002. He was chair of the Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs from 1993 to 1995; He is currently vice-chairman of the Intelligence Committee.

Positions and views

In 2002, Rockefeller traveled to several Middle East countries, where he discussed his view regarding United States military intentions with the leaders of those countries. In November 2005 during a TV interview, Rockefeller stated : "I took a trip by myself in January of 2002 to Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Syria, and I told each of the heads of state that it was my view that George Bush had already made up his mind to go to war against Iraq, that that was a predetermined set course which had taken shape shortly after 9/11." [13]

Money in politics

This section contains links to – and feeds from – money in politics databases. <crpcontribdata>cid=N00001685&cycle=2006</crpcontribdata> <crpcontribdata>cid=N00001685&cycle=2008</crpcontribdata>

Links to more campaign contribution information for John D. Rockefeller IV
from the Center for Responsive Politics' site.
Fundraising profile: 2006 election cycle Career totals
Top contributors by organization/corporation: 2006 election cycle Career totals
Top contributors by industry: 2006 election cycle Career totals

Committees and affiliations


Committee assignments in the 109th Congress (2005-2006)

Coalitions and caucuses

  • Chair, Bipartisan Commission on Comprehensive Health Care
  • Bipartisan Commission on the Future of Medicare
  • Chair, Democratic Technology and Communications Committee
  • Majority Trust Co-Chair, Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee
  • Senate Auto Caucus
  • Senate Rural Health Caucus
  • Co-Chair, Senate Steel Caucus

Boards and other affiliations

More background data

Wikipedia also has an article on John D. Rockefeller IV. This article may use content from the Wikipedia article under the terms of the GFDL.


DC Office:
531 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510-4802
Phone: 202-224-6472
Fax: 202-224-7665
Web Email

District Office- Fairmont :
118 Adams Street, Suite 301
Fairmont, WV 26554-2841
Phone: 304-367-0122
Fax: 304-367-0822

District Office- Charleston :
405 Capitol Street, Suite 508
Charleston, WV 25301-1749
Phone: 304-347-5372
Fax: 304-347-5371

District Office- Beckley :
207 West Prince Street
Beckley, WV 25801-4514
Phone: 304-253-9704
Fax: 304-253-2578

District Office- Martinsburg :
217 West King Street, Suite 307
Martinsburg, WV 25401-3211
Phone: 304-262-9285
Fax: 304-262-9288

2008 Campaign contact information

Official Rockefeller for Senate campaign website

Friends of Jay Rockefeller
Post Office Box 1909
Charleston, WV 25327

Email: web AT

Articles and resources


  1. Joe Manchin III profile, The Washington Post, accessed January 2011.
  2. "Rockefeller Introduces Bill to Delay EPA Carbon Rules" Simon Lomax, Bloomberg March 5, 2010.
  3. Corporate Council, Children's Health Fund, accessed December 13, 2010.


Articles & commentary

Local blogs and discussion sites

Corresponding article on Wikipedia and Cause Caller. (If Cause Caller link does not work, pick from its list of senators and representatives.)

Current Office: U.S. Senate
111th Congress
Leadership Position:
Committees Chaired:
Ranking Member On:

110th Congress
Leadership Position:
Committees Chaired:
Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation/Subcommittee on Aviation Operations, Safety, and Security, Senate Select Committee on Intelligence
Ranking Member On:

Senate Auto Caucus, Senate Rural Health Caucus, Co-Chair of Senate Steel Caucus
Committees: Joint Committee on Taxation, Senate Committee on Commerce Science and Transportation, Senate Committee on Commerce Science and Transportation/Subcommittee on Aviation Operations Safety and Security, Senate Committee on Commerce Science and Transportation/Subcommittee on Consumer Affairs Insurance and Automotive Safety, Senate Committee on Commerce Science and Transportation/Subcommittee on Interstate Commerce Trade and Tourism, Senate Committee on Commerce Science and Transportation/Subcommittee on Science Technology and Innovation, Senate Committee on Commerce Science and Transportation/Subcommittee on Surface Transportation and Merchant Marine Infrastructure Safety and Security, Senate Committee on Finance, Senate Committee on Finance/Subcommittee on Health Care, Senate Committee on Finance/Subcommittee on Social Security Pensions and Family Policy, Senate Committee on Finance/Subcommittee on International Trade and Global Competitiveness, Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs
Congressional Career
First Elected to Current Office:
November 6, 1984
First Took Current Office:
January 15, 1985
Next Election:
November 4, 2014
Term Ends:
Freshman Member?
Previous Political Work?
West Virginia Governor, Secretary of State of West Virginia, West Virginia House of Delegates
Other Party Membership:
District Offices:
1. 118 Adams Street, Suite 301 Fairmont, WV 26554-2841
Phone: 304-367-0122 / Fax: 304-367-0822
2. 405 Capitol Street, Suite 508 Charleston, WV 25301-1749
Phone: 304-347-5372 / Fax: 304-347-5371
3. 207 West Prince Street Beckley, WV 25801-4514
Phone: 304-253-9704 / Fax: 304-253-2578
4. 217 West King Street, Suite 307 Martinsburg, WV 25401-3211
Phone: 304-262-9285 / Fax: 304-262-9288

Campaign Contact:

Webform Email: / Email:

Campaign Offices:

1. Friends of Jay Rockefeller Post Office Box 1909 Charleston, WV 25327
Phone: / Fax:

Zip Code Affiliations:

Date of Birth: June 18, 1937