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Erik Paulsen

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Subject: Politics of Minnesota, Michele Bachmann, United States House of Representatives elections in Minnesota, 2010, List of Majority Leaders of the Minnesota House of Representatives, Chaska, Minnesota
Collection: 1965 Births, American Lutherans, American People of Norwegian Descent, Living People, Members of the Minnesota House of Representatives, Members of the United States House of Representatives from Minnesota, Minnesota Republicans, People from Bakersfield, California, People from Eden Prairie, Minnesota, People from Hennepin County, Minnesota, Politicians from Bakersfield, California, Republican Party Members of the United States House of Representatives, St. Olaf College Alumni
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Erik Paulsen

Erik Paulsen
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Minnesota's 3rd district
Assumed office
January 3, 2009
Preceded by Jim Ramstad
Member of the Minnesota House of Representatives
from the 42B district
In office
January 3, 1995 – January 3, 2009
Preceded by Sidney J. Pauly[1]
Succeeded by Jenifer Loon
Minnesota House Majority Leader
In office
January 3, 2003 – January 3, 2007
Preceded by Tim Pawlenty
Succeeded by Tony Sertich
Personal details
Born (1965-05-14) May 14, 1965
Bakersfield, California
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Kelly Paulsen
Residence Eden Prairie, Minnesota
Alma mater St. Olaf College
Profession political staffer
Religion LutheranLCMS
Website [1]

Erik Paulsen (born May 14, 1965) is an American politician serving in the United States House of Representatives for Minnesota's 3rd congressional district since 2009. A member of the Republican Party, he previously served in the Minnesota House of Representatives from 1995 to 2009 and as Majority Leader from 2003 to 2007. His district in the western part of the Twin Cities metropolitan area includes Bloomington, Eden Prairie, Edina, Minnetonka, Maple Grove and Wayzata.


  • Early life, education, and career 1
  • Minnesota legislature 2
  • U.S. House of Representatives 3
    • Elections 3.1
    • Committee assignments 3.2
  • Political positions 4
    • Legislation 4.1
  • Personal life 5
  • See also 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8

Early life, education, and career

Born in Bakersfield, California, Paulsen graduated from Chaska High School in Minnesota in 1983.[2] He attended St. Olaf College, and received a Bachelor of Arts in mathematics in 1987. After college, Paulsen worked as an intern for Republican Senator Rudy Boschwitz from 1989 until Boschwitz was defeated by Democratic challenger Paul Wellstone in 1990.[2] Paulsen then took a staff position with Republican Representative Jim Ramstad in Washington, D.C.. He worked on Ramstad's local congressional campaign in 1992 before seeking election to the Minnesota House of Representatives in 1994.[3][4]

From 2007 to 2009, Paulsen worked as a part-time business analyst for Target Corporation while a member of the Minnesota House of Representatives.[2]

Minnesota legislature

Paulsen was initially elected as an Independent Republican. He listed no occupation in 1994.[2] In 1996 he authored a constitutional amendment to establish a 12-year term limit for state senators and representatives. Paulsen, however, served 14 years before being elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.[3][5] He served on the Commerce and Labor, Rules and Legislative Administration, Taxes, and Ways and Means committees.[6]

U.S. House of Representatives



Paulsen won a three-way race for Minnesota's Third Congressional District in November 2008.[7] His U.S. House candidacy was announced after the incumbent, Jim Ramstad (a Republican), announced his retirement in 2007, which gave an opportunity for both major parties to field potential candidates. Shortly after he announced his retirement, Ramstad endorsed Paulsen and served as the chairman of Paulsen's Steering Committee.[8] Paulsen was a speaker at the 2008 Republican National Convention in Saint Paul, Minnesota.

Paulsen won the election with 48.48% of the vote, to Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party nominee Ashwin Madia's 40.85% and Independence Party of Minnesota candidate David Dillon's 10.56%. While not achieving a majority, Paulsen defeated Madia by about 30,000 votes.[9]


Paulson won reelection with 59% of the vote against Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party challenger Jim Meffert.[10]

During the race, Meffert filed a complaint with the United States House Committee on Ethics claiming that Paulsen distributed a deliberately misleading mailing to his constituents using the franking privilege afforded to House members. The committee has yet to act upon the complaint.[11]


Paulson ran against DFL nominee Brian Barnes, an Edina businessman and former Navy Reserve officer. He was reelected with 58% of the vote.[12]

Committee assignments

The House Committee on Ways and Means

• Subcommittee on Oversight • Subcommittee on Select Revenue Measures

Political positions

Paulsen supports continuing Bush-era tax cuts and global free trade agreements.[13]

Paulsen opposes a public health care option, saying it would represent a "government takeover" of health care. Instead, he supported a Republican alternative plan.[14] At an April 7, 2010, GOP rally in Minneapolis, Paulsen described the recently enacted health care reform law as a "government takeover of health care," a claim that Minnesota Public Radio states "isn't correct." [15]

Paulsen has called for an end to Minnesota's ban on building nuclear power plants, saying that "trying to meet our energy needs without using nuclear energy is a little bit like trying to row a boat with one oar."[16][17]

Paulsen voted against the American Clean Energy and Security Act (2009), an effort to curb emissions of greenhouse gases that cause climate change.[18]

Paulsen voted against the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act,[19] citing its high cost to current and future taxpayers.

Paulsen voted against The Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2009.[20]

Paulsen voted against a bill repealing the U.S. military's "[23]

Paulsen voted repeatedly in 2010 against extending benefits to unemployed Americans.[24]

Paulsen opposed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act intended to prevent pay discrimination against women.[25]

Paulsen has voted multiple times in favor of prohibiting public or federal funding for abortion services. He voted for the Seifert Amendment, which, though rejected, worked to prohibit grants for groups associated with clinics and other establishments that provide abortions.[23]

Paulsen opposed two proposed smoking bans in 2007.[23]

Paulsen voted against a resolution telling the president to remove troops and armed forces from Pakistan.[23]

Paulsen introduced the Text a Tip Act to the House in 2010. The bill would have allowed users to send tips about crimes to a third party, which would have removed all identifying information about the user before forwarding the message to the police.[26] The bill died in committee and was not adopted.[27]

Paulsen cosponsored a draft of the Small Business Assistance and Relief Act in 2010, to provide increased lending and aid for small businesses and ease their financial encumbrances.[28][29]

Paulsen voted against a bill to fund medical treatment for 9/11 first responders and victims.[30]

Paulsen voted in favor of the Federal budget plan for fiscal 2012 that, among other provisions, provided for substantial overhaul of the Medicare program including replacement of the traditional program with a premium support payment for private health insurance coverage for Americans currently under age 55.[31]

On July 24, 2013, Paulsen voted to continue funding NSA surveillance of all U.S. citizens.[32] which at least one court has ruled is a violation of Americans' Fourth Amendment rights.[33]


On February 13, 2013, Paulsen introduced the National Park Service 100th Anniversary Commemorative Coin Act (H.R. 627; 113th Congress), a bill that would direct the Secretary of the Treasury to mint and issue gold, silver, and half-dollar clad coins in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the National Park Service (NPS).[34][35] The coins would all have a surcharge attached, the money from which would be given to the National Park Foundation.[35]

Paulsen strongly supported the Money Remittances Improvement Act of 2014 (H.R. 4386; 113th Congress), a bill that would make it easier for nonbank financial institutions such as money service businesses to provide remittance payments internationally.[36] Paulsen argued that the bill would make it easier for American immigrants "supporting their extended families overseas" to help their relatives, while still "providing the necessary safeguards to ensure their money reaches its intended destination."[37] The bill would help these people by "streamlining the remittance process and eliminating regulatory barriers to sending money home."[37]

On November 21, 2013, Paulsen introduced the Stop Exploitation Through Trafficking Act of 2013 (H.R. 3610; 113th Congress), a bill that would require each state, within three years, to have in effect legislation that: (1) treats a minor who has engaged or attempted to engage in a commercial sex act as a victim of a severe form of trafficking in persons, (2) discourages the charging or prosecution of such an individual for a prostitution or sex trafficking offense, and (3) encourages the diversion of such individual to child protection services.[38] The bill was scheduled to be voted on in the House on May 20, 2014 under a suspension of the rules.[39]

Personal life

During college at St. Olaf, Paulsen met his wife, Kelly. The Paulsens had four daughters as of 2014, and live in Eden Prairie. Paulsen serves as a Board Trustee of the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, and as a board member of the Eden Prairie A Brighter Day Foundation, Habitat for Global Learning, Habitat for Technology and the Southdale YMCA. He is a member of the American Council of Young Political Leaders and the Eden Prairie Chamber of Commerce, and volunteers for Learning Exchange.[40]

Fellowships, honors, and recognitions

Paulsen has participated in the inaugural two-year class of the Aspen Rodel Fellowship in Public Leadership, the German Marshall Memorial Fellowship, the Young Leaders Forum of the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations, and the American Council of Young Political Leaders.[41] He has been granted an Aspen Institute Rodel Fellowship in Public Leadership, and a Marshall Memorial Fellowship from the German Marshall Fund of the United States.

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b c d
  3. ^ a b
  4. ^ Minnesota Legislative Library for Erik Paulsen
  5. ^[]=&legid1=10508
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^ Ramstad endorses Erik Paulsen. [2]
  9. ^ Minnesota Secretary of State
  10. ^
  11. ^ .
  12. ^
  13. ^ Black, Eric. Erik Paulsen on tax cuts: inflammatory and misleading. Minn Post. 15 October 2008.
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^ Walz, Paulsen Tout Nuclear Power. KEYC News. 24 November 2009.
  17. ^ Bakst, Brian. Effort to Scrap Anti-Nuclear Law in Minn. Ramps Up. Associated Press. 24 November 2009.
  18. ^ HR 2454: American Clean Energy and Security Act Office of the Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives
  19. ^ Appropriations, Tax Law Amendments, and Unemployment Benefit Amendments ("Stimulus Bill") Project Vote Smart.
  20. ^ The Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2009 Office of the Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives
  21. ^ Roll Call 317 Office of the Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives
  22. ^
  23. ^ a b c d
  24. ^
  25. ^ Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009 Office of the Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives
  26. ^
  27. ^
  28. ^
  29. ^
  30. ^
  31. ^
  32. ^
  33. ^
  34. ^
  35. ^ a b
  36. ^
  37. ^ a b
  38. ^
  39. ^
  40. ^
  41. ^§iontree-2,98

External links

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Jim Ramstad
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Minnesota's 3rd congressional district

United States order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Pete Olson
United States Representatives by seniority
Succeeded by
Chellie Pingree
Political offices
Preceded by
Tim Pawlenty
Minnesota House Majority Leader
Succeeded by
Tony Sertich
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