Congressional Profile: Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN)
Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (R-MN) is currently ranked the most conservative Member of the Minnesota delegation on our Legislative Scorecard. She was first elected in 2006 and was the first Republican woman to represent Minnesota in the U.S. House of Representatives. Since then, she took the Tea Party stance on issues – before there even was a Tea Party.
Born in Waterloo, Iowa, Rep. Bachmann moved to Minnesota when she was 13 years old. Her parents raised her in a liberal household, and after her parent’s divorce, she was raised by her mother. Her mother remarried while Rep. Bachmann was a teenager, and the family grew to include nine children.
In 1974, she graduated from Anoka High School and after graduation worked on kibbutz Be’eri in Israel. In 1978, she received her Bachelor’s degree from Winona State University. In 1979, she was a member of the first class of the O. W. Coburn School of Law, which was at the time a part of Oral Roberts University (ORU). She received her J.D. from Oral Roberts University in 1986, as part of the final graduating law school at ORU.
Two years later, Rep. Bachmann received her LL.M degree in tax law from the William & Mary School of Law. Until 1993, she worked for the Internal Revenue Service as an attorney, but left her position to become a full-time mother once her fourth child was born.
In 1991, her political activism received media attention as Rep. Bachmann, who became a Republican during her senior year at Winona State University, protested a Ramsey County Board meeting that was going to appropriate $3 million to build a morgue for a hospital which performed abortions.
In 1993, she and other parents in the area started the K-12 New Heights Charter School in Stillwater, MN. The school was to be non-sectarian, but had a strong Christian orientation. This orientation was removed from the curriculum, and Rep. Bachmann resigned. After this, she began speaking out against state-mandated education standards, which began her career in politics.
By 2000, Rep. Bachmann was ready to run for office and ultimately defeated 18-year incumbent Gary Laidig for the Republican nomination for State Senate. In 2002, after redistricting, she defeated another incumbent to win the Senate seat representing Minnesota’s 52nd legislative district. As a State Senator, Rep. Bachmann focused on opposing abortion and supporting traditional marriage – she even introduced a constitutional amendment that would ensure the state could never erode the traditional definition of marriage.
In 2006, Rep. Bachmann won her race for the U.S. House of Representatives and has remained both a staunch social and fiscal conservative. In 2011, after Republicans recaptured the House thanks to tea party conservatives, Rep. Bachmann founded the Tea Party Caucus.
Aside from her support of the pro-life movement, she also champions the repeal of Dodd-Frank and Obamacare, which were two of her central issues in her campaign for the presidency.
Rep. Bachmann currently sits on the Financial Services Committee and the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.
In 1978, Rep. Bachmann married her husband, Marcus, and the two operate a Christian counseling practice and also provide foster care for teenage girls. In total, the couple has fostered 23 children in addition to raising five kids of their own: Lucas, Harrison, Elisa, Caroline, and Sophia. The couple currently reside in Stillwater, Minnesota and are active members of their community.