Don Bacon (politician)

Donald John Bacon (born August 16, 1963) is an American politician and former military officer serving as the U.S. Representative for Nebraska's 2nd congressional district since 2017. A member of the Republican Party, he was a United States Air Force brigadier general and wing commander at Ramstein Air Base and Offutt Air Force Base until his retirement in 2014.

Don Bacon
Donald Bacon Official House Photo.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Nebraska's 2nd district
Assumed office
January 3, 2017
Preceded byBrad Ashford
Personal details
Born
Donald John Bacon

(1963-08-16) August 16, 1963 (age 56)
Momence, Illinois, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Angie Bacon
Children4
EducationNorthern Illinois University (BA)
University of Phoenix (MBA)
National Defense University (MA)
CommitteesHouse Armed Services Committee, House Agriculture Committee
WebsiteHouse website
Military service
Nickname(s)Bits
Allegiance United States
Branch/service United States Air Force
Years of service1985–2014
RankUS-O7 insignia.svg Brigadier General

Education and military careerEdit

Bacon is originally from Illinois, the son of Don and Joan Bacon of Bourbonnais.[1] He grew up on a family farm in Momence[2] and graduated from Grace Baptist Academy in Kankakee in 1980.[1]

 
Portrait of Air Force Brigadier General Don Bacon

He attended Northern Illinois University and then gained his commission through the Reserve Officers' Training Corps. He specialized in electronic warfare, intelligence, reconnaissance and public affairs; he served as a Wing Commander at Ramstein Air Base in Germany and at Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska, as a Group commander and Squadron Commander at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Arizona and an Expeditionary Squadron commander in Iraq.[3] Bacon has earned master's degrees from the National War College of the National Defense University and the University of Phoenix. His final assignment was as Director of ISR Strategy, Plans, Doctrine and Force Development, AF/A2, Headquarters U.S. Air Force at the Pentagon from July 2012.[4]

In 2014, Bacon retired from the U.S. Air Force.[5] During his 29 years in the Air Force, he was awarded the Air Force Distinguished Service Medal, two Legion of Merits and two Bronze Star Medals; Bacon was selected as Europe's top Air Force Wing Commander in 2009.[6] He served as an aide to U.S. Representative Jeff Fortenberry and assistant professor at Bellevue University prior to running for office.[7]

U.S. House of RepresentativesEdit

ElectionsEdit

2016Edit

In the 2016 elections, Bacon won the Republican Party primary election for the U.S. House of Representatives in Nebraska's 2nd congressional district,[8] a primarily urban and suburban district in metro Omaha,[9] covering parts of Douglas and Sarpy counties.[10]

The general election race was considered a tossup, with Democratic incumbent Brad Ashford being seen as having the slight edge.[11] After the release in October 2016 of a 2005 videotape showing Donald Trump making lewd remarks to Billy Bush, Bacon said that Trump could not win the presidency and should withdraw from the race in favor of "a strong conservative candidate, like Mike Pence." Bacon did not say, however, that he would not vote for Trump since he did not believe "Hillary is the right person. I'm in a quandary."[12]

Bacon defeated Ashford in the general election on November 8, 2016.[13][14] He received 48.9% of the vote to Ashford's 47.7%.[15][16] He is the only Republican who defeated an incumbent Democrat in the 2016 House elections.[17]

2018Edit

In the 2018 elections, Bacon was reelected after narrowly defeating Democratic nominee Kara Eastman with 51.0% of the vote to Eastman's 49.0%.[18]

2020Edit

Bacon is running for re-election in the 2020 elections.[19]

TenureEdit

116th Congress (2019-2020)

In the 116th Congress Bacon sits on the House Armed Services Committee and House Agriculture Committee.[20]

Bacon voted with his party in 87.5% of votes and with President Trump in 88.6% of votes in the 116th Congress.[21] [22] He ranks 36th of the 435 House members in voting against his party.

In 2019, Bacon ranked 31 out of 435 for bipartisanship according to the Lugar Index.[23]

On December 18, 2019 Bacon voted against both articles of impeachment against President Trump. All of the 195 Republicans in attendance voted against both impeachment articles.[24]

115th Congress (2017-2018)

During his freshman term in the 115th Congress Bacon was assigned to the House Agriculture Committee,[9] as well as the House Homeland Security Committee and House Armed Services Committee.[25]

During the 115th Congress, Bacon voted with his party in 96.9% of votes and with President Trump's position in 94% of votes.[22][21]

According to Georgetown University’s Lugar Index, Bacon ranked 89th of 435 members of the House of Representatives in bipartisanship in the 115th Congress.[26]

Caucuses

Alongside Democrat Jimmy Panetta, Bacon co-chairs the For Country Caucus[27], a bipartisan group of veterans attempting to find consensus and compromise solutions to issues of the day.

He is a member of the Republican Main Street Partnership,[28] the bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus,[29] the House Baltic Caucus,[30] the Civility and Respect Caucus,[31] and the Congressional Western Caucus.[32]


Political PositionsEdit

Armed Services and Foreign PolicyEdit

 
Brigadier General Donald Bacon, 55th Wing Commander, salutes the men and women attending his fini flight at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska
 
Bacon with President Barack Obama in 2009

Bacon has been a member of the Armed Services Committee since entering office in 2016.

In a 2016 questionnaire, Bacon called for ISIS to be defeated "with assertive leadership, our superior air power, and special forces."[33] He supported airstrikes in Syria in retaliation for the Assad government's use of chemical weapons.[34] In 2019, Bacon voted in favor of a resolution opposing Trump's move to withdraw U.S. support for the Kurds in Syria, which exposed Kurdish militias to attacks from Turkey.[35]

At a Brookings Institution event in October 2017, Bacon stressed the importance of military readiness and called for U.S. Air Force crews to increase flight hours to enhance readiness. He also said that the "gravest threat" to military preparedness was the "partisan divide" in government, which had prevented necessary increases in spending.[36]

Bacon supports a stronger U.S. presence in the Balkans to counter Russia, which Bacon has termed a key adversary of the United States.[17] Bacon has expressed alarm regarding Russia's activity in Ukraine and the Balkans, as well as Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections and attempted Russian interference in other nations' elections.[17] Bacon does not consider China to be a U.S. adversary, but has criticized the country for its regional power ambitions and its trade with North Korea, and supports strong U.S. alliances with Japan and Taiwan to counter China.[17]

In July 2017, Bacon voted in favor of legislation to impose additional sanctions against Russia, North Korea, and Iran.[21]

In November 2017, Bacon told an electronic warfare (EW) conference that the U.S. military needed "to elevate the electromagnetic spectrum to an official domain of warfare—alongside land, sea, air, space, and cyberspace—and appoint general officers as EW advocates in all four services and to the joint staff." Bacon said that the U.S. should re-intensify its EW capabilities, which Bacon said had atrophied after the collapse of the Soviet Union.[37]

In 2019, Bacon voted against a resolution to terminate U.S. military support to Saudi Arabia for the Saudi Arabian-led intervention in Yemen,[21] and voted against legislation to block U.S. arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.[21]

Bacon is a steadfast backer of Israel, and supports the United States recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital.[38]

Bacon is a consistent supporter of Taiwan. In 2019 Bacon spent time with Rep. Salud Carbajal (D-CA) and former speaker of the House Paul Ryan in Taiwan to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Taiwan Relations Act and open a new informal diplomatic facility used in lieu of an Embassy. Bacon said “we owe it to be clear that Taiwan is a success story and we have to support their democracy.”[39]

AgricultureEdit

Bacon has been a member of the House Agriculture Committee since elected in 2016.

In 2019 Bacon urged the Army Corps of Engineers to streamline its response to the 2019 Midwestern U.S. floods and pushed to fund levies to shore up flooded farmland and Offut Air Force Base.[40]

In Spring of 2019, Bacon sponsored the Student Agriculture Protection Act to create tax credits for the proceeds of crops and livestock for students under age 22.[41]

Bacon supported the 2018 Republican led omnibus Farm Bill.[42]

AbortionEdit

Bacon is firmly anti-abortion,[7] except to save the life of the woman.[43] In 2017, he voted in favor of legislation to ban abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy.[21] In 2017, Bacon voted to repeal a rule requiring state and local governments to distribute federal funds to federally qualified health centers even if those centers also perform abortions,[21] a measure aimed at defunding Planned Parenthood.[44] Bacon said that he supported redirecting funds to community health care centers that do not also provide abortion services.[44]

Drug policyEdit

In 2018, Bacon said that he supported marijuana decriminalization at the federal level.[43] Bacon said he opposed marijuana legalization as a personal matter, but believed that states should be permitted to make the decision.[43][34] Bacon supported the 2018 Farm Bill which legalized industrial hemp production.[42]

Economic issuesEdit

In 2017, Bacon voted for the Republican tax legislation,[21][45] and voted in favor of legislation to dismantle major parts of the Dodd–Frank financial reform legislation.[21] In 2019, Bacon voted against legislation to increase the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour.[21]

Bacon has expressed support for raising the full retirement age for eligibility for Social Security for Americans now under age 40.[43]

EnvironmentEdit

Regarding climate change, Bacon has said: "I don't think we know for certain how much of climate change is being caused by normal cyclical changes in weather vs. human causes. I support legislation that allows for continued incremental improvement in our environment, but oppose extreme measures that create significant economic and job disruption."[46] Bacon is a member of the bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus.[29]

Gun policyEdit

In February 2019, Bacon voted against legislation to require universal background checks for firearm sales and legislation to give additional time to law enforcement agencies to conduct background checks for firearm sales.[21] In 2017, Bacon voted in favor of legislation that would have made concealed-carry permits valid across state lines.[21] In 2018, Bacon indicated that he would support a ban on bump stocks.[34]

Health careEdit

Bacon favors repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA), commonly known as Obamacare,[47] and opposes proposals for Medicare for All or single-payer healthcare.[34] In May 2017, Bacon voted in favor of the American Health Care Act, Republican health-care legislation that would have repealed large portions of the ACA.[21][48][49]

ImmigrationEdit

In August 2017, Bacon and five of his House colleagues urged President Trump to preserve the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program for undocumented youth brought to the United States as children (also known as "Dreamers"), "until we can pass a permanent legislative solution."[50][17] In 2019, Bacon voted in favor of legislation to create a pathway to citizenship for undocumented youth.[51]

Bacon has expressed support for construction of the U.S.-Mexico border wall supported by Trump.[52] Bacon voted against legislation to end the December 2018–January 2019 government shutdown by appropriating funds without money for a border wall.[21] Bacon said that Trump's attempt to circumvent Congress by declaring a national emergency to redirect money from military construction to the building of a border wall was not "the right way to go" because it infringed on congressional powers,[52] but voted against a House resolution to overturn the emergency declaration and voted against overriding Trump's veto of legislation that would have overturned the declaration.[21]

In April 2016, Bacon re-introduced the Kerrie Orozco Act, which would "allow the spouses of first responders, killed in the line of duty, access to a quicker process of becoming an American citizen."[53]

InternetEdit

In March 2017, Bacon voted to repeal an FCC rule that barred Internet service providers from sharing data on their customers' activities.[21]

Bacon opposed the continuation of net neutrality in the United States in support of FCC Chairman Ajit Pai's repeal of Title II classification of ISPs. Bacon received $7,000 in campaign contributions from the telecommunications industry during the 2016 election cycle.[54]


Electoral historyEdit

Republican primary results, 2016[10]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Don Bacon 32,328 66.0
Republican Chip Maxwell 16,677 34.0
Total votes 49,005 100.0
Nebraska's 2nd congressional district, 2016 [55]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Don Bacon 141,066 48.9
Democratic Brad Ashford (incumbent) 137,602 47.7
Libertarian Steven Laird 9,640 3.4
Total votes 288,308 100.0
Republican gain from Democratic
Republican primary results, 2018
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Don Bacon (incumbent) 33,852 100.0
Total votes 33,852 100.0
Nebraska's 2nd congressional district, 2018
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Don Bacon (incumbent) 126,715 51.0
Democratic Kara Eastman 121,770 49.0
Total votes 248,485 100.0
Republican hold

Personal lifeEdit

Bacon and his wife, Angie (née Hardison)[1] have four children and several grandchildren, and live in Papillion, Nebraska.[56] Bacon is an Evangelical Christian.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c Lee Provost, Momence native elected congressman in Nebraska, Daily Journal (November 23, 2016).
  2. ^ Nebraska Rep. Bacon to serve on House Agriculture Committee, Associated Press (January 11, 2017).
  3. ^ Don Bacon; Military Times; http://caucus.militarytimes.com/speaker/don-bacon/#.Wr6kR5PwbOQ
  4. ^ "Brigadier General Donald J. Bacon". United States Air Force. November 1, 2014.
  5. ^ "Gen. Bacon set to retire". The Daily Journal. Retrieved March 25, 2015.
  6. ^ "Biography". Biography. Retrieved September 21, 2017.
  7. ^ a b Tysver, Robynn (April 26, 2016). "Don Bacon is a 'fresh face' in politics but hardly a political neophyte". Omaha World Herald.
  8. ^ Don Walton (March 25, 2015). "Retired general bids for Ashford House seat". Lincoln Journal Star.
  9. ^ a b Morton, Joseph (January 11, 2017). "Don Bacon, who represents the mostly urban and suburban 2nd District, gets seat on House Agriculture Committee". Omaha World-Herald.
  10. ^ a b Official Report of the Board of State Canvassers: Primary Election May 10, 2016, Compiled by John A. Gale, Nebraska Secretary of State
  11. ^ Loizzo, Mike (September 26, 2016). "Nebraska's 2nd Congressional District Race Remains a Toss-Up". Nebraska Radio Network. Archived from the original on December 26, 2016. Retrieved December 25, 2016.
  12. ^ Tysver, Robynn, Don Bacon says Trump should step down, but he won't rule out voting for him, Omaha World Herald (October 8, 2016).
  13. ^ Williams, Jack (November 9, 2016). "Bacon ousts Ashford in Second Congressional District". netnebraska.org. Retrieved December 25, 2016.
  14. ^ "Bacon wins Nebraska House Seat After Ashford Concedes". Politico. November 9, 2016. Retrieved December 25, 2016.
  15. ^ "Nebraska U.S. House 2nd District Results: Don Bacon Wins". The New York Times. November 15, 2016. Retrieved November 15, 2016.
  16. ^ "Official Report of the Board of State Canvassers" (PDF). Nebraska Secretary of State. Retrieved December 7, 2016.
  17. ^ a b c d e Gilchrist, Logan, Don Bacon spoke at UNL seminar, students skeptical about his motivations, The Daily Nebraskan (October 19, 2017).
  18. ^ "Nebraska Election Results: Second House District". The New York Times. November 7, 2018. Retrieved November 7, 2018.
  19. ^ Joseph Morton, Iowa's Steve King joins House Republicans in disrupting deposition related to impeachment inquiry, Omaha World-Herald (October 23, 2019).
  20. ^ "Official Committee Assignments, 115th Congress". Office of the Clerk, United States House of Representatives. October 17, 2019.
  21. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p Tracking Congress in the Age of Trump: FivethiryEight (last accessed October 31, 2019).
  22. ^ a b Derek Willis, Allison McCartney & Jeremy B. Merrill. "Votes Against Party Majority by Don Bacon (R-Neb.): 115th Congress". Represent Project. ProPublica.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  23. ^ "Our Work". www.thelugarcenter.org. Retrieved June 3, 2020.
  24. ^ Cai, Weiyi; Lai, K. K. Rebecca; Parlapiano, Alicia; White, Jeremy; Buchanan, Larry (December 18, 2019). "Impeachment Results: How Democrats and Republicans Voted". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved May 30, 2020.
  25. ^ "Congress Profiles: 115th Congress (2017–2019), Committee Information". Office of the Clerk, United States House of Representatives. October 17, 2019.
  26. ^ The Lugar Center, Georgetown University McCourt School of Public Policy. "The Lugar Bipartisan Index". The Lugar Center.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  27. ^ "For Country Caucus Statement on Situation in Syria". Representative Mikie Sherrill. October 13, 2019. Retrieved March 9, 2020.
  28. ^ "Members". Republican Mains Street Partnership. Archived from the original on August 26, 2018. Retrieved September 19, 2017.
  29. ^ a b "Climate Solutions Caucus expands to 24". Retrieved September 21, 2017.
  30. ^ "Members". House Baltic Caucus. Retrieved February 21, 2018.
  31. ^ "Bacon and Carbajal Join Civility and Respect Caucus". U.S. Congressman Don Bacon. July 12, 2018. Retrieved March 9, 2020.
  32. ^ "Members". Congressional Western Caucus. Retrieved June 27, 2018.
  33. ^ "Don Bacon on War & Peace". www.ontheissues.org. Retrieved March 17, 2018.
  34. ^ a b c d Roseann Moring (April 29, 2018). "Guns, medical marijuana, Russia investigation are hot topics at Don Bacon town hall". Omaha World-Herald.
  35. ^ Griffin Connolly, House Republicans break 2-to-1 against Trump on withdrawal of Kurd support, Roll Call (October 16, 2019).
  36. ^ Livingston, Ian, Reps. Don Bacon and Rick Larsen share their views on defense priorities and challenges; Brookings Institution (October 24, 2017).
  37. ^ Freedberg Jr, Sydney J; Spectrum (EW) Should Be A Warfighting Domain: Rep. Bacon; Breaking Defense; November 29, 2017; https://breakingdefense.com/2017/11/spectrum-ew-should-be-a-warfighting-domain-rep-bacon/
  38. ^ Magid, Aaron. "Meet the 'Most Kosher Bacon' in Congress". Jewish Insider. Retrieved September 21, 2017.
  39. ^ Morton, Joseph (April 17, 2019). "On trip with bipartisan delegation, Bacon calls Taiwan a success, says China shouldn't isolate it". The Omaha World Herald.
  40. ^ Moring, Roseann. "Bacon: It's 'ludicrous' that approval of Offutt levee work took 5 years". Omaha World Herald. Retrieved May 30, 2020.
  41. ^ "McCaul, Cuellar, Peterson Legislation to Inspire Future Farmers". Congressman Michael McCaul. March 14, 2019. Retrieved May 30, 2020.
  42. ^ a b Walton, Don. "Farm bill hailed by congressmen as good for Nebraska". JournalStar.com. Retrieved May 30, 2020.
  43. ^ a b c d Roseann Moring & Aaron Sanderford, House candidates Don Bacon, Kara Eastman find little to agree on in World-Herald debate, Omaha World-Herald (October 17, 2018).
  44. ^ a b Morton, Joseph (November 4, 2016). "Don Bacon denounces claims in Democrats' health care fliers, calls one attack ad 'very vile'". Omaha World Herald. Retrieved January 10, 2018.
  45. ^ "H.R. 1: Tax Cuts and Jobs Act". GovTrack. Retrieved November 5, 2018.
  46. ^ Byrne, Michael (April 25, 2017). "Nebraska's Climate Change Deniers". Vice. Retrieved March 3, 2018.
  47. ^ Bureau, Joseph Morton / World-Herald. "Affordable Care Act repeal on fast track, but GOP replacement not yet in sight". Omaha.com. Retrieved April 1, 2017.
  48. ^ "How the House voted to pass the GOP health-care bill". Washington Post. Retrieved May 4, 2017.
  49. ^ "How every member voted on health care bill". CNN. Retrieved May 4, 2017.
  50. ^ Walton, Don, Rep. Don Bacon urges Trump to protect DACA youths, Lincoln Journal Star (August 25, 2017).
  51. ^ Walton, Don (June 5, 2019). "Nebraska Rep. Bacon crosses aisle to vote for DACA protection". Lincoln Journal Star. Retrieved May 29, 2020.
  52. ^ a b Scott Simon, Nebraska Rep. Don Bacon On Border Wall, NPR, Weekend Edition Saturday (February 16, 2019).
  53. ^ Don Bacon to re-introduce Kerrie Orozco Act, KMTV (April 5, 2017).
  54. ^ "The 265 members of Congress who sold you out to ISPs, and how much it cost to buy them". The Verge. Retrieved March 18, 2018.
  55. ^ "Official Report of the Board of State Canvassers" (PDF). Nebraska Secretary of State. Retrieved December 7, 2016.
  56. ^ Robynn Tysver (March 25, 2015). "Citing military and foreign policy as priorities, retired Brig. Gen. Don Bacon announces bid for Congress". Omaha World-Herald.

External linksEdit

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Brad Ashford
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Nebraska's 2nd congressional district

2017–present
Incumbent
U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Jodey Arrington
United States Representatives by seniority
287th
Succeeded by
Jim Banks