|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Minnesota's 3rd district
January 3, 2009
|Preceded by||Jim Ramstad|
|Member of the Minnesota House of Representatives
from the 42B district
|Preceded by||Sidney J. Pauly|
|Succeeded by||Jenifer Loon|
|Minnesota House Majority Leader|
January 2003 – January 2007
|Preceded by||Tim Pawlenty|
|Succeeded by||Tony Sertich|
May 14, 1965 |
|Residence||Eden Prairie, Minnesota|
|Alma mater||St. Olaf College|
|Religion||Lutheran - LCMS|
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
Born in Bakersfield, California, Paulsen graduated from Chaska High School in Minnesota in 1983. 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. 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.
Paulsen was initially elected as an Independent Republican. He listed no occupation in 1994. 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. He served on the Commerce and Labor, Rules and Legislative Administration, Taxes, and Ways and Means committees.
U.S. House of Representatives
Paulsen won a three-way race for Minnesota's Third Congressional District in November 2008. 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. 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.
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.
Paulson ran against DFL nominee Brian Barnes, an Edina businessman and former Navy Reserve officer. He was reelected with 58% of the vote.
The House Committee on Ways and Means
• Subcommittee on Oversight • Subcommittee on Select Revenue Measures
||This article is in a list format that may be better presented using prose. (May 2010)|
Paulsen opposes a public health care option, saying it would represent a "government takeover" of health care. Instead, he supported a Republican alternative plan. 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." 
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."
Paulsen voted against The Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2009.
Paulsen voted against a bill repealing the U.S. military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy in favor of allowing individuals who have openly acknowledged their homosexuality to serve. He voted against several employment discrimination law amendments in 2009, as well as a bill that would have, among other intentions, expanded the definition of hate crimes to include “felonies motivated by prejudice based on national origin, sexual orientation, or gender identity of the victim.”  He voted in support of required background checks for school athletic coaches.
Paulsen voted repeatedly in 2010 against extending benefits to unemployed Americans.
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.
Paulsen opposed two proposed smoking bans in 2007.
Paulsen voted against a resolution telling the president to remove troops and armed forces from Pakistan.
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. The bill died in committee and was not adopted.
Paulsen voted against a bill to fund medical treatment for 9/11 first responders and victims.
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.
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.
- 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. 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.
- "MN House Seat 42B Race - Nov 08, 1994". Our Campaigns. Retrieved 2010-10-25.
- Minnesota Legislative Library for Erik Paulsen
- Duchschere, Kevin (January 27, 2008). "Ramstad protégé Paulsen announces House bid". Star Tribune.
- Brunswick, Mark; Furst, Randy (November 5, 2008). "Paulsen triumphs over Madia for Third District seat". Star Tribune.
- Ramstad endorses Erik Paulsen. [dead link]
- Minnesota Secretary of State
- "State Results - Election Center 2010 - Elections & Politics from CNN.com". CNN.
- Wallbank, Derek (April 28, 2011). "No Comment: The story of an ethics complaint and what didn't happen next". MinnPost..
- Black, Eric. Erik Paulsen on tax cuts: inflammatory and misleading. Minn Post. 15 October 2008.
- "Minnesota delegation's positions on health care plans". MinnPost. 2009-06-30. Retrieved 2010-08-22.
- "Fact-checking yesterday's political rallies | Minnesota Public Radio NewsQ". Minnesota.publicradio.org. 2010-04-08. Retrieved 2010-08-22.
- Walz, Paulsen Tout Nuclear Power. KEYC News. 24 November 2009.
- Bakst, Brian. Effort to Scrap Anti-Nuclear Law in Minn. Ramps Up. Associated Press. 24 November 2009.
- HR 2454: American Clean Energy and Security Act Office of the Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives
- Appropriations, Tax Law Amendments, and Unemployment Benefit Amendments ("Stimulus Bill") Project Vote Smart.
- The Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2009 Office of the Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives
- Roll Call 317 Office of the Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives
- "Project Vote Smart - Representative Paulsen on HR 4213 - Unemployment Benefits Extension and Tax Law Amendments". Votesmart.org. Retrieved 2010-08-22.
- Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009 Office of the Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives
- "House Vote 550 - Passes 9/11 Health Care Bill". The New York Times.
- "Project Vote Smart - Representative Erik Paulsen - Biography". Votesmart.org. 1965-05-14. Retrieved 2010-11-29.
- Congressman Erik Paulsen official U.S. House website
- Erik Paulsen for Congress
- Biography at the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
- Biography, voting record, and interest group ratings at Project Vote Smart
- Financial information (federal office) at the Federal Election Commission
- Legislation sponsored at The Library of Congress
- Profile at SourceWatch
- Profile at the Minnesota Legislative Library
- Paulsen speaking to the 2008 Republican National Convention on YouTube
|United States House of Representatives|
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Minnesota's 3rd congressional district
|United States order of precedence (ceremonial)|
|United States Representatives by seniority
|Minnesota House Majority Leader