Katie Porter

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Katie Porter
Katie Porter Official Portrait.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 45th district
Assumed office
January 3, 2019
Preceded byMimi Walters
Personal details
Katherine Moore Porter

(1974-01-03) January 3, 1974 (age 47)
Fort Dodge, Iowa, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Matthew Hoffman
(m. 2003; div. 2013)
ResidenceIrvine, California, U.S.
EducationYale University (BA)
Harvard University (JD)
WebsiteHouse website

Katherine Moore Porter[3] (born January 3, 1974) is an American politician, law professor, and lawyer who is the U.S. Representative from California's 45th congressional district since 2019. A member of the Democratic Party, she is the first Democrat to be elected to represent the district, covering much of south-central Orange County, including Irvine, Tustin, and Lake Forest along with large portions of Anaheim and Laguna Niguel.

Porter graduated from Yale University and Harvard Law School and has taught law at several universities, including the University of California, Irvine, William S. Boyd School of Law, and University of Iowa. She is deputy chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, and has received media attention for her questioning during congressional hearings.

Early life and education[edit]

Porter was born on January 3, 1974, and grew up in the small farming community of Fort Dodge, Iowa.[4][5] Her father was a farmer-turned-banker.[2] Her mother, Liz, was a founder of Fons & Porter's Love of Quilting.

After graduating from Phillips Academy,[3][6] Porter attended Yale University, where she majored in American studies, graduating in 1996.[7] Her undergraduate thesis was titled The Effects of Corporate Farming on Rural Community.[8] She was a member of Grace Hopper College (then called Calhoun College) at Yale.[9] Porter also interned for Chuck Grassley during this time.[10]

Porter later attended Harvard Law School, where she was the notes editor for the Harvard Women's Law Journal and a member of the Board of Student Advisers.[11][12] She studied under bankruptcy law professor and future U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren, and graduated magna cum laude with her Juris Doctor in 2001.[2]


Porter was a law clerk for Judge Richard S. Arnold of the United States Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit in Little Rock, Arkansas.[11] She practiced with the law firm of Stoel Rives LLP in Portland, Oregon,[11] and was the project director for the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges' Business Bankruptcy Project.[13][14][15]

Porter was Associate Professor of Law at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas School of Law.[11] In 2005, she joined the faculty of the University of Iowa College of Law as an associate professor,[11] becoming a full professor there in 2011.[16] Also in 2011, she became a tenured professor at the University of California, Irvine School of Law.[7][17] Porter's textbook Modern Consumer Law addresses consumer laws in light of Dodd–Frank and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.[18]

In March 2012, California Attorney General Kamala Harris appointed Porter to be the state's independent monitor of banks in a nationwide $25 billion mortgage settlement.[19] As monitor, she oversaw the banks' implementation of $9.5 billion in settlement reforms for Californians.[20]

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]


H.R.4663 — 116th Congress (2019–2020) Freedom from Price Gouging Act, sponsored by Porter

In the 2018 elections, Porter ran for the United States House of Representatives against two-term incumbent Republican Mimi Walters in California's 45th congressional district.[21][22][23] She defeated Walters[24] to become the first Democrat to represent the 45th district or its predecessors since it was created in 1953.[25][26] The district was the 28th from 1953 to 1963, the 35th from 1963 to 1973, the 39th from 1973 to 1975, the 40th from 1975 to 1993, the 47th from 1993 to 2003, the 48th from 2003 to 2013, and has been the 45th since 2013.

Porter and Harley Rouda, also elected in 2018, were the first non-Hispanic Democrats to represent Orange County-based districts since Jerry M. Patterson left office in 1985. Her win was part of a historic night for Democrats that saw them take every seat in the historically Republican county, including all four centered in the county.

Porter did not accept corporate PAC money in her bid for Congress.[27] She was endorsed by End Citizens United, a political action committee seeking to overturn the U.S. Supreme Court 2010 decision Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission.[28] Porter has cited an overhaul of campaign finance laws and protection of voting rights as legislative priorities.[27]


Porter ran for reelection to a second term. She advanced from the top-two primary in first place and faced off against the second-place finisher, Republican Mission Viejo Mayor Greg Raths, in the general election. Porter won with 53.5% of the vote to Raths's 46.5%.[29][30] She became the first non-Hispanic Democrat in 38 years to win a second term in an Orange County-based district. Despite the 45th's recent trend toward the Democrats, in much of the district she is the only elected Democrat above the municipal level.


Despite representing a swing district, Porter is rated one of the most partisan members of Congress. According to the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University, she held a Bipartisan Index Score of −0.37918 in the 116th United States Congress for 2019, placing her 302nd out of 435 members.[31] Based on FiveThirtyEight's congressional vote tracker at ABC News, Porter voted with Donald Trump's stated public policy positions 6.6% of the time, which ranked her below average in the 116th Congress when predictive scoring (district partisanship and voting record) is used.[32]

Help America Run Act[edit]

In March 2019, Porter introduced the "Help America Run Act" (H.R.1623), a bill that would allow people running for the House or Senate to use campaign contributions to pay for healthcare premiums, elder care, child care and dependent care. The bill passed the House in October 2019 and moved on to the Senate for a final vote.[33]

Congressional questioning[edit]

Porter has gained notice for her pointed questioning of officials during congressional hearings, often using visual aids such as whiteboards.[34][35] She attracted attention for her questioning on the House Financial Services Committee. In March 2019, her questioning caught Wells Fargo CEO Tim Sloan contradicting what his corporate lawyers were arguing in court, in that statements he had previously made pledging transparency were "corporate puffery", according to documents lawyers submitted.[36][34] In April 2019, Porter drew attention for her questioning of JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon about how a Chase bank teller should make up a $567 shortfall between her monthly budget and her paycheck.[37] In May 2019, she asked Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson about "REOs", real-estate owned properties, which he confused with Oreo cookies.[38] She also asked Consumer Financial Protection Bureau director Kathy Kraninger to solve basic math problems about annual percentage rates on payday loans, which Kraninger declined to do.[37]

In March 2020, Porter used five minutes of questioning to get the chief of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Robert R. Redfield, to agree to use its legal authority to make testing for the COVID-19 virus free for all Americans.[35]

At an August 24, 2020, Congressional hearing, Porter questioned Postmaster General Louis DeJoy. He admitted to her that he did not know the cost of mailing a postcard or a smaller greeting card, the starting rate for U.S. Priority Mail, or how many Americans voted by mail in the 2016 elections. Before his appointment by the Trump administration, DeJoy had no previous experience working at the agency.[39]

In a December 2020 House hearing, Porter sparred with United States Secretary of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin over COVID-19 relief funding.[40][41]

In January 2021, after Porter's removal from the Financial Services Committee,[42] the House Democratic caucus came under criticism[by whom?] for denying her a waiver that would have allowed her to serve there and on the Natural Resources and Oversight committees.[43]

Impeachment of Donald Trump[edit]

Porter received recognition for being one of the first Democrats in a swing district to support an impeachment inquiry based on the findings of Robert Mueller's Special Counsel investigation.[44][45] She voted for both the first and second impeachments of Donald Trump.[46][47]

Infrastructure bill[edit]

Porter voted for the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act on November 5, 2021.[48] The act funds electric vehicles, helps airports reduce emissions, and funds roads and bridges.[49]

Committee assignments[edit]

Caucus memberships[edit]

Other political roles[edit]

Porter served as one of three co-chairs of Elizabeth Warren's 2020 presidential campaign.[52]

Electoral history[edit]


2018 California's 45th congressional district election
Primary election
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Mimi Walters (incumbent) 86,764 51.7
Democratic Katie Porter 34,078 20.3
Democratic Dave Min 29,979 17.8
Democratic Brian Forde 10,107 6.0
No party preference John Graham 3,817 2.3
Democratic Kia Hamadanchy 3,212 1.9
Total votes 167,957 100.0
General election
Democratic Katie Porter 158,906 52.1
Republican Mimi Walters (incumbent) 146,383 47.9
Total votes 305,289 100.0
Democratic gain from Republican


California's 45th congressional district, 2020[29]
Primary election
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Katie Porter (incumbent) 112,986 50.8
Republican Greg Raths 39,942 17.9
Republican Don Sedgwick 28,465 12.8
Republican Peggy Huang 24,780 11.1
Republican Lisa Sparks 8,861 4.0
Republican Christopher J. Gonzales 5,443 2.4
Republican Rhonda Furin 2,140 1.0
Total votes 222,617 100.0
General election
Democratic Katie Porter (incumbent) 221,843 53.5
Republican Greg Raths 193,096 46.5
Total votes 414,939 100.0
Democratic hold

Personal life[edit]

In 2003, Porter married Matthew Hoffman, with whom she has three children. During her campaign, she said her marriage was marked by physical and mental abuse. According to Porter, Hoffman punched her, shoved her one-year-old daughter across the kitchen, threatened to kill himself, and directed profane insults at her family.[2] She sought a protective order against him in 2013.[4] The same year, they divorced. Porter is now a single mother with custody of their children.[1] Her daughter, Betsy, is named after Elizabeth Warren.[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Katie Porter's Ex-Husband Matthew Hoffman". wagpolitics. November 1, 2019. Retrieved April 29, 2020. They divorced in 2013 and Porter has custody of their children. ... He now sees the children four times a year.
  2. ^ a b c d Bassett, Laura (May 11, 2018). "Katie Porter Survived Domestic Abuse, Only To Have It Used Against Her In Her Campaign". HuffPost. BuzzFeed.
  3. ^ a b "Phillips Academy Order of Exercises at Exhibition, 1992" (PDF).
  4. ^ a b Pasley, James (October 24, 2019). "The life of Rep. Katie Porter: How a self-proclaimed 'minivan-driving mom' is holding Wall Street and Facebook to the fire". Business Insider. Retrieved November 21, 2020.
  5. ^ Gordon, Eric A. (September 11, 2018). "Katie Porter Battles Right Wing Republican in California's Orange County". People's World. Retrieved November 14, 2018.
  6. ^ Pasley, James (October 24, 2019). "The life of Rep. Katie Porter: How a self-proclaimed 'minivan-driving mom' is holding Wall Street and Facebook to the fire". Business Insider.
  7. ^ a b "Faculty Profile: Katherine Porter". UCI Law. Retrieved November 14, 2018.
  8. ^ Arosen, Gavin (November 16, 2018). "Former Iowa Law Professor Katie Porter Elected to Congress in California". Iowa Informer. Retrieved December 17, 2018.
  9. ^ Belli, Brita (August 16, 2018). "Ready to lead: Yale alumni women are running for office". YaleNews. Retrieved December 3, 2020.
  10. ^ a b Adler, Kayla Webley (August 3, 2020). "Being Everywoman Is Katie Porter's Superpower". ELLE. Retrieved November 21, 2020.
  11. ^ a b c d e "Katherine Porter – Faculty Bibliography". Law Library – University of Iowa College of Law. Retrieved May 2, 2020.
  12. ^ "Rep. Katie Porter - D California, 45th, In Office - Biography | LegiStorm". www.legistorm.com. Retrieved November 3, 2021.
  13. ^ Warren, Elizabeth; Westbrook, Jay Lawrence (1994). "Searching for Reorganization Realities". Washington University Law Quarterly. Washington University in St. Louis. 72 (3): 1257. Retrieved May 2, 2020.
  14. ^ Elizabeth Warren & Jay Lawrence Westbrook, Financial Characteristics of Businesses in Bankruptcy, 73 AM. BANKR. L.J. 499 (1999)
  15. ^ Warren, Elizabeth; Westbrook, Jay Lawrence (January 1, 2000). "Financial Characteristics of Businesses in Bankruptcy". American Bankruptcy Law Journal. doi:10.2139/ssrn.194750. S2CID 152694691. SSRN 194750.
  16. ^ "Katherine M. Porter – Faculty – The University of Iowa College of Law – College of Law – The University of Iowa". July 2, 2011. Archived from the original on July 2, 2011. Retrieved May 2, 2020.
  17. ^ "Elizabeth Warren's Protégée Is Running for Congress in Orange County—and Might Actually Win". Mother Jones. May 29, 2018. Retrieved November 14, 2018.
  18. ^ Modern Consumer Law (Aspen Casebook) (2016), Wolters Kluwer ISBN 978-1454825036
  19. ^ "California AG says mortgage servicers slow to adopt settlement changes". Housing Wire. August 16, 2012. Retrieved December 17, 2018.
  20. ^ Willon, Phil (October 16, 2016). "$25-billion foreclosure settlement was a victory for Kamala Harris in California, but it wasn't perfect". LA Times. Retrieved November 14, 2018.
  21. ^ Sarah D. Wire. "UC Irvine law professor to challenge Rep. Mimi Walters in Orange County's 45th District". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved November 14, 2018.
  22. ^ Aronsen, Gavin (November 16, 2018). "Former Iowa Law Professor Katie Porter Elected to Congress in California". Retrieved May 2, 2020.
  23. ^ "All the facts on Katie Porter, challenger to Rep. Mimi Walters's re-election bid". Orange County Register. April 3, 2017. Retrieved November 14, 2018.
  24. ^ "Election 2018: Democrat Katie Porter overtakes Republican Mimi Walters in 45th; 39th House race now a virtual tie as late ballot counts swing left". Orange County Register. November 14, 2018. Retrieved November 14, 2018.
  25. ^ McMillan, Rob (November 18, 2018). "Democrat Katie Porter flips longtime Republican district in Orange County". ABC 7 Los Angeles. Retrieved January 4, 2019.
  26. ^ Goodyear, Dana. "Katie Porter's Quest to Turn Orange County, California, Blue". The New Yorker. Retrieved January 4, 2019.
  27. ^ a b Graham, Jordan (November 16, 2018). "Congresswoman-elect Katie Porter will take aim at campaign finance and voting rights; backs Pelosi for speaker". OC Register. Retrieved November 19, 2018.
  28. ^ Bowman, Bridget (October 1, 2018). "Democratic Poll Shows Tight Race in California's 45th District". Roll Call. Retrieved December 17, 2018.
  29. ^ a b "Statement Of Vote: Presidential Primary Election March 3, 2020" (PDF). California Secretary of State Alex Padilla. Retrieved March 29, 2021.
  30. ^ "November 3, 2020, General Election – United States Representative" (PDF). California Secretary of State. Retrieved December 22, 2020.
  31. ^ "The Lugar Center – McCourt School Bipartisan Index. House Scores, 116th Congress First Session (2019)" (PDF). www.thelugarcenter.org.
  32. ^ "Tracking Congress in the Age of Trump". January 30, 2017.
  33. ^ Shugerman, Emily (October 31, 2019). "Rep. Katie Hill Blasts 'Misogynistic Culture' in Exit Speech". The Daily Beast. Retrieved October 31, 2019.
  34. ^ a b Shure, Natalie (November 18, 2019). "The Congresswoman Who Has Gone Viral for Embarrassing the Worst of the 1 Percent". Vice. Retrieved March 14, 2020.
  35. ^ a b Bassett, Laura (March 13, 2020). "Katie Porter Grilling the CDC Chief Is the Leadership We Desperately Need". GQ. Retrieved March 14, 2020.
  36. ^ Merle, Renae (March 14, 2019). "The newest threat to Wall Street is a House freshman you've probably never heard of". The Washington Post. Retrieved March 14, 2020.
  37. ^ a b Bobic, Igor (April 21, 2019). "How Freshman Rep. Katie Porter Puts Wall Street In The Hot Seat". HuffPost. Retrieved March 14, 2020.
  38. ^ Caroline Kelly (May 21, 2019). "A lawmaker asked Carson about foreclosure properties. He thought she was talking about Oreos". CNN. Retrieved March 14, 2020.
  39. ^ Panetta, Grace (August 24, 2020). "Postmaster General Louis DeJoy admits he doesn't know how much it costs to mail a postcard". BusinessInsider.com. Retrieved October 20, 2021.
  40. ^ Slisco, Aila (December 2, 2020). "Katie Porter Spars With Mnuchin At Hearing: 'Ridiculous You're Play Acting… You Have No Legal Degree'". Newsweek. Retrieved December 3, 2020.
  41. ^ Harvey, Josephine (December 2, 2020). "Katie Porter Pummels Mnuchin At Hearing After He Calls Her Question 'Ridiculous'". HuffPost. BuzzFeed. Retrieved December 3, 2020.
  42. ^ "Porter loses seat on House panel overseeing financial sector". January 14, 2021.
  43. ^ Olen, Helaine (January 19, 2021) [January 16, 2021]. "Opinion: Katie Porter is off the House Financial Services Committee. We're all worse off for it". the Washington Post.
  44. ^ Fandos, Nicholas; Davis, Julie Hirschfeld (June 18, 2019). "Democrat in Competitive California District Joins Call for Impeachment Inquiry". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved April 23, 2021.
  45. ^ Waldman, Paul (June 18, 2019). "Opinion: Why support for an impeachment inquiry is growing". The Washington Post. Retrieved April 23, 2021.
  46. ^ "Here's how California's Democratic and Republican representatives in Congress voted on impeachment". abc10.com. Retrieved April 23, 2021.
  47. ^ "California Rep. Porter: 'I will vote yes' for impeachment". AP NEWS. December 13, 2019. Retrieved April 23, 2021.
  48. ^ "Roll Call 369, Bill Number: H. R. 3684". clerk.house.gov. November 5, 2021. Retrieved November 6, 2021.
  49. ^ "Here's what's in the bipartisan infrastructure bill". CNN. July 28, 2021. Retrieved November 6, 2021.
  50. ^ a b Lane, Sylvan (January 14, 2021). "Porter loses seat on House panel overseeing financial sector". The Hill.
  51. ^ "Caucus Members". Congressional Progressive Caucus. Retrieved March 29, 2021.
  52. ^ Nast, Condé (February 11, 2020). "What Elizabeth Warren's Campaign Cochairs Have Learned on the Trail". Glamour. Retrieved August 26, 2021.

External links[edit]

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 45th congressional district

U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by United States representatives by seniority
Succeeded by