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Kevin Yoder

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Kevin Yoder
Member of the
U.S. House of Representatives
from Kansas's 3rd district
Assumed office
January 3, 2011
Preceded by Dennis Moore
Member of the Kansas House of Representatives
from the 20th district
In office
Preceded by Gerry Ray[1]
Succeeded by Rob Bruchman
Personal details
Born Kevin Wayne Yoder
(1976-01-08) January 8, 1976 (age 41)
Hutchinson, Kansas, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Brooke Yoder
Residence Overland Park, Kansas
Alma mater University of Kansas
University of Kansas Law School
Profession Attorney
Religion Methodist
Website House website

Kevin Wayne Yoder (born January 8, 1976) is an American politician who has been a member of the United States House of Representatives, representing Kansas's 3rd congressional district, since 2011. A Republican, Yoder was the Kansas State Representative for the 20th district from 2003 to 2011.

Early life, education, and law career[edit]

Yoder was born and raised on a grain and livestock farm in Yoder, Kansas, a small farming town outside of Hutchinson. He is the son of Susan Elizabeth Peck (née Alexander) and Wayne E. Yoder. His ancestry includes Northern Irish, German, and English.[2]

Yoder graduated from Hutchinson High School and, in 1999, from the University of Kansas with a dual major in English and Political Science. He served as KU Student Body president, president of the Kansas Union Memorial Corporation Board of Directors, and as a board member of the KU Athletics Corporation. He was a member of Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity, served as president, and received the 2012 Order of Achievement award from Lambda Chi Alpha.[3] While at KU, Yoder interned with the Kansas State Legislature. In 2002, he received a law degree from the University of Kansas Law School where he served for two years as Student Bar Association President.[4] Yoder has served on the KU Law School Board of Governors. He was a 2007 graduate of Leadership Kansas.

Yoder worked as a law clerk for Payne and Jones from 2000 to 2001, then as a special assistant in the U.S. Department of Defense's Office of Counternarcotics in Washington, D.C., in 2001.[5] He joined Speer and Holliday LLP, a small law firm in Olathe, as an associate and became a partner in 2005. Yoder is a member of the American Council of Young Political Leaders and the Kansas Bar Association, and has served on the Board of Directors of the Johnson County Bar Association. He is also a member of the Congressional Cement Caucus.

Kansas House of Representatives[edit]

Yoder was first elected to the Kansas House of Representatives (20th district) in 2003. He was then subsequently re-elected to the office three times.[4] The district includes portions of Overland Park and Leawood.

As chair of the Kansas State House Appropriations Committee, he had the responsibility to balance the budget, cut government spending, oppose raising taxes, and allocate over $13 billion in state revenue to public schools, universities, prisons, social services and highways. In March 2010, the committee introduced its budget plan.[6] The proposed plan was defeated by a bipartisan group of moderate Republicans and Democrats in May 2010.[7] Yoder also served on the Judiciary Committee from 2003 through 2011.[4]

In 2010, Yoder received the "Guardian of Small Business Award" from the National Federation of Independent Business.[8] Yoder was also recognized with the "Intergovernmental Leadership Award" by the League of Kansas Municipalities.[9]

Committee assignments[edit]

  • Appropriations (Chair)
  • Legislative Budget (Chair)
  • Judiciary

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]


112th Congress

Upon arriving in Congress, Yoder participated in the recitation of a redacted version of the U.S. Constitution by members of Congress on January 6, 2011. The event marked the first time the text of the nation's founding document had ever been read on the House floor.[10] At the beginning of the 113th Congress, Yoder again joined both Democrats and Republicans to take turns reading the entire U.S. Constitution aloud on the House floor. Yoder read the First, Second, and Third Amendments to the Constitution, and this marked only the second time in history the Constitution was read aloud on the House floor.[11] For the third time, Yoder took part in the reading of the Constitution on the floor of the House at the beginning of the 114th Congress.[12]

During his first term, Yoder introduced several bills to reform Congress;[13] including legislation to eliminate the lifetime pensions Members of Congress currently receive once they leave office,[13] and a bill to cut Members’ paychecks.[14] He has also sponsored bills in Congress aimed at cutting back on federal spending, balancing the federal budget, and helping small businesses.[15] Yoder supports a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution.[16]

In 2011, Yoder and Representative Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO) were included in a Washington Post article about bipartisan opposition to the deal to raise the national debt ceiling.[17] Yoder is also an original co-sponsor of the Start-up Act 2.0,[15] along with Kansas Senator Jerry Moran, and a co-sponsor of the STEM jobs act to help boost science, technology, engineering, and mathematics employment.[18] Also in 2011, Yoder joined with Congressman Mike Doyle (D-PA) as coauthors to introduce the Federal Research Access Act (HR 5037).[19] The legislation would require federal agencies that spend more than $100 million in research to publish their research and make it available to the public for viewing. The bill has widespread bipartisan support.

On a congressional foreign policy fact-finding mission to Israel in 2011, a group of Republican staff and their family members went for a swim in the Sea of Galilee. Yoder swam nude in the sea, for which he received a harsh rebuke from Eric Cantor and John Boehner.[20][21] He later apologized for the embarrassment that he had caused to his constituents.[22]

In 2011, House Speaker John Boehner appointed Yoder to the board of trustees of Gallaudet University, a liberal arts university for the deaf and hard of hearing in Washington, D.C.; Yoder is one of the "public member" (elected-official) trustees appointed under the Education of the Deaf Act.[23] Boehner reappointed Yoder to another term on the board in 2014.[24]

In 2012, Yoder and Missouri Democratic Representative Emanuel Cleaver were jointly awarded the Consensus Civility award for their respectful and bipartisan efforts to work with members of both political parties.[25]

In 2012, Yoder returned $120,000 of unused office funds to the U.S. Treasury – an amount in addition to two years of 5 percent cuts to office budgets imposed by the House passed budgets in 2011 and 2012.[26]

113th Congress

In February 2013, Yoder became one of the sponsors of the Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act to expedite open access to taxpayer-funded research.[27] Yoder also reintroduced his legislation to eliminate lifelong congressional pensions and cut congressional pay.

In 2013, Yoder, along with Democrat Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO) introduced the Email Privacy Act to update and reform existing online communications law, the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) of 1986. By June 2014, a majority of the House was expected to vote in favor.[28]

Yoder was responsible for the so-called "push-out" provision inserted into the 2014 spending bill, the text of which was written by Citigroup. It rolled-back the part of the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 that made trades in derivatives, credit-default swaps and other instruments (which helped spark the financial crisis of 2007-08) uninsured by taxpayers if they went bad.[29][30] Yoder's amendment was identical to the Swaps Regulatory Improvement Act, which passed the House of Representatives in 2013, by a 292–122 vote representing a veto-proof majority and including 70 Democrats in support.[31] Yoder said the measure was necessary to prevent smaller regional and community banks from being squeezed out of the swaps derivatives market entirely.[32][33][34] In an editorial, the Kansas City Star wrote that Yoder had "played a regrettable role in the raucous government-funding exercise."[35]

114th Congress

In January 2015, Yoder reintroduced the Email Privacy Act with over 230 cosponsors, a majority of the House of Representatives.[36] The bill became the most-widely supported piece of legislation in the 114th Congress with the support of 314 cosponsors, a majority of Democrats and Republicans. On April 27, the House of Representatives passed the Email Privacy Act 419-0.[37]

Yoder also reintroduced the Kelsey Smith Act, legislation that would help law enforcement and telecommunication officials work together quickly in cases of emergency to locate cell phones of missing persons. While current law does allow service providers to hand over location information to the authorities, it does not compel them to do so in cases of emergency. The bill would bring federal law in line with existing law in twenty-two states, including Kansas. It was previously passed out of the House Energy and Commerce Committee in July 2014, but did not receive a vote on the House floor.[38] In May 2016, the bill failed to receive the two-thirds required majority of the House of Representatives to pass under a procedural hurdle.[39]

Increased funding for biomedical research has been a main priority for Yoder while in Congress. Last year, Yoder made it his mission to convince “the most ardent or strident conservatives in the House of Representatives to get them to embrace research” as a fiscally and morally responsible thing to fund. More than 100 House Republicans, including conservative members like Dave Brat, signed onto his letter to House leadership pushing for a $3 billion bump.[40] In the end, Congress provided the largest funding increase for research in 12 years.[41]

Committee assignments[edit]

112th Congress
113th Congress
114th Congress



On December 15, 2009, Yoder announced his intention to run for the open seat in the United States Congress.[42] On August 3, 2010, he won the Republican primary with 45% of the vote, running against former State Representative Patricia Lightner, Dave King, Gerry B. Klotz, Daniel Gilyeat, Jerry M. Malone, Craig McPherson, John Rysavy, and Jean Ann Uvodich.

Yoder's campaign platform called for "eliminating wasteful government spending" and making tax cuts permanent.[43] He received the endorsement of The Kansas City Star, which stated, "He believes government spending has to be controlled and is best used when it spurs economic growth, a good stance in this jobless recovery. His experience as the Kansas House appropriations committee would serve him well in Congress".[44] Yoder also received endorsements from Kansans For Life[45] and the National Rifle Association.[46]

In the general election, with 59% of the vote, Yoder won against Democratic nominee obstetrics nurse Stephene Moore and Libertarian nominee Jasmin Talbert.[47] Yoder outperformed prior Republican election year results in heavily Democratic Wyandotte and Douglas counties by 50 percent and took voter-rich, Republican-leaning Johnson County with 65 percent of the vote.[48] Yoder's win returned the 3rd district to the Republican Party after a 12-year hold by retiring Democratic incumbent Dennis Moore, husband of Stephene Moore.

During the campaign, Yoder set up the website in the name of Stephene Moore, his Democratic opponent. Yoder used the site to raise questions about her campaign and issue policy positions.[49] Moore's campaign filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission about the website on grounds that an "unauthorized committee" is not permitted to use the name of a candidate in the title of a special project or message if it "clearly and unambiguously" shows opposition to the named candidate. The FEC dismissed the complaint against Yoder on a 3-2 party-line vote, with Republican commissioners voting in Yoder's favor and Democratic commissioners voting in Moore's favor.[50]


In the election of 2012, Yoder ran for re-election. He faced no opposition in the 2012 primary election.[51] In the general election, Yoder was endorsed by The Kansas City Star,[52] and faced Libertarian nominee Joel Balam, a college professor. Yoder won with 68% of the vote.[53]


In the election of 2014, Yoder again ran for re-election. He faced no opposition in the 2014 primary election. In the general election, Yoder faced Democratic nominee Kelly Kultala, a former member of the Kansas Senate. Yoder won with 60% of the vote.[54] In the 2014 election cycle, “Securities and Investment” was the number one industry contributing to Yoder’s campaign committee and leadership PAC.[55] According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Yoder received $53,257 from the payday-loan industryin the 2014 election cycle.[56]


In May 2016, Yoder endorsed Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential race.[57]

In 2016, Yoder was challenged in the Republican primary by retired U.S. Army lieutenant colonel Greg Goode of Louisburg, who ran on a far-right platform.[58][59] Yoder defeated Goode, 64-36 percent.[58] As of June 2016, Yoder had raised far more money in campaign contributions than either his Republican primary opponent or his Democratic rival.[59]

In the November general election, Yoder faced Democratic nominee Jay Sidie of Mission Woods.[58] According to an October 19, 2016, poll commissioned by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, Sidie was polling four points behind Yoder.[60] Yoder defeated Sidie by 10 points, winning 51% of the vote to Sidie's 41%.[61]

Personal life[edit]

Yoder and his wife, Brooke, live in Overland Park with their two daughters.[62] They are members of the Church of the Resurrection in Leawood.

In February 2009, Yoder was pulled over for speeding on the K-10 expressway. After passing a field sobriety test, Yoder declined the officer's request to take a roadside Breathalyzer test. The officer cited Yoder for speeding and for refusing to take the breathalyzer test, and then let Yoder drive himself home. In a plea agreement, the speeding charge was dropped. Yoder pleaded guilty to refusing law enforcement's request for a breath test and paid a $165 fine.[63][64][65][66]

Electoral history[edit]

2002 election for state legislature

Kevin Yoder (R) 55% Kirk Perucca (D) 45%

2004 election for state legislature

Kevin Yoder (R) 67% Max Skidmore (D) 33%

2006 election for state legislature'

Kevin Yoder (R) 58% Alex Holsinger (D) 42%

2008 election for state legislature

Kevin Yoder (R) 65% Gary Glauberman (D) 35%

2010 election for U.S. House of Representatives
US House election, 2010: Kansas District 3
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Kevin Yoder 136,246 58
Democratic Stephene Moore 90,123 39
Libertarian Jasmin Talbert 6,846 3
Total votes 233,285 100
2012 election for U.S. House of Representatives
Election results, Kansas' 3rd district, November 6, 2012[67]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Kevin Yoder (incumbent) 201,087 69
Libertarian Joel Balam 92,675 31
Total votes 293,762 100
2014 election for U.S. House of Representatives
Kansas's 3rd Congressional District, 2014[68]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Kevin Yoder (Incumbent) 134,493 60
Democratic Kelly Kultala 89,584 40
Total votes 224,077 100


  1. ^ 2000 Kansas Official General Election Results. Kansas Secretary of State.
  2. ^ "Kevin Yoder ancestry". Retrieved August 13, 2014. 
  3. ^ "Congressmen and Passionate Brothers". Lambda Chi Alpha. January 5, 2011. Retrieved August 13, 2014. 
  4. ^ a b c About Kevin, Kevin for Congress website
  5. ^ "Representative Kevin W. Yoder (KS)". Project Vote Smart. 
  6. ^ "House GOP offer budget fix". The Associated Press. March 18, 2010. Retrieved September 13, 2011. 
  7. ^ Carpenter, Tim. "GOP leaders' budget refused". Retrieved September 13, 2011. 
  8. ^ "NFIB/Kansas Honors Rep. Kevin Yoder as Guardian of Small Business" (Press release). National Federation of Independent Business/Kansas. July 7, 2010. 
  9. ^ [1] Archived April 29, 2013, at the Wayback Machine.
  10. ^ Goldstein, David (January 6, 2011). "Reading Constitution, House breaks into bipartisanship". Miami Herald. Retrieved January 10, 2011. 
  11. ^ Yoder, Congressman. "Reading the U.S. Constitution". YouTube. Retrieved August 13, 2014. 
  12. ^ "Congressman Yoder Takes Part in Reading US Constitution". YouTube. 2016-02-11. Retrieved 2016-03-04. 
  13. ^ a b "Yoder supports Congressional reform package". Archived from the original on December 11, 2012. Retrieved December 14, 2012. 
  14. ^ [2] Archived December 11, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.
  15. ^ a b [3] Archived December 11, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.
  16. ^ "Congressman Kevin Yoder : State of the Union, March for Life, First Baptist Church in KCK". Retrieved 2016-03-04. 
  17. ^ Barnes, Robert; McCrummen, Stephanie (May 20, 2011). "Back home in Kansas City, lawmakers find strong feelings about budget fight". The Washington Post. Retrieved August 13, 2014. 
  18. ^ Lamar Smith. "STEM Jobs Act of 2012 (2012; 112th Congress H.R. 6429)". Retrieved August 13, 2014. 
  19. ^ Michael “Mike” Doyle Jr. (April 15, 2010). "Federal Research Public Access Act of 2009 (2010; 111th Congress H.R. 5037)". Retrieved August 13, 2014. 
  20. ^ "After Skinny-Dipping in Israel, Rep. Kevin Yoder is Rebuked". The New York Times. August 20, 2012. Retrieved August 20, 2012. 
  21. ^ "Exclusive: FBI probed GOP trip with drinking, nudity in Israel". Politico. August 19, 2012. Retrieved August 19, 2012. 
  22. ^ Helling, Dave (August 20, 2012). "Congressman Yoder apologizes for swimming nude in Sea of Galilee". Kansas City Star. Retrieved August 13, 2014. 
  23. ^ Congressman Kevin Yoder (R-Kan.) Appointed to Gallaudet University Board of Trustees (press release), Gallaudet University (August 31, 2011).
  24. ^ [4] (press release), Office of U.S. Representative Kevin Yoder (March 4, 2014).
  25. ^ "Yoder, Cleaver jointly recognized for civility in government". Prairie Village Post. November 14, 2012. Retrieved August 13, 2014. 
  26. ^ [5] Archived February 16, 2013, at the Wayback Machine.
  27. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on October 25, 2013. Retrieved February 23, 2013. 
  28. ^ Tummarello, Kate (June 18, 2014). "Bill requiring warrants for email searches hits magic number in House", The Hill.
  29. ^ "Kevin Yoder MIA After Tucking Wall Street Bailout Into Government Spending Bill". Huffington Post. December 15, 2014. 
  30. ^ Weisman, Jonathan (December 15, 2014). "A Window Into Washington in an Effort to Undo a Dodd-Frank Rule". New York Times. 
  31. ^ "H.R.992 - 113th Congress (2013-2014): Swaps Regulatory Improvement Act | | Library of Congress". Retrieved 2016-03-04. 
  32. ^ "U.S. Rep. Kevin Yoder of Kansas defends measure relaxing banking rules | The Kansas City Star". 2014-12-16. Retrieved 2016-03-04. 
  33. ^ "Rep. Kevin Yoder: Scrapping costly banking regulation is a way to invest in America | The Kansas City Star". 2015-01-04. Retrieved 2016-03-04. 
  34. ^ Wasson, Erik (December 19, 2014). "GOP to Warren: That Dodd-Frank Rollback Was Just the Appetizer". Bloomberg. 
  35. ^ "Rep. Kevin Yoder helps big banks undo taxpayer protection". Kansas City Star. December 12, 2014. 
  36. ^ "Bipartisan Group Introduces Bill to Protect Online Privacy | Congressman Kevin Yoder". 2015-02-04. Retrieved 2016-03-04. 
  37. ^ Trujillo, Mario (2016-04-27). "House unanimously passes email privacy bill". Retrieved 2016-07-18. 
  38. ^ "Rep. Yoder Reintroduces Kelsey Smith Act to Help Prevent Violent Crimes". 2016-03-23. Retrieved 2016-07-18.   This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  39. ^ "U.S. House votes down Kelsey Smith Act over privacy concerns". Retrieved 2016-07-18. 
  40. ^ Kelly, Nora. "What's Next for the National Institutes of Health?". Retrieved 2016-07-18. 
  41. ^ "Congress gives big funding increase to NIH". STAT. 2015-12-16. Retrieved 2016-07-18. 
  42. ^ Yoder to run for Congress, Prime Buzz, The Kansas City Star[dead link]
  43. ^ "My Top Ten Priorities In Congress". Archived from the original on October 30, 2012. Retrieved December 14, 2012. 
  44. ^ "Kansas Voters Should Choose Solutions". Archived from the original on October 18, 2010. Retrieved December 14, 2012. 
  45. ^ "Kansans for Life, State Pro-Life Group, Makes 2010 Election Endorsements". September 30, 2010. Retrieved August 13, 2014. 
  46. ^ "NRA-PVF Endorses Kevin Yoder for U.S. H". National Rifle Association of America. Institute for Legislative Action. September 14, 2010. Retrieved August 13, 2014. 
  47. ^ Klepper, David (November 2, 2010). "Yoder rolls to victory in Kansas' 3rd District". The Kansas City Star. Retrieved November 4, 2010. 
  48. ^ "2014 Unofficial Kansas Primary Election Results". State of Kansas Office of the Secretary of State. August 6, 2014. Retrieved August 13, 2014. 
  49. ^ "Website Creates Rancor in Congressional Race". October 5, 2010. Retrieved August 12, 2011. 
  50. ^ "Federal Elections Commission members question dismissal of complaint against Congressman Kevin Yoder". Associated Press. July 6, 2011. 
  51. ^ "Election Summary Report : 2012 Kansas Primary Election" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-03-04. 
  52. ^ "The Stars Recommendations". Archived from the original on October 21, 2012. Retrieved April 23, 2013. 
  53. ^ "Kansas Secretary of State : 2012 General Election" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-03-04. 
  54. ^ "Incumbents win in congressional races in Kansas and Missouri". The Kansas City Star. 2014-11-04. Retrieved 2016-03-04. 
  55. ^ "Rep. Kevin Yoder". 
  56. ^ "Never mind the big banks, Kevin Yoder's bigger payday is from payday lenders". Kansas City Star. 
  57. ^ Elle Moxley (May 27, 2016). "Rep. Yoder Offers Lukewarm Endorsement Of Trump". KCUR. 
  58. ^ a b c Dion Lefler, 2016 Kansas primary results: U.S. Senate, Congressional Districts 3 and 4, (August 2, 2016).
  59. ^ a b Mary Rupert, Candidates hold widely varying views in 3rd District, U.S. House contest, Wyandotte Daily (July 25, 2016).
  60. ^ Woodall, Hunter (11 October 2016). "Sidie Pulls Closer to Yoder, According to Poll from Dems". Kansas City Star. Retrieved 22 October 2016. 
  61. ^ "Kansas U.S. House 3rd District Results: Kevin Yoder Wins". The New York Times. November 17, 2016. Retrieved 17 November 2016. 
  62. ^ "Kevin Yoder's Newest Addition". Roll Call. 2015-11-16. Retrieved 2016-07-18. 
  63. ^ Campbell, Justin (October 26, 2010). "Kevin Yoder Pleaded Guilty to Refusing Law Enforcement's Request For A Breath Test, refused to answer KMBC bulldog Mike Mahoney's questions (video)". The Pitch. 
  64. ^ Carpenter, Tim (October 25, 2010). "Yoder's '09 traffic stop clarified". Topeka Capital-Journal. Retrieved October 26, 2010. 
  65. ^ Carpenter, Tim (October 23, 2010). "Yoder declined '09 breath test". Topeka Capital-Journal. Retrieved October 24, 2010. 
  66. ^ Diepenbrock, George (October 24, 2010). "Yoder fined in 2009 for refusing Breathalyzer test". Lawrence Journal-World. Retrieved October 24, 2010. 
  67. ^ "2012 General Election Results" (PDF). Kansas Secretary of State. Retrieved March 29, 2013. 
  68. ^ "2014 General Election Official Totals" (PDF). Kansas Secretary of State. Retrieved 28 April 2015. 

External links[edit]

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Dennis Moore
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Kansas's 3rd congressional district

January 3, 2011 – present
Succeeded by
United States order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Rob Woodall
United States Representatives by seniority
Succeeded by
Mark Amodei