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Rep. Barbara Lee

Representative for California’s 12th District

pronounced BAHR-bruh // lee

Lee is the representative for California’s 12th congressional district (view map) and is a Democrat. She has served since Jan 3, 2023. Lee is next up for reelection in 2024 and serves until Jan 3, 2025. She is 77 years old.

She was previously the representative for California’s 13th congressional district as a Democrat from 2013 to 2022; and the representative for California’s 9th congressional district as a Democrat from 1998 to 2012.

Photo of Rep. Barbara Lee [D-CA12]


Lee was arrested at a protest in front of the U.S. Supreme Court building on July, 19 2022. The same month the Committee published a committee report indicating they will pay a $50 fine.

Jul. 29, 2022 House Committee on Ethics published a committee report indicating they will pay a $50 fine


Lee proposed $36 million in earmarks for fiscal year 2024, including:

  • $8 million to San Francisco Bay Conservation & Development Commission for “The Middle Harbor Enhancement Area Project”
  • $6 million to Communities United for Restorative Youth Justice (CURYJ) for “The Oscar Grant Youth Power Zone and KOO Labs Design Center and Production House”
  • $3.1 million to Western Regional Center for “Modernization of the USDA's Western Regional Research Center, Albany, CA”

These are earmark requests which may or may not survive the legislative process to becoming law. Most representatives from both parties requested earmarks for fiscal year 2024. Across representatives who requested earmarks, the median total amount requested for this fiscal year was $39 million.

Earmarks are federal expenditures, tax benefits, or tariff benefits requested by a legislator for a specific entity. Rather than being distributed through a formula or competitive process administered by the executive branch, earmarks may direct spending where it is most needed for the legislator's district. All earmark requests in the House of Representatives are published online for the public to review. We don’t have earmark requests for senators. The fiscal year begins on October 1 of the prior calendar year. Source: Background: Earmark Disclosure Rules in the House


Legislative Metrics

Read our 2022 Report Card for Lee.

Ideology–Leadership Chart

Lee is shown as a purple triangle in our ideology-leadership chart below. Each dot is a member of the House of Representatives positioned according to our ideology score (left to right) and our leadership score (leaders are toward the top).

The chart is based on the bills Lee has sponsored and cosponsored from Jan 3, 2019 to Sep 20, 2023. See full analysis methodology.

Committee Membership

Barbara Lee sits on the following committees:

Enacted Legislation

Lee was the primary sponsor of 4 bills that were enacted:

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Does 4 not sound like a lot? Very few bills are ever enacted — most legislators sponsor only a handful that are signed into law. But there are other legislative activities that we don’t track that are also important, including offering amendments, committee work and oversight of the other branches, and constituent services.

We consider a bill enacted if one of the following is true: a) it is enacted itself, b) it has a companion bill in the other chamber (as identified by Congress) which was enacted, or c) if at least about half of its provisions were incorporated into bills that were enacted (as determined by an automated text analysis, applicable beginning with bills in the 110th Congress).

Bills Sponsored

Issue Areas

Lee sponsors bills primarily in these issue areas:

Health (30%) International Affairs (21%) Civil Rights and Liberties, Minority Issues (10%) Taxation (10%) Education (9%) Armed Forces and National Security (9%) Social Welfare (7%) Crime and Law Enforcement (4%)

Recently Introduced Bills

Lee recently introduced the following legislation:

View All » | View Cosponsors »

Most legislation has no activity after being introduced.

Voting Record

Key Votes

Lee voted Nay

Lee voted Nay

Lee voted No

Lee voted Nay

Passed 407/10 on Mar 14, 2018.

After February’s Parkland high school massacre, a Republican bill introduced mere weeks before is now gaining significant traction — including the Democratic representative from Parkland. …

Lee voted Nay

Passed 338/88 on May 13, 2015.

The USA Freedom Act (H.R. 2048, Pub.L. 114–23) is a U.S. law enacted on June 2, 2015 that restored in modified form several provisions of …

Lee voted No

Lee voted No

Passed 304/117 on Jun 23, 2011.

The Leahy–Smith America Invents Act (AIA) is a United States federal statute that was passed by Congress and was signed into law by President Barack …

Lee voted No

Missed Votes

From Apr 1998 to Sep 2023, Lee missed 561 of 16,324 roll call votes, which is 3.4%. This is worse than the median of 1.7% among the lifetime records of representatives currently serving. The chart below reports missed votes over time.

We don’t track why legislators miss votes, but it’s often due to medical absenses, major life events, and running for higher office.

Show the numbers...

Primary Sources

The information on this page is originally sourced from a variety of materials, including: