|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives|
from California's 45th district
January 3, 2019
Katherine Moore Porter
January 3, 1974
Fort Dodge, Iowa, U.S.
(m. 2003; div. 2013)
|Residence||Irvine, California, U.S.|
|Education||Yale University (BA)|
Harvard University (JD)
Katherine Moore Porter (born January 3, 1974) is an American law professor, attorney, and politician serving as the U.S. Representative for 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, which covers 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.
Porter was born on January 3, 1974, and grew up in the small farming community of Fort Dodge, Iowa. Her father was a farmer-turned-banker. Her mother, Liz, was a founder of Fons & Porter's Love of Quilting.
After graduating from Phillips Academy, Porter attended Yale University, where she majored in American studies, graduating in 1996. Her undergraduate thesis was titled The Effects of Corporate Farming on Rural Community. She was a member of Grace Hopper College (then called Calhoun College) at Yale. Porter also interned for Chuck Grassley during this time.
Porter later attended Harvard Law School, where she was the Notes editor for the Harvard Women's Law Journal. She studied under bankruptcy law professor and future U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren, and graduated magna cum laude with her Juris Doctor in 2001.
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. She practiced with the law firm of Stoel Rives LLP in Portland, Oregon, and was the Project Director for the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges' Business Bankruptcy Project.
Porter was Associate Professor of Law at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas School of Law. In 2005, she joined the faculty of the University of Iowa College of Law as an associate law professor, becoming a full professor there in 2011 before joining the faculty as a tenured professor at the University of California, Irvine School of Law in 2011. Porter's textbook Modern Consumer Law addresses consumer laws in light of Dodd-Frank and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
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. As monitor, she oversaw the banks' implementation of $9.5 billion in settlement reforms for Californians.
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. She defeated Walters to become the first Democrat to represent the 45th district or its predecessors since it was created in 1953. 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 did not accept corporate PAC money in her bid for Congress. 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. Porter has cited an overhaul of campaign finance laws and protection of voting rights as legislative priorities.
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%.
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. 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.
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.
Porter has gained notice for her pointed questioning of officials during congressional hearings, often using visual aids such as whiteboards. 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. 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. In May 2019, she asked Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson about "REOs", real-estate owned properties, which he confused with Oreo cookies. 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.
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. In a December 2020 House hearing, Porter sparred with United States Secretary of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin over COVID-19 relief funding.
In January 2021, following Porter's removal from the Financial Services Committee, 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.
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. She voted for both the first and second impeachments of Donald Trump.
|Republican||Mimi Walters (incumbent)||86,764||51.7|
|No party preference||John Graham||3,817||2.3|
|Republican||Mimi Walters (incumbent)||146,383||47.9|
|Democratic gain from Republican|
|Democratic||Katie Porter (incumbent)||112,986||50.8|
|Republican||Christopher J. Gonzales||5,443||2.4|
|Democratic||Katie Porter (incumbent)||221,843||53.5|
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. She sought a protective order against him in 2013. The same year, they divorced. Porter is now a single mother with custody of their children. Her daughter, Betsy, is named after Elizabeth Warren.
They divorced in 2013 and Porter has custody of their children. ... He now sees the children four times a year.