Military Wiki
Hal Rogers
Chair of the House Appropriations Committee

In office
January 3, 2011 – January 3, 2017
Preceded by Dave Obey
Succeeded by Rodney Frelinghuysen
Member of the United States House of Representatives

Assumed office
January 3, 1981
Preceded by Tim Carter
Personal details
Born Harold Dallas Rogers
December 31, 1937(1937-12-31) (age 85)
Barrier, Kentucky, U.S.
Nationality American
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Cynthia Doyle
Children 3
Military service
Allegiance United States
Service/branch  United States Army
Years of service 1956–1964
Unit Kentucky Army National Guard
North Carolina Army National Guard

Harold Dallas Rogers (born December 31, 1937) is the U.S. Representative for Kentucky's 5th congressional district, serving since 1981. He is a member of the Republican Party. He is currently the dean of the Kentucky congressional delegation.

Early life, education, and early career

Rogers was born in Barrier, Kentucky, attended Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green and received a baccalaureate degree (A.B.) and a law degree (LL.B.) from the University of Kentucky at Lexington. Rogers served in the Kentucky and North Carolina Army National Guard."[1]

As a lawyer Rogers was in private practice and was elected to serve as Commonwealth's Attorney for Pulaski and Rockcastle counties in Kentucky, an office he held from 1969 to his election to Congress in 1980.

Rogers was the Republican nominee for Lieutenant Governor of Kentucky in 1979. He was on the ballot with former Governor of Kentucky Louie B. Nunn. He lost to Democratic nominee Martha Layne Collins 63%-37%.[2] The following year Rogers won election to Congress.

U.S. House of Representatives


In 1980, incumbent Republican U.S. Congressman Tim Lee Carter of Kentucky's 5th congressional district decided to retire. Rogers won the Republican primary with a plurality of 23 percent. The losing candidates included the 1971 gubernatorial nominee, Tom Emberton.[3] He won the general election with 67% of the vote.[4] He won re-election with at least 65 percent of the vote since then, except in 1992. That year, he defeated Democratic State Senator John Doug Hays 55-45 percent.[5]


Rogers is the longest serving Kentucky Republican ever elected to federal office.[citation needed] Rogers served as a delegate to multiple Republican National Conventions.

In 2001, the City of Williamsburg, Kentucky named their new water park and miniature golf facility the Hal Rogers Family Entertainment Center[6] as a "thank-you for all of the federal money he has brought back to Whitley County, the City of Williamsburg, and the other 40 counties he represents."[7]

On the House/Senate conference decision to bolster the Department of Commerce and support the Clinton Administration priorities, President Clinton remarked, "I commend the congressional leadership, Senator Ernest Hollings, Senator Pete Domenici, Congressman Neal Smith, and Congressman Harold Rogers, for their foresight and support in revitalizing this country through these programs. It is a dramatic step forward for the United States toward a solid economic future."[8]

Similar praise comes from former President George H.W. Bush, "I'm pleased to see these three distinguished Members of the Congress here. You may not remember this ancient history, but Hal Rogers was my Kentucky State chairman in my quest for the Presidency. And what a job that guy did, I'll tell you."[9]

Kentucky state biographer Amy Witherbee commented on Rogers service, "Rogers' multiple roles on the Appropriations Committee have honed his skills as a bipartisan negotiator, and his economically challenged district often prompts him to stray from hard-line conservative stances. Although voting with his party against raising environmental standards on sports utility vehicles and against a controversial amendment that would have prohibited oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Rogers has been the creator and leading proponent of large environmental protection and clean-up programs throughout the Appalachian region."[10]

"In addition, Rogers' reluctance to involve the federal government in local issues has not deterred him from supporting a multitude of economic development programs aimed at creating new job bases in economically disadvantaged areas, and particularly in Appalachia. In 1993, Rogers was one of only three Republicans to vote for then-President Bill Clinton's economic stimulus package. In March 2003, Rogers' ability to work through the bipartisan tangles of the Appropriations Committee won him the chairmanship on the subcommittee designated to control funding for the new Department of Homeland Security," noted Witherbee.

Ready evidence is found on March 20, 2008, when the invitation to testify in support of environmental legislation by Democrat House Majority Leader Rep. Rocky Adkins,[11] and, on the same day, a rare invitation to speak from the Senate floor was afforded by Republican Senate Majority Leader Senator David L. Williams of Cumberland County as part of the Senate's unanimously passed bipartisan resolution honoring Rogers for his service.[12]

Rogers called a bill to reduce funding for law enforcement "the result of this new Republican majority's commitment to bring about real change in the way Washington spends the people's money."[13]

In 2011, Rogers voted for the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 as part of a controversial provision that allows the government and the military to indefinitely detain American citizens and others without trial.[14]


Rogers has been widely criticized by both liberal and conservative pundits for his priorities when it comes to national security. National Review referred to Rogers as "a national disgrace"[15] and Rolling Stone named him one of America's "Ten Worst Congressmen", calling him "Bin Laden's Best Friend" due to the fact that Rogers steered federal homeland security money away from large cities to his home district, which critics claim is one of the least likely terrorist targets in America because of its lack of any notable monuments or population centers.[16] In 2007, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington named Congressman Rogers to its list of the Most Corrupt Members of Congress.[17]

On May 14, 2006, the New York Times reported that Rogers had used his legislative position as chairman of the House subcommittee that controls the Homeland Security budget to create "jobs in his home district and profits for companies that are donors to his political causes."[18] The Lexington Herald-Leader in 2005 called Rogers the "Prince of Pork".[19] The Times article reported that Rogers had inserted language ("existing government card issuance centers") into appropriations bills that effectively pushed the federal government into testing at a cost of $4 million older, inappropriate technology for a new fraud-resistant green card for permanent legal immigrants, at a production plant in Corbin, Kentucky, within Rogers' district. The study concluded that the smart card approach was far superior. The Times found that about $100,000 in contributions had come to Rogers from parties with at least some ties to the identification card effort.[20]

In response to these critics, Rogers has stated, "It should surprise no one that this article from Rolling Stone regarding my activity in connection with the Transportation Worker Identity Card (TWIC) is grossly incorrect, and highly slanderous," the congressman said. "A true and honest analysis would reveal that my sole interest in TWIC is simply to protect America's seaports, airports, and other transportation facilities from terrorist penetration. To purport that my actions have compromised national security in an effort to bring jobs to Kentucky or for personal gain is an absolute lie."[21]

After Iran objected to the interim deployment of an Afloat Forward Staging Base to counter their threats to close the Persian Gulf, Rogers cut the funding for the project.[22][23]

MilCon/VA Bill

On June 12, 2013, the White House threatened to veto the MilCon/VA spending bill, because Republicans did not agree with the Senate's number of $1.058 trillions intended for military operations and research, after the MilCon/VA bill received 421 bipartisan votes in House. "We're marking up to $967 billion, the top line under current law", said Rogers, who currently serves as the chairman of United States House Committee on Appropriations.[24]


On January 15, 2013, Rogers introduced the bill H.R. 298, officially titled "To direct the Secretary of the Interior to conduct a special resource study to evaluate the significance of the Mill Springs Battlefield located in Pulaski and Wayne Counties, Kentucky, and the feasibility of its inclusion in the National Park System, and for other purposes."[25] The bill would direct the Secretary of the Interior to conduct a special resource study to evaluate the significance of the Mill Springs Battlefield in Kentucky (relating to the Battle of Mill Springs fought on January 19, 1862, in Pulaski and Wayne Counties during the Civil War) and the feasibility of its inclusion in the National Park System (NPS).[25][26] Rogers said that "the Battle of Mill Springs is a source of great pride and interest to the people I serve."[27] Rogers argued that the Battlefield was a "jewel" and would be "an excellent addition to the National Park Service."[27]

On March 5, 2014, Rogers introduced the To provide for the costs of loan guarantees for Ukraine (H.R. 4152; 113th Congress) into the House. The bill would provide loan guarantees to Ukraine of up to $1 billion, part of the American response to the 2014 Russian military intervention in Ukraine.[28] The bill passed in the House on March 6, 2014.[29]

In 2014, Roger's committee called for cuts in the National Nuclear Security Administration budget that cast doubt on the US Navy's ability to provide an Ohio Replacement Submarine class.[30]

On July 29, 2014, Rogers introduced the Making supplemental appropriations for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2014 (H.R. 5230; 113th Congress), a bill that would provide supplemental FY2014 appropriations to several federal agencies for expenses related to the rise in unaccompanied alien children and alien adults accompanied by an alien minor at the southwest border.[31] The bill would also change the procedures for screening and processing unaccompanied alien children who arrive at the border from certain countries.[31] The bill would provide $659 million in supplemental funding.[32] Rogers urged members to pass the bill, arguing that "more and more immigrants will continue to flood across the border if you fail to act" because resources were running out.[32]

Committee assignments

  • Committee on Appropriations

Caucus memberships

  • Congressional Coal Caucus
  • Congressional Prescription Drug Abuse Caucus (Co-Chair)
  • International Conservation Caucus
  • Sportsmen's Caucus
  • Tennessee Valley Authority Caucus
  • House Republican Steering Committee

Personal life

Rogers had three children with his wife, Shirley Rogers. She died of cancer in 1995. Rogers married the former Cynthia Doyle Stewart in May 1999. They were introduced in 1998 by former Tennessee Governor Don Sundquist, an old House colleague, and were married at the Tennessee governor's mansion.

Electoral history

Kentucky's 5th congressional district: Results 1980–2016[33][34][35][36][37]
Year Republican Votes % Democratic Votes % Third Party Party Votes %
1980 Hal Rogers 112,093 67% Ted Marcum 54,027 33%
1982 Hal Rogers 52,928 65% Doye Davenport 28,285 35%
1984 Hal Rogers 125,164 76% Sherman McIntosh 39,783 24%
1986 Hal Rogers 56,760 100% No candidate
1988 Hal Rogers 104,467 100% No candidate
1990 Hal Rogers 64,660 100% No candidate
1992 Hal Rogers 115,255 55% John Hays 95,760 45%
1994 Hal Rogers 82,291 79% Walter Blevins 21,318 21%
1996 Hal Rogers 117,842 100% No candidate
1998 Hal Rogers 142,215 78% Sidney Jane Bailey 39,585 22%
2000 Hal Rogers 145,980 74% Sidney Jane Bailey 52,495 26%
2002 Hal Rogers 137,986 78% Sidney Jane Bailey 38,254 22%
2004 Hal Rogers 177,579 100% No candidate
2006 Hal Rogers 147,201 74% Kenneth Stepp 52,367 26%
2008 Hal Rogers 177,024 84% No candidate Jim Holbert Independent 33,444 16%
2010 Hal Rogers 151,019 77% Jim Holbert 44,034 23%
2012 Hal Rogers 195,408 78% Kenneth Stepp 55,447 22%
2014 Hal Rogers 171,350 78% Kenneth Stepp 47,617 22%
2016 Hal Rogers 221,242 100% No candidate


  1. "A-5th Selects Rogers As Soldier of the Year" (PDF). The Kentucky Guardsman. January 1961. p. 6. Archived from the original on 2009-04-11. 
  2. "KY Lt. Governor Race - Nov 06, 1979". Our Campaigns. Retrieved 2012-03-08. 
  3. "KY District 5 - R Primary Race - May 27, 1980". Our Campaigns. Retrieved 2012-03-08. 
  4. "KY District 5 Race - Nov 04, 1980". Our Campaigns. Retrieved 2012-03-08. 
  5. "KY District 5 Race - Nov 03, 1992". Our Campaigns. Retrieved 2012-03-08. 
  6. "Kentucky Splash Waterpark - Hal Rogers Entertainment Center". Retrieved 2012-11-09. 
  7. "Kentucky Splash Waterpark - Hal Rogers Entertainment Center". Retrieved 2012-11-09. 
  8. Clinton, William J (October 19, 1993). "Statement on Congressional Action on Department of Commerce Appropriations". The American Presidency Project. 
  9. Bush, George H. W. (May 13, 1989). "Remarks at a Fundraising Reception for Senator Mitch McConnell in Lexington, Kentucky". The American Presidency Project. 
  10. Witherbee, Amy (2007). "Hal Rogers". Our States: Kentucky.;jsessionid=7FEDA5785E9B1E9DB2B2EBA42AC7914B. 
  11. Alessi, Ryan (March 20, 2008). "GOP Congressman backs House Dems' stream bill". Pol Watchers. Archived from the original on March 25, 2008. 
  12. "Kentucky Senate honors Congressman Rogers". March 20, 2008. Archived from the original on May 8, 2008. 
  13. Faler, Brian. "Law Enforcement, Environment Funds Cut in Budget Deal." Bloomberg, 12 April 2011.
  14. "NDAA Bill: How Did Your Congress Member Vote?". Retrieved 2012-11-09. 
  15. "Hal Rogers: A Congressional Disgrace". CBS News. May 17, 2006. 
  16. Dickinson, Time (October 17, 2006). "The 10 Worst Congressmen". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on May 3, 2008. 
  17. Ronica Shannon. "McConnell, Rogers on 'Most Corrupt' list » Local News". The Richmond Register. Retrieved 2012-03-08. 
  18. Lipton, Eric (May 14, 2006). "In Kentucky Hills, a Homeland Security Bonanza". The New York Times. 
  19. Cheves, John (February 6, 2005). "Prince of Pork: Hal Rogers Hauls Home Tax Dollars By The Billions". Lexington Herald-Leader. 
  20. Lipton, Eric (May 14, 2006). "In Kentucky Hills, a Homeland Security Bonanza". The New York Times. 
  21. Neal, Jeff (November 1, 2006). "Rogers: Is he one of nation's 10 worst congressmen?". Commonwealth Journal. 
  22. "Floating Base Gives U.S. New Footing in the Persian Gulf". The New York Times. 12 July 2012. 
  23. "Funding Spat Could Sink USN Virginia-Class Sub". Defense News. 
  24. "Rogers: Make my day". The Ripon Society. June 13, 2013. Archived from the original on 14 May 2014. Retrieved 15 June 2013. 
  25. 25.0 25.1 "H.R. 298 - Summary". United States Congress. Retrieved 28 April 2014. 
  26. Marcos, Cristina (28 April 2014). "House votes to allow more DC penthouses". Retrieved 29 April 2014. 
  27. 27.0 27.1 Smoot, Danielle (28 April 2014). "Rogers' Mill Springs Battlefield Bill Moves Forward". Office of Hal Rogers. Archived from the original on 30 April 2014. Retrieved 29 April 2014. 
  28. Cox, Ramsey (25 March 2014). "Reid sets up Ukraine vote for Thursday". Retrieved 26 March 2014. 
  29. "H.R. 4152 - All Actions". United States Congress. Retrieved 26 March 2014. 
  30. LaGrone, Sam (9 July 2014). "Navy Leaders: Dept. of Energy Budget Cuts Threaten Navy's Nuclear Fleet". U.S. NAVAL INSTITUTE. Retrieved 9 July 2014. 
  31. 31.0 31.1 "H.R. 5230 - Summary". United States Congress. Retrieved 31 July 2014. 
  32. 32.0 32.1 Marcos, Cristina (31 July 2014). "House cancels border vote". The Hill. Retrieved 31 July 2014. 
  33. "Office of the House Clerk – Electoral Statistics". Clerk of the United States House of Representatives. 
  34. "Election Results". Federal Election Commission. 
  35. Grimes, Alison Lundergan. "Official 2012 General Election Results". Commonwealth of Kentucky. Retrieved July 1, 2013. 
  36. Grimes, Alison Lundergan. "Official 2014 General Election Results". Commonwealth of Kentucky. Retrieved January 14, 2015. 
  37. Grimes, Alison Lundergan. "Official 2016 General Election Results". Commonwealth of Kentucky. Retrieved April 23, 2017. 

External links

Party political offices
Preceded by
Shirley Palmer-Ball
Republican nominee for Lieutenant Governor of Kentucky
Succeeded by
Eugene Stuart
United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Tim Carter
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Kentucky's 5th congressional district

Preceded by
Dave Obey
Chair of the House Appropriations Committee
Succeeded by
Rodney Frelinghuysen
United States order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
James Sensenbrenner
United States Representatives by seniority
Succeeded by
Chris Smith
R-New Jersey

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