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Democrat

Rep. Jim McGovern (D)

Jim McGovern Contact
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Email: n/a
DC Contact Information

Phone: 202-225-6101

Address: 438 CHOB, DC 20515

State Office Contact Information

Phone: (508) 831-7356

Address: 12 East Worcester Street, Worcester MA 01604

Northampton MA

Phone: (413) 341-8700

Fax: (413) 584-1216

Address: 94 Pleasant Street, Northampton MA 01060

Leominster MA

Phone: (978) 466-3552

Fax: (978) 466-3973

Address: 24 Church Street, Leominster MA 01453

Jim McGovern Staff
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Buhl, Cindy
Legislative Director
Chandler, Jennifer
Senior Legislative Assistant
Stern, Keith
Chief of Staff
Chandler, Jennifer
Senior Legislative Assistant
Buhl, Cindy
Legislative Director
Cusher, Mike
Legislative Correspondent
Buhl, Cindy
Legislative Director
Chandler, Jennifer
Senior Legislative Assistant
Buhl, Cindy
Legislative Director
Chandler, Jennifer
Senior Legislative Assistant
Buhl, Cindy
Legislative Director
Chandler, Jennifer
Senior Legislative Assistant
Chandler, Jennifer
Senior Legislative Assistant
Buhl, Cindy
Legislative Director
Chandler, Jennifer
Senior Legislative Assistant
Stern, Keith
Chief of Staff
Buhl, Cindy
Legislative Director
Cusher, Mike
Legislative Correspondent
Cusher, Mike
Legislative Correspondent
Chandler, Jennifer
Senior Legislative Assistant
Buhl, Cindy
Legislative Director
Cusher, Mike
Legislative Correspondent
Buhl, Cindy
Legislative Director
Buhl, Cindy
Legislative Director
Buhl, Cindy
Legislative Director
Rodriguez-Parker, Gladys
Senior District Representative
Buhl, Cindy
Legislative Director
Chandler, Jennifer
Senior Legislative Assistant
Chandler, Jennifer
Senior Legislative Assistant
Chandler, Jennifer
Senior Legislative Assistant
Chandler, Jennifer
Senior Legislative Assistant
Chandler, Jennifer
Senior Legislative Assistant
Rodriguez-Parker, Gladys
Senior District Representative
Chandler, Jennifer
Senior Legislative Assistant
Chandler, Jennifer
Senior Legislative Assistant
Chandler, Jennifer
Senior Legislative Assistant
Buhl, Cindy
Legislative Director
Chandler, Jennifer
Senior Legislative Assistant
Chandler, Jennifer
Senior Legislative Assistant
Chandler, Jennifer
Senior Legislative Assistant
Stern, Keith
Chief of Staff
Chandler, Jennifer
Senior Legislative Assistant
Rodriguez-Parker, Gladys
Senior District Representative
Buhl, Cindy
Legislative Director
Buhl, Cindy
Legislative Director
Chandler, Jennifer
Senior Legislative Assistant
Chandler, Jennifer
Senior Legislative Assistant
Cusher, Mike
Legislative Correspondent
Chandler, Jennifer
Senior Legislative Assistant
Stern, Keith
Chief of Staff
Barnicle, Keith
District Representative
Blais, Natalie
District Press Secretary
Brissette, Kelly
District Scheduler
Buhl, Cindy
Legislative Director
Chandler, Jennifer
Senior Legislative Assistant
Cusher, Mike
Legislative Correspondent
Gibbons, Mary
District Representative
Hodgkins, Holly
District Representative
Rodriguez-Parker, Gladys
Senior District Representative
Stern, Keith
Chief of Staff
Stern, Keith
Chief of Staff
Chandler, Jennifer
Senior Legislative Assistant
Cusher, Mike
Legislative Correspondent
Buhl, Cindy
Legislative Director
Blais, Natalie
District Press Secretary
Barnicle, Keith
District Representative
Gibbons, Mary
District Representative
Hodgkins, Holly
District Representative
Rodriguez-Parker, Gladys
Senior District Representative
Brissette, Kelly
District Scheduler
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Jim McGovern Committees
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Jim McGovern Biography
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  • Elected: 1996, 9th term.
  • District: Massachusetts 2
  • Born: Nov. 20, 1959, Worcester
  • Home: Worcester
  • Education: American U., B.A. 1981, M.P.A. 1984
  • Professional Career: Aide, U.S. Sen. George McGovern, 1977-80; Sr. aide, U.S. Rep. Joseph Moakley, 1982–96.
  • Ethnicity: White/Caucasian
  • Religion: Catholic
  • Family: Married (Lisa); 2 children

Jim McGovern, a liberal Democrat first elected in 1996, is not related to George McGovern, but once worked for the 1972 presidential nominee and called him “my inspiration, my mentor, my dearest friend” after the ex-senator’s death in 2012. Massachusetts’ McGovern is active on such international causes as human rights and ending hunger while urging President Barack Obama to embrace a more progressive agenda at home. Read More

Jim McGovern, a liberal Democrat first elected in 1996, is not related to George McGovern, but once worked for the 1972 presidential nominee and called him “my inspiration, my mentor, my dearest friend” after the ex-senator’s death in 2012. Massachusetts’ McGovern is active on such international causes as human rights and ending hunger while urging President Barack Obama to embrace a more progressive agenda at home.

McGovern grew up in Worcester, where his parents owned a liquor store. He attended American University in Washington, and, while in graduate school, he worked in South Dakota Sen. McGovern’s office. He ran McGovern’s 1984 campaign in the Massachusetts presidential primary, where the senator finished third with 21% of the vote. He went to work as an aide to Boston-area Rep. Joe Moakley’s office and became chief of staff just as Moakley ascended to chairman of the Rules Committee. McGovern got into the spotlight himself, leading a 1989 investigation of the murders of six Jesuits and two lay women in El Salvador, which led to a cutoff of U.S. aid to the country.

In 1994, McGovern ran for the House and lost in the Democratic primary, 38%-30%. In 1996, he ran again, this time with no primary opposition. In the general election, two-term Republican Rep. Peter Blute stressed his independence from then-Speaker Newt Gingrich and attacked McGovern for liberal stands on abortion rights and Cuba. McGovern ran a humorous spot that asked, ‘‘If you wouldn’t vote for Newt, why would you ever vote for Blute?’’ At age 36, McGovern won, 53%-45%.

With deft maneuvers reflecting his Capitol Hill experience, McGovern positioned himself to become a power broker in the Democratic caucus. In 2001, the dying Moakley personally asked Democratic Leader Dick Gephardt to help McGovern get a seat on Rules, which schedules most legislation for the House floor. As it turned out, the next seat went to Florida’s Alcee Hastings, a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, but McGovern got a commitment for the next available Democratic seat, with seniority over Hastings. He also has a senior job in the Democratic whip organization. And, it seems, McGovern is a good boss. A 2013 Washington Times study found that McGovern had the lowest turnover among staff of any member of Congress from 2001 to 2011.

On Rules, McGovern started with the advantage of already being versed in House procedures. With GOP lawmakers dominating the panel, he showed a sharp partisan edge as he embraced parliamentary maneuvers that led to cries of outrage from House Republicans. When Louise Slaughter of New York, now in her 80s, retires, McGovern is in position to assume the top Democratic spot on Rules. With his considerable leverage, he became a party leader on Iraq war policy, sponsoring an unsuccessful 2007 bill to withdraw U.S. troops from Iraq in six months. Later that year, he proposed a war surtax, but Democratic leaders rejected it. He subsequently turned his attention to Afghanistan, and in May 2011 nearly succeeded in getting the House to pass a resolution aimed at accelerating troop withdrawals.

McGovern was among those tied for most-liberal House member in National Journal’s 2012 vote ratings. He pushed for a government-run public option in the 2010 health care overhaul bill, but he backed it anyway when the public option was dropped under pressure from Democratic moderates. He is a member of the Cuba Working Group, which has called for easing sanctions against the Castro regime. He contends that the U.S. embargo has not achieved its goal of improving human rights in the island nation. Since the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United decision, he has introduced bills aimed at diminishing the influence of money in politics.

McGovern was the House sponsor of a measure signed into law in 2012 that imposed a visa ban and asset freeze on suspected Russian human rights abusers. Russian President Vladimir Putin protested it was an intrusion into his country’s affairs and retaliated by halting U.S. adoptions of Russian children, prompting McGovern to call Putin a “bully.” McGovern has gotten to know actor George Clooney through Clooney’s work on human rights in the Sudan, and told The Sun-Chronicle of Attleboro in 2012: “Most celebrities are prima donnas. He’s the opposite.”

As the chairman of the Congressional Hunger Center, McGovern has pushed for more spending on international nutrition and for less support of biofuels, which he says have driven up food costs. He agreed to support a $4.5 billion child nutrition bill in late 2010 after getting assurances from the White House that it would try to restore $2.2 billion taken from future funding for food stamp programs. Two years later, he branded House Republican efforts to dramatically cut funding for food stamps “unconscionable” and “immoral.”

On issues affecting his district, McGovern led opposition to a proposed liquefied natural gas plant on the Taunton River. He also has been involved in efforts to eradicate the woodlands-killing Asian long-horned beetle, which has threatened New England’s maple syrup industry.

Although Republicans held this seat not long ago, they have all but given up on it. McGovern was unopposed in five of the past six elections, and he won easily with 57% in the anti-incumbent environment of 2010. Less than a week later, he was treated for thyroid cancer and given a promising prognosis.

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Jim McGovern Election Results
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2012 General
Jim McGovern (D)
Votes: 259,257
Percent: 100.0%
2012 Primary
Jim McGovern (D)
Votes: 24,375
Percent: 91.5%
William Feegbeh (D)
Votes: 2,265
Percent: 8.5%
Prior Winning Percentages
2010 (56%), 2008 (98%), 2006 (100%), 2004 (71%), 2002 (100%), 2000 (100%), 1998 (57%), 1996 (53%)
Jim McGovern Votes and Bills
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National Journal’s rating system is an objective method of analyzing voting. The liberal score means that the lawmaker’s votes were more liberal than that percentage of his colleagues’ votes. The conservative score means his votes were more conservative than that percentage of his colleagues’ votes. The composite score is an average of a lawmaker’s six issue-based scores. See all NJ Voting

More Liberal
More Conservative
2013 2012 2011
Economic 91 (L) : - (C) 89 (L) : - (C) 90 (L) : 9 (C)
Social 93 (L) : - (C) 85 (L) : - (C) 80 (L) : - (C)
Foreign 90 (L) : 6 (C) 93 (L) : - (C) 88 (L) : - (C)
Composite 94.7 (L) : 5.3 (C) 94.5 (L) : 5.5 (C) 91.5 (L) : 8.5 (C)
Interest Group Ratings

The vote ratings by 10 special interest groups provide insight into a lawmaker’s general ideology and the degree to which he or she agrees with the group’s point of view. Two organizations provide just one combined rating for 2011 and 2012, the two sessions of the 112th Congress. They are the ACLU and the ITIC. About the interest groups.

20112012
FRC100
LCV9797
CFG1218
ITIC-58
NTU1617
20112012
COC19-
ACLU-100
ACU40
ADA100100
AFSCME100-
Key House Votes

The key votes show how a member of Congress voted on the major bills of the year. N indicates a "no" vote; Y a "yes" vote. If a member voted "present" or was absent, the bill caption is not shown. For a complete description of the bills included in key votes, see the Almanac's Guide to Usage.

    • Pass GOP budget
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2012
    • End fiscal cliff
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2012
    • Extend payroll tax cut
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2012
    • Stop student loan hike
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2012
    • Repeal health care
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2012
    • Raise debt limit
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2011
    • Pass cut, cap, balance
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2011
    • Defund Planned Parenthood
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2011
    • Repeal lightbulb ban
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2011
    • Add endangered listings
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2011
    • Speed troop withdrawal
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2011
    • Regulate financial firms
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2010
    • Pass tax cuts for some
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2010
    • Stop detainee transfers
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2010
    • Legalize immigrants' kids
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2010
    • Repeal don't ask, tell
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2010
    • Limit campaign funds
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2010
    • Overturn Ledbetter
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2009
    • Pass $820 billion stimulus
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2009
    • Let guns in national parks
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2009
    • Pass cap-and-trade
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2009
    • Bar federal abortion funds
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2009
    • Pass health care bill
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2009
    • Bail out financial markets
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2008
    • Repeal D.C. gun law
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2008
    • Overhaul FISA
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2008
    • Increase minimum wage
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2007
    • Expand SCHIP
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2007
    • Raise CAFE standards
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2007
    • Share immigration data
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2007
    • Foreign aid abortion ban
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2007
    • Ban gay bias in workplace
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2007
    • Withdraw troops 8/08
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2007
    • No operations in Iran
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2007
    • Free trade with Peru
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2007
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The Almanac is a members-only database of searchable profiles compiled and adapted from the Almanac of American Politics. Comprehensive online profiles include biographical and political summaries of elected officials, campaign expenditures, voting records, interest-group ratings, and congressional staff look-ups. In-depth overviews of each state and house district are included as well, along with demographic data, analysis of voting trends, and political histories.
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