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Democrat

Sen. Jack Reed (D)

Jack Reed Contact
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Email: n/a
DC Contact Information

Phone: 202-224-4642

Address: 728 HSOB, DC 20510

Websites: reed.senate.gov
State Office Contact Information

Phone: (401) 943-3100

Address: 1000 Chapel View Boulevard, Cranston RI 02920-5602

Providence RI

Phone: (401) 528-5200

Fax: (401) 528-5242

Address: One Exchange Terrace, Providence RI 02903-1173

Jack Reed Staff
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Brimmer, Jill
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Meehan, Larry
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Nobrega, John
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Lenehan-Razzuri, Moira
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Rogers, Michael
Legislative Correspondent
Wiggins, Diana
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Healey, Adrienne
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Rogers, Michael
Legislative Correspondent
Healey, Adrienne
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Brimmer, Jill
Legislative Assistant
Capuano, Marc
Legislative Correspondent
Chuhta, Carolyn
Military Legislative Assistant
Keenan, Steven
Senior Policy Advisor
Nobrega, John
Legislative Correspondent
Ahn, James
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Costa, Stephen
Legislative Correspondent
McLaughlin, Ellen
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Wasch, Elyse
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Healey, Adrienne
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Nobrega, John
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Hernandez, Aaron
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Ahn, James
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Chuhta, Carolyn
Military Legislative Assistant
Wiggins, Diana
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Chuhta, Carolyn
Military Legislative Assistant
Healey, Adrienne
Legislative Assistant
Nobrega, John
Legislative Correspondent
Chuhta, Carolyn
Military Legislative Assistant
Lenehan-Razzuri, Moira
Legislative Assistant
Capuano, Marc
Legislative Correspondent
Hernandez, Aaron
Legislative Assistant
Nobrega, John
Legislative Correspondent
Lenehan-Razzuri, Moira
Legislative Assistant
Capuano, Marc
Legislative Correspondent
Hernandez, Aaron
Legislative Assistant
Nobrega, John
Legislative Correspondent
Healey, Adrienne
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Brimmer, Jill
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Capuano, Marc
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Brimmer, Jill
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Capuano, Marc
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Brimmer, Jill
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Capuano, Marc
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Chuhta, Carolyn
Military Legislative Assistant
Meehan, Larry
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Nobrega, John
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Chuhta, Carolyn
Military Legislative Assistant
Rogers, Michael
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Wiggins, Diana
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Lenehan-Razzuri, Moira
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Healey, Adrienne
Legislative Assistant
Costa, Stephen
Legislative Correspondent
Hernandez, Aaron
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Lenehan-Razzuri, Moira
Legislative Assistant
Nobrega, John
Legislative Correspondent
Wiggins, Diana
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Brimmer, Jill
Legislative Assistant
Capuano, Marc
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Hernandez, Aaron
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Lenehan-Razzuri, Moira
Legislative Assistant
Nobrega, John
Legislative Correspondent
Chuhta, Carolyn
Military Legislative Assistant
Brimmer, Jill
Legislative Assistant
Capuano, Marc
Legislative Correspondent
Costa, Stephen
Legislative Correspondent
Hernandez, Aaron
Legislative Assistant
Nobrega, John
Legislative Correspondent
Wiggins, Diana
Legislative Assistant
Healey, Adrienne
Legislative Assistant
Chuhta, Carolyn
Military Legislative Assistant
Keenan, Steven
Senior Policy Advisor
Nobrega, John
Legislative Correspondent
Hernandez, Aaron
Legislative Assistant
Keenan, Steven
Senior Policy Advisor
Rogers, Michael
Legislative Correspondent
Rogers, Michael
Legislative Correspondent
Wiggins, Diana
Legislative Assistant
Chuhta, Carolyn
Military Legislative Assistant
Nobrega, John
Legislative Correspondent
Lenehan-Razzuri, Moira
Legislative Assistant
Nobrega, John
Legislative Correspondent
Brimmer, Jill
Legislative Assistant
Ahn, James
Legislative Assistant
Brimmer, Jill
Legislative Assistant
Capuano, Marc
Legislative Correspondent
Casey, Jack
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Chuhta, Carolyn
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Costa, Stephen
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Rhode Island Chief of Staff
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Meehan, Larry
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Ahn, James
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Brimmer, Jill
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Chuhta, Carolyn
Military Legislative Assistant
Healey, Adrienne
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Hernandez, Aaron
Legislative Assistant
Lenehan-Razzuri, Moira
Legislative Assistant
Wiggins, Diana
Legislative Assistant
Capuano, Marc
Legislative Correspondent
Costa, Stephen
Legislative Correspondent
Nobrega, John
Legislative Correspondent
Rogers, Michael
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Wasch, Elyse
Legislative Director
Unruh, Chip
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Crowell, Emily
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Jack Reed Committees
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Jack Reed Biography
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  • Elected: 1996, term expires 2014, 3rd term.
  • State: Rhode Island
  • Born: Nov. 12, 1949, Providence
  • Home: Jamestown
  • Education:

    U.S. Military Acad., West Point, B.S. 1971, Harvard U., M.P.P. 1973, J.D. 1982

  • Professional Career:

    Assoc. prof., U.S. Military Acad. at West Point, 1978–79; Practicing atty., 1982–90.

  • Military Career:

    Army, 1967–79; Army Reserve, 1979-91.

  • Political Career:

    RI Senate, 1984–90; U.S. House of Reps., 1991–97.

  • Ethnicity: White/Caucasian
  • Religion:

    Catholic

  • Family: Married (Julia Hart); 1 children

Democrat Jack Reed, Rhode Island’s senior senator, was first elected to the House in 1990 and the Senate in 1996. He is one of the chamber’s lowest-profile members yet among its most-respected wonks, making his influence felt on banking and national security matters by sticking to substance and avoiding bomb-throwing rhetoric. Read More

Democrat Jack Reed, Rhode Island’s senior senator, was first elected to the House in 1990 and the Senate in 1996. He is one of the chamber’s lowest-profile members yet among its most-respected wonks, making his influence felt on banking and national security matters by sticking to substance and avoiding bomb-throwing rhetoric.

Reed grew up in working-class Cranston, the second of three children of a school custodian and a housewife. Disappointed that she never got to go to college, Mary Reed prepared her children for success in school. She insisted on music and art classes for Jack beginning at age 5. But her son was fascinated by history and World War II as a child, eventually deciding he wanted to go to the U.S. Military Academy. At LaSalle Academy, a Catholic prep school in Providence, he played football, though he was small for the sport. He also ran track, was elected to the student council, and worked on the school newspaper. Reed was accepted at West Point and went on to serve in the 82nd Airborne as a paratrooper. He also received a master’s degree from Harvard’s Kennedy School while in the Army, and after retiring from active duty, he graduated from Harvard Law School. Throughout his life, Reed has maintained connections with West Point, teaching there briefly in the late 1970s, serving on the academy’s governing board, and choosing it as the site of his wedding in April 2005.

In 1984, at 35, Reed won public office for the first time, beating an incumbent in the primary for the state Senate, where he served six years. When Republican Claudine Schneider left the U.S. House to run against Sen. Claiborne Pell in 1990, Reed ran for her seat. He beat former Rep. Edward Beard 49%-27% in the Democratic primary and won the general election 59%-41%. In 1995, when Pell announced his retirement after 36 years, Reed ran for the Senate. Reed had no serious competition for the Democratic nomination and faced state Treasurer Nancy Mayer in the general election. National Republicans spent nearly $1 million on ads attacking Reed as a liberal for opposing bills requiring welfare recipients to work and for supporting labor unions—not especially harmful charges in liberal, heavily unionized Rhode Island. Reed spent $2.7 million to Mayer’s $773,000. His biography was his message: Reed launched his campaign in a public school conference room named for his late father, he stressed his bootstraps rise from a working-class background, and he called for education spending to help others achieve the same success. He won 63%-35%.

Reed arrived as one of the few senators of his generation with military experience and has been regarded by many colleagues as an authority on defense and military matters. He has served on the Armed Services Committee since January 1999, and he got a waiver from the Democratic leadership to remain on the panel after securing a seat on the Appropriations Committee in 2007. With Michigan Sen. Carl Levin’s announcement of his retirement, Reed is in line become Armed Services’ top Democrat in 2015. His clout is such that former Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Reed was instrumental in persuading him to stay on the job in the early years of President Obama’s administration. “In terms of reaching out to me, and whether I would stay on, Obama couldn’t have picked a person I was more willing to listen to or respected more than Jack,” Gates told Rhode Island Monthly in November 2012. He also said he proposed Reed to Obama as a candidate for Defense secretary. But the president “shook his head—he clearly has the highest respect for Jack—and he said, ‘I can’t lose him in the Senate,’” Gates recalled.

When Obama was a Democratic presidential candidate, Reed accompanied him on his 2008 trip to Iraq and Afghanistan, and Obama later considered him a potential running mate until Reed ruled himself out. In September 2009, while Obama was mulling strategy in Afghanistan, Reed expressed doubts about sending more troops and said the burden of proof was on commanders to justify a troop increase. Reed has traveled to Iraq and Afghanistan frequently, often straying from the safe zones. “I talk to people in the field, diplomats and soldiers,” he told National Journal in 2010. “I go recognizing, frankly, everyone has an institutional agenda. I try to approach all these things with a questioning mind.” He made his 14th visit to Afghanistan in January 2013 and expressed confidence in the ability to withdraw a significant number of troops there by 2014. He also visited Pakistan, where he reported “a definite and positive change, at least in the atmospherics and the attitude” compared to 2011, when officials in that country were incensed at not being informed of the military raid that killed Osama bin Laden.

In October 2002, Reed opposed the Iraq war resolution, arguing that Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld grossly underestimated the strength of anti-American insurgents in Iraq and failed to send in adequate troops and equipment. In 2005, after his fifth trip to Iraq, he said: “I think my criticism has been accurate, certainly in the operations in this region, in that we didn’t organize ourselves for the appropriate occupation and stabilization” after the overthrow of Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein. Reed was at the forefront of Democratic efforts in 2006 to convince President George W. Bush to redeploy forces in Iraq. With Levin, he sponsored a bill calling for a “phased redeployment” in six months, with no deadline for complete withdrawal and with some U.S. forces remaining to train Iraqi security forces. The Levin-Reed amendment lost 60-39. After President Bush’s successful troop surge in 2007, Reed continued to push for alternatives that would leave only a residual force in Iraq for counter-terrorism, protection of U.S. personnel, and logistical support for Iraqi security forces. But most Republicans were opposed, and Reed failed to gain the 60 votes required to force a final vote.

Reed long backed efforts to permanently increase the size of the Army. In 2004, he and Nebraska GOP Sen. Chuck Hagel called for an increase of 30,000 troops, and the Senate agreed to 20,000. In 2006, Reed worked with the Republican leadership to add $3.7 billion for more soldiers and Marines, and he sponsored an amendment to add $10 billion to replace damaged or destroyed equipment. But by 2012, he defended Obama’s plans to shrink the size of the Army and Marines.

On most issues, Reed has had a solidly liberal voting record. In February 2009, a National Journal examination of roll call votes dating to the 1980s found him to be the most liberal senator, slightly ahead of Barbara Boxer of California and Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts. Since then, he has remained among the 20 most-liberal senators.

He has championed the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program popular in the Northeast. In 2012, he and Republican Olympia Snowe of Maine were able to get administration assurances to maintain spending on the program at the previous year’s level. He has supported extensions of unemployment benefits and work-share programs, like those in Rhode Island, in which employers reduce the hours of full-time employees in order to avoid layoffs during financial hard times. More recently, he has been instrumental in efforts to extend low interest rates for college student loans.

Reed is the second-ranking Democrat on the Banking Committee, where he has pushed for expanding the affordable housing fund and for tougher oversight of the financial derivatives market. In 2010, he sponsored a bill to create a National Institute of Finance to help regulators monitor systemic risk in the system, and in 2012, he and Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, introduced a measure to strengthen the Securities and Exchange Commission’s ability to crack down on securities laws violations.

Reed was easily reelected in 2002 and 2008. This is a Senate seat whose members have had long tenures. Theodore Green, elected at age 69, served 24 years; Claiborne Pell, elected at 41, served 36 years. Reed was first elected at 47.

Show Less
Jack Reed Election Results
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2008 General
Jack Reed (D)
Votes: 320,644
Percent: 73.2%
Spent: $4,735,246
Robert Tingle
Votes: 116,174
Percent: 26.52%
2008 Primary
Jack Reed (D)
Votes: 48,038
Percent: 86.84%
Christopher Young
Votes: 7,277
Percent: 13.16%
Prior Winning Percentages
2002 (78%), 1996 (63%); House: 1994 (68%), 1992 (71%), 1990 (59%)
Jack Reed 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 75 (L) : 19 (C) 95 (L) : - (C) 88 (L) : - (C)
Social 73 (L) : - (C) 64 (L) : - (C) 52 (L) : - (C)
Foreign 71 (L) : - (C) 68 (L) : 19 (C) 62 (L) : 35 (C)
Composite 83.3 (L) : 16.7 (C) 84.7 (L) : 15.3 (C) 77.8 (L) : 22.2 (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
FRC00
LCV100100
CFG210
ITIC-50
NTU711
20112012
COC45-
ACLU-75
ACU00
ADA10090
AFSCME100-
Key Senate 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.

    • End fiscal cliff
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2012
    • Block faith exemptions
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2012
    • Approve gas pipeline
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2012
    • Approve farm bill
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2012
    • Let cyber bill proceed
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2012
    • Block Gitmo transfers
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2012
    • Raise debt limit
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2011
    • Pass balanced budget amendment
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2011
    • Stop EPA climate regulations
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2011
    • Proceed to Cordray vote
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2011
    • Require talking filibuster
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2011
    • Limit Fannie/Freddie
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2011
    • Regulate financial firms
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2010
    • Pass tax cuts for some
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2010
    • Legalize immigrants' kids
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2010
    • Ratify New START
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2010
    • Confirm Elena Kagan
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2010
    • Stop EPA climate regs
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2010
    • Repeal don't ask, tell
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2010
    • Overturn Ledbetter
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2009
    • Block release of TARP funds
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2009
    • Pass $787 billion stimulus
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2009
    • Repeal DC gun laws
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2009
    • Confirm Sonia Sotomayor
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2009
    • Pass health care bill
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2009
    • Bar budget rules for climate bill
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2009
    • Pass 2010 budget resolution
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2009
    • Let judges adjust mortgages
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2009
    • Allow FDA to regulate tobacco
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2009
    • Protect gays from hate crimes
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2009
    • Cut F-22 funds
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2009
    • Label North Korea terrorist state
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2009
    • Build Guantanamo replacement
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2009
    • Allow federal funds for abortion
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2009
    • Cap greenhouse gases
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2008
    • Bail out financial markets
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2008
    • Increase missile defense $
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2008
    • Overhaul FISA
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2008
    • Raise CAFE standards
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2007
    • Expand SCHIP
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2007
    • Make English official language
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2007
    • Path to citizenship
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2007
    • Fetus is unborn child
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2007
    • Prosecute hate crimes
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2007
    • Withdraw troops 3/08
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2007
    • Iran guard is terrorist group
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2007
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