- 1 Background
- 2 Sandinista thesis
- 3 Career
- 4 Political beginnings
- 5 New Democrat Coalition
- 6 Communist support
- 7 CARA connection
- 8 Working Families Party
- 9 Supported by Council for a Livable World
- 10 21st Century Democrats support
- 11 Labor Endorsement
- 12 Labor support 2010
- 13 Labor support 2012
- 14 Supported Lifting the Gaza Blockade
- 15 PDA connection
- 16 "Immigration reform"
- 17 Intelligence appointment
- 18 Condemning Criticism of Islam legislation
- 19 Russia/Trump Forum
- 20 Trump's Russia ties
- 21 Funding for Colombia
- 22 External links
- 23 References
Born in Lima, Peru in 1966 to American parents, Himes spent the early years of his childhood in Peru and Colombia while his father worked for the Ford Foundation and UNICEF. As an American abroad, Jim Himes grew up fluent in both Spanish and English and was raised with an awareness of the unique position of the United States in the world. At the age of ten, Jim moved with his mother and sister to the United States.
Jim Himes graduated from Hopewell Valley Central High School and then attended Harvard University. After completing his undergraduate work, Jim earned a Rhodes Scholarship, which enabled him to attend Oxford University in England where he continued his studies of Latin America, including research in El Salvador.
Himes studied for a degree in Latin American studies as a Rhodes scholar at St Edmund Hall, Oxford and graduated with a Master of Philosophy in 1990.
His interest in economic development issues led to his appointment as a Commissioner of the Greenwich Housing Authority in 2002. He was chairman of the board from 2004-2006 and led a revitalization of the agency. He has also served as a board member of Aspira of Connecticut in Bridgeport, as an advisory board member of the Bridgeport-based Family Assets, LLC, and as a Member of Session of the First Presbyterian Church of Greenwich.
He is currently a board member of the Fairfield County Community Foundation and an elected member of the Greenwich Board of Estimate and Taxation. On both boards, he is focused on working towards excellence in education. He also serves as Chairman of the Greenwich Democratic Town Committee.
In 1988 Himes submitted the thesis. “The Sandinista Defense Committees and the Transformation of Political Culture in Nicaragua”
According to Harvard Politics.com;
- The year was 1987, and the place was Nicaragua. Eight years prior, a relatively moderate Marxist insurgency called the Sandinista National Liberation Front had overthrown dynastic strongman Anastasio Somoza and set up a new government. The local governing units were called Sandinista Defense Committees, or CDSs, which the Reagan administration, and much of the mainstream American media, had condemned as Stalin-esque watchdog organizations that instilled fear and obedience among their members.
- Himes disagreed. After interviewing over 90 CDS members and nonmembers around the country, he concluded that these groups were legitimate vehicles of participatory democracy. Moreover, they had developed a surprising degree of independence. “If the CDSs maintain and advance their autonomy and continue to serve the role they have served they will help insure that the people of Nicaragua may have the kind of participatory role in their own destiny they were promised under sandinismo,” Himes wrote.
- To be sure, this was not the establishment view. According to Steven Levitsky, a Harvard professor of Latin American politics, this view of the CDSs was “outside the mainstream,” and its sympathizers were largely limited to college campuses and the “left fringe of the Democratic party.”
- On the issues, it is difficult to say if this thesis informs Himes’s politics. If there is a left wing of the Democratic party, however, it’d be fair to say that he’s in it: Environment America, the Brady Campaign, and the American Immigration Lawyers Association, among several other liberal groups, give the congressman a 100 percent rating.
- Praising the CDSs at a time when the Reagan administration was waging the contra campaign against them might have also laid the foundation for a relatively dovish foreign policy: Himes was an early and strong advocate of immediate withdrawal from Afghanistan and the adoption of a limited, noncombat counterterrorism role in the greater Middle East.
Prior to his service in Congress, Himes ran the New York City branch of the Enterprise Community Partners, a nonprofit dedicated to addressing the unique challenges of urban poverty. Jim Himes’ team led the way in financing the construction of thousands of affordable housing units in the greater New York metropolitan region, often using new green technologies to achieve energy efficiency and reduce utility costs.
Jim Himes began his professional career at Goldman Sachs & Co. where he worked his way up to Vice President over the course of a 12-year career. There he worked extensively in Latin America and headed the bank’s telecommunications technology group.
After his Rhodes scholar experience at Oxford, where he earned a degree in Latin American studies, Mr. Himes said he pursued jobs at the State Department and on Capitol Hill before Goldman lured him to join its new Latin America group. He soon wound up crunching numbers and traveling the world selling investors on the landmark privatization of Telmex, the Mexican telephone company.
Goldman disbanded the group after the 1994 Mexican peso crisis. Mr. Himes later worked in mergers and acquisitions and in a technology group. But when the dot-com boom went bust, Mr. Himes, already rattled by 9/11, did not like his options at the firm. “Between that, and a newborn and 3-year-old I never saw,” he said, “I’d had enough.”
In Mexico, he had become interested in ways of fighting poverty with business-oriented solutions. With that in mind, he found his way to the Enterprise Foundation, a nonprofit financer of low-income housing, which commissioned him to study personal finances and predatory financial services in the Bronx.
“It was a real eye-opener to spend time with people you don’t often meet at 85 Broad Street,” he said, referring to Goldman’s headquarters.
Rafael Cestero, who hired him at the Enterprise Foundation, said it was not the first inquiry he had received from a restless Wall Streeter. “But most of the time, they never call you back,” he said. “With Jim it was different.”
When Mr. Cestero joined the Bloomberg administration as a senior housing official in 2004, he named Mr. Himes to replace him. “He picked up the business of Enterprise that takes most people years to learn in months,” Mr. Cestero said. “Frankly he understood it better than some of us who’d been there a long time. He’s an incredibly quick learner.”
At the foundation, Mr. Himes helped conceive a $230 million acquisition fund to give developers of lower-income housing an edge in competing with market-rate developers to buy scarce city land. Mr. Himes had the insight, Mr. Cestero said, to figure out that banks would embrace it if their risk was shared with philanthropic foundations and the city. The fund is designed to finance purchases of enough land for 30,000 of the 165,000 units of housing that Mr. Bloomberg has promised. Mr. Cestero said, “Jim was the leader that drove this.”
Himes’ experience at Enterprise spurred his involvement in politics. Putting his expertise in affordable housing to work, Jim served as a Commissioner of the Greenwich Housing Authority, ultimately chairing the board and leading it through a much-needed program of reforms. He went on to become an elected member of his town's finance board, setting tax and budget policy for Greenwich. Jim has also served as Chair of his local Democratic Town Committee, organizing others in the community to become more active in the political process.
New Democrat Coalition
The New Democrat Coalition was founded in 1997 by Representatives Cal Dooley (California), James P. Moran (Virginia) and Timothy Roemer (Indiana) as a congressional affiliate of the avowedly centrist Democratic Leadership Council, whose members, including former President Bill Clinton, call themselves "New Democrats." In November 2012, the New Democrat Coalition announced the election of its new leadership team. New Dems elected Rep. Ron Kind (WI-03) as the Chair and re-elected Reps. Jim Himes (CT-04), Rick Larsen (WA-02), and Allyson Schwartz (PA-13) as Vice Chairs and added Rep. Gerry Connolly (VA-11) as a Vice Chair.
There was much to celebrate at the 89th anniversary of the Communist Party USA New Haven Connecticut Dec. 7. 2008.
- The party and its allies, unionists and friends joined together this year to work diligently to help elect our first African American president, Barack Obama. Folks pounded the pavement in Bridgeport, Conn., to defeat the last standing congressional Republican, Chris Shays. His replacement, newly elected Jim Himes, is vowing to take the people’s agenda forward.
Social Security & Medicare Hero Award
The Connecticut Alliance for Retired Americans honored Congressman Jim Himes with the Social Security and Medicare Hero Award on Sunday, July 24, 2011 at his office at the Government Building in Stamford.
Mr. Himes was recognized for his advocacy on behalf of CT seniors. The congressman received the award from CT ARA President Cal Bunnell during a brief ceremony.
"The job of the CT ARA is to be a voice for all older Americans. Congressman Himes has consistently been one of our strongest voices, not only for the CT ARA members, but for seniors, women, children, minorities and people with disabilities across the nation. That's why he is our Social Security & Medicare Hero," said Bunnell.
Congressmen Jim Himes came to the Fairfield Senior Center October 24, 2010 to accept the endorsement of the Alliance for Retired Americans. Himes addressed the lack of Social Security Cola.
Himes shared the following view: “This election is a choice about who will protect seniors or not. So, I’m thrilled to receive the endorsement of the Alliance for Retired Americans.”
Kevin Lynch, Regional Director of the Alliance pledged the organization’s support because “Himes led the way on Wall Street Reform, has helped pass legislation to make Medicare stronger, and has promised not to take a pay increase until seniors see an increase in Social Security.”
ARA endorsement, 2012
Rep. Jim Himes, D-4, met with constituents May 2012, at The Marvin Senior Community in Norwalk to discuss Social Security, Medicare, health care reform, housing, education, immigration and other issues.
"In times of difficulty, I think it's particularly important to have a robust dialogue with my constituents, especially seniors because there is so much demagoguing happening over Social Security and Medicare," Himes said. "The reform of Social Security and Medicare is the most important issue in the American fiscal environment."
"We do need to start the process of thinking about how to reform them in a fair and equitable way, but they are not in crisis today," Himes said.
Himes said changes were definitely in place for future generations -- such as a higher retirement age and raised pay cap -- and the question was when, not if, Congress would act. Himes predicts the Social Security fund will be solvent until 2027, at which point it will begin using general funds.
Jim Griffin, a board member from the Alliance for Retired Americans, thankedd Himes during the talk for his concise explanation of Social Security and his legislative efforts to help the automotive industry.
"He's been there trying to protect Social Security and Medicare and support all of our senior citizen issues," Griffin, a member of United Auto Workers, said. "On a personal level, he was there to support the loan for General Motors and Chrysler. If these companies went bankrupt, a bankruptcy judge would have stripped the retirees of their retirement and pension."
July 2013, over 50 members of Connecticut Alliance for Retired Americans (CT ARA) along with our Labor and Community allies worked together to create a human chain across the street from the Federal Building in New Haven to protest the chained CPI. Bette Marafino, President of Connecticut Alliance for Retired Americans organized the group into a human chain.
Noted speakers included Lisa Perrone Chief of staff for Congressman John B. Larson, Marilyn Cheyne staff for Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro, Win Heimer CT ARA board member read a statement from Congressman Joe Courtney in opposition of the Chained CPI, Manny Gomez newly elected CT ARA board member representing the New Haven People's Center spoke about the importance of Social Security , Jade our youngest participant (12 years old!) explained that Social Security needs to be there for her when she is older, Connecticut AFL-CIO President John Olsen commented that Social Security provides retirement security for millions of Americans. Mark Henson District Director for Congressman Jim Himes greeted attendees. Our Connecticut Senators Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy were unable to attend. However, CT ARA President Bette Marafino assured our group that both Senators do oppose Chained CPI and both have signed on to Senator Harkins bill S567.
November 2013 meeting
Jim Himes came to meet with Connecticut Alliance for Retired Americans, November 22, 2013.
ARA endorsement, 2014
Working Families Party
2008 WFP endorsement
The Working Families Party endorsed three candidates for US Congress: Jim Himes, Joe Courtney and John B. Larson in the 1st. Each of the candidates will be listed on the ballot in November twice: once on their party's line and once on the line of the Working Families Party.
"Working Families supports candidates who we know will fight for the bread and butter issues that really matter to most of Connecticut's hard working families: good jobs, affordable healthcare, fair taxes, and good schools,"
"That's why we're endorsing Jim Himes, Joe Courtney and John Larson."
"Votes on the Working Families Party line still count for your candidate, but tell politicians something about your values: that you think Connecticut's working and middle class families deserve a fair deal on housing, jobs and schools,"
said Sal Luciano, executive director of AFSCME Coucil 4, and member of the Working Families Party State Committee.  According to Jon Green, executive director of Connecticut Working Families, "In 2006, our highest priority was electing Chris Murphy, when no one thought he had a chance, ... "In 2008, our highest priority was electing Jim Himes to Congress. In 2010, our highest priority was electing Dannel Malloy to the governor's office. ... We're batting a thousand so far."
In 2008, the Working Families Party ballot line received 83,000 votes statewide. U.S. Rep. Jim Himes alone received 9,130 of those votes, which helped contribute to his margin of victory over former U.S. Rep. Chris Shays.
Working Families Party endorsed Himes again in 2014.
- I was honored to receive the endorsement of Connecticut's Working Families Party this week! In announcing their support, the Working Families Party called me “a champion” for working and middle class families and the unemployed. I am proud to be on the Working Families Party’s ballot line and to have their grassroots support this fall!
Supported by Council for a Livable World
The Council for a Livable World, founded in 1962 by long-time socialist activist and alleged Soviet agent, Leo Szilard, is a non-profit advocacy organization that seeks to "reduce the danger of nuclear weapons and increase national security", primarily through supporting progressive, congressional candidates who support their policies. The Council supported Jim Himes in his successful 2008 House of Representatives run as candidate for Connecticut. He has also been previously supported by the Council.
- Born in Lima, Peru in 1966 to American parents, Jim spent the first 10 years of his childhood in Peru and Colombia while his father worked for the nonprofit Ford Foundation and for UNICEF. As an American abroad, Jim grew up fluent in both Spanish and English.
- The Himes family returned to the United States in time for Jim to attend high school, where he excelled. At Harvard College, he worked closely with the Pulitzer-prize winning author Dr. Robert Coles on his book The Spiritual Life of Children, a job which took him to Nicaragua for a summer of research. Himes received a prestigious Rhodes scholarship to attend Oxford, where he wrote a dissertation on Nicaragua.
- Himes returned to the United States and a job on Wall Street as an investment banker at Goldman-Sachs. Over a 12 year career Himes worked his way up to Vice President, but found the business world ultimately unfulfilling. In 2004, Himes began a second career as a non-profit executive at Enterprise Community Partners. At Enterprise, Himes led the way in financing the construction of thousands of affordable housing units in the greater New York and Northeast regions, often using new green technologies to achieve energy efficiency and to reduce utility costs.
- Himes is a tough critic of President Bush:
- "Growing up abroad, I was raised with an awareness of the unique position of the United States in the world - a leader in civil liberties, democratic self-government, and the rule of law, and a beacon of hope and economic opportunity for others around the world. Unfortunately, disastrous decisions by George Bush have eroded our country's standing in the world and have crippled our economy. The fact that our country seems to have wavered in our commitment to doing the right thing both at home and abroad is one of the primary reasons that I am running for Congress."
The Council supported Himes in his 2010 Congressional election campaign.
21st Century Democrats support
21st Century Democrats is a Political Action Committee that has stood for Progressive causes for over 20 years. Founded in 1986 by Institute for Policy Studies affiliate, Iowa Senator Tom Harkin, Democratic Socialists of America affiliates, former Texas Agriculture Secretary Jim Hightower, and former Illinois Congressman Lane Evans. Its three main goals are to help elect progressive candidates, train young people about grassroots organizing, and lastly, to continue to support our elected officials after Election Day "through our comprehensive progressive network".
The mission of 21st Century Democrats is to build a "farm team" of progressive populists who will be the future leaders of the Democratic Party.
- In each election cycle, we endorse a diverse array of candidates who exemplify our values and show unusual promise to advance our progressive goals. We invest in some of the most competitive races as well as in some of the most challenging – those in which the candidates are outstanding but the traditional Democratic supporters are most reticent. We back candidates in primaries as well as general election races, and we focus the bulk of our resources on electing challengers and protecting vulnerable incumbents.
Himes was also supported in 2008.
At the Connecticut AFL-CIO convention June 23, 2008, state AFL-CIO President John Olsen, calling on everyone to go out and organize. “We got the House and Senate back in 2006 and now we have to get the presidency back so we can win the Employee Free Choice Act, universal health care and an energy policy like the Apollo plan.”
Connecticut Sen. Chris Dodd was warmly welcomed by the delegates. Decrying the disparities in America, he lauded the labor movement for hard fought battles for workers’ gains “not given benevolently by corporate America,” and passionately called for an all-out push to elect Barack Obama on Nov. 4.
Saying he hopes the Employee Free Choice Act will be the first bill on the new president’s desk, Dodd emphasized that “this election will determine what kind of country, what kind of world, we leave to our children and grandchildren … We can’t afford four more years of Bush.”
The convention unanimously adopted a resolution reaffirming opposition to the war by national and state labor bodies, and asserting that Obama “shares labor’s opposition … while John McCain supports the war and President Bush’s military policy.”
The resolution urges unions to inform their members “of McCain’s pro-war position and how it is directly related to his anti-union economic policies; and how the continuation of the war is fueling the current economic crisis.”
Bill Shortell, representing the Machinists Union and the Bristol Labor Council, recalled asking, when the war began, “Is this an issue for us?” to which his buddy replied, “Who’s going to speak for me if the union doesn’t speak for me?” Shortell called on the delegates to “take a strong position and back candidates committed to get us out of Iraq and end this bloodshed as soon as possible.”
A heated debate took place over the endorsement of Jim Himes, a pro-labor, antiwar Democrat challenging incumbent Republican Chris Shays (4th Congressional District), a leading proponent of Bush’s Iraq war policies. Shays was the only representative from Connecticut to vote for additional funding of the war last month. He had angered the endorsement committee during an interview in which he objected to a question on the war, saying, “Why are you asking me about that? That’s not a labor issue.”
AFSCME delegate Blair Bertaccini got a round of applause when he called on the convention to “support candidates who support us as a class, as workers, not just one particular sector. Otherwise we will keep losing numbers and become irrelevant.” Himes won the endorsement overwhelmingly.
The convention also committed to help Democratic Reps. Chris Murphy (5th CD) and Joe Courtney (2nd CD) return to Congress. They both defeated Republicans in 2006 and have been targeted by the Republican National Committee for smear attacks.
Speaking to delegates from the 3rd CD, which she represents, Rep. Rosa DeLauro thankedd the labor movement for enabling her to win by large majorities. “With big margins I can take on the strong fights, which those with small margins many not feel free to do,” she said, referring to the vote against further funds for the war.
Delegates signed up for the Labor 2008 program, including speaking to members in their workplace and at home. Signatures were collected on postcards for the Employee Free Choice Act which will be presented to the new president in January.
A moment of silence honored prominent union leaders who recently died, including Merrillee Milstein, former District 1199 vice president and then deputy regional director of the AFL-CIO, known for her dedication and commitment to organizing and building diversity within the labor movement.
The convention adopted a strategic plan for the elections and legislative and organizing goals. A Diversity Dialogue will be held Sept. 20 with the aim of developing new union leaders. AFL-CIO representative Barbara Nicole Holtz urged delegates to attend, projecting the conference as a model for other states.
Labor support 2010
New Britain, Ct, Nov. 4, 2010 – A massive get-out-the-vote campaign targeted to Council 4 AFSCME members and their families made the difference in helping Dannel Malloy and other pro-worker candidates get elected in Connecticut, the union said today.
“Connecticut voters echoed what our union members were saying as they headed tothe polls: everyone deserves quality affordable health care, secure retirement and fair taxes,” Council 4 Executive Director Sal Luciano noted.
All of Council 4’s endorsed candidates prevailed in races for Governor (Malloy), Lt. Governor (Nancy Wyman), Attorney General (George Jepsen), Comptroller (Kevin Lembo), Treasurer (Denise Nappier and Secretary of State (Denise Merrill). Council 4- endorsed candidates also won their races for U.S. Senate (Richard Blumenthal) and Congress (John B. Larson, Joe Courtney, Rosa DeLauro, Jim Himes and Chris Murphy).
“We used people power to counteract corporate and wealthy donors pushing their anti-union agenda,” Luciano said.
“Right from the start of this campaign we had our boots on the ground, whether for Dan Malloy or Jim Himes or Chris Murphy. Connecticut staved off the anti-working family tide that swept the nation,” said Montalvo, who co-chairs Council 4’s political action committee.
Labor support 2012
Powered by the grass-roots efforts of union members who made phone calls, knocked on doors, talked to their co-workers and attended Get Out The Vote events, labor-endorsed candidates swept to victory in the Nov. 6 election.
The list starts with President Barack Obama and Chris Murphy -- who withstood Linda McMahon's $47 million effort to buy the 2012 U.S. Senate seat -- and Elizabeth Esty, who defeated the well-funded campaign of Republican Andrew Roraback in the 5th Congressional District.
"This was a victory for the middle class," said Council 4 Executive Director Sal Luciano. "Our members refused to allow corporations and right-wing billionaires to buy the election and ram through their extremist, anti-worker agenda. I am proud and grateful for everyone's effort."
Supported Lifting the Gaza Blockade
On Jan. 27, 2010, U.S. Representatives Keith Ellison and Jim McDermott led 52 other members of Congress in signing a letter addressed to President Barack Obama, calling for him to use diplomatic pressure to resolve the blockade affecting Gaza. Jim Himes was one of the signatories of the letter.  The entire letter together with a complete list of signatories can be read by clicking here.
In June 2013 Progressive Democrats of America assigned activists to deliver their material to almost every US Congressman and several Senators. Thomas Kester, was assigned as contact for Rep. Himes.
In January 2013, three days before President Obama addressed immigration, Connecticut Senators Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy and Rep. Jim Himes pledged their support for comprehensive reform at a community round table in Bridgeport hosted by Connecticut Students for a DREAM.
The "Immigration Reform: The Time is now!" event held at the United Congregational Church was also attended by State Senator Ayala and scores of community leaders and families.
"Telling your personal stories will change minds and you will change hearts," said Himes adding that the entire Connecticut delegation supports "the DREAM Act and comprehensive immigration reform with a path to citizenship."
Murphy replied that "we're closer than ever to getting this done, because of the political power represented in packed rooms like this all across the country." He also warned against half-measures that create "a subclass of semi-documented immigrants."
Alberto Bernardez of SEIU 32BJ emphasized that comprehensive reform helps the whole economy. "We will get rid of the underground economy that drags everybody down," he said.
Sen. Blumenthal pledged to "continue working for a strong bi-partisan comprehensive immigration reform plan including the Dream Act with the support of groups like Connecticut Students for a DREAM."
Rep. Jim Himes, January 2015 was named senior Democrat on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence's new Subcommittee on the National Security Agency and Cybersecurity.
The position is Himes' first senior committee position as he begins his seventh year in Congress. Although his power is limited as subcommittee leader from the minority party, he'll be at the table on discussions of controversial issues such as the NSA's role in domestic anti-terrorism surveillance.
Also on the subcommittee's plate is the issue of domestic and foreign-based cyberattacks against government agencies and businesses including Target, Home Depot and Sony Pictures.
"I am honored to have the opportunity to help lead this new subcommittee tasked with overseeing the National Security Agency and America's cyber-security, Himes said in a statement. "The subcommittee will be deeply involved with a host of critical national security issues, from reforming America's surveillance capabilities and oversight, to defending our nation against cyber warfare, as well as monitoring our counterterrorism efforts against groups like al-Qaida and the Islamic State.
The attacks on Target and Sony underscore the need for "Congress to strengthen America's capacity to confront cyber threats, he said. "We must remain vigilant against threats to our nation, but we must also ensure America's intelligence programs achieve the appropriate balance between protecting our security and the privacy and civil liberties of our people.
Condemning Criticism of Islam legislation
On December 17, 2015, Rep. Don Beyer, Jr. introduced legislation condemning "violence, bigotry, and hateful rhetoric towards Muslims in the United States." The legislation is based on unsourced claims that there is a "rise of hateful and anti-Muslim speech, violence, and cultural ignorance," and a "disproportionate targeting" of "Muslim women who wear hijabs, headscarves, or other religious articles of clothing...because of their religious clothing, articles, or observances." The resolution, H.Res.569 - Condemning violence, bigotry, and hateful rhetoric towards Muslims in the United States 
The legislation was cosponsored by Rep. Michael Honda, Rep. Keith Ellison, Rep. Joseph Crowley, Rep. Andre Carson, Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton, Rep. Betty McCollum, Rep. Marcy Kaptur, Rep. Carolyn Maloney, Rep. Dan Kildee, Rep. Loretta Sanchez, Rep. Charles Rangel, Rep. Scott Peters, Rep. Brad Ashford, Rep. Alan Grayson, Rep. Mark Takai, Rep. Brian Higgins, Rep. William Keating, Rep. Raul Grijalva, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Rep. G.K. Butterfield, Rep. Gerry Connolly, Rep. Ruben Gallego, Rep. Cheri Bustos, Rep. John Delaney, Rep. Kathy Castor, Rep. Luis Gutierrez, Rep. Michael Quigley, Rep. Elizabeth Esty, Rep. Joseph Kennedy III, Rep. Robin Kelly, Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson, Rep. Gregory Meeks, Rep. Grace Meng, Rep. Al Green, Rep. Katherine Clark, Rep. Adam Schiff, Rep. Alcee Hastings, Rep. Sam Farr, Rep. Frank Pallone, Rep. Jim McDermott, Rep. Barbara Lee, Rep. Donna Edwards, Rep. Robert Brady, Rep. Frederica Wilson, Rep. Michael Doyle, Rep. Albio Sires, Rep. Suzan DelBene, Rep. Judy Chu, Rep. Jared Polis, Rep. David Loebsack, Rep. Bill Pascrell, Rep. Debbie Dingell, Rep. Jan Schakowsky, Rep. Steve Cohen, Rep. Ruben Hinojosa, Rep. John Yarmuth, Rep. Niki Tsongas, Rep. Jim Langevin, Rep. Mark Pocan, Rep. John Conyers, Jr., Rep. Mark Takano, Rep. Timothy J. Ryan, Rep. Jose Serrano, Rep. Hank Johnson, Rep. Paul Tonko, Rep. Zoe Lofgren, Rep. Chris Van Hollen, Rep. Lois Capps, Rep. David Price, Rep. Doris Matsui, Rep. Gwen Moore, Rep. Denny Heck, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, Rep. John Carney, Rep. Xavier Becerra, Rep. Eric Swalwell, Rep. John B. Larson, Rep. Dina Titus, Rep. Peter Welch, Rep. Lloyd Doggett, Rep. Jim Himes, Rep. Matt Cartwright.
Russia's alleged interference in the U.S. presidential election and the resulting congressional investigations were key topics during a forum April 2017 at the Mark Twain House & Museum involving three of Connecticut's U.S. Representatives.
Larson is one of the most senior members of the House, Himes is a member of the House Intelligence Committee, and Courtney is on the House Armed Services Committee.
President Donald Trump has consistently derided allegations that Russia actively sought to help his 2016 campaign as fake news. But questions surrounding Russia's involvement have continued to plague Trump's administration and Democratic and Republican congressional leaders have vowed to conduct thorough investigations into the potentially explosive issue.
Wednesday's forum was scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. and conclude at 9 p.m.
Trump's Russia ties
Members of Connecticut’s congressional delegation joined demands for a special prosecutor to oversee the investigation of Russian influence on the 2016 election after President Donald Trump fired James Comey as FBI director Tuesday May 9, 2017.
“The need for a special prosecutor is now crystal clear,” said Sen. Richard Blumenthal, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee who has called for a special prosecutor in the past. “President Trump has catastrophically compromised the FBI’s ongoing investigation of his own White House’s ties to Russia.”
In describing the gravity of Trump’s action, Blumenthal conjured memories of President Richard Nixon’s firing of Watergate Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox.
“Not since Watergate have our legal systems been so threatened, and our faith in the independence and integrity of those systems so shaken,” Blumenthal said.
Rep. Jim Himes, D-4th District, who sits on the House Intelligence Committee, which is conducting its own investigation into possible ties with Russia, said , “The White House cited Director Comey’s handling of the investigation into Secretary Clinton’s emails as the reason for the firing, but many will be rightly skeptical of that explanation.”
“Whatever the merits of Director Comey’s decisions, the investigated has just fired the investigator,” Himes said. “That should never have occurred prior to the full and complete insulation of the FBI’s investigation through the appointment of an independent prosecutor and other measures.”
“I will do everything in my power to ensure that this irresponsible move doesn’t end the necessary work law enforcement is conducting to discover the truth about Russia, its interference in our democracy and any and all who might be complicit,” Himes said.
Sen. Chris Murphy joined Blumenthal in calling for a special prosecutor Wednesday morning.
“No matter the mistakes that Director Comey has made, the timing of his firing clearly suggests that President Trump is trying to influence or upend the FBI’s investigation into his campaign’s possible collusion with a foreign government,” Murphy said Wednesday morning.
“The president’s continued refusal to support the appointment of a special prosecutor would confirm America’s worst fears about the motivation for Comey’s firing,” Murphy added.
U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney, D-2nd District, said the firing of Comey while he was “spearheading” the Russia investigation “does not pass the smell test.”
“It is painfully clear that we need an immediate and independent investigation of all aspects relating to Russia’s meddling in our election. We need a review that the American people can have faith in,” Courtney said.
Courtney said the fact that Trump’s action was recommended by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, whom he called “a political appointee who barely survived confirmation in the Senate,” raised more doubt about the motives behind the firing.
Rep. Elizabeth Esty, D-5th District, said the White House has shown a “corrosive pattern of disinformation and obstruction” over the last four months, which has “impeded the public’s ability to determine the full truth” about possible Russian interference.
“The only solution that will restore public trust is for Congress to appoint a special prosecutor to conduct an independent investigation,” Esty said Wednesday morning.
Rep. John B. Larson, D-1st District, said demanding an independent investigation should not be a partisan issue.
“The firing of FBI Director James Comey should renew every American and every member of Congress’s call for an independent investigation into Russian involvement,” Larson said.
Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-3rd District, said the White House must provide “an urgent and thorough explanation” for its decision, given the ongoing FBI investigation into Russian interference.
“These events further underscore why I have continued to demand an independent commission with subpoena power in order to get to the bottom of the Russia investigation,” DeLauro said Wednesday morning.
Funding for Colombia
March 28, 2016 Washington, D.C. Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ), Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-AL), and 14 of their House colleagues sent a letter to key House Appropriations Committee members asking them to fully fund President Barack Obama’s budget request for aid to Colombia.
Last month, President Obama announced a new aid package totaling $450 million for FY 2017 to assist the Colombian government in implementing a potential peace deal with the FARC guerillas after more than fifty years of violent conflict in the country. The funding would also support Colombia’s efforts to address security challenges including the threat of violent drug cartels.
“Now, just as the peace process is beginning to bear fruit, is not the time to reduce our financial assistance to our ally and partner,” the group wrote in a letter to Rep. Kay Granger (R-TX), chair of the House Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs, and Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY), who serves as the subcommittee’s ranking member. “After decades of equipping Colombia to fight, we have a vested interest in helping the Colombian people to rebuild. We must continue the robust, bipartisan support which, at long last, has brought Colombia to the precipice of peace.”
Signers include, Rep. James McGovern, Rep. Sam Farr, Rep. Hank Johnson, Rep. John Lewis, Rep. Linda Sanchez, Rep. Charles B. Rangel, Rep. Jim Himes, Rep. Eric Swalwell, Rep. Filemon Vela, Rep. Tony Cardenas, Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger, Rep. Mark DeSaulnier, Rep. Keith Ellison, and Rep. Mark Pocan.
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- Himes Hung Out with the Sandinistas…and other miscellany from the senior theses of our congressmen. Gram Slattery| February 26, 2015
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- New Democrat Coalition: More than One Fourth of the Democratic Caucus
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- Youtube, CT ARA & Presentation of Social Security and Medicare Hero Award - July 24th Uploaded on Jul 25, 2011
- Minuteman news center, Alliance for Retired Americans gathers at the Senior Center to endorse Congressman Jim Himes Published: Sunday, October 24, 2010
- ARA endorsements 2012
- http://www.thehour.com/news/norwalk/himes-addresses-seniors-in-norwalk/article_8df6e955-f07f-5dc5-a35e-600f296eebcf.html The Hour, Himes addresses seniors in Norwalk, , May 23, 2012 5:03 pm By Julian Clarke and Eric Essagof]
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- [http://www.myleftnutmeg.com/diary/9181/ My Left Nutmeg, Working Families Endorses Himes, Courtney, Larson by: Jon Kantrowitz Wed Feb 13, 2008]
- Hartford Courant, Endorsements Boost 2 Democrats In 5th District Race December 20, 2011|By DANIELA ALTIMARI
- News junkie, Founding Executive Director of the Working Families Party To Leave CTby Christine Stuart | Feb 13, 2012
- [http://www.ctnewsjunkie.com/archives/entry/dont_curb_that_enthusiasm/ CT NewsJunkie, Don’t Curb That Enthusiasm by Christine Stuart | Oct 28, 2010]
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- Peoples before Profits, Friday, February 1, 2013 Immigration Reform Gets Support
- Demands grow for fair and inclusive immigration reform by: Joelle Fishman February 11 2013
- Himes named to security committee Dan FreedmanUpdated 11:43 pm, Wednesday, January 28, 2015
- H.Res.569 - Condemning violence, bigotry, and hateful rhetoric towards Muslims in the United States, accessed December 26, 2015
- Larson, Courtney, Himes To Hold Forum On Russia Involvement In Presidential Election Gregory B. Hladky Gregory B. Hladky Contact Reporter April 11, 2017
- CT lawmakers call for special prosecutor after Comey firing By: CLAUDE ALBERT AND KYLE CONSTABLE | May 9, 2017