- 1 Congress
- 2 Supported by Council for a Livable World
- 3 Long term political consequences of the Hughes campaign
- 4 "Progressive resurgence"
- 5 Congressional Progressive Caucus
- 6 Sponsored Communist Party "Jobs Bill"
- 7 Supporting HR 676
- 8 Cuba Trip
- 9 Relationship to Democratic Socialists of America
- 10 Working with socialists to alter Iraq policy
- 11 The Institute for Food and Development Policy/Food First
- 12 Fred Ross award campaign
- 13 Progressive Democrats of America
- 14 Coalition for Social Justice support
- 15 Reception Honoring Martha Coakley
- 16 Supported Lifting the Gaza Blockade
- 17 Committee to Stop FBI Repression delegation
- 18 PDA allies
- 19 The Peoples' Inauguration
- 20 Fighting to remove Cuba from “terrorism sponsors” list
- 21 House calls for ending Afghanistan war
- 22 LIBERT-E Act
- 23 Lifting travel ban on Cuba
- 24 Congressional Letter for Neutrality, 2014 Salvadoran Elections
- 25 Staff
- 26 References
McGovern he has been a Representative since January 3, 1997. He was born on November 20, 1959 in Worcester, Massachusetts, earned a Masters of Public Administration at American University in Washington, D. C., and was a staff member for Senator George McGovern of South Dakota (to whom he is not related) and for Representative Joe Moakley.He is married to Lisa Murray McGovern. The McGoverns have a son, Patrick and a daughter, Molly.
Currently serving his ninth term in Congress, McGovern is the Vice Chairman of the powerful House Rules Committee, which sets the terms for debate and amendments on most legislation, and a member of the House Budget Committee. In those roles, McGovern has secured millions of dollars in federal assistance for Central and Southeastern Massachusetts. McGovern is also co-chair of both the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission and the House Hunger Caucus.
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 McGovern in his successful House of Representatives run as candidate for Massachusetts.
The Council also supported McGovern in his 2010 Congressional election campaign.
When endorsing McGovern in 2010, the Council praised McGovern's work as a congressional aide, in getting U.S aid cut to anti-communist forces in El Salvador, and his opposition to the wars in Iraq, and Afghanistan;
- As a congressional aide, McGovern earned recognition for his tireless efforts to end U.S. support for oppressive right-wing regimes in Central America. In 1989, McGovern was the lead investigator on the investigation into the murders of 6 Jesuit priests, their housekeeper and her daughter in 1989. The investigation ultimately led to a cut off in U.S. aid when the Salvadoran military was implicated in the murders.
- McGovern was a vocal opponent of the invasion of Iraq and a leader in attempts to bring U.S. troops home. In February 2007, he sponsored legislation to withdraw troops from Iraq on a 6-month timeline. It was the toughest anti-war legislation to reach the House floor, where it was defeated by a surprisingly narrow 74-vote margin.
- McGovern has been a leading critic of the escalation of American troops in Afghanistan. He is a sponsor of bipartisan legislation calling for a flexible timetable for withdrawal of U.S. troops. 
The Father Robert F. Drinan National Peace and Human Rights Award was established in 2006. The award is annually presented by the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation and Council for a Livable World to individuals who exemplify the late Father Drinan's commitment |to peace and human justice".
The award broadly focuses on U.S. politics, political science, physical science, biology, peace studies, and peace and human rights activism.
Long term political consequences of the Hughes campaign
Opposing Ted Kennedy in the 1962 Massachusetts Democratic Primary was Edward McCormack, nephew of House Speaker John McCormack; Kennedy's Republican opponent was Yankee scion George Cabot Lodge; and on the left was Independent peace candidate Harvard Prof. H. Stuart Hughes, chair of the Committee for a Sane Nuclear Policy.
- Hughes needed 72,000 signatures, a purposely prohibitive number in that era of McCarthyism and nobody in fact had tried to reach it since the law had first been passed.
- In this talented field, Hughes polled 50,013 votes, 2.3% of the votes cast. However, we collected a startling 149,000 signatures in ten weeks for a "peace candidate." The Cuban Missile Crisis arrived in October just before the election. With the integrity that was his hallmark, Hughes went against the popular hysteria: he accused President Kennedy of acting over hastily in imposing the blockade of Cuba, of bypassing the United Nations, and unnecessarily stirring up an atmosphere of national emergency. His position cost Hughes thousands of votes.
- In the process we built a town-by-town organization all over the state, a structure that remains in place today. A clear result has been the election over recent decades of so many progressive voices to the state's first-rate Congressional delegation, including Michael Harrington, Father Robert Drinan, Gerry Studds, Jim McGovern, Barney Frank, Ed Markey, John Tierney, Michael Capuano and John Kerry.
- Three years of hard work for the Working Family Agenda coalition (which includes DSA) came to a head in this year’s election. In February we found a progressive candidate, Jim Leary, to take on Bill McManus, the worst of Worcester’s conservative State Reps. McManus, who had the worst voting record of any Democrat in the State House, served in the leadership team of House Speaker Finneran, and was a supporter of Republican Governor Cellucci, knew we could beat him in a primary, so he switched from Democrat to Independent to garner the Republican and centrist votes of a presidential election while holding on to his Democratic hacks.
- So Neighbor to Neighbor, the AFL-CIO, the Teachers Association, and the Commonwealth Coalition fielded an army. For the primary we had a voter universe of 6000 likely voters, who we contacted three times each (at their door, by phone, and by mail). Our July poll showed the opponent ahead of us by 14 points, mostly due to name recognition. On primary day, September 19th, we beat him 62 to 38%!
- For the general election we had a voter universe of 16,000 presidential voters. Again we contacted them all three times before the election, and all our ID’d voters six times between Saturday and election day (over 150 people worked for Leary on election day). At 8:30 p.m., precinct captains began calling in results, and we won 71 to 29%—possibly the largest margin of victory against a leadership incumbent in the state’s history!
- The progressive resurgence in Worcester began with the victory of Congressman Jim McGovern in 1996, and seems to be building to a progressive bid for Mayor in 2001. Not a bad five-year plan..!
- These three forces were present in almost equal measure in Northeast Worcester: Great Brook Valley and Lincoln Village housing projects (2500 voters), the unions (2500 members), and the progressive middleclass Irish-American community (that produced candidates like Jim McGovern and Jim Leary). Together a coalition like this is unstoppable, and it shows that the Working Family Agenda strategy can become the majoritarian movement we need to win progressive power.
Congressional Progressive Caucus
As of February 20 2009 Jim McGovern was listed as a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.
Sponsored Communist Party "Jobs Bill"
H.R. 950, the Job Creation and Infrastructure Restoration Act of 1997 was introduced in the 105th Congress on March 5, 1997 by Congressman Matthew Martinez of California. It had 33 original co-sponsors, including James McGovern. The primary purpose of this emergency federal jobs legislation was to provide much needed jobs at union wages to crisis ridden cities by putting the unemployed to work rebuilding our nation's infrastructure (schools, housing, hospitals, libraries, public transportation, highways, parks, environmental improvements, etc. $250 billion is authorized for emergency public works jobs over a five year period.
Congressman Martinez had previously introduced this bill in the last Congress (as HR 1591) at the the request of over 50 prominent Labor leaders who formed the Los Angeles Labor Coalition for Public Works Jobs, which is why it is often referred to as the "Martinez Public Works Jobs Bill."
- This is the most significant jobs legislation introduced in Congress since Franklin Delano Roosevelt's New Deal established the Works Progress Administration (WPA). This bill is the WPA-type program for today. It has strong provisions which will put hundreds of thousands of unemployed building trades workers to work as well as provide jobs for victims of plant closures, welfare recipients who are parents, youth, and the long term unemployed. The public works projects which will be established under this bill will be built in communities with the highest levels of unemployment and with the greatest needs.
- The goal of the New York Coalition for Public Works Jobs is to build the movement to pass the Martinez Jobs bill as part of the National Labor Coalition for Public Works Jobs. You can help by asking your union, community organization, or local government body to to join those who have already passed resolutions to endorse the bill. Such a resolution has been introduced in the New York City Council. Calling on additional Congressional Representatives to co-sponsor the bill is very important. We will be organizing petition campaigns, visits to elected officials, and demonstrations and other actions for a public works jobs program.
Los Angeles , National Labor Coalition For Public Works Jobs
Supporting HR 676
According to Boston Democratic Socialists of America member Rand Wilson, On Sept. 1 2005 Congressmen John Tierney and Maurice Hinchey heard testimony in Boston, in support of a “Medicare for All” solution to the health care crisis. Lobbyists at the meeting included members of Democratic Socialists of America and Sandy Eaton of Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism.
- The growing severity of this crisis brought together over 40 grassroots organizations for an impressive—and unusual—showing of political unity for health care reform based on extending Medicare to everyone.
“When we started organizing the hearing, only one member of the Massachusetts Congressional delegation had signed on. Now we have four out of the ten,” said Paul Cannon, President of Teamsters Local 122 and co-chair of Jobs with Justice’s Health Care Action Committee. “We’ve got our work cut out for us. It’s time to step-up the pressure on our policymakers for comprehensive reforms that cover everyone.”
From Dec. 15 - Dec. 18, 2006, a Congressional Delegation of ten congressmen and women from the U.S. House of Representatives visited Havana, Cuba. Leading the delegation were Jeff Flake and Bill Delahunt. The other participants were Hilda Solis, Jo Ann Emerson, Jerry Moran, Michael Conaway, Jane Harman, Lincoln Davis, Gregory Meeks and Jim McGovern. The delegation met with Cuban Foreign Minister, Felipe Perez Roque and other communist officials. The delegation asked to meet with Raul Castro during their weekend visit to Cuba, but there was no word on whether such a meeting would take place.
Relationship to Democratic Socialists of America
Jim McGovern appears to have a relationship with the Boston local of Democratic Socialists of America. In 2001 Boston DSA honored Dessima Williams, a member of the Communist Party USA splinter group Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism at their 24th annual Debs-Thomas-Bernstein awards.
- Dessima Williams recounted how as a young graduate student in the U.S. in 1979 she suddenly found herself appointed UN Ambassador from Grenada’s new revolutionary government...
- Thanks to all who helped make this event a success, including Kathy Casavant of the AFL-CIO, Harris Gruman of Boston DSA, and civic activist Eleanor LeCain for their eloquent introductions of the awardees;...and Congressman Jim McGovern, who again sent his greetings.
- Thanks to everyone who helped make this evening a success, including Barbara Ackerman of MASS-CARE, Jim St. George of TEAM, and longtime DSAers Fran and Jake Schlitt for their eloquent introductions... and Congressmen Mike Capuano and Jim McGovern, Senator John Kerry, and last year’s awardee Dessima Williams, who sent greetings.
In the Fall of 2008, Shelagh Foreman, Angela Kelly and Democratic Socialists of America member John Maher of Massachusetts Peace Action, went to ask Congressman Jim McGovern the question "What the hell does it take to get us out of Iraq?”
- “We have some problems,” Jim said. “For one thing when we argue for withdrawal the other side accuses us of abandoning the Iraqis to a bloodbath and the Middle East to chaos. We don’t have an answer for this. We don’t have a plan for withdrawal. We seem irresponsible. Worse, we are irresponsible.” “So what can be done about that?” we asked. “You guys can organize a conference of Middle East experts to make a responsible plan for withdrawal, one that focuses on the non-military issues that need to be addressed. Have it at Harvard so people will take it seriously. Publish a report. We’ll help you put on a big press event and I’ll dis-tribute it to Congress. We’ll make how to withdraw an issue that Congress and the public have to deal with.”
Within a week we had recruited Democratic Socialists of America member Charles Knight of the Project on Defense Alternatives at the Commonwealth Institute, and Chris Toensing, editor of Middle East Report, to make up a Task Force with the skills and contacts to get the job done.
The trio then recruited 14 Middle East experts and charged them with answering this question;
- The President has announced that a complete military withdrawl from Iraq will take place over the next 12 to 18 months. What concrete steps can the US government take, immediately and during withdrawal, to encourage peace and stability in Iraq?
Harvard University’s Weatherhead Center for International Affairs hosted the round table March 7 2008. Chris Toensing drafted the Report. "Quickly, Carefully, and Generously: The Necessary Steps for a Responsible Withdrawal from Iraq" was released at a call-in press conference June 25. That same day Representatives Jim McGovern, Bill Delahunt and John Tierney distributed the report to all members of the House and Senate accompanied by a “Dear Colleague” letter.
The Executive Summary of the Report stated the case:
- The United States and the international community bear a responsibility to contribute to the alleviation of suffering and the advancement of stability and peace in Iraq. It was the consensus of our expert Advisory Group that there is little the United States can do to achieve those goals as long as it maintains an open-ended military presence in Iraq. In the context of withdrawal, however, there are many measures the United States and international community can take to maximize the chances for progress".
The Report developed twenty specific inititaves to: address the sources of conflict inside Iraq and their peaceful solution, improve the prospects for regional and international cooperation,reduce the potential for regional conflict, and enhance Iraqi security. In s preface to the Report Jim McGovern described as “Elegant in its brevity...” Or as he said to John Maher later, "Even a member of Congress can read it in a half hour.”
The response was more than the initiators had hoped. The Boston Globe, the New York Times, and The Nation picked it up, as did dozens of blogs. Panel presentations and briefings for congressional staff followed. On July 14, in "an op-ed in the New York Times withdrawal Barack Obama linked, as we did", to a “diplomatic offensive with nation in the region” and funds for a new international international effort to support Iraq’s refuges.” From left, right, and center the topic shifted from “is the surge working?” to “how to get out of Iraq.”
The Institute for Food and Development Policy/Food First
Jim McGovern is on the list of Congressional Representatives who have participated in hearings/briefings since 1998, with the very radical Institute for Food and Development Policy/Food First, founded by Frances Moore Lappe (Democratic Socialists of America, Institute for Policy Studies) and Joseph Collins (Institute for Policy Studies), authors of the book "Food First".
Fred Ross award campaign
In early 2013, mainly Democratic Socialists of America aligned activists, together with many elected officials across the United States came together to urge President Barack Obama to award posthumously the Presidential Medal of Freedom to the legendary organizer, Fred Ross, Sr.. The Saul Alinsky trained radical was the first to organize people through house meetings, a mentor to both Cesar Chavez and DSAer Dolores Huerta, and a pioneer in Latino voter outreach since 1949 when he helped elect Communist Party USA affiliate Ed Roybal as Los Angeles’s first Latino council member, "Ross’ influence on social change movements remains strong two decades after his death in 1992".
Congressional endorsers of the proposal included Jim McGovern.
Progressive Democrats of America
PDA claimed successes
Tim Carpenter claimed that Progressive Democrats of America had chalked up several achievements in its short life, successfully promoting initiatives by PDA board members John Conyers and James McGovern.
- PDA was the driving force in the passage of resolutions opposing the war in Iraq by eight state Democratic Party meetings. The organization also was instrumental in the passage of resolutions in 10 states calling for the impeachment of President Bush.
- PDA is often referred to by Congressional Progressive Caucus Executive Director Bill Goold as the CPC’s field operation, because PDA has built relationships with members of Congress by delivering grassroots support for their initiatives – from Rep. John Conyers’ investigation of the 2004 Ohio voting fraud to Rep. Jim McGovern’s bill to cut off funding for the war in Iraq, a current priority effort.
The organization worked hard for Marcy Winograd against Jane Harman and for other "progressive " Democrats including Donna Edwards, Christine Cegelis, Jerry McNerney, Tony Trupiano, John Hall, Jeff Latas, Gabby Giffords and Herb Paine.
- While PDA is still only a progressive “pup” compared with big liberal dogs like MoveOn, PDA-backed candidates have taken some big bites out of conventional wisdom and centrist Democratic complacency. In Los Angeles, local PDA leader Marcy Winograd won 37 percent of the primary vote against entrenched pro-war Democrat Rep. Jane Harman with only two months of lead time. In Maryland, the dynamic Donna Edwards appears to have come only a few hundred votes short of toppling the multi-term Rep. Al Wynn in her first bid for public office, and she is seen as well-positioned to prevail in 2008. And in Illinois, with strong PDA support, Christine Cegelis, though outspent 8 to 1, nearly beat the candidate of the inside-the- Beltway Party leadership and Illinois party machine, Tammy Duckworth, to vie for the seat being vacated by Rep. Henry Hyde.
- This fall, in the House, PDA is focusing attention and effort on several strong progressives worthy of note and support in hopes of flipping several seats from red to blue. In California, Jerry McNerney is running a strong race against an incumbent Republican. In Michigan, Tony Trupiano, with one of the nation’s strongest grassroots efforts, has his sights on an open seat in a Republican-leaning district. And in New York, anti-nuclear activist John Hall has won the Democratic nomination to challenge a four-term incumbent Republican. In Arizona, while the local PDA primary candidate, Jeff Latas, did not prevail, PDA will now enthusiastically join forces with PDA Board Member Rep. Raul Grijalva and support the nominee, the equally progressive Gabby Gifford, as well as PDA-backed Herb Paine, who won a razor-thin primary victory in a neighboring district.
In the United States Senate primary races PDA unsuccessfully backed Jonathan Tasini against Hillary Clinton in New York, In Ohio, PDA backed successful candidate Sherrod Brown. In Connecticut, PDA campaigned to replace pro Iraq War Senator Joe Lieberman with Ned Lamont.
Progressive Democrats of America 2012 endorsement
In 2012, Jim McGovern (MA), was one of 14 leftist Congressional and Senate candidates endorsed by Progressive Democrats of America, an organization dominated by members or affiliates of Democratic Socialists of America and the Institute for Policy Studies.
Coalition for Social Justice support
The Coalition for Social Justice and its educational fund, formerly known as the Coalition Against Poverty, has been actively building a powerful and effective grassroots movement in Fall River and New Bedford since 1994 and Brockton since 2003, and a Upper Cape Code electoral section since 2004...
After joining the successful campaign to stop the balanced budget amendment from passing in Congress, and playing a key role in the election of progressive Democrat Jim McGovern for Congress in the 10th District, CSJ turned its attention to working with the Coalition Against Poverty on a “Campaign for Working Families’ Agenda” for Massachusetts. . 
Reception Honoring Martha Coakley
On Jan. 12, 2010 a reception honoring Martha Coakley was held at the Sonoma Restaurant, 223 Pennsylvania Ave, Washington D.C. Among those present were Senator John Kerry and Representatives, Ed Markey, Richard Neal, William Delahunt, John Tierney, Stephen Lynch, Barney Frank, John Olver, Jim McGovern, Michael Capuano and Niki Tsongas.
Hosts of the reception donated $10,000 and included Nick Allard, Thomas Hale Boggs Jr., the Boston Scientific Political Action Committee, Chuck Brain, Susan Brophy, Mary Beth Cahill, Steve Champlin, Licy Do Canto, Gerald S. J. Cassidy, David Castagnetti, Steve Elmendorf, Candy Ergen, Cahrlie Ergen, Shannon Finley, Larry Harris, Tom Hogan, Carol Kenner, Stephanie Markiewicz, Andy Miller, Heather Podesta, Tony Podesta, Robert Raben, Linda Singer and Bill Titelman.
Co-hosts of the reception donated $5,000 and included Marty Bienenstock, Sheryl Cohen, Chad Dale, Joe Eyer, Jamie Gorelick, Robin Leeds, Fred Liowther, Bernie Nash, Frank Purcell of the CRNA (Nurse Anesthetists) Political Action Committee and Melissa Schulman.
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 McGovern was one of the signatories of the letter.  The entire letter together with a complete list of signatories can be read by clicking here.
Committee to Stop FBI Repression delegation
In mid November 2010, a delegation from the Committee to Stop FBI Repression ( returned home from several days of bringing the "issue of the FBI raids and grand jury subpoenas of people doing international solidarity work and anti-war organizing to the U.S. Capitol". Three supporters of the Marxist-Leninist Freedom Road Socialist Organization/FightBack!, Deb Konechne of the Committee to Stop FBI Repression, Anh Pham, who is facing a reactivation of her subpoena and Joe Iosbaker, whose home was raided, spent two days meeting with U.S. Representatives on the issue. The delegation asked each Congressperson to sponsor a “Dear Colleague” letter condemning the raids and grand jury subpoenas. In the two days, the delegation met with either the Congressional Representative’s staff or the Representative themselves fro[[m the following 16 offices: Tammy Baldwin (WI), John Conyers (MI), Danny Davis (IL), Keith Ellison (MN), Raul Grijalva (AZ), Luis Gutierrez (IL), Mike Honda (CA), Jesse Jackson, Jr. (IL), Dennis Kucinich (OH), Barbara Lee (CA), Jim McDermott (WA), Jim McGovern (MA), Bobby Rush (IL), Linda Sanchez (CA), Jan Schakowsky (IL), Maxine Waters (CA). The "meetings were positive, with all the offices expressing genuine concern about the situation. In some cases, because of the outpouring of calls from around the country, the U.S. Representatives were aware that the delegation was in Washington D.C. and the offices made time on their schedules to meet with the delegation. This reinforces the continuing importance of the solidarity work taking place around the country."
Rep. Conyers (MI), chair of the Judiciary Committee, directed the Counsel of the Judiciary Committee to meet with the delegation. Also, Rep. Ellison (MN) and his Congressional staff met directly with the delegation for a significant amount of time. rep. Ellison sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, expressing concern over the situation and is continuing to work on options to support his constituents affected. The delegation also received face-to-face meetings with Rep Gutierrez and Rep Davis from Chicago. Rep. Grijalva’s (AZ) office set up a meeting between the delegation and the Executive Director of the Congressional Progressive Caucus in the Congress of which rep. Grijalva is the chair. In addition, the office of Jan Schakowsky (IL) and Maxine Waters (CA) gave the delegation significant time and attention.
“It was clear that progressive Representatives of the Congress are very concerned about the FBI investigation. Overall, they were very thankful for our visit and for the information and analysis given to them The level of awareness about the raids and grand jury was varied, from little to full awareness, but the delegation certainly changed that. After the two days, our presence and purpose definitely created a stir in the halls of Congress. “The fact that we were able to interact with 16 legislative aides or Congress people themselves, during an extremely busy time of restructuring leadership in the Congress, exemplifies the attention this matter is receiving”, stated Joe Iosbaker.
Progressive Democrats of America had a moderately successful election 2012, cycle, with all of its incumbent allies—Reps. John Conyers (D-Mich.), Donna Edwards (D-Md.), Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.), James McGovern (D-Mass.) and Barbara Lee—holding on to their seats.
PDA will also benefit from some sympathetic newcomers in the 113th Congress. Out of the eight non-incumbent Democratic candidates the group endorsed in the past election cycle, three picked up seats. Mark Pocan (D-Wis.) won the election to fill incoming Senator Tammy Baldwin’s former congressional seat in Wisconsin. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.), the vocal anti-war critic and champion of financial reform returned to Congress after being swept away in 2010 . And arguably the most prominent of PDA-supported candidates, Elizabeth Warren, will represent Massachusetts in the U.S. Senate.
The remaining five PDA-endorsed candidates fell short in their efforts. Norman Solomon, a longtime environmental activist and the co-founder of the media watchdog group Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting, lost a close primary race in a very liberal district in northern California. Rob Zerban lost by more than 10 points to Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.). PDA-backed candidates also lost in Illinois, Georgia and Virginia.
The Peoples' Inauguration
Progressive Central: The Peoples' Inauguration was held Saturday, January 19, 2013, at the UDC David A. Clarke School of Law 5th Floor Moot Court Room, 4340 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington, DC.
The event was sponsored by Progressive Democrats of America, The Nation, National Nurses United, Democrats.com and Busboys and Poets. The event was advertised and promoted by the Institute for Policy Studies.
The 11:15 am-‐12:30 pm session What will the Progressive Agenda be in 2013? was moderated by John Nichols, and featured Rep. Jim McGovern – Rep. John Conyers -‐ Andrea Miller, PDA National Team -‐ Randy Parraz, Citizens for a Better Arizona.
In the 113th Congress , some PDA-backed Democrats planned to introduce pieces of legislation that enjoy widespread support among the American left—but will, in all likelihood, be met with stiff opposition. Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) said he would introduce a full employment act. Conyers will also again introduce a version of the so-called “Medicare-for-all” bill, which would create a single-payer universal healthcare system. Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) said he would introduce a constitutional amendment to affirm that corporations are not people, in addition to supporting a bill that would strengthen the Voting Rights Act. McGovern, like other PDA allies in Congress, also said that defense cuts would be a priority, telling the audience to rousing applause, “If I had my way, I would shut down every U.S. military base in the Middle East right now.” Moreover, Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) will introduce a bill, backed prominently by the National Nurses United union, to implement a tax on all financial transactions, the so-called Robin Hood tax.
Fighting to remove Cuba from “terrorism sponsors” list
At the headquarters of the National Press Club in downtown Washington D.C., a consortium of organizations announced a new push to get Cuba taken off the State Department's "State Sponsors of Terrorism" list in early March 2013.
The event, in the form of a panel discussion, was sponsored by the Center for International Policy, the Latin American Working Group , and the Washington Office on Latin America. The MC was Wayne Smith, Senior Fellow at the Center for International Policy, who was the head of the U.S. Interests Section (instead of embassy) in Havana from 1979 to 1982, having been appointed by Jimmy Carter. Other participants were Congressman James P. McGovern, D-Massachusetts, former ambassador Anthony Quainton who is now "Diplomat in Residence" at American University, Robert Muse of Muse and Associates, and Adam Isacson of WOLA.
Congressman McGovern, who has followed U.S. Cuba policy closely, just got back from a visit to Cuba with a bipartisan delegation headed by Senator Patrick Leahy, D-Vermont. McGovern participated in a two hour meeting with Cuban President Raul Castro. He and the other speakers pushed for an overall change in U.S.-Cuba policy, of which removal of Cuba from the State Sponsors of Terrorism would be a useful first step.
House calls for ending Afghanistan war
In a historic move June 13, 2013, the House of Representatives effectively said there is no congressional authorization for a permanent U.S. military presence in Afghanistan. The move was part of an overwhelmingly approved bipartisan measure calling for a complete and speedy end to the 12-year war there. For the first time, a majority of House Republicans supported the legislation.
In addition to calling for a speedy end to the war the measure specifically says that any decision to keep troops in Afghanistan beyond 2014 would require the permission of Congress.
The move, in the form of an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act, was led by Reps. Jim McGovern, D-Mass.; Walter B. Jones, R-N.C.; Barbara Lee, D-Calif.; John Garamendi, D-Calif.; and Adam Smith, D-Wash. Smith is the leading Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee.
The measure, "to require the President to complete the accelerated transition of combat operations from U.S. Armed Forces to the Government of Afghanistan no later than by the end of 2013; the accelerated transition of military and security operations by the end of 2014, including the redeployment of U.S. troops; and to pursue robust negotiations to address Afghanistan's and the region's security and stability," passed by 305-121.
Over half the Republican House caucus voted for the measure, including six members from Texas, 11 from Florida and four of five from Kentucky. By contrast, in 2009 only seven House Republicans supported McGovern's amendment requiring the Pentagon to report to Congress on a strategy for U.S. military forces to leave Afghanistan by the end of that year.
Just nine Democrats opposed McGovern's latest amendment.
The vote is also seen as important because it is the first time the House of Representatives as a body has registered its opposition to the war.
June 18, Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI), Chairman of the House Liberty Caucus, and Rep. John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI), the Ranking Member on the House Judiciary Committee, announced the introduction of bipartisan legislation to address National Security Agency surveillance.
H.R. 2399, the Limiting Internet and Blanket Electronic Review of Telecommunications and Email Act (LIBERT-E Act), restricts the federal government’s ability under the Patriot Act to collect information on Americans who are not connected to an ongoing investigation. The bill also requires that secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court opinions be made available to Congress and summaries of the opinions be made available to the public.
A coalition of 32 Members of Congress joined Conyers and Amash in introducing the bill. After introduction, Conyers and Amash issued the following statement:
The following Members of Congress cosponsored the legislation:
Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA) Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA) Rep. Suzan DelBene (D-WA) Rep. John Duncan (R-TN) Rep. William Enyart (D-IL) Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) Rep. Chris Gibson (R-NY) Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) Rep. Morgan Griffith (R-VA) Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ) Rep. Rush Holt, Jr. (D-NJ) Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-TX) Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA) Rep. Walter B. Jones (R-NC) Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) Rep. Tom McClintock (R-CA) Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA) Rep. James McGovern (D-MA) Rep. Mike Michaud (D-ME) Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-SC) Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX) Rep. Steve Pearce (R-NM) Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO) Rep. Trey Radel (R-FL) Rep. Matt Salmon (R-AZ) Rep. Mark Sanford (R-SC) Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT) Rep. Ted Yoho (R-FL) 
Lifting travel ban on Cuba
- Due to your action/emails/phone calls we have 59 signatures from House representatives urging President Obama to support travel to Cuba by granting general licenses for ALL current categories of travel.
- By eliminating the laborious license application process, especially for people-to-people groups, that is managed by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), the majority of the bureaucratic red tape that holds up licensable travel to Cuba would disappear and actually facilitate what the President wanted to see in 2011, liberalized travel regulations.
Signatories included Rep. McGovern .
Congressional Letter for Neutrality, 2014 Salvadoran Elections
On Monday December 16, 2014 Reps. Juan Vargas (D-CA), Mike Honda (D-CA) and Mark Pocan (D-WI) sent a letter to Sec. of State John Kerry – signed by 51 Members of Congress – calling for a public statement of neutrality by the State Department before the first round of El Salvador’s presidential elections on February 2, 2014.
The letter, , highlighted several “important steps” that the current government has taken to “strengthen its democratic system and expand the right to vote to all citizens,” including those living outside of the country, who will be voting by absentee ballot for the first time in February. Since the election of Mauricio Funes, the first President from the Marxist Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN) party, the government has increased the number of polling places four-fold to increase accessibility, especially in rural areas.
“We’re glad to see so many Members of Congress expressing respect for the right of the Salvadoran people to determine their own future. That’s an attitude that’s sorely lacking in much of the US’ policy in Central America, especially with regard to economic policy,” said Alexis Stoumbelis, Executive Director for the pro-communist Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador (CISPES), in Washington, DC, which has observed every post-war election in El Salvador, starting in 1994.
Signatories included Rep. Jim McGovern..
The following are past and present staff:
- Edward M. Jr. Augustus
- Bradley M. Bauman (Brad)
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