Rush Holt, Jr.

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Rush Holt

Template:TOCnestleft Rush Drew Holt, Jr was a Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives, representing the 12th district of New Jersey, from 1999 to 2015.


Rush Holt,, is a resident of Hopewell Township, N.J. Born in West Virginia, he inherited his interest in politics from his parents. His father was the youngest person ever elected to the U.S. Senate, at age 29. His mother served as Secretary of State of West Virginia and was the first woman to hold that position.

Rep. Holt is married to Margaret Lancefield, a physician and Medical Director of the Princeton charity care clinic. They have three grown children, Michael, Dejan and Rachel.[1]


Rep. Holt earned his B.A. in Physics from Carleton College in Minnesota and completed his Master’s and Ph.D. at NYU. He has held positions as a teacher, Congressional Science Fellow, and arms control expert at the U.S. State Department where he monitored the nuclear programs of countries such as Iraq, Iran, North Korea, and the former Soviet Union. From 1989 until he launched his 1998 congressional campaign, Holt was Assistant Director of the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, the largest research facility of Princeton University and the largest center for research in alternative energy in New Jersey. He has conducted extensive research on alternative energy and has his own patent for a solar energy device. Holt was also a five-time winner of the game show “Jeopardy.” In February 2011, Holt beat Watson, IBM's computer system in a simulated round of Jeopardy at an event to promote innovation. [2]


An active Member of Congress and a strong voice for his constituents, Rep. Holt serves on the Committee on Education and the Workforce and the Committee on Natural Resources, where he serves as the Ranking Member on the Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources helping to develop a long-term strategy to decrease our nation's dependence on fossil fuels and protect our environment for future generations. From 2007 to 2010, Holt was the Chairman of the Select Intelligence Oversight Panel. Created at the start of the 110th Congress in January 2007, the Panel worked to strengthen oversight of the intelligence community by ensuring that policymakers receive accurate assessments, civil liberties are safeguarded, and the intelligence community is protecting Americans.

Holt was honored to serve on the National Commission on Mathematics and Science Teaching for the 21st Century chaired by former Senator and astronaut John Glenn. He is co-chair of the Research and Development Caucus, and sits on Congressional caucuses concerning Children’s Environmental Health, Renewable Energy, Sustainable Development, Alzheimer’s, Diabetes, Biomedical Research, Internet, Community College, Farmland Protection, Human Rights, and a Women’s Right to Choose. Rep. Holt is also a member of the New Democrat Coalition and a member and Vice Chair of the Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition. Additionally, Holt is a member of the House Democracy Partnership, which is comprised of 20 Members who help promote and support the development of democratic governments around the world.[3]


Rep. Holt has received numerous awards and citations for his work, including the Planned Parenthood Community Service Award, the Biotech Legislator of the Year, and the Science Coalition’s Champion of Science award. The magazine Scientific-American has also named Holt one of the 50 national “visionaries” contributing to “a brighter technological future.” He is also one of only two Members of Congress to receive a lifetime 100 percent rating from the League of Conservation Voters. He also has received perfect ratings in the current Congress from the Children's Defense Fund, the Drum Major Institute, the American Public Health Association, the Council for a Livable World, the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, AFSCME, the Alliance for Retired Americans, ACLU, NARAL, Pro-Choice America, and the Human Rights Campaign. [4]

"Progressive from Princeton"

In a Fall 2002 Democratic Left article criticizing Greens for spoiling Democrat's chances, Democratic Socialists of America national director Frank Llewellyn, wrote "the twelfth district in New Jersey is a good example. Rush Holt, a progressive from Princeton, barely beat hard-right Republican Dick Zimmer in 2002 due to the Green candidate, affluent stockbroker and former Democrat Carl Mayer, who garnered 1.94 percent to Holt’s and Zimmer’s 49 percent.

This time Holt faces both Republican Buster Soaires and, again, Mayer, in what should be another squeaker" .[5]

2006 letter to Condoleezza Rice on Colombia

Alleged Colombian Army killings prompted Fellowship of Reconciliation to work with Representative Sam Farr to forge a response that would impact the 17th Brigade, the unit allegedly responsible for the violence against San José de Apartadó and communities throughout northwestern Colombia.

As a result, Reps. Sam Farr and Jim McGovern, wrote a letter to their colleagues in Congress urging them to join in calling on Secretary Condoleezza Rice to cut funding for the Colombian military.

Letter to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice
(Deadline for Congressional representatives to sign: February 22)
We applaud the decision, noted in your certification letter of August 2005, that the US "will not consider providing assistance to the 17th Brigade until all significant human rights allegations involving the unit have been credibly addressed." Because the Brigade is a component of the Colombian Armed Forces' command structure and has been implicated in the above referenced human rights violations, we implore you to abide by both the letter of the law and the spirit of the law by withholding human rights certification for Colombia until the following conditions are met:

Signatories included Rush Holt, Jr..[6]

2009 letter on Colombia

From November 6th through December 7th 2009, a letter calling for change in U.S. policy towards Colombia was circulated through the House of Representatives. This letter called for a decrease in U.S. aid for Colombia's military and an increase in support for human rights and humanitarian efforts. The initiators of this letter were —Representatives James McGovern, Jan Schakowsky, Donald Payne, and Mike Honda.

Dear Secretary of State Clinton,
The FY 2011 budget will contain the twelfth year of a major aid package to Colombia—an aid package originally slated to phase out after six years.
After eleven years, it is time to scale down assistance for Colombia's military and more systematically "Colombianize" such programs, within both the State Department and Defense Department budgets.

Signatories included Rush Holt, Jr..[7]

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 Rush Holt, Jr. in his successful House of Representatives run as candidate for New Jersey.[8]

Voted against cutting funding for ACORN

In September 2009, following the lead of their Senate colleagues, the House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly to cut off funds to ACORN. the vote was 345-75. All of the 75 were Democrats, and included Rush Holt, Jr.. [9]

2014 Senate endorsement


CLW endorsed both Rush Holt, Jr. and Cory Booker for the open Senate seat for New Jersey in 2014. They wrote of Holt;

Rep. Rush Holt, Jr. is not only a passionate progressive who knows how to fight for the important issues: he’s also a physicist and former nuclear intelligence analyst who brings a scientist’s understanding to issues of arms control and national security.
Rep. Rush Holt is a progressive candidate who brings a scientist's understanding to contemporary national security problems.
Holt spent several years as a professor of physics at Swarthmore College, where he taught a course on arms control. Following that, he worked at the U.S. State Department on nuclear arms control and non-proliferation. He participated in arms control negotiations with the USSR and was involved in attempting to curb Pakistan’s nuclear proliferation.
Holt was initially elected to Congress in 1998, becoming the first Democrat to represent New Jersey’s 12th district in twenty years. During his time in Congress, he’s led the way on arms control, pushing for U.S. nuclear weapons to be taken off hair-trigger alert and for securing dangerous nuclear materials to keep them out of the hands of terrorists.

On the threat of nuclear terrorism, Holt says:

"As a former nuclear weapons intelligence analyst for our government, I understand the real threats posed by nuclear weapons. That’s why I repeatedly voted for robust funding for programs designed to collect “loose nukes” and keep them out of the hands the likes of al Qaeda".

While in Congress, Holt has worked to “refocus” the war on terror, arguing against the extension of the PATRIOT Act and advocating for more narrowed authorizations of military force. He has also been a relentless advocate for scientific research and education, areas which have increasingly seen their funding reduced by budgetary pressures.

Now, Rep. Holt is looking to bring his expertise and dedication to the U.S. Senate. Rush Holt is one of the most stalwart supporters of arms control, a more rational approach to the war on terror, and other causes important to Council for a Livable World, and we are pleased to support him in this special election in a dual endorsement with Mayor Cory Booker.[10]

Socialist financial plan

Sept. 30, the day after the original bailout compromise went down in flames. The progressive Democrats placed a new plan—the “No BAILOUTS Act” (Bringing Accountability, Increased Liquidity, Oversight, and Upholding Taxpayer Security)—on the table that John Nichols of The Nation says “would impose a securities tax equivalent to one quarter of one percent of profits and empower the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation to deal more effectively with bank failures.”

The bill—sponsored by US Reps. Peter DeFazio(D-Ore.), Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio), Robert Scott (D-Va.), Elijah Cummings and Donna Edwards (both D-Md.), Lloyd Doggett (D-Texas), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) and Rush Holt, Jr.,(D NJ) —would change the way securities are valued, applying “an economic value standard to measure the capital of financial institutions,” as opposed to a market standard, an increase in the federal deposit insurance maximum and other accounting measures designed to create breathing room. It also would require the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation to purchase certificates that would be repaid.

“What I’m proposing is to use both market discipline and regulatory functions at virtually no cost to taxpayers to unclog the arteries of commerce so banks can begin lending again,’’ DeFazio said, according to The Oregonian.

In a letter introducing the plan, he said that Congress needed to “take swift, uncomplicated steps to ensure the financial markets return to working order. After that, we can work to resolve the housing crisis and pass effective job stimulus.”

Andy Stern, president of the Service Employees International Union, said the plan would “restore confidence in the financial markets without writing a blank check to the same Wall Street banks and CEOs who got us into this mess.”

“This is an important, short-term solution that protects taxpayers and their savings accounts,” he added. “To revive the economy over the long-term, we must address rising unemployment, stagnant wages, the healthcare crisis, and a tax system that is tilted in favor of the wealthy.”

DeFazio and the SEIU acknowledge that this is just the first step toward fixing the economy. Once a progressive rescue plan is in place, the Democrats create a rescue plan for homeowners facing foreclosure, enact a public works and green energy stimulus to get people working, fix the nation’s infrastructure and refocus the nation’s economy on sustainable principles. [11]

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. Rush Holt, Jr. was one of the signatories of the letter. [12] The entire letter together with a complete list of signatories can be read by clicking here.

J Sreet endorsement

In 2008 Holt was endorsed by JStreet PAC.[13]

Radical intern

Noor Rostoum was an intern with Congressman Rush Holt, Jr., Sep 2011 – Jan 2012.

AFL-CIO rally

On April 4, 2011, in Trenton New Jersey, the AFL-CIO sponsored rally on the 43rd anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s assassination. The rally was at the IBEW local hall. The Rutgers AAUP-AFT was a cosponsor. The purpose was to connect the struggles of the labor movement with the struggles for civil rights in the U.S.

According to Communist Party USA member Norman Markowitz, at the rally was an educational roundtable involving Nobel Prize winning economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, Randi Weingarten, president of the AFT nationally, James Harris, president of the New Jersey NAACP, Rahaman Muhammad, SEIU New Jersey State Council President, and representative Rush Holt, Jr. and Senator Robert Menendez, among others.

Most of the speakers were upbeat "even in these times of crisis". Most saw Wisconsin as an example to be emulated. Most stressed the need to "educate citizens who have been fed a steady diet of lies by rightwing media".

Congressman Rush Holt, Senator Menendez and others made the point clearly that this is about union busting, not budget balancing in any of the states in question. The case of Professor William Cronon was raised as an example of the policy of intimidation which the Republican right has launched--if Cronon, "with his scholarly achievements and academic protections, can be attacked in such a way and university officials forced to turn over emails, then no one is safe in their basic civil liberties and rights".[14]

Anti-Fracking legislation endorser

On March 14, 2013, Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO) and Rep. Matt Cartwright (D-PA) have introduced the Bringing Reductions to Energy’s Airborne Toxic Health Effect (BREATHE) Act, and the Focused Reduction of Effluence and Stormwater runoff through Hydraulic Environmental Regulation (FRESHER) Act, in order to ensure that the hydraulic fracking industry follows the same rules that other industries do in preserving our natural resources. This legislation is focused on ensuring the safety and the health of the communities where the hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, process is already taking place.

The BREATHE Act would ensure that we close the oil and gas industry’s loophole to the Clean Air Act’s aggregation provision, in addition to adding hydrogen sulfide—a chemical associated with nausea, vomiting, headaches, and irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat—to the Clean Air Act’s federal list of hazardous air pollutants.

The BREATHE Act has the following original co-sponsors including: Reps. Rush Holt, Jr., Raul Grijalva, John Sarbanes, James Moran, Michael Quigley, Earl Blumenauer, Gerry Connolly,Zoe Lofgren, Michael Honda, Paul Tonko, Barbara Lee, David Price, Carolyn Maloney, Michael Capuano, Mark Pocan, Jim McDermott, Eleanor Holmes Norton, Alcee Hastings, Keith Ellison, Niki Tsongas, William Keating, Adam Smith, Jim Langevin, Chellie Pingree, Judy Chu, Louise Slaughter, Jerrold Nadler, Grace Meng, Jan Schakowsky, Nita Lowey, Jared Huffman, Gary Peters and Alan Lowenthal.

The following organizations have endorsed this legislation and are actively working to garner support within Congress and throughout the country: Physicians for Social Responsibility, Natural Resources Defense Council, Earthjustice, Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments, Sierra Club, Earthworks, Breast Cancer Action, Clean Water Action, Environment America, Greenpeace, Nature Abounds, Oil Change International, Citizens for a Healthy Community, Citizens for Huerfano County, Clean Water Action Colorado, Erie Rising, Grassroots Energy Activist Network, Holy Terror Farm, San Luis Valley Ecosystem Council, SOS Foundation, Western Colorado Congress of Mesa County, Western Slope Conservation Center and Wilderness Workshop.[15]


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) [16]

Lifting travel ban on Cuba

A May 03, 2013 Press release from the radical controlled and Institute for Policy Studies affiliated Latin America Working Group's Cuba Team stated:

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. Rush Holt .[17]

Congressional Progressive Caucus 2012

By April 2012 three more congressmembers had joined the Congressional Progressive Caucus.[18]

ARA endorsement, 2014

The Alliance for Retired Americans Political Action Fund endorsed Rush Holt, Jr. in 2012.[19]

Letter on Iran sanctions

The National Iranian American Council commended Rep. James Moran (D-VA) and "all twenty-one Members of Congress who sent a letter to President Obama April 4, 2014, supporting necessary action to ensure medicine and humanitarian goods are not unintentionally blocked for the Iranian people. NIAC strongly supported the letter and has consistently worked to raise awareness regarding the impact of sanctions on the Iranian people"...

The preliminary nuclear agreement brokered by the P5+1 and Iran included an agreement to establish a financial channel to facilitate humanitarian trade; however, medicine shortages have continued in part due to extensive financial sanctions on Iran and the reported unwillingness of banks to facilitate legal, humanitarian transactions.

Signers: James P. Moran (D-VA), Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Andre Carson (D-IN), William Lacy Clay (D-MO), John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI), Peter DeFazio (D-OR), Keith Ellison (D-MN), Sam Farr (D-CA), Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), Rush Holt, Jr. (D-NJ), Mike Honda (D-CA), Hank Johnson (D-GA), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Betty McCollum (D-MN), Jim McDermott (D-WA), James McGovern (D-MA), Gregory Meeks (D-NY), Beto O'Rourke (D-TX), Chellie Pingree (D-ME), Charles B. Rangel (D-NY), Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL).[20]


Top U.S. and Cuban Science academies held a joint symposium in Havana, Aug. 14-17 2017.

Leading the U.S. scientists was Rush Holt, Jr., president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Peter Agre, a Nobel Laureate and past AAAS president, also attended.

Agre modestly said of his induction into the Cuban Academy of Science that it “is not something that has to do with one person.” In Science magazine in September, he credited Cuban scientists with developing the world’s best type B meningococcal vaccine, cancer vaccines, and a medicine that effectively heals diabetic foot ulcers.

“It’s about scientific organizations, in the United States and Cuba, that are working together and can accomplish many things that could not otherwise be achieved.”

Holt encouraged even closer collaboration, saying, “Yes, we are interested in the research per se, but we are also interested in seeking international collaboration because that is one of the conditions that is necessary for science to thrive.”[21]


The following are past and present staff:[22]

External links



  1. odfficial Congressional bio, accessed August 24, 2011
  2. odfficial Congressional bio, accessed August 24, 2011
  3. odfficial Congressional bio, accessed August 24, 2011
  4. odfficial Congressional bio, accessed August 24, 2011
  5. Dem. Left
  6. FOR February 2006 Peace Presence Update
  7. Latin America Working Group, Get Your Representative to Sign a Letter Supporting Human Rights in Colombia
  8. CLW website: Meet Our Candidates
  9. [ American Thinker, September 18, 2009 The 75 Democrats who are pro-sex slave ACORN defenders By Ethel C. Fenig]
  10. CLW 2014 endorsement bio, accessd July 2014
  11., Populists Stymie Wall Street, From The Progressive Populist, November 1, 2008,
  12. The Minnesota Independent: Ellison, McCollum and Oberstar urge Obama to lift Gaza blockade, Jan. 26, 2010 (accessed on March 14, 2011)
  13. J Street 2008 Annual Report
  14. Political Affairs, "Make the Moment into a Movement", Norman Markowitz Monday 4 April 2011
  15. Polis website. Polis, Cartwright Introduce Legislation to Hold Fracking Industry Accountable,
  16. NSA Surveillance: Amash, Conyers Introduce Major Bill, Bipartisan Coalition of 34 Members of Congress Propose LIBERT-E Act, Jun 18, 2013
  17. Update on Cuba Travel: We Gathered 59 Signatures, The LAWG Cuba Team: Mavis, Emily and Karina on May 03, 2013
  18. CPC website, accessed April 20, 2012
  19. PAF
  20. [ Congress Urges President to Ensure Sanctions Do Not Block Medicine for Iranians FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Jamal Abdi]
  21. PW U.S. and Cuban scientists meet in Havana October 19, 2017 11:12 AM CDT BY BEATRICE LUMPKIN
  22. Accessed 12/13/2011