James Langevin
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James Langevin
James Langevin
James Langevin official portrait.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Rhode Island's 2nd district

January 3, 2001
Bob Weygand
Secretary of State of Rhode Island

January 3, 1995 - January 3, 2001
GovernorLincoln Almond
Barbara Leonard
Ed Inman
Member of the Rhode Island House of Representatives
from the 29th district

January 1989 - January 1995
Joseph McNamara
Personal details
Born (1964-04-22) April 22, 1964 (age 54)
Providence, Rhode Island, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
EducationRhode Island College (BA)
Harvard University (MPA)

James R. Langevin (born April 22, 1964) is the U.S. Representative for Rhode Island's 2nd congressional district, serving since 2001. He is a member of the Democratic Party. Langevin is the first quadriplegic to serve in Congress.

Early life and education

Langevin was born in Providence, Rhode Island. He attended Bishop Hendricken High School, located in Warwick, Rhode Island, and then went on to study at Rhode Island College, from which he received an undergraduate degree, in addition to serving as President of Student Community Government, Inc., and he has a Masters of Public Administration from the Kennedy School of Government of Harvard University.[1]

In 1980, at age 16, he was seriously injured in an accidental shooting. He had been working in the Boy Scout Explorer program at the Warwick Police Department when a firearm was accidentally discharged, leaving him paralyzed.[1] Langevin received $2.2 million in a settlement with the city of Warwick.[2]

Rhode Island government

Langevin's first experience in politics was when he was elected to the state's 1986 constitutional convention and was named its secretary. Langevin, who uses a wheelchair, once ran on the slogan "I'll stand up for you", which he stated during a meeting in West Warwick.

Langevin was first elected a member of the Rhode Island General Assembly in 1988 and served as a state representative until 1994. He was elected Secretary of State of Rhode Island in November 1994, defeating Republican incumbent Barbara Leonard. While Secretary of State, he earned a reputation for weeding out corruption in state government.

U.S. House of Representatives

Committee assignments

Caucus memberships

  • Afterschool Caucuses[3]
  • Animal Protection Caucus
  • Bicameral Congressional Arthritis Caucus
  • Bi-Partisan, Bi-Cameral Congressional Task Force on Alzheimer's Disease
  • Bi-Partisan Congressional Pro-Life Caucus
  • Bipartisan Disabilities Caucus
  • Bi-Partisan Task Force for Combating Anti-Semitism
  • Career and Technical Education Caucus
  • Coalition for Autism Research and Education Caucus (CARE)
  • Congressional Addiction, Treatment and Recovery Caucus
  • Congressional Adult Literacy Caucus
  • Congressional Army Caucus
  • Congressional Arts Caucus[4]
  • Congressional Boating Caucus
  • Congressional Brain Injury Task Force
  • Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues
  • Congressional Caucus on Community Health Centers
  • Congressional Caucus on Foster Youth
  • Congressional Caucus on Hellenic Issues
  • Congressional Caucus on Parkinson's Disease
  • Congressional Coalition on Adoption
  • Congressional Coast Guard Caucus
  • Congressional Cybersecurity Caucus
  • Congressional Dairy Farmers Caucus
  • Congressional Diabetes Caucus
  • Congressional Directed Energy Caucus
  • Congressional Fire Services Caucus
  • Congressional German-American Caucus
  • Congressional Heart and Stroke Coalition
  • Congressional High Performance Building Caucus
  • Congressional House Ocean Caucus
  • Congressional Humanities Caucus
  • Congressional Internet Caucus
  • Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus
  • Congressional Mental Health Caucus
  • Congressional Multiple Sclerosis Caucus
  • Congressional Navy and Marine Corps Caucus
  • Congressional Nursing Caucus
  • Congressional Olympic & Paralympic Caucus
  • Congressional Pre-K Caucus
  • Congressional Robotics Caucus
  • Congressional Semiconductor Caucus
  • Congressional Shellfish Caucus
  • Congressional Shipbuilding Caucus
  • Congressional STEAM Caucus
  • Congressional STEM Education Caucus
  • Congressional Structured Settlement Caucus
  • Congressional Submarine Caucus
  • Congressional Taiwan Caucus
  • Congressional Travel and Tourism Caucus
  • Congressional Ukrainian Caucus
  • Congressional United Service Organization
  • Congressional Wine Caucus
  • Democratic Israel Working Group
  • Health Care Innovation Task Force
  • Hidden Heroes Congressional Caucus for Military and Veteran Caregivers
  • Historic Preservation Caucus
  • House Aerospace Caucus
  • House Air Force Caucus
  • House General Aviation Caucus
  • House Small Brewers Caucus
  • House UK Caucus
  • Law Enforcement Caucus
  • Medical Technology Caucus
  • National Guard and Reserve Components Caucus
  • National Heritage Area Caucus
  • Northeast-Midwest Congressional Coalition
  • Portuguese-American Caucus
  • Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency Caucus
  • Sustainable Energy and Environmental Coalition
  • Task Force on Anti-Terrorism and Proliferation Financing

Political positions


Langevin has a mixed record on abortion. He has voted both to restrict and defend the choice to have the procedure. He voted against banning abortion coverage in the Affordable Care Act, however he has voted for the Abortion Pain Bill, which seeks "to ensure that women seeking an abortion are fully informed regarding the pain experienced by their unborn child."[5][6] However, he strongly promotes contraceptive availability, and in a statement in 2007 said, "I have great respect for the passion displayed by Mr. Smith and Mr. Stupak and I share their opposition to abortion. However, in this instance I must strongly disagree with their decision to prevent the distribution of contraception to some of the most poor and needy people and nations in the world."[7] Because of his mixed stance on the issue, he has received fluctuating ratings from interest groups such as Planned Parenthood and the National Right to Life Committee.[8]

Langevin believes that abortion should be legal when the pregnancy is a result of incest or rape or when the pregnancy endangers the life of the mother, but does wish to decrease the number of abortions in the country.[9] His relatively complex stance on abortion contributes to somewhat contradictory interest group ratings because of his supporting of various bills: Representative Langevin's stance on abortion supported the interests of the NARAL Pro-Choice America 0 percent in 2006 but in 2007, the same group gave Representative Langevin a grade of 100 and the National Right to Life Committee gave the Representative zero points, with points assigned for actions connected to a pro-life anti-abortion agenda.[10]


On the issue of health care, Langevin has strongly demonstrated his support of reform. In May 2009, he introduced the American Health Benefits Program Act of 2009, which has the stated purpose of "amending the Social Security Act and the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to assure comprehensive, affordable health insurance coverage for all Americans through an American Health Benefits Program.[11] He has voted in favor of health care extensively during his time in office.[12] In addition, he receives much of his campaign donations from health professionals.[13] Langevin stated his goal for universal health care as "a system of portable and continuous coverage based on quality, affordability and choice that promotes investment in long-term prevention and drives down the cost of care over time."[14]


Langevin is considered strongly pro-labor. He has received $130,000 in campaign contributions from pro-labor groups.[15] During his time in office, he has supported labor interests in over 25 votes.[16] Numerous labor interest groups have rated him extremely highly, including the United Auto Workers, the AFL-CIO, and the Utility Workers Union of America.[17] The Latin America Working Group and The Alliance for Worker Freedom have ranked Langevin very poorly.[17]

Gun control

He supports gun control, and co-sponsored a 2005 bill which would have reauthorized the 1994 assault weapons ban, which had expired in 2004.[]

Stem cell research

One of Langevin's top priorities as a Member of Congress has been the expansion of federal funding of embryonic stem cell research.[18] His policy position is driven by his paralysis and the possibilities that stem cell research provide in helping this condition; he joined other members of the House in introducing the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act of 2005, expanding the limited funding put in place in 2001.[18]


Langevin helped to found the House Cybersecurity Caucus, which he co-chairs.[19] The Representative has appeared on 60 Minutes speaking about the national security challenges the country will face this century in regards to protecting infrastructure and data.[20] Langevin has said that he hopes to raise awareness of the need for security in that area and supports strict penalties for internet crimes as well as strong internet privacy laws.[9]

Rep. Langevin supports cybersecurity measures as long as they do not add "unnecessary regulations to business".[21] His state of Rhode Island passed a statewide cybersecurity plan which Langevin greatly supported in October 2012. In May 2012, Langevin proposed an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) which would account for the cyber risks that United States faces in terms of national security, saying without these measures the United States is " ignoring key aspects of what is fast becoming the biggest threat to our security"[22]

"Cybersecurity contractors General Dynamics and Raytheon were Langevin's two top sources for campaign contributions" in the 2010 election.[19]

Armed forces

Langevin, who serves on the Committee of Armed Services, has regularly voted for additional support of armed forces in Iraq and Afghanistan but he has voted for a timeline for U.S. forces to leave Iraq as well as a ban on any permanent U.S. bases in the country.[23] Langevin has also voted against limiting the interrogation techniques used in fighting terror and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.[24]

Tax cuts

Langevin, who serves on the Congressional Committee on the Budget, believes in tax-cuts for low-income and middle class citizens while eliminating the tax cuts made for the wealthy, indicating in his Political Courage Test that he wishes to "greatly decrease" taxes for families making less than $75,000.[9] Langevin also supports temporary incentives for businesses to invest in job creation. Representative Langevin, with a 100% rating from the AFL-CIO, is pro-labor and supports the regulation of business.[10]

Advocacy for disabled people

Langevin in the 2017 Bristol Fourth of July Parade

Langevin is known as an advocate for people with disabilities and for universal health care, being himself a quadriplegic. He is the first quadriplegic to serve in Congress.[25]

On July 27, 2004, he spoke to the Democratic National Convention, largely on the subject of stem cell research.

In March 2007, Langevin became a co-sponsor of the Christopher and Dana Reeve Paralysis Act, which had the stated purpose of "enhancing and furthering research into paralysis and to improve rehabilitation and the quality of life for persons living with paralysis and other physical disabilities." The bill passed the House of Representatives but not the Senate. However, in 2009, the bill was included in the Omnibus Public Land Management Act, also co-sponsored by Langevin, which passed both houses of Congress and was signed into law by President Barack Obama.

For the Presidency in 2008, Langevin announced his support for Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY),[26] by serving as a special adviser on issues ranging from stem cell research to people with disabilities.

On July 26, 2010, Langevin became the first member of Congress to preside over the House of Representatives while using a wheelchair.[25] The House had just recently installed a wheelchair lift leading up to the Speaker's rostrum.[25]


Representative Langevin leans to the left on environmental and energy issues in Congress. Environmental issue groups have generally given him high ratings; more recently he received a 97% from the League of Conservation Voters in 2011. He has also received a rating of 100% from the Defenders of Wildlife Foundation. Conservative issue groups concerning the energy and the environment have given him very low ratings. He is a strong supporter of alternative energy from oil and coal, voting 'Nay' for the Stop the War Against Coal Act of September 2012[27] and he has supported measures for new wind farms in New England. He has praised these developments, saying wind farm "development holds great promise for Rhode Island and the country to have more stable and cleaner energy resources, while boosting our economy by presenting an opportunity to build a manufacturing base for these turbines and create quality jobs in the Ocean State."[28][29]

In 2011, Langevin strongly opposed the Energy Tax Prevention Act, which would limit the EPA's ability to regulate carbon outputs. Calling the act the "Dirty Air Act," Langevin explained that in passing this act America would be "turning back the progress we have made to protect our health under the Clean Air Act," also claiming that the passage of the bill would be "continuing our nation's addiction to foreign oil."[30] Moreover, he has fought for more environmental regulations that he believes will help Rhode Islanders live healthier lives, saying that "protecting the environment is a matter of pride."[31]

Political campaigns

Langevin was first elected to the United States House of Representatives in 2000, defeating perennial candidate Robert Tingle for a seat that was left open when Congressman Robert Weygand ran for the U.S. Senate. He took office in 2001, representing Rhode Island's 2nd congressional district. He has been re-elected with relative ease ever since, defeating independent Rodney Driver in 2006 and Republican Mark Zaccaria in 2008.


In 2010, he again defeated Republican nominee Mark Zaccaria.


Langevin ran for reelection in the 2nd District.[32] He was challenged by Republican nominee Michael Riley and Independent Abel Collins, an environmental activist.[33] Langevin was re-elected with 55.7% of the vote.[34]


  1. ^ a b "U.S. Representative Jim Langevin at house.gov". Archived from the original on 2008-03-27. Retrieved .
  2. ^ McCutcheon, Michael; Barone, Chuck (2013). 2014 Almanac of American Politics. The University of Chicago Press.
  3. ^ "Members". Afterschool Alliance. Retrieved 2018.
  4. ^ "Membership". Congressional Arts Caucus. Retrieved 2018.
  5. ^ "Project Vote Smart - Representative Langevin on HR 6099 - Abortion Pain Bill". Votesmart.org. Retrieved .
  6. ^ "James Langevin on Abortion". www.ontheissues.org. Retrieved .
  7. ^ "Project Vote Smart - Representative James R. 'Jim' Langevin - The Department Of State, Foreigh Operations And Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2008-Continued". Votesmart.org. 2007-06-21. Retrieved .
  8. ^ "Project Vote Smart - Representative James R. 'Jim' Langevin - Interest Group Ratings". Votesmart.org. 2010-05-14. Retrieved .
  9. ^ a b c "Congressional Election 2000 National Political Awareness Test".
  10. ^ a b "Project Vote Smart Interest Group Ratings of James Langevin".
  11. ^ "H.R. 2399: American Health Benefits Program Act of 2009". GovTrack.us. Retrieved .
  12. ^ "Project Vote Smart - Representative James R. 'Jim' Langevin - Voting Record". Votesmart.org. Retrieved .
  13. ^ "Jim Langevin: Campaign Finance/Money - Summary - Congressman 2008". OpenSecrets. Retrieved .
  14. ^ "Jim Langevin for Congress: Issues: Health Care". Jimlangevin.com. Archived from the original on November 26, 2008. Retrieved .
  15. ^ "Jim Langevin: Campaign Finance/Money - Industries - Congressman 2008 | OpenSecrets". 63.e5bed1.client.atlantech.net. 2009-07-13. Retrieved .
  16. ^ "Project Vote Smart - Representative James R. 'Jim' Langevin - Voting Record". Votesmart.org. Retrieved .
  17. ^ a b "Project Vote Smart - Representative James R. 'Jim' Langevin - Interest Group Ratings". Votesmart.org. Retrieved .
  18. ^ a b "James Langevin for Congress: Stem Cells".
  19. ^ a b Carney, Timothy (2011-04-27) The rise of the cybersecurity-industrial complex, Washington Examiner
  20. ^ "Cyber security is the topic for Langevin on 60 Minutes", Providence Journal-Bulletin, November 8, 2009
  21. ^ "Langevin Responds to Panetta's Stark Warnings about Cyber Threats". Project Vote Smart. Retrieved 2012.
  22. ^ "Langevin Proposes Cybersecurity Amendments to Defense Bill". Project Vote Smart. Retrieved 2012.
  23. ^ "James Langevin's Voting Record on Defense".
  24. ^ "James Langevin's Voting Record on the Military".
  25. ^ a b c ABC News. "Historic Lift: Wheelchair-Bound Member Presides Over House". ABC News Blogs. Retrieved 2015.
  26. ^ "Rhode Island Rep. Jim Langevin Endorses Clinton". June 1, 2007. Archived from the original on April 23, 2008. Retrieved .
  27. ^ "HR 3409 - Stop the War on Coal Act of 2012 - Key Vote". Project Vote Smart. Retrieved 2012.
  28. ^ "Langevin Applauds Key Step Toward RI Wind Farm". Project Vote Smart. Retrieved 2012.
  29. ^ "Interior Launches Leasing Process for Commercial Wind Energy Offshore Rhode Island and Massachusetts". Project Vote Smart. Retrieved 2012.
  30. ^ "Energy Tax Prevention Act of 2011". Project Vote Smart. Retrieved 2012.
  31. ^ "Langevin, Kennedy Urge Defeat of Anti-Environmental Legislation". Project Vote Smart. Retrieved 2012.
  32. ^ Peoples, Steve (April 29, 2011). "Langevin's Influence Jeopardized in Minority". GoLocalProv. Retrieved 2012.
  33. ^ Arditi, Lynn (7 June 2012). "Environmental activist challenges Langevin for District 2 seat". The Providence Journal. Retrieved 2012.
  34. ^ "2012 House Races". Politico. Retrieved 2013.

External links

Party political offices
Preceded by
Kathleen Connell
Democratic nominee for Secretary of State of Rhode Island
1994, 1998
Succeeded by
Matt Brown
Political offices
Preceded by
Barbara Leonard
Secretary of State of Rhode Island
January 3, 1995 – January 3, 2001
Succeeded by
Edward S. Inman
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Robert Weygand
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Rhode Island's 2nd congressional district

January 3, 2001 – present
Current U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Darrell Issa
U.S. Representatives by seniority
Succeeded by
Rick Larsen

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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