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Throughout his career, Congressman Jim Langevin has made Rhode Island's priorities his own and fought to open the doors of government to its rightful owners - the people of this great nation.
Recognized as a national and party leader on homeland security, health care and stem cell research, Congressman Jim Langevin has dedicated his many years of public service at the federal and state levels to the hard-working citizens of Rhode Island.
In 2003, Langevin was appointed to the House Committee on Homeland Security, and in January 2007 he was named Chairman of the Subcommittee on Emerging Threats, Cybersecurity and Science and Technology. This subcommittee oversees the Domestic Nuclear Detection Office at the Department of Homeland Security, as well as the DHS Science and Technology Directorate, which is the agency’s primary research and development arm and is responsible for providing federal, state, and local officials with various forms of technology to protect the nation.
In January 2007, Langevin took a leave of absence from the House Armed Services Committee, where to he had served since 2001, in order to join the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence at the request of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. He will serve on the Subcommittee on Terrorism, Human Intelligence, Analysis and Counterintelligence, and the Subcommittee on Technical and Tactical Intelligence. Langevin strongly believes that good intelligence is the nation’s first line of defense against terrorism and other national security threats.
Langevin is also proud to serve as part of the Democratic Leadership team as both a Democratic Regional Whip for New England and as a member of House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn’s Senior Whip Team. In these roles, he is responsible for educating other Democratic members on key issues and helping to craft the party’s strategy and legislative agenda.
One of Langevin’s top priorities has been advancing the science of stem cell research. He is recognized as a national leader who works tirelessly to educate and encourage his colleagues to embrace this promising medical research in all of its forms. Langevin championed the passage of H.R. 3, the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act, and its predecessor H.R. 810, which call for the expansion of the federal policy on embryonic stem cell research. In 2004 he spoke at the Democratic National Convention in Boston about the promise of stem cell research.
Langevin is also proud of his efforts in pursuit of universal health care. His plan, first introduced in 2004, is based on the existing Federal Employee Health Benefits Program and would offer affordable health coverage to all Americans. The American Health Benefits Program (AHBP) (PDF 27KB) is a proposed system of managed competition intended to open a dialogue to explore new ways of thinking about health insurance.
Continuing his dedication to health care, Langevin celebrated the passage of the Lifespan Respite Care Act in 2006, after fours years of work. The act will establish a program to assist family caregivers in accessing affordable and high-quality respite care and create a National Resource Center on Lifespan Respite Care.
Langevin first ran for office in 1986, when he was elected a Delegate to Rhode Island's Constitutional Convention and served as its secretary. Two years later, he won election to the Rhode Island House of Representatives, where he established a reputation as a hard-working reformer committed to good government.
In 1994, Langevin defeated a Republican incumbent to become the nation's youngest Secretary of State. He transformed the office into "the people's partner in government" and took on the challenge of reforming Rhode Island's outdated election system. Langevin also established the state’s Public Information Center and, with Brown University, published "Access Denied,” which examined the General Assembly's compliance with the Open Meetings Law and documented routine and widespread violations.
In 1998, Langevin easily won re-election to his second term as Secretary of State, achieving the largest plurality of any general officer in this century, and in 2000, he made a successful run for the U.S. House of Representatives, where he has served the Second Congressional District ever since.
Born April 22, 1964, Langevin is the first quadriplegic to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives.
At the age of 16, Langevin was injured while working with the Warwick Police Department in the Boy Scout Explorer program. A gun accidentally discharged and a bullet struck Langevin, leaving him paralyzed. The tremendous outpouring of support from his community inspired Langevin to give something back and enter public service.
Langevin resides in Warwick, Rhode Island, and serves on a number of boards, including PARI Independent Living, Tech Access, The Rhode Island Shelter, the Hope Alzheimer’s Center and the Big Brothers of RI. Langevin is also a member of the Knights of Columbus, Lions Club and Save the Bay. He graduated from Rhode Island College and earned a Master's Degree in Public Administration from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
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