James P. McGovern (D-Mass.)

U.S. Representative (since January 1997)

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Why He Matters

The political similarities between McGovern and his mentor, 1972 Democratic presidential nominee Sen. George McGovern (D-S.D.), are numerous. Both are considered among the most liberal and anti-war lawmakers of their generation. The most prominent difference? They aren't related.

A vocal opponent of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, Jim McGovern has consistently voted for the withdrawal of U.S. troops and against war-funding bills. He served as the co-chair of the Congressional Human Rights Caucus, taking firm stances on other foreign affairs issues. McGovern was twice arrested while protesting atrocities in Sudan's Darfur region.

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Parent to Obama: Let me tell you about the Common Core test Malia and Sasha don’t have to take but Eva does

An open letter to the president: ‘You don’t get a parent’s-eye view of the annual high-stakes tests taken by most of America’s children.’ So here it is.


Dad of Massachusetts boy found dead plans funeral

(Worcester Telegram & Gazette, Tom Rettig / Associated Press)

The father of a missing boy whose body was found off a Massachusetts highway says he was crushed to hear that his 5-year-old son’s remains had been identified but is planning his funeral.


Judge blocks Massachusetts ban on painkiller

A federal judge has blocked Massachusetts from banning the powerful new painkiller Zohydro.


Lawmakers return to consider McAuliffe vetoes

Virginia lawmakers are returning to Richmond to consider Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s changes to the General Assembly’s 2014 legislation.


Rwanda’s Kagame: Lessons learned from genocide

(Steven Senne / Associated Press)

Rwanda President Paul Kagame told a U.S. audience Tuesday that the horrific slaughter of more than 800,000 people in his country two decades ago has taught people in the small East African nation that they “must ultimately be responsible for their own fate.”


At a Glance

  • Career History: Aide, Rep. Joseph Moakley (D-Mass.), Campaign staff, Sen. George McGovern (D-S.D.), (1984); Aide, Sen. George McGovern, (1977-1980)
  • Birthday: Nov. 20, 1959
  • Hometown: Worcester, Mass.
  • Alma Mater: American University, B.A. 1981; M.P.A., 1984
  • Spouse: Lisa
  • Religion: Catholic
  • Committees: Rules ; Agriculture
  • DC Office: 438 Cannon House Office Building, 202-225-6101
  • State/District Office: Worcester, 508-831-7356; Attleboro, 508-431-8025; Marlborough, 508-460-9292; Fall River, 508-677-0140
  • Website
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Path To Power

McGovern was born in Worcester, Mass., in 1959 where his parents owned a liquor store.

As a seventh-grader, McGovern passed out anti-war literature for Sen. George McGovern (D-S.D.), the 1972 Democratic nominee for president. While a student at American University, the younger McGovern interned on Capitol Hill for the senator.

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The Issues

As of August 2010, McGovern had voted with his party 97.9 percent of the time during the 111th Congress (2009-2011).

The co-chairman of the Congressional Hunger Center, McGovern has sought changes to foreign aid and hunger relief programs. He also proposed establishing a hunger czar position to address food issues at home and abroad. In 2007, McGovern took part in the Food Stamp Challenge, living on the average $21 in food-stamp benefits for a week.

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The Network

During the 110th Congress, McGovern was the vice-chair of the House Rules Committee. Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.) is the committee's chairwoman.

In 2006, McGovern was the first prominent backer of Democrat Deval Patrick who eventually won the race for Massachusetts' governor.

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Additional Resources

  1. "A FARC Fan's Notes" Wall Street Journal, March 25, 2008
  2. Caywood, Thomas, "McGovern angry over claim he backs Colombian rebels" Worcester Telegram & Gazette, March 26, 2008
  3. Nangle, Richard, "Patrick win ups McGovern's political cachet" Worcester Telegram & Gazette, Sept. 21, 2006
  4. Bumiller, Elisabeth and Carl Hulse, "Despite leak fallout, House backs war fund" The New York Times, July 27, 2010
  5. Almanac of American Politics
  6. Miller, S.A., "War foe: Block Iraq funding or levy surtax" The Washington Times, Oct. 3, 2007
  7. Kranish, Michael, "Another McGovern takes on a war" The Boston Globe, Dec. 5, 2009
  8. Rhee, Foon, "McGovern, other lawmakers arrested at Darfur protest" The Boston Globe, April 27, 2009
  9. Corriea, Robert, "El Salvador turning point for McGovern; His work investigating the slayings there changed his life, he says, and made him focus on the disadvantaged" Providence Journal-Bulletin, Sept. 7, 1994
  10. McGovern, Jim, "Congress Must Learn From 'Food Stamp Challenge'" Roll Call, June 12, 2007
  11. Melady, Mark, "McGovern suggests boycott of Olympics" Worcester Telegram & Gazette, April 14, 2007
  12. Corriea, Robert, "O'Sullivan had field-tested polish" Providence Journal-Bulletin, Sept. 22, 1994
  13. Nemeth, Robert Z., "McGovern speaks out on the issues" Worcester Telegram & Gazette, Oct. 25, 2009
  14. "US Legislators Urge Lifting Cuban Trade, Travel Embargoes" Voice of America, Jan. 23, 2007
  15. Nangle, Richard, "McGovern clings to roots" Worcester Telegram & Gazette, Oct. 25, 1998
  16. McGovern, George and Jim McGovern, "Hunger must be on presidential plate" Boston Herald, Oct. 29, 2008
  17. Wallison, Ethan, "McGovern Lands Moakley's Rules Seat" Roll Call, June 18, 2001
  18. "About Jim McGovern"
  19. Miga, Andrew, "Congress members arrested at Darfur protest" The Associated Press, April 28, 2006
  20. Nangle, Richard, "McGovern's bid to Clinton may have paid off" Worcester Telegram & Gazette, Nov. 4, 1998
  21. "Washington Post Votes Database"