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Rep. Jim McGovern
Since his election in 1996, Congressman Jim McGovern has been widely recognized as a tenacious advocate for his district, a tireless crusader for change, and an unrivaled supporter for social justice and fundamental human rights.

Currently serving his ninth term in Congress, McGovern serves as the second ranking Democrat on the powerful House Rules Committee, which sets the terms for debate and amendments on most legislation; and a member of the House Agriculture Committee. In those roles, McGovern has secured millions of dollars in federal grants and assistance for Massachusetts. McGovern is also co-chair of both the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission and the House Hunger Caucus. He also serves as Co-Chair of the Northeast Midwest Congressional Coalition.

Over the past 16 years, McGovern has consistently delivered millions of dollars for jobs, vital local and regional projects, small businesses, public safety, regional and mass transportation projects, and affordable housing around Massachusetts.

McGovern has authored important legislation to increase Pell Grant funding to allow more students access to higher education; to provide funds to preserve open space in urban and suburban communities; and to give tax credits to employers who pay the salaries of their employees who are called up to active duty in the Guard and Reserves.

A strong proponent of healthcare reform, his legislative efforts included reducing the cost of home health care, giving patients the dignity to be cared for in their own homes with the help of medical professionals.

McGovern voted against the initial authorization of force in Iraq in 2002, and has been among the most prominent Congressional voices on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. McGovern introduced a bipartisan, bicameral bill calling for a flexible timetable for withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan as a matter of national security and fiscal responsibility.

McGovern has also taken a leadership role in the fight against hunger at home and abroad, successfully expanding the McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program, which helps alleviate child hunger and poverty by providing nutritious meals to children in schools in the world’s poorest countries.

McGovern is one of the leading voices in Congress fighting to overturn Citizens United, and has become one of the main advocates in the fight against corporate personhood.

Before his election to Congress, McGovern spent 14 years working as a senior aide for the late U.S. Representative John Joseph Moakley (D-South Boston), former dean of the Massachusetts delegation and Chairman of the House Rules Committee. In 1989, McGovern was the lead investigator on the Moakley Commission Congressional Investigation into the murders of six Jesuit priests, their housekeeper and her daughter in 1989. The investigation ultimately led to a seminal change in U.S. foreign policy towards El Salvador when determined that the Salvadoran military was implicated in the murders. That landmark determination led to future military aid from the U.S. being conditioned on an improved human rights record.

Jim McGovern was born on November 20, 1959, in Worcester, the son of two successful small business owners. His two sisters are elementary school teachers in Worcester’s public school system.

McGovern earned his Bachelor of Arts (‘81) and Masters of Public Administration (‘84) degrees from The American University, working his way through college by serving as an aide in the office of U.S. Senator George McGovern (D-SD). He went on to manage Senator McGovern’s 1984 Presidential campaign in Massachusetts, and delivered his nomination speech during the 1984 Democratic National Convention in San Francisco.

Jim is married to Lisa Murray McGovern. The McGovern's have a son, Patrick and a daughter, Molly.

Entries by Rep. Jim McGovern

America Cannot Afford an Endless War in Afghanistan

(18) Comments | Posted February 4, 2016 | 6:18 PM


By Jim McGovern and John Isaacs

President Obama never wanted an endless war in Afghanistan, but that is exactly what America is currently facing.

Just last week, the Washington Post reported that "Top U.S. military commanders... are now...

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Guatemala Needs U.S. Support Now More Than Ever

(0) Comments | Posted October 9, 2015 | 5:52 PM


Co-authored by Representative Eliot L. Engel (NY)

With crises and turmoil all around the globe, Guatemala does not receive the attention it deserves in our Congress. We hope that will change in the coming months. The Central American country is at an important...

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Guatemala Needs U.S. Support Now More Than Ever

(7) Comments | Posted October 9, 2015 | 5:20 PM

With crises and turmoil all around the globe, Guatemala does not receive the attention it deserves in our Congress. We hope that will change in the coming months. The Central American country is at an important crossroads where U.S. foreign assistance can make a real difference.

On September 2nd,...

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Time to Answer Romero's Call to Action

(0) Comments | Posted May 21, 2015 | 6:31 AM


I will be in El Salvador this weekend as a witness to the beatification of Archbishop Oscar Romero, who was assassinated on March 24, 1980, on the eve of El Salvador's 12-year civil war. This is the last step before what many of...

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El Salvador Still Deserves Justice

(1) Comments | Posted November 11, 2014 | 10:24 AM

November 10, 2014

This weekend, I will be in San Salvador to honor the lives and work of six Jesuit priests, their housekeeper and her daughter. They worked at the University of Central America (UCA) and they were murdered 25 years ago, on November 16, 1989, in a coordinated operation...

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My Last 5 Minute Speech of 2013: It's Time for Congress to Do Our Jobs. It's Time to Get Out of Afghanistan

(0) Comments | Posted December 12, 2013 | 2:29 PM


M. Speaker. The time has come for our military to leave Afghanistan. Afghan President Karzai's refusal to sign the Bilateral Security Agreement should be the last straw in putting an end to what has become America's longest war.

After more than 12 years, hundreds of billions of dollars, and over 2100 American servicemen and women killed in combat, it is time to bring all of our troops home now. In poll after poll, the American people have made it clear that they want our troops home. Certainly, our brave men and women in uniform and their families have done everything we have asked of them and more. We must not ask them to continue to fight, bleed and die in Afghanistan for another ten or twelve years to support a government more interested in extorting America and ripping off our tax dollars than in working with us to strengthen its own security.

M. Speaker, President Obama needs to turn this interminable conflict over to the Afghans. As of yesterday, 2,153 members of our Armed Forces have died in Afghanistan since 2001. Another 19,526 have been wounded. And every Member in this chamber knows that tens of thousands of our troops have returned home with invisible wounds to their minds and spirits. Suicide rates among our veterans are among the highest ever, and continue to climb. For many, the care required to help heal these wounds will last a lifetime. It's estimated that health care and veterans benefits for the men and women deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan will cost trillions of dollars. In both human and fiscal terms, we simply can't afford to waste more lives and dollars in Afghanistan.

The president has not made a case about how any number of troops remaining in Afghanistan after 2014 can improve the competence of Afghan forces when our current greater and more intensive engagement over the past decade has not been able to do so. It is completely unclear whether the April elections will improve the Afghan government, given its in-grown corruption, sectarian divisions and the Taliban insurgency. There are no compelling reasons to remain. We need to turn Afghanistan over to the Afghans now -- not ten years from now.

We need to bring our troops home by no later than the end of 2014, just as the president promised. If this is the so-called "zero-option," then it is the best option. We do not need to keep another 10-to-12 thousand American troops in Afghanistan for another ten years, at the cost of about $80 billion or more each year. They will continue to be in harm's way. They will continue to be carrying out dangerous operations. They will continue to be wounded, body and soul; and they will continue to be killed. And for what? So one of the most corrupt governments in the world can continue living off of our blood and treasure? So military contractors can continue lining their pockets? We're cutting programs right and left in the budget, but we're supposed to keep pouring tens of billions of dollars into Afghanistan for another decade? And all of it borrowed money charged to the national credit card. I say enough is enough.

In June, 305 Members of this House voted in support of an amendment offered by Congressmen Walter Jones, Adam Smith and myself to bring our troops home by the end of 2014 and to accelerate that process, if possible. It clearly stated that if the president determined to keep U.S. troops in Afghanistan after 2014, then the Congress should vote on authorizing that mission. Senators Merkley and Lee were ready to offer a similar amendment in the Senate when the defense bill was to be taken up over there. They had more than a dozen bipartisan cosponsors on their amendment.

Instead, the FY14 NDAA went into conference negotiations without debate by the full Senate. In those negotiations, the principal Senate conferees demanded that the House amendment be completely watered down. The conference language only requires the President to "consult" with Congress about any post-2014 deployment of troops. That's worthless, M. Speaker. We don't need consultation; what we need is a vote. I call on Speaker Boehner and Leader Pelosi to take seriously the call of 305 Members of this House and schedule a vote next year on keeping thousands of U.S. troops in Afghanistan. Whether or not you support such a decision, the House needs to vote on it.

It's time for us in Congress to do our job. It's time we stopped asking our troops and their families to sacrifice their lives in a war that has outlived its purpose. It's time to bring our troops home. It's time to get out of...

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The Ongoing Human Rights Crisis in Sudan

(1) Comments | Posted August 8, 2013 | 2:16 PM

Ten years ago, the stark images of Darfur burned themselves onto the national conscience. After Sudanese-government aircraft bombed villages in Darfur, the Janjaweed, government-backed Arab militias, would sweep in to empty the land of people. They burned down villages and crops, poisoned wells, destroyed cattle, raped women and girls systematically,...

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15 Members of Congress Speak Out: End the War in Afghanistan

(2) Comments | Posted July 19, 2012 | 1:29 PM

Today, 14 of my colleagues from both parties joined me in speaking out against the war in Afghanistan.

As I said in my remarks, I'm not convinced there is any light at the end of the tunnel. I'm not convinced that this war is coming to an end.

Congress is...

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Rescuing 'We, the People'

(47) Comments | Posted May 24, 2012 | 1:13 PM

Defenders of the Supreme Court decision in Citizens United and the ascendant corporate rights doctrine that underlies it must be getting nervous.

Why else would George Will resort to arguing, as he so outrageously does ("Taking a scythe to the Bill of Rights", May 6) that the bipartisan...

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VIDEO: "Now Is the Time for Leadership, Not Bad Political Theater!"

(2) Comments | Posted July 31, 2011 | 11:56 AM

"I am willing to compromise; I am willing to put my country first"

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We Need a Plan to Pull Out All U.S. Troops

(7) Comments | Posted June 29, 2011 | 4:05 PM

The president was right in his Wednesday night speech that we need to begin bringing our troops home from Afghanistan. But a counter-terrorism strategy doesn't need 70,000 boots on the ground, any more than it needed 100,000 boots on the ground.

What the president needed to tell us is how...

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President's Drawdown Announcement "Insufficient"

(1) Comments | Posted June 22, 2011 | 9:17 PM

The drawdown of American forces that the President announced tonight is insufficient. The President is right that we need to shift our strategy in Afghanistan. But a counter-terrorism strategy doesn't need 70,000 boots on the ground, any more than it needed 100,000 boots on the ground. What the president needs...

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The Time Is Now to Bring Them Home

(6) Comments | Posted May 26, 2011 | 1:39 PM

This morning, I introduced a bipartisan amendment to set in motion a real plan to bring our troops home from Afghanistan.

The amendment calls for a plan and timeframe on the accelerated transition of military operations to Afghan authorities, but does not restrict the president's authority to attack al Qaeda...

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Twitter Town Hall in One Hour

(0) Comments | Posted May 12, 2011 | 4:26 PM

Today at 4:30, I'll be hosting a live Twitter Town Hall, and you're invited. I'm taking questions using the #AskMcG hashtag -- feel free to submit anytime between now and then.

I'll be focusing on Afghanistan and budget issues. As you know, I am a firm advocate...

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Bring Them Home: My Bipartisan Bill To Require an Afghanistan Withdrawal Timetable

(8) Comments | Posted May 5, 2011 | 1:17 PM

Today, I introduced new, bipartisan legislation to require the Obama administration to present an exit strategy for U.S. forces from Afghanistan. U.S. Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC) is the lead Republican co-sponsor.

Specifically, the bill (The "Afghanistan Exit and Accountability Act") would:

  • Require the president to transmit to Congress a plan...
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Big Oil subsidies, Afghanistan Occupation, and the GOP's Bad Science

(0) Comments | Posted April 6, 2011 | 4:45 PM

We all agree we need to reduce the deficit. But we need to do it by ending taxpayer-funded Big Oil subsidies. What about ending the occupation in Afghanistan? Instead, the GOP today is looking at repealing years & years of science with their EPA act.

BP, Chevron, Conoco-Phillips, Exxon-Mobil, and...

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GOP Bill Destroys Jobs; Offers Disturbing Standards for Workers' Voting Rights

(23) Comments | Posted March 31, 2011 | 4:39 PM

Here we go again. Instead of bringing meaningful legislation to create jobs to the floor of the House, the new Republican majority continues to show just how out-of-touch they are.

Two weeks ago it was cutting off funding for NPR. Yesterday it was private school vouchers in Washington, D.C.

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We Call on Gadhafi to Quit Violent Crackdown

(6) Comments | Posted February 23, 2011 | 4:55 PM

The violence in Libya is unconscionable and the international community must unite in opposition to this brute use of force against non-violent protesters.

Yesterday's speech by embattled Moammar Gadhafi reinforces the fact that he is willing to cling to power through whatever means necessary. Calling himself a 'martyr' and...

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Senator Obama's Curious Comments on Meet the Press

(349) Comments | Posted November 14, 2007 | 10:18 AM

I support Senator Clinton's White House bid because I believe she is the one candidate with the strength and experience to actually end the war in Iraq.

I thought Iraq was the wrong war at the wrong time and have been fighting to get the Administration to stop its...

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