Jim Himes
Jim Himes Official Portrait, 113th Congress.jpg
Chair of the House Fair Growth Committee
Assumed office
June 17, 2021
Preceded byPosition established
Chair of the New Democrat Coalition
In office
January 3, 2017 – January 3, 2019
Preceded byRon Kind
Succeeded byDerek Kilmer
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Connecticut's 4th district
Assumed office
January 3, 2009
Preceded byChris Shays
Personal details
Born
James Andrew Himes

(1966-07-05) July 5, 1966 (age 56)
Lima, Peru
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse
Mary Scott
(m. 1994)
Children2
EducationHarvard University (AB)
St Edmund Hall, Oxford (MPhil)
WebsiteHouse website

James Andrew Himes (born July 5, 1966) is an American businessman and politician serving as the U.S. representative for Connecticut's 4th congressional district since 2009. A member of the Democratic Party, he chaired the New Democrat Coalition in the 115th Congress (2017–2019).[1][2]

Himes's district includes most of the southwestern corner of the state and is largely coextensive with the Connecticut side of the New York metropolitan area. It includes parts of Fairfield County and New Haven County, including the cities of Bridgeport, Norwalk, Fairfield and Stamford.

Early life and education

Himes was born on July 5, 1966, in Lima, Peru,[3] to American parents. His father, James R. Himes, worked for the Ford Foundation in Lima.[4] His father was also the director of the UNICEF Innocenti Center, a research institute on child development in Florence, Italy.[5] His mother, Judith A. Himes, was until recently the director of board activities for the New Jersey Board of Higher Education in Trenton.[6]

Himes spent his early childhood in Lima and Bogotá, Colombia.[4] After his parents divorced, Jim, his mother, and his two sisters moved to Pennington, New Jersey,[4][7] where he attended and graduated from Hopewell Valley Central High School.[5]

Himes attended Harvard University, where he was the captain of the lightweight crew and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in 1988.[3] He studied for a degree in Latin American studies as a Rhodes scholar at St Edmund Hall, Oxford[4] and graduated with a Master of Philosophy in 1990.[3] He was awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from the University of Bridgeport on May 5, 2012.[8]

Early career

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In 1995, Himes began working at Goldman Sachs[9] as a banker in Latin America and New York. He was eventually promoted to vice president.

Himes was appointed commissioner of the Greenwich Housing Authority in 2002, and served for two years as chairman of the board. He has also served as a board member of Aspira of Connecticut in Bridgeport, a board member of the Fairfield County Community Foundation, and as an advisory board member of Family Assets, LLP of Bridgeport.

Himes was also an elected member of the Greenwich Board of Estimate and Taxation and chaired the Greenwich Democratic Town Committee.[10]

U.S. House of Representatives

Legislation

Himes has sponsored 33 bills.[11]

Political positions

Abortion

Planned Parenthood gives Himes a 100% pro-choice rating.[12] He voted against the Stupak-Pitts Amendment in the Affordable Health Care for America Act that was intended to prevent any federal funds from paying for any health care plan with abortion coverage.[13][14]

Defense

Himes has said, "we should reduce our presence in Afghanistan as rapidly as possible and reshape our mission to focus exclusively on counterterrorism" while requiring "presence in the region, but one considerably smaller than that required by our present strategy of nation-building."[15] He believes in a world free of nuclear weapons, and readily supports sanctions against Iran. He voted for the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act of 2010.[15] He supports a two-state solution for Israel and Palestine.[15]

Education

Himes believes that early childhood education is "the most intelligent investment a nation can make in its future" and voted to double funding for Early Head Start Program.[16] He stated in 2008 that No Child Left Behind "is well-intentioned because it focuses on education, but it must be reformed."[17] Himes also co-authored an amendment to the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act that promoted students' financial literacy.[18]

Environment

Environment America has given Himes a 100% rating.[19] He believes that "By creating the right set of financial incentives and supporting a broad range of research and development, we can deliver the energy our economy requires to thrive while protecting our planet."[20] He also voted for the American Clean Energy and Security Act.[14]

Gun issues

Himes voted against H.R. 627 which allowed loaded guns into national parks.[14] The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence gives him a 100% lifetime score for his support of more gun regulations.[21] Himes refuses to participate in moments of silence in the House chamber after mass shootings. He believes this honorary gesture for shooting victims is a negligence by Congress, because they could spend the time passing legislation to work on ending gun violence.[22]

Health care

Himes supports the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. He believes in preserving Medicare and Medicaid and says we must be "prepared to equitably reform these programs to address the challenging problem of rising health care costs and ensure that these important safety net programs are here to help this generation and the next."[23]

Fourth Amendment

Himes voted against H.R. 2397, which was to defund the NSA domestic phone metadata spying program.[24] He said he voted against the bill not because he objects to limiting the NSA's power, but because the bill was created in a reactionary manner and stripped the NSA of too much power.[citation needed]

Transportation

Himes co-sponsored H.R. 402, The National Infrastructure Development Bank Act of 2011, which would objectively fund national infrastructure projects. According to Himes, it would also "attract private investment and facilitate private sector partnering with regions, states and localities to borrow from the Bank while adding its own private equity to projects."[25] He has helped bring money to the 4th district, such as "over $70 million for safety improvements, resurfacing, enhancements, and bridge improvements to the Merritt Parkway; over $11 million for infrastructure improvements at the Steel Point project in Bridgeport that will generate thousands of new jobs; and $30 million for upgrades to Metro North's Danbury Branch line."[25]

Animal rights and wildlife issues

In 2009–2010, the Society for Animal Protective legislation gave Himes a rating of 100% for his support of animal protection. In 2009, Himes received a 100% rating from the Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund for his position on wildlife action.[26]

LGBT rights

In 2009–2010, the Human Rights Campaign gave Himes a rating of 100%.[26]

Immigration

In 2009–2010, the American Immigration Lawyers Association gave Himes a rating of 100% for his stance on the defense of undocumented immigrants in the U.S.[26]

Electoral College and presidential selection

In 2016, Himes lobbied the Electoral College to refuse to vote for Donald Trump and to instead elect Hillary Clinton.[27] On December 12, 2016, in an interview on CNN's New Day, he said he was troubled by several of Trump's actions. The issue that "pushed me over the edge" was Trump's criticism of the CIA and the intelligence community. Himes admitted that Trump won "fair and square" but said that Trump had proved himself unfit for public office. He cited the intentions behind the creation of the electoral college and argued that it was created for an instance such as Trump's election.[citation needed]

Big Tech

In 2022, Himes was one of 16 Democrats to vote against the Merger Filing Fee Modernization Act of 2022, an antitrust package that would crack down on corporations for anti-competitive behavior.[28][29]

Political campaigns

2008

Main article: 2008 United States House of Representatives elections in Connecticut § District 4

Himes faced the ten-term Republican incumbent Chris Shays in the 2008 congressional election, along with Libertarian nominee M.A. Carrano, a professional philosophy writer and systems consultant, and Green Party nominee Richard Duffee. Himes defeated Shays, 51% to 47%.[4] While Shays won 14 of the district's 17 towns, Himes won all three of the district's large cities—Bridgeport, Norwalk and Stamford. Ultimately, he owed his victory to swamping Shays in Bridgeport, winning 80% of the vote there.[30] He was also helped by Barack Obama's massive win in that district; Obama carried the 4th with 60% of the vote, one of his largest margins in a Republican-held district.

Himes took office in the 111th United States Congress on January 6, 2009. He is the first Democrat to represent the district since Donald J. Irwin left office in 1969, and only the second since 1943. Shays was the sole Republican congressman from New England, and Himes's win made New England's House delegation entirely Democratic for the first time in history.[31]

2010

See also: 2010 United States House of Representatives elections in Connecticut § District 4

In the 2010 election, Himes won reelection against Republican challenger State Senator Dan Debicella. Along with the three towns that he won in 2008, Himes also won Redding, Weston, and Westport, and won Fairfield by nine votes.[32]

The campaign raised $3,660,498, $3,603,727 of which was spent.[33] Only 4% of that came from small individual donors, while 60% came from large individual donors. The remaining donations came mostly from Political Action Committees (34%). Himes did not self-finance at all.[33] The majority of his money, 74%, came from in-state. Only 26% came from out of state.[33] Himes disclosed 97.9% of his donations.[33]

Personal life

On October 15, 1994, Himes married Mary Linley Scott, a designer.[34] They live in the Cos Cob section of Greenwich with their two daughters.[35]

See also

References

  1. ^ "Members". New Democrat Coalition. Archived from the original on 8 February 2018. Retrieved 2 February 2018.
  2. ^ "Himes to head centrist dem group". December 2016. Archived from the original on 2020-11-16. Retrieved 2016-12-04.
  3. ^ a b c "Himes, James A." Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Archived from the original on 2016-12-14. Retrieved 2009-04-19.
  4. ^ a b c d e Halbfinger, David M. (2008-11-09). "'Bullheaded' and a Rhodes Scholar, and Now Headed to Capitol Hill". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 2020-11-16. Retrieved 2009-04-19.
  5. ^ a b "Congressman Jim Himes: Biography". Archived from the original on 2010-12-12. Retrieved 2010-11-05.
  6. ^ "WEDDINGS; Mary L. Scott, James A. Himes". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 2020-11-16. Retrieved 2018-09-27.
  7. ^ "Himes Reaches Out to War-Weary Republicans" Archived 2010-10-21 at the Wayback Machine, Jim Himes for Congress. Accessed February 15, 2011. "He was raised by "a working single mom" in the small town of Pennington, N.J., and attended 'a decent public school.' When he brought home an A minus, his mother would ask, 'What went wrong?'"
  8. ^ "Rep. Jim Himes, D-CT, to address graduates at University of Bridgeport's 102nd Commencement on May 5". Archived from the original on 2012-05-12. Retrieved 2017-04-22.
  9. ^ Wall Street's Favorite Democrat April 26, 2012
  10. ^ "Officers | Greenwich Democrats". Archived from the original on November 3, 2005.
  11. ^ "Representative Himes's Legislation". Library of Congress. Archived from the original on November 16, 2020. Retrieved December 5, 2014.
  12. ^ "Planned Parenthood Action". Archived from the original on 2011-10-20. Retrieved 2012-05-03.
  13. ^ "Congressional Record". Archived (PDF) from the original on 2020-11-16. Retrieved 2011-11-20.
  14. ^ a b c "Office of the Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives". Archived from the original on 2011-02-24. Retrieved 2018-12-11.
  15. ^ a b c "Rep. Himes' Platform: Defense". Archived from the original on October 28, 2011.
  16. ^ "Rep. Himes' Platform: Education". Archived from the original on October 28, 2011.
  17. ^ "Vote Smart Project: Stamford Advocate". Archived from the original on 2020-11-16. Retrieved 2011-11-20.
  18. ^ "Thomas, Library of Congress". Archived from the original on 2011-12-14. Retrieved 2011-11-20.
  19. ^ "Environment America". Archived from the original on 2020-11-16. Retrieved 2020-11-16.
  20. ^ "Rep. Himes' Platform: Energy and Environment". Archived from the original on October 28, 2011.
  21. ^ "Vote Smart Project: Brady Campaign Evaluation". Archived from the original on 2020-11-16. Retrieved 2011-11-20.
  22. ^ Blanchet, Ben (27 May 2022). "After Mass Shootings, Democratic Congressman Says Moments Of Silence Make His 'Head Explode'". HuffPost. BuzzFeed Inc. Retrieved 28 May 2022.
  23. ^ "Rep. Himes' Platform: Health Care". Archived from the original on October 28, 2011.
  24. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-07-25. Retrieved 2013-07-25.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  25. ^ a b "Rep. Himes' Platform: Transportation". Archived from the original on 2011-10-28. Retrieved 2011-11-20.
  26. ^ a b c "Jim Himes' Ratings and Endorsements - Project Vote Smart". Votesmart.org. Archived from the original on 2020-11-16. Retrieved 2014-08-18.
  27. ^ Daniel Halper, New York Post, "Congressman begs Electoral College voters to block Trump," December 12, 2016.Archived 2016-12-13 at the Wayback Machine
  28. ^ "House passes antitrust bill that hikes M&A fees as larger efforts targeting tech have stalled". CNBC.
  29. ^ "H.R. 3843: Merger Filing Fee Modernization Act of 2022 -- House Vote #460 -- Sep 29, 2022".
  30. ^ Elections Results Archived 2009-02-03 at the Wayback Machine from the Connecticut Secretary of State
  31. ^ Jon Lender & Mark Pazniokas (November 5, 2008). "Jim Himes Defeats Christopher Shays in 4th District". The Hartford Courant. Archived from the original on October 17, 2015. Retrieved April 18, 2014.
  32. ^ AP Election Results - Courant.com
  33. ^ a b c d "OpenSecrets.org". Archived from the original on 2020-11-16. Retrieved 2011-11-20.
  34. ^ "Weddings | Mary L. Scott, James A. Himes". New York Times. October 16, 1994. Archived from the original on November 16, 2020. Retrieved February 17, 2017.
  35. ^ Hodenfield, Chris. "From One House to Another". Greenwich Magazine. Archived from the original on 2015-12-25. Retrieved 2015-12-25. From One House to Another
U.S. House of Representatives Preceded byChris Shays Member of the U.S. House of Representativesfrom Connecticut's 4th congressional district 2009–present Incumbent New office Chair of the House Fair Growth Committee 2021–present Party political offices Preceded byRon Kind Chair of the New Democrat Coalition 2017–2019 Succeeded byDerek Kilmer U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial) Preceded byBrett Guthrie United States representatives by seniority 108th Succeeded byBlaine Luetkemeyer