WJAR: Beyond the Podium- Congressman Jim Langevin

1. What differentiates you from your opponent(s)?

  • It is my experience working for middle class Rhode Islanders that differentiates me from my opponent. I have fought tirelessly for our state’s working class families. All families deserve a fair shot at achieving the American dream, and that means quality and affordable healthcare, good jobs with good pay, and quality education.
    I am proud of my record fighting for Rhode Island seniors and people with disabilities against Republican efforts to privatize Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. I also continue to work on policies and funding to improve our nation’s career & technical education programs so workers have the skills to succeed in 21st Century jobs.
    I have nearly two decades of experience fighting for Rhode Islanders, and I know how to be their champion in Washington.

2. Explain what you see as the most important issue facing the state, and how you believe it should be addressed.

  • Rhode Island’s economy is on the rise, but in order to see sustained, long-term growth, we need to do a better job of closing our skills gap and aligning what is taught in the classroom with the skills our local businesses need. Our hardworking students deserve good-paying jobs and Rhode Island’s businesses need workers who are ready to work on day one. I was proud to fight for increased career and technical education funding to address this skills gap, but there is still more work to do. I remain committed to fighting for the necessary resources at the federal level to ensure all Rhode Islanders have the opportunity to succeed with 21st-century skills, in the 21st-century economy.

3. RI is scheduled to expand tractor trailer tolling along I-95. Do you agree with those expansion plans?

  • This is a state issue that will be determined by the General Assembly and Governor.

4. Are the current gun laws in Rhode Island too strict, too weak, or just right? If not just right, what needs to be changed? Should teachers and/or other school employees who are not law enforcement officers be armed?

  • Many federal laws affect gun safety for Rhode Island residents. While I support the second amendment, I believe in common sense gun safety laws. I support universal background checks, and closing the “gun show loophole”. I am also strongly opposed to efforts to impose “concealed carry reciprocity,” which would invalidate state laws relating to carrying a concealed handgun and instead allow most people to carry automatically. I am also fighting for federal support for strong child access protection laws that hold parents accountable when their child accesses an unsecured gun. As someone who was injured, albeit accidentally, at the hands of well-trained professionals, I reject the notion that arming teachers will keep our kids safer, and help reduce risks in schools.

5. Under what circumstances would you support the legalization of marijuana for recreational use in Rhode Island?

  • I support the rights of states to develop medical marijuana rules, and I hope more research will be conducted into its medical uses. To that end, I have voted for legislation that prevents the Department of Justice from interfering with state medical marijuana laws. However, marijuana remains a restricted drug at the federal level, and, absent further research, I do not support changing that designation for recreational purposes.

6. Are you satisfied with the way sports betting is being implemented in Rhode Island?

  • Sports betting was regulated at the federal level until a Supreme Court decision earlier this year. Because the ruling was so recent, it is too early to say whether Congress should step in again and introduce new laws relating to sports betting or whether it should be left to the states. I will continue to monitor this issue as new state approaches emerge.

7. Is the minimum wage in Rhode Island too high, too low, or just right? If not just right, what should it be?

  • I believe the minimum wage in Rhode Island is too low, which is why I support federal legislation to increase the minimum wage for all states to $15 per hour by 2025. I don’t think anyone should work a 40-hour workweek and still live below the poverty level. Hardworking Americans should be able to support their families with fair compensation.

8. What are your thoughts about the ongoing opiate crisis? Are current local and national policies appropriately addressing it?

  • I have been devastated by stories I’ve heard from Rhode Islanders who have been personally affected by the opioid overdose epidemic. Addiction is a public health crisis that we must use a comprehensive approach to address, with a particular focus on treatment and counseling. I am proud to have worked with the federal delegation to support the opioids bills that have been signed into law over the past two years to bring millions of dollars to Rhode Island to help with prevention and recovery. I have also introduced legislation that would improve collaboration between local, state, and federal law enforcement when it comes to interdicting potent narcotics like fentanyl at the border.

9. What national issue or controversy do you believe resonates most deeply in Rhode Island?

  • Constituents across my district are deeply concerned about quality affordable healthcare. They are worried about rising costs and if they will be denied coverage if their preexisting conditions are no longer covered under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). We must work together to make healthcare more affordable and accessible for all Rhode Islanders.

10. What is an example of a policy or issue you have changed your view on in the last 20 years?

  • I strongly oppose discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. However, for much of my legislative career, I did not support same-sex marriage, believing instead that civil unions were sufficient. It was not until 2011, three years after I attended the commitment ceremony of one of my long-time staff members, that I finally understood that preventing same-sex couples from achieving full marriage equality was, in fact, a form of discrimination. Since then, I have proudly fought for full marriage equality.


1.  What has drawn you to public service?

  • I have always had a strong desire from an early age to serve my community. Growing up, I wanted to be a police officer, and perhaps going on to become an FBI agent. When my accident ended my law enforcement dream, the outpouring of support that I received from the community inspired me to give back and pursue a career in public service.

2.  Who is your political hero? Why?

  • I will list two: President Franklin Roosevelt and Senator Claiborne Pell. As President, FDR guided the nation through one of the most difficult, tumultuous times in our history, and he never let his disability get in the way. And Senator Pell was a champion of good public policy for Rhode Island and the nation. He didn’t care about taking credit and he always put his constituents first.

3.  Under what circumstances would you tell a lie?

  • As President George Washington said in one of my preferred fables, “I cannot tell a lie.” I think this a good philosophy for all of us to follow.

4.  What is the best advice you have ever gotten?

  • The best advice I have received is from the late and former State Representative Paul Sherlock, one of my oldest political mentors. He told me that the key to being successful in public service is to be “accessible, responsive, and to never embarrass your constituents.” I have taken this advice to heart, and it has been a guiding principle throughout my career in public service.

5.  Top item on your “bucket list?”

  • I’d love to visit the Egyptian pyramids.


  • the last live music concert you saw:
    • U2
  • the last movie you saw in a theater:
    • “Mission Impossible: Fallout”
  • the TV show you never miss, or the last one you binge-watched:
    • Game of Thrones
  • What sports team(s) (Pro, college, Little League) do you cheer the loudest for?:
    • Patriots
  • What question do you wish someone would ask you and what would your answer be?:
    • I would like to hear from someone who is considering entering public service and would like to know if it is worthwhile. I would them know that it certainly is. While the intensity of today’s political climate may be intimidating, it’s absolutely critical to get involved. We are in desperate need of good people in the public arena who are in public service for the right reasons.
Sun Sentinel: Ted Deutch, other Democrats want crackdown on ‘illegal and reckless’ gun dealers

Sun Sentinel: Ted Deutch, other Democrats want crackdown on ‘illegal and reckless’ gun dealers

By Anthony Man

A trio of Democratic members of Congress introduced legislation Tuesday aimed at cracking down on “bad actor” gun dealers who provide the overwhelming majority of weapons used in crime.

The lawmakers, including U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch, who represents most of Broward and southeast Palm Beach county, introduced the “Keeping Gun Dealers Honest Act” on the two-year anniversary of the Pulse nightclub massacre in Orlando, in which 49 people were killed.

Deutch represents Parkland, where 17 people were killed and 17 injured in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School massacre in February.

“Tragedy after tragedy we are told that we don’t need any new gun laws, that we should just enforce the laws on the books. But in too many cases, we’ve seen that the laws on the books are practically unenforceable. The combination of stringent standards and depleted budgets put ATF inspectors in an impossible situation,” Deutch said in a statement. “Recent reports show that many gun dealers who illegally sell weapons to people who have proven that they are not responsible gun owners routinely get a free pass — even after repeated violations.”

The proposal is aimed at gun dealers “engaging in illegal and reckless behavior are punished under the full extent of the law,” U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore, D-Wis., said in a statement.

The lawmakers cited a study about so-called bad-actor gun dealers from the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. It found 5 percent of gun dealers supply 90 percent of guns used in crime.

Prospects for the Democratic-sponsored legislation in the Republican-controlled Congress are poor. Public opinion shows large percentages of Americans favor some restrictions on guns, but the congressional leadership doesn’t permit action on those measures.

The measure would:

— Authorize increased Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives inspections of gun dealers.

— Strengthen penalties for falsifying gun sales records, including longer prison sentences.

— Add new civil sanctions for gun dealers who violate ATF regulations.

— Give ATF discretion in issuing gun licenses.

— Allow ATF to require dealers to conduct physical inventories if more than 10 guns used in crimes are traced back to them.

The proposal is also sponsored by U.S. Rep. Jim Langevin, D-Rhode Island. U.S. Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., plans to introduce a Senate version of the bill.

We’re in this Together

Yesterday afternoon, I was officially sworn in as a United States Representative in the 115th Congress. It marked the ninth time I participated in this ceremony in the hallowed chamber of the U.S. House, but despite the familiarity of the occasion, it felt quite different. There have been many ups and downs over the past several years, but I cannot remember a time marked by more uncertainty. On our very first day back, House Republicans concocted a plan to undermine accountability and oversight by effectively eliminating the Office of Congressional Ethics. Only after swift and vociferous criticism from constituents and their fellow elected leaders – myself included – did they drop this misguided effort. And this is just on day one. People are scared of what the future holds, and I don’t blame them.

So as Congress resumes its business and as you begin your new year, I want to remind you of one important fact that brings me comfort: we’re in this together.

I’m not sure what the next two years will bring. None of us are. But I do know that your support has lifted me up, and it is what fuels me going forward. Regardless of what obstacles may come our way, you can trust that I will continue to be accessible and transparent, and I will do everything in my power to fight for what is right for Rhode Island, for our country and, most importantly, for you. Sound policy and true leadership starts with the individual, and I pledge to you that I will carry the torch for you in Washington.

The battle continues, and so does the conversation. In the days and weeks and months to come, I hope you will reach out to me whenever you have a question or concern. The 2016 election is behind us, but the real work lies ahead, and we’re going to need each other’s support, compassion, and counsel more than ever.

Happy New Year. Let’s get to work!



Thankful For You!

Thankful For You!

Thankful for You!

Tomorrow, families all over the country will come together to enjoy a meal and each other’s company. We will put our differences aside and focus on what really matters. We will celebrate what is good in the world, and give thanks for the blessings in our lives. It is a day to remember how fortunate we are to live in this country, and it is a day when I reflect on just how fortunate I am to have friends like you.

I’ve said it before, but I think it bears repeating that you are the reason I am returning to Congress. Your support and friendship has meant the world to me, and this Thanksgiving, I am feeling especially thankful for you. I cannot thank you enough.

I hope you have a wonderful day tomorrow with your loved ones, and that it is just the beginning of a joyous holiday season.

Happy Thanksgiving!


The (Almost) Most Wonderful Time of the Year

The (Almost) Most Wonderful Time of the Year

I’m not ready to fast forward through fall just yet, but I have one early request on my holiday wish list this year, and I’m hoping you can help. My second annual Holiday Card Photo Contest is now underway, and I’m looking for images that capture the beauty and the spirit of the holiday season in the Second Congressional District.

Please help me spread the word about the contest so we can attract even more submissions this year! All Rhode Islanders are invited to participate by sending high-quality photos taken in the Second Congressional District to [email protected]. Photographs should depict winter scenes and be inclusive to all holiday celebrations, and each participant may submit up to THREE entries. More details are available on my Facebook page, and the complete list of contest rules is below.

From snow-covered streets in Burrillville to the wintry waterfront in Westerly, I hope you will share your photos and encourage your friends and neighbors to do the same. The deadline to submit photos is Thursday, October 20. Eligible photographs will be posted on my Facebook page at Langevin for Congress on Friday, October 21, and the photograph with the most likes by 5 p.m. on Friday, October 28, will be the winner! So start digging through your photo collection – I can’t wait to see the great photographs!

Best of luck!

Contest Rules:

-Photos must be high quality, with a resolution of at least 300dpi
-Original photo size must be at least 5×7″
-Photos must be taken by the person submitting the photo, and must be taken in the Second Congressional District
-Amateur and professional photographers are both welcome to submit entries
-The last day to submit photos is Thursday, October 20
-By submitting your photo to the contest, you are giving Langevin for Congress permission to use your photo without compensation

On the Rhode Again

Summer is my favorite time in Rhode Island. The heat and the sunshine, the food and the ocean views. Everything seems a little better in the summertime, and the campaign trail doesn’t feel remotely like work when you’re knocking on doors in beautiful weather and meeting Rhode Islanders with so many interesting stories and perspectives to share. Life is good.

All eyes have been trained on national politics, it seems, this season, but my primary election is fast approaching. The election season is already halfway gone, and November will be here before we know it. But before the leaves change and we bid summer farewell, I’m working hard to defend my seat in Congress. I’ve enjoyed attending events in support of my colleagues at the state and local levels, and also meeting with Democratic city and town committees to discuss the challenges and opportunities facing our state and our nation.

I have received endorsements from the Rhode Island Democratic Party State Committee; the Rhode Island Association of Democratic City and Town Chairs; the Young Democrats of Rhode Island; Democratic Town Committees in Burrillville, East Greenwich, Exeter, Johnston, North Kingstown, Providence, and Warwick; and from both the AFL-CIO and the Rhode Island Building and Construction Trades Council. I will continue to campaign on my record and on my vision for a stronger Rhode Island, and I hope to add more endorsements in the weeks to come.

I hope you’re enjoying the summer as much as I am. Take time to enjoy our beautiful state at this wonderful time of year, and I hope to see you on the campaign trail soon!



Jim Langevin

Member of Congress

Spring Ahead to Fall

Spring has just begun, but I already have my mind on the fall.

The election is fast approaching, and I’m more enthusiastic than ever about reapplying for a job that I love. Because that’s what an election is: a job interview. Every two years, my constituents have the opportunity to evaluate the work that I am doing on their behalf, and decide whether or not I’ve earned the distinction of continuing to represent them in Congress.

So as you embark on your due diligence, researching the most qualified candidate, I would like to share some of the highlights from my resume.

Keeping the American people safe and protecting our way of life is a priority that I know we all agree upon. “Safety first,” as they say, and so it is with my work in Congress. I am a senior member of the House Armed Services and Homeland Security Committees, assignments that position me to advocate for what is best when it comes to national security at home and abroad. Supporting the men and women who serve our nation is a big piece of the national security puzzle, because we cannot defend our nation without a well-trained and cared for military. We also cannot sufficiently staff our armed forces if we do not keep our promise to support our veterans once they return home.

When we look at modern conflict, it is undeniable that cyber warfare is a real concern now and will continue to be for the foreseeable future.

Cybersecurity is also an issue of economic security and competitiveness for our nation. This is why I have dedicated so much of my time in Congress to this important issue. I co-founded and continue to co-chair the Congressional Cybersecurity Caucus and I am a national leader on this issue. I have been calling attention to the need for robust cyber defenses for nearly a decade, and I’m so proud that this work is paying off. More and more of my colleagues in Congress and across government have heeded my warnings, and momentum continues to build as I push for action on this critical cause.

Cybersecurity is a challenge that is not going away, and that poses an incredible opportunity for our workforce. Cybersecurity is an industry with tremendous growth potential, and I have advocated strongly for education and training programs that will ensure we have the right workforce to meet the growing demand. Bridging the gap between the classroom and the workplace is a priority for me across industry, as I co-chair the Congressional Career and Technical Education Caucus. I’ve introduced legislation that would better connect school counselors with the business community, so that students are making informed decisions about college or careers, based on current and future economic trends.

On top of these legislative priorities, I continue to be an advocate for people with disabilities, for a stronger middle class, and for equality and human rights for all. I share my positions constantly through social media, my website, and at public forums like my Lunch with Langevin program, and I will never stop working to be accessible and transparent to all of my constituents. My door is always open.

This is just a sampling of the issues I care deeply about. My concerns and my hopes for the future are as varied as the people I represent, and if you ever have a question about where I fall on a given issue, please do not hesitate to reach out. That’s what I’m here for.

Friend, the time to elect your representative in Congress will be here before you know it, so as you consider your options, I humbly ask for your support and your vote.



Jim Langevin
Member of Congress

Langevin’s State of the Union

This evening, President Obama will deliver his State of the Union address to the nation. This will be the President’s final State of the Union as our Commander-in-Chief, and I am confident that, despite the incredible challenges we face as a nation, he will provide an inspirational and uplifting message as we embark on a new year with renewed hope, promise, and opportunity.

In a preview video on the White House website, the President confesses that, “since I took office seven years ago, in the midst of crisis, I don’t think I have ever been more optimistic about a year than I am right now.” I share his optimism, because no matter what obstacles we face, I know that the American spirit is resilient. And it is with that sense of optimism and enthusiasm that I humbly begin another year of serving you in Congress.

As my own State of the Union, so to speak, I want to let you know what my priorities will be for 2016. First, as a senior member of the House Armed Services and Homeland Security Committees, the safety of the American people is among my top priorities. I will continue to fight for policies that support our men and women in uniform, that care for our veterans, and that protect our national security at home and abroad. We live in a complex and ever-changing threat landscape, but we will not bow to terrorism or those who seek to dismantle our way of life.

Cybersecurity is a major component of not only national security, but of economic security, as well, and you can trust that I will remain a national leader in this area. As founder and co-chair of the Cybersecurity Caucus, I will push for more legislation that fortifies our cyber defenses, and for programs that better prepare a cyber workforce for our future. Strengthening information sharing and protecting critical infrastructure are at the top of this to-do list.

Closing the skills gap so we have qualified workers to grow jobs and our economy is an issue for cybersecurity and for so many other industries. I look forward to reaching across the aisle once again with my Career and Technical Education Caucus co-chair, Congressman ‘GT’ Thompson of Pennsylvania, to support policies that empower students and put them on a path to success. In particular, I hope we can pass my Counseling for Career Choice Act this year in order to ensure young people have all the information they need to make the right career choice.

The list goes on. I want to end gun violence by passing commonsense reforms that keep guns out of the wrong hands. I want to pass meaningful tax reform that supports a strong middle class. I want to fix our broken immigration system so we have stronger border security and provide a clear path to citizenship for those who seek the American dream. I want to improve upon the Affordable Care Act that has already reduced Rhode Island’s rate of uninsured residents by nearly 80 percent.

Friend, we can do all of these things, and I hope that 2016 is the time to do them. In his preview, President Obama said that what makes America great is “our capacity to change for the better.” Let’s change for the better this year and chart a brighter course for 2016 and beyond. I will be listening carefully to the President’s words tonight, but speeches aside, I can’t wait to take action to make 2016 a year for the record books.



Jim Langevin
Member of Congress