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US Representative Rush Holt

When he ran for office in 1996, research physicist Rush Holt lost the Democratic primary. Two years later he snatched the election from Republican Michael Pappas with over 5,000 votes becoming the first Democrat after 20 years to represent the 12th District of New Jersey in congress. He won five successive elections in a district deeply rooted with Republicans. He fights to protect individual rights and uphold American values. He has passed resolutions to improve health care, honor veterans, safeguard the environment by preserving historical sites and the conservation of local land and water.

He has launched various initiatives to create jobs, encourage innovations, and support entrepreneurship in his district. As a scientist and educator, Holt lobbied his colleagues in supporting research and development as well as the promotion of math and science education. Holt is known to be a man of conscience, independent, and strong advocate for his constituents. Biographical Details. After winning this year’s re-election bid, Democratic Party candidate 58-year old Rush D. Holt, Jr. is now serving his fifth term as Representative of the 12th Congressional District of New Jersey.

He has held this post for eight years now since 1998. His political career was heavily influenced by his parents whose father, Rush D. Holt, Sr. , became the youngest U. S. senator at 29 while his mother, Helen Holt, became the first woman to be appointed Secretary of State of West Virginia. He was born in October 15, 1948 in Weston, West Virginia but now resides in Hopewell Township with wife Margaret Lancefield and three grownup children. Holt took his B. A. in Physics at Carleton College in Minnesota. He pursued his interests in Physics by taking up PhD and Master at New York University.

In Congress he is a member of the Committee on Education and the Workforce and also of the subcommittee on 21st Century Competitiveness and Employer-Employee Relationship. In addition, he sits in the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence where he is a ranking member on the subcommittee on Intelligence Policy and also affiliated with the subcommittee on Technical and Tactical Intelligence. But Holt’s value in Congress goes beyond that; he has developed a reputation as a thinking man’s congressman, a scientist by trade who provides more thoughtful analysis on issues than most lawmakers.

(Courier News, par. 4). Before being a representative, he held important positions in various institutions like Assistant Director of Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, Acting Chief of Nuclear and Scientific Division of the US State Department, Consultant in energy and environmental matters, and Acoustic Physicist of the New York City Environmental Protection Administration among others. Presently, he takes a seat in several caucuses and non-legislative committees like Renewable Energy, Biomedical Research, Human Rights, Farmland Protection, Diabetes, and a Woman’s Right to Choose.

He also held positions in a number of civic organizations as trustee, director, member, co-founder, and chairman. As an active advocate for his constituents, Holt received awards like the Planned Parenthood Community Service, the Science Coalition’s Champion of Science, and the Biotech Legislator of the Year. He was named one of the 50 national visionaries of Scientific American magazine for his efforts in promoting better technological future. The 12th Congressional District. Rush Holt is the 14th representative of the 12th District of New Jersey since 1913 with James A.

Hamill being the first. The district, with strong Republican roots, is famous for its research centers and educational institutions such as the Princeton University, Institute for Advanced Study, Rutgers University, Bristol-Myers Squibb and Johnson and Johnson. It has five counties and 43 municipalities with an estimated population of 2,135,703. These five counties are Hunterdon with eight municipalities, Mercer with nine municipalities, Middlesex with 12 municipalities, Monmouth with 14 municipalities, and Somerset with one municipality.

When applied to practical politics and policy-making, the scientific method and modern classroom techniques mean engaging constituents and listening carefully to them, collecting data, evaluating information and the views of others, and rendering reasoned, justifiable conclusions, not ideological ones. (Politics New Jersey, par. 3). This is how Holt fulfills his role as representative of the district using scientific and educational methods to meet the needs of his citizens.

He continually assists his constituents by producing resolutions to resolve problems ranging from healthcare of veterans to immigration. He visits schools and town meetings as well as forums to address issues confronting his district such as Homeland Security, Alternative Energy, Economic Growth, Prescription Drugs, Student Aid, Privacy, and Long-Term Care. He has cut the red tape in many government services so that his constituents could easily attend to their personal matters like social security, health benefits, military medals, tax rebates, identity theft, food stamps, and immigration.

He secured $2 million creating a Municipal Land Use Resource Center in his district for smart growth planning and $40 million open space preservation nationwide of which $2. 2 million went to New Jersey placing the Lower Delaware River part of the national Wild and Scenic River Program. Congressional Committees. Representative Holt is a member of the U. S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce chaired by Howard P. McKeon of California. It is composed of 27 Republicans and 22 Democrats. The vice chairman is Thomas E.

Petri of Wisconsin while the ranking minority member is George Miller of California. It has five subcommittees: Subcommittee on 21st Century Competitiveness, Subcommittee on Education Reform, Subcommittee on Employer-Employee Relations, Subcommittee on Select Education, and Subcommittee on Workforce Protections. Members of this committee are tasked to watch over government programs on education and the workforce to identify reforms and come up with legislative actions for constant improvement in education and to safeguard retirement security, health care and job training for workers.

The committee oversees the implementation of better federal initiatives and programs directed to all levels to include elementary and secondary, higher education, early childhood and preschool, school lunch and child nutrition, adult education, educational research and improvement, anti-poverty programs, programs and services for the care and treatment of child abuse prevention, and child adoption.

On the workforce initiatives, the committee intends to strengthen pension and retirement security for workers, access to quality health care, equal employment, protecting the rights of union members, occupational safety and health, wages and hours of labor, medical leave, and employer-employee relations. Holt also serves as member of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence chaired by Peter Hoekstra, a Republican from 2nd District of Michigan. It is composed of nine Democrats and 12 Republicans.

It has four subcommittees: Subcommittee on Terrorism/HUMINT, Analysis and Counterintelligence, Subcommittee on Oversight, Subcommittee on Technical and Tactical Intelligence, and Subcommittee on Intelligence Policy. Democratic Congresswoman Jane Harman of the 36th District of California is the ranking minority member. Intelligence capabilities are critical to the security of the United States. Through intelligence, we can find out what is happening throughout the world, beyond what other countries or entities present for public consumption.

Such information can be used to ward off crises by allowing time to avert crises rather than just react to them. (US House of Representatives, par. 2). Members of this committee have the primary obligation to ensure that intelligence resources are not misused and that intelligence operations are done legally within the frameworks of the law. Due to the sensitivity nature of intelligence, its budget is classified. Committee members are tasked to analyze intelligence operations seriously so that every aspect is well appropriated and authorized.

All members are appointed by the Speaker of the House who generally have experienced in intelligence, legislative and legal matters. This committee is made up of 17 oversight organizations that include Central Intelligence Agency, Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation, National Security Agency, Office of Naval Intelligence, and the U. S. Air Force Intelligence among others. Stand on Issues. Rush is well-known for studying the issues, standing up for principle, getting real results, and reaching out to constituents.

He has shown an ability to take on important issues that are too often neglected, and a willingness to build coalitions in order to make progress. (Rush Holt, par. 1). He takes a pro-choice on abortion that it is a woman’s right. He considers allowing human embryonic stem cell research. He is also a pro-civil right that sexual orientation be protected by civil rights law, promote equal rights by gender and voting no on amending the constitution banning same-sex marriage. He strongly favors that companies be required to hire more women and minorities and that grants be made available for black and Hispanic colleges.

He opposes death penalty imposing DNA testing for all federal executions. On foreign policy, Holt favors a multi-year commitment to Africa for food and medicine and keeping the travel ban on Cuba until political prisoners are released. He is against permanent trade relations and arms transfer to China. On health care, he is against banning physician-assisted suicide, limiting prescription drug benefit for Medicare recipients, and re-importation of prescription drugs. He favors additional federal funding for health coverage.

Holt favors raising the 401(k) limits and making pension plans more portable and reducing tax payments on social security benefits. He is for pro-gun control by opposing absolute right to gun ownership. He favors that illegal immigrants earn citizenship, stricter limits on political campaign funds, and replacing U. S. troops in Iraq with U. N. peace keeping force. He is not in favor of decreasing overall taxation of the rich, expanding free trade to other countries except Australia, more spending on armed forces, and the use of illegal drugs indicating that it is immoral and that the full force of the law must be used against it.

Proposed Legislation. Representative Holt has sponsored 118 House Resolutions since 1999 of which two were enacted while 115 still wait voting or have been deferred to subcommittees. (GovTrack). He co-sponsored some 1,588 other bills. Following are some of the resolutions: H. Con. Res. 124 Expressing the sense of the Congress regarding the importance of organ, tissue, bone marrow, and blood donation and supporting the goals and ideals of National Donate Life Month; H. R. 114 Ensuring College Access for All Americans Act; H. R. 550 Voter Confidence and Increased Accessibility Act of 2005; H.

R. 1242 To establish the American Veterans Congressional Internship Program; H. R. 1390 Part-time Student Assistance Act; H. R. 3986 Fuel Savings, Smarter Travel, and Efficient Roadways Act; H. R. 4350 School Building Enhancement Act; H. R. 4989 Electoral Fairness Act of 2006; and H. R. 5140 Congressional Teacher Award Act of 2006; H. R. 5142 National Science Foundation Scholars Program Act. (Thomas Jefferson) The Election. Representative Holt managed to win consecutively since he announced his bid for a seat in congress in 1998.

This year, he won over Republican Josph Sinagra by taking 66% (122,810) of the votes. His opponent garnered only 34% (64,455) of the votes. In the five counties, Holt showed strong lead as shown in this comparison result: Hunterdon – Holt (5,878), Sinagra (3,690); Mercer – Holt (39,244), Sinagra (11,542); Middlesex – Holt (41,290), Sinagra (22,859); Monmouth – Holt (29,164), Sinagra (22,848); and Somerset – Holt (7,234), Sinagra (3,516). (CNN). In 1998 he won over Mike Pappas with 50% to 47% margin becoming the first Democrat congressman in the district in two decades.

In 2000, he defeated Dick Zimmer by 481 votes and in 2002, he claimed victory with 104,806 votes (61%) against Deforest Buster Soaries’ 62,938 votes (36. 7%). In 2004, Holt won over Bill Spadea in a 59. 3% (171,691) to 39. 7% (115,014) vote margin. In his election campaign, Holt would promote issues that will strengthen his platform of government and benefit the American people. Among these issues were the Iraq war, verified voting, equality, women, environment, healthcare, retirement security, education, economic growth, fiscal responsibility, and international stability and hometown security.

(HoltHouse). He opposes the sending of troops to Iraq and cosponsored a bill urging the immediate withdrawal of U. S. forces. He believes that building a democratic government in Iraq depends solely on the Iraqis. He pursued women issues that would resolve discrimination and uphold equality. He cosponsored bills that will give women equal pay, discourage prejudices of gays and lesbians in the workplace allowing to adopt children and serve in the military. He is convinced that all Americans are entitled to the basic rights of freedom of conscience and privacy.

In education, Holt lobbies for grants for college students, tuition tax credits, and that the No Child Left Behind Act is well funded. He fights to give veterans better access to health care, educational opportunities, disability compensation, counseling, and placement services. He supports the formulation of a Medicare prescription drug program that will help senior and disabled citizens to easily understand the kind of prescriptions they need. He plans to propose legislation that will provide small businesses to offer health insurance to their employees.

The Campaign Fund. According to the Federal Election Commission, an agency in-charge of implementing government campaign finance law, Representative Holt was able to come up with $1,348,888 for his re-election this year but spent only $805,526. Majority of the contributions came from individuals comprising 75. 7% or $1,020,513 of the total amount raised. The second contributions came from the Political Action Committee (PAC) with $296,163 or 22%. PAC represents sectors mostly from the business, labor or groups with ideological interests.

Then there were the others who gave $32,212 covering 2. 4% of the entire funds. His top contributors were as follow: Princeton University ($22,700), Hugo Neu Corp. ($11,800), Winning Strategies Washington ($10,650), Int’l Brotherhood of Electrical Workers ($10,000), National Education Ass’n ($10,000), Plumbers/Pipefitters Union ($8,600), Ass’n of Trial Lawyers of America ($7,500), Laborers Union ($6,500), Sheet Metal Workers Union ($6,000), SRI International ($6,000), United Food & Commercial Workers Union ($6,000), Pfizer Inc.

($5,500), Bricklayers Union ($5,000), Ironworkers Union ($5,000), Machinists/Aerospace Workers Union ($5,000), National Air Traffic Controllers Ass’n ($5,000), National Ass’n of Realtors ($5,000), Teamsters Union ($5,000), Cavarocchi, Ruscio & Dennis Associates ($4,900), and Johnson & Johnson ($4,800). (Opensecrets). His previous campaign funds were as follow: 1998 (raised $885,377 and spent $883,605), 2000 (raised $2,686,207 and spent $2,566,080), 2002 (raised $2,046,946 and spent $1,787,764), and in 2004 (raised $1,502,832 and spent $1,651,175).

Often times, congressmen are forced to pursue the interests of individuals or groups because of the money they contributed in the election. Labeled by media and his constituents as a man of integrity with principled positions on critical issues, Holt maintains a conscience of independency in serving what is best for all and not to a few. That is why he has the ability to deliver promises with concrete evidence in representing his constituents and resolving problems confronting his district.

References

Courier News.Holt deserves re-election in 12th District. 2006. 29 November 2006 http://www. c-n. com/apps/pbcs. dll/article? AID=/20061023/OPINION01/610230312/1009 Politics New Jersey. Ed. Rebovich, D. P. , Ph. D. To Clinton, Holt is Point Man for Progressive Democrats. 16 January 2002. 29 November 2006 http://www. politicsnj. com/rebovich080804. htm US House of Representatives. Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. Committee history. 29 November 2006 http://intelligence. house. gov/AboutTheCommittee. aspx? Section=1 Rush Holt.

Campaign Homepage. Rush Holt for Congress, Inc. Re-elect Congressman Rush Holt. About Rush Holt. 2005. 29 November 2006 http://www. rushholt. com/archives/2005/03/about_rush_holt_1. html GovTrack. Tracking the United States Congress. Monitor Rush Holt. 29 November 2006 http://www. govtrack. us/congress/person. xpd? tab=stats&id=400184 Thomas Jefferson. Legislative Information from the Library of Congress. Congressional Records. Bills, Resolutions. Rep. Holt, Rush D. 29 November 2006 http://thomas. loc. gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/R?

d109:FLD003:@1(Rep+HOLT) CNN (Cable News Network). America Votes 2006. U. S. House of Representatives / New Jersey 12 / County Results. 29 November 2006 http://www. cnn. com/ELECTION/2006//pages/results/states/NJ/H/12/county. 000. html Holt House. Homepage. Holt on the Issues. 29 November 2006 http://holt. house. gov/issues. shtml Opensecrets. Center for Responsive Politics. Your guide to the money in US elections. Representative Rush Holt. 29 November 2006 http://www. opensecrets. org/politicians/contrib. asp? CID=N00000860&cycle=2006

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