Difference between revisions of "Joseph Kennedy III"

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:: ''See also: [[Massachusetts' 4th Congressional District elections, 2014]]''
:: ''See also: [[Massachusetts' 4th Congressional District elections, 2014]]''
Kennedy {{2014isrunning}} to run for [[U.S. Congress elections, 2014|re-election]] to the [[U.S. House elections, 2014|U.S. House]] in 2014.<ref name="releection"/> He {{2014isseeking}} the Democratic nomination in the primary election. {{Nov2014genelection}}
Kennedy {{2014isrunning}} for [[U.S. Congress elections, 2014|re-election]] to the [[U.S. House elections, 2014|U.S. House]] in 2014.<ref name="releection"/> He {{2014isseeking}} the Democratic nomination in the primary election. {{Nov2014genelection}}

Revision as of 10:50, 7 April 2014

Joseph Kennedy III
Joe Kennedy III.jpg
U.S. House, Massachusetts, District 4
In office
January 3, 2013-Present
Term ends
January 3, 2015
Years in position 2
PredecessorBarney Frank (D)
Base salary$174,000/year
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 6, 2012
First electedNovember 6, 2012
Next primarySeptember 9, 2014
Next generalNovember 4, 2014
Campaign $$4,204,050
Term limitsN/A
Bachelor'sStanford University
J.D.Harvard Law School
Date of birthOct. 4, 1980
Place of birthBrighton, Massachusetts
Net worth$31,964,615
Office website
Campaign website
Joseph Kennedy III (b. October 4, 1980, in Brighton, Massachusetts) is a Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives representing Massachusetts' 4th Congressional District. Kennedy was first elected to the House on November 6, 2012 and is currently serving his first term.[1]

Kennedy ran for re-election in Massachusetts' 4th Congressional District in the general election on November 4, 2014.[2]

Prior to his congressional career, Kennedy served as District Attorney for Middlesex County.[3]

Based on analysis of multiple outside rankings, Kennedy is an average Democratic member of Congress, meaning he will vote with the Democratic Party on the majority of bills.


Kennedy earned his bachelor's degree from Stanford University. Upon graduation, he went on to obtain his law degree from Harvard Law School, where he was a member of the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau. From 2004-2006, he served in the Peace Corps in the Dominican Republic, where he helped local residents establish control over the Rio Damajagua waterfall national park. He served several Massachusetts counties as Assistant District Attorney before he occupied the same position for Middlesex County.[3]


Below is an abbreviated outline of Kennedy's academic, professional and political career:[4]

  • Assistant District Attorney, Middlesex County
  • Member, Peace Corps, 2004-2006
  • Former Prosecutor

Committee assignments

U.S. House


Kennedy serves on the following committees:[5][6]


Legislative actions

113th Congress


The second session of the 113th Congress enacted into law 224 out of the 3215 introduced bills (7 percent). Comparatively, the 112th Congress had 4.2 percent of introduced bills enacted into law in the second session.[7] For more information pertaining to Kennedy's voting record in the 113th Congress, please see the below sections.[8]

National security


Voted "No" Kennedy voted in opposition of HR 1960 - the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014. The bill passed the House on June 14, 2013, with a vote of 315 - 108. Both parties were somewhat divided on the vote.[9]

DHS Appropriations

Voted "No" Kennedy voted in opposition of HR 2217 - the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act of 2014. The bill passed the House on June 6, 2013, with a vote of 245 - 182 and was largely along party lines.[9]


Farm bill

Nay3.png On January 29, 2014, the U.S. House approved the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013, H.R. 2642, known as the Farm Bill.[10] The bill passed by a vote of 251-166. The nearly 1,000-page bill provides for the reform and continuation of agricultural and other programs of the Department of Agriculture through 2018. The $1 trillion bill expanded crop insurance for farmers by $7 billion over the next decade and created new subsidies for rice and peanut growers that would kick in when prices drop.[11][12] However, cuts to the food stamp program cut an average of $90 per month for 1.7 million people in 15 states.[12] Kennedy voted with 102 other Democratic representatives against the bill.

2014 Budget

Yea3.png On January 15, 2014, the Republican-run House approved H.R. 3547, a $1.1 trillion spending bill to fund the government through September 30, 2014.[13][14] The House voted 359-67 for the 1,582 page bill, with 64 Republicans and three Democrats voting against the bill.[14] The omnibus package included 12 annual spending bills to fund federal operations.[15] It included a 1 percent increase in the paychecks of federal workers and military personnel, a $1 billion increase in Head Start funding for early childhood education, reduced funding to the Internal Revenue Service and the Environmental Protection Agency, and the protection of the Affordable Care Act from any drastic cuts. Kennedy joined with the majority of the Democratic party and voted in favor of the bill.[13][14]

King Amendment

Kennedy signed a letter sent to Collin Peterson in August 2013, asking him to keep Steve King's amendment out of the final Farm Bill.[16] The "Protect Interstate Commerce Act" amendment prevents states from applying their own laws on agricultural products to agricultural products from another state.[17]. King introduced the amendment in response to a law in California, requiring a larger size cage for egg-producing chickens. King represents Iowa, which is a large egg producer.

Government shutdown
See also: United States budget debate, 2013

Voted "No" On September 30, 2013, the House passed a final stopgap spending bill before the shutdown went into effect. The bill included a one-year delay of the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate and would have also stripped the bill of federal subsidies for congressional members and staff. It passed through the House with a vote of 228-201.[18] At 1 a.m. on October 1, 2013, one hour after the shutdown officially began, the House voted to move forward with going to a conference. In short order, Sen. Harry Reid rejected the call to conference.[19] Kennedy voted against the stopgap spending bill that would have delayed the individual mandate.[20]

Voted "Yes" The shutdown finally ended on October 16, 2013, when the House took a vote on HR 2775 after it was approved by the Senate. The bill to reopen the government lifted the $16.7 trillion debt limit and funded the government through January 15, 2014. Federal employees also received retroactive pay for the shutdown period. The only concession made by Senate Democrats was to require income verification for Obamacare subsidies.[21] The House passed the legislation shortly after the Senate, by a vote of 285-144, with all 144 votes against the legislation coming from Republican members. Kennedy voted for HR 2775.[22]


Morton Memos Prohibition

Voted "No" Kennedy voted against House Amendment 136 - Prohibits the Enforcement of the Immigration Executive Order. The amendment was adopted by the House on June 6, 2013, with a vote of 224 - 201. The purpose of the amendment as stated on the official text is to "prohibit the use of funds to finalize, implement, administer, or enforce the Morton Memos." These memos would have granted administrative amnesty to certain illegal aliens residing in the United States.[23] The vote largely followed party lines.[24]

24 hour fast

Kennedy will join immigration activists in a fast encourage Congress to take up immigration reform. Kennedy will fast for 24 hours and then another Congress member will take over the fast. On December 3, 2013, Speaker of the House John Boehner announced he has a new policy staffer working specifically on immigration issues, suggesting that House Republicans are also open to reform.[25]


Voted "No" Kennedy has voted against all attempts to repeal or delay the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.[26]

Social issues


Voted "No" Kennedy voted against HR 1797 - Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. The resolution passed the House on June 18, 2013, with a vote of 228 - 196. The purpose of the bill is to ban abortions that would take place 20 or more weeks after fertilization.[27]

Campaign themes


On his campaign website, Kennedy listed eight issues. They are:[28]

  • Jobs and the Economy

Excerpt: "The top creators of jobs in our district and state are small businesses. We need to do everything we can to make sure they have the tools and resources they need to start hiring, and that government is helping them rather than standing in the way."

  • Balancing our budget

Excerpt: "I believe in a country where the success of our future generations isn’t limited by the debts of their parents and grandparents. We have an obligation to our children – to their children – to get serious about balancing our budget and reducing our debt and deficit."

  • Energy independence

Excerpt: "A comprehensive energy plan is essential to the economy, environment, and security of our district, state and country. That means maximizing our domestic resources in a responsible way, seriously committing to renewable energy technologies and fuel efficiency measures, and cracking down on speculators manipulating the markets at the expense of working families

  • Health care reform
Excerpt: "I support the path set forth by the Affordable Care Act. It’s not perfect, but it makes some important reforms like paving the way for universal coverage, making sure insurance companies can’t discriminate against people with pre-existing conditions, and guaranteeing women access to essential health services. There is still much work to do to make health care more efficient, more effective, and more transparent."

Joseph Kennedy III, "Kennedy announces his candidacy for Congress"
  • Foreign policy and security

Excerpt: "We have no greater obligation than protecting the safety and security of our country and her citizens at home and abroad. We’re facing one of the most complicated foreign policy landscapes in our history. We’re engaged in a global fight against terror involving multiple fronts, repeated deployments, tens of thousands dead and wounded, and great uncertainty."

  • Education

Excerpt: "Providing access to quality education is the number one way to ensure that a child has the chance to succeed. It’s also one of the most significant investments that we as a society can make in our economic future. Unless and until every child is prepared to take up the challenge of continuing our great history of innovation and high-skilled work, we will continue to fall behind where we once led."

  • Social Justice

Excerpt: "I believe that this country was founded on the principles of equality and fairness, and that we should be doing all we can to ensure those basic ideals continue to light our way."

  • Women's Rights

Excerpt: "I believe this country was founded on the basic principles of equality and fairness. The fight to preserve and strengthen women’s rights is at the epicenter of our efforts to make sure those fundamental values hold true for future generations."[28]



See also: Massachusetts' 4th Congressional District elections, 2014

Kennedy ran for re-election to the U.S. House in 2014.[2] He sought the Democratic nomination in the primary election. The general election took place November 4, 2014.


See also: Massachusetts' 4th Congressional District elections, 2012

Kennedy ran in the 2012 election for the U.S. House to represent Massachusetts' 4th District. He defeated Herb Robinson and Rachel Brown in the September 6, 2012, Democratic primary. Incumbent Democrat Barney Frank did not seek re-election.[29][30]

General election

U.S. House, Massachusetts District 4 General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngJoseph Kennedy III 59.3% 221,303
     Republican Sean Bielat 34.8% 129,936
     Independent David Rosa 2.9% 10,741
     N/A All Others 0.1% 265
     N/A Blank Votes 2.9% 10,869
Total Votes 373,114
Source: Massachusetts Secretary of State "Return of Votes"
U.S. House, Massachusetts District 4 Democratic Primary, 2012
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngJoseph Kennedy III 90.1% 36,388
Rachel Brown 6.5% 2,611
Herb Robinson 3.4% 1,368
Total Votes 40,367


Kennedy received official endorsements for the 2012 election from the organizations below.[31]

  • Sierra Club
  • Massachusetts Coalition of Police
  • Human Rights Campaign
  • Planned Parenthood
  • Massachusetts Nurses Association
  • Massachusetts Teachers Association
  • Massachusetts AFL-CIO

Campaign donors

Comprehensive donor information for Kennedy is available dating back to 2012. Based on available campaign finance records, Kennedy raised a total of $4,204,050 during that time period. This information was last updated on May 16, 2013.[32]

Joseph Kennedy III's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2012 U.S. House (Massachusetts, District 4) Won $4,204,050
Grand Total Raised $4,204,050


Below are Kennedy’s FEC reports.[33]


Above is a breakdown of funds for the 2012 election, according to source.

Kennedy won election to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2012. During that election cycle, Kennedy's campaign committee raised a total of $4,204,050 and spent $3,869,295.[39]

Cost per vote

Kennedy spent $17.48 per vote received in 2012.


Ideology and leadership

See also: GovTrack's Political Spectrum & Legislative Leadership ranking

Based on an analysis of bill sponsorship by GovTrack, Kennedy is a "centrist Democratic follower," as of June 24, 2013.[40]

Like-minded colleagues

The website OpenCongress tracks the voting records of each member to determine with whom he or she votes most and least often. The results include a member from each party.[41]

Kennedy most often votes with:

Kennedy least often votes with:

Lifetime voting record

See also: Lifetime voting records of United States Senators and Representatives

According to the website GovTrack, Kennedy missed 0 of 89 roll call votes from Jan 2013 to Mar 2013, which is 0.0% of votes during that period. This is better than the median of 2.2% among the lifetime records of representatives currently serving.[42]

Net worth

See also: Net Worth of United States Senators and Representatives

Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by OpenSecrets.org, Kennedy's net worth as of 2012 was estimated between $15,127,233 and $48,801,997. That averages to $31,964,615, which is higher than the average net worth of Democratic representatives in 2012 of $5,700,168.36. Kennedy ranked as the 22nd most wealthy representative in 2012.[43]

Joseph Kennedy Yearly Net Worth
YearAverage Net Worth
The data used to calculate changes in net worth may include changes resulting from assets gained through marriage, inheritance, changes in family estates and/or trusts, changes in family business ownership and many other variables unrelated to a member's behavior in Congress.

Voting with party

June 2013

Joseph Kennedy III voted with the Democratic Party 95.9% of the time, which ranked 7th among the 201 House Democratic members as of June 2013.[44]


Kennedy is the grandson of Robert F. Kennedy. His father was a member of the U.S. House from Massachusetts.

Recent news

This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term Joseph + Kennedy + Massachusetts + House

All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.

Joseph Kennedy News Feed

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See also

External links

Suggest a link


  1. Politico, "2012 Election Map, Massachusetts"
  2. 2.0 2.1 Times Union, "US Rep. Joe Kennedy kicking off re-election bid," accessed April 7, 2014
  3. 3.0 3.1 Joe Kennedy 2012, "About Joe," June 26, 2012
  4. Biographical Director of the United States Congress, "Kennedy," accessed September 20, 2013
  5. CQ.com, "House Committee Rosters for the 113th Congress," accessed March 3, 2013
  6. U.S. House of Representatives, "Committee assignments," accessed March 31, 2014
  7. Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity, First Session of the 112th Congress," accessed September 5, 2013
  8. Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity, Second Session of the 113th Congress," accessed March 4, 2014
  9. 9.0 9.1 Project Vote Smart, "Representative Joseph Kennedy's Voting Records on Defense," accessed September 24, 2013
  10. Clerk of U.S. House, "Roll Call Vote 31: H.R. 2642," accessed February 12, 2014
  11. Politico, "House clears Farm Bill," accessed February 12, 2014
  12. 12.0 12.1 New York Times, "Senate passes long-stalled Farm Bill, with clear winners and losers," accessed February 12, 2014
  13. 13.0 13.1 CNN.com, "House passes compromise $1.1 trillion budget for 2014," accessed January 20, 2014
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 U.S. House, "Roll Call Vote 21," accessed January 20, 2014
  15. Roll Call, "House passes $1.1 trillion omnibus," accessed January 20, 2014
  16. Vote Smart, "Letter to Ranking Member Collin Peterson, House Committee on Agriculture - Reject Rep. King's Provision on Farm Bill," accessed September 23, 2013
  17. Time.com, "King Farm Bill Amendment Angers Animal Advocates," accessed September 18, 2013
  18. Clerk of the U.S. House, "Final vote results for Roll Call 504," accessed October 31, 2013
  19. Buzzfeed, "Government Shutdown: How We Got Here," accessed October 1, 2013
  20. Clerk of the U.S. House, "Final vote results for Roll Call 504," accessed October 31, 2013
  21. The Washington Post, "Reid, McConnell propose bipartisan Senate bill to end shutdown, extend borrowing," accessed October 16, 2013
  22. U.S. House, "Final vote results for Roll Call 550," accessed October 31, 2013
  23. The Library of Congress, "H.AMDT.136," accessed August 28, 2013
  24. Project Vote Smart, "Representative Joseph Kennedy's Voting Records on Immigration," accessed September 24, 2013
  25. Politico, "Rep. Joe Kennedy joins immigration fast," accessed December 4, 2013
  26. Project Vote Smart, "Representative Joseph Kennedy's Voting Records on Issue: Health and Healthcare," accessed September 24, 2013
  27. Project Vote Smart, "Kennedy on abortion," accessed September 24, 2013
  28. 28.0 28.1 Joe Kennedy for Congress, "Where I Stand," August 11, 2012
  29. Washington Post, "Joe Kennedy III announces run for Barney Frank’s seat," February 15, 2012
  30. Associated Press, "Massachusetts Primary Results," accessed September 6, 2012
  31. Kennedy's Campaign Website, Press Releases
  32. Open Secrets, "Joe Kennedy III," accessed May 16, 2013
  33. Federal Election Commission, "Joseph Kennedy III Summary Report," accessed July 25, 2013
  34. Federal Election Commission, "Joseph Kennedy III April Quarterly," accessed July 25, 2013
  35. Federal Election Commission, "Joseph Kennedy III July Quarterly," accessed October 9, 2013
  36. Federal Election Commission, "Joseph Kennedy III October Quarterly," accessed October 15, 2013
  37. Federal Election Commission, "Year End Report," accessed February 17, 2014
  38. Federal Election Commission, "April Quarterly," accessed April 21, 2014
  39. Open Secrets, "2012 Re-Election Cycle," accessed February 16, 2013
  40. GovTrack, "Joseph Kennedy III," accessed June 24, 2013
  41. OpenCongress, "Joseph Kennedy," accessed August 5, 2013
  42. GovTrack, "Joseph Kennedy," accessed April 2013
  43. OpenSecrets, "Kennedy (D-MA), 2012," accessed February 18, 2014
  44. OpenCongress, "Voting With Party," accessed July 2014
Political offices
Preceded by
Barney Frank
U.S. House of Representatives - Massachusetts, District 4
Succeeded by