Joseph Kennedy III
|Joseph Kennedy III|
|U.S. House, Massachusetts, District 4|
|January 3, 2013-Present|
|January 3, 2015|
|Years in position||2|
|Predecessor||Barney Frank (D)|
|Elections and appointments|
|Last election||November 6, 2012|
|First elected||November 6, 2012|
|Next primary||September 9, 2014|
|Next general||November 4, 2014|
|J.D.||Harvard Law School|
|Date of birth||Oct. 4, 1980|
|Place of birth||Brighton, Massachusetts|
- 1 Biography
- 2 Career
- 3 Committee assignments
- 4 Key votes
- 5 Issues
- 6 Elections
- 7 Campaign donors
- 8 Personal Gain Index
- 9 Analysis
- 10 Personal
- 11 Recent news
- 12 See also
- 13 External links
- 14 References
Prior to his congressional career, Kennedy served as District Attorney for Middlesex County.
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.
Below is an abbreviated outline of Kennedy's academic, professional and political career:
- Assistant District Attorney, Middlesex County
- Member, Peace Corps, 2004-2006
- Former Prosecutor
- Committee on Foreign Affairs
- Subcommittee on Middle East and North Africa
- Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation and Trade
- Committee on Science, Space, and Technology
- Subcommittee on Energy
- Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics
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. For more information pertaining to Kennedy's voting record in the 113th Congress, please see the below sections.
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.
Kennedy voted in opposition of HR 2217 - the DHS Appropriations Act (2014) Act of 2014. The bill passed the House on June 6, 2013, with a vote of 245 - 182 and was largely along party lines.
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. 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. However, cuts to the food stamp program cut an average of $90 per month for 1.7 million people in 15 states. Kennedy voted with 102 other Democratic representatives against the bill.
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. The House voted 359-67 for the 1,582 page bill, with 64 Republicans and three Democrats voting against the bill. The omnibus package included 12 annual spending bills to fund federal operations. 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.
- See also: United States budget debate, 2013
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. 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. Kennedy voted against the stopgap spending bill that would have delayed the individual mandate.
The shutdown 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. 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.
Morton Memos Prohibition
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. The vote largely followed party lines.
Kennedy has voted against all attempts to repeal or delay the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
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.
On The Issues Vote Match
- See also: On The Issues Vote Match
On The Issues conducts a VoteMatch analysis of elected officials based on 20 issue areas. Rather than relying on incumbents to complete the quiz themselves, the VoteMatch analysis is conducted using voting records, statements to the media, debate transcripts or citations from books authored by or about the candidate. Based on the results of the quiz, Kennedy is a Populist-Leaning Liberal. Kennedy received a score of 70 percent on social issues and 19 percent on economic issues.
The table below contains the results of analysis compiled by staff at On The Issues.
|On The Issues Vote Quiz|
|Economic Issues||Social Issues|
|Legally require hiring women & minorities||Strongly Favors||Abortion is a woman's unrestricted right||Strongly Favors|
|Expand ObamaCare||Strongly Favors||Comfortable with same-sex marriage||Strongly Favors|
|Vouchers for school choice||Opposes||Keep God in the public sphere||Unknown|
|Absolute right to gun ownership||Strongly Opposes||Human needs over animal rights||Unknown|
|Higher taxes on the wealthy||Strongly Favors||Stricter punishment reduces crime||Strongly Opposes|
|Support & expand free trade||Unknown||Pathway to citizenship for illegal aliens||Strongly Favors|
|Stricter limits on political campaign funds||Strongly Favors||Maintain US sovereignty from UN||Strongly Favors|
|Prioritize green energy||Strongly Favors||Expand the military||Strongly Opposes|
|Stimulus better than market-led recovery||Favors||Stay out of Iran||Neutral|
|Privatize Social Security||Strongly Opposes||Never legalize marijuana||Unknown|
|Note: Information last updated: 2014. If you notice the rating has changed, email us.|
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. The "Protect Interstate Commerce Act" amendment prevents states from applying their own laws on agricultural products to agricultural products from another state.. 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.
24 hour fast
Kennedy joined immigration activists in a fast in an effort to encourage Congress to take up immigration reform. Kennedy fasted for 24 hours and then another Congress member took over the fast. On December 3, 2013, Speaker of the House John Boehner announced he had a new policy staffer working specifically on immigration issues, suggesting that House Republicans are also open to reform.
On his campaign website, Kennedy listed eight issues. They are:
- 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
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."
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."
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.
|U.S. House, Massachusetts District 4 General Election, 2012|
|Democratic||Joseph Kennedy III||59.3%||221,303|
|Source: Massachusetts Secretary of State "Return of Votes"|
|U.S. House, Massachusetts District 4 Democratic Primary, 2012|
|Joseph Kennedy III||90.1%||36,388|
Kennedy received official endorsements for the 2012 election from the organizations below.
- Sierra Club
- Massachusetts Coalition of Police
- Human Rights Campaign
- Planned Parenthood
- Massachusetts Nurses Association
- Massachusetts Teachers Association
- Massachusetts AFL-CIO
The below chart from Find The Best tracks the fundraising events Kennedy attends.
Source: This graphic was generated by Find The Best.
Comprehensive donor history
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.
|Joseph Kennedy III's Campaign Contribution History|
|2012||U.S. House (Massachusetts, District 4)||$4,204,050|
|Grand Total Raised||$4,204,050|
Below are Kennedy’s FEC reports.
|Joseph Kennedy III (2014) Campaign Finance Reports|
|Report||Date Filed||Beginning Balance||Total Contributions|
for Reporting Period
|Expenditures||Cash on Hand|
|April Quarterly||April 15, 2013||$334,754.37||$253,045.88||$(214,386.28)||$373,413.97|
|July Quarterly||October 9, 2013||$373,413.97||$396,358.84||$(272,081.64)||$497,691.17|
|October Quarterly||October 15, 2013||$497,691.17||$384,140.51||$(133,798.65)||$748,033.03|
|Year-end||January 31, 2014||$748,033||$334,145||$(169,953)||$912,225|
|April Quarterly||April 15, 2014||$912,225||$300,686||$(180,645)||$1,032,266|
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.
Cost per vote
Kennedy spent $17.48 per vote received in 2012.
|U.S. House, Massachusetts District 4, 2012 - Joseph Kennedy III Campaign Contributions|
|Total Raised by Election Runner-up||$1,074,705|
|Total Spent by Election Runner-up||$1,068,678|
|Top contributors to Joseph Kennedy III's campaign committee|
|Global Partners LP||$27,987|
|Thornton & Naumes||$18,500|
|Edwards Wildman Palmer||$17,750|
|Mintz, Levin et al||$16,700|
|Top 5 industries that contributed to campaign committee|
|Securities & Investment||$460,506|
To view the breakdown of campaign funding by type click [show] to expand the section.
Personal Gain Index
- See also: Personal Gain Index (U.S. Congress)
- See also: Personal Gain Index (U.S. Congress)
The Personal Gain Index (U.S. Congress) is a four-part measurement that illustrates the extent to which members of the U.S. Congress have prospered during their tenure as public servants.
It consists of four different metrics:
- Changes in Net Worth
- The K-Street Metric
- The Donation Concentration Metric
- The Stock Oversight and Trades Metric
PGI: Change in net worth
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. Between 2011 and 2012, Kennedy's calculated net worth decreased by an average of 12 percent per year. Between 2004 and 2012, the average annual percentage increase for a member of Congress was 15.4 percent.
|Joseph Kennedy Yearly Net Worth|
|Year||Average Net Worth|
|Growth from 2011 to 2012:||-12%|
|Average annual growth:||-12%|
|Comparatively, the American citizen experienced a median yearly decline in net worth of -0.94%.|
Ideology and leadership
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.
Kennedy most often votes with:
Kennedy least often votes with:
Lifetime voting record
According to the website GovTrack, Kennedy missed 19 of 1,120 roll call votes from January 2013 to August 2014, which is 1.7% of votes during that period. This is better than the median of 2.5% among the lifetime records of representatives currently serving.
National Journal vote ratings
- See also: National Journal vote ratings
Each year National Journal publishes an analysis of how liberally or conservatively each member of Congress voted in the previous year. Click the link above for the full ratings of all members of Congress.
Kennedy ranked 57th in the liberal rankings in 2013.
Voting with party
The website OpenCongress tracks how often members of Congress vote with the majority of the chamber caucus.
Kennedy voted with the Democratic Party 95.4 percent of the time, which ranked 18th among the 204 House Democratic members as of August 2014.
Kennedy voted with the Democratic Party 95.9 percent of the time, which ranked 7th among the 201 House Democratic members as of June 2013.
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.
- Massachusetts' 4th Congressional District elections, 2012
- Massachusetts' 4th Congressional District
- United States House of Representatives elections in Massachusetts, 2014
- United States congressional delegations from Massachusetts
- Social media:
- Political profiles:
- Financial (federal level):
- Interest group ratings:
- Issue positions:
- Public statements:
- Voting record:
- Media appearances:
- Politico, "2012 Election Map, Massachusetts," accessed 2012
- Times Union, "US Rep. Joe Kennedy kicking off re-election bid," accessed April 7, 2014
- Joe Kennedy 2012, "About Joe," accessed June 26, 2012
- Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, "Kennedy," accessed September 20, 2013
- CQ.com, "House Committee Rosters for the 113th Congress," accessed March 3, 2013
- U.S. House of Representatives, "Committee assignments," accessed March 31, 2014
- Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity, First Session of the 112th Congress," accessed September 5, 2013
- Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity, Second Session of the 113th Congress," accessed March 4, 2014
- Project Vote Smart, "Representative Joseph Kennedy's Voting Records on Defense," accessed September 24, 2013
- Clerk of U.S. House, "Roll Call Vote 31: H.R. 2642," accessed February 12, 2014
- Politico, "House clears Farm Bill," accessed February 12, 2014
- New York Times, "Senate passes long-stalled Farm Bill, with clear winners and losers," accessed February 12, 2014
- CNN.com, "House passes compromise $1.1 trillion budget for 2014," accessed January 20, 2014
- U.S. House, "Roll Call Vote 21," accessed January 20, 2014
- Roll Call, "House passes $1.1 trillion omnibus," accessed January 20, 2014
- Clerk of the U.S. House, "Final vote results for Roll Call 504," accessed October 31, 2013
- Buzzfeed, "Government Shutdown: How We Got Here," accessed October 1, 2013
- Clerk of the U.S. House, "Final vote results for Roll Call 504," accessed October 31, 2013
- The Washington Post, "Reid, McConnell propose bipartisan Senate bill to end shutdown, extend borrowing," accessed October 16, 2013
- U.S. House, "Final vote results for Roll Call 550," accessed October 31, 2013
- The Library of Congress, "H.AMDT.136," accessed August 28, 2013
- Project Vote Smart, "Representative Joseph Kennedy's Voting Records on Immigration," accessed September 24, 2013
- Project Vote Smart, "Representative Joseph Kennedy's Voting Records on Issue: Health and Healthcare," accessed September 24, 2013
- Project Vote Smart, "Kennedy on abortion," accessed September 24, 2013
- On The Issues, "Joseph Kennedy III Vote Match," accessed July 1, 2014
- The questions in the quiz are broken down into two sections -- social and economic. In social questions, liberals and libertarians agree in choosing the less-government answers, while conservatives and populists agree in choosing the more restrictive answers. For the economic questions, conservatives and libertarians agree in choosing the less-government answers, while liberals and populists agree in choosing the more restrictive answers.
- Vote Smart, "Letter to Ranking Member Collin Peterson, House Committee on Agriculture - Reject Rep. King's Provision on Farm Bill," accessed September 23, 2013
- Time.com, "King Farm Bill Amendment Angers Animal Advocates," accessed September 18, 2013
- Politico, "Rep. Joe Kennedy joins immigration fast," accessed December 4, 2013
- Joe Kennedy for Congress, "Where I Stand," accessed August 11, 2012
- Washington Post, "Joe Kennedy III announces run for Barney Frank’s seat," accessed February 15, 2012
- Associated Press, "Massachusetts Primary Results," accessed September 6, 2012
- Kennedy's Campaign Website, "Press Releases," accessed 2012
- Open Secrets, "Joe Kennedy III," accessed May 16, 2013
- Federal Election Commission, "Joseph Kennedy III Summary Report," accessed July 25, 2013
- Federal Election Commission, "Joseph Kennedy III April Quarterly," accessed July 25, 2013
- Federal Election Commission, "Joseph Kennedy III July Quarterly," accessed October 9, 2013
- Federal Election Commission, "Joseph Kennedy III October Quarterly," accessed October 15, 2013
- Federal Election Commission, "Year End Report," accessed February 17, 2014
- Federal Election Commission, "April Quarterly," accessed April 21, 2014
- Open Secrets, "2012 Re-Election Cycle," accessed February 16, 2013
- OpenSecrets, "Kennedy (D-MA), 2012," accessed February 18, 2014
- This figure represents the total percentage growth from either 2004 (if the member entered office in 2004 or earlier) or their first year in office (as noted in the chart below).
- This number was found by dividing each member's total net worth growth percentage by the number of years included in the calculation.
- This figure represents the total percentage growth divided by the number of years for which there are net worth figures for each member.
- This figure was calculated using median asset data from the Census Bureau. Please see the Congressional Net Worth data for Ballotpedia spreadsheet for more information on this calculation.
- GovTrack, "Joseph Kennedy III," accessed August 4, 2014
- OpenCongress, "Joseph Kennedy," accessed August 4, 2014
- GovTrack, "Joseph Kennedy," accessed August 4, 2014
- National Journal, "2013 Congressional Vote Ratings," accessed August 4, 2014
- OpenCongress, "Voting With Party," accessed July 2014
- OpenCongress, "Voting With Party," accessed July 2014
|U.S. House of Representatives - Massachusetts, District 4
| Succeeded by|