Joe Kennedy III is proud to serve the Fourth District of Massachusetts in Congress. Currently in his third term, he represents a diverse district that stretches from the suburbs of Boston to the more industrial cities of Massachusetts’ South Coast.
As a member of the influential House Energy & Commerce Committee, Joe has crafted a legislative agenda driven by the needs of his constituents. With a focus on issues like mental health and addiction, energy costs, manufacturing and STEM education, he has prioritized bipartisan reforms that directly impact the families, businesses and communities he is honored to represent.
His efforts to strengthen mental health parity laws, increase Medicaid reimbursement rates for behavioral health providers, and ensure the federal government invests in the entire continuum of care have made him an emerging leader on mental health and substance use disorders issues in Congress.
Inspired by the rich manufacturing tradition of the 4th Congressional District and the modern economic challenges many of his communities face, Joe has been a vocal advocate for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education, vocational schools and community colleges since he arrived in Washington. His Perkins Modernization Act and STEM Gateways Act, which focus on expanding educational opportunity to middle and working-class students, both passed the House in 2016 with broad bipartisan support.
Additionally, his Revitalize American Manufacturing and Innovation Act (RAMI) was signed into law by President Obama in 2014. The bipartisan legislation supports a network of domestic manufacturing centers aimed at fueling new technologies and educating a next-generation workforce.
Dedicated to being as accessible as possible to his constituents, Joe made a commitment to hold open constituent office hours in every city and town of the 4th District – an initiative dubbed “Tour 34.” He has also used his voice in Washington and Massachusetts to amplify both the strengths and needs of his district, from benefits for former nuclear workers to innovative economic development strategiestoprotections for consumersand initiatives to honor veterans.
Nationally, Joe has become a powerful voice for social justice, championing issues like transgender rights, marriage equality, pay equity and comprehensive immigration reform. A former prosecutor and legal aid volunteer, he has also helped highlight the importance of our civil justice system, establishing the first ever Congressional Access to Legal Services Caucus.
Prior to being elected to Congress, Joe served the Commonwealth of Massachusetts as an Assistant District Attorney in both the Middlesex County and Cape and Island’s District Attorneys’ Offices. Before that he served as a member of the Peace Corps in the Dominican Republic where he designed and implemented an economic development project near Puerto Plata.
Born and raised in Massachusetts, Joe is fluent in Spanish and holds a bachelor’s degree in Management Science and Engineering from Stanford University as well as a J.D. from Harvard Law School.
He lives with his wife, Lauren, a health policy expert, their daughter, Eleanor, their son, James, and their dog, Banjo, in Newton, Mass.
Click here to download Joe's official headshot.
Read our 2017 Report Card for Kennedy.
Kennedy is shown as a purple triangle ▲ in our ideology-leadership chart below. Each dot is a member of the House of Representatives positioned according to our liberal–conservative ideology score (left to right) and our leadership score (leaders are toward the top).
The chart is based on the bills Kennedy has sponsored and cosponsored. See full analysis methodology.
Ratings from Advocacy Organizations
Joseph Kennedy III sits on the following committees:
Kennedy was the primary sponsor of 3 bills that were enacted:
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We consider a bill enacted if one of the following is true: a) it is enacted itself, b) it has a companion bill in the other chamber (as identified by Congress) which was enacted, or c) if about one third or more of its provisions were incorporated into bills that were enacted (as determined by an automated text analysis, applicable beginning with bills in the 110th Congress).
Kennedy sponsors bills primarily in these issue areas:
Health (29%)International Affairs (17%)Civil Rights and Liberties, Minority Issues (17%)Education (13%)Taxation (8%)Government Operations and Politics (8%)Energy (8%)
Some of Kennedy’s most recently sponsored bills include...
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|Kennedy’s Vote||Vote Description|
|Nay||S. 2943: National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017|
Dec 2, 2016. Passed 375/34.
|No||H.Res. 546: Providing for consideration of the conference report to accompany the bill (H.R. 22) to authorize funds for Federal-aid ...|
Dec 3, 2015. Passed 384/40.
|Nay||S. 1356: A bill to clarify that certain provisions of the Border Patrol Agent Pay Reform Act of 2014 will ...|
Nov 5, 2015. Passed 370/58.
|No||H.R. 2146: Defending Public Safety Employees’ Retirement Act|
Jun 18, 2015. Passed 218/208.
This vote made H.R. 2146 the vehicle for passage of Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal currently being negotiated. H.R. 2146 was originally introduced as a bill to address issues with retirement funds of federal law enforcement officers and firefighters. ...
|Yea||H.R. 2048: Uniting and Strengthening America by Fulfilling Rights and Ensuring Effective Discipline Over Monitoring Act of 2015|
May 13, 2015. Passed 338/88.
The USA Freedom Act (H.R. 2048, Pub.L. 114–23) is a U.S. law enacted on June 2, 2015 that restored in modified form several provisions of the Patriot Act, which had expired the day before. The act imposes some new limits on the bulk collection of ...
|Nay||H.R. 83 (113th): Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015|
Dec 11, 2014. Passed 219/206.
This bill became the vehicle for passage of the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015 [pdf], which was approved by the House on December 11, 2014 and by the Senate on December 13, 2014. The bill was originally introduced on January 3, 2013 by ...
|Yea||H.R. 4681 (113th): Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2015|
Dec 10, 2014. Passed 325/100.
|No||H.J.Res. 124 (113th): Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2015|
Sep 17, 2014. Passed 319/108.
|Nay||H.R. 4660 (113th): Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2015|
May 30, 2014. Passed 321/87.
|Nay||H.Res. 23 (113th): Providing for consideration of the bill (H.R. 152) making supplemental appropriations for the fiscal year ending September ...|
Jan 15, 2013. Passed 367/52.
From Jan 2013 to Mar 2018, Kennedy missed 166 of 3,340 roll call votes, which is 5.0%. This is much worse than the median of 2.3% among the lifetime records of representatives currently serving. The chart below reports missed votes over time.
Show the numbers...
|Time Period||Votes Eligible||Missed Votes||Percent||Percentile|
The information on this page is originally sourced from a variety of materials, including:
Joseph Kennedy III is pronounced:
JOH-sif // KE-nuh-dee
The letters stand for sounds according to the following table:
|Letter||Sounds As In|
Capital letters indicate a stressed syllable.