Jim Himes

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Jim Himes
Jim Himes Official Portrait, 113th Congress.jpg
Chair of the New Democrat Coalition
In office
January 3, 2017 – January 3, 2019
Preceded byRon Kind
Succeeded byDerek Kilmer
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Connecticut's 4th district
Assumed office
January 3, 2009
Preceded byChris Shays
Personal details
James Andrew Himes

(1966-07-05) July 5, 1966 (age 52)
Lima, Peru
Political partyDemocratic
Mary Scott (m. 1994)
EducationHarvard University (BA)
St Edmund Hall, Oxford (MPhil)
WebsiteHouse website

James Andrew Himes (born July 5, 1966) is an American businessman and U.S. Representative for Connecticut's 4th congressional district, serving since 2009. He is a member of the Democratic Party and Chairman of the New Democrat Coalition.[1][2]

The district includes most of the southwestern corner of the state and is largely coextensive with the Connecticut side of the New York metropolitan area. It incorporates portions of Fairfield and New Haven counties, including the cities of Bridgeport, Westport and Stamford.

Early life and education

Himes was born July 5, 1966 in Lima, Peru,[3] to American parents, where his father worked for the Ford Foundation.[4] His father, James R. Himes, also worked for UNICEF,[5] being the director of the UNICEF Innocenti Center, a research institute on child development in Florence, Italy. His mother, Judith A. Himes, was, until recent years, the director of board activities for the New Jersey Board of Higher Education in Trenton.[6]

He spent his early childhood in Lima and Bogotá, Colombia.[4] After the divorce of his parents, Jim, his mother, and his two sisters moved to Pennington, New Jersey,[4][7] where Himes attended and graduated from Hopewell Valley Central High School.[5]

Himes attended Harvard University as an undergraduate where he was the captain of the Lightweight crew and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in 1988.[3] Himes studied for a degree in Latin American studies as a Rhodes scholar at St Edmund Hall, Oxford[4] and graduated with a Master of Philosophy in 1990.[3] He was awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from the University of Bridgeport on May 5, 2012.[8]

Professional career

In 1995, Himes began working at Goldman Sachs[9] as a banker in Latin America and New York. He was eventually promoted to vice president. In 2003, Himes began working for the non-profit Enterprise Foundation (currently Enterprise Community Partners), and later began running its metropolitan New York operations. In 2007, he was named vice president of Enterprise.

Himes was appointed a Commissioner of the Greenwich Housing Authority in 2002, and served for two years as chairman of the board. He has also served as a board member of Aspira of Connecticut in Bridgeport, a board member of the Fairfield County Community Foundation, and as an advisory board member of Family Assets, LLP of Bridgeport.

He was also an elected member of the Greenwich Board of Estimate and Taxation and served as the Chairman of the Greenwich Democratic Town Committee.[10]

U.S. House of Representatives


Himes has sponsored 32 bills, including:[11]

111th Congress (2009–2011)

  • H.R. 2600, a bill to prohibit any state from imposing income taxes on nonresident individuals for any period in which the individual is not physically present in or working in the state, introduced May 21, 2009, reintroduced in the 112th Congress as H.R. 5615, reintroduced in the 113th Congress as H.R. 4085.
  • H.R. 3973, a bill to award competitive grants to school systems that are implementing innovative early-education curricula, introduced October 29, 2009. Himes introduced a similar bill in the 112th Congress as H.R. 3322 and two similar bills in the 113th Congress as H.R. 3983 and H.R. 3984.
  • H.R. 4106, a bill to create a grant and loan program for retrofitting homes with renewable energy technology, introduced November 18, 2009.
  • H.R. 5779, a bill to terminate and reduce payments for various agricultural programs, introduced July 20, 2010.

112th Congress (2011–2013)

  • H.R. 1965, a bill to increase from $1 to $10 the shareholder registration threshold for issuing securities, and to require any bank or bank holding company to register with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission if its assets exceed $10 million and include a certain class of equity security held of record by 2,000 or more people, introduced May 24, 2011. H.R. 1965 has passed the House of Representatives but has yet to become law.
  • H.R. 3283, a bill to exempt from regulation under Title VII of the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (WSTAA) any swap dealers who are either a U.S. corporation or a subsidiary of a U.S. corporation and report such swaps to a swap data repository registered with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), to subject swap dealers to any regulations established by the CFTC to prevent evasion of WSTAA requirements, and subjects to WSTAA requirements any non-U.S. swap dealer who engages in swaps with any U.S. corporation, introduced October 31, 2011.
  • H.R. 6187, a bill to increase efforts to cure HIV/AIDS, introduced June 25, 2012, reintroduced in the 113th Congress as H.R. 3630.

113th Congress (2013–2015)

  • H.R. 4552, a bill to establish minimum safety standards for equestrian helmets, introduced May 1, 2014
  • H.R. 5004, a bill to promote renewable energy technology for multi-family homes and to make grants available to establish or expand energy savings plans that reduce total energy, water, or gas consumption by at least 20% for multi-family homes, introduced June 26, 2014
  • H.R. 5674, a bill to award grants to higher education institutions that carry out new or existing programs designed to graduate students at significantly lower student costs and within shorter time periods than traditional programs, to create minimum affordability, accessibility, and value accountability standards for higher education institutions, and to financially punish higher education institutions that do not make improvements in such standards, introduced September 19,20-12

Committee assignments

Caucus memberships

Chair of the New Democrat Coalition https://newdemocratcoalition-himes.house.gov/



Planned Parenthood gives Himes a 100% pro-choice rating.[16] He voted against the Stupak-Pitts Amendment in the Affordable Health Care for America Act that was intended to prevent any federal funds from paying for any health care plan with abortion coverage.[17][18]


Himes states that "we should reduce our presence in Afghanistan as rapidly as possible and reshape our mission to focus exclusively on counterterrorism", yet requiring "presence in the region, but one considerably smaller than that required by our present strategy of nation-building."[19] He believes in a world free of nuclear weapons, and readily supports sanctions against Iran. He voted for the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act of 2010.[19] He supports a two-state solution between Israel and Palestine.[19]


Himes believes that early childhood education is "the most intelligent investment a nation can make in its future," and voted to double funding for Early Head Start Program.[20] He stated in 2008 that No Child Left Behind "is well-intentioned because it focuses on education, but it must be reformed."[21] Himes also co-authored an amendment to the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act that promoted the financial literacy of students.[22]


Environment America has given Himes a 100% rating.[23] He believes that "By creating the right set of financial incentives and supporting a broad range of research and development, we can deliver the energy our economy requires to thrive while protecting our planet."[24] He also voted for the American Clean Energy and Security Act.[18]

Financial services

Himes is the chair of the New Democrat Coalition ("New Dems"), a group of business-centric Democrats. The New Dem PAC, which has worked to recruit more moderate Democrats as candidates for Congress this year, receives significant funding from the banking industry. (https://newdemocratcoalition-himes.house.gov/about-us/our-agenda). In May 2018, Himes (a former Goldman Sachs employee and member of the Financial Services Committee) voted with house republicans to fulfill Trump's campaign promise to roll back Obama era protections put in place to prevent another financial meltdown. Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act, known as the Crapo bill for its primary sponsor, Mike Crapo, a Republican senator from Idaho freed thousands of banks with less than $250 billion in assets from stricter federal oversight. (https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/senate-bill/2155). Critics of Himes, who's biggest campaign contributors come from the Securities & Investment and Insurance industries (https://www.opensecrets.org/members-of-congress/summary?cid=N00029070), say his vote guts consumer protections and increases the risk of another financial crisis. Foreign banks that pose major risks, such as the Trump-friendly Deutsche Bank, will see their United States subsidiaries deregulated. Himes' district include Greenwich, CT, home to many large Hedge Funds and financial services employees.

Of the 33 House Democrats voting in support of the repeal bill, 27 are members of the New Dems. However, most democrats and progressives opposed the bill. Nancy Pelosi said “the bill would take us back to the days when unchecked recklessness on Wall Street ignited an historic financial meltdown.”

Despite his vote to roll back provisions of Dodd-Frank, Himes touts his accomplishment in helping draft, pass, and defend Dodd-Frank. His website states: "When I first took office in 2009, I immediately began working with my colleagues on the House Financial Services Committee to write the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, also known as Dodd-Frank. This landmark legislation was crafted amidst the wreckage of a disaster that threw more than eight million people out of work and obliterated nearly $16 trillion in American wealth. This was the most significant overhaul of our nation’s financial regulations in decades. This landmark law put in place tough new rules to protect consumers and monitor irresponsible behavior.Unfortunately, we are now forced to defend against multiple efforts undo all of the protections we have instituted. Legislation has passed the House of Representatives to strip power away from the SEC and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau; make it easier for banks to gamble with taxpayer money by repealing the Volcker Rule; and opens the door for more bailouts. I will continue to fight against these attacks on behalf of American consumers and taxpayers."(https://himes.house.gov/financial-services-depth)

At the bill-signing ceremony, Trump praised democrats' support stating, “Dodd-Frank was something they said could not be touched and, honestly, a lot of great Democrats knew that it had to be done,” he said.

On March 6, 2013, Himes co-sponsored H.R. 992 [25] which rolls back provisions in section 716 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. Citigroup's recommendations were reflected in more than 70 lines of the House Financial Services committee's 85-line bill. Two crucial paragraphs, prepared by Citigroup in conjunction with other Wall Street banks, were copied nearly word for word.[26] According to the Congressional Budget Office[27] "H.R. 992 would allow certain financial firms to retain financial portfolios containing swaps while remaining eligible for assistance from the Federal Reserve and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)."

Himes vorted for H.R. 922., the Swaps Regulatory Improvement Act.[28] He also voted for H.R. 2374, the Retail Investor Protection Act.[29]

Gun issues

Himes voted against H.R. 627 which allowed loaded guns into national parks.[18] The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence gives him a 100% lifetime score for his support of more gun regulations.[30]

Health care

Himes supports the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. He believes in preserving Medicare and Medicaid and says we must be "prepared to equitably reform these programs to address the challenging problem of rising health care costs and ensure that these important safety net programs are here to help this generation and the next."[31]

The Fourth Amendment

Himes voted against H.R. 2397 which was to defund the NSA domestic phone metadata spying program.[32] As one who is against the NSA's metadata spying program, Himes states that he voted against H.R. 2397 not because he objects to the principle of limiting the NSA's power, but because the bill was created in a reactionary manner and stripped the NSA of too much power.[citation needed]


Himes co-sponsored H.R. 402, The National Infrastructure Development Bank Act of 2011, which would objectively fund national infrastructure projects. According to Himes, it would also "attract private investment and facilitate private sector partnering with regions, states and localities to borrow from the Bank while adding its own private equity to projects."[33] He has helped bring money to the 4th district, such as "over $70 million for safety improvements, resurfacing, enhancements, and bridge improvements to the Merritt Parkway; over $11 million for infrastructure improvements at the Steel Point project in Bridgeport that will generate thousands of new jobs; and $30 million for upgrades to Metro North’s Danbury Branch line."[33]

Animal rights and wildlife issues

In 2009-2010, the Society for Animal Protective legislation gave Himes a rating of 100% for his support of animal protection. In 2009, Himes was given a rating of 100% by the Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund for his position on wildlife action.[34]

LGBT rights

In 2009-2010, the Human Rights Campaign gave Himes a rating of 100%.[34]


In 2009-2010, the American Immigration Lawyers Association gave Himes a rating of 100% for his stance on the defense of undocumented immigrants in the U.S.[34]

Electoral College and presidential selection

Himes lobbied the Electoral College to refuse to vote for Donald Trump and to instead elect Hillary Clinton.[35] On December 12, 2016, in an interview on CNN's New Day, he said that he was troubled by several actions by the president-elect. The issue that "pushed me over the edge" was Trump's criticism of the CIA and the intelligence community. The Congressman did admit that Trump won "fair and square," but he said that Trump proved himself unfit for public office. He cited the intentions behind the creation of the electoral college and he argued that it was created for an instance such as the election of Trump.[citation needed]

Political campaigns


Himes faced the ten-term Republican incumbent Chris Shays in the 2008 congressional election, along with Libertarian nominee M.A. Carrano, a professional philosophy writer and systems consultant, and Green Party nominee Richard Duffee. Winning by a margin of 51 percent to 47 percent,[4] While Shays won 14 of the district's 17 towns, Himes won all three of the district's large cities—Bridgeport, Norwalk and Stamford. Ultimately, he owed his victory to swamping Shays in Bridgeport, winning a staggering 80 percent of the vote there.[36] He was also helped by Barack Obama's massive win in that district; Obama carried the 4th with 60 percent of the vote, one of the largest margins Obama recorded in a Republican-held district.

Himes took office in the 111th United States Congress on January 6, 2009. He is the first Democrat to represent the district since Donald J. Irwin left office in 1969, and only the second since 1943. Shays was the sole Republican congressman from New England, and Himes's win made New England's House delegation entirely Democratic for the first time in history.[37]


In the 2010 election, Himes won reelection against Republican challenger State Senator Dan Debicella. Along with the three towns that he won in 2008, Himes also won Redding, Weston, and Westport, and won Fairfield by nine votes.[38]

The campaign raised $3,660,497.57, $3,603,727 of which was spent.[39] Only 4% of that came from small individual donors, while 60% came from large individual donors. The remaining donations came mostly from Political Action Committees (34%). Himes did not self-finance at all.[39] The majority of his money, 74%, came from in-state. Only 26% came from out of state.[39] Rep. Himes disclosed 97.9% of his donations.[39]

Personal life

On October 16, 1994, he married Mary Linley Scott,[40] of Toronto, a daughter of Janet and Michael Scott. The ceremony took place at Cathedral Church of St. James in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and was performed by the Rev. M. Jane Watanabe, an Anglican associate priest.

His wife was an assistant designer at Dorf Associates, a retail design firm in New York. She graduated from McGill University and from the Parsons School of Design. Her father retired as the vice chairman of Scotia McLeod, an investment bank in Toronto.

Himes lives in the Cos Cob section of Greenwich with his wife and their two daughters: Emma and Linley.[41] His daughter Emma attends the University of Pennsylvania. He is fluent in Spanish.[42] He is also a Member of Session of the First Presbyterian Church of Greenwich.[42]

See also

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