Ranking Member McGovern



James P. McGovern (D-MA) was elected to the House of Representatives in 1996. He was appointed to the House Rules Committee in 2001, named ranking member in 2018, became Chairman in 2019, and returned as Ranking Member for the 118th Congress in 2023. 

During his time in Congress, Congressman McGovern’s top priority has always been his constituents back home. He has been an advocate for making college more affordable, and authored a bill to increase Pell Grant funding. To protect our environment for future generations to enjoy and to enhance recreational community spaces in urban and suburban neighborhoods, Jim successfully fought to defend the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which provides grants to preserve open space.

Congressman McGovern authored legislation to give tax credits to employers who pay the salaries of National Guard members and Reservists called to active duty. And when the Supreme Court handed down its flawed Citizen’s United decision to allow unlimited amounts of money in politics, Jim introduced several Constitutional Amendments to overturn the court’s decision.

Congressman McGovern is also co-chair of the bipartisan Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, which investigates international human rights abuses and recommends how the U.S. should foster respect for democratic values abroad. In this role, he has held a spotlight to egregious international human rights violations that would have otherwise gone largely unnoticed. 

In 2012, Congressman McGovern authored the Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act, which allows the President to punish foreign officials who the U.S. identifies as corrupt or as human rights abusers. The bill was passed by the Senate later that year and signed into law by President Obama.

As a leading advocate in Congress for peace, Congressman McGovern has repeatedly called attention to the lack of Congressional oversight and approval of America’s wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria. Throughout his career, Jim has been a voice for reallocating defense spending towards domestic priorities like education, infrastructure, and supporting our veterans and seniors.

One of Congressman McGovern’s greatest passions is ending hunger at home and abroad. He is the founder and co-chair of the House Hunger Caucus and sits on the House Subcommittee on Nutrition, where he advocates tirelessly for funding programs that help working families, children, and the elderly put food on the table when times are tough. 

He also authored the McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program to provide school-based meals for millions of children in some of the world’s poorest countries.

Congressman McGovern attended The American University in Washington, D.C. where he earned both his bachelor’s degree in History (‘81) and his Master’s Degree in Public Administration (‘84). He worked his way through college as an intern in the office of Senator George McGovern. He worked for Massachusetts Congressman John Joseph Moakley (D-South Boston) from 1982 until 1996, serving as a staff assistant, press secretary, and legislative director.

It was while working in Moakley’s office that Congressman McGovern met his wife, Lisa Murray McGovern, who was an aide to Congressman Gerry Studds (D-MA). The McGoverns married in 1989 and have two children, Patrick and Molly.

District Office Website: https://mcgovern.house.gov/