John Heddens "Jack" Kingston (born April 24, 1955) is the U.S. Representative for Georgia's 1st congressional district, serving since 1993. He is a member of the Republican Party.
Early life, education and career
Kingston was born April 24, 1955 in Bryan, Texas but spent most of his life in Athens, Georgia. He earned a degree from the University of Georgia, where he also joined Lambda Chi Alpha. He has lived in Savannah since 1977 and spent over a decade selling insurance and working in agribusiness throughout southeastern Georgia before entering politics.
Kingston's committee assignments in the 112th Congress (2011–2013) are:
- Committee on Appropriations
- Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration and Related Agencies (Chairman)
- Subcommittee on Defense
- Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies
- Republican Study Committee
- Balanced Budget Amendment Caucus
- Congressional Caucus on Unfunded Mandates
- International Conservation Caucus
- Liberty Caucus
From 2003 through the end of 2006, Kingston served as vice-chairman of the House Republican Conference, the sixth-ranking post among House Republicans.
An early attempt propriations Committee in the 112th Congress was rebuffed by Republican leadership.
Kingston is a fiscal and social conservative, opposing abortion and supporting tax cuts.
Jack Kingston is a supporter of Medicare prescription drug coverage, human genome research, and bio-terrorism training for health workers. Although he supports a patient's right to appeal denied health claims, he opposes allowing a patient to sue their health care provider over denied claims. In 2009 he voted against the Affordable Health Care for America Act, asserting the bill would raise premiums, taxes, and cut Medicare.
In 2007 Kingston co-introduced H.R. 1539 (A PLUS Act). According to Kingston's web site, his bill would have "give[n] power back to states allowing them to implement initiatives that each state individually develops to best meet the unique needs of their particular students." In June 2007 his bill was referred by a Democratic congress to the Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education.
After nearly two years of being stalled in committee, the bill was purged from the House at the end of the 110th Congress.
Kingston supports various environmental reforms including the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, and Emission Control. He also supports research of alternative energy, especially Ethanol and Nuclear energy. Although he believes in controlling global warming, he criticizes Democrats for inefficient handling of the situation. For example, in 2009 Kingston voted against HR 2454 (Cap and Trade Law Amendments), claiming the bill would cost the average household $1,500. In 2008 Kingston received a rating of 94 percent from the interest group Alliance to Stop the War on the Poor – Affordable Energy.
About the Democratic House leadership extending the House Washington work week from 3 days to 5: “Keeping us up here eats away at families,” said Rep.
Jack Kingston (R-Ga.), who typically flies home on Thursdays and returns to Washington on Tuesdays. “Marriages suffer. The Democrats could [sic] care less about families – that’s what this says.”
In 1992, Kingston gave up his seat in the state house to pursue a congressional run in Georgia's 1st congressional district after five-term Democratic incumbent Lindsay Thomas announced his retirement. The district had turned increasingly Republican at the national level, but was still willing to elect conservative Democrats at the state and local level (in fact, Democrats represented much of this area well into the 1990s). He easily won the election with 58 percent of the vote, becoming the first Republican to represent this district since Reconstruction.
Kingston was likely helped by the 1990s round of redistricting, which significantly altered the district. The 1st had been based in Savannah for over a century, but redistricting shifted most of Savannah's black residents to the newly created 12th District. Kingston has not been seriously challenged since, and has never received less than 66 percent of the vote. Even when all of Savannah was briefly placed back into the district from 1996 to 2002 (most of it was cut back out in the 2000s round of redistricting), Kingston was reelected handily, even running unopposed in 1998. He was also reelected unopposed in 2004.
Kingston is a frequent guest on shows such as HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher, and TV news shows. He appeared as an extra in The Last Song, a movie filmed in Savannah and Tybee Island. He has expressed skepticism against global warming and is a creationist.
October 18th, 2011