ENG: John Francis “Jack” Reed (born November 12, 1949) is the senior U.S. Senator from Rhode Island and a member of the Democratic Party. Previously he served in the United States House of Representatives for Rhode Island's 2nd congressional district.
Reed was born in Cranston, Rhode Island, to Mary Louise (née Monahan) and Joseph Anthony Reed. Reed graduated from La Salle Academy and the United States Military Academy at West Point, where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in 1971. Following graduation, he spent several years in active duty military service. Reed was an Army Ranger and a paratrooper.
He served in the 82nd Airborne Division as an Infantry Platoon leader and in the 325th Infantry Regiment as a Company Commander and later as a Battalion Staff Officer. Reed attended the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, where he received a Masters of Public Policy. He returned to West Point in 1978 as an Associate Professor in the Department of Social Sciences. He left active duty in 1979 after earning the rank of Captain. However, he remained associated with military life until 1991 as a member of the United States Army Reserve. Reed married professional Senate staffer Julia Hart in a Roman Catholic ceremony in the Catholic chapel on the United States Military Academy campus on April 16, 2005. On January 5, 2007, Mrs. Reed gave birth to a daughter, Emily.
After leaving active duty, Reed enrolled in Harvard Law School, where he became a member of the Board of Student Advisers. In 1982, he graduated with his Juris Doctor and worked as an associate at the Washington, D.C.
office of law firm of Sutherland Asbill & Brennan. Afterwards, he returned to Rhode Island and joined Edwards and Angell, a Providence law firm. He worked with this group until 1990. Reed was elected as a state senator in 1984 and served three terms. In 1990, Reed was elected to the United States House of Representatives. For the next six years, Reed became well known in his state for his positions on education and health care.
Since his election to Congress, Reed has consistently voted in a similar manner to other New England Democrats, holding generally liberal positions on social and economic issues.
Reed has been an advocate of preventive healthcare. He has generally followed the Democratic line by supporting increased Medicare funding, enrolling more Americans into programs that help the uninsured, allowing prescription drugs to be imported from Canada, and negotiating bulk medication purchases for Medicare in order to lower costs. However, in 2003, he stated that individual states should be allowed to negotiate these bulk purchases on their own.
Reed has generally supported fair trade policies over similar ones advocating free trade. He voted against renewing presidential authority for 'fast tracking' normalized trade relations. He also opposed CAFTA and similar free trade proposals for Chile, Singapore, Peru, and Oman.
However, Reed voted in favor of normalizing trade relations with China. He has also been a strong supporter of unionizing workers, and he has criticized government and business interference with these groups. He also supports increasing the minimum wage and unemployment compensation.
The senator has compiled a record that shows he is in favor of affirmative action. He has voted to expand such policies and to set aside money for women and minorities from the highway fund. Reed also has supported gay rights, voting against a proposed constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage, while voting in favor of measures that prevent job discrimination and hate crimes against homosexuals.
Reed has also consistently voted against proposals to change the Constitution to ban flag desecration and has criticized wiretapping policies. He is strongly pro-choice, and he has rejected proposals to limit late-term abortion, such procedures from occurring on military installations, and the ability of minors to cross state lines to obtain abortions.
The senator has continuously voted against limiting lawsuits on gun manufacturers and has favored expanding gun control. He voted to increase background checks.
Reed has made it a point to maintain liaisons within his office specifically to interact with discharged veterans of the Armed Services. These liaisons often help veterans enter the Department of Veteran Affairs, ensuring that these former servicemen and servicewomen receive the medical care they deserve.
Reed was one of 23 US senators to vote against H.J. Resolution 114, which authorized President George W. Bush to use force against Iraq in 2002.
When Senator Claiborne Pell (the longest-serving Senator in Rhode Island's history, and the 13th-longest serving Senator in US history) announced his retirement in 1996, Reed campaigned to be his replacement and won the election. He was easily reelected to a second term in 2002, and to a third in 2008.
August 6th, 2011