John Larson

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John Larson currently serves the 1st Congressional district of Connecticut

John B. Larson, a Democrat, has represented the 1st District of Connecticut in the U.S. House of Representatives since 1999 (map). He is the chair of the Democratic caucus for the 111th Congress, having served as vice-chair during the 110th Congress.

Record and controversies

General information about important bills and votes for can be found in Congresspedia's articles on legislation. You can add information you find on how John Larson voted by clicking the "[edit]" link to the right and typing it in. Remember to cite your sources!

Iraq War

Larson voted against the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002 that started the Iraq War.[1]

In August 2002 Larson, after touring several Middle East countries to meet with diplomats, U.S. troops and foreign dignitaries, spoke out against a unilateral invasion of Iraq.

"Iraq is a toothless tiger", he said, predicting that it would take the American military only a week to get to Baghdad. In a report in the New Britain Herald, Larson was cited stated that the 'slaughter of Muslims" would "create, in essence, what Osama bin Laden was unable to do, a united Islamic jihad against us." [1]

For more information see the chart of U.S. House of Representatives votes on the Iraq War.

Gun Issues

Larson strongly opposes the absolute right to gun ownership. [2]

This is supported by his minimal interest in the National Rifle Association and the Gun Owners of America organization; his support for the interest in these groups ranged from 0% to 25%. In return, the organizations have constantly given Larson poor ratings (mostly ‘F’s with a couple of ‘D’s) from 1999 to 2008. In contrast, Larson strongly supported the interests of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, expressing 100% support in 1987-1999, 2002, and 2003. He showed the same support for the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence organization in 1999-2000, 2001, and 2003. [3]

Moreover, Larson’s voting record exemplifies his rooted pro-gun control stance. In 2005, he voted against the passage of the Firearms Manufacturers Protection Bill which prohibited “civil liability actions from being brought or continued against manufacturers, distributors, dealers, or importers of firearms or ammunition for damages, injunctive or other relief resulting from the misuse of their products by others.” [4] In 2003, Larson also voted against the passage of the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act which prohibited “liability lawsuits from being brought against gun manufacturers and dealers based on the criminal misuse of firearms.” [5] This bill also thwarts similar actions from being broached against ammunition companies and gun trading institutions.

Additionally, Larson advocates the “A New Agenda for a new Decade” proposal. Larson’s goals on gun issues for 2010 include developing a smart gun” technology to prevent the use of firearms by unauthorized persons and to implement sensible gun control measures. [6]

Overall, Larson holds a strong liberal stance on gun issues.

Larson cosponsored H.R. 1312 (Assault Weapons Ban and Law Enforcement Protection Act of 2005) on July 22, 2005.[2]

Main article: U.S. gun legislation

Environmental Issues

In 2003, Larson was rated 90% by the League of Conservation Voters, which implied that he held a pro-environment stance. [7]

However, Larson has demonstrated very low interest in the American Land Rights Association with an all-time high of 8% interest rating in 2003. From 2000 to 2006, Larson supported the interests of the American Land Rights Association 0%. Larson has also shown decreasing interest in the American Lands Alliance. In 1999-2000, Larson supported the interests 100%; in 2003-2004, 89%; 2003-2004, and in 2005-2006, 33%. [8]

Larson has consistently voted for the passage of energy bills and alternative energy tax incentives, and wilderness restoration acts. [9] He also voted ‘yes’ on increasing AMTRAK funding and improvements. Congress noted the problem of “congested highways and skies” and in order to “alleviate this congestion and strengthen our energy security, we need to invest in intercity passenger rail.” [10] Oddly, in July of 2008, he voted ‘yes’ to the Oil Exploration in the National Petroleum Reserve – Alaska Bill. [11]

Furthermore, before the August recess, Larson introduced a carbon tax proposal called HR 3416. This plan “regulates carbon dioxide content.” This tax begins at $15 per ton and increases 10% more rapidly than the annual living adjustment cost. Part of the revenue is given to the “America’s Energy Security Trust Fund.” [12]

For more information on environmental legislation, see the Energy and Environment Policy Portal

America's Energy Security Trust Fund Act


In 2003, Larson was rated 100% by the National Education Association, implying that he holds a pro-public education stance. [13]

Larson voted for the passage of a bill supporting an additional $10.2 billion for federal education and Health & Human Services projects in 2007. Larson also voted for on $84 million in grants for Black and Hispanic colleges in 2006. [14]

Additionally, Larson demonstrated high interest in the National Association for College Admission and the National Association of Elementary Schools. His lowest interest rating for these organizations ranged from 75% to 100% from 2005 to 2007. [15]

According to, “Larson adopted the manifest, “A New Agenda for a New Decade” and wants to “create world-class public schools.” His goals for 2010 include boosting up the performance of every failing public school, implementing a charter school option in every community, offering parents and students a variety of public schools to choose from, building a safe and healthy learning environment, and making education before kindergarten “universally available.” [16]

In March of 2001, “Larson co-sponsored an amendment to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.” This program planned to hire and train 100,000 more teachers in seven years, reduce class sizes all across the nation, and provide better teaching in the early years of education. [17]


Larson was born July 22, 1948 in Hartford, Connecticut. He was educated at Central Connecticut State University, and was a teacher, businessman and member of the East Hartford Board of Education (1978-79), East Hartford Town Council (1979-83) and the Connecticut Senate (1983-94) before entering the House in 1999.

2006 elections

In 2006, the Republicans nominated Scott Gordon Maclean to face Larson in his November 2006 bid for reelection. (See U.S. congressional elections in 2006) [18]

2008 elections

This information was gathered by volunteer researchers as part of the Superdelegate Transparency Project on the superdelegates for the 2008 Democratic presidential primary. For more info see the Connecticut superdelegate tracker or visit the STP homepage.

Before Hillary Clinton conceded the race, John Larson, as a superdelegate, had endorsed Barack Obama for President.

For more information and sources, see the state page for this superdelegate linked to in the blue box above.

Money in politics

This section contains links to – and feeds from – money in politics databases. <crpcontribdata>cid=N00000575&cycle=2006</crpcontribdata>

Links to more campaign contribution information for John Larson
from the Center for Responsive Politics' site.
Fundraising profile: 2006 election cycle Career totals
Top contributors by organization/corporation: 2006 election cycle Career totals
Top contributors by industry: 2006 election cycle Career totals

Committees and Affiliations


Committee assignments in the 109th Congress (2005-2006)


DC Office:
1005 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: 202-225-2265
Fax: 202-225-1031
Web Email

District Office - Hartford:
221 Main Street, Second Floor
Hartford, CT 06106
Phone: 860-278-8888
Fax: 860-278-2111

More Background Data

Wikipedia also has an article on John Larson. This article may use content from the Wikipedia article under the terms of the GFDL.

Articles and resources


  1. Roll call vote, Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002.
  2. Thomas page on H.R. 1312


SourceWatch Resources

Local blogs and discussion sites

Corresponding article on Wikipedia and Cause Caller. (If Cause Caller link does not work, pick from its list of senators and representatives.)

Current Office: U.S. House of Representatives
111th Congress
Leadership Position:
Committees Chaired:
Ranking Member On:

110th Congress
Leadership Position:
Vice Chairman Democratic Caucus
Committees Chaired:
Ranking Member On:

Committees: House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, House Committee on Ways and Means, House Committee on Ways and Means/Subcommittee on Select Revenue Measures, House Committee on Ways and Means/Subcommittee on Trade
Congressional Career
First Elected to Current Office:
November 3, 1998
First Took Current Office:
January 6, 1999
Next Election:
November 2, 2010
Term Ends:
Freshman Member?
Previous Political Work?
Vice Chairman Democratic Caucus
Other Party Membership:
District Offices:
1. 221 Main Street, Second Floor Hartford, CT 06106
Phone: 860-278-8888 / Fax: 860-278-2111

Campaign Contact:

Webform Email: / Email:

Campaign Offices:

Phone: / Fax:

Zip Code Affiliations:

Date of Birth: July 22, 1948