Patrick Kennedy

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Patrick J. Kennedy previously served the 1st Congressional district of Rhode Island

Patrick Joseph Kennedy, a Democrat, is a former U.S. Representative for the 1st Congressional District of Rhode Island, having served 1995 to 2011. He decided not to run again. (map)[1]

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 Patrick Kennedy voted by clicking the "[edit]" link to the right and typing it in. Remember to cite your sources!

Iraq War

Kennedy voted for the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002 that started the Iraq War.[2]

Kennedy supports gradual decline in troop numbers and redeployment of troops to Afghanistan.[1]

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

Environmental record

Kennedy supported tougher legislation protecting the environment. He supported the Safe Climate Act to limit the ammount of global-warming causing pollutants allowed to be released. He also supported amending the Clean Air Act to toughen standards on Mercury emmisions to limit the ammount of Mercury found in fish. Kennedy also wanted to cut funding for livestock protection programs that allow for traps to be set for predators of livestock but end up catching and killing endangered species. [2]

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

Support for gun control

Kennedy cosponsored H.R. 1312 (Assault Weapons Ban and Law Enforcement Protection Act of 2005) on April 21, 2005.[3]

He also cosponsored H.R. 1022 (Assault Weapons Ban Reauthorization) on March 22, 2007.[4]

In addition, he cosponsored H.R. 3411 (Juvenile Crime Reduction Act). The act would allow juvenile offenders who suffer from mental illness or drug abuse to be transfered to treatment centers instead of detention facilities.

Main article: U.S. gun legislation

Abortion Rights

Kennedy received a score of 100 from NARAL, Pro Choice America in 2007.[3]

Kennedy supported the upholding of Roe v. Wade. He also opposed the gag rule which limits federal funding to overseas agencies that provide abortions. He supported allowing over the counter emergency contraception pills such as Plan B, and supports the Prevention First Act to provide education to women to reduce unwanted pregnancies.

Homeland Security

Kennedy introduced H.R. 1891, the Ready and Willing and Able Act which encourages cities to formulate disaster plans. [4]

Civil Rights

Kennedy voted for the Employment Non Discrimination Act, which made illegal discimination on the basis of sexual or gender orientation, whether actual or perceived.

Kennedy voted for the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Act in May 2007, which allowed federal assistance to local law enforcement agencies when dealing with hate crimes which may otherwise go unprosecuted.

Kennedy was the vice-chairman of the Congressional Native American Caucus, which works to advance the civil rights and protections of Native Americans, especially in the fields of education and health care.


Born July 14, 1967, Patrick J. Kennedy is the son of Ted Kennedy and Joan Bennett. Patrick Kennedy became the youngest member of his family to hold elected office in 1988, when he won election to the Rhode Island General Assembly at age 21.

Congressional career

Kennedy won his seat on the United States House of Representatives in November 1994.

In the House, "He authored the Foundations for Learning Act, which is designed to help young children develop emotional and social skills necessary for success later in life. He's also been a staunch advocate on gun-control and senior citizen issues. The lawmaker, who has admitted battling depression, also fights for mental health issues."[5]

From 1999-2001 he served a two-year term as chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and raised about $97 million, "nearly triple the amount raised during the previous election cycle".[6]

Patrick Kennedy has twice considered running against Lincoln Chafee for the U.S. Senate, in 2000 and 2006.

2006 elections

In 2006, the Republicans nominated Lindsey String to face Kennedy in his November 2006 bid for reelection. (See U.S. congressional elections in 2006) [7] Kennedy retained his seat.

2010 elections

In February 2010, Kennedy announced that he would not run again for his seat. Democrat David N. Cicilline won the fall election.[5]

Personal problems

Circa 2000, Kennedy's ratings "slumped after reports he shoved an airport security guard, caused $28,000 in damage to a chartered yacht, and that a date had to be rescued from his boat by the Coast Guard after an argument".[8] In 1986, he was also hospitalized for cocaine addiction.[9]

Kennedy stated, "I know having the Kennedy last name makes it easy for the media to make a lot of any mistakes that I make. I'm only human. I make and have made mistakes," he said. "But I'm trying to be a better person all the time. ... I've been made stronger as a result of what I've learned from those mistakes." Pundits predict Kennedy has moved past the controversy and "come into his own." [10]

On May 5, 2006, Kennedy announced that he would enter drug rehab at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN for treatment of an addiction to prescription drugs. This came as a result of being cited with three violations after crashing his car into a security barrier near the US Capitol the day before. [11] After a four week stay at the Mayo clinic, Kennedy reached a plea deal on June 13,2006, with prosecutors in which he pleaded guilty to driving under the influence and charges of reckless driving and driving without a permit were dropped. [12]

Money in politics

This section contains links to – and feeds from – money in politics databases. <crpcontribdata>cid=N00000360&cycle=2006</crpcontribdata>

Links to more campaign contribution information for Patrick Kennedy
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)

  • House Committee on Appropriations
    • Subcommittee on Labor Health and Human Services Education and Related Agencies
    • Subcommittee on Science State Justice and Commerce and Related Agencies

More background data

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

Former contact

DC Office:
407 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: 202-225-4911
Fax: 202-225-3290
Email: patrick.kennedy AT
Web Email

District Office- Pawtucket:
249 Roosevelt Avenue, Suite 200
Pawtucket, RI 02860
Phone: 401-729-5600
Fax: 401-729-5608

Articles and resources


  1. Patrick J. Kennedy profile, The Washington Post, accessed January 2011.
  2. Roll call vote, Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002.
  3. Thomas page on H.R. 1312
  4. Thomas page on H.R. 1022
  5. David N. Cicilline profile, The Washington Post, accessed January 2011.


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:
Committees Chaired:
Ranking Member On:

Committees: House Committee on Appropriations, House Committee on Appropriations/Subcommittee on Labor Health and Human Services Education and Related Agencies, House Committee on Appropriations/Subcommittee on Military Construction Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies, House Committee on Appropriations/Subcommittee on Commerce Justice Science and Related Agencies, House Committee on Natural Resources, House Committee on Natural Resources/Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources, House Committee on Natural Resources/Subcommittee on Fisheries Wildlife and Oceans
Congressional Career
First Elected to Current Office:
November 8, 1994
First Took Current Office:
January 3, 1995
Next Election:
November 2, 2010
Term Ends:
Freshman Member?
Previous Political Work?
Rhode Island House of Representatives
Other Party Membership:
District Offices:
1. 249 Roosevelt Avenue, Suite 200, Pawtucket, RI 02860
Phone: 401-729-5600 / Fax: 401-729-5608

Campaign Contact:

Webform Email: / Email:

Campaign Offices:

Phone: / Fax:

Zip Code Affiliations:

Date of Birth: July 14, 1967