BioU.S. Representative John B. Larson began serving in the U.S. House of Representatives in 1999, and is presently in his seventh term serving the people of Connecticut's First Congressional District.
Larson was recently elected by his colleagues to serve as Chair of the House Democratic Caucus for the 112th Congress, a position in served in during the 111th Congress. As Caucus Chair he will work to build consensus among his colleagues on the key issues of the day. He also served as Vice-Chair of the Caucus for more than two years.
In 2005, Larson was named to the influential Ways and Means Committee, which has jurisdiction over the nation's tax code, trade policy, Social Security, and Medicare. He sits on the Subcommittee on Trade and the Subcommittee on Select Revenue Measures. He formerly served on the Armed Services Committee, Science Committee, and as Ranking Minority Member of the House Administration Committee.
Larson has been a leader in the effort to end U.S. dependence of foreign oil through advancing fuel cell technology produced in the United States that will also grow the economy and improve our environment. During his tenure in Congress, Larson has introduced the Energy Independence Act and the Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology Authorization Act to fund and promote fuel cell. He is also a founder and co-chair of the House Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Coalition.
Larson has opposed the policies of preemption and unilateralism and the war in Iraq since its inception and has focused his concerns on the threats of terrorism, protecting the homeland, and supporting first responders. However, he has vigorously supported the troops, visited Iraq three times, and succeeded in passing legislation to reimburse family members who purchased body armor for soldiers who had not been adequately equipped by the military.
Larson is committed to preserving Social Security and Medicare and securing a true prescription drug benefit for seniors. He has introduced legislation to allow the federal government to directly negotiate lower drug prices for over 40 million Medicare beneficiaries.
Among his efforts to promote development in Hartford, Larson successfully led the effort to initiate a feasibility study of the Coltsville section of Hartford as a first step in gaining a National Park designation for the area from the Department of the Interior.
Larson was born on July 22, 1948 in Hartford, Connecticut. He and his seven brothers and sisters were raised in Mayberry Village, a public housing project in East Hartford by their parents, Raymond and Pauline.
He graduated from East Hartford High School in 1967 and from Central Connecticut State University (CCSU) in 1971. Larson was later selected by Dr. Edward Zigler, the creator of Head Start, to be a Senior Fellow at the Yale Bush Center for Child Development.
Before entering Congress, Larson was a high school history teacher and athletic coach until he became an owner of Larson & Lysik insurance company. He served on the East Hartford Board of Education and the East Hartford Town Council. In 1982, he was elected to the Connecticut State Senate, beginning a 12-year tenure representing the 3rd Senate District until 1995. Larson served as Senate President Pro Tempore for eight years from 1987 to 1995.
The Congressman and his wife Leslie have three children (Carolyn, Laura, and Raymond) and are life-long residents of East Hartford.