BioRep. Sander “Sandy” Levin was elected to the United States House of Representatives in 1982. The 12th Congressional District now includes communities in Macomb and Oakland counties and spans from Clinton Township/Mount Clemens and Lake St. Clair to Southfield.
He is the Ranking Member of the House Ways and Means Committee, which has jurisdiction over all tax, trade and economic growth policies and entitlement spending, including Social Security, Medicare, welfare and unemployment compensation. He has served on four of the six Ways and Means Subcommittee (Social Security, Health Care, Income Security and Family Support, Trade) except for the Oversight and Select Revenue Subcommittees.
Earlier in career, Rep. Levin was elected to the Michigan State Senate in 1964 and served as the Michigan State Senate Minority Leader from 1969 – 1970. In 1970 and 1974, Mr. Levin was the Democratic candidate for Governor. After a four year assignment as Assistant Administrator in the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), he was elected to Congress in 1982.
Levin resides in Royal Oak, Michigan. He was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan. He earned his B.A. at the University of Chicago, his M.A. in international relations from Columbia University, and a law degree from Harvard University. He and his late beloved wife, Vicki, were married for over 50 years and raised their four children in Berkley, Michigan, a suburb north of Detroit in Oakland County. He has nine grandchildren and his brother Carl serves in the United States Senate. Mr. Levin is an avid sports fan, especially Red Wings hockey, plays squash with his brother, enjoys basketball, and likes classical music.
After the sudden death of Rep. Bob Matsui in early 2005, the Democratic Caucus tapped Rep. Levin to take over as the Ranking Member of the Social Security Subcommittee. In that capacity, he played a lead role in the successful battle in the House against President Bush’s campaign to privatize Social Security.
Rep. Levin has introduced legislation (H.R. 3367) to extend and expand the tax credits for medium and heavy duty hybrid vehicles. The bill would extend the availability of these tax credits for five years, through the end of 2014, and double the credit amounts to better reflect the true incremental cost of the hybrid platform and provide a more effective incentive.
Rep. Levin has introduced legislation to treat the “carried interest” compensation received by investment fund managers as ordinary income rather than capital gains. In exchange for providing the service of managing their investors’ assets, fund managers often they receive a portion of the fund’s profits, or carried interest, usually 20 percent. Mr. Levin’s legislation would ensure that these investment professionals pay the same tax rates as other Americans on their compensation for services. This proposal has been passed by the House of Representatives on three occasions, most recently as part of the Tax Extenders Act of 2009.
As the ranking Democrat on the Ways and Means Human Resources Subcommittee (now Income Security and Family support) during the late 1990s, Rep. Levin worked with the Clinton Administration to help reshape the nation’s welfare laws in 1996. Thereafter, Rep. Levin worked actively across party lines to make a series of some benefit restorations to legal immigrants affected by welfare reform legislation passed in 1996. In 1997, he was instrumental in restoring SSI and Medicaid benefits to legal immigrant seniors and people with disabilities. In 1998, he helped usher through legislation that made fundamental changes to the country’s child support system - making it simpler for children to receive the benefits that they need. In 1999, the Congressman, working with former Rep. Charlie Stenholm, restored food stamp benefits for low income legal immigrant families, seniors and children.
Rep. Levin was the author of the "Food Stamp Outreach and Research for Kids Act,” popularly known as "FORK,” which provides grants to community organizations to help find people who need food assistance and enroll them in the Food Stamps program.
Rep. Levin is a longtime advocate for programs that prevent and treat substance abuse, including drug courts, the National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign, and Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities. He recently joined with Congresswoman Mary Bono Mack to form the Congressional Caucus on Youth Drug Prevention to educate members of Congress about the dangers of youth drug use and to advocate for funding and legislation that strengthen prevention programs.
Rep. Levin has served as Chair of the Trade Subcommittee during the 110th and 111th Sessions, seeking ways to use trade policy to shape globalization. He believes in expanding and shaping the rules for two-way competition in trade to advance the interest of U.S. businesses and workers in the global marketplace.
He was involved in Uruguay Round negotiations, including playing a major role in maintaining strong U.S. trade remedy laws. He worked in the House on legislation implementing the Uruguay Round, the last completed round of multi-lateral trade liberalization, which established the World Trade Organization (WTO).
Rep. Levin introduced legislation in the 110th Congress, Super-Efficient Appliance Incentives and Market Transformation Act, to provides tax credits for the production of super-efficient dishwashers, clothes washers, refrigerators and dehumidifiers. This legislation, which was enacted in 2008, was designed to create jobs here in the US while saving consumers billions of dollars on utility bills and protecting the environment.