Stephen spent his early years with his five sisters growing up in the Old Colony public housing development in South Boston. His mom Anne was a postal clerk and his father Francis was an Ironworker with Local 7 in Boston.
While attending South Boston High School, he joined his father at Local 7 Ironworkers where he eventually became a journeyman Ironworker. He worked for 18 years helping to build the Boston skyline we see today. When work in Boston dried up, he traveled the country in search of work, sending money home to his family. His travels brought him to Indiana, Wisconsin, Illinois, New Mexico and New York. Working across the country helped to shape Stephen’s views on job safety and collective bargaining. He saw that the strength of the local union corresponded directly to safety on the job and he became more active in worker’s rights.
Back in Boston, he joined Local 7’s Executive Board, then ran for President of Local 7, and was elected as the youngest President in the history of the 2000 member union.
Stephen went to school at night and on weekends and over the course of 8 years, earned his Engineering Degree in from Wentworth Institute of Technology.
It was during this time that Stephen became more involved in local events. He joined the South Boston Residents Group and became an active leader in efforts to stop the former Boston Edison Power Plant from burning coal. It was the first of many local environmental issues he became involved with over the years.
In 1991, he graduated from Boston College Law School where he earned a law degree, passed the bar, then began a second career as a labor attorney representing unions and workers. His pro-bono work took him back to South Boston’s Old Colony public housing development where he represented tenants in their fight for better and safer living conditions.
In 1994, Stephen’s experience in addressing the concerns of working people transformed into a career in public service when his neighbors elected him to the Massachusetts House of Representatives. Fourteen months later, former Senate President William Bulger left the legislature, and, in a stunning special election result, Stephen was elected to the Massachusetts State Senate beating William Bulger Jr. in the primary. In the State Senate, he served as Chair of the Joint Committee on Commerce and Labor and led efforts to better safeguard worker rights, increase the minimum wage and promote responsible business development in the Commonwealth.
In 1999, while a member of the State Senate, he earned a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Harvard University.
In October of 2001, following the passing of legendary Congressman John Joseph Moakley, Stephen was elected to Congress, winning a race against four fellow Senators. His primary election took place on September 11, 2001.
In Congress, Stephen is an active and engaged senior member. He serves on the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, where he serves as the Chair of the Subcommittee on National Security and is a member of the Subcommittee on Government Operations.
In Congress, he is recognized as a leader on foreign policy and national security with a focus on keeping Americans safe at home and abroad. He has traveled to Iraq and Afghanistan more than any other member of Congress, performing oversight duties and in support of our troops serving in the region.
Representing the People in Congress
Stephen is a senior member on the Committee on Financial Services where he is Chair of the Task Force on Financial Technology, and also serves on the National Security, International Development and Monetary Policy Subcommittees as well as the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee.
In addition, he is proud to have recently been appointed to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, which has primary jurisdiction over transportation and other aspects of our national infrastructure. Through his seat on the Committee, Stephen is focused on results that will make life better for every working family, which includes rebuilding America’s transportation infrastructure, roads and bridges. And, as the only member of the Transportation Committee from Massachusetts, he is committed to seeing that every part of our state benefits from upcoming infrastructure legislation.
He also serves on the Transportation Committee’s Aviation Subcommittee, the Railroads, Pipelines and Hazardous Materials Subcommittee and the Water Resources and Environmental Subcommittees.
Stephen has always had a strong belief that government should work for the people it serves. He has an outstanding record of responding to the needs of his constituents and helping them to navigate through red tape.
Whether it’s sourcing masks and personal protective equipment for health care workers during the Covid-19 epidemic; helping with a missing social security check or making sure our veterans received the benefits they deserve, he has earned a reputation as the person to go to when you need help.
Because of Stephen’s core commitment to standing up for people, his constituents have sent him back to Congress in overwhelming numbers, with him consistently earning the highest number of votes of any member of Congress in Massachusetts.
Stephen has been a lifelong resident of his hometown of South Boston, where he and his wife Margaret raised their daughter Victoria and niece Crystal.
Though he works in Washington during the week, he prides himself on his commitment to get home to the district when his work in Congress is done, attends town meetings and stays in close touch with all of the cities and towns in the 8th district.
MY PROMISE TO YOU
I’ve spent my entire life fighting for working families, eighteen of those years spent in a pair of work boots as an Ironworker. And I’m proud to say that when I was elected to Congress, I never left my working class values behind.
I know that families in our district are struggling. People tell me every day that they are working more, and receiving less. Wages are stagnant, costs are rising and Covid-19 has revealed to many what we already knew – people are just barely hanging on.
I’ve worked every day in Congress for policies that will make life better for you and your family – fair wages and economic security, funding for higher education, housing assistance, preserving Social Security, protecting against threats to our environment, and health care that is affordable and accessible.
Our challenges are great, but my promise to you remains that same: I will go to Congress every day to fight for the people of our district and to be your voice in the halls of power. I will continue to be accessible to you, transparent in my work and unafraid to stand up on your behalf.
The coronavirus pandemic has taken a major toll on our families, friends, neighbors and our economy. While we are still in the midst of this national health crisis, from the start Stephen Lynch has worked with our hospitals, first responders and health experts as well as his colleagues in government to help protect the people of the 8th Congressional District.
From ensuring that critical funding through the CARES Act made its way to cities and towns and organizations on the ground, to securing PPE and essential equipment for our health care workers and first responders, to reaching out to our senior populations who were unable to see family, Stephen continues to do everything possible to make sure our needs are met.
As the coronavirus took hold, Stephen worked with his contacts at Gillette and P&G, to secure tens of thousands of N95 masks and face shields and distributed them to hospitals, health centers, nursing homes, first responders and front line providers throughout the 8th district, some of whom had none of these vital provisions to ensure the safety of workers and patients.
While we continue to navigate through this health crisis, Stephen has been working to make sure that we are prepared and that we allow health experts, and not political agendas to guide us.
After the debacle with the lack of federal stockpile and the chaos that ensued with states clamoring for equipment and protective gear, Stephen worked to find a solution so this never happens again by introducing legislation – the Strategic National Stockpile Enhancement and Transparency Act – that would improve federal response by creating a national biodefense stockpile network with real time inventory. This effort would ensure health care professionals and first responders have the personal protective equipment and the critical supplies to treat the public.
Knowing the Trump administration is letting politics lead their actions over science and health care experts to guide us through this crisis, Stephen joined with his colleagues to author and introduce the National Institutes of Health Director Protection Act to protect Dr. Fauci and other health care experts at the National Research Institute from political retribution from the administration.
Along with keeping people healthy and safe, we are also facing the greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression, and Stephen has worked tirelessly to address the employment, housing and food crises that have arisen. Through the CARES Act as well as other legislative vehicles, he has fought to get money to individuals, small businesses and organizations that need it most. Along with supporting extended unemployment benefits, Stephen worked with his colleagues to provide additional funding for services and testing including: over $24 million in HUD emergency shelter and services for the homeless; $1.9 million for rental assistance for people with disabilities; $840 million for MBTA and MADOT for public transit readiness; and $7.8 million to community health centers for increased testing. He is continuing those efforts to provide relief and protect the health and well being of the people of the 8th District through the HEROES Act.
As your Congressman, Stephen will continue to fight every day to ensure that we have what we need to come through this crisis.
Working for the People of the 8th Congressional District
Stephen Lynch is a proven fighter for the people he represents. In every corner of the District, residents know that from national issues to local needs, Congressman Lynch is there for them. In Congress, he’s fighting for the people of the 8th Congressional District to:
- Protect Social Security, Medicare and pensions that our seniors rely on to retire with dignity
- Ensure that Veterans have access to the best services and opportunities they have earned
- Make critical investment in transportation, infrastructure, roads and bridges – creating good jobs and ensuring safety
- Lower the cost of prescriptions and put a check on corporate greed
- Fund green infrastructure initiatives that help promote climate change resiliency in local communities.
- Help grow and strengthen our manufacturing base to create good jobs at home
- Provide incentives to employers that invest in workforce training and education
According to the Centers for Disease Control, every 20 minutes another American loses their life due to an opioid overdose. Since his first days in public office, Stephen has worked to strengthen treatment, prevention and recovery efforts to help save lives and restore dignity for those who suffer from addiction. He was instramental in establishing the state’s first recovery home for teenagers when he was a member of the MA State Senate.
In Congress, Stephen is one of the original founders of the bi-partisan Congressional Caucus on Prescription Drug Abuse, which was first initiated in 2010. The caucus is intended to raise awareness on the federal level of drug abuse and to design policy strategies for prevention, treatment, and research. Collaborative efforts combining education, treatment, drug courts and promoting partnerships at the local, state and and federal levels have helped communities in Massachusetts to deal with issues around opioid abuse. Much more work needs to be done to halt the devastating cycle of substance abuse and to help families across our state.
Members of the caucus have worked to secure critical funding and to improve federal policies. Working with the caucus co-chair, Stephen worked aggressively to ban the powerful painkiller Zohydro EF until the drug was made available in an abuse deterrent form. He also worked to address issues ranging from neonatal abstinence syndrome, to high rates of substance abuse among military veterans, to ensuring access to the overdose reversal medication, naloxone.
Stephen co-sponsored the Comprehensive Addiction Resources Emergency (CARE) Act, the most ambitious legislation ever introduced in Congress to confront the opioid and substance abuse epidemic. The legislation would support first responders, public health departments, and communities on the front lines of the crisis to ensure that they have the resources they need to provide treatment, prevention and recovery services.
As your Congressman, he will continue to advocate for services for those suffering from addiction and ensure they have the tools to lead productive lives free from dependency.
Supporting Our Seniors
Stephen Lynch believes that America must remain true to our promise to care for our seniors. That promise includes safe and affordable housing, access to quality health care, reliable transportation and affordable prescription drugs.
Working to protect and ensure Social Security and Medicare remain a critical lifeline, Stephen has never wavered on his commitment to ensuring these vital programs are secure and funded for generations to come. He will continue to oppose any budget that proposes cuts to Social Security and Medicare and opposes any scheme to privatize or weaken those programs. Stephen is committed to protecting Social Security and has fought in Congress against “chained CPI”, a practice that would reduce cost of living adjustments for seniors over time and cause great harm to the people who can afford it the least. He has also co-sponsored the Social Security 2100 Act which would increase benefits and protect Social Security.
Along with fighting to protect the critical safety nets of Medicare and Social Security, Stephen has cosponsored legislation to reduce the crippling cost of prescription medications. He is a co-sponsor of the Medicare Prescription Drug Price Negotiation, legislation that would authorize the negotiation of discounted prescription drug prices for Medicare. This legislation would not only lower the cost of prescription drugs for seniors but will save taxpayers billions of dollars.
He has also co-sponsored the Hope for Alzheimer’s Act which would increase access to information on care and support for newly diagnosed individuals and their families – providing essential support for those facing this devastating disease.
Knowing that so many seniors rely on nutritional assistance, Stephen has also supported increased funding for senior nutrition programs like Meals on Wheels which provides nutritious meals to millions of seniors in their homes.
As your Congressman, Stephen will continue to be a strong voice for seniors and their families.
Affordable Health Care
There are few issues that touch the lives of every resident as much as health care, and our country has made important progress. But, Stephen Lynch believes that much more needs to be done.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) allowed young adults to stay on their parents’ insurance plan to the age of 26, prohibited discrimination for pre-existing conditions or health status, eliminated annual or lifetime caps for coverage and has helped to lower the cost of care and prescription drugs for our seniors. Those accomplishments made a tremendous difference, but the ACA had significant shortcomings, the most important being that health care costs remain out of reach for many Americans. The ACA allowed insurance companies to be exempt from antitrust laws which protects them from competition and allows them to charge higher prices. In addition, the ACA targeted union health care plans with egregious taxes (54% in total). A public option was also stripped from the final plan. Because of these shortcomings, many families still struggle to afford high premiums and deductibles associated with their plans.
Stephen has fought against 65 Republican attempts to repeal the ACA in order to safeguard the progress made. He is committed to building upon the foundations of the ACA by creating a strong public option that would compete against private insurers. In addition, he joined a successful effort to permanently repeal the tax on union plans (the Cadillac Tax) and the tax on medical devices. Stephen supported the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Enhancement Act that strengthens the Affordable Care Act, enhances Medicaid benefits and expands access to them, and addresses the rising costs of prescription drugs through price negotiation and other measures.
Knowing that we can’t have quality health care without affordable prescription drugs, Stephen both co-sponsored and supported legislation to bring down the cost of prescription drugs – something that was left out of the original Affordable Care Act legislation.
Stephen also believes that Medicare and Medicaid are critical to affordable and accessible healthcare and must be protected. In Massachusetts alone, there are nearly 1.6 M individuals and children who receive health care coverage under Medicaid and over 1.3 seniors and individuals with disabilities who are currently enrolled in Medicare. Stephen will fight to be sure these vital programs are available to our most vulnerable. He also continues to be a strong advocate for increased access to preventative care, supporting both our Community Health Centers where our most vulnerable seek care, as well as our teaching hospitals who are training the next generation of health care workers.
As your Congressman, Stephen will continue to fight to protect and improve the ACA to ensure accessible, affordable and high-quality care for the people of the 8th District.
Protecting Our Environment
Stephen Lynch has a long history of advocating for cleaner air AND water. His work dates back to the 1980’s when he successfully fought alongside his neighbors to prevent South Boston’s Edison plant from returning to coal burning. His work extended to requiring environmental health studies surrounding a cluster of residents with lupus and scleroderma; studies on airplane noise and emissions and their health effects on communities, and mandating clean-up of ground contaminants. As a state senator, he led the way in successfully blocking the siting of an asphalt plant on the border of South Boston, Roxbury and the South End of Boston.
He joined with his constituents in the West Roxbury neighborhood to fight the siting of the West Roxbury Lateral pipeline next to an active quarry blasting zone. Most recently, he has stood with his constituents in Weymouth and the South Shore where Enbridge (formerly Spectra Energy) is constructing a dangerous natural gas compressor station in a densely populated area. The station would be near thousands of homes and tens of thousands of school children. He has worked relentlessly with his constituents, as well as colleagues in the federal, state and local government to urge reconsideration of the ill-planned project.
There is no question climate change is real. It is an economic and national security issue, and we must do everything we can now, to enact lasting change. Communities across the country are experiencing the devastating impacts of wildfires, hurricanes, flooding, and other weather events fueled by climate change. Right here in the coastal communities of the 8th Congressional District, we can see the impact. From Boston to Scituate, rising sea levels due to atmospheric warming is directly impacting all of us. In addition to supporting a broad range of environmental bills during his time in Congress, Stephen has fought for and secured significant funding for climate resiliency measures to protect our local communities from rising sea levels.
As Chairman of the Subcommittee on National Security, Stephen has also prioritized climate change as a national security issue. He introduced the Climate Change National Security Strategy Act to ensure that the federal government recognizes climate change as a danger and includes consideration of it in the development of our national security policies.
In addition, Stephen has supported legislation to improve vehicle fuel efficiency, increase our use of renewable fuel and incorporate alternative fuels- all critical steps to reduce reliance on foreign oil and lessen the impact of automobiles on our environment. He has secured funding for the purchase of hybrid fuel vehicles for public transportation and for municipal solar projects in the 8th Congressional District.
Some in Congress have been feeding us a false choice between creating jobs, fighting climate change, and keeping our air and water clean. That simply is not true. Stephen knows that we can protect our environment and still create good-paying, steady jobs. Working with our unions and promoting training programs that emphasize renewable energy and sustainability, Stephen will continue to be a voice for a cleaner healthier environment and for our workforce.
As your Congressman, Stephen will continue to fight for climate change solutions.
Jobs AND Economic Opportunity
From his very first days in Congress, Stephen has focused on ensuring that residents from the 8th have access to good paying jobs and he’s working every day to create and expand opportunities for all to succeed.
Stephen knows that our working families face great challenges. Wages are stagnant, there are constant attacks on collective bargaining, efforts to weaken retirement security and a system that favors corporations over the working people that ensure their success. Stephen believes that our economy should strengthen our country for every American, not just those at the top.
He has fought against unfair trade deals that hurt American workers and will work to crack down on companies that ship profits and jobs overseas. He has worked to ensure that the terms of trade deals are designed to create American jobs and raise wages here, while also ensuring that critical domestic environmental, consumer, and other public interest safeguards would not be undermined by the terms of any trade deals. He is fighting for equal pay and paid leave, increasing the minimum wage and working to ensure that the wealthiest citizens and largest corporations pay their fair share.
Bringing to Congress the perspective of someone who worked for nearly 20 years as an Ironworker, Stephen knows that strong worker protections and fair labor practices created America’s middle class.
Ensuring that workers are not forgotten in the Halls of Congress, Stephen founded and continues to co-chair the Congressional Labor and Working Families Caucus to work with his colleagues on issues that are important to American’s working men and women.
In Congress, Stephen worked to pass the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act that created more than 2 million jobs, invested in our infrastructure, and cut tax rates for 95% of American families. As a member of the Financial Services Committee, Stephen helped to craft the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act to create consumer protections, end government bail-outs of the financial system and introduce transparency and accountability for shadowy financial markets.
Stephen voted against the massive bank bail-out that rewarded unscrupulous banking executives and failed to hold any one of them accountable.
He has worked with his colleagues on numerous bills to help working families succeed and has also co-sponsored legislation to assist struggling pension plans for Americans who face financial uncertainty at a time when they cannot return to work.
Stephen understands that critical improvements to our infrastructure will not only create and support good paying jobs, but will also strengthen the climate change resiliency of our infrastructure and help our economy. As New England’s senior member of the Transportation Committee, he’s working hard on a transportation and infrastructure bill which will create millions of good-paying jobs.
As your Congressman, Stephen will continue to support policies that strengthen our economy, grow our middle class and help America’s working families.
Common Sense Gun Laws
Since he has represented us in Congress, Stephen Lynch has been a vocal proponent for common sense, responsible gun control legislation.
We’ve all seen the devastating impact illegal guns have had in our communities across the country. While it is important to protect the Second Amendment and the rights of responsible gun owners, it is just as important to safeguard the basic promise of security for our citizens by ensuring that weapons do not make it into the hands of those unfit to carry a weapon.
As a member of the Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, Stephen is committed to working with his colleagues to find common sense solutions to prevent gun violence. Stephen supports universal background checks to cover all firearms purchases – including those made at gun shows, through classified ads and on the internet and extending the initial F.B.I. background check review period from three to ten days. In addition, he believes that individuals on the No-Fly list and those with temporary restraining orders filed against them for domestic abuse should not be allowed to purchase a firearm.
Stephen has co-sponsored the Extreme Risk Protection Order Act. This legislation would allow federal funds to be used for states to enact “red flag” laws. These laws allow law enforcement and family members to petition courts to temporarily remove guns from dangerous individuals.
As your Congressman, Stephen will continue to help find responsible solutions to America’s gun violence crisis.
Advancing Equality AND Opportunity
While our country is based on the values of liberty and justice for all, the fact is systemic racism, discrimination and injustice remain a part of our reality. Stephen believes that every American is entitled to the fundamental rights of equality and that we must fight to eliminate discrimination in every form.
As a Member of the Committee on Oversight Reform, Stephen is working to reform our criminal justice system and address racial disparities across government services like healthcare, housing, education, employment, and other areas.
Joining constituents throughout the 8th District, he has stood with residents to fight against racism. And in Washington, he is an original co-sponsor of the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act introduced by the Congressional Black Caucus to reform our civil rights and policing laws.
A member of the Congressional LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus, Stephen has been dedicated to end discrimination in all forms including sexual orientation and gender identity. He has worked with his colleagues to address hate-motivated violence, and to protect every person’s health and well being. As a co-sponsor of the Equality Act since it’s first introduction in 2015, Stephen stood with his colleagues in 2019, passing the legislation that prohibits discrimination based on sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity. He has also been a co-signer on the amicus brief submitted to the Supreme Court on behalf of LGBTQ+ Americans, acknowledging that the U.S. Constitution and civil rights laws include protections for citizens against discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation. In recognition of his efforts for equality, he has received the endorsement of the Human Rights Campaign.
Stephen has stood up in Congress to fight for gender equity, supporting legislation to address sexual harrassment and discrimination, to ensure equal pay for equal work, to improve paid family and medical leave and stregthen laws to combat viloence against women.
Stephen supports the Equal Rights Amendment and proudly fought for the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act and co-sponsored the Paycheck Fairness Act, which further addressed income disparities between men and women. When Republicans tried to defund women’s health organizations, like Planned Parenthood, Stephen stood on the floor of the House of Representatives to fight the legislation.
As your Congressman, Stephen will continue be a strong voice against discrimination and for equal rights for all.
As Chairman of the Oversight Subcommittee on National Security, Stephen Lynch is tackling some of the biggest national security issues our nation has faced.
With American troops still engaged in active operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, Mali and Somalia, Stephen is keeping a close eye on every aspect, conducting oversight hearings on our military and reconstruction operations, and the continued peace talks. His oversight work has brought him to Iraq and Afghanistan 28 times to meet with our troops, military and civil leaders to discuss the situation on the ground and perform oversight duties. With a strong sense that the American people have a right to know what the plan and progress is pertaining to the war and the reconstruction of Afghanistan, Stephen has introduced legislation requiring that previously public quarterly reports on our progress be once again declassified so we all know the true facts about what is going on on the ground.
Stephen Lynch has always put the health and safety of our troops first, and as Chairman of the Oversight Subcommittee on National Security, he has reinforced that commitment. Leading an investigation, Stephen is working to support our veterans who, during their deployment after 9/11 to Karshi-Khanabad (K2) Air Base were reportedly exposed to both chemicals and radiological hazards during their deployment. He co-authored and introduced the K2 Veterans Toxic Exposure Accountability Act to study the hazards that American service members were exposed to while deployed to K2 and to address the health conditions that may have been caused by these exposures.
Along with his oversight on Afghanistan and supporting our troops, he is focused on ensuring that our most fundamental right- the right to vote and choose our leaders- is protected. As a result, he is spearheading an investigation on election security and preparedness. And as part of the investigation, Stephen is also evaluating state and federal preparedness to ensure election security and has introduced legislation to ban the use of deep fake audio, video and photos in U.S. elections.
Stephen believes that public health and safety are key factors in national security, and has taken swift action to look into our nation’s preparedness in the face of pandemics, such as COVID-19, and biological weapons. His efforts include leading investigation to examine the readiness of our health care system to handle such events as well as the potential of both drug resistant diseases and antimicrobial resistance as a national security threat.
In direct response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Stephen has focused on the need to improve federal response. He authored and introduced legislation – the Strategic National Stockpile Enhancement and Transparency Act – that would improve federal response by creating a national biodefense stockpile network with real time inventory to ensure health care professionals and first responders have the personal protective equipment and the critical supplies to treat the public. Stephen is focused on ensuring that the almost immediate critical shortages we faced do not happen again.
As your Congressman, Stephen will continue to ensure Congress is focused on our nation’s security, preparedness and commitment to our troops.
Investing in Education
Stephen has always believed that education is the great equalizer and puts opportunity and advancement within reach for every family. He believes that access to a high quality, public education is critical to unlocking our nation’s true potential.
Every dollar we invest in educating our children is an investment in the future of America. We need to provide all students with the opportunity to develop 21st century skills by making investments in public colleges and universities, community colleges, and vocational education initiatives – especially in the STEM areas of technology and engineering.
In Congress, Stephen has co-sponsored legislation to increase Pell Grant awards, revise student loan repayments with an income based plan, expand public service loan forgiveness and increase college access.
He co-sponsored the Rebuilding America’s School Act which provides billions of dollars to ensure that our kids are learning in schools that are safe and modern and ensuring that school facilities are accessible to disabled individuals.
Stephen has alway been a supporter of early childhood development programs including Head Start, Reach Out and Read and child care development block grants. He has supported increased funding for Head Start programs; special education programs – including those under the Individuals with Disabilities Act; career, technical and adult education programs; Pell Grants and Registered Apprenticeships.
He is a proud co-sponsor of the Employer Participation in Repayment Act which helps to address the student loan debt crisis by encouraging employees to offer student loan assistance as a tax-exempt benefit for employees in order to help pay down their debt.
As your Congressman, Stephen will continue to advocate for students, teachers and families.
Supporting Our Veterans
Generations of Americans have stepped up and sacrificed on behalf of our country and our citizens by serving in America’s military. Their sacrifices deserve our utmost respect and gratitude. Throughout his time in Congress, Stephen has made it his mission to help ensure that our service members receive the quality care and assistance they have earned.
Stephen has sponsored and co-sponsored numerous bills to assist our veterans in securing educational benefits, housing assistance, and support for Veterans courts for those who are dealing with addiction issues. He authored the Wounded Warrior Federal Leave Act. Signed into law by President Obama, the legislation supports diabled veterans as they transition to civilian jobs within the federal government and ensures the flexibility for these veterans as they seek treatment for service-connected disabilities.
He has spearheaded efforts to provide coverage for those exposed to toxins while on duty and supported vital veterans’ health services including those for PTSD, suicide prevention, Traumatic Brain Injuries, and medical research into conditions that seem to especially effect our veterans.
Stephen has also made it a priority to retrieve the remains of over 82,000 POWs and missing service members lost in World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, as well as other conflicts. As a part of the effort, he held the first oversight hearing that singularly focused on the Defense Department Agency in charge of POW/MIA accounting (DPAA), and introduced legislation to ensure recovery efforts are not sidelined as a result of budget shutdowns.
Furthering his oversight efforts, Stephen has led bi-partisan delegations to oversee recovery missions in Vietnam, the Korean Peninsula, the Philippines, and to see the work of the DPAA in identifying servicemember remains at their headquarters in Pearl Harbor.
In his role as a member of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Stephen has traveled to Iraq and Afghanistan 28 times, more than any other member of Congress, performing vital oversight work and in support of those who serve. And, as a member of the Oversight Committee, he will continue to ensure accountability at our VA hospitals, and in particular fight for those who serve veterans in the 8th District – Brockton, West Roxbury and Jamaica Plain. He is proud to have successfully fought off efforts to consolidate those hospitals.
Ensuring that those who are currently serving our country have the ability to vote, Stephen introduced the Digital Overseas Voting Act. The bill will require all U.S. States and Territories to allow ballots from service members and citizens living overseas to be cast by email, fax or regular mail.
As your Congressman, Stephen will continue to ensure that our veterans have the resources, support and care they have earned.
Infrastructure AND Transportation
While frequently overlooked, transportation and infrastructure issues are major factors in both our economy and quality of life. Stephen knows that in order to strengthen our economy and help working families these issues must be addressed.
As the senior New England member of the Transportation Committee, Stephen has continuously pushed for funding to repair our crumbling roads and bridges to bring them up to date and safe for travel. Beyond our roads and bridges, Stephen knows that many people rely on a public transportation system that is outdated and inadequate. In Congress, he is working to invest in updates and modernizing our public transportation infrastructure to create a more reliable, environmentally friendly option people can count on.
A member of the Aviation Subcommittee, Stephen continues to be a vocal advocate for airline safety, for those working and travelling on airlines as well as those who live in the path of airline traffic. Sponsoring efforts such as the Air Traffic Noise Pollution Expert Consensus Act to study the health effects of airplane noise over residential areas, and the Health Safety in Skies Act to create federal COVID-19 protection guidelines for airline employees and travellers, Congressman Lynch is working to keep us safe in the skies and on the ground.
Our Infrastructure issues don’t end with our transportation system, most water and power systems are outdated and can be harmful to both people and our environment. Stephen believes that Congress must take the lead in fixing these antiquated systems to improve quality and ensure safety while promoting cleaner energy alternatives that have a positive impact on our environment.
Broadband access is another critical infrastructure need where we have fallen behind, particularly in our rural and underserved areas. As America shifts the way we learn and work in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic, universal access to broadband is even more essential. In Congress, Stephen has consistently supported federal efforts to increase broadband access and knows that this, like other necessary infrastructure improvements, are essential to working families and our economic future.
As a member of the Transportation Committee, Stephen helped to craft the Moving Forward Act. The bill will invest billions of dollars in transportation and infrastructure needs including roads and bridges, transportation systems and broadband access – all while putting our country on a path toward zero carbon emission, making communities and roads safer and addressing long-standing disparities.
The bill passed the House in July 2020 and included three initiatives authored by Stephen: The Green Buses for Every Community Act which requires 10 percent of zero-emissions bus grants to go to low- income communities; The Pedestrian and Bicyclist Safety Act which requires the Department of Transportation to study dangerous intersections and roads every two years and make improvements to increase pedestrian and cyclist safety. Additionally it requires DOT to document any accidents or fatalities and maintain a database of high-risk intersections and roads; Ensuring Health Safety in Skys Act which requires the establishment of a joint task force to create federal safety guidelines for passengers and employees to help protect them against coronavirus as they travel.
As your Congressman, Stephen will continue to continue to fight for these necessary and critical transportation and infrastructure improvements.
Stephen knows that today’s extreme levels of income and wealth inequality are bad for our people, our economy and our businesses. The top ten percent of Americans own more than the bottom 90 percent combined. As a senior member of the Financial Services Committee. Stephen knows that we have to create opportunities to strengthen and increase the middle class and make Wall Street work for a job-creating, productive economy.
At a time when many of the largest banks have shunned communities, Stephen is working to give people more safe banking options. As the Chairman of the FinTech (Financial Technology) Task Force he is working to put new technologies to use in a responsible way that protects consumers and small businesses, and increases options for the unbanked and the underbanked including empowering the US Postal Service to facilitate the delivery of basic banking services in underserved communities.
Stephen authored the Clarity In Credit Score Formation Act which passed the House in January 2020 to improve the accuracy of credit score models and ensure that consumer credit scores are fair and free is discriminatory practices. Over 40 million Americans have inaccurate information on their credit reports and this bill would help to ensure accuracy.
He helped to craft the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act to create consumer protections, end government bail-outs of the financial system and introduce transparency and accountability for shadowy financial markets. And Stephen voted against the massive bank bail-out that rewarded unscrupulous banking executives and failed to hold any one of them accountable.
Knowing that coastal homeowners and businesses throughout the 8th were subject to egregious and unfair premium increases because of inaccurate FEMA flood maps, Stephen successfully championed meaningful relief. His work also added transparency and accountability to FEMA’s error prone mapping process.
He has worked with his colleagues on numerous bills to help working families succeed and has also co-sponsored legislation to assist struggling pension plans for Americans who face financial uncertainty at a time when they cannot return to work.
As your Congressman, Stephen will continue to fight financial fairness and security for all families in the 8th.
Protecting the Post Office
No matter how virtual our world becomes, Americans rely on the critical services delivered everyday by the United States Postal Service. Stephen Lynch, like the majority of Americans, supports the USPS and its more than a half a million workers.
A member of a postal family, Stephen is a vocal and unwavering supporter of the USPS and its workers, fighting against legislation that would slash salaries, health and retirement benefits, reducing delivery days and, at its most extreme, full privatization of the postal service.
His efforts include co-authoring and introducing a bill which has bipartisan support to protect the USPS from privatization and ensure it remains an independent government agency, and supporting legislation to guarantee mail delivery at least 6 days a week.
Stephen also understands that in order to protect the USPS and the services it provides, the serious financial issues facing the Service must be addressed. A member of the bipartisan Postal Preservation Caucus, Stephen is working with his colleagues to update the law that requires the prefunding of health benefits of future retirees- paying billions into the Treasury decades before it is necessary. The Postal Service is the only government agency required to do this. Repealing this overly burdensome statue will take an important and immediate step in stabilizing the USPS’s finances.
The emergence of the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S. has placed even greater strains on the Postal Service as our nation’s postal workers continue to deliver essential medical supplies to our first responders and frontline healthcare personnel and prescription medicine to our most vulnerable citizens. In preparation for the 2020 election and the 2020 Decennial Census, they are also processing critical Vote-By-Mail information and Census Bureau mailings. Given these additional challenges, Stephen strongly supports the inclusion of robust pandemic relief funding for the Postal Service.