Bennie Thompson

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Bennie G. Thompson
U.S. Representative – MS-02
Image:BennieThompson.jpg
Party Democratic
Assumed office

April 13, 1993

Preceded by Mike Espy
Committees
Born January 28, 1948
Spouse London Thompson
Religion Methodist


Bennie G. Thompson (born January 28, 1948) is an American politician from the Democratic Party. He has been a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from the 2nd District of Mississippi since 1993. The district includes most of Jackson and is the only majority-black district in the state. The district is approximately 275 miles long, 180 miles wide and borders the Mississippi River. The Mississippi Delta comprises the vast majority of the 2nd District. He is the first African American to chair the Homeland Security Committee.

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Biography

Thompson is a native of Bolton, Mississippi and attended Hinds County public schools before earning degrees from Tougaloo College and Jackson State University. He served as an alderman, then mayor of Bolton before being elected to the Hinds County Board of Supervisors.

Political career

Thompson joined the House of Representatives in April 1993, after winning a special election for the 2nd Congressional seat which became vacant when former Representative Mike Espy resigned. Thompson subsequently has been reelected several times overwhelmingly. Indeed, Thompson has 38 years of public service, ranking him as Mississippi's most senior African-American politician.

On December 7, 2006, Thompson was elected by his House colleagues to serve as Chairman of the U.S. House Committee on Homeland Security, a Congressional committee responsible for providing government oversight on terrorism and disaster relief agencies. As a former volunteer firefighter and local official, Thompson has focused the Committee on assuring that state and local officials, as well as first responders (fire, police, EMTs), have the resources they need to protect their communities.

Thompson became an outspoken advocate for the Gulf Coast after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita hit in 2005. From his position on the Homeland Security Committee, he pushed for accountability at FEMA and a careful review of the role of the Red Cross in the time of disaster. He also pursued waste, fraud, and abuse in hurricane contracting and called for preferences to be given to small and Gulf Coast businesses in the recovery and rebuilding of the affected states. Thompson is the founding Member of the bipartisan Gulf Coast Recovery & Rebuilding Caucus in the House of Representatives.

Thompson also belongs to the Congressional Black Caucus, Congressional Progressive Caucus, Congressional Rural Caucus, Congressional Sunbelt Caucus, Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency Caucus, Congressional Travel & Tourism Caucus, and the Tennessee Valley Authority Caucus. He also is involved in the Congressional Children's Working Group and the National Guard & Reserve Components Congressional Members Organization.

Thompson's legislative platform focuses mainly on civil rights, agriculture and rural issues, equal education and health care reform. In 1975, he became one of the original plaintiffs in the Ayers Case which concerned the adequate funding of predominantly black educational institutes in Mississippi. In 2000, Thompson wrote legislation that created the National Center for Minority Health and Health Care Disparities.

Along with John Conyers, in April 2006 Thompson brought an action against George W. Bush and others alleging violations of the Constitution in the passing of the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005[1]. The case (Conyers v. Bush) was ultimately dismissed[2].

On January 5, 2007, Thompson introduced H.R.1, "Implementing the 9/11 Commission Recommendations Act of 2007," the first bill of the 110th Congress. The bill, co-sponsored by more than 100 House Members, provided for the implementation of the 9/11 Commission's remaining recommendations. It included provisions requiring major improvements in aviation security, border security, and infrastructure security; providing first responders the equipment and training they need; beefing up efforts to prevent terrorists from acquiring weapons of mass destruction; and significantly expanding diplomatic, economic, educational, and other strategies designed to counter Islamic terrorism. The bill had bipartisan support and passed 299-128 on January 9, 2007.

Personal life

He is married to the former London Johnson of Mound Bayou, Mississippi and has one daughter, BendaLonne, one grand-daughter, Jeanna. and one grandson, Thomas. Thompson is a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. and a lifetime member of the Asbury United Methodist Church in Bolton. He is also an avid hunter and outdoorsman.

Committees

  • House Committee on Homeland Security, Chairman
    • Subcommittee on Border, Maritime, and Global Counterterrorism
    • Subcommittee on Emergency Communications, Preparedness, and Response
    • Subcommittee on Emerging Threats, Cybersecurity, and Science and Technology
    • Subcommittee on Intelligence, Information Sharing, and Terrorism Risk Assessment
    • Subcommittee on Management, Investigations, and Oversight
    • Subcommittee on Transportation Security and Infrastructure Protection

Caususes

  • Congressional Black Caucus
  • Congressional Progressive Caucus
  • Congressional Rural Caucus
  • Congressional Sunbelt Caucus
  • Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Caucus
  • Congressional Travel and Tourism Caucus
  • Tennessee Valley Authority Caucus

Other

  • Congressional Children's Working Group
  • National Guard and Reserve Components Congressional Members Organization

Contact

GovTrack link

External Links

  • About Bennie Thompson (US House of Representatives)
  • Thompson for Congress - campaign website.

Related areas

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