Niki Tsongas Committee Assignments 113th

Nicola Dickson "Niki" Sauvage Tsongas (; born April 26, 1946) is an American politician and the current U.S. Representative for Massachusetts's 3rd congressional district. From 2007 to 2013 she represented Massachusetts's 5th congressional district, the district her husband Paul Tsongas served prior to being elected to the United States Senate. She is a member of the Democratic Party. Following John Kerry's appointment as Secretary of State, she was widely expected to run in the 2013 special election for the Senate seat once held by her husband; she put such speculations to rest when she announced her endorsement of Representative Ed Markey instead.

On August 9, 2017, Tsongas announced she will not be seeking another term in Congress in 2018.[1]

Family, education, and career[edit]

Tsongas was born Nicola Dickson Sauvage on April 26, 1946, in Chico, California. Her mother Marian Susan (née Wyman) was an artist and copywriter, and her father Colonel Russell Elmer Sauvage was an engineer in the United States Army Air Forces who survived the attack on Pearl Harbor.[2] Tsongas graduated in 1964 from Narimasu American High School in Japan while her father was stationed at Fuchu Air Force Base. Tsongas spent one year at Michigan State University, then transferred to Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts, and graduated in 1968 with a Bachelor of Arts in religion.[3][4] After college she moved to New York City, where she took a job as a social worker for the Department of Welfare.[5] Tsongas earned her Juris Doctor from Boston University and started Lowell's first all-female law practice.[6]

Tsongas interned in Arlington, Virginia, for presidential candidateEugene McCarthy during summer 1967; at a party while there she met Paul Tsongas, then an aide to Republican Congressman Brad Morse. In 1969, she married Paul; they had three daughters: Ashley, Katina, and Molly.[7][8] A politician, Paul served in the House from Massachusetts's 5th congressional district from 1975 to 1979, and the Senate from 1979 to 1985. After being diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, Paul declined to seek a second term in the Senate; he resigned the day before his term expired. Tsongas moved their family from Washington, D.C., back to Massachusetts to care for Paul as he underwent treatments.[9] After seemingly being cured of his disease, in 1992 Paul ran for the Democratic Party nomination for President; he came in third behind former California GovernorJerry Brown and eventual winner Bill Clinton. Paul's cancer later returned; he died of pneumonia and liver failure on January 18, 1997.

Prior to her election to the House, Tsongas worked as the Dean of External Affairs at Middlesex Community College,[5] as a Board Member of Fallon Health[10] and served on the Lowell Civic Stadium and Arena Commission, which oversees several sites including the Tsongas Arena.[5] In 2001, Representative Marty Meehan appointed Tsongas to head a foundation to provide education funding for children of the victims of the September 11 attacks.[11]

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]


After Marty Meehan resigned in 2007 to serve as Chancellor of the University of Massachusetts Lowell, Tsongas ran in the special election. Tsongas defeated four other candidates to win the Democratic primary with 36% of the vote.[12] During her initial campaign Tsongas received endorsements from The Boston Globe, the Boston Herald, and the Lowell Sun.[13][14] During the general election, former PresidentBill Clinton, who defeated her husband for the Democratic nomination in 1992, campaigned for her. At an event in Lowell Clinton remarked: "Congress will be a better place because she is there."[15] Tsongas won the special election against Republican Jim Ogonowski with 51% of the vote on October 17;[16] she became the only female Representative from Massachusetts, and the first female representative from Massachusetts since the retirement of Margaret Heckler in 1983, who became Secretary of Health and Human Services under Ronald Reagan.

After running unopposed in 2008, in 2010 Tsongas faced Republican Jon Golnik, a small businessman and former Wall Street currency trader. During the campaign Tsongas attacked Golnik's history as a Vice President of AIG,[17] which Golnik called hypocritical, as she had stock in AIG and other large corporations.[18] Tsongas defeated Golnik with 52% of the vote.[19] Following redistricting after the 2010 census, Tsongas ran for re-election in the reconfigured Massachusetts's 3rd congressional district in 2012. In a rematch, she again defeated Golnick.[20]


A major issue in her initial election was whether the two candidates would vote to override President George W. Bush's veto of an expansion of the State Children's Health Insurance Program. Tsongas said she would vote to override, and it was reported Ogonowski would uphold the veto.[22] Hours after being sworn into office on October 18, Tsongas voted to override, but the vote failed to achieve the necessary two-thirds majority.[23]

As a candidate in 2007, Tsongas promised to withdraw troops and end the Iraq War.[24] The first bill she introduced aimed to do this by implementing a timetable for withdrawal from Iraq; however, the bill died in committee.[25] In 2010, Tsongas along with other women in Congress, including House SpeakerNancy Pelosi, visited Afghanistan to oversee the war effort. Upon returning, Tsongas spoke of the need for the involvement of women in rebuilding of government.[26]

Tsongas is an advocate for universal health care and supports a public health insurance option.[27][28] In 2010 she voted for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act.[29] In 2012 Tsongas joined a Republican-led effort to repeal a 2.3% sales tax on medical-device manufacturers, which passed the House 270–146; 36 other Democrats voted for it.[30] Tsongas is pro-choice and received a 100% approval rating from Planned Parenthood in 2008.[31] A supporter of LGBT rights, Tsongas cosponsored the Respect for Marriage Act to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act;[32] and voted for the Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal Act of 2010, which allows homosexuals to serve openly in the armed forces.

Following Anthony Weiner's first sexting scandal, Tsongas was the only Representative from Massachusetts to call for his resignation, saying that "it would be appropriate for [him] to step down."[33] In the 2012 Massachusetts Senate election, Tsongas was the first major Democratic politician to endorse the winner, Elizabeth Warren, whom she called "a fighter for middle class families".[34] Following President Barack Obama's designation of John Kerry as United States Secretary of State, there was much speculation that she would run for his seat, which her husband had previously held.[35] Though Tsongas briefly considered a run, she responded she would best be able to serve the people of Massachusetts by continuing to serve in the House, and instead endorsed fellow Representative Ed Markey.[36][37]

In January 2013, Tsongas introduced the Nashua River Wild and Scenic River Study Act (H.R. 412; 113th Congress), a bill that would amend the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act to designate certain segments concerning the Nashua River in Massachusetts for study for potential addition to the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System.[38] Tsongas discussed the river's history and past pollution problems in her testimony about the bill.[39] She argued that the study would allow stakeholders to work together to "ensure that it remains a great place for canoeing, fishing, and enjoying the outdoors."[39]

See also[edit]


  1. ^Phillips, Frank (2017-08-09). "Lowell Democrat Niki Tsongas won't seek another term in Congress". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 2017-08-09. 
  2. ^Elina Troshina (August 24, 2010). "MA Congresswoman Niki Tsongas ('88) Running for Re-election". Boston University School of Law. Retrieved January 11, 2013. 
  3. ^"Women Profiles: Niki Tsongas". Iowa State University. Retrieved January 11, 2013. 
  4. ^"The Honorable Niki Tsongas". United States Air Force Academy. Retrieved January 11, 2013. 
  5. ^ abcTsongas 2009.
  6. ^Ken Cleveland (November 2, 2012). "Tsongas, Golnik compete in rematch". The Item. Retrieved January 11, 2013. 
  7. ^Sridhar Pappu (November 24, 2007). "Mrs. Tsongas Comes to Washington". The Washington Post. Retrieved January 11, 2013. 
  8. ^Karen De Witt (February 21, 1992). "THE 1992 CAMPAIGN Man in the News: Paul Ethemios Tsongas; A Politician Who Thought He Could". The New York Times. Retrieved January 11, 2013. 
  9. ^Carol Stocker (June 4, 1991). "NIKI TSONGAS STANDS BY HER MAN Paul Tsongas' wife says his cancer's the past, presidency is his future". The Boston Globe. Retrieved April 6, 2013. 
  10. ^"Niki Tsongas, Board Member of Fallon Community Health Plan, Elected to Congress". Alliance of Community Health Plans. October 24, 2007. Retrieved January 11, 2013. 
  11. ^Negri, Gloria (August 26, 2002). "Scholarship fund helps 9/11 families". The Boston Globe. p. B3. Retrieved September 26, 2010. 
  12. ^Matt Viser and Eric Moskowitz (September 5, 2007). "Tsongas wins primary for 5th". The Boston Globe. Retrieved January 11, 2013. 
  13. ^"Niki Tsongas Endorsed by Boston Globe and Boston Herald"(PDF). Niki Tsongas for Congress. Archived from the original(PDF) on October 13, 2007. Retrieved October 15, 2007. 
  14. ^"Sun backs Tsongas". Blue Mass. Group. Archived from the original on October 17, 2007. Retrieved October 15, 2007. 
  15. ^Josh Kurtz (September 20, 2007). "President Clinton Will Stump for Niki Tsongas". Roll Call. Retrieved March 19, 2013. 
  16. ^Eric Moskowitz (October 17, 2007). "Tsongas wins in Fifth District". The Boston Globe. Retrieved January 11, 2013. 
  17. ^Lyle Moran (October 26, 2010). "Tsongas targets Golnik's work". The Sun (Lowell). Retrieved March 19, 2013. 
  18. ^Lyle Moran (October 25, 2013). "Golnik: Tsongas' former investments make her attacks 'hypocritical'". The Sun (Lowell). Retrieved April 5, 2013. 
  19. ^Ross Marrinson (November 4, 2010). "Tsongas defeats Golnik, will return to D.C. for second full term". Haverhill Gazette. Retrieved March 19, 2013. 
  20. ^Brian Messenger (November 6, 2012). "Tsongas wins over Golnik for Congress". The Eagle-Tribune. Retrieved March 19, 2013. 
  21. ^"Rep. Niki Tsongas (D-Mass)". Roll Call (CQ). 
  22. ^Edward Mason (October 5, 2007). "5th District race: Ogonowski, Tsongas tangle over Bush veto". The Eagle-Tribune. Archived from the original on April 10, 2013. Retrieved March 19, 2013. 
  23. ^"After taking oath, Tsongas votes to override veto". The Boston Globe. October 18, 2007. Archived from the original on February 15, 2012. Retrieved March 19, 2013. 
  24. ^Finucane, Martin (January 8, 2008). "Tsongas to visit troops in the Middle East". The Boston Globe. Retrieved September 27, 2010. 
  25. ^McCutcheon & Lyons 2009
  26. ^Matt Viser (May 11, 2010). "Tsongas returns from Afghanistan trip". The Boston Globe. Retrieved January 13, 2013. 
  27. ^Niki Tsongas (April 25, 2007). "On Universal Health Care". Blue Mass Group. Retrieved March 18, 2013. 
  28. ^Jesse Floyd (November 5, 2009). "Rep. Tsongas reports to district". Wicked Local - Littleton. Retrieved March 18, 2013. 
  29. ^Brian Messenger (October 28, 2012). "Rematch: Tsongas vs. Golnik in new 3rd District". The Eagle-Tribune. Retrieved January 12, 2013. 
  30. ^Chris Camire (June 9, 2012). "Tsongas backs repeal tax on medical devices". Retrieved April 7, 2013. 
  31. ^Erin Gloria Ryan (January 5, 2013). "101 Facts About 100 Women of the House and Senate". Jezebel. Retrieved March 18, 2013. 
  32. ^"Respect for Marriage Act Co-Sponsors". Freedom to Marry. Retrieved March 18, 2013. 
  33. ^Joanne Rathe (June 16, 2011). "Weinergate: Only Tsongas speaks out". The Boston Globe. Retrieved March 19, 2013. 
  34. ^"Rep. Niki Tsongas endorses Elizabeth Warren for Senate". The Republican (Springfield, Massachusetts). October 4, 2011. Retrieved March 19, 2013. 
  35. ^Ed Henry and Chad Pergram (December 15, 2012). "Obama purportedly to nominate Kerry, sparking speculation about his Senate seat". Fox News Channel. Retrieved March 19, 2013. 
  36. ^"Tsongas Will Not Run For Senate; Kerry Supports Markey". WBUR. December 28, 2013. Retrieved March 18, 2013. 
  37. ^Josh Collins (December 29, 2012). "Tsongas rules out run for Kerry's seat as Markey's support grows". The Sun (Lowell). Retrieved March 19, 2013. 
  38. ^"H.R. 412 - Summary". United States Congress. Retrieved 23 June 2014. 
  39. ^ ab"Tsongas testifies in favor of bill to designate Nashua River as Wild and Scenic". House Office of Rep. Tsongas. 6 June 2013. Retrieved 23 June 2014. 

External links[edit]

Tsongas' official 5th District portrait

The One Hundred Thirteenth United States Congress was a meeting of the legislative branch of the United States federal government, from January 3, 2013, to January 3, 2015, during the fifth and sixth years of Barack Obama's presidency. It was composed of the United States Senate and the United States House of Representatives based on the results of the 2012 Senate elections and the 2012 House elections. The seats in the House were apportioned based on the 2010 United States Census. It first met in Washington, D.C. on January 3, 2013, and it ended on January 3, 2015. Senators elected to regular terms in 2008 were in the last two years of those terms during this Congress.

The Senate had a Democratic majority, while the House had a Republican majority. Widespread public dissatisfaction with the institution increased over its second year,[1][2][3][4] and some commentators have ranked it among the worst in United States congressional history, until 2017. According to a Gallup Poll released in August 2014, the 113th Congress had the highest disapproval rating of any Congress since 1974, when data first started being collected: 83% of Americans surveyed said that they disapproved of the job Congress was doing, while only 13% said that they approved.[5][6] In October 2013, during the government shutdown, this decreased to 10% approval according to several polls.[citation needed]

Major events[edit]

Main articles: 2013 in the United States, 2014 in the United States, and 2015 in the United States

  • January 3, 2013: Election of Speaker. Incumbent Speaker John Boehner was re-elected despite the largest number of defections in the vote for speaker since at least 1991.[8]
  • January 4, 2013: Joint session to count the Electoral College votes for the 2012 presidential election.[9]
  • January 20–21, 2013: Second inauguration of PresidentBarack Obama and Vice PresidentJoe Biden.[10] The terms began January 20, but because that was a Sunday, the Joint Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies scheduled the inauguration ceremony for the next day.[10]
  • February 12, 2013: Joint session to hear the 2013 State of the Union Address.
  • March 6–7, 2013: Senator Rand Paul led a filibuster of the nomination of John O. Brennan for Director of the Central Intelligence Agency with a 12-hour, 52-minute speech.
  • June 5, 2013: The first media reports of Edward Snowden's surveillance disclosures surfaced in the media.[11]
  • June 25, 2013: The Supreme Court struck down section 4(b) of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 in Shelby County v. Holder, ending the need for some counties and states to receive "preclearance" from the Justice Department before changing election laws.
  • June 26, 2013: The Supreme Court struck down section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act in United States v. Windsor, forcing the federal government to acknowledge same-sex marriages granted under the laws of states.
  • July 16, 2013: The Senate reached a deal to allow some presidential nominations to come to a vote, avoiding the "Nuclear option" for filibuster reform.[12]
  • September 24–25, 2013: Senator Ted Cruz delivered a 21-hour, 19-minute speech, one of the longest in Senate history, in opposition to the Affordable Care Act. Cruz's speech was not a filibuster, as it delayed no vote.[13]
  • October 1–17, 2013: The United States federal government was shut down as most routine operations were curtailed after Congress failed to enact legislation appropriating funds for fiscal year 2014, or a continuing resolution for the interim authorization of appropriations for fiscal year 2014.
  • October 3, 2013: United States Capitol shooting incident
  • November 21, 2013: In a 52–48 vote, the Senate ended the use of the filibuster on all executive branch nominees, as well as on most judicial nominees. The filibuster remained in place for Supreme Court nominees and for legislation.[14]
  • November 4, 2014: United States elections, 2014, including United States Senate elections, 2014 and United States House of Representatives elections, 2014.

Major legislation[edit]


Main article: Acts of the 113th United States Congress

  • March 7, 2013: Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013, Pub.L. 113–4
  • March 13, 2013: Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Reauthorization Act of 2013, Pub.L. 113–5
  • March 26, 2013: 2013 United States federal budget (as Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2013), Pub.L. 113–6
  • June 3, 2013: Stolen Valor Act of 2013, Pub.L. 113–12
  • August 9, 2013: Hydropower Regulatory Efficiency Act of 2013, Pub.L. 113–23
  • August 9, 2013: Bipartisan Student Loan Certainty Act of 2013, Pub.L. 113–28
  • September 30, 2013: Pay Our Military Act, Pub.L. 113–39
  • November 27, 2013: Drug Quality and Security Act, Pub.L. 113–54
  • December 26, 2013: National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014, Pub.L. 113–66
  • January 17, 2014: Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2014, Pub.L. 113–76
  • February 7, 2014: Agricultural Act of 2014, Pub.L. 113–79
  • March 21, 2014: Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014, Pub.L. 113–89
  • April 3, 2014: Gabriella Miller Kids First Research Act, Pub.L. 113–94
  • April 3, 2014: Support for the Sovereignty, Integrity, Democracy, and Economic Stability of Ukraine Act of 2014, Pub.L. 113–95
  • May 9, 2014: Digital Accountability and Transparency Act (DATA), Pub.L. 113–101
  • May 20, 2014: Kilah Davenport Child Protection Act, Pub.L. 113–104
  • June 10, 2014: Water Resources Reform and Development Act, Pub.L. 113–121
  • July 23, 2014: Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, Pub.L. 113–128
  • August 1, 2014: Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act, Pub.L. 113–144
  • August 7, 2014: Veterans' Access to Care through Choice, Accountability, and Transparency Act of 2014, Pub.L. 113–146
  • September 29, 2014: Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthening Families Act, Pub.L. 113–183
  • October 6, 2014: IMPACT Act of 2014, Pub.L. 113–185
  • November 26, 2014: Presidential and Federal Records Act Amendments of 2014, Pub.L. 113–187
  • November 26, 2014: Government Reports Elimination Act of 2014, Pub.L. 113–188
  • December 18, 2014: Death in Custody Reporting Act of 2013, Pub.L. 113–242
  • December 18, 2014: Transportation Security Acquisition Reform Act, Pub.L. 113–245
  • December 18, 2014: American Savings Promotion Act, Pub.L. 113–251
  • December 18, 2014: Credit Union Share Insurance Fund Parity Act, Pub.L. 113–252
  • December 18, 2014: EPS Service Parts Act of 2014Pub.L. 113–263
  • December 18, 2014: Venezuela Defense of Human Rights and Civil Society Act of 2014, Pub.L. 113–278
  • December 18, 2014: Insurance Capital Standards Clarification Act of 2014, Pub.L. 113–279


Main article: List of bills in the 113th United States Congress

Appropriations bills[edit]

Fiscal year 2014[edit]

Fiscal year 2014 runs from October 1, 2013, to September 30, 2014.[15]

Fiscal year 2015[edit]

Main article: 2015 United States federal appropriations

Fiscal year 2015 runs from October 1, 2014, to September 20, 2015.[15]

  • Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2015 (H.R. 4800) - considered in the House on June 11, 2014.[16] The bill would appropriate $20.9 billion.[17]
  • Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2015 (H.R. 4660) - passed the House on May 30, 2014.[18] The total amount of money appropriated in the bill was $51.2 billion, approximately $400 million less than fiscal year 2014.[19]
  • Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2015 - considered in the House on June 18, 2014. The bill would provide funding of approximately $491 billion.[20]
  • Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2015 (H.R. 4923; 113th Congress) (H.R. 4923) - The bill would appropriate $34 billion to the United States Department of Energy, the United States Army Corps of Engineers, and related agencies.[21]
  • Legislative Branch Appropriations Act, 2015 (H.R. 4487) - passed in the House on May 1, 2014.[22] The bill would appropriate $3.3 billion to the legislative branch for FY 2015.[23]
  • Military Construction and Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2015 (H.R. 4486) - passed the House on April 30, 2014.[24] The total amount appropriated by the introduced version of the bill is $71.5 billion.[23]
  • Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2015 (H.R. 4745 or "THUD") - passed the House on June 10, 2014.[25] The bill would appropriate $17 billion to the Department of Transportation and $40.3 billion to the Department of Housing and Urban Development.[26]

Party summary[edit]

Resignations and new members are discussed in the "Changes in membership" section, below.



(Shading indicates majority caucus)

End of previous Congress512471000
June 3, 201352991
June 6, 2013461000
October 31, 20135345
February 6, 201452991
February 9, 2014531000
Final voting share7001550000000000000♠55%7001450000000000000♠45%
Beginning of the next Congress442541000

House of Representatives[edit]


(Shading indicates majority caucus)

End of previous Congress1912404314
January 22, 20132324323
April 9, 20132014332
May 7, 20132334341
June 4, 20132344350
July 15, 20132004341
August 2, 20132334332
September 26, 20132324323
October 18, 20132314314
November 16, 20132324323
December 10, 20132014332
December 17, 20132334341
January 6, 20142004332
January 27, 20142324323
February 18, 20141994314
March 11, 20142334323
June 24, 20142344332
August 18, 20142334323
November 4, 20142012344350
Final voting share7001462000000000000♠46.2%7001538000000000000♠53.8%
Non-voting members6060
Beginning of the next Congress1882474350


Section contents:Senate: Majority (D), Minority (R) • House: Majority (R), Minority (D)


Majority (Democratic) leadership[edit]

Minority (Republican) leadership[edit]

House of Representatives[edit]

Majority (Republican) leadership[edit]

  • Majority Leader: Eric Cantor, until August 1, 2014
  • Majority Whip: Kevin McCarthy, until August 1, 2014
  • Majority Chief Deputy Whip: Peter Roskam, until August 1, 2014
  • Conference Chair: Cathy McMorris Rodgers
  • Conference Vice-Chair: Lynn Jenkins
  • Conference Secretary: Virginia Foxx
  • Campaign Committee Chairman: Greg Walden
  • Policy Committee Chairman: James Lankford
  • Campaign Committee Deputy Chairman: Lynn Westmoreland

Minority (Democratic) leadership[edit]

  • Minority Leader: Nancy Pelosi
  • Minority Whip: Steny Hoyer
  • Assistant Democratic Leader: Jim Clyburn
  • Caucus Chairman: Xavier Becerra
  • Caucus Vice-Chairman: Joseph Crowley
  • Campaign Committee Chairman: Steve Israel
  • Steering and Policy Committee Co-Chairs: Rosa DeLauro (Steering) and Rob Andrews (Policy, until February 18, 2014); George Miller (Policy, from March 24, 2014)
  • Organization, Study, and Review Chairman: Mike Capuano
  • Senior Chief Deputy Minority Whip: John Lewis
  • Chief Deputy Minority Whips: Terri Sewell, Keith Ellison, Jim Matheson, Ben R. Luján, Jan Schakowsky, Diana DeGette, G. K. Butterfield, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Peter Welch



Senators are listed by state, and the numbers refer to their Senate classes, In this Congress, Class 2 meant their term ended with this Congress, requiring re-election in 2014; Class 3 meant their term began in the last Congress, requiring re-election in 2016; and Class 1 meant their term began in this Congress, requiring re-election in 2018.

Final Senate Membership
     53 Democrats

     45 Republicans

     2 Independents, caucusing with Democrats

Final House Membership
     201 Democrats

     234 Republicans

Speaker of the House


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *