José E. Serrano

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from José Enrique Serrano)
Jump to: navigation, search
José E. Serrano
Josieserrano.jpeg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 15th district
Incumbent
Assumed office
January 3, 2013
Preceded by Charles B. Rangel
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 16th district
In office
January 3, 1993 – January 3, 2013
Preceded by Charles B. Rangel
Succeeded by Eliot Engel
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 18th district
In office
March 21, 1990 – January 3, 1993
Preceded by Robert García
Succeeded by Nita Lowey
Member of the New York State Assembly
from the 73rd district
In office
January 3, 1983 – March 21, 1990
Preceded by John Brian Murtaugh
Succeeded by David Rosado
Member of the New York State Assembly
from the 75th district
In office
January 3, 1975 – January 3, 1983
Preceded by Eugenio Alvarez
Succeeded by John Dearie
Personal details
Born (1943-10-24) October 24, 1943 (age 70)
Mayagüez, Puerto Rico
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Divorced
Residence Bronx, New York City, New York
Alma mater Lehman College
Occupation Educational assistant
Religion Roman Catholic
Military service
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service 1964-1966
Unit 172nd Support Battalion[1]

José Enrique Serrano (born October 24, 1943) is an American politician who has been a member of the United States House of Representatives since 1990. Serrano, a Democrat from New York, represents a district that is one of the smallest in the country geographically, consisting of a few miles of the heavily urbanized and populated South Bronx in New York City. His district is also one of the most densely populated and one of the few majority Hispanic districts in the country. The district was numbered the 18th from 1990 to 1993 and the 16th from 1993 to 2013; it has been the 15th district since 2013.

Early life, education, and military service[edit]

Serrano was born in Mayagüez, Puerto Rico. At the age of seven, Serrano was taken by his family to The Bronx, where he was raised in the Millbrook Houses. Serrano went to Grace Dodge Vocational High School in the Bronx and then attended Lehman College. He served in the United States Army medical corps from 1964 to 1966.

New York Assembly[edit]

Elections[edit]

In 1976, he ran for the New York Assembly in the 75th District. In the Democratic primary, he defeated Rafael Castaneira Colon 70%-30%.[2] He won the general election with 91%.[3] He never won re-election with less than 92% of the vote. His district was renumbered the 73rd after the 1980 United States Census.

Committee assignments[edit]

He served as Chairman of the Consumer Affairs Committee and the Education Committee.

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]

Elections[edit]

In 1990, Serrano won a special election for the seat vacated by resigning U.S. Congressman Robert García with 92% of the vote.[4] He has never won re-election with less than 92% of the vote,[5][6] in what is considered one of the safest seats in Congress.

Tenure[edit]

Serrano has consistently supported initiatives to resolve Puerto Rico's political status problem, including the 1998 Young bill, which he coauthored, and the December 22, 2005, report of the President's Task Force on Puerto Rico's Status, which recommends that Congress provide an opportunity for residents in Puerto Rico to vote for or against its current status, which the report describes as an unincorporated U.S. territory and Serrano describes as a U.S. colony. Serrano filed a bill, HR 900, with Puerto Rico Resident Commissioner Luis Fortuño, co-sponsored by 129 other Democratic and Republican members of Congress, to authorize such a referendum by 2009.[7]

A member of the Progressive Caucus, he is widely regarded as one of the most Progressive members of Congress. He has been questioned about his pork barrel spending by some fiscal conservative members of Congress. Arizona Congressman Jeff Flake once said of Serrano's $150,000 earmark to repair the roof at the city-owned Arthur Avenue Market (a historic indoor produce and prepared food market in the Bronx's "Little Italy"), "I would argue this is one cannoli the taxpayer doesn’t want to take a bite of."[8] Serrano replied to Flake, "The more you get up on these, sir, the more I realize that you do not know what you are talking about. I make no excuses about the fact that I earmark dollars to go in the poorest congressional district in the nation, which is situated in the richest city on earth."[8]

On November 18, 2005, he was one of three votes in favor of immediate withdrawal of American troops from Iraq. The other two votes were from Cynthia McKinney of Georgia and Robert Wexler of Florida.[9]

In 1997 [HJR 19],[10] 1999 [HJR 17],[11] 2001 [HJR 4],[12] 2003 [HJR 11],[13] 2005 [HJR 9],[14] 2007 [HJR 8],[15] 2009 [HJR 5],[16] and 2011 [HJR 17],[17] Serrano introduced a joint resolution proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States to repeal the 22nd Amendment, thereby removing the limitation on the number of terms an individual may serve as president. Each resolution, with the exception of the current one, died without ever getting past the committee.[18][19] On January 3, 2013, Serrano proposed the repeal of the 22nd Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which would remove the restriction on the number of terms a President may serve. This has been met with heavily negative backlash in social media, including a flood of so-called "hateful" comments on his Facebook page.

Serrano has paid attention to local environmental issues in New York, with a particular focus on constructing greenways, acquiring parklands, and cleaning up the Bronx River, which runs through his district. Recently a beaver was discovered swimming in the river for the first time in 200 years, something seen as a testament to his efforts.[20] In 2007, he engineered the purchase of the last privately owned island in New York harbor—South Brother Island—for preservation in perpetuity by the City of New York as a wildlife refuge for rare shorebirds.

Serrano was a critic of the Bush administration's approach to handling President Hugo Chávez of Venezuela. In 2005, while the Venezuelan President was in New York City speaking before the United Nations, the congressman invited him to his district to speak to his constituency.

Serrano is one of three New York-area congressmen on the House Appropriations Committee, the others being Nita Lowey of the 18th District and Steve Rothman of New Jersey's 9th congressional district (which abuts New York City). He is the chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services. As chairman, he successfully engineered the inclusion of language in the 2007 omnibus spending bill that guarantees the extension of the 50 State Quarters program to include the minting of 6 additional quarters to honor the District of Columbia and the 5 United States territories, including Serrano's native Puerto Rico.

Serrano has also been an advocate for Puerto Ricans under FBI prosecution. In May 2000, he brokered an agreement with then-FBI Director Louis Freeh, then Puerto Rican Independence Party senator Manuel Rodríguez Orellana and then Puerto Rico Senate Federal Affairs Committee chairman Kenneth McClintock, the islands' outgoing Senate President, that has resulted in the release of nearly 100,000 pages of previously secret FBI files on Puerto Rican political activists.

In the aftermath of the death of Hugo Chávez, Congressman Serrano wrote condolences to Chavez via Twitter describing him as a leader who, "understood the needs of the poor. He was committed to empowering the powerless. R.I.P. Mr. President.”[21] However, the comments proved controversial with some twitterers[22] and political commentators[23] and prompted a response from the Republican National Committee that described Serrano's tweet as "simply insulting that a Democrat Congressman would praise the authoritarian ruler Hugo Chávez.

Committee assignments[edit]

Caucus memberships[edit]

Party leadership[edit]

  • Senior Whip

Personal life[edit]

Serrano's son, José M. Serrano, is a member of the New York State Senate. In addition to José Marco, Serrano has four other children.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.ausa.org/legislation/congressionalinfo/tocongress/Documents/OAS_13_Final_Web.pdf
  2. ^ http://www.ourcampaigns.com/RaceDetail.html?RaceID=255481
  3. ^ http://www.ourcampaigns.com/RaceDetail.html?RaceID=132949
  4. ^ http://www.ourcampaigns.com/RaceDetail.html?RaceID=107262
  5. ^ http://www.collegetermpapers.com/TermPapers/Government_&_Politics/Political_Profile_of_Jose_Serrano.shtml
  6. ^ http://www.bronxnewsnetwork.org/2010/11/bronx-general-election-results.html
  7. ^ Arroyo, Phillip (2008-10-10). "PUERTO RICO DEMOCRAT CORNER: Congressman Serrano's testimony on HR 900 (April 2007)". Prdemocratcorner.blogspot.com. Retrieved 2010-08-23. 
  8. ^ a b CBS 60 Minutes, Rep. Flake On Cutting Congressional Pork. Consulted on June 27, 2007.
  9. ^ Rep. Jose Serrano: One of Three Congress members to Vote for Immediate U.S. Troop Withdrawal from Iraq
  10. ^ "H.J.Res. 19 (105th): Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States to repeal the twenty-second article of amendment, ...". GovTrack.us. 
  11. ^ "H.J.Res. 17 (106th): Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States to repeal the twenty-second article of amendment, ...". GovTrack.us. 
  12. ^ "H.J.Res. 14 (107th): Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States to repeal the twenty-second article of amendment, ...". GovTrack.us. 
  13. ^ "H.J.Res. 11 (108th): Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States to repeal the twenty-second article of amendment, ...". GovTrack.us. 
  14. ^ "H.J.Res. 9 (109th): Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States to repeal the twenty-second article of amendment, ...". GovTrack.us. 
  15. ^ "H.J.Res. 8 (110th): Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States to repeal the twenty-second article of amendment, ...". GovTrack.us. 
  16. ^ "H.J.Res. 5 (111th): Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States to repeal the twenty-second article of amendment, ...". GovTrack.us. 
  17. ^ "H.J.Res. 17 (112th): Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States to repeal the twenty-second article of amendment, ...". GovTrack.us. 
  18. ^ "H. J. Res. 5: Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States to repeal the twenty-second...". GovTrack.us. 2009-01-06. Retrieved 2010-08-23. 
  19. ^ 112th Congress (2011–2012): H.J. Res. 17
  20. ^ After 200 Years, a Beaver Is Back in New York City
  21. ^ "World leaders pay tribute to Hugo Chavez as wave of grief washes over Latin America". Worldnews.nbcnews.com. 2012-10-24. Retrieved 2013-03-06. 
  22. ^ Serrano, Jose. "Hugo Chavez was a leader that understood the needs of the poor. He was committed to empowering the powerless. R.I.P. Mr. President.". Twitter. 
  23. ^ Gillespie, Nick (March 5, 2013). "Rep. Jose Serrano on Hugo Chavez: "a leader that understood the needs of the poor."". Reason. 

External links[edit]

New York Assembly
Preceded by
Eugenio Alvarez
New York State Assembly, 75th District
1975–1982
Succeeded by
John C. Dearie
Preceded by
John Murtaugh
New York State Assembly, 73rd District
1983–1990
Succeeded by
David Rosado
United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Robert Garcia
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 18th congressional district

1990–1993
Succeeded by
Nita M. Lowey
Preceded by
Charles B. Rangel
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 16th congressional district

1993–2013
Succeeded by
Eliot Engel
Preceded by
Charles B. Rangel
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 15th congressional district

2013–
Succeeded by
Incumbent
United States order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Ileana Ros-Lehtinen
R-Florida
United States Representatives by seniority
34th
Succeeded by
David Price
D-North Carolina