|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from West Virginia's 3rd district
January 3, 1993
|Preceded by||Bob Wise|
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from West Virginia's 4th district
January 3, 1977 – January 3, 1993
|Preceded by||Ken Hechler|
|Succeeded by||District Eliminated|
|Chairman of the House Committee on Natural Resources|
January 3, 2007 – January 3, 2011
|Preceded by||Richard Pombo|
|Succeeded by||Doc Hastings|
May 20, 1949 |
Beckley, West Virginia
|Residence||Beckley, West Virginia|
|Alma mater||Duke University
George Washington University
Nick Joe Rahall II (born May 20, 1949) is an American politician and member of the Democratic Party who has served as the U.S. Representative for West Virginia's 3rd congressional district since 1977. Rahall is currently the Ranking Member of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure and is the Dean of the West Virginia Congressional delegation. His district includes much of the southern portion of the state, including Huntington, Bluefield and Beckley.
- 1 Early life, education, and early career
- 2 U.S. House of Representatives
- 3 Electoral history
- 4 Personal life
- 5 References
- 6 External links
Early life, education, and early career
Rahall was born in Beckley. He is of Lebanese descent. His father was a business owner, including radio stations in West Virginia. Rahall graduated in 1971 from Duke University. He attended graduate school at the George Washington University. He then went to work for the late U.S. Senator Robert Byrd.
U.S. House of Representatives
Rahall was elected to Congress in 1976 in the 4th district, succeeding Ken Hechler who ran for governor. Rahall won the district primary with a plurality of 38%. Hechler lost the primary for governor, and attempted a write-in campaign for the congressional seat. Rahall won the general election with 46% of the vote, while Hechler got 37%. In 1978, Hechler challenged Rahall in the Democratic primary, and Rahall won with 56% of the vote. He has been re-elected 17 times. Hechler later became the West Virginia Secretary of State, and ran against Rahall in the primary in 1990. Rahall defeated him, receiving 57% of the vote.
In 1990, he defeated Republican insurance agent Marianne Brewster with just 52%, the second lowest winning percentage of his career. The district was redrawn after the 1990 census, becoming the 3rd district, due to a loss in the state's population. In 2010, he defeated Republican State Supreme Court Justice Spike Maynard with 56% of the vote.
Family ties to lobbyists
In 2004, the Los Angeles Times ran an article about Rahall and his sister, lobbyist Tanya Rahall. They reported that she made $15,000 per month as a lobbyist for Qatar and that "the person she frequently lobbies is...her older brother and one of Qatar's biggest champions in Washington.” Rahall said “our paths cross professionally, but not across any lines appropriately established by law or House rules.”
Rahall has expressed concern about America's relationship with Israel. He said, "Israel can’t continue to occupy, humiliate and destroy the dreams and spirits of the Palestinian people and continue to call itself a democratic state."
Rahall, along with other Lebanese-American lawmakers, expressed concern with a bipartisan resolution supporting Israel in the 2006 Israel-Lebanon conflict without adding language urging restraint against civilian targets. He helped draft a resolution that urged "all parties to protect innocent life and civilian infrastructure."
Rahall is the most senior of five Arab American lawmakers. Rahall was the only member of the House to oppose the 1993 resolution for an end to the Arab boycott of Israel. He also pressed the State Department to end a ban on travel to Lebanon; the ban was lifted in 1997.
Endorsement of Barack Obama
In March 2008, Nick Rahall endorsed Barack Obama to be the Democratic nominee for president, saying Obama understands the needs and aspirations of West Virginians. 
In an interview with Keith Olbermann, Rahall said that Obama had the courage and conviction to win the presidency, and that the then-senator was a true agent for change.
Rahall's policies involving mountaintop removal mining have been criticized, with the link between mountaintop removal mining and flooding as well as the billions of pounds of explosives used since 2004 being used as examples.
Rahall, alongside three other Democrats, supported a GOP bill that would limit EPA authority on CO2 emissions, the Energy Tax Prevention Act. He commented on this, saying: “I am dead set against the E.P.A.’s plowing ahead on its own with new regulations to limit greenhouse gases.” He also voted against the American Clean Energy and Security Act.
In 2007, Rahall introduced the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, which banned incandescent light bulbs. Despite introducing the legislation, Rahall voted against the bill on final passage. As result of the legislation, as of Jan 1st, 2014 incandescent light bulbs between 40 watts and 150 watts are illegal to manufacture or import.
Progressive Caucus budget
On March 30, 2013, Rahall voted for the Progressive Caucus’ "Back to Work Budget." This budget would put a $25 per ton carbon dioxide tax emissions, cut $112 billion in spending related to petroleum-based fuels over ten years, and increase funding for alternative energy. The budget plan failed decisively 84-327, with more Democrats (102) voting against it than in favor of it, among the no votes was Nancy Pelosi, who leads in the Democrats as House Minority Leader. The West Virginia Metro News stated that the Back to Work Budget was “a traditional liberal wish list of higher taxes and more government spending” and called Rahall’s vote “difficult to comprehend.” 
Troubled Asset Relief Program
In March 2010, Rahall voted for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly referred to as ObamaCare. In May 2013, Rahall voted against a resolution to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
Rahall had traveled to Baghdad just before the Iraq War with the intention of convincing Iraqi leaders to allow the U.N. to inspect their weapons and have access to every site. He said that Tareq Aziz had accepted all of Bush's demands, and that "Bush said the war was not inevitable, but we now know that wasn’t true. Iraqis did allow for complete access but Bush’s mind was already made up. Iraqis were damned if they did and damned if they didn’t....We were falsely led into this war.”
In 2004, it was reported that Rahall feared that Syria would be attacked by Bush before the November elections. He said that “They’re using the same rhetoric against the Syrians they used against Iraqis....We now have the Syrian Accountability Act. All this despite the State Department’s admission that Syria helped us capture key al-Qaeda operatives and helped save American lives.” As for Saudi Arabia, Rahall said that the U.S. “wouldn’t dare” attack that country: “The Kingdom has been a key ally for decades.”
He voted for the inclusion of sexual orientation and gender identity as hate crimes in April 2009. He was one of 15 Democrats who voted against the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" in December 2010.
In 2011, he co-sponsored HR 3, the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act. The bill had an exception for "forcible rape," which opponents criticized as potentially excluding drug-facilitated rape, date rape, and other forms of rape. The bill also allowed an exception for minors who are victims of incest.
- Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure (Ranking Member)
|1976||Nick Rahall||73,626||46%||F. S. Goodman||28,825||18%||Ken Hechler||Democratic (write-in)||59,067||37%|
|1978||Nick Rahall||70,035||100%||No candidate|
|1980||Nick Rahall||117,595||77%||Winton Covey||36,020||23%|
|1982||Nick Rahall||91,184||81%||Homer Harris||22,054||19%|
|1984||Nick Rahall||98,919||67%||Jess Shumate||49,474||33%|
|1986||Nick Rahall||58,217||71%||Martin Miller||23,490||29%|
|1988||Nick Rahall||78,812||61%||Marianne Brewster||49,753||39%|
|1990||Nick Rahall||39,948||52%||David Morrill||36,946||48%|
|1992||Nick Rahall||122,279||66%||Ben Waldman||64,012||34%|
|1994||Nick Rahall||74,967||64%||Ben Waldman||42,382||36%|
|1996||Nick Rahall||145,550||100%||No candidate|
|1998||Nick Rahall||78,814||87%||No candidate||Joe Whelan||Libertarian||12,196||13%|
|2000||Nick Rahall||146,807||91%||No candidate||Jeff Robinson||Libertarian||13,979||9%|
|2002||Nick Rahall||87,783||70%||Paul Chapman||37,229||30%|
|2004||Nick Rahall||142,682||65%||Rick Snuffer||76,170||35%|
|2006||Nick Rahall||92,413||69%||Kim Wolfe||40,820||31%|
|2008||Nick Rahall||133,522||67%||Marty Gearheart||66,005||33%|
|2010||Nick Rahall||83,636||56%||Spike Maynard||65,611||44%|
|2012||Nick Rahall||108,199||54%||Rick Snuffer||92,238||46%|
Rahall and his wife, Melinda, have three children and three grandchildren.
In February 2005, Rahall used congressional stationery to write a letter to a Fairfax County judge asking for leniency for his son, Nick Rahall III, who was facing felony robbery charges. Rahall III has a long record of criminal arrests and drug charges that began with his 1998 drug arrest. Another defendant in the same case was given a sentence of 11 months in prison. It also noted that according to the house ethics manual, “Official stationery...may be used only for official purposes." Rahall said that he should not have used congressional stationery for letter but said it was not the same type that he uses for official or committee business. Rahall added he may have drawn the wrong paper "[i]n the emotions" and that he would reimburse the Treasury for the cost. The House Ethics Committee did not launch an inquiry into the incident.
In July 2009, Rahall jumped out of a plane to show his support for the coal industry. The event was intended to show the importance of the coal industry to both West Virginia and the United States as a whole. The act confused some, who questioned the reasoning behind the jump. It was noted that Rahall is involved with coal lobbyists and also receives contributions from the airline industry.
- "Final election results: Pennsylvania through Wyoming (including U.S. territories)". USA TODAY. 1990-11-08.
- Workman, Jim (2010-11-03). "Rahall is elected to 18th straight term in Congress". The Register-Herald (Beckley, WV). Retrieved 2010-11-04.
- Neubauer, Chuck (17 June 2004). "A Sibling Symbiosis in the Capitol". Los Angeles Times.
- Hanley, Delinda. "Congressman Nick Rahall Assesses Impact Of Iraq and Israel on U.S. Elections". Washington Report on Middle East Affairs. Retrieved 21 April 2012.
- Weisman, Jonathan (2006-07-26). "Congress Cautioned On Support of Israel". washingtonpost.com. Retrieved 2010-07-12.
- "Rahall endorses Barack Obama". The Herald Dispatch. 2008-03-06. Retrieved 2013-11-18.
- http://video.msnbc.msn.com/msnbc/24604032#24604032 http://video.msnbc.msn.com/msnbc/24604032#24604032
- Lillis, Mike (2010-10-17). "Rahall takes sole credit for blocking bill to end mountaintop mining". The Hill. Retrieved 2010-10-17.
- "Rahall Proposes Mine Safety Reforms". WTRF. 2010-06-29. Retrieved 2010-10-17.
- Biggers, Jeff (9 June 2009). "Should Wilderness Society Strip US Rep. Nick Rahall of the Ansel Adams Award?". The Huffington Post.
- "U.S. HOUSE CANDIDATE CONVERSATIONS — Nick Rahall". Register Herald. Retrieved 2010-10-14.
- Dems join GOP in fight to block EPA climate rules
- http://wvmetronews.com/2013/05/01/rahall-vote-gives-opponents-ammo/ http://wvmetronews.com/2013/05/01/rahall-vote-gives-opponents-ammo/
- "Final Vote Results for Roll Call 165". Retrieved 03 November 2013.
- Brian Montopoli (21 March 2010). "Stupak to Vote Yes on Health Care Bill". CBS News.
- "Reps vote to repeal health reform". News&Sentinel.com. 17 May 2013.
- "House Vote 638 - Repeals 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'". nytimes.com.
- Full text of House Resolution 3: No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act
- "What is 'forcible rape' exactly?". The Washington Post.
- "Office of the House Clerk – Electoral Statistics". Clerk of the United States House of Representatives.
- "Election Results". Federal Election Commission.
- "General Election - November 6, 2012 -- Official Results". Secretary of State of West Virginia. Retrieved June 19, 2013.
- "Questions raised about Nick Rahall helping son". Politico. Retrieved 2010-08-12.
- "Democrat Nick Rahall misused official stationery". Associated Press. Retrieved 2010-08-13.
- Pergram, Chad (2010-08-12). "Second Congressman allegedly misuses stationary". FoxNews.com. Retrieved 2010-10-16.
- "Nick Rahall Jumps From a Plane for Coal. Here’s Why.". Washington Independent. 20 July 2009.
- Goldstein, Katherine (20 August 2009). "Rep. Nick Rahall Jumps Out Of A Plane For The Coal Lobby". The Huffington Post.
- Congressman Nick Rahall official U.S. House site
- Congressman Nick Rahall
- Nick Rahall on the Open Directory Project
- Biography at the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
- Biography, voting record, and interest group ratings at Project Vote Smart
- Financial information (federal office) at the Federal Election Commission
- Legislation sponsored at The Library of Congress
|United States House of Representatives|
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from West Virginia's 4th congressional district
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from West Virginia's 3rd congressional district
|Chairman of House Natural Resources Committee
|United States order of precedence (ceremonial)|
|United States Representatives by seniority