Jack Reed is the senior U.S. Senator from Rhode Island. A Democrat, he describes himself as “a champion for middle-class families, and a strong believer that all Americans should have the opportunity to build a better life.”
Reed graduated near the top of his class from the U.S. Military Academy, serving in the Army as an active officer from 1971 to 1979. He returned to West Point as an associate professor in the Department of Social Sciences. After leaving active duty, Reed enrolled in Harvard Law School, where he earned his J.D.
Reed was elected to the state Senate and then to the U.S. House. Rhode Island Monthly described him as “the hardest of workers who tirelessly researches issues and keeps himself in the know.” In 1996 he was elected to the U.S. Senate, garnering 63% of the vote.
Reed is a champion of Medicare and preventive healthcare. He supports enrolling more Americans into programs that help the uninsured, allowing prescription drugs to be purchased from Canada and negotiating bulk medication purchases for Medicare. He is a strong supporter of unionizing workers and has criticized government and business interference with these groups. He supports increasing the minimum wage and unemployment compensation. Reed is strongly in favor of reproductive and LGBT rights. He voted against loosening background checks for guns purchased at gun shows. He opposes Arctic National Wildlife Refuge drilling and federal subsidies for oil exploration.
Jack Reed and his wife, Julia Hart Reed, have a daughter, Emily.