Chris Van Hollen (D-MD-8)i

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Chris Van Hollen Congressman Maryland District 8

House links: Chris Van Hollen (D-MD-8)i

Campaign links: Chris Van Hollen (D-MD-8)i


Christopher “Chris” Van Hollen, Jr.

Chris Van Hollen Congressional Candidate Maryland District 8


Chris Van Hollen Biography from


Congressman Chris Van Hollen was elected to Congress in 2002 in a high-profile election that received national attention. He quickly earned a reputation as an active, engaged, and effective member of Congress, rising to become one of the youngest members of the Democratic leadership in 2008. In addition to representing the Eighth District of Maryland and serving in House leadership, Congressman Van Hollen was elected by his colleagues in 2010 to serve as the top Democrat on the House Budget Committee. In this position, he is working to advance policies that support job creation and economic growth, reduce the deficit, and put America on a path to long-term fiscal sustainability.

The Washington Post named Chris Van Hollen one of “10 members to watch in the 112th Congress.” Roll Call has noted that “Van Hollen gets near-universal respect from his colleagues for his intellectual firepower and combination of policy and political chops.”

Congressman Van Hollen is a tireless advocate for Maryland in Congress, and his leadership has helped to obtain funding for a wide range of critical investments in our community, including infrastructure, biotechnology and education; public transportation in the Washington National Capital area; and anti-gang initiatives. Congressman Van Hollen was recognized by Washingtonian Magazine as the ‘Best Metro Area Member of Congress’ in 2010 and as the ‘Best Local Elected Official’ by Bethesda Magazine in 2008.

Throughout his career, Congressman Van Hollen has been a champion of education, energy, the environment, health care, and civil rights. He is a leader on cleaning up the Chesapeake Bay, and fought successfully to obtain a historic boost in federal funds for the Bay as part of the Farm Bill and to secure provisions in the Recovery Act that provided loan guarantees for renewable energy projects. He also played an integral role in the effort to pass comprehensive health care reform and fought to ensure that young adults receive expanded access to health insurance. He has been a staunch advocate for critical government reforms. He led the fight to pass far-reaching lobbying disclosure reform and has been a key supporter of whistleblower protections. A former professional staff member on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Congressman Van Hollen has a strong background in national security policy. He lived and studied abroad in South Asia and has remained active in issues related to U.S. foreign policy in that region and around the world.

Congressman Van Hollen has received numerous leadership awards for his legislative activities, including the Chesapeake Climate Action Network’s “Climate Champion of the Year” award for his contribution to clean-energy policies; the “Community Health Superhero Award” from the National Association of Community Health Centers for his efforts on behalf of the uninsured and medically underserved Americans; the Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce’s “Legislator of the Year” award; Progressive Maryland’s “Champion of Working Families” award; the Maryland Executive Council for Educational Opportunities’ “Excellence in Educational Advocacy” award; and the Multiple Sclerosis Society’s “Representative of the Year” award.

Before his election to the U.S. House of Representatives, Congressman Van Hollen served 4 years in the Maryland House of Delegates and 8 years in the Maryland Senate. His legislative record in Annapolis earned him the praise of The Washington Post, which called him “one of the most effective members of the Maryland legislature.” He is a graduate of Swarthmore College, the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and Georgetown University Law Center. He lives in Kensington, Maryland with his wife, Katherine, and their three children, Anna, Nicholas, and Alexander.


Biography of Chris Van Hollen from Van Hollen For Congress


Congressman Chris Van Hollen was born January 10, 1959, the son of a U.S. Foreign Service officer from a family with long Maryland roots. A 1982 graduate of Swarthmore College and a 1985 graduate of the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, Chris went on to work as a professional staff member on the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee while he completed night law school at Georgetown University Law Center. In 1990 Chris was elected to a seat in the Maryland House of Delegates and went on to distinguish himself in the Maryland House and then Senate where he served for 12 years. His strong legislative record in Annapolis earned him the praise of the Washington Post as “one of the most effective members of the Maryland legislature”. While a State Senator, he served as vice-chair of the Senate Budget Committee, where he made a name for himself as a champion of our public schools, the Chesapeake Bay, and people with disabilities.

Elected to the U. S. House of Representatives eight years ago, Chris Van Hollen has continued to focus his energies on strengthening our communities, fighting for improvements in health care, education and the environment, and making sure that we are growing our economy, strengthening working families and meeting our commitments to our nation’s children.

Chris has played a central role in the recent unprecedented legislative agenda of the U.S. Congress, including passage of historic Health Care Reform; Wall Street Reform and House passage of the Clean Energy Bill. He was proud to join with his colleagues in working to get America moving in the right direction through the enactment of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and related measures designed to support job growth and turn around the worst economic crisis our country has faced since the Great Depression.

A staunch believer in transparency and open government, Chris has consistently championed campaign reform efforts. Chris has also fought for stronger government accountability and transparency measures to ensure taxpayer money is being spent wisely, including efforts to reform the process by which Congress directs spending on projects.

Chris is widely recognized as a leader on energy and environmental policy. The Co-Chairman of the bipartisan Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Caucus and the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Task Force, Chris is the author of the ‘Cap-and-Dividend’ bill that would remit the auction proceeds of cap and trade to households in the form of a monthly dividend. He also introduced legislation in the last Congress to create a government-backed ‘Green Bank” to reinvigorate the market for funding renewable energy projects. He authored the National Home Energy Savings Revolving Fund Act, a federal bill that would encourage homeowners interested in shifting to energy-efficient systems in their residential homes. In 2008 Chris was proud to lead the successful effort to secure a historic increase in federal funds for Chesapeake Bay cleanup.

A tireless advocate for Maryland in the U.S. Congress, Chris’ leadership has helped to obtain funding for a wide range of projects to benefit our local community, including efforts to reduce gang violence; address traffic mitigation around federal properties in the local area; invest in science, biotechnology, and education; and improve public transportation in the suburban Maryland and National Capitol area.

Chris has been recognized by numerous organizations for his leadership and advocacy on a wide range of issues. He was recognized in July 2010 by Washingtonian Magazine as the ‘Best Metro Area Member of Congress’ and in 2008 as the ‘Best Local Elected Official” by Bethesda Magazine. He is the 2009 recipient of the Champion for Working Families Award from Progressive Maryland and the 2009 Legislator of the Year Award from the Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce. He has also been honored with the 1st Annual Climate Champion of the Year Award from the Chesapeake Climate Action Network for his contribution to clean energy policies, and the Community Health Superhero Award from the National Association of Community Health Centers for his efforts on behalf of the nearly 15 million uninsured and medically underserved Americans that rely on Community Health Centers for vital primary care services. He has consistently been recognized by the National Education Association for his support of education issues and the American Association of University Women for his attentiveness to special issues facing education of women and girls.

In addition, Chris is proud to have received a number of awards from organizations committed to the mental and physical health of our citizens, including Easter Seals of the Greater Washington-Baltimore Region, the Multiple Sclerosis Society, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, the National Breast Cancer Coalition, the Mental Health Association of Maryland, Blinded American Veterans, the National Down Syndrome Society and many others.

Chris Van Hollen continues to work tirelessly in Congress for America and the people of the 8th District. A long time resident of Kensington, Maryland, Chris and his wife Katherine are the proud parents of Anna (20), Nicholas (18) and Alexander (14).

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