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MAURICE HINCHEY Printer Friendly Page
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  • Congressman representing the 22nd District of New York, the Catskills
  • Member of the Progressive Caucus
  • Advocate of restoring the so-called “Fairness Doctrine” to radio broadcasting

Maurice Hinchey is a Democratic Member of Congress who represents the 22nd District of New York.

Born in October 1938 in New York City, Hinchey enlisted in the Navy at age 18. After completing his military service, he spent two years working as a laborer in a cement factory. He then attended the State University of New York at New Paltz, graduating in 1968. He subsequently found work as an analyst for the state education department.

In 1974 Hinchey won election to the New York State Assembly, where he would serve nine terms and help to pass more than 600 bills. He first ran for a seat in the U.S. Congress in 1992 and won by a three-percent margin; he has been re-elected every two years since then.

Described by political analyst Michael Barone as “one of the most liberal” members of Congress, Hinchey belongs to the Progressive Caucus in the House of Representatives. Americans for Democratic Action consistently rates his voting record as 95 to 100 percent on the left side of legislation.

During his congressional career, Hinchey has voted:
  • against the development of a national missile defense system;
  • against the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2001;
  • in favor of the post-9/11 anti-terrorism measure known as the Patriot Act;
  • against allowing the U.S. government to use electronic surveillance to investigate suspected terrorist operatives;
  • against a bill permitting the government to combat potential terrorist threats by monitoring foreign electronic communications which are routed through the United States;
  • against an October 2002 joint resolution authorizing U.S. military action in Iraq;
  • against the establishment of military commissions to try enemy combatants captured in the war on terror;
  • in favor of withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq immediately and by a preordained date;
  • against President Bush’s 2007 decision to deploy some 21,500 additional U.S. soldiers in an effort to quell the violent insurgents in Iraq;
  • in favor of a proposal to expedite the transfer of all prisoners in the Guantanamo Bay detention center;
  • against requiring hospitals to report (to the federal government) illegal aliens who receive emergency medical treatment;
  • against separate proposals calling for the construction of some 700 miles of fencing to prevent illegal immigration along America's southern border;
  • against a proposal to grant state and local officials the authority to investigate, identify, and arrest illegal immigrants;
  • against major tax cut proposals in September 1998February 2000March 2000July 2000May 2001May 2003October 2004, and May 2006;
  • against separate welfare reform bills designed to move people off the welfare rolls and into paying jobs;
  • in favor of prohibiting oil and gas exploration in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR);
  • against a proposal to fund offshore oil exploration along the Outer Continental Shelf.
  • against a proposal to implement school vouchers in Washington, DC; and
  • in favor of a proposal to continue racial preferences in college admissions

In 2003 Hinchey co-sponsored legislation to reduce or end U.S. economic sanctions against, and travel restrictions to, Communist Cuba.

Though he is a Roman Catholic, Hinchey has a 100 percent pro-choice voting record, according to the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL).

In the immediate aftermath of the 2004 presidential election, Hinchey was one of the 31 House members who held that the electoral votes from Ohio (a state that was won by Republican George W. Bush) had been invalidated by "election irregularities" and thus should not be counted.

Hinchey is a leading advocate of restoring the so-called “Fairness Doctrine” to radio broadcasting, a move that analysts predict would stifle predominantly-conservative talk radio.

Two of Hinchey's biggest campaign contributors have been the American Association for Justice (formerly known as the Association of Trial Lawyers of America) and the Service Employees International Union.


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