|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives|
from Indiana's 7th district
|Assumed office |
March 11, 2008
|Preceded by||Julia Carson|
|Member of the |
Indianapolis City-County Council
from the 15th district
October 2007 – March 13, 2008
|Preceded by||Patrice Abduallah|
|Succeeded by||Doris Minton-McNeill|
|Born||October 16, 1974|
Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S.
|Education||Concordia University Wisconsin (BA)|
Indiana Wesleyan University (MS)
André D. Carson (born October 16, 1974) is the U.S. Representative for Indiana's 7th congressional district, in office since a special election in 2008. The district includes the southern four-fifths of Indianapolis, including downtown. He is a member of the Democratic Party.
He is the grandson of his predecessor, former U.S. Representative Julia Carson (1938–2007). Carson was the second Muslim to be elected to the United States Congress, following Keith Ellison of Minnesota in 2006.
Early life, family, religion, education, and early career
André Carson was born and raised in Indianapolis. He graduated from Arsenal Technical High School in Indianapolis and received a bachelor of arts degree in criminal justice and management from Concordia University Wisconsin (2003), and a master of science degree in business management from Indiana Wesleyan University in Marion, Indiana (2005). At a young age, Carson's interest in public service was shaped by his grandmother, the late Congresswoman Julia Carson. Carson grew up in a rough neighborhood, and he credits that experience for shaping his policy views on issues like education, public safety and economic opportunity.
From 1996 to 2005, Carson worked as a compliance officer for the Indiana State Excise Police, the law enforcement arm of the Indiana Alcohol and Tobacco Commission. He was later employed in the anti-terrorism division of Indiana's Department of Homeland Security and then as a marketing specialist for Cripe Architects + Engineers in Indianapolis. He served as a member of the Indianapolis/Marion city-county council from 2007 to 2008.
In December 2007, Carson's grandmother, Julia Carson, who had represented Indiana's 7th District in Congress since 1997, died of lung cancer. Three months later, Carson won a special election for his grandmother's vacant seat in the House of Representatives. Carson has retained that legislative seat ever since.
Before being elected to public office, Carson was a Democratic Party Committeeperson in Indianapolis. In 2007, Carson won a special caucus of the Marion County Democratic Party to become the City-County Councilor for the 15th Council district of Indianapolis-Marion County.
Carson converted to Islam in the 1990s after his exposure to the poetry of the Sufi mystic Rumi and reading The Autobiography of Malcolm X. Before converting to Islam, Andre Carson attended a Baptist church and was educated in a Catholic school.
U.S. House of Representatives
- House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence
- House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure
Carson is a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, New Democrat Coalition, Congressional Arts Caucus, Afterschool Caucuses and was the youngest member of the Congressional Black Caucus. Among others, he is also a member of the Congressional Automotive Caucus, Cancer Action Caucus, Children's Caucus, Climate Change Caucus, Human Rights Caucus, United States Congressional International Conservation Caucus, Labor and Working Families Caucus, Study Group on Public Health, Democratic Budget Group, LGBT Equality Caucus, Military Family Caucus and Renewable/Efficient Energy Caucus. He also serves as the Congressional Black Caucus liaison to the Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition (CBC Liaison).
In the 2008 Presidential Election, Carson endorsed Senator Barack Obama in April 2008, and later won Obama's endorsement for his own May 2008 Democratic primary battle. Carson was the first member of Indiana's Congressional Delegation to announce his support for then-candidate Obama.
Tea Party controversy
On March 20, 2010, Carson told reporters that health care protesters outside the Capitol hurled racial slurs at fellow Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) member Rep. John Lewis, a Democrat from Georgia. Carson came off the House floor and told reporters his story about health care protesters hurling racial slurs during their walk from the Cannon House Office Building to the chambers. Conservative blogger Andrew Breitbart offered a $100,000 reward for any proof of these accusations. Although audio and video recordings of the protest have been posted online, no proof of the racial slurs has yet been provided, and the reward remains unclaimed.
On August 28, 2011, Carson told a gathering of supporters when referring to the Tea Party movement "This is the effort that we're seeing of Jim Crow", Carson said. "Some of these folks in Congress right now would love to see us as second-class citizens. Some of them in Congress right now of this Tea Party movement would love to see you and me... hanging on a tree." Carson declined calls to resign, reaffirming, "I stand on the truth of what I spoke", and clarified that his comments were directed at certain tea party leaders and not the tea party as a whole.
Afghanistan and Iraq
Carson believes that "American efforts to capture and kill al Qaeda terrorists have greatly diminished" because of the Iraq War. He has often stated his belief that al Qaeda and the Taliban pose the most imminent threat to the United States, and has pushed for a reduction of troops in Iraq to cover the needs of the current War in Afghanistan.
In August 2009, Carson visited American service members stationed in Iraq.
On June 26, 2009 Carson introduced the Jeremy Warriner Consumer Protection Act (H.R. 3088), which would require GM and Chrysler to carry liability insurance that would cover vehicles produced before they filed for bankruptcy in early 2009. The bill is named for Jeremy Warriner, an Indianapolis resident who lost his legs when his defective Chrysler vehicle caught fire during a car accident.
On July 24, 2008, Carson voted to pass the Tom Lantos and Henry J. Hyde United States Global Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria Reauthorization Act (H.R. 5501) which provided aid to developing countries fighting high rates of HIV/AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis. He successfully included an amendment in this bill which created "a transatlantic, technological medium of exchange that allows African scientists and American medical professionals to collaborate on the best methods for treating and preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS on the African continent."
On February 13, 2009, Carson voted to pass the H.R. 1, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, a $787 billion economic stimulus package aimed at helping the economy recover from a deepening worldwide recession. This act included increased federal spending for health care, infrastructure, education, various tax breaks and incentives, and direct assistance to individuals.
The ARRA has led to billions of dollars in investment in Carson's district, including grants to hire more police officers and save teaching jobs, and landmark investments in green technology that will create hundreds of new jobs.
Carson has stated his support for programs that improve teacher education and training, improve aging school infrastructure and increase access to affordable, secondary education.
Carson is the author of H.R. 3147, the Young Adults Financial Literacy Act, which was introduced on July 9, 2009. This legislation would establish a grant program to fund partnerships between educational institutions aimed at providing financial literacy education to young adults and families.
On September 17, 2009, Carson voted to pass H.R. 3221, the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act, which will invest in the Pell Grant program and other student financial aid programs to make college more affordable.
Carson made a speech to an Islamic group that resulted in criticism from groups when he stated that American public schools should be modeled on Islamic madrassas. He granted an interview to reporter Mary Beth Schneider of The Indianapolis Star in which he maintained his speech remarks had been taken out of context. On the same date, he issued a press release clarifying his position that no "particular faith should be the foundation of our public schools."
Energy and environment
Carson has supported investment in the development of new technologies that will reduce American dependence on foreign oil, create thousands of new jobs and begin to correct the adverse environmental effects of fossil fuels. Carson has opposed legislation to increase offshore drilling for oil or natural gas, instead promoting use of solar, wind, biofuel, biomass, and other renewable fuels.
On June 26, 2009, Carson voted to pass H.R. 2454, the American Clean Energy and Security Act, which seeks to comprehensively address the effects of climate change by funding development of alternative energy technologies and implementing a cap and trade system.
Carson has been a Member of the House Committee on Financial Services since taking office in 2008. During this time, the committee has focused on legislation addressing the American financial crisis that began in late 2007.
Carson voted to pass legislation enacting the Troubled Asset Relief Program on October 3, 2008. He has also voted to pass legislation increasing oversight over the Troubled Asset Relief Program, limiting executive pay, reforming sub-prime mortgage markets and regulating the financial industry.
Carson was a cosponsor of H.R. 627, the Credit Cardholders Bill of Rights, which sought to increase transparency and regulation in the credit card industry. This legislation was signed into law by President Obama on May 22, 2009.
Health care reform
Carson is a strong supporter of health care reform legislation that increases access to medical care for millions of uninsured Americans and provides a more stable system for those at risk of losing their health insurance. On July 30, 2009, he signed a letter from the Congressional Progressive Caucus to House leadership, calling for a robust public option to be included in any health care reform bill.
He has opposed taxes both on the medical device industry and employer provided health insurance plans as a means to pay for health care reform. Instead, he has called for finding savings in the current health system by reducing waste, fraud and abuse in the Medicare system, as well as implementing a surcharge on the wealthiest Americans as a means to cover the costs of reform. He has also voiced his opposition for health care reform legislation that increases the deficit.
Citing a high foreclosure rate in Indianapolis, Carson has named foreclosure prevention and increased affordable housing to be among his top priorities.
On May 7, 2009, Carson voted to pass the Mortgage Reform and Anti-Predatory Lending Act of 2009 (H.R. 1728), which regulates the mortgage lending industry by setting limits on types of loans offered to potential borrowers. Carson authored an amendment to this legislation that funded the distribution of information about foreclosure rescue scams through targeted mailings.
Impeachment of Donald Trump
On December 18, 2019, Carson voted for both articles of impeachment against President Donald J. Trump and was one of only two House Representatives from Indiana to do so, along with Rep. Peter Visclosky.
In 2009, Carson voted in favor of H. Res. 34 - 111th Congress, a House Resolution authored by Nancy Pelosi reaffirming Israel's right to defend itself, but later voted against H.R.769, the Safeguard Israel Act.
On July 23, 2019, Carson voted against H. Res. 246 - 116th Congress, a House Resolution introduced by Congressman Brad Schneider (D-IL-10) opposing efforts to delegitimize the State of Israel and the Global Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Movement targeting Israel. The resolution passed 398-17.
Carson is the only Member of Congress to have served in a Department of Homeland Security Fusion Center. He has voted to increase appropriations funding for the Department of Homeland Security. In 2017, Carson attended a protest, at Indianapolis International Airport against President Donald Trump's executive order to temporarily place limits on immigration until better screening methods are devised. Carson decried the executive order as being part of a "bigotry campaign" and stated "For those who want to make America great again, we have to remind them that the first article of the constitution says congress shall make no law respecting [the] establishment of religion. Make no mistake about it: This is a Muslim ban."
In 2009, Carson introduced two pieces of legislation aimed at reducing incidents of recidivism. The Recidivism Reduction Act (H.R. 2829) aims to attack the cycle of recidivism by ensuring prompt access to federal supplemental security income and Medicaid benefits for ex-offenders re-entering society and addressing the gap in mental health services. The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act would repeal federal laws that prevent drug felons from receiving TANF benefits.
In 2008, André Carson won the nominating caucus of the Marion County Democratic Party, giving him the Democratic nomination for the special election to succeed his late grandmother, Congresswoman Julia Carson. During this election, he was endorsed by U.S. Senator Evan Bayh, then-Senator Barack Obama, former Indianapolis Mayor Bart Peterson, Marion County Sheriff Frank J. Anderson, then-Representative from Indiana's 8th district Brad Ellsworth, and retired U.S. Congressman Andy Jacobs, Jr. U.S. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) and U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) contributed $4,000 each from their own campaign funds and $10,000 each from their political action committees to the Carson campaign.
Carson won the primary election with 46%, while Woody Myers received 24%, David Orentlicher received 21%, and Carolene Mays received 8%. Carson and was set to face off in the General Election against Elrod, but Elrod dropped out. Gabrielle Campo was selected by a party caucus to face the incumbent, Carson.
Carson was re-elected in November 2008 to his first full term in Congress with 65% of the vote. Since that time, Carson's hometown newspaper, The Indianapolis Star, has praised him for "going strong" in his first year in office, writing that Carson has "[proven] himself to be relentlessly positive and seriously hardworking."
In 2010, Carson again faced perennial Republican candidate Marvin Scott, who took issue with Carson's Muslim faith during the general election. However, Carson handily defeated Scott to retain his seat.
|Republican||Marvin B. Scott||55,213||37.81|
|Democratic||Andre Carson (Incumbent)||61,443||54.73|
- "Carson sworn in as congressman for 7th District". Indystar.com. Associated Press. March 13, 2008. Retrieved December 6, 2011.
- "Office of the Clerk of the U.S. House of Representative: 13 March 2008 Official lists were updated to reflect the addition of Rep. Carson, IN-07, to the rolls". Clerk.house.gov. Archived from the original on June 20, 2014. Retrieved December 6, 2011.
- "About Congressman Andre Carson". Carson.house.gov. Retrieved January 28, 2016.
- "ANDRE CARSON". DiscoverTheNetworks.org.
- "Caucus Members". Congressional Progressive Caucus. Retrieved January 30, 2018.
- "Members". New Democrat Coalition. Retrieved February 2, 2018.
- "Membership". Congressional Arts Caucus. Archived from the original on June 12, 2018. Retrieved March 13, 2018.
- "Members". Afterschool Alliance. Retrieved March 23, 2018.
- "Membership". Congressional Black Caucus. Retrieved March 7, 2018.
- "Our Members". U.S. House of Representatives International Conservation Caucus. Archived from the original on August 1, 2018. Retrieved August 1, 2018.
- "Congressman André Carson: Caucus, Coalition and Taskforce Memberships". Carson.house.gov. Retrieved December 6, 2011.
- "On the Aisle with Tom Alvarez has New Year news". January 1, 2015. Archived from the original on May 8, 2008. Retrieved April 17, 2008.
- Pickett, Kerry (April 6, 2010). "Audio: Origin of Rep. Carson's racism accusation toward health care protesters". The Washington Times. Washingtontimes.com. Retrieved December 6, 2011.
- "Racism claims reward offered". Biggovernment.com. April 26, 2010. Archived from the original on November 29, 2011. Retrieved December 6, 2011.
- Pickett, Kerry (March 20, 2010). "Video appears to dispute lawmaker's claim of protesters' racial slurs". The Washington Times. Washingtontimes.com. Retrieved December 6, 2011.
- Bendery, Jennifer (August 30, 2011). "Democratic Rep: Tea Party Would Love To See Black People 'Hanging On A Tree' (Video)". The Huffington Post. Huffingtonpost.com. Retrieved December 6, 2011.
- Wilson, Stan (August 31, 2011). "Rep. Carson defends controversial tea party slam". Cable News Network. CNN.com. Retrieved December 15, 2011.
- "Congressman André Carson: Iraq and Afghanistan". Carson.house.gov. Retrieved December 6, 2011.
- "Congressman André Carson: Nation Benefits From a Stronger GM, But Consumers Must be Protected in Process". Carson.house.gov. July 6, 2009. Retrieved December 6, 2011.
- "Congressman André Carson: Foreign Affairs". Carson.house.gov. June 26, 2009. Retrieved December 6, 2011.
- "U.S. House of Representatives Roll Call Votes 111th Congress, 1st Session (2009)". Clerk.house.gov. September 30, 2010. Retrieved December 6, 2011.
- Recovery.gov: Where is the Money Going? Archived November 20, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
- "Congressman André Carson: Education". Carson.house.gov. August 10, 2010. Retrieved December 6, 2011.
- Schneider, Mary Beth (July 6, 2012). "Carson says speech remarks taken out of context". The Indianapolis Star. Archived from the original on January 26, 2013. Retrieved July 7, 2012.
- Hibbard, Laura (July 6, 2012). "André Carson, Indiana Congressman, Says U.S. Public Schools Should Be Modeled After Islamic Schools, (Video) (Update)". The Huffington Post. Huffingtonpost.com. Retrieved July 7, 2012.
- "Congressman André Carson: Energy". Carson.house.gov. Retrieved December 6, 2011.
- "U.S. House of Representatives Roll Call Votes 110th Congress, 2nd Session (2008)". Clerk.house.gov. Retrieved December 6, 2011.
- "Congressman André Carson: Carson Votes to Establish Consumer Financial Protection Agency". Carson.house.gov. October 22, 2009. Retrieved December 6, 2011.
- "Congressman André Carson: Online Health Care Forum". Carson.house.gov. Retrieved December 6, 2011.
- "Congressman André Carson: Housing". Carson.house.gov. Retrieved December 6, 2011.
- "H.Res.34 - Recognizing Israel's right to defend itself against attacks from Gaza, reaffirming the United States' strong support for Israel, and supporting the Israeli-Palestinian peace process – 111th Congress (2009-2010)". congress.gov. United States Congress. January 9, 2009. Retrieved October 28, 2019.
- "Congressman André Carson Statement on UN Security Council Resolution on Israeli Settlements". January 5, 2017.
- "Final Vote Results for Roll Call 497". Congress.gov. July 23, 2019. Retrieved July 23, 2019.
- Bartner, Amy. "Indy airport protestors decry immigration order". Indianapolis Star. Retrieved January 30, 2017.
- "Congressman André Carson: Keeping Communities Safe Means Stopping the Revolving Door of Prison". Carson.house.gov. June 12, 2009. Retrieved December 6, 2011.
- "Congressman André Carson: Indy Secures COPS Grant Worth $11 Million". Carson.house.gov. July 29, 2009. Retrieved December 6, 2011.
- "Sen. Bayh lends support to Andre Carson". Archived from the original on February 27, 2008.
- WTHR, Dateline:Indianapolis (March 3, 2008). "Carson gets two endorsements". WTHR-TV Indianapolis, Indiana. WTHR.com. Archived from the original on March 24, 2012. Retrieved December 6, 2011.
- "Carson Leading Elrod in Cash". The Indianapolis Star. March 1, 2008.
- Scheider, Mary Beth (March 12, 2008). "Carson wins seat in 7th District race". The Indianapolis Star. Archived from the original on March 14, 2008.
- Staff, The Hill (May 7, 2008). "State by State". TheHill.
- "Elrod drops race against Andre Carson". The Indianapolis Star.
- "GOP selects a newcomer to face Carson". The Indianapolis Star.
- Tully, Matthew (March 8, 2009). "A Year Into Office Congressman Carson is Going Strong". The Indianapolis Star. Indy.com. Archived from the original on March 29, 2012. Retrieved December 6, 2011.
- Tully, Matthew (September 15, 2010). "Marvin Scott's tactics are ugly, shameless, par for the course". The Indianapolis Star. Indy.com. Archived from the original on January 27, 2011. Retrieved January 3, 2011.
- King, Mason (December 22, 2010). "Leading Questions: Carson talks Congress, whips, soft rock". Indianapolis Business Journal. Ibj.com. Retrieved January 3, 2011.
- "Secretary of State : Election Division: Election Results". Retrieved December 18, 2014.
- "Secretary of State: Election Division: Election Results". in.gov. Retrieved August 6, 2017.
- Congressman André Carson official U.S. House site
- André Carson for Congress
- André Carson at Curlie
- Biography at the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
- Profile at Vote Smart
- Financial information (federal office) at the Federal Election Commission
- Legislation sponsored at the Library of Congress
- Appearances on C-SPAN
|U.S. House of Representatives|
|Preceded by |
| Member of the U.S. House of Representatives |
from Indiana's 7th congressional district
|U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)|
|Preceded by |
| United States Representatives by seniority |