Congressman Jake Auchincloss announced his intention to seek a third term to represent the Massachusetts 4th Congressional District at Troy City Brewery in Fall River on Sunday.

Also in attendance were Fall River Mayor Paul Coogan, Bristol County District Attorney Tom Quinn, State Reps Carole Fiola, Alan Silvia and Carol Doherty, and members of the Fall River City Council and School Committee.

The Massachusetts 4th contains the SouthCoast communities of Fall River, Swansea, Somerset, Lakeville, Freetown, the northern Bristol County cities of Taunton and Attleboro, and moves its way up to the Boston suburbs of Brookline and Auchincloss’ hometown of Newton, where he served as a city councilor before his election to Congress. 

"He's a working Congressman who cares about his district," Coogan told the crowd. "He gets involved with the big issues when he's in Washington, but up here he works with us on roads, highway, and bridges the things we need to make Fall River a better place to live."

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Auchincloss began his speech by discussing his frequent travels between Washington D.C. and his district in Massachusetts.

"My job, according to my three-year-old son is to ride airplanes and elevators," Auchincloss joked to the crowd. "That actually is a part of my job, but the higher calling, the honor of a lifetime, is to be your voice in Congress at a moment of volatility and uncertainty that exceeds any in memory."

During his address to the attendees, Auchincloss slammed the Republican Party and their leading 2024 presidential candidate, former President Donald Trump.

"We see Republican seditionists right now try to sacrifice our Constitution on the altar of a cult of personality," he said.

Early in his career, Auchincloss was thrust into a position of legislative prominence, earning a seat on the House Transportation Committee which crafted the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, and being tapped as Vice Chair of the House Financial Services Committee. 

He touted the passage of the Bipartisan infrastructure law as well as other major Democratic legislative victories such as the American Rescue Plan Act, the Chips and Science Act, and the Inflation Reduction Act.

"Collectively this legislation invests in a clean energy, manufacturing, and infrastructure renaissance that lay the foundation for better jobs and lower costs," Auchincloss said. "In particular here in Fall River, that help support the infrastructure improvements to redevelop the waterfront, to build more housing, and to improve public safety."

Following the speech, Auchincloss fielded questions from the crowd. The first question was asked by North Attleboro Town Manager Michael Borg, who asked what Congress is doing to help the growing number of migrants sheltering in cities and towns throughout the Commonwealth get permits to work.

"Congressman, I need your help," Borg said.

Auchincloss acknowledged that Congress is to blame for the country's immigration woes. He said in the short term he and his fellow Massachusetts federal delegates are pressuring the Department of Homeland Security to expedite work permits and secure federal funding to help with the shelter and services programming.

In the medium term, the congressman pointed to a bipartisan immigration reform legislation he has cosponsored, which he defined as "chock full of compromises" but he argues makes significant strides toward fixing the U.S.'s broken immigration policy.

"We need to get a vote on it ASAP, and I think it would be a top priority of the president in his second term," Auchincloss said.

In the long term, the Congressman said they need to work with the migrants' countries of origin to raise their standards of living so that their residents aren't compelled to make the dangerous intrepid to the United States.

The 35-year-old Marine veteran has positioned himself as one of the more outspoken members of Congress on matters abroad. He sits on the House Select Committee on China, and has been a vocal supporter of the U.S. efforts to support Ukraine in their fight against Russia and Israel’s military efforts to root out Hamas following their recent spate of violent attacks on the Israeli people.

Auchincloss echoed these sentiments to the crowd when a member of the audience challenged him on his positions, arguing that the president is not asking for troops, but asking for resources.

"(President Joe Biden is) saying 'Let's support our allies who share our values and who are looking to our strength, our leadership, and our arms to help them fight against the enemies of Democracy whether they be terrorists, totalitarians, or tyrants,'" Auchincloss said.

The second-term Congressman won his seat when it was vacated by former Rep. Joe Kennedy III in 2020. He prevailed in a hotly contested Democratic primary and a decisive general election victory over Republican Julie Hall. He was the only Massachusetts Congressperson to run unopposed in both the primary and general election in 2022.

WBSM's Top SouthCoast Stories 10/9-10/15

Gallery Credit: Ariel Dorsey

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