Speaker Profile

Congressman Nick Rahall

Third Congressional District of West Virginia

Congressman Nick Rahall represents the Third Congressional District of West Virginia. First elected in 1976, he is currently serving his 13th term.

Rahall is well known for his expertise in national policies relating to transportation, and infrastructure, energy and the environment. In addition, he is a tireless fighter for the Appalachian Regional Commission, black lung benefits, veterans benefits, and mine health and safety issues. In the House of Representatives, Rahall serves on the Committee on Resources where he is the Ranking Democratic Member and the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure where he is the second senior Democrat.

In the area of transportation and infrastructure, Rahall is a national leader in the development of federal highway and transit legislation. During the 103rd Congress, he chaired the House Subcommittee on Surface Transportation and was the Ranking Democratic Member on the Ground Transportation Subcommittee during the 104th through 106th Congresses. Rahall currently serves on three panels of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee: Highways and Transit (senior Democratic member), Railroads, and Aviation.

Rahall is a Congressional leader on mining-related issues. He also took on the cause of greater protections for coalfield citizens by twice spearheading legislation to extend the Abandoned Mine Reclamation program, which provides funds to combat health, safety and environmental threats from old mine sites.

In other areas related to mining and minerals, Rahall is the sponsor of legislation to promote the remining of lands previously mined for coal, the Coalbed Methane Development Program, the reauthorization of the Mining and Mineral Resources Research Institute program, the Rahall/Byrd amendment to the Export-Import Bank Reauthorization prohibiting the financing of foreign mining ventures and the National Geologic Mapping Act of 1992.

Numerous State and national organizations have recognized Congressman Rahall for his work. For his work on environmental issues, he is the recipient of the 1997 Citizen’s Coal Council award, the 1996 "Keeper of the Flame Award" presented in 1996 by Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt and the 1990 "Friend of the Earth Award" for his work on protecting the coalfield environment, the Sierra Club’s 1988 "Seneca Award" for Outstanding Environmental Stewardship and American River's 1988 "River Conservation Award."

In the area of transportation, Rahall has received the American Road & Transportation Builders Association’s 1997 Public Service Award and the 1996 Highway Safety Leader Award. Diverse organizations such as the National Association of Home Care, the West Virginia Home Health Council, the West Virginia Credit Union and the American Federation of Government Employees of West Virginia have also recognized Rahall’s public service.

A 33rd degree Mason, Rahall is a life member of the National Rifle Association, Elks, Moose, and the NAACP. Before his election to the Congress, Rahall served as a staff assistant to U.S. Senator Robert C. Byrd, and as a businessman. Congressman Rahall has three children: Rebecca, Nick Joe, III and Suzanne Nicole.

Profile as of 6/22/2001