Congressman William R. (Bill) Keating was elected to the United States House of Representatives on November 2, 2010 – one of only nine new Democratic Members to be elected to the 112th Congress. He represents Massachusetts’ 9th Congressional District, which encompasses the state’s South Shore, South Coast, Cape Cod and the Islands of Martha’s Vineyard, and Nantucket.
In Congress, Bill has established himself as a hardworking civil servant and passionate advocate for the people of Massachusetts – a reputation he had earned since his days in the State’s legislature. Bill’s legislative priorities reflect a keen understanding of the issues facing his constituents and a commitment to addressing them: working to create jobs by supporting our small businesses and increasing educational opportunities; strengthening our middle class families; improving our domestic security; providing our senior population with the resources they need; ensuring our veterans receive the benefits they deserve; and protecting our unique ecosystems.
Bill is a senior member on both the House Foreign Affairs and Homeland Security Committees – the only representative from the Commonwealth to serve on those committees. Through his work, he has cemented his role as one of the lead national security experts in Congress. Bill serves as Ranking Member on the Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade Subcommittee of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, as well as an active member of the Europe, Eurasia and Emerging Threats Subcommittee. On the Homeland Security Committee, he examines threats to our national security as a member of the Counterterrorism and Intelligence Subcommittee, and has oversight of our nation’s aviation security, mass transit systems, and railroads as a member of the Subcommittee on Transportation Security.
Bill is the leading voice in promoting information-sharing following the Boston Marathon Bombings and has facilitated the Homeland Security Committee’s review into the terrorist act. He has continued his work to combat evolving terrorist threats from groups like ISIL and al Qaeda by focusing on the recruitment and travel of foreign fighters to and from areas of conflict, and how we prevent these violent extremists from traveling to America. In an attempt to target these terrorist groups from every angle, Bill introduced legislation that would curb the illegal sale of stolen antiquities – one of the top sources of revenue for terrorist organizations.
His other notable Congressional achievements include renewing the national focus on perimeter security in our nation’s airports – an issue on which he is the leading voice, and introducing first-of its kind legislation aimed at curbing the growing prescription drug epidemic by requiring pharmaceutical companies to make these medicines tamper-resistant. Further, he worked to secure a new cybersecurity mission at Joint Base Cape Cod, not only creating local jobs and strengthening our district’s economy, but strengthening our national security as well. Bill has introduced legislation to make nuclear power plants safer by promptly removing waste into storage units and to protect fishing communities by establishing shore-side support services and provide funding for science and research. He has successfully secured federal funding for the district to aid workforce development, coastal resiliency, education, and public safety projects, among others.
Prior to being elected to the United States House of Representatives, Bill had already exemplified a life of public service and a commitment to the state of Massachusetts. Born in Norwood, he is the proud grandson of Irish immigrants and was instilled with the work ethic and principles inspired by them and his father, who served his community as a police officer and then as a veterans agent. Bill attended Boston College where he received his B.A. and Masters in Business Administration. To put himself through college and his graduate program, he worked as a letter carrier for the United States Postal Service.
In 1977, at the age of 23, Bill was elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives. While serving in the State House, he entered Suffolk University Law School and became a member of the state bar in 1985. The same year, he began serving in the Massachusetts State Senate, where he served as Senate Chairman of the Joint Committee on the Judiciary, the Joint Committee on Public Safety, and the Joint Committee on Taxation, respectively. He also served as the Senate Chairman of the standing Committee on Steering and Policy.
Bill was then elected to be Norfolk District Attorney, a position he held from 1999 until his election to Congress. As a District Attorney, he pursued some of Massachusetts’ toughest cases. He was instrumental in programs targeted to increase community-based crime prevention, prevent senior abuse, reduce incidents of domestic violence, provide post-traumatic stress disorder services for veterans, stop bullying in our schools, and keep drugs off our streets.
Under his leadership, the Norfolk District Attorney’s office became the first in Massachusetts to win a murder conviction in a case that lacked a victim’s body. During this time, Bill also became one of the founding members of the Norfolk Advocates for Children, a public-private partnership whose mission is to aid abused children.
Bill and his wife, Tevis, reside in Bourne and are the proud parents of two children, Kristen and Patrick.