Born and raised in New Mexico, Rep. Ben Ray Luján grew up in Nambe, a small farming community north of Santa Fe bordered by the pueblos of Nambe and Pojoaque. There he learned the time-honored traditions and values of New Mexico.
Since he was sworn into Congress, job creation, reforming health insurance, building a clean energy economy, and standing up for consumers have been key priorities for Rep. Luján.
He has stood up for New Mexicans who are struggling in these difficult economic times by voting to provide tax cuts for families and small businesses, working to reform our broken health insurance system, and fighting to reform Wall Street. He has worked for the people of New Mexico’s 3rd Congressional District, passing legislation that invests in scientific research at New Mexico’s national laboratories, fighting for Tribal Colleges and Universities and Hispanic Serving Institutions in the America COMPETES Act, and advocating for tribal communities by improving infrastructure, education, and health care.
Rep. Luján represents his diverse district by participating in a variety of Caucuses including the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, the Native American Caucus, and the Natural Gas Caucus.
Rep. Luján sits on the Energy and Commerce Committee, which enables him to serve the many needs of the district which spans from San Juan County in the Northwest to Roosevelt County in the Southeast – and the treasured lands in between.
As a member of Communications and Technology Subcommittee, Rep. Luján is working to expand broadband access in rural communities and see that new opportunities are created through increased access to the latest technological advances. From his position on the Health Subcommittee, Luján is focusing on increased access to health care, reducing health disparities, and addressing drug abuse that has impacted too many families in New Mexico.
At the beginning of the 112th Congress, Rep. Luján, together with co-chair Frank Wolf of Virginia, founded the bipartisan Technology Transfer Caucus to bring together members who share the goal of strengthening our economy by helping move technological innovations that are occurring at New Mexico’s national labs and universities into the marketplace. Luján will also serve as a co-chair of the bipartisan National Labs Caucus, which will raise awareness about the importance of the national labs to the long-term economic vitality and security of the nation.
At the beginning of the 113th Congress, Rep. Luján was appointed to the House Democratic Leadership as a Chief Deputy Whip. In this position, he is promoting the Democratic agenda to create jobs and build a brighter future for all Americans. At the end of 2014, Luján was named Chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and will serve in this role during the 114th Congress.
Prior to his election to Congress, Rep. Luján served as the Chairman of the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission. As a Commissioner, Rep. Luján worked with his colleagues to develop a renewable portfolio standard to increase renewable energy production by New Mexico utilities to 20 percent of their total production by 2020 and to diversify utilities’ renewable portfolios to include solar energy. On behalf of the state of New Mexico, Rep. Luján joined his fellow Commissioners from California, Oregon, and Washington to sign onto the Joint Action Framework on Climate Change to create regional solutions to climate change.
With the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission, Rep. Luján advocated for first responders. He worked with firefighters, the state legislature, and other officials to overhaul the New Mexico Fire Fund so that all distributions from the fund would go to improving fire services in New Mexico.
Rep. Luján also worked to improve health care as a member of the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission by investigating the denial practices of the health insurance industry. The investigation led to the development of legislation that expanded access to insurance and closed loopholes the industry had been using to unfairly deny medical claims and void policies. Prior to that, he served as New Mexico Cultural Affairs Department’s director of administrative services and chief financial officer.
Rep. Luján earned his Bachelor’s degree from New Mexico Highlands University in Business Administration