Meet Ben Ray
New Mexico Values
Ben Ray was born and raised in New Mexico, growing up in the small community of Nambe. Since joining Congress in 2009, he has worked to get our economy back on track, supported health insurance reform, worked to reform Wall Street, stood up for consumers by cosponsoring the Credit Cardholders’ Bill of Rights, and fought keep student loan rates down.
Standing Up For New Mexicans
Prior to his election to Congress in November 2008, Ben Ray served as the chairman of the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission where he represented North Eastern, North Central and Central New Mexico.
On the PRC, Ben Ray fought to improve health care for New Mexicans by investigating the health-insurance industry’s denial practices and spearheading development of legislation that expands access to insurance and closes loopholes. The industry had been using these loopholes to unfairly deny medical claims and void policies. Ben Ray also took on Qwest when they refused to honor their promise to invest in New Mexico.
As a leading proponent of renewable energy on the PRC, Ben Ray worked to increase renewable energy production by New Mexico utilities to 20 percent of their total production by 2020. He also pushed to diversify the renewable portfolio to include solar energy. With his colleagues in California, Oregon and Washington, Ben Ray signed on to the Joint Action Framework on Climate Change on behalf of the state of New Mexico, bringing states together to fight global warming and change the way they generated energy.
Before his election to the PRC, Ben Ray served as the New Mexico Cultural Affairs Department’s director of administrative services and chief financial officer. He also served as deputy state treasurer. Ben Ray earned his Bachelor’s degree from New Mexico Highlands University in Business Administration.
Taking the Fight to Congress
Since joining Congress, Ben Ray Luján has continued to stand up for New Mexicans. When credit card companies tried to take advantage of consumers, Ben Ray stood up to them and cosponsored the Credit Card Holder’s Bill of Rights. When insurance companies sought to drop sick patients and deny coverage to those with pre-existing conditions, Ben Ray fought to reform health insurance and end these bad practices. When Wall Street refused to end the practices that got us into an economic mess, Ben Ray took on Wall Street. He even added an amendment to help stop “too big to fail”.
Ben Ray Luján knows that New Mexicans are struggling, and he’s working to create and keep jobs in New Mexico. He supported the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which saved jobs for thousands of New Mexicans, including teachers, police officers and firefighters. And the legislation provided the largest middle class tax cut ever. Ben Ray also co-chairs the bipartisan Tech Transfer Caucus, which focuses on how to strengthen our economy by helping move innovations occurring at our national labs and universities into the marketplace.
Protecting New Mexico’s treasured natural resources and traditions are also of great importance. A leading voice in the House in the fight against climate change, Ben Ray understands the devastating impact that drought and wildfires have had in New Mexico. Additionally, Ben Ray introduced language to support New Mexico’s acequia associations, allowing them to be eligible for federal funds.
A member of House leadership, Ben Ray Luján sits on the Energy and Commerce Committee where he works on issues related to clean energy, improving broadband access, and expanding access to quality health care.