Congressman John W. Olver has represented the 1st Congressional District spanning Berkshire, Hampden, Hampshire, Franklin, Worcester and Middlesex Counties—since June 1991.
Congressman Olver is currently the only member from the Massachusetts delegation serving on the House Appropriations Committee.
In 2007, his colleagues named him the Chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development and related agencies. This panel has jurisdiction of the Department of Transportation, including the Federal Aviation, Federal Highway Administration, Federal Transit Administration, Federal Railroad Administration and Amtrak. The Subcommittee also is responsible for the annual budgets of the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
In 2003, he was named to the Interior, Environment and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee. This panel has jurisdiction over the National Park Service, Fish and Wildlife Service, Forest Service, and all land conservation, habitat restoration and water management activities conducted by the Department of Interior. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the research programs promoting energy efficiency, renewable energy and alternative fuels and the Department of Energy, plus the National Endowment for the Arts and Humanities, are also funded annually by the Interior Environment Subcommittee.
In 2007, John Olver was named to the Energy and Water Development Appropriations Subcommittee. This panel has jurisdiction over the Department of Energy, the Army Corps of Engineers and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, among other agencies.
In his capacity as Senior Whip for the Democratic Caucus, Olver also plays a critical role in the development and communication of policy issues.
Since his appointment to the Appropriations Committee, Olver's chief objective has been to obtain funding for economic development projects at home that spur new business opportunities in central and western Massachusetts. Protecting the environment, increasing worker rights and benefits, expanding access to affordable health care, and improving education likewise are top priorities.
Olver's public service career began in 1969 in the Massachusetts State House representing a section of Hampshire County. Beginning in 1973, he served 18 years in the Massachusetts State Senate representing portions of Franklin, Hampshire, Hampden, and Berkshire Counties. On June 25, 1991, Olver was sworn in to the U.S. House of Representatives to complete the term of the late Rep. Silvio O. Conte.
Prior to his tenure in the Massachusetts State House, Olver was a chemistry professor at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
Olver earned his B.A. from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, his M.A. from Tufts University, and his Ph.D. in chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Olver was born on September 3, 1936, in Honesdale, Pennsylvania, where he grew up on a farm with his brother and sister. Olver and his wife Rose, a psychology and women's and gender studies professor at Amherst College, have lived in Amherst since 1963. They have one daughter, Martha.