Hillary Clinton   DEMOCRAT

U.S. Secretary of State
 Hillary Clinton biography:
Hillary Rodham Clinton was elected to the United States Senate by the people of New York on November 7, 2000, after decades of public service on behalf of children and families.

A strong advocate for New York, Hillary works with communities across the state to strengthen the economy and to expand opportunity. She is the first New Yorker ever to serve on the Senate Armed Services Committee, working to see that America’s military has the necessary resources to protect our national security. And Hillary supports a return to fiscal responsibility, because she knows that wise national economic policies are essential to protect America’s future.

Senator Clinton also serves on the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee; the Environment and Public Works Committee; and the Special Committee on Aging. She chairs the Senate Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee, which is responsible for communicating with the public about key issues before Congress.

After the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, Hillary worked with her colleagues to secure the funds New York needed to recover and rebuild . She fought to provide compensation to the families of the victims, grants for hard-hit small businesses, and health care for front line workers at Ground Zero. And she continues to work for resources that enable New York to grow, to improve homeland security for New York and other communities, and to protect all Americans from future attacks. She has introduced legislation to provide for direct and threat-based homeland security funding to ensure that first responders and high-target communities have the resources they need.

In 2004, Senator Clinton was asked by the Department of Defense to serve as the only Senate member of the Transformation Advisory Group to the Joint Forces Command. She has visited troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, at Fort Drum in New York, home of the 10th Mountain Division and other New York bases, as well as at Walter Reed Military Hospital, to learn first hand the challenges facing American combat forces. She is an original sponsor of legislation that expanded health benefits to members of the National Guard and Reserves.

Continuing her work for children and families in the Senate, Hillary led efforts to ensure the safety of prescription drugs for children, with legislation now included in the Best Pharmaceuticals for Children Act; worked to strengthen the Children’s Health Insurance Program which increased coverage for children in low income and working families, and helps schools address environmental hazards.

Senator Clinton continues to work to increase access to health care. She authored legislation that has been enacted to improve recruitment and retention of nurses, to improve quality and lower the cost of prescription drugs, and to protect our food supply from bioterrorism. She sponsored legislation to increase America’s commitment against Global AIDS, and is now leading the fight for expanded use of information technology in the health care system to decrease administrative costs and reduce medical errors.

To help businesses expand, Senator Clinton co-sponsored legislation enacted in 2004 to extend tax credits to communities that can help businesses in regions designated as Renewal Communities. She has sponsored conferences and business development tours throughout the state, aimed at attracting new investment; introduced legislation to increase access to broadband technology in rural areas; and serves as Honorary Chair of the Advisory Committee for New Jobs for New York.

Hillary has spoken clearly about the importance of protecting our constitutional rights, respecting such landmark Supreme Court decisions as Roe v. Wade. Her commitment to supporting Roe and working to reduce the number of abortions, by reducing the number of unwanted pregnancies, was hailed by the New York Times as “frank talk...(and) a promising path.” Hillary is one of the original cosponsors of the Prevention First Act to increase access to family planning.

Hillary is strongly committed to making sure that every American has the right to vote in fair, accessible, and credible elections -and that every vote must be counted. She has introduced the Count Every Vote Act of 2005 to provide a verified paper ballot for every vote cast in electronic voting machines; set a uniform standard for provisional ballots, and require the Federal Election Assistance Commission to issue standards that ensure uniform access to voting machines and election personnel in every community. Because the Republican Congress has been unwilling to deal with this issue, Hillary is working with advocacy groups and citizen volunteers to build the demand for action.

Hillary was born in Chicago, Illinois on October 26, 1947, the daughter of Dorothy Rodham and the late Hugh Rodham. Her father was a small businessman, and Hillary has often spoken of learning from her experience with the family business. After graduating from Wellesley College and Yale Law School, she practiced law in Arkansas.

Hillary was appointed by President Jimmy Carter in 1977 to chair the United States Legal Services Corporation, and also served as head of the American Bar Association Committee on Women in the Profession. She was Chair of the Board of the Children’s Defense Fund, a national advocacy group for the interests of children, from 1986-1991.

Senator Clinton is married to former President William J. Clinton and they have a daughter, Chelsea. The Clintons live in Chappaqua, New York. President Clinton now heads the William J. Clinton Foundation, focused on the international battle against HIV/AIDS; racial, ethnic and religious reconciliation; economic empowerment of poor people; and citizen service. He was appointed by President George W. Bush to serve with former President H. W. Bush as a special Presidential Delegation to build support for tsunami relief, and was appointed Special Envoy by the Secretary-General of the United Nations for tsunami-affected countries.

As First Lady of the United States from 1993-2001, Hillary led efforts to make adoption easier and increase support for families in the adoption and foster care system; to increase funding for breast cancer research and treatment and for children’s vaccinations; and to make education, health care, and economic opportunity available for women and girls around the world. As keynote speaker at the United Nations Fifth International Conference on Women, in Beijing China, she spoke for the rights of women and girls around the world, saying “Women’s rights are human rights and human rights are women's rights."

Hillary's leadership as First Lady was recognized by the many awards she received, including: the Elie Wiesel Foundation Humanitarian Award; Martin Luther King Jr. Award, Progressive National Baptist Convention; Family Circle Woman Who Makes a Difference Lifetime Achievement Award; National Federation of Black Women Business Owners, Black Women of Courage Award; National Association of Elementary School Principals Distinguished Service Award; Save the Children Distinguished Service Award, The National Council for Adoption, "For advocacy on behalf of adoption"; Henrietta Szold Award, Hadassah; and the Irish American Peace Prize, by Irish American Democrats.

Since being elected to the Senate, her awards for public service include: The Secretary of Defense Medal for Outstanding Public Service, United States Department of Defense; President’s Award, League of United Latin American Citizens; Senator of the Year, National Multiple Sclerosis Society; The Military Order of the Purple Heart, in recognition of her initiative and perseverance in assisting the Military Order of the Purple Heart; National Hispanic Medical Association, for leadership in improving the health of Hispanics; Woman of Steel, Role Model of the Year, United Steel Workers of America; the 2004 Women in Politics Award, The National Hispana Leadership Institute; International Women’s Philanthropy Award by the Lion of Judah Conference, of Combined Jewish Philanthropies; the Cesar E. Chavez Award of the Cesar E. Chavez Foundation; and the Distinguished Bridge Builder Award, Leon H. Sullivan Foundation.

Hillary's memoir, Living History, was published in June, 2003 and has now sold more than 3 million copies. She has also written It Takes a Village: and Other Lessons Children Teach Us; Dear Socks, Dear Buddy: Kids Letters to the First Pets; and An Invitation to the White House, a tribute to the historic home of the nation's First Families.
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