BioA forceful advocate for families, children, consumers, the environment, and her State of California, Barbara Boxer became a United States Senator in January 1993 after 10 years of service in the House of Representatives and six years on the Marin County Board of Supervisors. Elected to a third term in 2004, she received more than 6.9 million votes, the highest total for any Senate candidate in American history.
A national leader on environmental protection, Senator Boxer is the first woman to Chair the U.S. Senate’s Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW). She is a powerful advocate for clean air and water, and focuses much of her Committee work on climate change, transportation and infrastructure.
Chairman Boxer secured passage of the Water Resources Development Act, which authorized $1.3 billion for 54 flood control, ecosystem restoration and navigation projects in California. The bill had languished for six years until she led the fight to pass it and override a veto by President George W. Bush.
Senator Boxer has won numerous awards for her efforts to create a cleaner, healthier environment. She fought to remove arsenic from drinking water and authored an amendment ensuring that drinking water standards protect children. She has fought to protect California’s coast from the harmful effects of oil drilling and fought the unethical use of human subjects in pesticide testing by federal agencies.
To ensure that generations of Californians will be able to enjoy our environmental heritage, Senator Boxer wrote laws protecting approximately 1 million acres of priceless California wilderness. Boxer also authored the California Missions Preservation Act to protect and restore California’s 21 historic missions, which are major historic and tourist attractions.
A champion of quality public education, Senator Boxer wrote landmark legislation establishing the first-ever federal funding for afterschool programs. Her law now covers 1.4 million children.
To protect children from dangerous toys, Boxer authored a provision in the 2008 Consumer Product Safety Commission Law requiring children’s products sold over the internet to list cautionary warnings in their advertisements. Boxer was also a leading figure in negotiating language to protect children from lead and other dangerous chemicals.
A strong proponent of life-saving medical research, Senator Boxer wrote bipartisan legislation to accelerate America’s contribution to combat global HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis. She wrote a bill to make health insurance tax deductible and another bill to let any American buy into the same health insurance program that members of Congress are provided. She authored the bipartisan "Caring for An Aging America Act of 2009,” legislation to fund educational loan forgiveness and training for healthcare professionals who make a commitment to caring for older adults.
A leading defender of a woman’s right to choose, Senator Boxer helped lead the floor fight for passage of the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act. She continues to lead efforts to stop extremists in Congress from weakening a woman’s right to privacy.
Senator Boxer has worked to pass targeted tax cuts to help revitalize the economy by supporting a permanent Research and Development tax credit, accelerated depreciation of new business equipment, and tax credits for broadband investments focused on rural and underserved areas. She co-authored bipartisan legislation in 2004 which allowed U.S. companies to repatriate foreign-earned income at a temporarily reduced tax rate. According to the IRS, some 843 corporations then brought $362 billion back to the U.S. economy.
In response to the September 11th attacks, Senator Boxer wrote the law requiring that air marshals be on board high-risk flights and the law allowing airline pilots with special training to carry guns in the cockpit.
Senator Boxer joined colleagues to pass the 1994 Crime Bill, which led to the lowest crime rate in 25 years. She has worked to fund anti-gang programs, pass the Violence Against Women Law (VAWA), and the Community Policy “COPS” Program. She strongly supports a ban on cop-killer bullets and authored legislation to require child safety locks on guns. Her bill to prevent the criminal use of personal information obtained through motor vehicle records was signed into law and upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court. She has authored the Violence Against Children Act, based on the successful VAWA.
To ensure our men and women in uniform receive the best possible medical care and treatment, Senator Boxer worked to establish the West Coast Combat Care Center in San Diego to treat wounded service members. In addition, Senator Boxer worked to create the Defense Task Force on Mental Health. She has also secured millions in federal funding to improve medical care for severely burned soldiers.
In addition to her Chairmanship of the EPW Committee, Senator Boxer also serves on the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee where she chairs the Subcommittee on International Operations and Organizations, Human Rights, Democracy, and Global Women’s Issues.
Senator Boxer also chairs the Senate Select Committee on Ethics, making her the only sitting Senator to hold two Committee Chairmanships.
Senator Boxer is also a member of the Democratic leadership in the Senate, serving as the Chief Deputy Whip since 2005.
Senator Barbara Boxer met her husband of 48 years, Stewart Boxer, at Brooklyn College. The couple moved to California in 1965 to raise their two children, Doug and Nicole. They have been blessed with four grandchildren—Zachary, Zain, Sawyer and Reyna.