“In the Senate, I have worked across the aisle to make change. When I was elected, the people of New York took a chance on me and it was a great honor that they did. But I knew that I had to go and get things done. I couldn’t just say, ‘Well I’ve been elected, thank you very much.’ That’s not who I am, that’s not what I do.” – Hillary Clinton
Background: The right wing is desperately trying to undermine Hillary Clinton’s record as a U.S. Senator and seems to have forgotten her many Senate achievements. Let’s remind them:
MILITARY / VETERANS / FIRST RESPONDERS
• As a U.S. Senator, Clinton was a champion for our service members and veterans. Hillary Clinton was the first New Yorker to serve on the Senate Armed Services Committee and made veterans a main focus. She introduced the Heroes at Home Act in 2006 and 2007 to help family members care for those with Traumatic Brain Injury. She also worked to increase the military survivor benefit from $12,000 to $100,000, and cosponsored the Support for Injured Servicemembers Act to extend benefits provided under the Family and Medical Leave Act. Hillary also worked across the aisle to keep the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station open during a time when the Pentagon was shuttering bases, which saved 800 jobs in upstate New York.
• Hillary Clinton, as a U.S. Senator, worked with Republicans to expand health care for National Guard members and reservists. According to McClatchy, then-Senator Clinton worked with Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) to “provide full military health benefits to reservists and National Guard members.” A statement from Graham’s senate office said, “Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) today announced that the Department of Defense Authorization bill conference report finalized today includes an amendment that will improve TRICARE benefits for National Guard members and Reservists, allowing all members of the Selected Reserve and their families to enroll in TRICARE with an across the board cost-sharing of 28 percent. Today’s victory builds on the Senators’ longstanding commitment to ensuring that members of our National Guard and Reserve and their families have access to the health care benefits they need and deserve.”
• Hillary stepped up for New York in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, fighting hard to secure funds for medical assessment, referrals and outreach for 9/11 rescue and recovery workers, and volunteers.
• As Senator, Hillary Clinton fought to pass the DREAM Act and comprehensive immigration reform, helping to cultivate awareness of the issues in Congress. She introduced the Legal Immigrant Children’s Health Improvement Act, which would give states the option to provide federally funded Medicaid and SCHIP benefits to low-income legal immigrant children and pregnant women. She also wrote the Access to Employment and English Acquisition Act to meet the growing demand for English language courses and other job skills.
• Hillary wrote a law as Senator providing grants to state and local governments to pay for respite care services for family caregivers, which allows expanded funding for temporary breaks for caregivers of sick or disabled people.
• One of Hillary’s Senate bills to distribute flu vaccines more efficiently inspired provisions of a law promoting the production and stockpiling of vaccines to improve our response to public health emergencies.
WOMEN & CHILDREN
• Hillary Clinton worked in the Senate to strengthen the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, introducing multiple bills allowing states to expand the program that she helped create as First Lady. The program, created in 1997, increased health coverage for children in low income and working families. Hillary also co-wrote a law compelling drug companies to conduct safety tests for products prescribed for children, and wrote a component of the No Child Left Behind Act authorizing funding for recruiting and retaining better teachers.
• Hillary Clinton was a powerful advocate for women in the Senate and was one of the original cosponsors of the Prevention First Act to increase access to family planning. As Senator she was a strong defender of a woman’s right to choose.