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Barbara Boxer

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Barbara Boxer

Barbara Boxer
United States Senator
from California
Assumed office
January 3, 1993
Serving with Dianne Feinstein
Preceded by Alan Cranston
Chairwoman of the Senate Environment Committee
In office
January 3, 2007 – January 3, 2015
Preceded by Jim Inhofe
Succeeded by Jim Inhofe
Chairwoman of the Senate Ethics Committee
In office
January 3, 2007 – January 3, 2015
Preceded by George Voinovich
Succeeded by Johnny Isakson
Vice Chairwoman of the Senate Ethics Committee
Assumed office
January 3, 2015
Preceded by George Voinovich
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 6th district
In office
January 3, 1983 – January 3, 1993
Preceded by Phillip Burton
Succeeded by Lynn Woolsey
Personal details
Born Barbara Levy
(1940-11-11) November 11, 1940
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Stewart Boxer
Children Douglas
Residence Rancho Mirage, California
Alma mater Brooklyn College (B.A.)
Religion Judaism
Website Senate website

Barbara Levy Boxer (born November 11, 1940) is the junior United States Senator from California (since 1993). A member of the Democratic Party, she previously served in the U.S. House of Representatives (1983–1993).

Born in Brooklyn, New York, Boxer graduated from Brooklyn College. She worked as a stockbroker for several years before moving to California with her husband. During the 1970s, she worked as a journalist for the Pacific Sun and as an aide to U.S. Representative John L. Burton. She served on the Marin County Board of Supervisors for six years and became the board's first female president. With the slogan "Barbara Boxer Gives a Damn", she was elected to the United States House of Representatives in 1982, representing California District 6. She sat on the House Armed Services Committee, and was involved in government oversight, passing several procurement reforms.

Boxer won the 1992 election for the U.S. Senate. She previously held the record for the most popular votes in any U.S. Senate election in history, having received 6.96 million votes in her 2004 re-election, until her colleague, Dianne Feinstein, the senior Senator from California, surpassed that number in her 2012 re-election.[1] Boxer is the ranking member of the Environment and Public Works Committee and the vice chair of the Select Committee on Ethics. She is also the Democratic Chief Deputy Whip. Although generally identified with San Francisco Bay Area, where her political career began, Boxer now lives in the Coachella Valley, making her, along with John Chiang, the only statewide elected official to live in the Southern half of California.

Boxer currently ranks eleventh in seniority in the United States Senate and became the most senior junior Senator upon the retirement of Tom Harkin in January 2015.

On January 8, 2015, Boxer announced that she would not seek re-election in 2016.[2]


  • Early life and family 1
  • U.S. Representative 2
  • U.S. Senator 3
    • Elections 3.1
    • Committees 3.2
    • Caucus memberships 3.3
    • Legislation sponsored 3.4
  • Presidential politics 4
    • 2004 4.1
    • 2008 4.2
    • 2016 4.3
  • Platform and votes 5
    • Health care 5.1
    • Education 5.2
    • The economy 5.3
    • The environment 5.4
    • Reproductive rights 5.5
    • Social Security 5.6
    • National security 5.7
    • Iraq War 5.8
    • Surveillance 5.9
    • Election reform 5.10
    • Bush nominees 5.11
    • Foreign policy 5.12
    • Drug Policy Reform 5.13
    • Gun laws 5.14
    • Same-sex marriage 5.15
    • Hate Crimes 5.16
    • India-U.S. nuclear deal 5.17
    • Censuring President Bush 5.18
    • PIPA 5.19
    • Congressional scorecards 5.20
  • Public image, political reception and controversy 6
    • Criticizing Condoleezza Rice's judgment 6.1
    • Television appearances 6.2
    • Awards and honors 6.3
    • Ethics 6.4
  • Major speeches and statements 7
  • Congressional service 8
  • Electoral history 9
  • References 10
  • Further reading 11
  • External links 12

Early life and family

She was born in George W. Wingate High School in 1958.

In 1962, she married Stewart Boxer and graduated from Brooklyn College with a bachelor's degree in Economics. While in college she was a member of Delta Phi Epsilon sorority and was a cheerleader for the Brooklyn College basketball team.[4]

Boxer worked as a stockbroker for the next three years, while her husband went to law school. Later, the couple moved to Greenbrae, Marin County, California, and had two children, Doug and Nicole. She first ran for political office in 1972, when she challenged incumbent Peter Arrigoni, a member of the Marin County Board of Supervisors, but lost a close election. Later during the 1970s, Boxer worked as a journalist for the Pacific Sun and as an aide to John Burton, then a member of Congress.[5] In 1976, Boxer was elected to the Marin County Board of Supervisors, serving for six years.[6] She was the Board's first woman president.[7]

Boxer's husband, Stewart, a prominent attorney in Oakland, represents injured workers in worker's compensation cases, keeping a very low political profile. In 2006, the Boxers sold their house in Greenbrae, where they had lived for many years, and moved to Rancho Mirage.[8]

Boxer's first novel, A Time to Run was published in 2005 by San Francisco-based publishing company Chronicle Books.[9] Her second novel Blind Trust was released in July 2009 by Chronicle Books.

U.S. Representative

Boxer during her time in the House of Representatives

Boxer was elected to the United States House of Representatives in 1982, defeating Dennis McQuaid. Her slogan was "Barbara Boxer Gives a Damn." In the House, she represented California District 6 (Marin and Sonoma Counties) for five terms.[10]

Boxer was a Congress member of the original Select Committee on Children, Youth, and Families[11] that was established in 1983.

In 1992, Boxer was implicated in the House banking scandal, which revealed that more than 450 congressional representatives and aides, herself included, wrote overdraft checks covered by overdraft protection by the House Bank. In response, she issued a statement saying "in painful retrospect, I clearly should have paid more attention to my account" and wrote a $15 check to the Deficit Reduction Fund for each of her 87 overdrafts.[12]

In 1991, during the Anita Hill Senate hearings, where Hill accused U.S. Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment, Boxer led a group of women House members to the Senate Judiciary Committee – demanding that the all-white, all-male Committee of Senators take Hill's charges seriously.[13]

U.S. Senator


Democratic Senator Alan Cranston retired in 1992, creating an open contest, which Boxer won in the U.S. Senate elections that year, defeating Bruce Herschensohn, a conservative television political commentator, by 4.9% after a last-minute revelation that Herschensohn had attended a strip club.[14] In 1998, she won a second term, beating sitting California State Treasurer Matt Fong by 10.1% of the vote.[15] After facing no primary opposition in the 2004 election, Boxer defeated GOP candidate Bill Jones, the sitting California Secretary of State, by a margin of 20 percentage points.[16] In 2010, Boxer defeated GOP candidate Carly Fiorina, former chief executive officer of Hewlett-Packard, by a margin of 10 percentage points.[17]


A member of the Senate Democratic Leadership, Boxer serves as the Democratic Chief Deputy Whip, which gives her the job of lining up votes on key legislation.[18]

Caucus memberships

Legislation sponsored

The following is an incomplete list of legislation that Boxer introduced in the Senate.

  • [21]

Presidential politics


On Valentine's Day 2005, Senator Boxer received 4,500 roses for her work, including her "candid and eloquent remarks during the Rice conformation [sic] hearings".

On January 6, 2005, Boxer joined Representative Stephanie Tubbs Jones (D-Ohio) in filing a U.S. Congressional objection to the certification of Ohio's Electoral College votes in the 2004 U.S. presidential election.[22] She called the objection her "opening shot to be able to focus the light of truth on these terrible problems in the electoral system".[23][24] The Senate voted the objection down 1–74; the House voted the objection down 31–267.[25] It was only the second Congressional objection to an entire State's electoral delegation in U.S. history; the first instance was in 1877.[26][27]


As a superdelegate, Boxer had declared that she would support the winner of the California primary, which was won by Hillary Clinton.[28] However, she reneged on that pledge and remained neutral, only officially backing Barack Obama's candidacy the day after the last primaries, once he had garnered enough delegate votes to clinch the nomination.[29]


Prior to Hillary Clinton's announcement, on October 20, 2013, Senator Boxer was one of sixteen Democratic female senators to sign a letter endorsing Clinton as the Democrat nominee in the 2016 Presidential Election.[30]

Platform and votes

Health care

Senator Boxer joined with Senate Democratic women at a press conference to speak about women's health.

Boxer is part of a coalition to increase medical research to find cures for diseases. In 2007, she authored successful bipartisan legislation with Senator Gordon Smith to combat HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis globally.[31] In 1997, she authored a Patients' Bill of Rights. She has written 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 have. She supports comprehensive prescription drug coverage through Medicare and the right of all consumers to purchase lower-cost prescription drugs re-imported from Canada.[32]

In October 2002, Boxer urged the Bush Administration to take specific steps to address the causes of the steep increase in autism cases in California.[33] She wrote Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Tommy Thompson to establish a common national standard for the diagnosis of autism; instruct the CDC and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry to convene a task force to review the current literature on autism and conduct its own study if necessary; and direct the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to work with the states to create a national chronic disease database.

Boxer is an advocate for embryonic stem-cell research, which has the potential to help those with diabetes, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, spinal cord injuries, and other diseases.[34]

In March 2010, Boxer voted to support the health care reform proposed by the Obama Administration and Democratic 111th Congress by voting yes on the Health Care Reconciliation Act and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.


Boxer established the Excellence in Education award to recognize teachers, parents, businesses and organizations that are working to make positive changes in education. Since 1997 Senator Boxer has presented the Excellence in Education Award to 38 recipients.[35]

The economy

Senators Boxer and John Ensign (R-NV) are the authors of the Invest in the USA Act. This legislation, which was signed into law in October 2004 as a small part of the more comprehensive American Jobs Creation Act, is intended to encourage American companies to bring overseas profits back to the United States, to create jobs in the U.S., and stimulate domestic economic growth.

In March 2004, Boxer offered an amendment to the Federal budget to create a $24 billion jobs reserve fund. The amendment would set aside funds for a variety of investments to improve the economy and create jobs by establishing a manufacturing jobs tax credit for companies that create jobs in the United States, expanding investment in science research and development, providing a tax credit to small businesses to pay for health insurance for their employees, and expanding trade adjustment assistance to help those who lose their jobs because of foreign trade. The Boxer amendment would also end the tax break that companies receive after moving plants overseas.

On October 1, 2008, Boxer voted in favor of the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act.[36]

Senator Boxer further distinguished herself by being one of only eight members of the Senate to vote against the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act in 1999.

On August 26, 2013, Boxer told The Ed Show on MSNBC that the federal minimum wage should be raised to $10.00 an hour.[37]

The environment

Boxer successfully led the 2003 Senate floor battle to block oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.[38] In 2005, Boxer voted again to block oil drilling at ANWR.

Boxer has introduced the National Oceans Protection Act (NOPA) of 2005.[39] Some of the provisions of this act are: strengthen ocean governance; protect and restore marine wildlife and habitats; address ocean pollution; improve fisheries management. The bill also addresses needs regarding marine science, research and technology, marine mammals, coastal development, and invasive species.

Boxer is an original cosponsor of Senator Jim Jeffords' (I-VT) Clean Power Act.[40] This legislation would reduce emissions of three pollutants coming from power plants; sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and mercury, and also reduce emissions of carbon dioxide .

As the new head of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee in January 2007, Boxer wants to reduce energy consumption. She is attempting to curb global warming by leading pilot programs. The few things that she and some of her fellow Senators are doing could cut electricity consumption by as much as 50 percent in their Capitol Hill offices.[41]

Senator Boxer was the Senate sponsor of the wilderness and 21 miles (34 km) of stream as a wild and scenic river, including such popular areas as the King Range and Cache Creek.[42] Senator Boxer worked with Senator Dianne Feinstein and Representative Mike Thompson (the bill's House sponsor) in a five-year effort to pass the legislation.

Boxer along with her colleague Dianne Feinstein voted in favor of subsidy payments to conventional commodity farm producers at the cost of subsidies for conservation-oriented farming.[43]

Reproductive rights

Boxer speaks at an event.

Boxer maintains a strong stance in support of reproductive rights and the pro-choice movement. Boxer authored the Freedom of Choice Act of 2004 and participated in the floor fight for passage of the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act.

Boxer is an original cosponsor of the Title X Family Planning Services Act of 2005, S.844, by Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY). This legislation aims to improve access to women's health care. It authorizes funding for family planning services grants; allows states to provide such services to individuals who may not be eligible for Medicaid; prohibits health insurance providers from excluding contraceptive services, drugs or devices from benefits; establishes a program to disseminate information on emergency contraception; requires hospitals receiving federal funding to offer emergency contraception to victims of sexual assault; provides grants to public and private entities to establish or expand teen pregnancy prevention programs; and requires that federally funded education programs about contraception be medically accurate and include information about health benefits and failure rates.

She was strongly critical of the Stupak-Pitts Amendment, which would prevent taxpayer-funded abortions possibly resulting in women not being able to pay with their own funds for abortion coverage Affordable Health Care for America Act.[44]

Social Security

Boxer supports the current system of

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Phillip Burton
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 6th congressional district

Succeeded by
Lynn Woolsey
Party political offices
Preceded by
Alan Cranston
Democratic nominee for U.S. Senator from California
(Class 3)

1992, 1998, 2004, 2010
Most recent
Preceded by
John Breaux
Senate Democratic Chief Deputy Whip
United States Senate
Preceded by
Alan Cranston
U.S. Senator (Class 3) from California
Served alongside: Dianne Feinstein
Preceded by
Jim Inhofe
Chairwoman of the Senate Environment Committee
Succeeded by
Jim Inhofe
Preceded by
George Voinovich
Chairwoman of the Senate Ethics Committee
Succeeded by
Johnny Isakson
United States order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Dianne Feinstein
United States Senators by seniority
Succeeded by
Patty Murray
  • NPR: Barbara Boxer: Rice Hearings and the 2004 Vote, Terry Gross, February 10, 2005
  • Progressive Magazine: Barbara Boxer Interview, Ruth Conniff, July 2005
  • Barbara Boxer speaks at The World Affairs Council of Northern California video, October 13, 2006
  • Senator Barbara Boxer official U.S. Senate site
  • Barbara Boxer for Senate
  • Barbara Boxer at DMOZ

External links

Further reading

  1. ^ Rob Hotakainen (Oct 20, 2010). "California's Boxer faces toughest Senate race yet". McClatchy Newspapers (Lexington Herald-Leader). Retrieved April 2, 2011. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ "1". Retrieved March 6, 2012. 
  4. ^ "Barbara Boxer: Biography from". Retrieved March 6, 2012. 
  5. ^ Information on Senator Barbara Boxer of California Archived September 12, 2005 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ Bioguide
  7. ^ "Barbara Boxer (1940– ) By Seymour "Sy" Brody". November 11, 1940. Retrieved March 6, 2012. 
  8. ^ "Barbara Boxer makes it official, files papers to run for reelection". Los Angeles Times. February 18, 2010. 
  9. ^, Accessed May 6, 2006
  10. ^ "Government Relations". Archived from the original on February 22, 2012. Retrieved March 6, 2012. 
  11. ^ Children, youth, and families: Beginning the assessment. Hearing before the Select Committee on Children, Youth, and Families; House of Representatives, Ninety-Eighth Congress, First Session, United States House of Representatives, Washington, DC, 28 April 1984, Original document retrieved 19 January 2014 from ERIC at Institution of Education Sciences.
  12. ^ Schmalz, Jeffrey (March 16, 1992). "The House Bank; House Bank Overdrafts Add to Voters' Outrage –". The New York Times. Retrieved March 6, 2012. 
  13. ^ "Clinton Woes a Snag for 3 Female Incumbents". The Washington Post. March 28, 1998. Retrieved March 6, 2012. 
  14. ^ "Beware the Trickster". January 1, 1970. Retrieved March 6, 2012. 
  15. ^ BioGuide
  16. ^ "U.S. Senate Detail" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on September 27, 2007. Retrieved September 11, 2007. 
  17. ^ "U.S. Senate Summary" (PDF). Retrieved September 2, 2011. 
  18. ^ "In California: CNN projects Democratic Sen. win – CNN Political Ticker – Blogs". CNN. November 3, 2010. Archived from the original on November 5, 2010. Retrieved November 3, 2010. 
  19. ^ "Portman and Durbin Launch Senate Ukraine Caucus". Rob Portman United States Senator for Ohio. February 9, 2015. Retrieved February 11, 2015. 
  20. ^ "S. 330 - Summary". United States Congress. Retrieved 11 November 2013. 
  21. ^ Kasperowicz, Pete (11 November 2013). "Congress opens door to allowing HIV organ donation". The Hill. Retrieved 11 November 2013. 
  22. ^
  23. ^ "Bush carries Electoral College after delay". CNN. January 6, 2005. Retrieved April 26, 2010. 
  24. ^ "Independent News Media – Election Issues". The Free Press. Retrieved May 25, 2010. 
  25. ^ "Counting and Tabulation of the Electoral Vote by Congress – 2004". Retrieved May 25, 2010. 
  26. ^ "YubaNet Article Manager". Retrieved May 25, 2010. 
  27. ^ Archived October 22, 2005 at the Wayback Machine
  28. ^ "Boxer Focuses on Unity". KCBS. May 10, 2008. Retrieved January 29, 2009. 
  29. ^ "Another bloc of Senate supers for Obama". Politico. June 4, 2008. Retrieved January 29, 2009. 
  30. ^
  31. ^ Recent Press Release from Barbara Boxer, US Senator from California Archived September 26, 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  32. ^ Strengthening the Economy: Barbara Boxer, US Senator, California
  33. ^ For the whole paragraph: Boxer page on U.S. Senate website, Accessed May 6, 2006
  34. ^ An Open Letter to Nancy Reagan, by Barbara Boxer, Accessed May 6, 2006 Archived April 28, 2006 at the Wayback Machine
  35. ^ Boxer website: Excellence in Education Awards, Accessed May 6, 2006 Archived April 28, 2006 at the Wayback Machine
  36. ^ "U.S. Senate: Legislation & Records Home > Votes > Roll Call Vote". Archived from the original on May 28, 2010. Retrieved May 25, 2010. 
  37. ^ Richinick, Michele. "Raise minimum wage to $10! Sen. Boxer demands increase for workers". MSNBC. Retrieved 27 August 2013. 
  38. ^ For the whole section, except where noted: Boxer Website: The Environment, Accessed May 6, 2006
  39. ^ Senator Boxer Introduces National Oceans Protection Act of 2005, Accessed May 6, 2006
  40. ^ Statement by Barbara Boxer before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, June 12, 2002, Accessed May 6, 2006
  41. ^ Barbara Boxer Asks Senators to Save Energy". Associated Press, January 26, 2007.
  42. ^ "Wilderness Law Library". October 17, 2006. Retrieved May 25, 2010. 
  43. ^ Becker, Elizabeth (April 8, 2002). "California Farmers Reconsidering Opposition To Subsidies". The New York Times. Retrieved April 26, 2010. 
  44. ^ Stein, Sam (November 10, 2009). "Boxer: Senate Has Votes To Block Stupak Amendment". Huffington Post. Retrieved March 6, 2012. 
  45. ^ Boxer Delivers Major Speech On Social Security
  47. ^ "U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer | California". October 3, 2002. Archived from the original on October 17, 2002. Retrieved August 29, 2010. 
  48. ^ "The Harvard Law Record – Senator Boxer defends vote on Iraq resolution". Retrieved May 25, 2010. 
  49. ^ "U.S. Senate: Legislation & Records Home > Votes > Roll Call Vote". Archived from the original on May 28, 2010. Retrieved May 25, 2010. 
  50. ^
  51. ^ Bresnahan, John (September 11, 2007). "Boxer to Petraeus: 'Take off your rosy glasses' – POLITICO Live". Politico.Com. Retrieved March 6, 2012. 
  52. ^ Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 Amendments Act of 2008 PDF
  53. ^ "Boxer Statement on FISA Bill". June 25, 2008. 
  54. ^ "Senate Vote 168 (110th Congress, 2nd Session)". U.S. Senate. July 9, 2008. Archived from the original on July 11, 2008. Retrieved July 9, 2008. 
  55. ^ "S. 450 [109th]: Count Every Vote Act of 2005". Retrieved March 6, 2012. 
  56. ^ "Transcript of remarks between Boxer and Rice". San Francisco Chronicle. January 19, 2005. Retrieved May 25, 2010. 
  57. ^ "U.S. Senate: Legislation & Records Home > Votes > Roll Call Vote". Archived from the original on May 28, 2010. Retrieved May 25, 2010. 
  58. ^ > Washington > Rice Is Sworn In as Secretary After Senate Vote of 85 to 13The New York Times
  59. ^
  60. ^ "U.S. Senate: Legislation & Records Home > Votes > Roll Call Vote". Archived from the original on May 27, 2010. Retrieved May 25, 2010. 
  61. ^
  62. ^ "Barbara Boxer Interview". November 11, 1940. Retrieved March 6, 2012. 
  63. ^ "Bipartisan group of lawmakers condemns Russia's arms sales to Syria"
  64. ^ Byrne, John (April 5, 2010). "Boxer: Legalizing pot could increase crime, car accidents". Raw Story. Archived from the original on April 11, 2010. Retrieved May 25, 2010. 
  65. ^
  66. ^ "U.S. Senate Roll Call Votes 104th Congress – 2nd Session". Retrieved March 6, 2012. 
  67. ^ "Barbara Boxer on the Issues". Retrieved March 6, 2012. 
  68. ^ Mark Simon, Carla Marinucci, Chronicle Political Writers (February 20, 2004). "Top state Dems criticize S.F. mayor / TIGHTROPE: Politicians try not to anger voters – 50% of Californians oppose same-sex unions". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved March 6, 2012. 
  69. ^ Highlights of Senator Boxer's Record on LGBT Issues
  70. ^
  71. ^
  72. ^ "Nuke deal gets thumbs up in Senate hearing". Retrieved March 6, 2012. 
  73. ^ The New York TimesCall to Censure Bush Is Answered by a Mostly Empty Echo –
  74. ^ "". Retrieved March 6, 2012. 
  75. ^ "Senator Barbara Boxer (CA)".  
  76. ^ "Scorecard for the 109th Congress U.S. House of Representatives". Secular Coalition for America. Archived from the original on September 28, 2007. Retrieved December 31, 2007. 
  77. ^ Why the Crass Remarks About Rice?. The Washington Post, January 22, 2005.
  78. ^ Barrett, Ted. GOP senator: Bush plan could match Vietnam blunder CNN, January 11, 2007
  79. ^ White House Spokesman Blasts Sen. Boxer's Exchange With Secretary Rice., January 12, 2006.
  80. ^ "Exchange Turns Into Political Flashpoin", The New York Times, January 12, 2007
  81. ^ Countdown With Keith Olbermann, MSNBC: January 15, 2007 broadcast transcript.
  82. ^ "Olbermann bestows "Worst Person" honors on Kristol, Limbaugh".  
  83. ^ "Sen. Barbara Boxer says Condoleezza Rice didn't know how many troops had died in Iraq". Tampa Bay Times Politifact. 31 August 2010. Retrieved 13 August 2014. 
  84. ^ a b c "Barbara Boxer". IMDB. Retrieved November 4, 2007. 
  85. ^ Len Sousa (September 22, 2007). "Curb Your Enthusiasm". Slant magazine. Archived from the original on October 11, 2007. Retrieved November 4, 2007. 
  86. ^ The San Francisco Chronicle 
  87. ^ "featured-img Boxer Rocked by Mortgage Scandal". Fox News. 20 October 2010. Retrieved 31 October 2014. 


Boxer was first elected to the Senate by a 4.9% margin in 1992. She was reelected in 2010.

Electoral history

United States Congressional service
Dates Congress Chamber Majority President Committees Class/District
1983–1985 98th U.S. House Democratic Ronald Reagan Armed Services District 6
1985–1987 99th U.S. House Democratic Ronald Reagan Armed Services District 6
1987–1989 100th U.S. House Democratic Ronald Reagan Armed Services District 6
1989–1991 101st U.S. House Democratic George H. W. Bush Armed Services District 6
1991–1993 102nd U.S. House Democratic George H. W. Bush Armed Services District 6
1993–1995 103rd U.S. Senate Democratic Bill Clinton Commerce, Environment, Foreign Relations Class 3
1995–1997 104th U.S. Senate Republican Bill Clinton Commerce, Environment, Foreign Relations Class 3
1997–1999 105th U.S. Senate Republican Bill Clinton Commerce, Environment, Foreign Relations Class 3
1999–2001 106th U.S. Senate Republican Bill Clinton Commerce, Environment, Foreign Relations Class 3
2001–2003 107th U.S. Senate Democratic George W. Bush Commerce, Environment, Foreign Relations Class 3
2003–2005 108th U.S. Senate Republican George W. Bush Commerce, Environment, Foreign Relations Class 3
2005–2007 109th U.S. Senate Republican George W. Bush Commerce, Environment, Foreign Relations Class 3
2007–2009 110th U.S. Senate Democratic George W. Bush Commerce, Environment (chair), Foreign Relations Class 3
2009–2011 111th U.S. Senate Democratic Barack Obama Commerce, Environment (chair), Foreign Relations Class 3
2011–2013 112th U.S. Senate Democratic Barack Obama Commerce, Environment (chair), Foreign Relations Class 3
2013–2014 113th U.S. Senate Democratic Barack Obama Commerce, Environment (chair), Foreign Relations Class 3
2015–2016 114th U.S. Senate Democratic Barack Obama Environment (ranking), Ethics (ranking), Foreign Relations Class 3
Public Offices
Office Branch Location Elected Term began Term ended
Representative Legislative Washington, D.C. 1982 January 3, 1983 January 3, 1985
Representative Legislative Washington, D.C. 1984 January 3, 1985 January 3, 1987
Representative Legislative Washington, D.C. 1986 January 3, 1987 January 3, 1989
Representative Legislative Washington, D.C. 1988 January 3, 1989 January 3, 1991
Representative Legislative Washington, D.C. 1990 January 3, 1991 January 3, 1993
Senator Legislative Washington, D.C. 1992 January 3, 1993 January 3, 1999
Senator Legislative Washington, D.C. 1998 January 3, 1999 January 3, 2005
Senator Legislative Washington, D.C. 2004 January 3, 2005 January 3, 2011
Senator Legislative Washington, D.C. 2010 January 3, 2011 January 3, 2017

Congressional service

  • Excerpts from Senator Boxer's Senate Floor Statement on the Resolution Authorizing the Use of Military Force against Iraq, October 10, 2002 at the Wayback Machine (archived October 17, 2002)
  • Transcript from the Confirmation Hearing of Condoleezza Rice, January 18, 2005
  • Senate Floor Debate on the Confirmation of Condoleezza Rice as Secretary of State, January 26, 2005 at the Wayback Machine (archived March 31, 2005)
  • On the Nomination of Alberto Gonzales to be Attorney General, February 1, 2005 at the Wayback Machine (archived February 6, 2005)
  • On the President's Budget, February 7, 2005 at the Wayback Machine (archived February 8, 2005)
  • On Social Security, February 11, 2005 at the Wayback Machine (archived February 25, 2005)
  • Senate Floor Debate on the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, March 16, 2005 at the Wayback Machine (archived March 31, 2005)
  • Statement on Earth Day, April 20, 2005 at the Wayback Machine (archived April 21, 2005)
  • On the Iraq War, July 6, 2005 at the Wayback Machine (archived August 25, 2005)
  • On Karl Rove's CIA Leak, July 20, 2005
  • On the Energy Bill, July 29, 2005 at the Wayback Machine (archived August 25, 2005)
  • On Her Opposition to the Confirmation of Chief Justice Nominee John Roberts, September 21, 2005 at the Wayback Machine (archived September 27, 2005)
  • Addressing World Affairs Council of Northern California (Video), October 13, 2006

Major speeches and statements

The Foundation for Ethics in Public Service has accused Boxer of failing to disclose real property on her Personal Financial Disclosure Reports between 2002 and 2010. Boxer failed to disclose a million dollar home she owns.[87]


Boxer has been awarded with two Doctor of Laws honorary degrees, one from Mills College and the other from Dominican University of California.

Awards and honors

In September 2012, it was reported that Boxer and soon-to-be-retired Republican Senator Olympia Snowe would appear together in an NBC sitcom.[86] On September 20, 2012, she and Senator Snowe appeared in the fifth season premiere of Parks and Recreation.

Boxer has made cameo appearances as herself in several television shows, including Murphy Brown (1994),[84] Gilmore Girls (2002)[84] and Curb Your Enthusiasm (2007),[85] as well as a cameo (as herself) in the 2000 film Traffic.[84] On November 2, 2005, she made an appearance on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart to discuss her new novel “A Time To Run”.

Television appearances

In 2010, Boxer claimed that her criticism of Condoleezza Rice was about what she felt was the latter's ignorance of the death toll in Iraq; PolitiFact rated Boxer's claim "Pants on Fire."[83]

Keith Olbermann accused the commentators, particularly Rush Limbaugh, of making Boxer's comments into an issue when the same people were not outraged when "Laura Bush said Secretary Rice would never be elected president because she was not married."[81][82]

The New York Post and White House Press Secretary Tony Snow considered this an attack on Rice's status as a single, childless female and referred to Boxer's comments as "a great leap backward for feminism".[79] Rice later echoed Snow's remarks, saying "I thought it was okay to not have children, and I thought you could still make good decisions on behalf of the country if you were single and didn't have children." Boxer responded to the controversy by saying "They're getting this off on a non-existent thing that I didn't say. I'm saying, she's like me, we do not have families who are in the military."[80]

In January 2007, Boxer was in the news for comments she made when responding to Bush's plans to send an additional 20,000 troops to Iraq. "Who pays the price?" Boxer asked Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. "I'm not going to pay a personal price. My kids are too old and my grandchild is too young. You're not going to pay a personal price with an immediate family. So who pays the price? The American military and their families... not me, not you." When Rice interjected, Boxer responded by saying, "Madam Secretary, please. I know you feel terrible about it. That's not the point. I was making the case as to who pays the price for your decisions. And the fact that this administration would move forward with this escalation with no clue as to the further price that we're going to pay militarily... I find really appalling."[78]

Boxer criticized then United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's judgment in relation to the war in Iraq: "I personally believe – this is my personal view – that your loyalty to the mission you were given, to sell the war, overwhelmed your respect for the truth."[77]

Criticizing Condoleezza Rice's judgment

Public image, political reception and controversy

Project Vote Smart provides the following results from congressional scorecards.[75]

See also

Congressional scorecards

Senator Boxer supports PIPA.[74]


[73] Senator Boxer was, along with

Censuring President Bush

Boxer is one of the most outspoken critics of the nuclear energy deal between the United States and India. Boxer is of the opinion that India should not get help from the U.S. in the civilian nuclear energy sector until it breaks its relationship with Iran.[72]

India-U.S. nuclear deal

Boxer co-sponsored the Matthew Shepard Act,[71] which expanded the federal definition of hate crimes to include crimes based on the victim's sexual orientation and gender identity.

Hate Crimes

The Human Rights Campaign gave Boxer ratings of 100%, 88% and 100% for the 107th, 108th, and 109th sessions of Congress, respectively, indicating a support of the HRC's slate of pro-gay rights legislative issues.[65] In 1996, she was one of fourteen Senators to vote against the Defense of Marriage Act[66] and also voted against the Federal Marriage Amendment in 2004 and 2006,[67] although when San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom issued a directive to the city-county clerk to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples she stated that she supported California's domestic partnership law but agreed with its definition that marriage was between a man and a woman.[68] However, her 2010 re-election campaign website states that "Senator Boxer supports marriage equality."[69] She opposed Proposition 8, a constitutional amendment that prohibited same-sex marriage in California, and supported the Uniting American Families Act.[70]

Same-sex marriage

Senator Boxer joined colleagues to pass a Federal ban on various semi-automatic firearms and established the COPS program.

Gun laws

Senator Boxer has come out against reforming marijuana policy and is opposed to the California Ballot measure to legalize and tax marijuana for those 21 and older in the state.[64]

Drug Policy Reform

In 2012 she and other bipartisan group of six senators introduced a resolution condemning Moscow for aiding Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's government as the country faced civil war.[63]

Boxer is a cosponsor of S. 495, or the Darfur Accountability Act of 2005, which would impose sanctions against perpetrators of crimes against humanity in Darfur.

In 2002, Senator Boxer voted against the U.S. invasion of Iraq. She has subsequently referred to that vote as the best vote of her career. She also voted against the first Gulf War (Operation Desert Storm) while a member of the House in 1991[61] and was a very vocal protester against the Vietnam War in the 1970s.[62]

Senator Boxer meets Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. (2005-03-30)

In 1997, the Senate passed a Boxer resolution calling on the United States not to recognize the Taliban as the official government of Afghanistan because of its human rights abuses against women.

Foreign policy

Boxer voted against the confirmation of Chief Justice of the United States nominee John Roberts, and against the confirmation of Associate Justice nominee Samuel Alito.[59][60]

Boxer voted against John Bolton's nomination for U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and filibustered him on the Senate floor. As a result of the strong Democratic opposition Bolton could not obtain Senate approval. However, President Bush bypassed the Senate by employing the constitutional right of recess appointment, only the second time such an appointment has been used for a United States ambassador to the United Nations since the UN's founding in 1945. Recess appointments themselves have been used numerous times by various presidents.

During the confirmation hearings for the United States Secretary of State nominee Condoleezza Rice in January 2005, Boxer challenged her to admit to alleged mistakes and false statements made by the Bush Administration in leading the United States into the 2003 invasion of Iraq, and ultimately voted against confirmation, along with twelve other senators.[56][57] The dissent was the highest vote against a Secretary of State nominee since 1825 when Henry Clay was so named.[58]

Bush nominees

Boxer voted in support of the 2002 Help America Vote Act, which mandated the use of voting machines across the country, among other provisions. On February 18, 2005, Senators Boxer, Hillary Clinton, and Representative Stephanie Tubbs Jones introduced the Count Every Vote Act of 2005, which would provide a voter verified paper ballot for every vote cast in electronic voting machines and ensure access to voter verification for all citizens. The bill mandates that this ballot be the official ballot for purposes of a recount. The bill sets a uniform standard for provisional ballots and requires the Federal Election Assistance Commission to issue standards that ensure uniform access to voting machines and trained election personnel in every community. The bill also mandated improved security measures for electronic voting machines.[55] The bill did not pass.

Senators Boxer and Clinton unveil the Count Every Vote Act. (2005-02-18)

Election reform

In June 2008 Boxer spoke in the Senate in opposition to the FISA Amendments Act of 2008,[52] a pending bill in the United States Congress to amend the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act,[53] and later broke with her counterpart Sen. Dianne Feinstein and voted against it.[54]


Boxer was sharply critical of General Petraeus testimony regarding the political and military situation in Iraq in 2007, charging him with reporting while wearing 'rosy glasses'.[51]

Boxer's petition demanding an exit strategy from Iraq drew 107,218 signatures.[50]

In October 2002, Boxer voted against the joint resolution passed by the U.S. Congress to authorize the use of military force by the Bush Administration against Iraq.[47][48][49] In June 2005, Senators Boxer and Russ Feingold (D-WI) cosponsored Senate Resolution 171 calling for a timeframe for U.S. troop withdrawal from Iraq.

Iraq War

Boxer wrote the High-Tech Port Security Act, and sponsored the Chemical Security Act to address terrorist threats against chemical plants. Senator Boxer also cosponsored comprehensive rail security legislation.

Senator Boxer has lunch with California Marines during her visit to Iraq. (2005-03-22)

After the September 11, 2001 attacks, Boxer authored a bill to protect commercial airliners against attacks by shoulder-fired missiles, and wrote the law allowing airline pilots with special training to carry guns in the cockpit.

National security

Following the Enron scandal, Boxer again worked to ensure that retirement plans are diversified. She also introduced a bill to prohibit accounting firms from auditing and consulting for the same company.

She introduced the 401(k) Pension Protection Act to protect retirement by requiring the diversification of 401(k) plans. A modified version of the bill was signed into law as part of the 1997 tax bill. [46][45]

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