Debbie Wasserman Schultz's Congress Highlights Are Prime Examples Of Why She Became Chair Of The DNC
Florida Rep. and Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz recently made headlines for stating that she'll be voting in favor of President Obama's Iranian nuclear deal, in an interview with CNN's State of the Union on Sunday. Wasserman Schultz's support of the Iran nuclear deal is an important step in itself in that it shows a solidarity with the Democratic president from a prominent member of his party. This isn't the first time the Florida congresswoman has made the news, either. Debbie Wasserman Schultz's highlights in Congress and beyond further reinforce her impressive political career.
Wasserman Schultz has been serving the people of Florida for well over two decades: after receiving a master's degree in political science from the University of Florida, she was a political aide for Rep. Peter Deutsch, and would later go on to succeed Deutsch in Florida's House of Representatives after he decided to pursue a seat in Congress. It was her constituents' needs that weighed the heaviest on her mind when deciding how to vote on the Iran nuclear deal. This quote from an op-ed she penned in the Miami Herald perfectly illustrates her devotion to the citizens of Florida and the nation:
I held a series of meetings with my constituents so I could hear their concerns directly. I am proud to represent such an engaged constituency on the issues that matter, and I am proud of the time, energy and thoughtfulness the hundreds of individuals I met with or spoke to put into their review, whether for or against.
Here's a look at the highlights of Wasserman Schultz's time in Congress.
Her Breast Cancer Awareness & Advocacy
Wasserman Schultz is just as passionate about wellness advocacy, especially when it's come to breast cancer, of which she is a survivor. She's sponsored legislation pivotal in the fight against breast cancer and introduced the EARLY Act (H.R. 1740) in 2009, which allowed for the CDC to implement a nationwide awareness campaign educating young women on the risk and threat of breast cancer. The EARLY Act became in law along with the Affordable Healthcare Act in 2010. The bill was reauthorized in 2014.
A Revolutionary Politician
Wasserman Schultz has been a revolutionary figure in politics, serving as Florida's youngest female legislator when she was first elected in 1992 at age 26. She was also Florida's first Jewish congresswoman, having served as Florida state senator from 2001 to 2004.
Her Sponsored Legislation
She has since served as representative of Florida's 23rd congressional district and served as the Senior House Whip from 2005 to 2006. During her time in Congress, she has sponsored 52 different pieces of legislation, including the HERO Act of 2015, which amends the Homeland Security Act of 2002. The bill establishes a Child Exploitation Investigations Unit under the Cyber Crimes Center. Additional legislation that Wasserman Schultz has introduced that has passed into law includes the STOP Identity Theft Act of 2014 and the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Clarification Act of 2014.
An Ally To Women
Another major bill that Wasserman Schultz sponsored that was made into law is the Rape Survivor Child Custody Act, which provides aid and resources to mothers whose children were conceived through rape. According to OnTheIssues, Wasserman Schultz is incredibly pro-choice and has consistently advocated for rape victims rights as well as sexual education.
Becoming DNC Chair
Given Wasserman Schultz's impressive political career, it makes sense that she would be appointed by Obama to succeed Tim Kaine as DNC Chair in 2011. Vice President Joe Biden had this to say about Wasserman Schultz's appointment at the time:
In selecting Debbie to lead our party, President Obama noted her tenacity, her strength, her fighting spirit, and her ability to overcome adversity. President Obama expressed great admiration for her as a leader, and he was honored that she accepted this important challenge on behalf of the Democratic Party.
Wasserman Schultz is just the third woman to serve as DNC chair and was chosen instead of Ted Strickland, a former Ohio governor whose political career is similarly lengthy. Wasserman Schultz's progressive stance on such hot button issues as women's rights as well as her admired tenacity is what not only set her apart but makes her a strong DNC chair. Her political career further bolsters that. As DNC chair, she is in an incredibly vital position during the 2016 election, advocating for Democrats, as well as helping Obama end his presidency on a high note.