One of Senator Kirsten Gillibrand’s top priorities in the United States Senate is to rebuild the American economy. She is fighting every day for more good-paying jobs, more products stamped with the words “Made in America,” and more new small businesses around New York State. She is determined to make sure that all New Yorkers have the opportunity to reach their potential, and she has consistently been a voice for the voiceless across New York and all around the country.
Throughout her time in the Senate, Senator Gillibrand has been a leader in some of the toughest fights in Washington. She led the effort to repeal the “Don't Ask Don't Tell” policy that banned gays from serving openly in the military; she wrote the STOCK Act, which made it illegal for members of Congress to financially benefit from inside information; and she won the long fight to provide permanent health care and compensation to the 9/11 first responders and community survivors who are sick with diseases caused by the toxins at Ground Zero. Senator Gillibrand brought Democrats and Republicans together to win these legislative victories.
Senator Gillibrand believes that accountability and transparency are essential to open and honest government. She was the first member of Congress ever to post her official daily meetings, earmarks, and personal financial disclosures online.
Senator Gillibrand is committed to keeping Americans safe from threats overseas and at home. From her seat on the Senate Armed Services Committee, she has been a vocal advocate for strengthening America’s armed services, national security, and military readiness. She has also called for an independent investigation into Russian cyber crimes against our government institutions. Senator Gillibrand’s bipartisan bill to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and make gun trafficking a federal crime – the Hadiya Pendleton and Nyasia Pryear-Yard Gun Trafficking and Crime Prevention Act – is one of the only recent gun bills to be supported by both parties and a majority of the Senate.
Senator Gillibrand is leading the fight to reform the justice system for sexual assault survivors in the military and on college campuses. In 2013, as chair of the Armed Services subcommittee on personnel, she held the first Senate hearing on the issue of sexual assault in the military in almost a decade, and has built a bipartisan coalition of Senators in support of her bill, the Military Justice Improvement Act, which would remove sexual assault cases from the chain of command. She has also built a broad, bipartisan coalition for the Campus Accountability and Safety Act, which would finally hold colleges accountable for sexual assault on their campuses.
As the mother of two young sons, Senator Gillibrand understands the challenges that working families are facing in today’s economy. She is a champion for the economic empowerment of women and working families, and she has authored new legislation to rewrite the rules of the workplace so it can keep up with our changing workforce. She is fighting to pass bills that would raise the minimum wage, make quality child care more affordable, create universal pre-K, and ensure equal pay for equal work. Senator Gillibrand also introduced the FAMILY Act, which would create a national paid leave program for all American workers – for about the cost of a cup of coffee a week.
Senator Gillibrand was the first New York Senator to join the Senate Agriculture Committee in nearly 40 years, and she uses that position to give New York’s farmers and agricultural producers a voice in Washington. She has fought for programs that would support specialty crop insurance, expand rural broadband access, and improve recovery efforts after natural disasters. She also continues to lead the fight in the Senate to protect access to healthy meals for struggling children, seniors, and veterans.
On the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, Senator Gillibrand continues to support legislation that would fight to help New York’s businesses and families protect themselves against the devastating and increasingly common effects of climate change. She is also working hard to make sure that New Yorkers whose property was damaged by Superstorm Sandy and Hurricane Irene are getting the support and compensation they need to rebuild. After PFOA and other toxic chemicals were discovered in the water supply in multiple communities around the state, including Hoosick Falls and Newburgh, Senator Gillibrand has been leading the effort to demand cleanup and compensation from the companies that polluted the water.
From her seat on the Senate Aging Committee, Senator Gillibrand is committed to fighting on behalf of seniors. She introduced a bipartisan bill to crack down on senior fraud, and she also wrote bipartisan legislation that would make price gouging of medicines by pharmaceutical companies a federal crime.
After attending Albany’s Academy of Holy Names, Senator Gillibrand graduated in 1984 from the Emma Willard School in Troy, New York – the first all-women’s high school in the United States. A magna cum laude graduate of Dartmouth College in 1988, Gillibrand went on to receive her law degree from the UCLA School of Law in 1991 and served as a law clerk on the Second Circuit Court of Appeals.
After working as an attorney in New York City for more than a decade, Senator Gillibrand served as Special Counsel to United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Andrew Cuomo during the Clinton Administration. She then worked as an attorney in Upstate New York before becoming a member of Congress.
Born and raised in upstate New York, Senator Gillibrand’s home is in Brunswick, New York, with her husband, Jonathan Gillibrand, and their two sons, Theo and Henry.