|U.S. Senator from California|
From: January 5, 1993-present
|Successor||Incumbent (no successor)|
Barbara Levy Boxer, born November 11, 1940 (age 75), is the junior U.S. Senator from California and a member of the Democratic Party. Boxer is generally considered to be more liberal than the average Democrat. She has taken liberal positions on a number of controversial issues, including abortion and gun control. At present she is Chair of the Senate's Environment and Public Works Committee and Chief Deputy Whip in Majority. In June, 2009 she let it be known for the record that she does not wish to be referred to as "Ma'am".
Boxer (nee Barbara Levy) was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY. She received a bachelor's degree in economics from Brooklyn College in 1962. Levy married Stewart Boxer later in 1962, and for the next three years worked as a stockbroker. The Boxers later moved to Greenbrae, California, where Barbara worked as a congressional aide and journalist.
Boxer's political career began in 1976 with her election to the Marin County Board of Supervisors. In 1982 she was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from California's District 6. She served in the House until 1992, winning four re-election campaigns. During her time in the House Boxer was a member of the House Armed Services Committee. She was involved in seeking to provide protection for government whisteblowers, and in working to increase federal budgets for medical research and health care. When Alan Cranston retired from the Senate in 1992, Boxer was elected to the vacant seat. She was re-elected to the Senate seat in 1998 and 2004. She supports abortion and Gay Rights and has voted in favor of both in Congress.
In January 2007, Senator Boxer was the subject of controversy after criticizing U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice for not having children. "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, as I understand it, with an immediate family." 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."
Boxer was involved in the House banking scandal, in which a number of Representatives bounced checks written on their accounts in the House Bank. Boxer wrote 143 overdraft checks over a period of three years that totalled $41,417.