|Junior U.S. Senator from Washington|
From: January 3, 2001 – present
|Successor||Incumbent (no successor)|
Maria Elaine Cantwell, born October 13, 1958 (age 63), is a junior Democratic United States Senator and former Representative from the state of Washington. She represented the state of Washington's 1st Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1993 to 1995. After running an unsuccessful reelection campaign in 1995, she was elected to the United States Senate in 2000, having narrowly unseated Republican incumbent Slade Gorton. She was reelected in 2006. Throughout the course of the current congress, Cantwell voted with a majority of her Democratic colleagues 95 percent of the time during the current Congress.
Cap and Dividend
Maria Cantwell is a strong believer of the anthropogenic global warming theory, claiming humans are the cause of alleged climate change. In the wake of rising oil prices, Cantwell has stated that she wants to "help relieve the burden of gas prices on families and small businesses," by promoting a carbon tax in a simpler version of the cap-and-trade bill, called "cap-and-dividend." Cap-and-dividend would raise energy prices, including increasing the price of everything that requires energy to make or distribute. Under her bill, the government would impose a ceiling on carbon emissions each year; producers and importers of fossil fuels would have to buy permits as a carbon tax. Cap-and-dividend would set a price on carbon, and the permits would be auctioned, raising vast sums of money. According to Maria Cantwell, most of that money would be divided evenly among all Americans.