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Profile of Sen Barbara Mikulski of Maryland

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Profile of Sen Barbara Mikulski of Maryland

Sen. Mikulski with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

Paul Morigi/Getty Images

Sen Barbara Mikulski, Longest-Serving Woman in Congressional History:

Democrat Barbara Mikulski of Maryland was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 1986, and reelected to four more terms, the last in 2010 by a wide margin. She also served five terms in the U.S. House of Representives, from from 1976 to 1986.

She is the longest-serving woman in both U.S. Senate and Congressional history.

Before Congress, Barbara Mikulski was a Baltimore City Council member for five years, and worked at the Baltimore Department of Social Services. As a social worker, she is particularly focused on legislation affecting healthcare reform, Medicare, violence against women, and aiding families and veterans.

Senate Committees in the 112th Congress, 2011-2012:

In the 112th Congress, Sen Barbara Mikulski is a member of the Senate:
  • Health, Education, Labor, Pensions Committee
  • Health Subcommittee on Primary Health, Aging (Chair)
  • Health Subcommittee on Children, Families (Chair)
  • Appropriations Committee
  • Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science (Chair)
  • Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense
  • Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment
  • Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education
  • Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing, Urban Development
See U.S. Senate Committee Chairs in 112th Congress for a complete listing.

Personal Data:

  • Birth - July 20, 1936 in Baltimore, Maryland, the oldest of three daughters born to Polish-Catholic working-class parents William and Christine Mikulski
  • Education - B.A. in sociology, 1958, Mount St. Agnes College in Baltimore. Masters of Social Work in 1965, University of Maryland
  • Family - Never married
  • Faith - Roman Catholic

Sen Barbara Mikulski on the Issues:

On the Supreme Court Upholding ObamaCare

"I am so relieved that the Supreme Court has upheld the Affordable Care Act as constitutional. "With this ruling, our nation's highest court has made it clear that no matter who you are, a man or a woman, a senior facing cancer, a child with juvenile diabetes, you will have health care that's available, reliable and undeniable.

"Health care reform has achieved many goals that the American people wanted us to do:

  • "First, it expands universal access. Now 32 million people will have health care that they didn't have before.
  • "Second, it breaks the stranglehold of insurance companies, ending their punitive practices, particularly in those areas of preexisting conditions where they denied health care because a child might have autism or asthma.

    Or for we women they had a particular approach where they charged us more - 30 percent more - and then they simply treated a woman as being a preexisting condition. Sometimes being a victim of domestic violence was considered a preexisting condition. We ended that program.

  • "We also saved and strengthened Medicare and we exercised prevention, early detection and screening that will save lives, improve lives and also save money.
On Reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act

"I'm here to be a strong supporter for the Violence Against Women Act... This is a great bill, and it meets a compelling human need. Since the original Biden legislation, over one million women have called that hotline who were desperate, who were fearful for their lives. And when they called that number, they didn't get a busy signal, they didn't get hung up on, they got help. And I know that it saved lives."

On Treatment And Care For Wounded Service Members

"Just because a war is over for us doesn't mean it is over for the soldier, or his spouse, or her children. Some bear the permanent injuries of war, but all bear the permanent impact. We have a responsibility to our troops and their families about more than just meeting their immediate war wounds, but sticking with them through the wounds you can't see—the scars that heal but don't go away...

"... my goal is to ensure that every wounded warrior deserves a life, a family and a job. We must ensure that they can regain the skills and balance for all three things. We know they will be changed by their experience in combat, but that experience must not rob them of dignity and sense of self. They must receive the care they need to regain the skills to rejoin society."

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