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Profile of Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, DNC Chair

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Profile of Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, DNC Chair
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Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Democratic Party Chair:

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz was elected Chair of the Democratic National Committee on May 4, 2011, becoming the third woman to lead the Democratic Party. At age 44, she's also one of the youngest DNC leaders.

Four-term Rep. Wasserman Schultz was nominated to DNC leadership by President Obama largely due to her spirited campaigning, hard work and success at fundraising. She also hails from a battleground state that Obama hopes to win in 2012.

She's proven to be an effective and popular advocate for her 400,000 constituents in south Florida. The Congresswoman is a breast cancer survivor.

Debbie Wasserman Schultz - Major Areas of Interest:

Rep. Wasserman Schultz is proudly pro-choice and pro-gay rights. She avidly supports health care reform and public education initiatives. She's also pro-gun control, and spoke out forcefully for more stringent legislation after the shooting of friend Rep Gabrielle Gifford.

She's a tenacious fighter for issues affecting women, children and seniors, and was one of the prime movers behind naming each May as Jewish American Heritage Month.

Interestingly, Debbie Wasserman Schultz considers herself to be a fiscal moderate, and has been a member of the centrist Blue Dog Democrats since her 2004 election to Congress.

House Committees in 112th Congress:

  • House Budget Committee
  • House Judiciary Committee
  • Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security
  • Judiciary Subcommittee on Intellectual Property Competition, the Internet
  • Democratic Steering and Policy Committee
  • Democratic Vice Chair - Congressional Caucus for Women’s Issues
Rep. Wasserman Schultz served in the Democratic House leadership team as Chief Deputy Whip from 2006 through 2008.

Before the U.S. House of Representatives:

Before Rep. Wasserman Schultz was elected to Congress in 2004 with 53% of the vote, she was active in Florida politics. At age 26, she was the youngest woman ever elected to the Florida legislature.
  • 2001 to 2004 - Elected to State Senate
  • 1992 to 2001 - Elected to State House of Representatives, where she served a term as Democratic Leader Prop Tempore
  • 1988 to 1991 - Political aide to then Florida legislator Peter Deutsch. At his suggestion, Wasserman Schultz ran for and won his seat when he made a 1991 run for the U.S. House.
Debbie Wasserman Schultz has instructed political science courses at two Florida Colleges.

Personal Data:

  • Birth - September 27, 1966 in Long Island, New York, the oldest child of Larry Wasserman, a CPA, and wife Ann.

  • Education - Public schools in Long Island, New York. B.A. (1988) and M.A. (1990) in political science from University of Florida, where she served as President of the Student Senate and as President of the Graduate Student Council.

  • Family - Married to Scott Schultz, a vice-president at Community Bank of Broward. Three young children, Shelby (b. 2003), and twins Rebecca and Jake (b. 2000).

    Brother Steve Wasserman is Assistant U.S. Attorney in Washington D.C.

  • Faith - Jewish

Breast Cancer and Debbie Wasserman Schultz:

In December 2007, Debbie Wasserman Schultz received a breast cancer diagnosis. Further tests showed her to be a carrier of a genetic mutation making her at high risk for breast and ovarian cancers. The Congresswoman underwent seven cancer surgeries over the next year, resulting in a double mastectomy.

Rep. Wasserman Schultz publicly revealed her breast cancer battle in early 2009 when launching legislation to educate younger women about breast cancer. During the course of treatment, the Congresswoman maintained her full working schedule.

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz on the Issues:

On Israel

"I am a staunch supporter of the State of Israel and her citizens’ right to live in peace and security. Since Israel’s independence in 1948, the United States and Israel have shared a special relationship based on our shared values of personal freedom, democracy, and the rule of law...

"These are challenging times for Israel, and it has pained me deeply to hear the unfair and unjust criticism of that nation as she strives to protect her citizens. While Israel faces intense international criticism for exercising its legitimate right to self-defense, its enemies in the form of Hamas or Hezbollah rockets, global anti-Semitism, biased United Nations resolutions, and the danger of a nuclear Iran continue to threaten its safe and secure existence."

On Middle East Peace

"I am cautiously optimistic that we can achieve peace in the Middle East... I welcome the renewal of peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority and commend the Obama administration for its outstanding efforts to bring everyone back to the negotiating table."

On Education

"We must make a national commitment to education by strengthening our public K-12 schools, fully funding special education, and modernizing our classrooms. At the same time, we must enhance the ability of students to afford and attain higher education, and make sure that we have the best trained, most qualified teachers in the world. I am proud that in (this) Congress, we are working with a President who shares this commitment."

On Health Care Reform

"For the first time in history, we have passed a comprehensive health care reform bill that will ensure that all Americans have access to quality, affordable health care, while having the added benefit of significantly reducing long-term health care costs.

"When the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“Affordable Care Act”) is fully implemented, we will leave behind a U.S. health care system that spends more per capita than any nation on earth, yet is ranked dead last among industrial nations for quality, access and efficiency."

On U.S. Reliance on Oil from Foreign Sources

"Reliance on foreign-imported fossil fuels leaves us vulnerable to economic disruption by foreign nations wishing to influence U.S. foreign policy. We can no longer afford to ignore the fact that we import the majority of our petroleum, often from countries that do not share our democratic principles."

SOURCE - Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz's Congressional website

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