United States Senate:
This intelligent, low-key senator, who chairs the Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee in 2007-08, is a strong advocate of energy conservation and preservation of natural resources. He's among the 23 senators who voted in October 2002 against the Iraq War.
Major Areas of Interest and Voting Record:
He has a strong pro-peace, pro-choice, pro-public education voting record. He has voted for all US free trade agreements and supports embryonic stem cell research. In 2002, he tried to block funding for the new "bunker-buster" nuclear bomb sought by President Bush.
Senate Committees in 112th Congress, 2011-2012:
- Energy & Natural Resources Committee, Chair
- Finance Committee
- Finance Subcommittee on Energy, Natural Resources & Infrastructure, Chair
- Finance Subcommittee on International Trade
- Finance Subcommittee on Healthcare
- Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Committee
- Health Subcommittee on Children and Families
- Health Subcommittee on Retirement and Aging
- Congressional Joint Economic Committee
- US Army Reserves, 1968-74
- Assistant New Mexico Attorney General, 1969, as counsel to the State constitutional convention
- Practicing attorney, 1970-78
- New Mexico Attorney General, 1979-82
- US Senator from New Mexico, 1982-present
- Birth - October 3, 1943 in El Paso, Texas
- Education - Attended public schools in Silver City, NM; BA in Government from Harvard University in 1965; JD from Stanford University Law School in 1968.
- Family - Married; one adult son, John.
- Faith - Christian, Methodist
The Jeff Bingaman Persona:
Anne Kovacovich Bingaman, Spouse of Senator Bingaman:
"A policy that is not based on sound science is unwise." -- September 16, 1999
On U.S. Torture
On December 9, 2004, Bingaman wrote to Defense Secretary Rumsfeld to express his "deep concern over issues related to detainees being held in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Recent reports indicate that not only were detainees mishandled and interrogated in a manner inconsistent with the Geneva Conventions, but that subsequent internal reports of abuse appear to have been suppressed... While the abuse of detainees is unacceptable under any circumstance, reports of the suppression of evidence regarding abuse are extremely disturbing. Please inform me of the actions you intend to take."
On Due Process Rights for Prisoners
"The current practice of holding detainees or prisoners indefinitely, without affording them basic due process rights, has been widely criticized in this country and throughout the world. For a country such as ours that has consistently advocated for the rule of law, the policies of the current administration are nothing short of a major embarrassment... How we handle prisoners can have a dramatic impact on how our own men and women are treated in the event they are themselves taken prisoner." --- November 8, 2005
"We have a lot of major energy concerns in the US today. We have a need to increase supply and control the growth of demand for electricity....We have a need for more infrastructure for natural gas for heating. More and more, natural gas is the fuel people and small business depend on. But the natural gas infrastructure is inadequate for the future. We also have need for more gas and oil refining capacity. And we need to do something to control growth of demand for gasoline for autos." --- June 1, 2001