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Profile of Sen Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey

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Profile of Sen Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey Mark Wilson/Getty Imaages

Sen Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey:

Democrat Frank Lautenberg waselected to the U.S. Senate in 1982, 1988 and 1994, and after brief retirement, in 2002 and 2008. At age 88, he's the oldest U.S. senator in the 112th Congress.

Before election to the Senate, Mr. Lautenberg was Chairman and CEO of Automatic Data Processing (ADP), a major corporation he co-founded in 1949. His tenure at ADP endured from 1949 through 1982. Lautenberg was a Commissioner of the New York/New Jersey Port Authority from 1978 to 1982.

Issues of particular legislative importance to Sen. Lautenberg include gun violence and control, public education, and funding for AMTRAK rail systems.

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

In the 112th Congress, Sen. Lautenberg is a member of the Senate:
  • Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee
  • Commerce Subcommittee on Consumer Affairs, Insurance, Automotive Safety
  • Commerce Subcommittee on Surface Transportation (Chair)
  • Appropriations Committee
  • Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security (Vice Chair)
  • Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy, Water Development
  • Environment and Public Works Committee
  • Environment Subcommittee on Superfund, Toxics, Environmental Health (Chair)
  • Environment Subcommittee on Transportation
See U.S. Senate Committee Chairs in 112th Congress for a complete listing.

Personal Data:

  • Birth - January 23, 1924 in Paterson, New Jersey to working-class Jewish immigrants from Poland
  • Education - Nutley High School in New Jersey. B.A. in economics, 1949, Columbia University, which he attended via the G.I. bill.
  • Family - Married since 2001 to second wife, Bonnie Englebardt. Four adult children: Ellen, Nan, Lisa, Joshua. Ten grandchildren.
  • Faith - Judaism
Frank Lautenberg is a U.S. Army veteran who fought in World War II from 1942 to 1946.

Sen Frank Lautenberg on the Issues:

On Supporting AMTRAK

"Aided by his seat on the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee, Senator Lautenberg stood up and won against President Bush’s attempts to shut down the railroad by starving it of federal funding. He fought to make sure Amtrak receives the funding it needs to provide good service to travelers, pay fair wages to its employees and maintain the Northeast Corridor which 100,000 New Jersey Transit commuters rely on daily."

On Investing in Education

"Senator Lautenberg... has pressed Congress to help communities get the funding they need to expand afterschool programs, decrease class sizes, and improve special education. He also coauthored a 2007 law, the America COMPETES Act, which increases the nation's investment in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education and workforce development and will strengthen educational opportunities in these areas from elementary school through graduate school."

On Gun Violence, the Brady Bill, Banning Assault Weapons

"Senator Lautenberg has consistently fought to strengthen our nation’s gun violence prevention laws and to keep firearms out of the hands of dangerous criminals and terrorists... has also demanded more funding and protections for local police and law enforcement officials to help them do their job and keep our streets safe...

"Senator Lautenberg wrote the domestic violence gun ban to protect women and children by keeping spousal and child abusers from owning guns. Specifically, this law prohibits those who have been convicted of domestic violence misdemeanors from buying or possessing firearms. To date, this law has kept more than 150,000 guns out of the hands of convicted domestic abusers...

"Senator Lautenberg was also a cosponsor and strong supporter of the Brady law, which established background checks for handgun purchases and has stopped more than 1.5 million felons and dangerous people from buying guns...

"Senator Lautenberg has been fighting for over a decade to close the gun show loophole. This loophole defies common sense and allows guns to be sold, even to criminals and terrorists, without background checks at gun shows.

"Senator Lautenberg strongly supports reinstatement and strengthening of the assault weapons ban, which President Bush and the Republican congressional leadership allowed to expire in 2004. The need for an effective assault weapons ban cannot be overstated; without it, our streets are less safe and our law enforcement community is at greater risk.

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