In 2000, Hillary was elected to the United States Senate from New York. As Senator, Hillary has continued her advocacy for children and families and has been a national leader on homeland security and national security issues.
After the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, Hillary worked with her colleagues to secure the funds New York needed to recover and rebuild. She fought to provide compensation to the families of the victims, grants for hard-hit small businesses, and health care for front line workers at Ground Zero. And she continues to work for resources that enable New York to grow, to improve homeland security for New York and other communities, and to protect all Americans from future attacks.
She is the first New Yorker ever to serve on the Senate Armed Services Committee, working to see that America's military has the necessary resources to protect our national security. She has visited troops in Iraq and Afghanistan and at Fort Drum in New York, home of the 10th Mountain Division and other New York bases, as well as at Walter Reed Military Hospital. She has learned first-hand the challenges facing American combat forces. Hillary passed legislation to track the health status of our troops so that conditions like Gulf War Syndrome would no longer be misdiagnosed. She is an original sponsor of legislation that expanded health benefits to members of the National Guard and Reserves and has been a strong critic of the Administration's handling of Iraq.
But Hillary has recognized that we can't ignore our problems at home while we face challenges overseas. She has introduced legislation to tie Congressional salary increases to an increase in the minimum wage, because she believes if America's working people don't deserve a raise, neither does Congress. She has supported a variety of middle-class tax cuts, including marriage penalty relief, property tax relief, and reduction in the Alternative Minimum Tax, and supports fiscally responsible pay-as-you-go budget rules. She helped pass legislation that encouraged investment to create jobs in struggling communities through the Renewal Communities program. She has championed legislation to bring broadband Internet access, which is so important in today's information economy, to rural America.
In the Senate, Hillary has not wavered in her work to expand quality affordable health care to more Americans. She worked to strengthen the Children's Health Insurance Program, which increased coverage for children in low income and working families. She authored legislation that has been enacted to improve quality and lower the cost of prescription drugs and to protect our food supply from bioterrorism. She sponsored legislation to increase America's commitment to fighting the global HIV/AIDS crisis, and is now leading the fight for expanded use of information technology in the health care system to decrease administrative costs, lower premiums, and reduce medical errors.
Her strong advocacy for children continues in the Senate. Some of Hillary's proudest achievements have been her work to ensure the safety of prescription drugs for children, with legislation now included in the Best Pharmaceuticals for Children Act, and her legislation to help schools address environmental hazards. She has also proposed expanding access to child care. She has passed legislation that will bring more qualified teachers into classrooms and more outstanding principals to lead our schools.
Hillary has been a powerful advocate for women in the Senate. Her commitment to supporting the rights guaranteed in Roe v. Wade and to reducing the number of abortions by reducing the number of unwanted pregnancies was hailed by the New York Times as "frank talk...(and) a promising path." Hillary is one of the original cosponsors of the Prevention First Act to increase access to family planning. Her fight with the Bush Administration ensured that Plan B, an emergency contraceptive, will be available to millions of American women and will reduce the need for abortions.
Hillary is strongly committed to making sure that every American has the right to vote in fair, accessible, and credible elections. She introduced the Count Every Vote Act of 2005 to ensure better protection of votes and to ensure that every vote is counted.
In 2006, New Yorkers reelected Hillary to the Senate with 67 percent of the vote.