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      Senator Republican - Oregon
      After being sworn in to the United States Senate on January 7, 1997, Gordon Smith has quickly earned a reputation as a statesman with an independent streak. Senate leaders have recognized Senator Smith's abilities and have continually asked him to serve in key leadership and committee positi... read more

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      After being sworn in to the United States Senate on January 7, 1997, Gordon Smith has quickly earned a reputation as a statesman with an independent streak. Senate leaders have recognized Senator Smith's abilities and have continually asked him to serve in key leadership and committee positions. He has also become known for his ability to cross party lines in the interests of his constituents.

      Smith serves on five major Senate committees: Commerce, Science, and Transportation, Energy and Natural Resources, Rules, Indian Affairs, and the powerful Finance Committee. He also serves as the Chairman of the Special Committee on Aging. In addition, he is a member of the Senate Western Water and Rural Health Caucuses as well as the Chairman of the High Tech Task Force. Smith is also co-chairman of the Senate Task Force on Medicare and Prescription Drugs and has been selected by leadership three times to be a Deputy Whip.

      Since coming to the Senate, Smith has focused on issues crucial to the future health and prosperity of Oregonians. Smith believes that every child deserves a quality education and has been a consistent supporter of programs that increase funds for students. He has also made solving Oregon's dropout problem one of his primary goals and has introduced legislation to create a pilot program that will hire guidance counselors to work with students at risk of dropping out. Senator Smith is also committed to improving access to healthcare. To accomplish this Smith has sponsored a number of initiatives that will increase flexibility for state programs like the Oregon Health Plan. He has also introduced a bill that will alleviate the nursing shortage by authorizing $40 million in grants for health care facilities to develop innovative nursing programs. Smith continues to push for federal funds that will help to meet the basic health care needs of the uninsured.

      Senator Smith is also actively engaged in the many natural resource issues affecting the state and is recognized as an advocate for protecting Oregon's natural resources and the working families who depend on them for their livelihoods. Oregon has a long history of innovation in environmental policy that Smith continues to build upon. He has been working to strengthen and improve important policies such as the Oregon Forest Practices Act, the Beach Bill, the Oregon Plan for Salmon and the Oregon Resources Protections Act. He has also played a pivotal role in passing legislation that will protect Steens Mountain and Portland's Bull Run watershed for generations to come. Smith believes that Oregon's legacy of good stewardship and consensus-based decision making should be applied to many of the environmental issues under consideration by Congress.

      Smith's foray into politics began in 1992, when he was elected to the Oregon State Senate. His colleagues recognized his leadership abilities by electing him Minority Leader, and then President of the State Senate during his first term in office. Upon his election to the United States Senate, Smith became the first U.S. Senator from eastern Oregon since 1938.

      Born on May 25, 1952 in Pendleton, Oregon, Gordon Smith Graduated from Brigham Young University in 1976, and earned a law degree from Southwestern University in 1979. After working as an attorney in private practice, Smith assumed management of his family's frozen vegetable processing company, a position he held until his election to the U.S. Senate. Senator Smith and his wife Sharon have raised three children, Brittany, Garrett, and Morgan. They maintain homes in Pendleton and in Bethesda, Maryland.

      Categories: Politics

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