Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant: The WikiBook/Barbara Boxer

Barbara Levy Boxer (born November 11, 1940) is the junior United States Senate|United States Senator from California and a member of the Democratic Party (United States)|Democratic Party. Boxer is the chair of the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works|Environment and Public Works Committee and the chair of the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Ethics|Select Committee on Ethics, making her the only senator to preside over two committees simultaneously. She is also the Party whips of the United States Senate|Chief Deputy Whip of the Democratic Majority. [1]

She holds the record for the most popular votes in any U. S. Senate election in history, having received 6,955,728 votes in her United States Senate election in California, 2004|2004 re-election.[2]

Early life and familyEdit

Barbara Levy Boxer was born in Brooklyn, New York to Judaism|Jewish parents Sophie (née Silvershein; born in Austria) and Ira Levy.[3] She attended public schools, and graduated from George W. Wingate High School in 1958.

In 1962, she married Stewart Boxer and graduated from Brooklyn College with a bachelor's degree in Economics. While in college she was a member of Delta Phi Epsilon (social) sorority and was a cheerleader for the Brooklyn College basketball team.[4]

Boxer worked as a stockbroker for the next three years, while her husband went to law school. Later, the couple moved to Greenbrae, California|Greenbrae, Marin County, California, and had two children, Doug and Nicole. She first ran for political office in 1972, when she challenged incumbent Peter Arrigoni, a member of the Marin County Board of Supervisors, but lost a close election. Later during the 1970s, Boxer worked as a journalist for the Pacific Sun (newspaper)|Pacific Sun and as an aide to John Burton, then a member of Congress.[5] In 1976, Boxer was elected to the Marin County Board of Supervisors, serving for six years.[6] She was the Board's first woman president.[7]

In 1994, her daughter Nicole married Tony Rodham, brother of then-First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, in a ceremony at the White House. The couple had one son, Zachary, and divorced in 2000.[8]

Boxer's husband, Stewart, a prominent attorney in Oakland, represents injured workers in worker's compensation cases, keeping a very low political profile. Many cases are referred to him by labor unions, including the Teamsters. In 2006, the Boxers sold their house in Greenbrae, where they had lived for many years, and moved to Rancho Mirage, California|Rancho Mirage.[9] Their son, Douglas, a lawyer, practices with Stewart and is a member of the Oakland Planning Commission, having been appointed to that office by then-mayor Jerry Brown.

According to one story, which Boxer has acknowledged,[citation needed] in 1972, Stewart had planned to run for the Marin County Board of Supervisors, but decided the campaign would interfere with his law practice in Oakland, so Barbara ran instead. She was supported in that election by Marin Alternative, a broad-based, liberal political organization which she had helped found a few years before. A very active force in Marin County politics for a while, Marin Alternative dissolved in the late 1970s.

Boxer's first novel, A Time to Run was published in 2005 by San Francisco-based publishing company Chronicle Books.[10] Her second novel Blind Trust was released in July 2009 by Chronicle Books.

U.S. RepresentativeEdit

Boxer was elected to the United States House of Representatives in 1982, defeating Dennis McQuaid. Her slogan was "Barbara Boxer Gives a Damn." In the House, she represented United States House of Representatives, California District 6|California District 6 (Marin and Sonoma Counties) for five terms.[11]

During this time she focused on human rights, environmental protection, Military Procurement|military procurement reform, and abortion issues from a pro-choice stance.[citation needed] She was also involved in seeking protection for whistleblowers in government and pushed for higher budget allocations for health, biomedical research, and education.[citation needed]

As a member of the House Armed Services Committee, with the help of the Project on Military Procurement (now Project On Government Oversight [POGO]), Boxer exposed the "$7,600 The Pentagon|Pentagon coffee pot" and successfully passed more than a dozen procurement reforms.[citation needed]

In 1992, Boxer was embarrassed by the House banking scandal, which revealed that more than 450 Congressional Representatives and aides, herself included, wrote overdraft checks covered by overdraft protection by the House Bank. In response, she issued a statement saying "in painful retrospect, I clearly should have paid more attention to my account" and wrote a $15 check to the Deficit Reduction Fund for each of her 87 overdrafts.[12]

In 1991, during the Anita Hill Senate hearings, where Hill accused U.S. Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment, Boxer led a group of women House members to the Senate Judiciary Committee – demanding that the all-white, all-male Committee of Senators take Hill's charges seriously.[13]

U.S. SenatorEdit


  • United States Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation|Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation
    • United States Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Aviation Operations, Safety, and Security|Subcommittee on Aviation Operations, Safety, and Security
    • United States Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, and Insurance|Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, and Insurance
    • United States Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries, and Coast Guard|Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries, and Coast Guard
    • United States Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Surface Transportation and Merchant Marine Infrastructure, Safety, and Security|Subcommittee on Surface Transportation and Merchant Marine Infrastructure, Safety, and Security
    • United States Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Science and Space|Subcommittee on Science and Space
  • United States Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works|Committee on Environment and Public Works (Chairwoman)
  • United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations|Committee on Foreign Relations
    • United States Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Near Eastern and South and Central Asian Affairs|Subcommittee on Near Eastern and South and Central Asian Affairs
    • United States Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on East Asian and Pacific Affairs|Subcommittee on East Asian and Pacific Affairs
    • United States Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on International Operations and Organizations, Human Rights, Democracy and Global Women's Issues|Subcommittee on International Operations and Organizations, Human Rights, Democracy and Global Women's Issues (Chairwoman)
    • United States Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on International Development and Foreign Assistance, Economic Affairs, and International Environmental Protection|Subcommittee on International Development and Foreign Assistance, Economic Affairs, and International Environmental Protection
  • United States Senate Select Committee on Ethics|Select Committee on Ethics (Chairwoman)

A member of the Senate Democratic Leadership, Boxer serves as the Democratic Chief Deputy Whip, which gives her the job of lining up votes on key legislation. She also serves on the Democratic Policy Committee's Committee on Oversight and Investigations.[citation needed]

Presidential politicsEdit


2004 presidential election.

Platform and votesEdit

Health careEdit

File:WEB-SIZE-04-13-11-Women-s-Health-Presser-1.jpg|right|240px|thumb|Senator Boxer joined with Senate Democratic women at a press conference to speak about women’s health. Senator Boxer is part of a coalition to increase medical research to find cures for diseases. In 2007, she authored successful bipartisan legislation with Senator Gordon Smith (politician)|Gordon Smith to combat HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis globally.[14] In 1997, she authored a Patients' Bill of Rights. She has written a bill to make health insurance tax-deductible and another bill to let any American buy into the same health insurance program that members of Congress have. She supports comprehensive prescription drug coverage through Medicare (United States)|Medicare and the right of all consumers to purchase lower-cost prescription drugs re-imported from Canada.[15]

In October 2002, Boxer urged the George W. Bush administration|Bush Administration to take specific steps to address the causes of the Epidemiology of autism#Changes with time|steep increase in autism cases in California.[16] She wrote United States Department of Health and Human Services|Health and Human Services (HHS) United States Secretary of Health and Human Services|Secretary Tommy Thompson to establish a common national standard for the Causes of autism|diagnosis of autism; instruct the CDC and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry to convene a task force to review the current literature on autism and conduct its own study if necessary; and direct the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to work with the states to create a national chronic disease database.

Boxer is an advocate for embryonic stem-cell research, which has the potential to help those with diabetes, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, spinal cord injuries, and other diseases.[17]

In March 2010, Boxer voted to support the health care reform agenda of the Obama Administration and Democratic 111th Congress by voting yes on the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010|Health Care Reconciliation Act and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.


Boxer introduced legislation providing Federal funding for local after-school programs, which have been shown to increase student performance while decreasing juvenile delinquency, crime, and Recreational drug use|drug use. Her 'Computers in Classrooms' law encourages the donation of computers and software to schools.[citation needed]

Boxer supported the No Child Left Behind Act. Since its passage in 2001, she claims that the bill has been underfunded by billions of dollars. She vows to work towards a goal that assures it will be fully funded going forward, as originally pledged by former President George W. Bush.[citation needed]

Boxer has voted to increase the maximum award for the Pell Grant program, which provides grants to lower income students for college. In addition, she has supported tax benefits that she claims will help more families pay for higher education in the United States|higher education.[citation needed]

Boxer has co-introduced legislation that she claims is designed to allow college graduates to refinance their student loans at market rate, in order to ease the financial burden on those starting their careers.[citation needed]

Boxer established the Excellence in Education award to recognize teachers, parents, businesses and organizations that are working to make positive changes in education. Since 1997 Senator Boxer has presented the Excellence in Education Award to 38 recipients.[18]

The environmentEdit

Boxer successfully led the 2003 Senate floor battle to block oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.[19] In 2005, Boxer voted again to block oil drilling at ANWR.

Boxer has introduced the National Oceans Protection Act (NOPA) of 2005.[20] Some of the provisions of this act are: strengthen ocean governance; protect and restore marine wildlife and habitats; address ocean pollution; improve fisheries management. The bill also addresses needs regarding marine science, research and technology, marine mammals, coastal development, and invasive species.

Boxer is an original cosponsor of Senator Jim Jeffords’ (I-VT) Clean Power Act.[21] This legislation would reduce emissions of three pollutants coming from power plants; sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and mercury (element)|mercury, and also reduce emissions of carbon dioxide .

As the new head of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee in January 2007, Boxer wants to reduce energy consumption. She is attempting to curb global warming by leading pilot programs. The few things that she and some of her fellow Senators are doing could cut electricity consumption by as much as 50 percent in their Capitol Hill offices.[22]

Senator Boxer was the Senate sponsor of the Northern California Coastal Wild Heritage Wilderness Act, which was signed in to law by President George W. Bush on October 17, 2006. The bill protected 275830 acres of federal land as wilderness and 21 miles of stream as a wild and scenic river, including such popular areas as the King Range (California)|King Range and Cache Creek.[23] Senator Boxer worked with Senator Dianne Feinstein and Representative Mike Thompson (the bill's House sponsor) in the five-year effort to pass the legislation.

Boxer along with her colleague Dianne Feinstein voted in favor of subsidy payments to conventional commodity farm producers at the cost of subsidies for conservation-oriented farming.[24]

Reproductive rightsEdit

Boxer speaks at an event.

Boxer maintains a strong stance in support of reproductive rights and the Abortion-rights movement|"pro-choice" movement. Boxer authored the Freedom of Choice Act of 2004 and participated in the floor fight for passage of the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act.

Boxer is an original cosponsor of the Title X Family Planning Services Act of 2005, S.844, by Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY). This legislation aims to improve access to women's health care.

Social SecurityEdit

Boxer supports the current system of Social Security (United States)|Social Security, and opposed President George W. Bush's plan for partial privatization of Social Security.[25][26] Following the Enron scandal, Boxer again worked to ensure that retirement plans are diversified. She also introduced a bill to prohibit accounting firms from auditing and consulting for the same company.

National securityEdit

After the September 11, 2001 attacks, Boxer authored a bill to protect commercial airliners against attacks by shoulder-fired missiles, and wrote the law allowing airline pilots with special training to carry guns in the cockpit.

File:Boxer Marines.jpg|thumb|240px|Senator Boxer has lunch with California Marines during her visit to Iraq. (2005-03-22)

Boxer wrote the High-Tech Port Security Act, and sponsored the Chemical Security Act to address terrorist threats against chemical plants. Senator Boxer also cosponsored comprehensive rail security legislation.

Iraq WarEdit

In October 2002, Boxer voted against the joint resolution passed by the U.S. Congress to authorize the use of military force by the Bush Administration against Iraq.[27][28][29] In June 2005, Senators Boxer and Russ Feingold (D-WI) cosponsored Senate Resolution 171 calling for a timeframe for Withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq|U.S. troop withdrawal from Iraq.

Boxer's petition demanding an exit strategy from Iraq drew 107,218 signatures.[30]

Boxer was sharply critical of General Petraeus testamony regarding the political and military situation in Iraq in 2007, charging him with reporting while wearing 'rosy glasses'.[31]


In June 2008 Boxer spoke in the Senate in opposition to the FISA Amendments Act of 2008,[32] a pending bill in the United States Congress to amend the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act,[33] and later broke with her counterpart Sen. Dianne Feinstein and voted against it.[34]

Election reformEdit

Senators Boxer and Clinton unveil

Count Every Vote Act[dead link]. (2005-02-18)

Boxer voted in support of the 2002 Help America Vote Act, which mandated the use of voting machines across the country, among other provisions. On February 18, 2005 Senators Boxer, Hillary Clinton, and Representative Stephanie Tubbs Jones introduced the Count Every Vote Act of 2005, which would provide a voter verified paper ballot for every vote cast in electronic voting machines and ensure access to voter verification for all citizens. The bill mandates that this ballot be the official ballot for purposes of a recount. The bill sets a uniform standard for provisional ballots and requires the Federal Election Assistance Commission to issue standards that ensure uniform access to voting machines and trained election personnel in every community. The bill also mandated improved security measures for electronic voting machines.[35] The bill did not pass.

Bush nomineesEdit

During the confirmation hearings for the United States Secretary of State nominee Condoleezza Rice in January 2005, Boxer challenged her to admit to alleged mistakes and false statements made by the Bush Administration in leading the United States into the 2003 invasion of Iraq, and ultimately voted against confirmation, along with twelve other senators.[36][37] The dissent was the highest vote against a Secretary of State nominee since 1825 when Henry Clay was so named.[38]

Boxer voted against John R. Bolton|John Bolton's nomination for U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee however, President Bush bypassed the Senate by employing the constitutional right of recess appointment, only the second time such an appointment has been used for a United States Ambassadors to the United Nations|United States ambassador to the United Nations since the UN's founding in 1945

Boxer voted against the confirmation of Chief Justice of the United States nominee John G. Roberts|John Roberts, and against the confirmation of Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States|Associate Justice nominee Samuel Alito.[39][40]

Foreign policyEdit

In 1997, the Senate passed a Boxer resolution calling on the United States not to recognize the Taliban as the official government of Afghanistan because of its human rights abuses against women.

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. (2005-03-30)

In 2002, Senator Boxer voted against the U.S. invasion of Iraq. She has subsequently referred to that vote as the best vote of her career. She also voted against the first Gulf War (Operation Desert Storm) while a member of the House in 1991[41] and was a very vocal protester against the Vietnam War in the 1970s.[42]

Boxer is a cosponsor of S. 495, or the Darfur Accountability Act of 2005, which would impose sanctions against perpetrators of crimes against humanity in Darfur.

Drug Policy ReformEdit

Senator Boxer has come out against reforming marijuana policy and is opposed to the California Ballot measure to legalize and tax marijuana for those 21 and older in the state.[43] Notably, this position is against the majority of Californians, of whom a recent Field Poll pegs 56% as supporting taxing and legalizing the plant.[44]

India-U.S. nuclear dealEdit

Boxer is one of the most outspoken critics of the nuclear energy deal between the United States and India. Boxer is of the opinion that India should not get help from the U.S. in the civilian nuclear energy sector until it breaks Iran-India relations|its relationship with Iran.[45]

Major speeches and statementsEdit


  1. "In California: CNN projects Democratic Sen. win – CNN Political Ticker - CNN.com Blogs". CNN. 3 November 2010. http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2010/11/03/in-california-cnn-projects-democratic-sen-win/. Retrieved 3 November 2010. 
  2. Rob Hotakainen (Oct 20, 2010). "California's Boxer faces toughest Senate race yet". McClatchy Newspapers (Lexington Herald-Leader). http://www.kentucky.com/2010/10/04/1463554/californias-boxer-faces-toughest.html. Retrieved April 2, 2011. 
  3. 1
  4. http://www.answers.com/topic/barbara-boxer
  5. Information on Senator Barbara Boxer of California
  6. Bioguide
  7. Barbara Boxer (1940– ) By Seymour "Sy" Brody
  8. The New York Times: "A Rose Garden Wedding," May 30, 1994, accessed May 6, 2006
  9. "Barbara Boxer makes it official, files papers to run for reelection". Los Angeles Times. February 18, 2010. http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/california-politics/2010/02/barbara-boxer-makes-it-official.html. 
  10. SFGate.com, Accessed May 6, 2006
  11. Government Relations
  12. The House Bank; House Bank Overdrafts Add to Voters' Outrage – New York Times
  13. Clinton Woes a Snag for 3 Female Incumbents
  14. Recent Press Release from Barbara Boxer, US Senator from California[dead link]
  15. Strengthening the Economy: Barbara Boxer, US Senator, California[dead link]
  16. For the whole paragraph: Boxer page on U.S. Senate website[dead link], Accessed May 6, 2006
  17. An Open Letter to Nancy Reagan, by Barbara Boxer[dead link], Accessed May 6, 2006 Archived April 28, 2006 at the Wayback Machine[dead link]
  18. Boxer website: Excellence in Education Awards[dead link], Accessed May 6, 2006 Archived April 28, 2006 at the Wayback Machine[dead link]
  19. For the whole section, except where noted: Boxer Website: The Environment[dead link], Accessed May 6, 2006
  20. oceanconservancy.org: Senator Boxer Introduces National Oceans Protection Act of 2005, Accessed May 6, 2006[dead link]
  21. Senate.gov: Statement by Barbara Boxer before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, June 12, 2002, Accessed May 6, 2006
  22. Barbara Boxer Asks Senators to Save Energy". Associated Press, January 26, 2007.
  23. "Wilderness Law Library". Wilderness.net. 2006-10-17. http://www.wilderness.net/index.cfm?fuse=NWPS&sec=pubLawLibResults&PLID=150&WID=0. Retrieved 2010-05-25. 
  24. Becker, Elizabeth (April 8, 2002). "California Farmers Reconsidering Opposition To Subsidies". New York Times. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9406E1DC123DF93BA35757C0A9649C8B63. Retrieved April 26, 2010. 
  25. Boxer Delivers Major Speech On Social Security[dead link]
  27. "U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer | California". Web.archive.org. 2002-10-03. Archived from the original on 2002-10-17. http://web.archive.org/web/20021017220016/http://boxer.senate.gov/newsroom/200210/20021003_frelat.html. Retrieved 2010-08-29. 
  28. "The Harvard Law Record - Senator Boxer defends vote on Iraq resolution". Hlrecord.org. http://www.hlrecord.org/media/paper609/news/2002/10/24/News/Senator.Boxer.Defends.Vote.On.Iraq.Resolution-304772.shtml. Retrieved 2010-05-25. 
  29. "U.S. Senate: Legislation & Records Home > Votes > Roll Call Vote". Senate.gov. http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=107&session=2&vote=00237. Retrieved 2010-05-25. 
  30. http://boxer2008.com/blog/2005/10/17/boxer-petition-war/[dead link]
  31. http://www.politico.com/blogs/thecrypt/0907/Boxer_to_Petraeus_Take_off_your_rosy_glasses.html
  32. Template:Pdf
  33. "Boxer Statement on FISA Bill". June 25, 2008. http://www.boxer.senate.gov/news/releases/record.cfm?id=299645. [dead link]
  34. "Senate Vote 168 (110th Congress, 2nd Session)". U.S. Senate. July 9, 2008. http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=110&session=2&vote=00168. Retrieved July 9, 2008. 
  35. S. 450 [109th]: Count Every Vote Act of 2005 (GovTrack.us)
  36. "Transcript of remarks between Boxer and Rice". Sfgate.com. 2005-01-19. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2005/01/18/RICEBOXER.DTL. Retrieved 2010-05-25. 
  37. "U.S. Senate: Legislation & Records Home > Votes > Roll Call Vote". Senate.gov. http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=109&session=1&vote=00002. Retrieved 2010-05-25. 
  38. The New York Times > Washington > Rice Is Sworn In as Secretary After Senate Vote of 85 to 13
  39. http://boxer.senate.gov/news/record.cfm?id=246228[dead link]
  40. "U.S. Senate: Legislation & Records Home > Votes > Roll Call Vote". Senate.gov. http://senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=109&session=1&vote=00245. Retrieved 2010-05-25. 
  41. http://clerk.house.gov/evs/1991/roll009.xml
  42. Barbara Boxer Interview
  43. Byrne, John (2010-04-05). "Boxer: Legalizing pot could increase crime, car accidents". Raw Story. http://rawstory.com/rs/2010/0405/boxer-legalizing-pot-increase-crime-car-accidents/. Retrieved 2010-05-25. 
  44. Dan Whitcomb (March 25, 2010). "Marijuana legalization will be on California ballot". Reuters. http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE62O08U20100325. Retrieved 2010-05-25. 
  45. Nuke deal gets thumbs up in Senate hearing

External linksEdit