"Joseph Lieberman, in a decade in the Senate, has exerted influence out of proportion to his seniority, committee position or political clout, an influence that came from respect for his independence of mind, civility of spirit and fidelity to causes which he believes."
-The American Almanac of Politics, 1998
Joseph Lieberman has been fighting for working families and standing up to special interests throughout a 30-year career in public service. Learn more about him...
Joseph Lieberman has a strong history of public service. More...
In his twelve years in the Senate, Lieberman has fought for working families. He has been a leader in winning passage of landmark environmental protection, welfare reform, and government reform laws.
Defense And Foreign Affairs: As a member of the Armed Services Committee, Lieberman has worked to ensure a strong national defense and promote freedom throughout the world in places like Bosnia, China, Cuba and Eastern Europe. He was a co-author of, and supporter of, the Resolution authorizing the use of force in the Persian Gulf War.
Education: Lieberman has been a leader in backing expanded loans for college students and other programs to make college and life-long learning affordable for older adults. He has worked to expand the tax deduction for college tuition, cosponsored legislation to help states hire 100,000 new teachers nationwide, and has been a leading proponent of charter schools - helping to write legislation to significantly expand the federal charter school program and provide incentives to start more of these innovative and independent schools.
Environment: Lieberman has worked to strengthen Clean Air standards, and played a key role in winning passage of the landmark Clean Air Act Amendments in 1990. He also wrote legislation to hold oil and shipping companies liable for the damage they cause; he helped co-author the Pollution Prosecution Act of 1990 that quadrupled the number of EPA investigators; he was an early supporter of brownfields legislation. Closer to home, Lieberman worked to create Connecticut's first national park at Weir Farm, promoted a national wildlife refuge along the Connecticut River, and passed legislation to establish an EPA office in Connecticut dedicated to cleaning up the Long Island Sound.
Government Reform: Lieberman has been a leader for campaign finance reform. He has used his position on the Government Affairs Committee to expose government waste, such as the federal contracts that paid $69 an hour for security guards, and the highway noise barrier projects that were built along stretches of road where nobody lived to hear the noise. Lieberman played a key role in winning passage of the Congressional Accountability Act, which makes Congress live by the same laws it applies to the nation.
Protecting our Children: Lieberman pushed the video game industry to create a rating system so parents can protect their children from violent games. Lieberman was also the Congressional sponsor of the so-called V-Chip law - in support of an idea promoted by Al Gore - which offers parents guidance and control of television viewing by their young children. He helped write legislation calling on the Federal Trade Commission to investigate the marketing practices of the entertainment industry to determine to what extent they are selling violence to our children.
Health Care: Lieberman has worked with members of both parties to improve access and quality in our health care system. He cosponsored the Kennedy-Kassebaum bill to allow people to change jobs without risking the loss of their health insurance. He is now fighting to provide patients with reliable report cards so they can make more informed judgments about doctors and hospitals and get the best care available. And Lieberman has worked hard to reach consensus on a real Patients Bill of Rights to return decision-making authority back to doctors and patients.
Social Issues: Lieberman worked to strengthen the Crime Bill in 1994, and was a cosponsor of the Brady Bill that has helped keep 500,000 felons, fugitives and stalkers from buying guns since it was enacted. He helped fight for the federal Enterprise Zone program - a program that Al Gore has chaired as Vice President.
Welfare Reform: Lieberman also has been a leader on welfare reform; in addition to supporting the 1996 Welfare Reform Act, Lieberman wrote provisions of the law that assist teenage mothers, discourage out-of-wedlock pregnancies, and help states that move welfare recipients into self-supporting jobs.