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Kirsten Gillibrand on Welfare & Poverty

Democratic Jr Senator (NY)


Served briefly under Clinton as Special Counsel for HUD

After nine years at Philip Morris and a short stint at HUD, Gillibrand joined [a private law firm]. But Gillibrand never disclosed anything about Philip Morris when she ran for Congress and gave few details about her short tenure at HUD. Here's how she described herself in her campaign literature:

"Throughout her career, Gillibrand has demonstrated their commitment to public service. During the Clinton Administration, she served as Special Counsel to the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Andrew Cuomo. Gillibrand played a key role in furthering HUD's Labor Initiative and its New Markets Initiatives, working on strengthening Davis-Bacon Act enforcement and drafting new markets legislation for public and private investment in building infrastructure in lower income areas."

No mention of what she did before she served in the Clinton administration (that is, defend Big Tobacco). And no explanation that she served at HUD for just over one year of that 8-year administration.

Source: Take Back America, by Dick Morris, p.191 , Apr 13, 2010

Voted YES on instituting National Service as a new social invention.

Congressional Summary:Generations Invigorating Volunteerism and Education (GIVE) Act:
    Adds to National and Community Service Act of 1990 (NCSA) purposes:
  1. providing year-round opportunities in service-learning;
  2. involving program participants in emergency and disaster preparedness, relief, and recovery;
  3. increasing service opportunities for retiring professionals;
  4. encouraging service by individuals age 55 or older and continued service by national service alumni;
  5. focusing national service on the areas of national need.

Proponent's argument to vote Yes:Sen. BARBARA MIKULSKI (D, MD): [In developing national service over many years] we were not in the business of creating another new social program. What we were in the business of was creating a new social invention. What do I mean by that? In our country, we are known for our technological inventions. But also often overlooked, and sometimes undervalued, is our social inventions.

We created national service to let young people find opportunity to be of service and also to make an important contribution. But not all was rosy. In 2003, when I was the ranking member on the appropriations subcommittee funding national service, they created a debacle. One of their most colossal errors was that they enrolled over 20,000 volunteers and could not afford to pay for it. That is how sloppy they were in their accounting. I called them the "Enron of nonprofits."

And they worked on it. But all that is history. We are going to expand AmeriCorps activity into specialized corps. One, an education corps; another, a health futures corps; another, a veterans corps; and another called opportunity corps. These are not outside of AmeriCorps. They will be subsets because we find this is where compelling human need is and at the same time offers great opportunity for volunteers to do it.

Opponent's argument to vote No:No senators spoke against the amendment.

Reference: Serve America Act/GIVE Act; Bill H.R. 1388 ; vote number 2009-S115 on Mar 26, 2009

Support school breakfast for low-income children.

Gillibrand signed bill favoring school breakfast for low-income kids