Tina Smith – MN

Summary

Current Position: US Senator since 2019
Affiliation: Democrat
Candidate: 2022 US Senator
Former Position: Lt. Governor from 2015 – 2018

Other Positions:  
Chair, Subcommittee on Housing, Transportation, and Community Development

Featured Quote: 
When I was a young mom, my top priority was always the well-being of my kids. Working parents need to know that their children are safe and cared for, which is why I’m pushing for big investments to help working families across America afford childcare.

Sen. Tina Smith discusses push for green energy in infrastructure bill

OnAir Post: Tina Smith – MN

News

About

Source: Government page

Tina was born on March 4, 1958  in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and grew up in Santa Fe. In 1980, she graduated from Stanford University and in 1984, earned an MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College.

Tina then moved to Minnesota to work at General Mills and raise a family with her husband, Archie. They’ve been married for more than 30 years and have two sons, Sam and Mason. Mason married his wife Julia in 2016, and Sam and his wife Emily wed in the fall of 2017.

Tina left General Mills to start her own small business. Since then, she has dedicated her career to working on behalf of Minnesotans to improve lives and ensure that the state government works better for the people it serves. She’s served as Chief of Staff to both Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak and Governor Mark Dayton.

In 2014, Tina was elected to serve as Minnesota’s 48th Lieutenant Governor. As Lieutenant Governor, she’s traveled to every corner of the state to talk with, learn from, and work on behalf of Minnesotans.

Tina is proud to have worked on issues like tax fairness. In Minnesota, she helped push to make sure the wealthiest two percent to pay their fair share which resulted in lower income taxes for everyone else in the state—and all while balancing the state’s budget.

On health care, she worked to lower the number of Minnesotans without health insurance, and now the state’s uninsured rate is among the lowest in the country. But Senator Smith understands there’s still a lot we need to do to tackle health care costs, including prescription drug prices, and she’s committed to working to address this issue for Minnesota families.

And Sen. Smith will continue working on many of the things she championed as Lt. Governor—including early education and rural broadband.

Personal

Full Name: Tina Smith

Gender: Female

Family: Husband: Archie; 2 Children: Sam, Mason

Birth Date: 03/04/1958

Birth Place: Albuquerque, NM

Home City: Saint Paul, MN

Religion: Presbyterian

Source: Vote Smart

Education

MBA, Dartmouth College, 1982-1984

Bachelor’s, Political Science, Stanford University, 1976-1980

Political Experience

Senator, United States Senate, 2018-present

Former Member, Subcommittee on Livestock, Marketing, and Agriculture Security, United States Senate

Candidate, United States Senate, 2020

Lieutenant Governor, State of Minnesota, 2014-2018

Professional Experience

Employee, General Mills

Former Marketing Professional, General Mills, Incorporated

Former Chief of Staff, Governor Mark Dayton, State of Minnesota

Former Chief of Staff, Mayor R.T. Rybak, City of Minneapolis

Former Employee, Trans-Alaskan Pipeline

Vice President of External Affairs, Planned Parenthood, 2003-2006

Senior Manager, Planned Parenthood of Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, 2003-2006

Campaign Manager, Walter Mondale for Senate, 2002

Principal, MacWilliams Cosrove Smith Robinson, 1992-1998

Campaign Manager, Ted Mondale for Governor, 1998

Offices

Washington, DC
720 Hart Senate Office
Building
Washington, DC 20510
Phone: (202) 224-5641

Saint Paul
60 Plato Blvd. East
Suite 220
Saint Paul, MN 55107
Phone: (651) 221-1016

Rochester
1202-1/2 7th Street NW
Suite 213
Rochester, MN 55901
Phone: (507) 288-2003

Moorhead
819 Center Avenue
Suite 2A
Moorhead, MN 56560
Phone: (218) 284-8721

Duluth
515 W. 1st Street
Suite 104
Duluth, MN 55802
Phone: (218) 722-2390

Contact

Email: https://www.smith.senate.gov/contact-tina

Web Links

Politics

Source: none

Election Results

To learn more, go to this wikipedia section in this post.

Finances

Source: Open Secrets

Committees

New Legislation

Sponsored and Cosponsored

Issues

Source: Government page

Economy

Jobs and Economy

Senator Smith is committed to fighting for more jobs and building a stronger economy, one that works for everyone so businesses grow and workers get better jobs with better pay, and so we can invest in infrastructure and manufacturing. Sen. Smith wants to address college affordability and expand career and workforce training for young people who don’t go to a four-year college.

Despite the fact that the economy is rebounding, too many Minnesota families struggle to make ends meet, face a job loss, or grapple with a shrinking pay check. Sen. Smith believes that in order to build an economy that works for everyone, we need a fairer tax code that supports working families, not just the wealthiest of Americans. We need paid family and medical leave for workers so that parents can stay home to take care of a newborn or a sick a family member without losing a paycheck. We need to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act to close the pay gap between men and women. We need fair trade policies that help Minnesota workers, businesses, and farmers get ahead, and we need to crack down on foreign countries that break international trade rules and put American workers out of jobs. We need to hold Wall Street accountable and make sure they don’t cause another economic collapse. We need to invest in small businesses and support entrepreneurs. And we need to help foster the next generation of Minnesota innovators by investing in research and development.

As a member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, Sen. Smith will build on Minnesota’s proud history of invention and creativity by supporting our classrooms, students, and our workforce. And, as a member of the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee, Sen. Smith will be standing up for consumers, working to ensure fair access to financial services for all Americans, and working to improve the availability of safe, decent, and affordable housing.

Education

Education

Senator Smith believes that a strong public education system, from early childhood to higher education, is one of the most important investments we can make, because education has the power to change lives. A high-quality education empowers and creates opportunity, allowing people to reach their full potential, support their families with good-paying jobs, and become well informed and engaged citizens.

Education provides a strong foundation for our economy and our communities, and it starts with the littlest kids and learners. Senator Smith has worked in response to the childcare shortages in Minnesota, she’s a proud supporter of legislation to provide high-quality affordable childcare to all parents, to support childcare providers, and boost supply in Minnesota.

Sen. Smith believes that every young person has a right to a high-quality K-12 education. She’s introduced legislation to address teacher shortages, particularly in rural areas, hard to staff subject areas, and to help improve teacher workforce diversity. She’s heard again and again from teachers about the challenges their students are facing and so she has championed several measures to support student mental health needs and well-being. When it comes to higher education, Sen. Smith believes that college has become unaffordable for too many. She finds it troubling that the average debt for students graduating from a four-year college in Minnesota is $31,000. She believes we need to rethink this system because it’s not fair to students, and it’s getting so that it is even slowing down our economy.

But Senator Smith also understands that ‘higher education’ doesn’t always mean a 4-year degree. Sen. Smith strongly believes that we need to increase our investments in two-year community and technical colleges, and workforce education overall to ensure that students are well-prepared to meet workforce needs. This type of education will help students obtain the in-demand skills that will help them land good-paying jobs that employers are hiring for now, not in the distant future.

Sen. Smith is also committed to addressing the opportunity gaps that prevent too many students from reaching their full potential. She believes that means ensuring that every student, from LGBTQ youth, to those struggling with a challenging home life, mental health issues, or immigrant Minnesotans’ has the support they need to succeed.

Finally, Sen. Smith understands that outside the classroom our kids are facing many barriers and she strongly supports reforming and expanding the Child Tax Credit to invest in children and reduce child poverty in Minnesota and across the nation.

Environment

Environment

Minnesota—in protecting freshwater resources and leading the way in creating a clean energy economy—has always been at the forefront of crafting responsible environmental policy. And as a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Sen. Smith carries this spirit to Washington and continues to fight for federal policies that seek to combat climate change, preserve clean air and clean water, and protect our most precious natural landscapes.

Despite the great work being done in states like Minnesota, environmental challenges persist every day. Terrible accidents like the Flint water crisis where cost-cutting measures led to dangerous levels of lead in Michigan homes, and sweeping challenges like climate change, make clear that the federal government has an important role to play in protecting our environment. Ignoring this responsibility would put our natural treasures, our public health, and even our economy at risk.

Part of this responsibility means fighting back against efforts to rollback responsible environmental policy. Decisions like pulling out of the Paris Agreement, a landmark international agreement to address climate change, and undermining a plan to reduce air pollution are both outdated and out of touch with what most Americans want. Sen. Smith will fight back against policies that threaten our environment and our public health, but she stands ready work with her colleagues on both sides of the aisle to make sure our environmental policies work better for Minnesotans and all Americans.

Health Care

Healthcare

Senator Smith believes that every person deserves affordable, high-quality health care. As a member of the Senate Health Committee and a leader in the bipartisan Rural Health Caucus, Sen. Smith is fighting to protect, improve, and expand comprehensive health care coverage for Minnesotans.

A top priority for Sen. Smith is addressing the high cost of health care. Too many Minnesotans are burdened by the high cost of their health care coverage, and others are going without insurance or prescription medications. Sen. Smith is working with her colleagues on both sides of the aisle to address the underlying issues that make health care expensive, starting with the high price of prescription drugs.

While working to make health care more affordable, Sen. Smith is also working to ensure that every Minnesotan has access to mental health care, which she believes is an essential part of comprehensive health coverage. She is working to enforce federal laws that require equitable coverage of mental health and medical care, and she is fighting for expanded access to mental health services across the age continuum.

Sen. Smith also opposes any efforts to limit coverage for Minnesotans, slash Medicaid or Medicare, deny coverage to people with preexisting conditions, and interfere with a woman’s right to make decisions about her own health care. Minnesotans and people across this country rely on their health coverage, and believes that any attempt to take that away is unacceptable.

Finally, Sen. Smith is a champion for rural communities, who face unique barriers that limit their access to quality, affordable health care. As co-chair of the bipartisan Rural Health Caucus, Sen. Smith is working with her colleagues to eliminate the health disparities between rural and urban communities.

Safety

National Security

Minnesota has a proud tradition of being at the forefront of helping to defend our national security. Elements of the Minnesota National Guard led the Allied invasion forces in North Africa and Italy during World War II, they dutifully protected our northern border during the Cold War, and they have been called upon time and again in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to provide warfighting support, medical evacuation, and transportation. Sen. Smith will carry this spirit of leadership and fight for principled national security policies that prudently employ our investments in personnel, technology, and partnerships with our allies for the benefits of our nation.

The U.S. military is the best in the world. However, as the recently released National Defense Review highlighted, the number of threats to our national security is growing. Terrorism, great power competition, and nuclear proliferation will not be easy national security challenges but the way forward is clear. We must continue to invest in personnel, technology, and the partnerships that have been so successful at ensuring our security.

It is also important to recognize that our national security is best served when the military is not our only tool. We must also make effective use of diplomacy and development. Diplomacy is essential if we are going to solve tough security challenges from the Middle East to China and North Korea – without dangerous military conflict. And fostering development is not only good for the communities where it happens – it is good for the U.S. because it promotes stability and prosperity and fosters alliances.

Veterans

Veterans

The men and women who have honorably served our nation in uniform deserve our utmost respect, and when they return home we need to make sure our veterans get the benefits and care they earned. Sen. Tina Smith believes this includes ensuring they’re able to pursue higher education, find housing and good jobs, and helping them heal from the wounds of war and access health care. It also means making sure veterans receive quality, timely care, and that we actively seek out legislative fixes when we find gaps in the law that prevent them from receiving the benefits they’ve justly earned.

In order to do this, Sen. Smith encourages you to reach out to her when you hear about a veteran who needs assistance. Whether it be helping to connect them to services, advocating on their behalf, or working to fix a legislative issues, Sen. Smith is here to help.

Agriculture

Sen. Smith fought for a spot on the Senate Agriculture Committee because ag is the backbone of Minnesota’s economy.

All Minnesotans are impacted by the Farm Bill, and Sen. Smith heard from Minnesotans with backgrounds in farming, rural development, rural health, and nutrition to make sure that all voices were reflected in the final 5-year bill that passed in 2018. That legislation included many provisions that Sen. Smith authored and championed, including improvement to the dairy safety-net program, the legislative roadmap for the energy title, and improvement to USDA conservation programs. It also included many provisions that benefit Minnesota’s native communities and new American communities, like permanent funding for beginning and traditionally under-served farmer outreach programs.

Sen. Smith understands that it’s been a very difficult few years for agriculture, and she believes that the federal government should be giving farmers more support. She’s heard from farmers about the high cost of health care, including access to health care providers and access to mental health care resources, which is why Senator Smith championed the creation of the rural health liaison at the USDA as well as funding for local mental health resources and to expand access to stress reduction and suicide prevention programs.

She also believes it’s important to invest more in Greater Minnesota, and from her leadership post on the Rural Development and Energy Subcommittee, will keep working to expand access to broadband and better infrastructure.
Thousands of Minnesotans are employed in the ethanol and biodiesel industry, selling corn and soybeans to biofuel facilities boosts the incomes of farmers around the state. Biofuels are good for energy security, for our environment, and for our economy, which is why Sen. Smith will advocate for a strong Renewable Fuel Standards (RFS) program.

Indian Affairs

Sen. Smith is proud to represent and advocate for the seven Ojibwe tribes, the four Dakota tribes, and the vibrant urban indigenous community in Minnesota.

When Senator Smith first joined the Senate, she asked to serve on the Indian Affairs Committee because she’s heard time and time again from leaders in Indian Country who are frustrated that policy decisions are being made without bringing tribes to the table. There are tremendous needs in Indian Country, and Sen. Smith understands that leaders in Indian Country often have answers for how the federal government can step up and fulfill its trust responsibility to tribal communities.

Sen. Smith wants to make sure programs in Indian Country or that directly impact tribes from energy and economy development to health and education are adequately supported. She believes we need to address the effects of the opioid crisis on tribal communities, especially on mothers and children. We need to address the lack of housing in Indian Country, which makes it harder to attract teachers, law enforcement officers, and health care workers that reservations need.

Sen. Smith believes we also need to give tribes the tools to develop their workforce and attract business and investment, while also investing in basic infrastructure like roads and broadband.

Energy

The emerging clean energy economy supports thousands of good-paying jobs in Minnesota and around the country. And wind, solar, and biofuels are helping to reduce carbon emissions, lower energy bills, and support rural economies. As a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, Sen. Smith wrote the legislative framework for the Farm Bill Energy Title, and has introduced legislation to support energy storage innovation. Sen. Smith believes that clean energy is a win-win for Minnesota and is committed to fighting for federal policies that support these innovative technologies.

Minnesota has long been a leader in renewable energy. The state ranks eighth in the nation for clean-energy patents, and in the last decade, clean energy startups have attracted more than $450 million in investments to Minnesota. Today, renewable energy accounts for a quarter of all electricity generated in Minnesota–the state is ranked fifth in the nation for solar installations, and nearly 20 percent of our electricity now comes from wind power. Meanwhile, Minnesota’s biofuel industry generates nearly $5 billion for the state economy every year and supports thousands of jobs, all while producing a fuel that is more environmentally friendly than fossil fuels and reducing our dependence on foreign oil.

Sen. Smith believes that clean energy isn’t just smart environmental policy, it’s smart economic policy. In Minnesota, clean energy sector jobs are growing twice as fast as jobs in other parts of the economy, which is why Sen. Smith is pushing the federal government to follow Minnesota’s lead and do more to accelerate the clean energy transition. She believes we should do this through national clean energy targets, by funding more clean energy research, by extending tax credits that incentivize clean and renewable energy, and by supporting biofuels. You can count on Sen. Smith to continue fighting for these policies in the Senate.

Wikipedia

Christine Elizabeth Smith (née Flint, born March 4, 1958)[1] is an American politician, retired Democratic political consultant, and former businesswoman serving as the junior United States senator from Minnesota since 2018. She is a member of the Minnesota Democratic–Farmer–Labor Party (DFL), an affiliate of the Democratic Party.

Born in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Smith moved to Minnesota in the 1980s to work for General Mills and later became the vice president of Planned Parenthood of Minnesota. She then began a career as a political consultant and organizer for local Democratic candidates. Smith managed Walter Mondale's unsuccessful last-minute campaign in the 2002 United States Senate election in Minnesota after incumbent senator Paul Wellstone died in a plane crash 11 days before the election.[2]

After Mondale lost, Smith served as chief of staff to Mayor of Minneapolis R. T. Rybak. She then helped run Mark Dayton's successful campaign for Governor of Minnesota in 2010. After his victory, Dayton named Smith his chief of staff. Later, for Dayton's reelection campaign in the 2014 election, Smith was named as Dayton's pick for lieutenant governor.[3] After winning her first election to public office, Smith served from 2015 to 2018 as Minnesota's 48th lieutenant governor. Dayton then appointed her to fill the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Al Franken's resignation in 2018. She won the 2018 special election and was elected to a full term in 2020.[4]

Early life and education

Smith was born on March 4, 1958,[5] in Albuquerque, New Mexico, the daughter of Christine, a teacher, and F. Harlan Flint, a lawyer.[6] She mostly grew up in Santa Fe, New Mexico, attending Manderfield and Acequia Madre Elementary.[7] She finished high school in Northern California.[6]

Before going to college, Smith worked on the Trans-Alaskan Pipeline in Prudhoe Bay, Alaska. She graduated from Stanford University with a degree in political science, and later earned a master's degree in business administration from Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College.[8]

Early career

In 1984, Smith moved to Minnesota for a marketing job at General Mills.[9] She later started her own marketing firm, where she consulted with businesses and nonprofits.[10]

In the early 1990s, Smith became involved in local politics, volunteering for DFL campaigns in Minneapolis.[11] She managed Ted Mondale's unsuccessful 1998 campaign for governor. After Minnesota's U.S. Senator Paul Wellstone died in a plane crash weeks before the 2002 election, Smith managed former U.S. Vice President Walter Mondale's campaign for the seat.[12] After Mondale lost a narrow election to Norm Coleman, Smith began working as the vice president of external affairs at Planned Parenthood of Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota.[13]

In 2006, Smith left her job at Planned Parenthood to serve as chief of staff to Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak.[14] In 2010 she was picked to manage Rybak's gubernatorial campaign, which ended after Margaret Anderson Kelliher won the DFL endorsement.[12] Smith then joined the campaign of Mark Dayton, who skipped the endorsing convention and eventually won the DFL primary.[11] After Dayton defeated Republican Tom Emmer in the general election, Smith was named a co-chair of the transition. When Dayton took office in January 2011, he appointed Smith his chief of staff.[15]

Lieutenant Governor of Minnesota

2014 election

When Lieutenant Governor Yvonne Prettner Solon announced she would not seek reelection, Dayton selected Smith as his running mate in the 2014 gubernatorial election. He cited Smith's work on passing legislation for new Minnesota Vikings Stadium, as well as her support for the Destination Medical Center project with the Mayo Clinic in Rochester.[15]

Smith stepped down as Dayton's chief of staff to campaign for lieutenant governor. After being nominated by acclamation at the DFL state convention, and facing only token opposition in the DFL gubernatorial primary, Dayton and Smith defeated Republicans Jeff Johnson and Bill Kuisle in the general election.[16]

Tenure

Smith in 2016

Smith took office as lieutenant governor on January 5, 2015, and served until she was appointed to represent Minnesota in the U.S. Senate on January 2, 2018.[17] During her tenure Smith was described by many political observers as having a much higher profile and playing a much more significant role in legislative negotiations than her predecessors.[9][18] She spent a significant amount of time traveling the state in support of the priorities of Dayton's administration, including funding for optional preschool for all four-year-olds, transportation infrastructure, and rural broadband internet access. She also served as chair of the Destination Medical Center board until her resignation in December 2017.[19][20]

In 2016 Roll Call named Smith to its "America's Top 25 Most Influential Women in State Politics" list, citing her high-profile role in the Dayton administration.[21]

Despite widespread speculation to the contrary, Smith announced in March 2017 that she would not run for governor in the 2018 election.[22][23]

U.S. Senate

Dayton appointing Smith to the Senate

Appointment

On December 13, 2017, Governor Dayton announced Smith as his pick to fill the United States Senate seat held by Al Franken, who had announced he would resign amid allegations of sexual misconduct.[24][25] Democrats in the state immediately united around Smith as the party's candidate in the November 2018 special election to fill Franken's term.[26]

Franken officially resigned on January 2, 2018.[27][28]

Elections

2018 Special

In August 2018, Smith won the Minnesota Democratic–Farmer–Labor Party primary with 76% of the vote. Richard Painter, a White House ethics lawyer during the George W. Bush administration, finished second with 14%.[29][30]

In the November general election, Smith defeated Republican nominee Karin Housley, a state senator from St. Marys Point, with 53% of the vote to Housley's 42%.[31][32]

2020

Minnesota was seen as a swing state in the 2020 presidential election, which made Smith a swing-state Democrat up for reelection. Her campaign focused on delivering results for Minnesotans on local issues, such as farming in southern Minnesota, police brutality in wake of the George Floyd protests and North Shore drilling in the Duluth area, and took strong positions on national issues such as the Amy Coney Barrett Supreme Court nomination. Smith defeated Republican nominee Jason Lewis with 48.8% of the vote to Lewis's 43.5%, thus winning her first full six-year Senate term.[33]

Tenure

With Vice President Mike Pence administering the oath of office, Smith was officially sworn in as a U.S. Senator on January 3, 2018,[34] alongside Doug Jones of Alabama. She was accompanied by fellow Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar and former Vice President and former Minnesota Senator Walter Mondale.[35]

Smith was participating in the certification of the 2021 United States Electoral College vote count on January 6, 2021, when Trump supporters stormed the United States Capitol. She called the participants in the attack "seditionists" and blamed Trump for inciting the attack. When the Capitol was secure and the Congress returned to session, Smith supported the certification of the count.[36] In response to the insurrection, she called for Trump's immediate removal from office through the invocation of the Twenty-fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution and impeachment, saying that the president needed to be held accountable for the attack and that "he is dangerous to our democracy and to public safety."[37][38] She said that Representatives Michelle Fischbach and Jim Hagedorn, who objected to certifying the election, "were complicit in pushing for the president's big lie",[37] and also called on Senators Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley to resign for objecting to the certification of the election and spreading falsehoods about election integrity.[39]

Committee assignments

[40][41][42][43][44][45]

Smith previously served on the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources from January 10, 2018, to January 3, 2019, during the first session of the 116th Congress.

Political positions

Abortion

Smith supports abortion rights. She was a vice president at Planned Parenthood from 2003 to 2006, where she lobbied against efforts to oppose abortion rights.[46][47]

In February 2019, Smith voted against the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, saying that the bill "would override physicians' professional judgment about what is best for their patients" and "put physicians in the position of facing criminal penalties if their judgment about what is best for their patient is contrary to what is described in this bill."[48]

On May 2, 2022, just after Politico obtained and released a 98-page U.S. Supreme Court draft opinion striking down Roe v. Wade, Smith responded in a tweet, "This is bullshit."[49] After the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade on June 24, Senators Smith and Elizabeth Warren wrote a New York Times op-ed calling on President Joe Biden to unblock "critical resources and authority that states and the federal government can use to meet the surge in demand for reproductive health services."[50] On April 2, 2024, Smith published an essay, "I Hope to Repeal an Arcane Law That Could Be Misused to Ban Abortion Nationwide", in The New York Times.[51]

Agriculture

In March 2019, Smith and 37 other senators signed a letter to US Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue warning that dairy farmers "have continued to face market instability and are struggling to survive the fourth year of sustained low prices" and urging his department to "strongly encourage these farmers to consider the Dairy Margin Coverage program."[52]

Climate change

In November 2018, Smith and 24 other Democratic senators cosponsored a resolution in response to findings of the Intergovernmental Panel On Climate Change (IPCC) report and National Climate Assessment. The resolution affirmed the senators' acceptance of the findings and their support for bold action to address climate change.[53]

Digital assets

In a 2021 letter, Smith and four colleagues wrote to Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg to criticize the company's Diem digital currency project. In the letter, they argued that "stablecoins in general" are "incompatible with the actual financial regulatory landscape."[54] In 2022, Smith and Elizabeth Warren wrote to Fidelity Investments CEO Abigail Johnson to object to a plan to allow for the inclusion of Bitcoin in their 401(k)s.[55]

Drug policy

In December 2018, Smith and 20 other senators signed a letter to Commissioner of Food and Drugs Scott Gottlieb stating their approval of the Food and Drug Administration's actions to hinder youth access to e-cigarettes and urging the FDA "to take additional, stronger steps to prevent and reduce e-cigarette use among youth."[56]

In July 2020, Smith introduced the Substance Regulation and Safety Act to legalize cannabis at the federal level and direct federal agencies to develop various regulations regarding cannabis.[57] During a floor speech on racial justice, she called for passage of the bill along with the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act to end the "failed policy" of cannabis prohibition that "contributes to mass incarceration and over-policing of communities of color".[58]

Foreign policy

In April 2019, Smith and 33 other senators signed a letter to then-President Donald Trump asserting that Trump had "consistently expressed a flawed understanding of U.S. foreign assistance" since becoming president and that by preventing the use of Fiscal Year 2018 national security funding he was "personally undermining efforts to promote U.S. national security and economic prosperity". The senators argued that foreign assistance to Central American countries decreased migration to the U.S. by helping to improve conditions in those countries.[59]

In March 2024, Smith urged the Biden administration to recognize a "nonmilitarized" Palestinian state after the end of the war in Gaza.[60]

Gun control

In March 2018 Smith and nine other senators signed a letter to Chairman of the United States Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Lamar Alexander and ranking Democrat Patty Murray requesting they schedule a hearing on the causes and remedies of mass shootings in the wake of the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting.[61]

Health care

In the lead-up to the 2018 elections, Smith said her record in the Senate showed she would fight pharmaceutical companies to improve people's lives, and that she would continue to fight to lower the cost of health care and prescription drugs in Minnesota, for example by making generic drugs more available, preventing people with preexisting conditions from being charged more, and allowing Minnesotans to buy in to Medicare if they are dissatisfied with their options on the insurance market.[62] Smith has endorsed single-payer healthcare.[63]

In December 2018, Smith and 41 other senators signed a letter to Trump administration officials Alex Azar, Seema Verma, and Steve Mnuchin arguing that the administration was improperly using Section 1332 of the Affordable Care Act to authorize states to "increase health care costs for millions of consumers while weakening protections for individuals with preexisting conditions." The senators requested the administration withdraw the policy and "re-engage with stakeholders, states, and Congress."[64]

In January 2019, during the 2018–19 United States federal government shutdown, Smith and 33 other senators signed a letter to Commissioner of Food and Drugs Scott Gottlieb recognizing the efforts of the FDA to address the shutdown's effect on public health and employees while remaining alarmed "that the continued shutdown will result in increasingly harmful effects on the agency's employees and the safety and security of the nation's food and medical products."[65]

In February 2019, Smith and ten other senators signed a letter to insulin manufactures Eli Lilly and Company, Novo Nordisk, and Sanofi about their increased insulin prices having deprived patients of "access to the life-saving medications they need."[66]

Housing and infrastructure

In April 2019, Smith and 40 other senators signed a bipartisan letter to the housing subcommittee praising the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development's Section 4 Capacity Building program as authorizing "HUD to partner with national nonprofit community development organizations to provide education, training, and financial support to local community development corporations (CDCs) across the country" and expressing disappointment that President Trump's budget "has slated this program for elimination after decades of successful economic and community development." The senators wrote of their hope that the subcommittee would support continued funding for Section 4 in Fiscal Year 2020.[67]

In June 2019 Smith was one of eight senators to sponsor the Made in America Act, legislation that would designate federal programs that had funded infrastructure projects not currently subject to Buy America standards and mandate that the materials used in these programs be domestically produced. Bill cosponsor Tammy Baldwin said the bill would strengthen Buy America requirements and that she was hopeful both Democrats and Republicans would support "this effort to make sure our government is buying American products and supporting American workers."[68]

Immigration

In August 2018, Smith was one of 17 senators to sign a letter spearheaded by Kamala Harris to United States Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen demanding that the Trump administration take immediate action in attempting to reunite 539 migrant children with their families, citing each passing day of inaction as intensifying "trauma that this administration has needlessly caused for children and their families seeking humanitarian protection."[69]

In July 2019, following reports that the Trump administration intended to cease protecting spouses, parents and children of active-duty service members from deportation, Smith was one of 22 senators led by Tammy Duckworth to sign a letter arguing that the protection gave service members the ability "to fight for the United States overseas and not worry that their spouse, children, or parents will be deported while they are away" and that its termination would both cause service members personal hardship and negatively affect their combat performance.[70]

LGBTQ rights

In October 2018, Smith and 19 other senators signed a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo urging him to reverse the rolling back of a policy that granted visas to same-sex partners of LGBTQ diplomats who had unions that were not recognized by their home countries, writing that too many places around the world have seen LGBTQ individuals "subjected to discrimination and unspeakable violence, and receive little or no protection from the law or local authorities" and that refusing to let LGBTQ diplomats bring their partners to the US would be equivalent of upholding "the discriminatory policies of many countries around the world."[71]

Railroad safety

In June 2019, Smith and nine other senators cosponsored the Safe Freight Act, a bill that would require freight trains to have one or more certified conductors and a certified engineer on board who can collaborate on how to protect the train and people living near the tracks. The legislation was meant to correct a Federal Railroad Administration rollback of a proposed rule intended to establish safety standards.[72]

Personal life

Smith's husband, Archie Smith, is an independent investor, focusing largely on health care and medical companies.[73] The couple have two sons.[74]

In May 2019, during a speech on the Senate floor, Smith described her experiences with getting help in college and in her early 30s for depression.[75]

Electoral history

2014 Democratic gubernatorial primary election results[76]
PartyCandidateVotes%
Democratic (DFL)Mark Dayton/Tina Smith 177,849 92.99
Democratic (DFL)Leslie Davis/Gregor Soderberg8,5304.46
Democratic (DFL)Bill Dahn/James Vigliotti4,8802.55
Total votes191,259 100
Minnesota gubernatorial election, 2014[77]
PartyCandidateVotes%±%
Democratic (DFL)Mark Dayton/Tina Smith (incumbent) 989,113 50.07% +6.44%
RepublicanJeff Johnson/Bill Kuisle879,25744.51%+1.30%
IndependenceHannah Nicollet/Tim Gieseke56,9002.88%-9.06%
GrassrootsChris Wright/David Daniels31,2591.58%+1.22%
LibertarianChris Holbrook/Chris Dock18,0820.92%N/A
Write-in7950.04%-0.05%
Total votes1,975,406 100.0% N/A
Democratic (DFL) hold
Democratic–Farmer–Labor Party primary results, Minnesota 2018[78]
PartyCandidateVotes%
Democratic (DFL)Tina Smith (incumbent) 433,705 76.06%
Democratic (DFL)Richard Painter78,19313.71%
Democratic (DFL)Ali Chehem Ali18,8973.31%
Democratic (DFL)Gregg Iverson17,8253.13%
Democratic (DFL)Nick Leonard16,5292.90%
Democratic (DFL)Christopher Seymore5,0410.88%
Total votes570,190 100%
United States Senate special election in Minnesota, 2018[79]
PartyCandidateVotes%±%
Democratic (DFL)Tina Smith (incumbent) 1,370,540 52.97% -0.18%
RepublicanKarin Housley1,095,77742.35%-0.56%
Legal Marijuana NowSarah Wellington95,6143.70%N/A
IndependentJerry Trooien24,3240.94%N/A
Write-in1,1010.04%N/A
Total votes2,587,356 100.0% N/A
Democratic (DFL) hold
Democratic–Farmer–Labor Party primary results, Minnesota, 2020
PartyCandidateVotes%
Democratic (DFL)Tina Smith (incumbent) 497,498 87.1%
Democratic (DFL)Paula Overby30,4975.3%
Democratic (DFL)Ahmad Hassan20,0373.5%
Democratic (DFL)Steve Carlson16,4292.9%
Democratic (DFL)Christopher Seymore6,4801.1%
Total votes570,941 100.0%
United States Senate election in Minnesota, 2020[80]
PartyCandidateVotes%±%
Democratic (DFL)Tina Smith (incumbent) 1,566,522 48.74% -4.23%
RepublicanJason Lewis1,398,14543.50%+1.15%
Legal Marijuana NowKevin O'Connor190,1545.91%+2.21%
GrassrootsOliver Steinberg57,1741.78%N/A
Write-in2,2610.07%+0.03%
Total votes3,214,256 100.0% N/A
Democratic (DFL) hold

See also

Notes

References

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External links

Political offices
Preceded by Lieutenant Governor of Minnesota
2015–2018
Succeeded by
U.S. Senate
Preceded by
Al Franken
U.S. senator (Class 2) from Minnesota
2018–present
Served alongside: Amy Klobuchar
Incumbent
Party political offices
Preceded by Democratic nominee for Lieutenant Governor of Minnesota
2014
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Al Franken
Democratic nominee for U.S. Senator from Minnesota
(Class 2)

2018, 2020
Most recent
U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded byas United States Senator from Nevada Order of precedence of the United States
as United States Senator from Minnesota

since January 3, 2018
Succeeded byas United States Senator from Mississippi
United States senators by seniority
72nd

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