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October 9: Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz
Debbie Wasserman Schultz; United States Representative Born in: Long Island, NY Now lives in: Weston, FL Age: 43 Education University of Florida (Bachelor's and Master's) Family Husband of 17 years Steve Schultz and their three children
For more than 17 years, Debbie Wasserman Schultz has dedicated her public life to working on behalf of the people of South Florida. On January 4, 2005, she was sworn in as a member of the United States House of Representatives. Rep. Wasserman Schultz represents Florida's 20th Congressional district, which encompasses parts of Florida as far north as Fort Lauderdale, and as far south as Miami Beach. Before joining the U.S. Congress, she was first a Representative and later a Senator in the Florida State legislature.
Rep. Wasserman Schultz serves on the House Committee on Appropriations, which, in conjunction with its Senate counterpart, makes funding decisions on every discretionary program in the federal budget. She serves as a "Cardinal," chairing the Legislative Branch subcommittee. She also serves on the House Judiciary Committee, which handles issue ranging from terrorism to protection of civil liberties.
As a Chief Deputy Whip, Rep. Wasserman Schultz works to help advance important legislation. This role places her on the leadership team of the House of Representatives. In her first term, Rep. Wasserman Schultz served as a Senior Whip, the only freshman chosen to serve on the Whip team.
Rep. Wasserman Schultz is a person respected by her colleagues for her tenacity and her hard work on many issues. Her first term was marked with remarkable success for a freshman member then serving in the minority. She was one of the key leaders in the Terri Schiavo debate, and the Senate Judiciary Committee asked her to testify at the confirmation hearing of Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito on the topic.
A fighter for South Florida families, Rep. Wasserman Schultz has worked hard to protect children. Some of her accomplishments in the field include the passage of the PROTECT Our Children Act, which creates the largest law enforcement effort ever formed for the protection of children (H.R. 3845), and, the passage the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act (H.R. 1721) to combat childhood drowning.
Rep. Wasserman Schultz, the first Jewish Congresswoman ever elected from Florida, introduced a resolution, which passed the House of Representatives and called on the President to declare a Jewish American Heritage Month. The President subsequently did so, with the inaugural month in May, 2006.
In March 2009, after she announced her own battle with breast cancer, Rep. Wasserman Schultz introduced the Education and Awareness Requires Learning Young Act, or EARLY Act (H.R. 1740), a piece of legislation that directs the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to develop and implement a national education campaign about the threat breast cancer poses to all young women, and the particular heightened risks of certain ethnic, cultural and racial groups.
Debbie Wasserman Schultz was born in 1966 on Long Island, NY. She attended the University of Florida and graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science in 1988 and with a Master's Degree in 1990. She has been married to Steve Schultz for 17 years and together they have three children. The Congresswoman is proud to call South Florida home, where she resides with her family in Weston.