As a border and coastal state, as a leader in defense innovation, and as a home to the tenth largest military population in the country, Washington plays a crucial role in defending America. From Joint Base Lewis-McChord to Fairchild Air Force Base, troops stationed in Washington protect our nation every day. Maria has worked to ensure that Washington state active duty military personnel and veterans have the support they need -- from first-class equipment to first-class medical care.

Maria recognizes the vital role that military bases and cutting-edge defense technology play in Washington’s economy and identity. Defense-related jobs play a key role in the state’s economy—generating nearly $10.5 billion of labor income in the state while providing a sound business environment that helps Washington stay ahead of the curve. Military bases alone support close to 104,000 jobs and serve as the center of numerous Washington communities. Maria works to support the state’s defense-related economy and the thousands of Washington troops who make our nation proud.


Washington has the 10th largest military population in the country. The state is home to 632,200 veterans and nearly 104,000 active duty military personnel, which accounts for approximately 11 percent of the state’s population. Maria has continuously championed efforts to honor the state’s military community by ensuring vital support for military families and preserving Washington’s leading role in national defense.  

Supporting Our Men and Women In Uniform 

  • Ensuring That Military Employees Receive Paychecks On Time: Maria firmly believes that no military family should have to worry about receiving a paycheck on time, especially while actively serving in support of our military operations. In order to ensure that, Maria cosponsored the bipartisan “Pay Our Troops Act” (S.855). The bill would guarantee that –even in the case of a potential government shutdown – active duty troops and reserves continue to get on-time pay. 

    “Military personnel should be paid on time, no matter what,” Maria said in introducing the bill.  “The men and women who protect our freedom shouldn’t have to worry about buying groceries and paying their rent during a government shutdown.”
  • Helping Washington Veterans Secure Lasting Jobs: Maria has worked hard to ensure that Washington veterans have access to employment opportunities upon their return home. In 2008 Maria cosponsored and helped pass the Military Reservist and Veteran Small Business Reauthorization and Opportunity Act, which improves employment outreach to reservist communities and to the approximately 632,000 veterans residing in Washington communities. The legislation also increases access to business loans and provides veterans with resources and information to successfully develop businesses.

    Maria also cosponsored the bipartisan Veterans Opportunity to Work to Hire Heroes Act, which President Obama signed into law on November 21, 2011. The law gives employers incentives to hire unemployed veterans and service-disabled veterans and provides outgoing veterans with the job training skills they need to find a job. The law also expands and improves upon several existing benefits aimed at helping service members find jobs, such as the Transition Assistance Program, the Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment program and the Montgomery GI Bill.

    For additional details on the Veterans Opportunity to Work to Hire Heroes Act, click here.
  • New Job Opportunities for Veterans: Tax credits in the Veterans Opportunity to Work (VOW) Act have enabled companies like Seattle’s Veterans Electrical Contractors Association (VECA) to train and hire veterans. In the last decade, VECA has hired more than 300 veterans.

    During an April 2012 visit to VECA with Senator Dan Inouye (D-HI), Maria highlighted the company’s long history of training and hiring veterans. Maria also urged veterans to participate in a new job-training program that begins in July 2012. The program, known as the Veterans Retraining Assistance Program, expands opportunities for veterans over the age of 35 to enroll in community colleges where they can get the tools they need to get new jobs in high-demand occupations. 

    In October 2011 Maria joined Spokane Community College in announcing a new veterans outreach program to connect veterans with new job opportunities in Washington’s rapidly growing aerospace industry. The program, which is expected to be up in 2012, will eventually be implemented statewide at 14 community and technical colleges to help connect veterans with aerospace jobs.
  • Improved Education for Veterans:. Maria has long fought to strengthen the Montgomery GI Bill — introducing legislation and speaking before the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee on the need to invest in education and training for veterans. 

    Maria cosponsored and helped pass the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2007, which was signed into law in June 2008. Dubbed the “21st Century GI Bill”, this law significantly expanded support for veterans education, opening doors for veterans to attend a wide range of continuing education schools including community and vocational colleges. 
  • Ensuring Troops Votes are Counted: In 2008, nearly 23 percent of the ballots mailed to Washington state service members were not cast. Maria fought to make sure that service members had every opportunity to vote.  In 2009, Maria cosponsored and helped to pass an amendment that safeguards troops’ rights to vote by streamlining states’ delivery and counting methods for deployed troops. After leading Congress to pass the amendment Maria said,  “Allowing our troops their rightful place in the democratic process is not only what we should do. It’s what we must do.”

Providing Quality Health Care to Our Men and Women in Uniform

  • Expanding Health Care for Veterans in Puget Sound: Maria is committed to providing veterans with the medical assistance they have earned. When veterans in Whatcom County said they needed better access to care, Maria took their concerns to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. In 2007 Maria urged federal officials to open a new Department of Veterans Affairs clinic in Mount Vernon to serve Northwest Washington veterans who previously had to travel to the Seattle clinic for care. The new Mount Vernon clinic, which opened in 2009, provides essential medical care to Northwest veterans, including 17,000 living in Whatcom County.
  • Increasing Veterans’ Access to Medical Care in Eastern Washington: After the Walla Walla Medical Center was targeted for closure in 2004, Maria worked hand in hand with the Washington delegation to keep the Medical Center open. Along with her colleagues, Maria urged state officials and then- Secretary of Veterans Affairs Anthony Principi to preserve the facility. In 2008, after four years of debate, Veterans Affairs officials finally agreed to preserve the Medical Center. Maria and her colleagues also successfully pushed state and federal officials to invest in vital upgrades for the Medical Center including restoring the original hospital and constructing a new 67,000-square-foot outpatient clinic, which is expected to be completed by March 2013. The preservation of Walla Walla Medical Center means that thousands of veterans in the region will be able to receive medical treatment ranging from primary care, to outpatient care, to mental health care. 

Standing with Military Families   

  • Fighting for Military Survivors Benefits: Inspired by stories from Washingtonians like Debbie Bridges, Federal Way military widow and president of the local Gold Star Wives chapter, Maria worked to ensure that survivors of military personnel receive full benefits.  

    33-year-old Army Staff Sergeant Steven Bridges was killed when his Stryker combat vehicle overturned in Iraq in 2003. In the wake of his loss, Debbie Bridges had major difficulties accessing the benefits that she was promised as a surviving spouse. Debbie was eligible to apply for separate benefits from both the Dependency and Indemnity Compensation program and the Survivors Benefit Plan. Although the survivors’ benefits were designed to support survivors like Debbie, the two-program system penalizes survivors who receive benefits from the DIC program by reducing Survivors Benefit Plan benefits. This bureaucratic inconsistency prevented Debbie from getting the full support and assistance she was owed.

    Debbie’s struggle prompted Maria to cosponsor and fight for legislation that guarantees full federal support for survivors who have lost a loved one through service to our nation.  Maria urged House and Senate leaders to correct the flaw and make sure that military spouses receive full benefits from both programs.   

    “We can’t forget about the husbands, wives, and children of the brave men and women who have given their lives for our county. They need to know our government will be there for them and stand by them in their time of need.” – Senator Maria Cantwell, 6/3/06

Supporting Washington’s Military Bases

From Joint Base Lewis-McChord , to Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, to Naval Base Kitsap, to  Naval StationEverett, to Fairchild Air Force Base, military bases are a crucial part of Washington state’s identity, a key segment of the economy, and a vital part of our nation’s defense infrastructure. Throughout her tenure in the Senate, Maria has fought to ensure that Washington troops have the resources they need to defend America. She has demanded that the Pentagon give Washington state officials input on realignment decisions and she worked to stop Pentagon plans to transfer vital air-defense units to the East Coast.

  • Maintaining Bases To Boost Washington Economy: Maria has worked to protect Washington bases, ensuring that the Pentagon makes the Northwest region’s security and economy a priority. Washington bases are expected to grow, with the Obama administration’s increasing focus on the Asia-Pacific theater.

    Washington military bases employ more than 100,000 Washington workers, support more than $5.1 billion in personal income, and provide a wide-range of stable job opportunities for the state.
  • Supporting Jobs at Joint Base Lewis-McChord: Throughout the 2005 national base realignment process, Maria fought to protect jobs at Fort Lewis and McChord Air Force Base. She called on the Pentagon to examine and to provide clear answers on the potential jobs impact of the proposal to merge the bases. Today, the Joint Base Lewis-McChord is the largest military installation on the West Coast with more than 50,000 personnel, cementing Washington’s leading position in national defense. 
  • Leading the Charge to Protect the Northwest’s Air Security:  After the Pentagon targeted an Air National Guard fighter wing in Oregon for closure in 2005, Maria led the charge to preserve the fighter wing and block the closure. The proposal would have transferred the only air-defense unit in the region to the East Coast, leaving the entire Pacific Northwest region unprotected.  Maria first called on Base Realignment and Closure Commission (BRAC) Commissioner James Bilbray to urge Air Force officials to consult Governors and State Adjutant Generals on potential closure plans. After BRAC hearings confirmed that Washington state officials were not consulted, Maria led efforts to change the Pentagon proposal. She joined Washington Air National Guard Commander Frank Scoggins and Major General Timothy Lowenberg, Commander of the Washington National Guard in pushing BRAC to reconsider the plans and keep the 15 F-15 fighter jets in the Northwest. She urged then-BRAC Chairman Anthony Principi, to reverse the Pentagon’s recommendation to relocate all fifteen Portland-based F-15 fighter out of the Pacific Northwest. The BRAC Commission ultimately voted to reject the Pentagon’s proposal to transfer the jets.

    “That was the right to call to make. The Pentagon’s original plan would have left Northwest skies vulnerable,” Maria said. “My top priority is to make sure homeland security in the Northwest is top notch.”
  • Stopping Cuts to Fairchild Air Force Base: Maria has been a leading voice in efforts to protect the 36th Rescue Flight helicopters at Fairchild Air Force Base outside Spokane. The Fairchild Air Force Base is home to the Air Force Survival School, which provides crucial survival training for multiple branches of the armed services.  In 2007, when the Air Force released plans that would have greatly weakened Fairchild Air Force Base, Maria joined with Senator Patty Murray in pressuring the Pentagon for answers on proposed cuts to the Fairchild base. Maria called on then-Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld to reverse the plan, arguing that the base played a unique role in our nation’s security. In July 2007 Maria introduced an amendment to force the Secretary of Defense to take no actions that would reassign any of the search and rescue capabilities of the Fairchild unit. Maria introduced a second amendment in September 2008 to protect the helicopters at Fairchild Air Force Base. This amendment was signed into law as part of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2008. The amendment helped to preserve invaluable training for thousands of aircrew members, and protect an important piece of national security.
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While Washington’s brave men and women in uniform protect our country overseas, Maria has worked to give them the best armor and the right equipment to complete their missions. She led Congressional efforts to ensure that Washington’s National Guard didn’t face equipment shortages.

Maria also believes that the long and protracted battles in Iraq and Afghanistan have strained our military families and our country for too long. For years she has fought to bring troops home safety, and bring these wars to a safe and responsible end.

Maria said, “We must remember that we have to honor our commitment to our troops—the U.S. military who have sacrificed so much.”

Protecting and Equipping Our Troops

  • Equipping the National Guard: Maria led Congress to pass a law that prevents National Guard equipment shortfalls and holds the Pentagon accountable for replacing vital equipment left behind in war zones.  In 2006, at the Pentagon’s direction, Washington’s 81st Brigade left approximately 1,400 items — including weapons, radios, and vehicles — worth more than $30 million in Iraq for other units to use. Without equipment replacements, Washington’s 81st Brigade was forced to operate with only 60 percent of the total equipment needed to protect the state from civil and natural disasters. Maria fought to ensure that Washington’s National Guard troops would have all of the equipment they need to keep the nation safe. Maria’s bill was signed into law by President George W. Bush in October 2006.
  • Providing Troops the Body Armor They Need:  In the early years of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, many American troops lacked sufficient protective, safety, and health equipment. Many military families had to purchase expensive equipment just to protect their loved ones serving America abroad. In 2004, Maria voted to pass an amendment that reimbursed active duty personnel and their families who opted to personally purchase troop armor between 2001 and 2004. This amendment relieved military families across the nation of a major financial burden.  

Safe and Responsible Timetables in Afghanistan and Iraq

Over the last decade thousands of Washington troops have been deployed to conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Maria has supported President Barack Obama’s efforts to end the war in Iraq, and she has worked to hold both the administrations of both President Obama and President George W. Bush to clear timetables:

  • Clear Timetables for Afghanistan: Maria has called for a clear strategy and timeline to defeat terrorist networks and reconstruct a safe and secure Afghanistan. Maria has consistently advocated for a plan that relies on a comprehensive approach to stabilize Afghanistan and deal with the drug trade and corruption.    

    Maria has held both the administrations of both President George W. Bush and President Barack Obama accountable to a clear timetable for the Afghanistan war. In May 2010, Maria was one of only 18 Senators who voted for an amendment to require President Obama to submit a withdrawal timeline in Afghanistan.  

    When President Obama ordered a troop increase from 70,000 to 100,000 in late 2009, Maria demanded greater transparency from the Obama administration about its long-term plans. "We need to hold the administration accountable," she said.

    On June 15, 2011, Maria and 26 other Senators urged President Obama to shift strategy, use diplomatic options, and work toward a sustained withdrawal of American forces from Afghanistan. A week later President Obama announced a new Afghanistan strategy that included the withdrawal of 30,000 troops to be complete by the end of 2012. 

    The first U.S. troops departed Afghanistan as a part of the drawdown in July 2011. Their return to the United States marked the beginning of America’s complete withdrawal, which is scheduled to transfer all power to Afghan forces and return all troops by 2014. 

    Maria will continue to work to protect American troops and bring them home safely, while holding the Obama administration accountable to established timelines, and advancing measures to stabilize Afghanistan.

    Maria said, “I have long said that we cannot achieve greater stability in Afghanistan and more regional participation by military means alone. We need a political and economic approach that stabilizes Afghanistan and deals with the drug trade and massive corruption there, while continuing to draw down U.S. combat forces.”
  • Safely Ending the War in Iraq:  For years Maria has been an outspoken leader in developing an expedient strategy to safely bring the conflict in Iraq to a close. Maria continually advocated for a shift toward political solutions that increase the emphasis on diplomacy, transition U.S. forces out of combat roles, and allow Iraqi forces to take charge of their own security so U.S. troops can come home. Maria has voted to support our troops as they defend America abroad, while demanding more transparency and accountability in America’s engagement in this conflict.

    Maria consistently fought to change direction in Iraq and promote a total transfer of security forces to Iraqi forces.  She was among a group of Senate leaders that voted to direct President George W. Bush to begin a phased withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq as early as 2006. Time and time again, Maria voted to direct President Bush to set a firm goal of withdrawal of U.S. troops.

    Maria urged the Bush administration to pursue diplomatic options to strengthen the United States’ position in the wars. She pressed President Bush to reengage the international community on ending sectarian violence and building a safer, stronger, independent Iraq. And after President Bush deployed 21,500 troops to Iraq in January 2007, Maria demanded that the Bush administration deliver a clear, transparent strategy to the American people.

    Maria stated,It's time to transition U.S. troops out of a regular combat role. We can't have an open-ended commitment to Iraq and we can't keep U.S. combat troops there to patrol the streets indefinitely. The future of Iraq must be determined by the Iraqi people.”

    After the Bush administration still failed to deliver a clear strategy and strict timeline, Maria voted to bar funds for deploying troops to Iraq after June 30, 2008, except for limited uses considered crucial to stabilizing the independent nation and protecting Iraqis. And in early 2008, Maria and a small group of Senators took a stand against the Iraq conflict and voted to require the President to begin phasing out troops from Iraq and returning them home to the United States.  

    “For six years, Congress has written a series of blank checks to President Bush and his Administration without a clear strategy for establishing long-term security and stability in Iraq,” Maria said,While I want to do everything I can to ensure our military has the equipment and resources it needs to get the job done, we can no longer maintain an open-ended commitment in Iraq.”  

    For years Maria fought for more accountability and fought to bring our troops home. The final group of U.S. combat troops departed Iraq in December 2011.
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Washington is a national leader in innovative defense technology and defense workers provide an economic backbone for many Washington communities. Defense-related jobs employ nearly 200,000 Washingtonians and generate nearly $10.5 billion of labor income in the state. Maria is committed to supporting these jobs and advancing Washington’s leading role in defending our nation.

Protecting Washington Jobs

“Winning the tanker contest will be a significant economic boon for our state… With so much at stake, we must ensure the long overdue tanker competition is fair and transparent.” – Senator Maria Cantwell, 4/9/09

  • Keeping Tanker Jobs in Washington State:  Maria was instrumental throughout the fight to ensure a fair competition to build a new generation of tankers for the Air Force. With Washington jobs, taxpayer dollars and national security on the line, Maria fought to make sure that workers at Boeing had a fair chance at winning the competition to build a new generation of tankers for the Air Force. Boeing’s victory will support 11,000 jobs in Washington state.

    Ultimately, American workers’ ingenuity and sweat equity defeated the illegal foreign subsidies that propped up Airbus’ bid. When the Air Force selected Boeing as the “clear winner” in February 2011, it was also a resounding victory for Washington’s aerospace supply chain. The Boeing win is expected to bring in $693 million in annual economic activity for the region and will advance Washington’s leading role in defense innovation. Bringing home the tanker will support jobs at 68 Boeing suppliers in Washington, 65 percent of which are small businesses.

    “This was a real victory of our congressional delegation… This is, I think, our greatest victory in the history of the state.” – Congressman Norm Dicks, 2/24/11
  • Reopening the Flawed 2008 Air Force Decision: Winning the tanker contest came after years of the Washington Congressional delegation working to ensure a fair and transparent process. Maria and the delegation supported Boeing’s effort to reopen the Air Force’s initial 2008 decision to award the tanker contract to Airbus: 

    On February 29, 2008 the Air Force awarded the bid to Airbus over Boeing. Following the Air Force’s decision, Maria demanded transparency—she publicly called on then-Secretary of Defense Robert Gates to waste no time on debriefing Boeing and justifying the decision. The Defense Department’s debriefing exposed major flaws in the bidding process, and Boeing protested the Air Force’s decision.

    Maria demanded that the Government Accountability Office (GAO) investigate the national security impact, domestic job impact, and fuel efficiency of choosing a foreign company to build American defense products. In June of 2008 the GAO released its review from the inquiry, concluding that Boeing was right to protest the Air Force decision. The GAO report cited “a number of significant errors” including a flawed cost formulas and ignoring Boeing’s ability to meet tanker performance requirements.

    Maria said, “The Air Force will have no choice but to re-bid this project. For months, we have asserted that the tanker contract process was fatally flawed and resulted in a fatally flawed decision for the American war fighter and the American taxpayer. Today the GAO agreed.”

    Maria took the fight to President Bush, decrying Airbus use of illegal foreign subsidies in the bidding process. She publicly questioned the tanker contract decision, pointing to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative’s ongoing challenge into Airbus’ use of illegal subsidies from the EU.

    Maria joined with seven of her colleagues to demand the President’s support, stating, “Awarding an illegally subsidized foreign company with the second largest defense contract in U.S. history is contrary to efforts to level the playing field for U.S. companies around the world.” Read more.

    The Air Force reopened the tanker competition in July 2008, ultimately awarding the contract to Boeing in February 2011.
  • Fighting Illegal Foreign Subsidies: Maria led the push for fairness and transparency in the tanker bid process, fighting to ensure that American workers could compete on an even playing field.

    “People are concerned that if that illegal subsidy continues, then basically it’s putting U.S. manufacturers at a disadvantage,” Maria told U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk during a Senate hearing in March 2010. 

    One week later, the World Trade Organization ruled that Airbus had benefitted unfairly from illegal subsidies for its $13 billion A380 jet and other planes. Unfair subsidies must not influence the U.S. Air Force’s air refueling tanker competition,” Maria said. “EADS cannot be allowed to use these subsidies to lowball its bid for this important defense contract.”  

    After the ruling, Maria introduced bipartisan legislation (link) to force the Pentagon to factor in the WTO’s determination of illegal launch aid in its contract decision.
  • Putting American Jobs First:  Unwilling to let illegal foreign subsidies defeat American jobs, Maria called on the U.S. Department of Labor and the U.S. Department of Commerce to closely re-examine the bid’s impact on the American workforce. She met with labor leaders across Washington to investigate the real impact of the tanker decision on jobs and urged the Secretary of Labor to verify Airbus’ job impact claims. After uncovering potential hidden costs in the Airbus proposal, Maria called on the Defense Department to release every piece of relevant information and disclose all potential costs of the Airbus tanker.

    “The Air Force concluded the number of American jobs were not important in the selection criteria of where the air refueling tanker was built. It appears NG/EADS thinks it is important enough to keep growing those job projections. We are happy to see Senator Cantwell is getting to the bottom of this.” – Tom Wroblewski, President/Directing Business Representative, Aerospace Machinists 751, 5/12/2008  
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Protecting Women and Children from Exploitation

Since first entering Congress, Maria has been a leader in protecting women from abuse- both at home and worldwide.  

She has also worked to protect women across the world from exploitation, by advancing legislation to combat human trafficking and protect “mail order brides” from exploitation.

  • Protecting Thousands Of “Mail Order Brides” From Exploitation: In late 2005 Maria helped Congress pass groundbreaking regulations with greater protections for “mail order brides.” President Bush signed the International Marriage Broker Regulation Act in January 2006. Part of the Violence Against Women Act of 2005, the new law provides foreign fiancées with additional resources and aid to protect themselves and consider their safety when making marriage choices.

    Maria said,This law builds on past lessons, putting in place vital safeguards to protect women from abuse and exploitation. Foreign-born fiancées deserve to know about their rights here in the United States, and need information about whether their potential spouse has a history of violent crime.”

  • Combating Human Trafficking: Maria is a leader in the fight to protect women all over the world from the perils of human trafficking. Each year, thousands of women and girls are trafficked into the United States, where they are held in involuntary servitude for forced labor and sexual exploitation. In 2011 Maria cosponsored major anti-trafficking legislation that works to end child-trafficking for good. The Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking Deterrence and Victims Support Act would create a victim-centered approach to combat trafficking of minors and provide rehabilitative care and emergency services to victims of child-trafficking.  The bill would also significantly bolster law enforcement efforts to stop trafficking and abuse against minors.

Supporting Democratic Rights for Women around the World

  • Liberating Women in the Arab Spring: In April 2011 Maria cosponsored a resolution to honor the important role women played in the Arab Spring uprisings for improved democratic rights.  Maria also publicly called on the Supreme Council Armed Forces of Egypt to include women in the process of crafting a new constitution after the fall of former President Hosni Mubarak.
  • Improved Democratic Rights for Women in Saudi Arabia: In July 2011, Maria joined 13 female Senators in urging Saudi King Abdullah to lift the nation’s oppressive ban on women driving. Maria called on Saudi Arabia to honor equal rights commitments made to the United Nations and the Arab Charter on Human Rights. Writing to the Saudi King, Maria and her colleagues said,As you know, Saudi Arabia is the only country in the world with such a ban on women driving, and maintaining such a restriction stands in stark contrast with the commitments your government has made to promote the rights of Saudi women.”  
  • Protecting Women’s Rights in Saudi Arabia:  Maria was a key leader on passing legislation that protects the rights of military women stationed in Saudi Arabia. Inspired by the story of a female U.S. Air Force combat pilot in Saudi Arabia, Maria spearheaded an effort to overturn the rule that required female U.S. military personnel to wear restrictive head-to-toe garments off-base. Lieutenant Colonel Martha McSally had been reprimanded for not following an order to wear a traditional Saudi abaya off-base. Maria proposed a bipartisan amendment to finally overturn the restrictive abaya rule. The Senate unanimously supported the amendment, and President George W. Bush signed the measure into law in December 2002.

Fighting to Reduce Global Poverty and Improve Global Health

Washington state is a national leader in developing innovative strategies to end poverty. The state is home to nearly 200 nonprofit organizations that work in 144 countries across five continents to confront global poverty challenges. Washington is also home to nearly 30 companies that provide valuable philanthropic support to international development projects.  All of these organizations help provide access to clean water, food, shelter, and education around the world. Maria has worked with these Washington state organizations to develop new strategies for alleviating global poverty and to strengthen partnerships between public and private organizations that are working to improve global health.   

  • Washington State’s Leading Role in Global Development: Washington state is a leader in global development, with nearly 200 organizations doing groundbreaking humanitarian work around the world. Washington state’s global development community supports 3,000 jobs through a range of organizations including PATH, RESULTS, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and many Washington companies with global development projects. Maria supports the efforts of these leading Washington non-profits in global development.
  • Stopping Malaria and HIV/AIDS: Maria has supported key global health programs such as the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. In 2008, Maria voted to pass the U.S. Global Leadership against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria Reauthorization Act. This law called on the President to establish a new five-year strategy to fight these diseases and increase support for multinational efforts to defeat global diseases. Maria also helped pass the Ryan White Care Act, which addresses the HIV/AIDS epidemic through improved research, support services and education.
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  • Working for Peace in the Middle East: Maria is a strong supporter of Israel, and has worked to strengthen the special relationship between the American and Israeli governments. Having travelled to meet with officials in nations across the Middle East, Maria has encouraged solutions to bring lasting peace to the Israeli and Palestinian people. Maria has reaffirmed her commitment to the Israeli people, continually supporting foreign aid to Israel and working with her colleagues in Congress to advance the peace process.
  • Forging Clean Energy Alliances:  Today the United States and China are the world’s largest consumers of energy and largest emitters of greenhouse gases. These two countries are in a unique position to lead the world in fighting climate change. That is why Maria has called for the United States and China to establish a comprehensive bilateral agreement on clean energy cooperation to spur a joint financing mechanism for research and development, joint large-scale demonstration projects, or joint energy efficiency efforts.  In her position on the Subcommittee on Energy, Maria has also pushed to develop a multilateral agreement to agreement to eliminate tariffs around the world on exports of clean energy and environmental goods and services.

    Then-Secretary of the Treasury Henry M. Paulson called the U.S.-China energy discussions, “…The next step in a partnership focused on developing a long-term strategic plan that will maximize our nations’ technology resources, increase energy security, and strengthen economic growth.”
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