Senators Gordon Smith and Blanche Lincoln on Health Care Reform with Former Senator John Breaux moderating.
The forum is presented by American University's Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies. The series is made possible by a grant from Pfizer Inc.
Senator John Breaux discusses the challenges of reforming the health care system, especially during the 109th Congress, with Senators Gordon Smith and Blanche Lincoln.
John Berlinger Breaux is a former United States senator from Louisiana who served from 1987 until 2005. He was also a member of the U.S. House from 1972 to 1987. Breaux was a member of the New Democrat Coalition.
Blanche Lambert Lincoln is the Democratic senior United States Senator from the State of Arkansas. She was the youngest woman ever to be elected to the Senate when she was elected in 1998 at the age of 38; as of 2007, she is also the youngest Senior Senator in the Senate. She is also the first woman elected to the Senate from Arkansas in her own right.
Immediately after graduating she took a job as staff assistant to 1st District Congressman Bill Alexander and served in his office until 1984. Lambert defeated her former boss in the Democratic primary of 1992 and took his seat in the House. She was reelected to a second term under her married name, Blanche Lincoln, and served in the House of Representatives until 1997.
In 1998, Lincoln returned to politics and ran for the Senate seat being vacated by incumbent Democrat Dale Bumpers. She defeated her Republican opponent, Fay Boozman, by a margin of 55%-42%.
Lincoln serves on the Senate Finance Committee; Special Committee on Aging; Select Committee on Ethics; Senate Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Committee; Senate Social Security Task Force; Rural Health Caucus; Senate New Democrat Coalition. Lincoln has concentrated primarily on issues involving farmers, and rural issues. She is one of the primary advocates of the Delta Regional Authority (DRA), which is designed to spur development in the lower Mississippi Delta region. She is also the Chair of Rural Outreach for the Senate Democratic Caucus.
Senator Gordon Smith
Gordon Harold Smith is Oregon's junior United States Senator, currently serving his second term. He is a member of the Republican Party.
Smith entered politics with his election to the Oregon State Senate in 1992, and became president of that body in 1995. Later in 1995, he ran in a special election for a Senate seat vacated by the resignation of Bob Packwood, but was narrowly defeated in the January 1996 election by then-Congressman Ron Wyden.
United States Senator Mark Hatfield, a fellow Republican, announced his retirement later that year. Smith became the first person to run for the Senate twice in one year. This time he won, defeating Lon Mabon
Smith was re-elected by a strong margin in 2002, defeating Oregon Secretary of State Bill Bradbury.