Carol Shea-Porter, the first woman ever elected to national office from New Hampshire, served two terms in the U.S. House of Representatives, from 2007 to 2011, and is once again serving New Hampshire’s 1st Congressional District in the 113th Congress. She serves as a member of the House Armed Services Committee (Subcommittees on Readiness and on Military Personnel) and the Natural Resources Committee (Subcommittees on Fisheries, Wildlife, Oceans & Insular Affairs and on Public Lands and Environmental Regulation).
As a former military spouse, Shea-Porter understands the challenges facing our military families and veterans. She is committed to ensuring our service men and women have the best training and equipment, and that they have access to an education, quality health care and a good job when they return home. In the 110th and 111th Congresses, she worked to provide New Hampshire veterans with increased in-state access to medical care and an expanded GI Bill of Rights, a law that provides benefits to veterans. She was also proud to pass legislation to hold reckless defense contractors accountable, to prohibit exposing our troops to toxins from burn pits in war zones, and to ensure that sexual assault investigations can be properly conducted in combat zones.
On the Natural Resources Committee, she has fought for clean energy, clean water and air, and land preservation. During hearings on the B.P. oil spill, she held oil companies and government agencies responsible for protecting the environment. Shea-Porter worked to help commercial fishermen by introducing the Marine Fisheries Service Ombudsman Act to ensure independent oversight to look out for our fishermen. She also was an original cosponsor of the Coastal Jobs Creation Act, which would invest in coastal infrastructure and provide needed funding for our coastal communities.
Shea-Porter is a strong advocate for issues that are important to women and families. She was an original cosponsor of H.R.11, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009, which became law on Jan. 29, 2009, and was also an original cosponsor of the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would have amended the Equal Pay Act to revise remedies for, enforcement of, and exceptions to prohibitions against sex discrimination in wages.
Congresswoman Shea-Porter is committed to strengthening and protecting essential programs like Medicare and Social Security, and she opposes turning Medicare into a voucher program. In Congress, she led the effort to close the Medicare prescription drug doughnut hole. She will fight any plan to privatize Social Security or to reduce retirement income and security.
Shea-Porter believes education is the key to prosperity, and she is a strong advocate for students and their families, teachers, and workers. Shea-Porter supports investing in early education, and has worked to expand access and affordability to higher education. She served on the Conference Committee for the reauthorization of Head Start, and was a strong supporter of the College Cost Reduction and Access Act, the Higher Education and Opportunity Act, and the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act when they passed the 111th Congress. She was proud to receive the Shirley Chisholm Award, given by the New England Educational Opportunity Association in recognition of her work to save the Upward Bound program.
Congresswoman Shea-Porter is focused on putting Americans back to work, and making sure that Main Street never again bails out Wall Street. That’s why she supported the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act to outlaw the risky and predatory practices that crashed our economy. She also voted for the CARD Act, to help protect young Americans from credit card company abuse, and believes that big banks and credit card companies should play by the same rules as Main Street.
Shea-Porter holds a B.A in Social Services and a Master’s of Public Administration degree from the University of New Hampshire. She and her husband met and married while he was serving in the Army. They have two children.