Senator (Class 2)
ends in 2015
Mary Loretta Landrieu (/ˈlændruː/ lan-drew; born November 23, 1955) is the senior United States Senator from the State of Louisiana and a member of the Democratic Party.
Born in Arlington, Virginia, Landrieu was raised in New Orleans, Louisiana. She is the daughter of former New Orleans mayor and Secretary of the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, Moon Landrieu, and the sister of the current Mayor of New Orleans and former Lieutenant Governor of Louisiana Mitch Landrieu. She received her baccalaureate degree from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. After working as a real estate agent for several years, she was elected as a state representative (1980–1988) and state treasurer (1988–1996). She won a close race for the U.S. Senate in 1996; she was re-elected by increasing margins in competitive races in 2002 and 2008.
Landrieu is one of the most conservative Democrats in the Senate, often opposing her party’s positions. Her opposition to the public option played a major role in the crafting of the health insurance reform bills of 2010. She became a spokeswoman for federal emergency relief in the wake of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, which devastated her state. She chairs the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship. In 2011, she became a cardinal (chair) of the Senate’s Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee, giving her the ability to fund major federal agencies like the U.S. Coast Guard, Department of Homeland Security and FEMA. In 2005, she sponsored an unprecedented Senate resolution by which the U.S. Senate apologized for its failure to enact anti-lynching legislation during the early 20th century.