League of Women Voters of California
Full Biography for Ellen O. Tauscher
Congresswoman Ellen Tauscher was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in November 1996. She represents California's 10th Congressional District, which encompasses parts of Contra Costa and Alameda Counties. Since arriving in Washington, Congresswoman Tauscher has made it a priority to invest in initiatives that help working families and businesses succeed while keeping the budget balanced. Her moderate, bi-partisan, independent brand of leadership, termed "Tauscherism" by Time Magazine, has helped her make her mark in the district and in Washington, DC.
During her first term in office, Congresswoman Tauscher was appointed to the powerful House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and won seats on both the Surface Transportation and the Water Resources and Environment Subcommittees. As the only Member of the Bay Area delegation on the Committee, Congresswoman Tauscher was an effective advocate on behalf of the Bay Area during the reauthorization of the six-year highway and transit authorization bill. She played a key role in securing over $2 billion for regional transportation improvements. Congresswoman Tauscher won a landmark $33 million for specific highway projects in her district. This year, she will facilitate agreement on area-wide transportation priorities.
The 10th Congressional District is the only district in the nation that is home to two national defense laboratories, Lawrence Livermore and Sandia California labs. To better represent them and the families who work there, she secured a coveted set on the Procurement subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committee. Recently, Congresswoman Tauscher became the Ranking Democrat on the Special Oversight Panel on Department of Energy Re-organization. She also sits on the Military Personnel subcommittee. In her short time in Congress, Congresswoman Tauscher has emerged as a leading voice for nuclear non-proliferation, particularly in Russia and the former Soviet Republics.
When Congresswoman Tauscher took office in 1996, one of her top priorities was to represent the interests of the families in the 10th Congressional District in an independent and moderate manner. Tauscher exerted her independence by becoming a leader in two fiscally conservative Democratic caucuses # the pro-business New Democratic Coalition and the balance-budget minded Blue Dog Coalition. She helped create the first balanced budget in 30 years that gave middle class families a much needed tax cut.
Congresswoman Tauscher has introduced the Model States Child Care Enhancement Act to reform our nation's child care system and wrote the State Infrastructure Banks for Schools Act to rebuild our old and overcrowded schools. She introduced the American Handgun Standards Act to apply the same quality and safety standards to domestically made junk guns that are currently applied to imported handguns. As the co-chair of the NDC's Entitlement Reform Task Force, she took part in the White House Conference on saving Social Security. She was also appointed by her peers to co-chair the Democratic Caucus Task Force on Campaign Finance Reform. In addition, Congresswoman Tauscher is the vice chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) and has just been tapped to head the DCCC's new Democratic Business Forum.
Before her election to Congress, Congresswoman Tauscher founded the ChildCare Registry, the first national research service to assist parents and child care centers in verifying the background of child care workers. Congresswoman Tauscher also published her first book, The ChildCare Sourcebook, to help working parents make informed decisions about their own childcare needs. She also headed the Tauscher Foundation, which provided much-needed funds for elementary schools to buy computers and Internet access.
Congresswoman Tauscher began her career on Wall Street. At 25 years of age, she was one of the first and youngest women to hold a seat on the New York Stock Exchange. During her 14 years on Wall Street, Congresswoman Tauscher worked for Bache Securities and then joined current SEC Chairman Arthur Levitt to transform the American Stock Exchange from a business loser into a reputable rival to the New York Stock Exchange.
Congresswoman Tauscher was born in East Newark, NJ on November 15, 1951. The first member of her family to attend college, she received a Bachelor of Science degree in Early Childhood Education from Seton Hall University in 1974. Congresswoman Tauscher has one daughter, Katherine, age 9.
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