Kirsten Gillibrand

Kirsten Gillibrand is an attorney and has served as the junior senator from New York since 2009. Prior to this appointment, she represented New York’s 20th Congressional District in the United States House of Representatives from 2006-2008.

Previous Work Around Poverty and Opportunity

  • Voted against the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act (2008 bank bailout) twice.
  • Has been a longtime supporter of paid family leave, first introducing a bill in the Senate in 2013.
  • Supports offering banking services at post offices to increase access for low-income Americans.

On the Issues

Jobs: Worked to expand Small Business Administration microloans for minority and women business owners, increasing capital for owners often not serviced by banks.

Affordable Housing: Names affordable housing as a “top priority” as a senator. Pushed for a $5 million grant funding for development projects and programs in Syracuse, N.Y.

Health Care/Insurance: Supported Sen. Bernie Sanders’ legislation to create a single-payer health care system and drafted a provision that allows Americans to buy into a not-for-profit public health insurance plan during the four-year transition period to a single-payer system. Introduced legislation to protect Americans from prescription drug price spikes called the Stop Price Gouging Act, which would penalize pharmaceutical companies that engage in price gouging without cause.

Education: Sponsored a bill that amends the Federal Work Study Program, allowing students more flexibility to work off-campus for federal work study jobs.

Criminal Justice: Supported the 2018 “First Step Act” but claims it does not go far enough in preventing one of “the most fundamentally unfair problems in our criminal justice system: the cash-bail system.”

Minimum Wage: Supports a $15 minimum wage.

Safety Net: Supports expanding Medicare and Medicaid, and maintaining CHIP, SNAP and WIC programs for low-income families.

Children/Families: Has made paid leave a priority issue, including the introduction of the FAMILY Act, a plan that would guarantee new parents and caregivers 12 weeks of paid leave.

Taxes/Tax Credits: Supports tax credits for businesses to create jobs.

News Articles

Kirsten Gillibrand is making paid family leave a defining issue in her 2020 run.” (Vox: 3/22/2019).

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand says federal criminal justice reform bill doesn’t go far enough, demands end to cash bail for nonviolent offenders.” (New York Daily News: 12/16/2018).