Political Party: Democratic
Current Position: Congressional Representative, 2002-present
Political Experience: Member of Maryland General Assembly, 1990-2002; Federal Affairs for Maryland Governor William Donald Schaefer, Senior Legislative Advisor; United States Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Professional Staff Member; Defense and Foreign Policy of former Maryland Senator Charles McC. Mathias, Jr., Legislative Assistant
This is not original reporting. All information has been compiled from Van Hollen's campaign web site, Van Hollen's House web site, On the Issues and Vote-MD.org. Silver Chips Online posts this news summary to provide readers with a forum for discussion.
After serving three terms in the House of Representatives, Chris Van Hollen is no stranger when it comes to elections. Van Hollen is currently serving on the Committee on Ways and Means and the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. The congressman also holds different chairman positions on the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the bipartisan Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Caucus, the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Task Force and the Democratic Task Force on Budget and Tax Policy. Van Hollen claims, "I have done my best to uphold the trust and confidence the voters have placed in me. I will continue to work hard to represent the values and priorities of our community," according to his campaign web site.
As a father of three children, Van Hollen is a leader in education and received the Outstanding New Member of the Year award from the non-partisan Committee for Education Funding in 2003, according to his House web site. Van Hollen wants to continue to support efforts to reduce class sizes, attract, train and retain highly qualified teachers, boost investment in school modernization and construction, fund services for children with disabilities, support teachers and administrators and raise the quality of public education to the highest level, according to Vote-MD.org. The National Education Association have given Van Hollen a letter grade of A, meaning that he is a strong supporter of public education and educators.
Van Hollen has cosponsored a number of bills that are meant to improve education by accomplishing tasks such as requiring full funding of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, improving professional development programs for kindergarten through grade 12 teachers offered through institutions of higher education and providing for the recruitment, selection, training and support of a national teacher corps in under-served communities. He also voted for a bill in 2006 that would provide $84 million in grants for Black and Hispanic colleges.
Defined as a hard-core liberal by On the Issues, Van Hollen certainly lives up to his reputation. One subject Van Hollen has continuously held liberal views about is abortion. Rated 100 percent on his pro-choice voting record by NARAL Pro-Choice America and 0 percent on abortion issues by the National Right to Life Committee, Van Hollen supports a woman's right to choose. In 2003, Van Hollen voted against the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act, a law which bans physicians from knowingly performing partial-birth abortions, according to On the Issues.
Following his trend of liberal stands, Van Hollen strongly opposes the war in Iraq and believes that the United States should be responsible for establishing security and aiding in the reconstruction of Iraq, according to Vote-MD.org. In 2006, Van Hollen voted against a resolution that declared the war in Iraq as an official part of the Global War on Terror and said that the war would not be given an official exit date. In 2007, Van Hollen voted for a bill that would have redeployed U.S. troops from Iraq within 90 days, according to On the Issues.
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