Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.)

U.S. Senator (since January 1993)

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(Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Why She Matters

From her days organizing her California neighbors to her leadership role in Senate efforts to curb greenhouse gases, Boxer is an impassioned defender of liberal ideas.

A darling of the left, Boxer is a fervent advocate of environmental and women's causes, speaking out on everything from the Iraq war to a woman's right to choose.

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Obama hails 8 million enrollees for insurance under federal health-care law

He calls feat a success story that Democrats should “forcefully defend and be proud of.”

Sen. Boxer to GM chief: ‘I am very disappointed woman to woman.’ (Video)

Boxer brought up General Motors chief executive Mary T. Barra’s gender in an exchange during a Senate hearing.


Sen. Boxer slams GM CEO Barra

During a Senate Commerce Committee hearing on Wednesday, Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), fiercely questioned General Motors CEO Mary Barra about how the company decided against issuing a recall after they were made aware of a problem with ignition switches in some vehicles.

READ IN: Tuesday, April 15, 2014: Senate staff negotiating Transportation bill, Landrieu will start $2m ad blitz, Dems vs. minimum wage in Alaska, and happy Tax Day

Senate staff negotiating Transportation bill, Landrieu will start $2m ad blitz, Dems vs. minimum wage in Alaska, and happy Tax Day

Keystone XL opponents ask for study of its effect on public health

Democratic senators call on the State Department to study whether the pipeline would affect the health of people living near it.


Senators outline bipartisan transportation bill, but others will have to find a way to pay for it

With funding for highways and transit due to run out, Senate leaders agree to principles for a new long-term bill.


Senators ask U.S. to stop garnishing tax refunds to pay for old debts

(Evelyn Hockstein / For The Washington Post)

Sens. Boxer and Mikulski ask Social Security to stop targeting taxpayers for debts they didn’t incur.

States don’t wait for feds on e-cigarette restrictions

While the federal government stalls, states and cities are regulating the new technologies.


At a Glance

  • Career History: U.S. Senate (since 1992); U.S. House (1982 to 1992); Marin County Board of Supervisers (1970 to 1983)
  • Birthday: Nov. 11, 1940
  • Hometown: Brooklyn, New York
  • Alma Mater: Brooklyn College, 1962
  • Spouse: Stewart Boxer
  • Committees: Senate Environment and Public Works
  • Religion: Jewish
  • DC Office: 112 Hart Senate Office Building; 202-224-3553
  • State Offices: San Francisco, 415-403-0100; Los Angeles, 213-894-5000; Sacramento, 916-448-2787; San Diego, 619-239-3884; Fresno, 559-497-5109; San Bernardino, 909-888-8525
  • Web site
  • YouTube
  • Flickr

Path to Power

Boxer grew up in New York City.

She won her first election at Brooklyn College - for co-captain of the cheerleading squad. She also got her first taste of community organizing, working with fellow apartment tenants to convince the landlord to upgrade the building's lobby.

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The Issues

Boxer describes herself as anti-war, anti-big business, pro-women and a pro-environmental rights crusader. She is frequently pegged as one of the more liberal Democrats in the Senate, voting with her party more than 95 percent of the time in the 110th Congress.

Boxer was a fierce defender of Bill Clinton during his 1998 impeachment trial and contested the certification of Ohio's electoral votes during the 2004 presidential race, forcing the chamber into a debate over voter fraud.

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The Network

Boxer is close to several California delegation members, particularly House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif). The pair used to represent neighboring House districts. Boxer's daughter, Nicole, married the brother of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.), tightening an already close relationship.

Boxer works closely with the top staff members on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. Alyson Cooke was charged with bringing a diverse group of voices to the hearings on global warming. Grant Cope helped lead the charge against the EPA 's ruling that California and other states could not cap greenhouse gas emissions. The California politician maintains close ties to Hollywood. Barbara Streisand gave her a shout-out during a 2006 Los Angeles concert.

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