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Thomas Richard Carper (born January 23, 1947) is an American politician serving as the senior United States Senator from Delaware, having held the seat since 2001. A member of the Democratic Party, Carper served in the United States House of Representatives from 1983 to 1993 and was the 71st governor of Delaware from 1993 to 2001.

A native of Beckley, West Virginia, Carper graduated from Ohio State University. Serving as a Naval Flight Officer in the U.S. Navy from 1968 until 1973, he flew the P-3 Orion as a Tactical Coordinator/Mission Commander[1] and saw active duty in the Vietnam War. After leaving the active duty Navy, he remained in the U.S. Naval Reserve for another 18 years and eventually retired with the rank of Captain (O-6). Upon receiving his MBA from the University of Delaware in 1975, Carper went to work for the State of Delaware in its economic development office. He was elected State Treasurer, serving from 1977 to 1983 and leading the development of Delaware's first cash management system.

Encouraged by local politicians, Carper successfully ran for Delaware's only seat in the U.S. House of Representatives in 1982. He served five terms in the House, where he chaired the Subcommittee on Economic Stabilization. In 1992 he arranged a swap with term-limited Republican Governor Mike Castle, and the two were easily elected to each other's seats. Carper governed for two terms as a moderate, business-oriented New Democrat, following the lead of the two previous Republican governors.

Carper was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2000, defeating Republican incumbent William V. Roth Jr. He was reelected by landslides in 2006, 2012 and 2018. He serves as one of four Deputy Democratic Whips, the ranking member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee and on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee and the Finance Committee. Carper is the senior senator in Delaware's congressional delegation.

In August 2018, Carper was seeking his fourth six-year term in the United States Senate.[13][14] Tom Carper's campaign contributors as of 2018 included DuPont, with DuPont being his third largest contributor since 2013. Between 2013 and 2018, he received $2.1 million from political action committees.[15] Carper was challenged from the left by Kerri Evelyn Harris, a US Air Force Veteran. She contrasts with Carper in that she advocates a single payer healthcare system,[16] and Carper wants to keep working on the Affordable Health Care Act.[17] Carper defeated Harris in the primary election with roughly 65% of the vote.[18] It was Carper's most competitive primary in his recent political history. In the general election, Carper defeated Republican opponent Rob Arlett by a landslide margin of 22.2 points, 60.0% to 37.8%.[19]

Tenure

He served with the Democratic minority in the 108th and 109th C

He served with the Democratic minority in the 108th and 109th Congresses, and was part of the Democratic majority in the 110th Congress. At the beginning of the 107th Congress, the Democratic Party was in the minority, but later held the majority. Carper is a member of the moderate Democratic Leadership Council (DLC), of which he currently serves as Vice-Chairman. In December 2004, Carper became a part of the Senate Democratic Leadership. As a member of a four-person "Executive Committee", he is one of four deputy whips. David Broder of the Washington Post has called Carper "a notably effective and non-partisan leader, admired and trusted on both sides of the aisle."[citation needed]

Political positions

Carper has a mixed record on <

Carper has a mixed record on abortion issues. In 2003, Carper was one of 17 Democrats who broke with the majority in their party by voting to ban partial-birth abortion.[23] He also voted against banning abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy, but he voted to ban the use of federal funds for abortion.[24] In 2018, he opposed President Trump's proposal to defund Planned Parenthood.[25] Carper was given a 50% rating by NARAL Pro-Choice America indicating a mixed record on abortion, according to their scoring, and a 25% rating from the pro-life National Right to Life Committee.[26]

Foreign policy

Carper joined 23 o

Carper joined 23 other Senate Democrats in signing a letter supporting Obama taking executive action to reduce gun violence.[28] In 2013, he voted to ban high-capacity magazines of over 10 bullets.[29] In 2016, Carper participated in the Chris Murphy gun control filibuster.[30] In response to the 2017 Las Vegas shooting, Carper called for common sense gun laws, specifically background checks and mental health screenings.[31]

In January 2019, Carper was one of forty senators to introduce the Background Check Expansion Act, a bill that would require background checks for either the sale or transfer of all firearms including all unlicensed sellers. Exceptions to the bill's background check requirement included transfer

In January 2019, Carper was one of forty senators to introduce the Background Check Expansion Act, a bill that would require background checks for either the sale or transfer of all firearms including all unlicensed sellers. Exceptions to the bill's background check requirement included transfers between members of law enforcement, loaning firearms for either hunting or sporting events on a temporary basis, providing firearms as gifts to members of one's immediate family, firearms being transferred as part of an inheritance, or giving a firearm to another person temporarily for immediate self-defense.[32]

He joined in the unsuccessful attempt to tie the Bush administration tax cuts to deficit reduction and has supported additional funding for school choice programs and charter schools. He has also sought additional funding for railroad projects and for rail security. He strongly supported legislation to limit class action lawsuits and to restrict personal bankruptcy. In addition, he is a strong proponent of free trade. In 2012, Carper sponsored a bill, eventually passed and signed into law, that required government agencies to identify $125 billion in expected waste and fraud.[33]

Carper and George Voinovich of Ohio proposed a 25-cent raise in the federal gasoline tax; 10 cents would go to pay down the debt and the rest toward improving the nation's infrastructure. The measure was proposed in November 2010.

Carper and George Voinovich of Ohio proposed a 25-cent raise in the federal gasoline tax; 10 cents would go to pay down the debt and the rest toward improving the nation's infrastructure. The measure was proposed in November 2010.[34] The measure did not pass.

On May 14, 2011, the Wall Street Journal criticized a postal-bailout bill co-sponsored by Carper and Susan Collins (R-Maine). The bill would give $50–$75 billion to USPS, and would underwrite pension obligations for retired postal workers. The bailout would cost three times the savings of the 2011 federal budget.[35]

On August 1, 2019, the Senate passed a bipartisan budget deal that raised spending over current levels by 320 billon and lifted the debt ceiling for the following two years in addition to forming a course for funding the government without the perceived fiscal brinkmanship of recent years. Carper joined Joe Manchin and Republicans Mitt Romney and Rick Scott in issuing a statement asserting that "as former Governors, we were responsible for setting a budget each year that was fiscally responsible to fund our priorities. That’s why today, we, as U.S. Senators, cannot bring ourselves to vote for this budget deal that does not put our country on a fiscally sustainable path."[36]

Carper proposed the creation of a National Park in Delaware, the Coastal Heritage Park, in four locations along the Delaware River and Delaware Bay. In January 2009 Carper briefly chaired a Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works hearing on the Tennessee Valley Authority's coal ash spill in Kingston, Tennessee. However, he did vote for Keystone XL Pipeline, but has since expressed disappointment in that vote.[37]

Carper supports the EPA and Clean Air Act and blames states to the west of Delaware for its air pollution, calling them "America's tailpipe".Carper supports the EPA and Clean Air Act and blames states to the west of Delaware for its air pollution, calling them "America's tailpipe".[38]

In April 2019, Carper was one of forty-one senators to sign a bipartisan letter to the housing subcommittee praising the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development's Section 4 Capacity Building program as authorizing "HUD to partner with national nonprofit community development organizations to provide education, training, and financial support to local community development corporations (CDCs) across the country" and expressing disappointment that President Trump's budget "has slated this program for elimination after decades of successful economic and community development." The senators wrote of their hope that the subcommittee would support continued funding for Section 4 in Fiscal Year 2020.[39]

TechnologyCarper co-wrote the "Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset Act of 2010"[40] introduced on June 19, 2010, by Senator Joe Lieberman (Senator Susan Collins is the third co-author of this bill). If signed into law, this controversial bill, which the American media dubbed the "Kill switch bill", would grant the President emergency powers over the Internet. All three co-authors of the bill, however, issued a statement claiming that instead, the bill "[narrowed] existing broad Presidential authority to take over telecommunications networks".[41] Carper was quoted as saying that the bill "would create a National Center for Cybersecurity and Communications in the Department of Homeland Security, with a Senate-confirmed director to oversee security of the federal government's computer networks. The center would also identify vulnerabilities and help secure key private networks – like utilities and communications systems – that, if attacked or commandeered by a foreign power or cyberterrorists, could result in the crippling of our economy."[42]

Consumer regulations

Jobs bill
On September 21, 2011, The Wall Street Journal noted that President Obama's job-creation plans were drawing resistance from Senate Democrats. The article quoted Carper as saying, "I think the best jobs bill that can be passed is a comprehensive long-term deficit-reduction plan. That's better than everything else the president is talking about combined."[44]

Minimum wage

In April 2014, the United States Senate debated the Minimum Wage Fairness Act (S. 1737; 113th Congress). The bill would amend the Minimum Wage Fairness Act (S. 1737; 113th Congress). The bill would amend the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (FLSA) to increase the federal minimum wage for employees to $10.10 per hour over the course of a two-year period.[45] The bill was strongly supported by President Barack Obama and many of the Democratic Senators, but strongly opposed by Republicans in the Senate and House.[46][47][48] Carper said that he preferred legislation that would have a greater chance of becoming law, such as an increase to only $9 an hour.[47]

Carper signed a law as Governor defining "marriage as between a man and a woman," but he also voted as a Senator against the Federal Marriage Amendment, a proposed constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage.[49] He also voted against banning gay marriage again in 2006.[50] In 2013, Carper announced that he now supports same-sex marriage.[51]

Iraq War

Carper

Carper voted yes on the 2002 Iraq War Resolution.[52]

Committee assignments

Elections are held the first Tuesday after November 1. The Governor and State Treasurer take office the third Tuesday of January. The Governor has a four-year term and the State Treasurer had a two-year term at this time. U.S. Representatives take office January 3 and have a two-year term. U.S. Senators also take office January 3, but have a six-year term.

Public Offices
Office Type Location Began office Ended office Notes
State Treasurer Executive Dover January 18, 1977 January 16, 1979
State Treasurer Executive Dover January 16, 1979 January 20, 1981
State Treasurer Executive Dover January 20, 1981 January 3, 1983 resigned
U.S. Representative Legislature Washington January 3, 1983 January 3, 1985
U.S. Representative Legislature Washington January 3, 1985 January 3, 1987
U.S. Representative Legislature Washington January 3, 1987 January 3, 1989
U.S. Representative Miss Delaware, who had two children by a previous marriage. They divorced in 1983. In a 1998 interview, Carper admitted, "I slapped my then-wife, Diane, during a heated argument," describing it as a mistake.[56][5] A New York Post article in 1982 stated that Carper hit Isaacs "so hard he gave her a black eye" and that his wife's two children from a previous relationship "were slapped around and bruised by Carper for doing such things as leaving the family dog on the bed." Carper denied these claims.[5]

Elections are held the first Tuesday after November 1. The Governor and State Treasurer take office the third Tuesday of January. The Governor has a four-year term and the State Treasurer had a two-year term at this time. U.S. Representatives take office January 3 and have a two-year term. U.S. Senators also take office January 3, but have a six-year term.

Public Offices
Office Type Location Began office Ended office Notes