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Ben Nelson

Ben Nelson

Ben Nelson: the Senior Senator of Nebraska

Ben Nelson is most known for being the current Senior Democratic Senator for Nebraska. He was also the former Governor of Nebraska as well.

Early Life and Education

Ben Nelson was born on May 17, 1941 in McCook, Nebraska as an only child of his parents. He attended the University of Nebraska, where he received his undergraduate degree in 1963, his master’s degree in 1965, and his Juris Doctor in 1970.

After law school, Ben Nelson worked for the Central national Insurance Group of Omaha as an assistant general counsel and later became the state insurance director. He then went back to Central National Insurance to act as the executive vice president and then the president.

Political Career

Ben Nelson ran for the seat of Governor of Nebraska and was elected into office in 1990 after winning in one of the closest gubernatorial races in the history of the state, where he had received the Democratic nomination because of two votes. He was then re-elected for a second term by a very large vote.

As governor, Ben Nelson worked to close the gap between urban and rural areas of Nebraska in order to have a more effective government. He also helped cut spending when it was scheduled go up higher and created legislation to lower crime rates.

When Democrat Jim Exon retired from in 1996 from his seat in the United States Senate, Ben Nelson decided to run for the seat, but was defeated by a Republican candidate. He continued his term as governor until 1999. He was then nominated once more in 2000 as a Democratic candidate for the 2000 Senate election. He won the election and has since held his position.

Currently, Ben Nelson serves on the following committees and subcommittees:

Committee on Armed Services

• Chairman of Subcommittee: Strategic Forces

• Subcommittee: Emerging Threats and Capabilities

• Subcommittee: Personnel

Committee on Appropriations

• Chairman of Subcommittee: Legislative Branch

• Subcommittee: Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, & Related Agencies

• Subcommittee: Interior, Environment, & Related Agencies

• Subcommittee: Agriculture, Rural Development, FDA , & Related Agencies

• Subcommittee: Financial Services & General Government

• Subcommittee: Homeland Security

Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry

• Subcommittee: Energy, Science & Technology

• Subcommittee: Rural Revitalization, Conservation, Forestry and Credit

• Subcommittee: Domestic & Foreign Marketing, Inspection, & Plant and Animal Health

Committee on Rules and Administration

Some of his influential opinions and votes include:

• Voted in favor of the Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act that did not include the Stupak-Pitts Amendment that limited abortions funded by taxpayer money despite his pro-life views

• Voted against invoking cloture in 2008 that would have helped withdraw many U.S. combat troops from Iraq

• Supported the tax cut that proposed cutting taxes in 2001 by $1.3 trillion along with 2003 tax cut

• Tried to prevent a vote of the Federal Reserve Sunshine Act (2009) with a point of order

• Voted against Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (2002)

• Voted against a bill in 2006 extending Stem Cell Research federal funding

• Voted for the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell

NEXT: Dennis Kucinich

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