Notable Members of Congress and the Laws They Sponsored

Throughout our nation's history, Members of Congress have made a difference. They have recognized problems which existed in our society and proposed solutions to them. The laws that were enacted as a result of the commitment of these specific individuals have improved our nation. We owe recognition to the Members of Congress whose ideas for legislation and efforts to get it enacted produced results. Here are just a few of them.

The majority of black and white images found on this site came from the Congressional Biographical Directory website, maintained by the U.S. Senate Historical Office. The Center on Congress wishes to thank the U.S. Senate Historical Office for the use of these images and for making them available for educational purposes. To find out more about the Members noted here, visit the on-line Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.

1862 - 1943

Morrill Act: Land grant colleges
Pendleton Act: Civil Service system
Sherman Anti-Trust Act : Anti-trust laws
Keating-Owen Act: Child labor laws
Jones Act: Merchant Marine act
Rogers Act: Created the U.S. Foreign Service
Davis-Bacon Act: Wage protection and job benefits
Wagner National Labor Relations Act: Labor laws/unions
Norris-Rayburn Rural Electrification Act: Brought electricity to the rural U.S.
Randolph-Shepard Act: Laws to help blind Americans
Hatch Act: Forbids political activity in the civil service
Bolton Act: Created U.S. Cadet Nurse Corps

1944 - 1973

Fulbright Act: "Fulbright Scholars"
Taft-Hartley Act: Labor laws
Hill-Burton Act: Health facility modernization and construction programs
"Durham-Humphrey Amendment" in the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act: Prescription drugs
Federal Interstate Highway Act: National highway system
"Delaney Clause" in the Federal Food, Drugs, and Cosmetic Act": Food safety and purity
Kerr-Mills Act: Medical care for the elderly
Kefauver-Harris Drug Amendments: Prescription drug safety
Wilderness Act: Designated wilderness areas in the U.S.
Civil Rights Act: Anti-discrimination laws
Williams-Steiger Occupational Safety and Health Act: Standards for workplace safety
Hughes Act: Alcoholism prevention programs
National Cancer Act: Cancer research and treatment
"Pell Grants": Loans and grants for college students


Jackson-Vanik Amendment, Title 4 of the Trade Act of 1974: Emigration and foreign trade
Magnuson Fishery Management and Conservation Act: Created protected ocean zones
Hyde Amendment: Prevents federal funds from being used for abortion
Food Stamp Act: Official recognition of the link between diet and disease
Humphrey-Hawkins Act: Full Employment and Balanced Growth Act
Social Security Amendments: Legislation to rescue the Social Security System
Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Act: Balanced Budget and Deficit Control
"Byrd Rule," Section 313 of the Congressional Budget Act: Budget discipline
Fascell Fellowship Act: Allows academics to serve abroad in diplomatic missions
Simpson-Mazzoli Immigration Reform and Control Act: Illegal immigration
Stewart B. McKinney Homeless Assistance Act: Addresses problem of homelessness
Hawkins-Stafford Elementary and Secondary School Improvement Amendments
Jacob K. Javits Gifted and Talented Students Education Act
Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act


1989 - Present

Americans with Disabilities Act
Perkins Vocational and Applied Technology Education Act: Federal funds for vocational/tech programs
Cranston-Gonzalez National Affordable Housing Act
Symms National Recreational Trails Act
Boren National Security Education Act: Encourages teaching and learning in international fields
Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction Program: Dismantling and storing Soviet nuclear weapons
"Synar Amendment": Prohibits sale of tobacco to people under 18
Ted Weiss Child Support Enforcement Act
Mickey Leland Childhood Hunger Relief Act
Family and Medical Leave Act
Brady Bill: 5 day waiting period for handgun purchases
Mike Mansfield Fellowship Program: Government fellowships to study Japanese language & culture
Solomon Amendment in the National Defense Authorization Act: Military recruiting on campus
Kennedy-Kassebaum Health Insurance Portability Act : Health insurance portability
"Roth IRAs," section 408-A of the Taxpayers Relief Act
Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act: Financial services, consumer privacy and safety


Justin Smith Morrill

1862 Morrill Act

Senator Justin Smith Morrill, R-Vermont, created the land-grant college and university system in the United States, and thereby opened up higher education to the working class. The Morrill Act provided Federal lands to any state or territory that agreed to establish at least one college which would teach the science of agriculture, mechanical, and practical industrial skills. It was a revolution in American higher educational institutions, which until then had emphasized only classical and scientific studies. Return to Top

George Pendleton

1883 Pendleton Act

Senator George Pendleton, D-Ohio, sought to rid the civil service system from political favoritism. The Pendleton Act helped establish today's non-partisan civil service system. The Act imposed merit examinations for civil service jobs in the Federal bureaucracy. The law created a bipartisan civil service commission to enforce the new requirements. It also banned the salary "assessments," which had forced Federal government workers to contribute to political campaigns in order to keep their jobs. Return to Top

John Sherman

1890 Sherman Anti-Trust Act

Senator John Sherman, R-Ohio, believed in opening up competition by eliminating restraints on trade and commerce. The Sherman Act remains the main basis of American anti-trust law. It outlaws business conspiracies which seek to control or monopolize the marketplace. The Act also bans once common practices such as price-fixing, dividing markets into protected territories, or tying the sale of merchandise to the required purchase of another service or product. Return to Top

Edward Keating

Robert Owen


1916 Keating-Owen Act

Representative Edward Keating, D-Colorado and Senator Robert L. Owen, D-Oklahoma, were greatly disturbed at the widespread use of children to work in manufacturing and industrial plants. Their Act was the first Federal effort to control child labor. It banned the sale of products from any factory, shop, or cannery that employed children under the age of 14, from any mine that employed children under the age of 16, and from any facility that had children under the age of 16 work at night or for more than 8 hours during the day. Return to Top

Wesley Jones

1920 Jones Act





Senator Wesley Jones, R-Washington, sponsored the Merchant Marine Act which became the foundation for America's domestic shipping policy. The Act created a strong U.S. merchant marine for national defense and economic security. It limited our country's waterborne commerce in domestic waters to only U.S. built vessels flying under the American flag. Return to Top

1924 Rogers Act

Representative John Jacob Rogers, R-Massachusetts, recognized the need for a professional diplomatic corps. The Rogers Act created the U.S. Foreign Service, giving the United States a well trained and educated network of diplomats all over the world. Regardless of which party is in power in Washington, the merit-based and non-partisan Foreign Service provides stable and quality representation abroad on behalf of the nation. Return to Top

Arthur Capper

1926 Capper-Ketchum Act

Senator Arthur Capper, R-Kansas, and Representative William Ketchum, R-California built on Senator Capper's background running "Capper's Clubs" to teach boys and girls about agriculture and sponsored the legislation which, among other provisions, officially recognized and provided funds to create 4-H Clubs. The Capper-Ketchum Act provided Federal funds to support the agricultural extension network and the work of agricultural colleges.Return to Top

James Davis

1931 Davis-Bacon Act

Representative Robert Bacon, R-New York and Senator James Davis, R-Pennsylvania, sponsored the first Federal law to provide wage protection to non-government workers employed on a contract basis. It requires the payment of prevailing wages and fringe benefits to laborers, mechanics, and other workers employed by contractors and subcontractors engaged in Federal construction projects. Return to Top

Robert Wagner

1935 Wagner National Labor Relations Act

Senator Robert Wagner, D-New York, was a passionate advocate for labor unions and sponsored many labor laws. The Wagner Act was the most significant of them. It established the principle that workers have the right to organize into unions without interference from the employer, and it created the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to enforce that principle. The NLRB still exists today and continues to conduct secret-ballot elections to determine whether employees want union representation, and also investigates unfair labor practices. Return to Top

George Norris

Sam Rayburn

1936 Norris-Rayburn Rural Electrification Act

Senator George Norris, R-Nebraska, and Representative Sam Rayburn, D-Texas were greatly concerned that economic progress in the rural areas of America was blocked because they did not have access to electricity. They worked to enact the Rural Electrification Act which brought electricity to all parts of the rural United States and enabled rural development. Return to Top

Jennings Randolph

1936 Randolph-Sheppard Act

Representative Jennings Randolph, D-West Virginia and Senator Morris Sheppard, D-Texas, sought to help blind Americans by providing them with employment to enlarge their opportunities and encourage self-sufficiency. The Act gave preference to the blind for the operation of food service and vending facilities on federal properties. Return to Top

Carl Hatch

1939 Hatch Act

Senator Carl Hatch, D-New Mexico, wanted to stop the practice of Federal workers being pressured to make political contributions in order to keep their jobs. The Hatch Act barred Federal employees from being solicited or from soliciting political contributions. It also banned any political activity while on duty, in a government office, or wearing a government uniform. By forbidding involvement in political activities, the Act created an environment of neutrality and impartiality within the Civil Service. Return to Top

Frances Bolton

1943 Bolton Act

Representative Frances Bolton, R-Ohio, was a long time advocate for nurses before her election to Congress. During World War I, she had lobbied the U.S. Army to establish a school of nursing - which they did. The Bolton Act created a U.S. Cadet Nurse Corps and provided funds to train over 100,000 nurses. The Corps became the largest group of women in uniform to serve their country in World War II. Return to Top

William Fulbright

1946 Fulbright Act

Senator J. William Fulbright, D-Arkansas, created an educational exchange program to promote mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the peoples of other countries. The program today includes approximately 150 countries throughout the world which host "Fulbright Scholars." Return to Top

Robert Taft

1947 Taft-Hartley Act

Senator Robert Taft, R-Ohio and Representative Fred Hartley, R-New Jersey changed labor-management relations with their law, which banned closed union shops and allowed employees the right to cast a majority vote on whether or not to belong to a union. The Taft-Hartley Act also authorized the Federal government to obtain a temporary injunction against any strike that would imperil the nation's health or safety. The Act further banned unions from coming into a workplace where workers were already represented by another union. Return to Top

Lister Hill

Harold Burton

1946 Hill-Burton Act

Senator Lister Hill, D-Alabama and Senator Harold Burton, R-Ohio, recognized that the nation's hospitals had become obsolete due to lack of capital investment throughout the period of the Great Depression and World War II. They sponsored the "Hospital Survey and Construction Act," the nation's first major health facility modernization and construction program. In return for Federal funds, facilities agreed to provide medical services for free or at a reduced charge for persons unable to pay. Return to Top

Hubert Humphrey

1951 "Durham-Humphrey Amendment" in the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act

Representative Carl Durham, D-North Carolina and Senator Hubert Humphrey, D-Minnesota used Senator Humphrey's credentials as a registered pharmacist to make the case for classifying drugs into two categories: prescription only and over-the-counter (OTC). The legend on drug labels, "Caution: Federal Law Prohibits Dispensing Without a Prescription," is a result of the Durham-Humphrey Amendment. Prior to its passage, drug manufacturers were generally free to determine in which category their drug belonged. The Amendment created standards for the classification of drugs, based on their safety and efficacy. Return to Top

George Fallon

1956 Federal Interstate Highway Act

Representative George Fallon, D-Maryland, was convinced that a national highway system was necessary to create a thriving economy and full employment in the U.S. He was the force behind the Federal Highway Act which provided the largest expenditure of public funds ever authorized for a national road building program to create an interstate highway system. The Interstate Highway System has since grown to over 46,000 miles of interstate, joining more than 112,000 miles of other designated roadways to become today's network of national highways spanning the country from coast to coast. Return to Top

1958 "Delaney Clause" in the Federal Food, Drugs, and Cosmetic Act

Congressman James Delaney, D-New York, fought for purity in our food supply. His legislation required the Food and Drug Administration to ban any chemical additive for use in food which was found to induce cancer in man, or, after tests, found to induce cancer in animals. His "zero tolerance" legislation has been modified over the years, and many chemical additives are now permitted in amount levels below toxicity. Return to Top

Robert Kerr

1960 Kerr-Mills Act

Representative Wilbur Mills, D-Arkansas and Senator Robert Kerr, D-Oklahoma, sponsored this landmark legislation which was the precursor to Medicare. The Kerr-Mills Act provided Federal grants to states to support state-run medical assistance programs for elderly persons who could not afford adequate medical care. Return to Top

Estes Kefauver

1962 Kefauver-Harris Drug Amendments

Senator Estes Kefauver, D-Tennessee and Representative Oren Harris, D-Arkansas reacted to the scandal caused by the discovery that the drug, thalidomide, caused serious birth defects and introduced the Kefauver-Harris Amendments. Their legislation required drug companies to first conduct tests and show that the drugs they wished to market were safe and effective. It required the companies to get clearance from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) before conducting any human trials. The legislation also greatly expanded the size and regulatory powers of the FDA. Return to Top

John Saylor

1964 Wilderness Act

Representative John Saylor, R-Pennsylvania, was one of the first Members of Congress to advocate legislation that would protect land in its wild, unspoiled condition. His Act created the National Wilderness Preservation System. The Wilderness Act preserved large areas of our nation's lands into designated wilderness areas. Saylor's original 9.1 million acres of wilderness lands have been expanded over the years into today's 104 million acres, which form 631 wilderness areas in 44 states. Return to Top

Hubert Humphrey

Everett Dirksen

1964 Civil Rights Act

Senator Hubert Humphrey, D-Minnesota and Senator Everett McKinley Dirksen, R-Illinois led the coalition in the Senate which fought back filibusters and many other procedural obstacles to obtain passage of the landmark Civil Rights Act. Although many Members of Congress participated in the efforts to draft and pass various versions of this bill, these two Senators have been widely acknowledged as its pivotal sponsors. They sheparded it through the legislative process in the middle of a national uproar over its then-controversial provisions. The Civil Rights Act prohibited employers from discriminating on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin. The Act also created the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), which can bring federal lawsuits to stop discrimination. Return to Top

Harrison Williams

1970 Williams-Steiger Occupational Safety and Health Act

Representative William Steiger, R-Wisconsin and Senator Harrison Williams, D-New Jersey, became alarmed at the number of disabling injuries and deaths in the workplace due to accidents and exposure to environmental hazards such as abestos, noise, and toxic chemicals. They pressed hard for this Act which set standards for workplace safety and created the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) to enforce them. In addition, the Act created the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) to conduct research on ways to improve safety and health in the workplace. Return to Top

Harold Hughes

1970 Hughes Act

Senator Harold Hughes, D-Iowa was an admitted former alcoholic and became a pioneer in the field of alcohol abuse and addiction. He worked to make it a public issue and his efforts resulted in the passage of the Comprehensive Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism Prevention, Treatment and Rehabilitation Act, commonly known as the Hughes Act. Passage of the Act marked the first time the federal government made funds available for community-based alcoholism prevention and treatment programs. It also created the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism to conduct research into this disease. Return to Top

Ralph Yarborough

1971 National Cancer Act

Senator Ralph W. Yarborough, D-Texas, sought to make the conquest of cancer a national priority. He led the National Panel of Consultants on the Conquest of Cancer, known as the Yarborough Commission. Its report became the blueprint for the National Cancer Act. The National Cancer Act funded and authorized the National Cancer Institute to greatly accelerate the pace of cancer research and treatment. Return to Top

Claiborne Pell

1972 "Pell Grants"

Senator Claiborne Pell, D-Rhode Island, greatly expanded Federal student aid to enable more young people to attend college by working to pass the Basic Educational Opportunity Grants program. He was the chief sponsor of the law through which the Federal government provides loan guarantees and direct grants to college students. As a result, nearly half of all college students today receive financial aid from Federal, state or local governments. Return to Top

Henry Jackson

Jackson-Vanik Amendment, Title 4 of the Trade Act of 1974

Senator Henry M. Jackson, D-Washington and Representative Charles A. Vanik, D-Ohio, wanted to encourage human rights in communist nations. Their amendment prevented the U.S. from bestowing preferential trade status on a country unless it permitted its citizens to freely emigrate abroad. Return to Top

Warren Magnuson

1976 Magnuson Fishery Management and Conservation Act

Senator Warren Magnuson, D-Washington, sought to protect migratory fish near the U.S. coast, such as tuna and swordfish, from excessive harvesting by foreign nations. The Magnuson Act created protected zones in the ocean, extending several hundred miles from the U.S. coastline, in which fishing was banned except under the management of specified regional U.S. marine fishery commissions. Return to Top

Henry Hyde

1976 Hyde Amendment

Representative Henry Hyde, R-Illinois, became the spokesman within Congress for the many Americans who feel abortion is wrong. His Amendment was introduced to reflect the views of those taxpayers who felt it was morally unacceptable to subsidize the procedure with their money. The Hyde Amendment prevents Federal funds from being used for abortion. It excludes abortion from the comprehensive health care services provided to low-income people by the Federal government through Medicaid, except in the cases of rape, incest, or medical danger to the health of the mother. Return to Top

Robert Dole

George McGovern

1977 Food Stamp Act

Senators Robert Dole, R-Kansas and George McGovern, D-S. Dakota, worked to gain official recognition for the link between diet and disease, and teamed to also encourage the use of surplus farm commodities in public assistance programs. They co-chaired the Senate Select Committee on Nutrition and Human Needs, which issued a landmark report in 1977 called Dietary Goals for the United States. Together, Senators Dole and McGovern led a bi-partisan coalition to pass several bills, including this Act which expanded the food stamp program for the poor. Other Acts which followed gave Federal assistance to improve the nutritional quality of school lunch programs, and provided a supplementary feeding program for low income pregnant and nursing mothers and their infants. Return to Top


Hubert Humphrey

Augustus Hawkins

1978 Humphrey-Hawkins Act

Senator Hubert Humphrey, D-Minnesota and Representative Augustus Hawkins, D-California, sponsored the "Full Employment and Balanced Growth Act" to counter unemployment. Their Act stated that the general objectives of economic and monetary policy should be full employment, balanced growth, and reasonable price stability. The Act set a semi-annual schedule of hearings known as "Humphrey-Hawkins" hearings, required House and Senate floor debate on the subject of economic growth, as well as written reports from the Congress and the Federal Reserve Board on whether the Act's economic goals were being achieved. Return to Top

Robert Dole

Patrick Moynihan

1983 Social Security Amendments

Senator Robert Dole, R-Kansas and Senator Patrick Moynihan, D-New York worked together in very difficult political circumstances to rescue the social security system, which was near bankruptcy and upon which many senior Americans, and others, depended. Their tough legislation resolved the short-term financing problems and ensured the near-term solvency of the Social Security trust funds. In order to maintain the financial integrity of the trust fund, social security benefits were subjected to taxation for the first time and a retirement earnings test was initiated to determine the level of benefits a working retiree could receive. Return to Top

Phil Gramm


Ernest F. Hollings

1985 Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Act

Senator Phil Gramm, R-Texas, Senator Warren Rudman, R-New Hampshire, and Senator Ernest F. Hollings, D-South Carolina, authored the "Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act" out of concern over the ever increasing budget deficits in the 1980's. The Act strengthened congressional budget enforcement procedures and provided new methods to enforce limits on the size of the Federal deficit. Return to Top


Warren Rudman

Robert Byrd

1985 "Byrd Rule," Section 313 of the Congressional Budget Act

Senator Robert C. Byrd, D-West Virginia, sought to encourage budget discipline in the U.S. Senate, and keep Federal expenditures down. He authored this section which provides enforcement on the Senate floor against any amendments or provisions in a budget reconciliation bill which would add to the Federal deficit. Return to Top

Dante Facsell

1986 Fascell Fellowship Act

Representative Dante Fascell, D-Florida, became concerned about the lack of Americans with expertise in Eastern European, Slavic, or Mandarin languages. He sponsored this Act, which provides funds for teachers, scholars, academics and other individuals with Graduate degrees, to serve on a short-term basis at United States diplomatic or consular missions abroad in order to obtain first-hand exposure to the culture and language. Return to Top

Alan Simpson

1986 Simpson-Mazzoli Immigration Reform and Control Act

Senator Alan Simpson, R-Wyoming and Representative Romano Mazzoli, D-Kentucky, recognized that illegal immigration could not be stopped entirely at the borders of our nation and proposed a different approach to curbing the problem. The Simpson-Mazzoli Act imposed sanctions on employers who knowingly hired illegal aliens. It also offered legal amnesty to immigrants who could prove that they had been living continuously in the U.S. since 1982, a concession to the reality that illegal immigrants who had been living in the U.S. for a long period of time had submerged in society and would remain difficult to identify. Return to Top


1987 Stewart B. McKinney Homeless Assistance Act

Representative Stewart B. McKinney, R-Connecticut, was committed to publicizing the plight of the homeless. He inspired passage of the first Federal law to address the problem of homelessness. The McKinney Act provided for the growth of homeless shelters across the country, provided hospital emergency room health care for the homeless, and provided funds for food and toiletries. Return to Top

1988 Hawkins-Stafford Elementary and Secondary School Improvement Amendments

Representative Augustus Hawkins, D-California and Senator Robert Stafford, R-Vermont, sought to improve elementary and secondary education in the United States. Their Act required program accountability, expanded the magnet school program and parental choice, encouraged bilingual education programs, enhanced parental involvement in programs for disadvantaged children, and encouraged education innovations. Return to Top

Jacob Javits

1988 Jacob K. Javits Gifted and Talented Students Education Act

Senator Jacob Javits, R-New York recognized the special educational needs of gifted and talented students. His Act established a national program coordinated with states to provide research, demonstration projects, and personnel training to build up schools' capabilities to better serve the gifted and talented student. Return to Top

Robert Stafford

1988 Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act

Senator Robert Stafford, R-Vermont, sponsored this legislation to provide Federal funds to State and local governments and their citizens when natural disasters overwhelm them. The Stafford Act created the current system by which a Presidential Disaster Declaration of an emergency or major disaster triggers assistance through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Return to Top


Tom Harkin
Tony Coehlo

1990 Americans with Disabilities Act

Senator Tom Harkin, D-Iowa; Senator Robert Dole, R-Kansas; Representative Tony Coelho, D-California; and Representative Steny Hoyer, D-Maryland, all shared personal experiences with disabilities. Harkin's brother was deaf; Dole had war injuries which cost the use of his right arm; Coelho had epilepsy, as did Hoyer's wife. They worked together to ban discrimination against Americans who were challenged by physical or mental problems. The landmark law guarantees equal opportunity for individuals with disabilities in employment, public accommodations, transportation, state and local government services and telecommunication services. Return to Top

Robert Dole

Steny Hoyer

Carl Perkins

1990 Perkins Vocational and Applied Technology Education Act

Representative Carl D. Perkins, D-Kentucky, wanted to see students better prepared for the world of work. The Perkins Act provided Federal funds for vocational-technical programs for both youth and adults. It encourages learning institutions to prepare students for immediate careers or for further learning in post-secondary education. The programs created have an emphasis on developing the academic and occupational skills needed to work in a technologically advanced society. Return to Top

Alan Cranston

Henry Gonzalez

1990 Cranston-Gonzalez National Affordable Housing Act

Senator Alan Cranston, D-California and Representative Henry Gonzalez, D-Texas, sought to provide more affordable housing units for low-income families. The Act fosters partnerships among all levels of government and the private sector, including for-profit and nonprofit organizations, in the production and operation of affordable housing. It also expanded Federal rental assistance for very low-income families. Return to Top

Steven Symms

1991 Symms National Recreational Trails Act

Senator Steven Symms, R-Idaho, sponsored this Act, which directed the Secretary of Transportation to allocate Federal funds to the states for providing and maintaining recreational trails. It also established a National Recreational Trails Advisory Committee to monitor the state of the nation's trails. Return to Top

David Boren

1991 Boren National Security Education Act

Senator David Boren, D-Oklahoma, saw the need for an improved pool of applicants for work in the departments and agencies of the United States Government with national security responsibilities. The Boren Act encourages an improvement in the quality of the teaching and learning of subjects in the fields of foreign languages, area studies, counter proliferation studies, and other critical international fields. Return to Top

Sam Nunn

Richard Lugar

1991 Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction Program

Senator Sam Nunn, D-Georgia and Senator Richard Lugar, R-Indiana, were nominated for the 2000 Nobel Peace Prize for conceiving the legislation that created this significant program. The Nunn-Lugar proposal provided U.S. financial and technical assistance to the new independent republics of the disintegrating Soviet Union to be used for dismantling or safely storing the nuclear weapons in the Soviet arsenal. By helping to dismantle warheads, provide for the safe storage of missiles, and destroy underground testing facilities, the U.S. was able to halt further nuclear proliferation and provide some measure of security in an uncertain time of transition as the Soviet nation was transformed into several different governments. Return to Top

Mike Synar

1992 "Synar Amendment," Title XIX of the Federal Public Health Service Act

Representative Mike Synar, D-Oklahoma, wanted to prevent young people from developing serious illnesses. The Synar Amendment requires states to pass and enforce laws that prohibit the sale of tobacco to individuals under the age of 18. Return to Top

1992 Ted Weiss Child Support Enforcement Act

Representative Ted Weiss, D-New York, sought to improve the enforcement of child support laws. The Act requires that information about overdue child support payments be included in the consumer reports used to verify an individual's credit rating. Return to Top

Mickey Leland

1993 Mickey Leland Childhood Hunger Relief Act

Representative Mickey Leland, D-Texas, died in an airplane crash on the way to a refugee camp in Ethiopia in 1989. He was chairman of the House Select Committee on Hunger. This Act was passed to honor his commitment to feeding hungry children. It increased food stamp benefits to low-income families with children and made more families eligible for the food stamp program. Return to Top

William Clay

Christopher Dodd


1993 Family and Medical Leave Act

Representative William Clay, D-Missouri; Representative William Ford, D-Michigan; and Senator Christopher Dodd, D-Connecticut worked for over 8 years to get legislation through the Congress to give parents with newborn babies, or workers with seriously ill family members, the right to take 12 weeks of unpaid leave a year from their jobs without jeopardizing their jobs. The same law passed Congress in both 1990 and 1992, but was successfully vetoed by the first President Bush, who had argued businesses, especially small ones, could not afford to give this benefit to their workers. Clay and Ford in the House, working with Dodd in the Senate, and a coalition of women’s groups, labor unions, and allied businesses got it through Congress on the third try. It was signed into law by President Bill Clinton. Return to Top

George Mitchell

1993 Brady Bill

Senator George Mitchell, D-Maine, took on tremendous opposition to get this bill through the U.S. Senate. It instituted a 5-day waiting period before a handgun could get purchased. The waiting period was meant to allow law enforcement authorities to check on the buyer to see if they had criminal records or were otherwise unqualified to own a gun. It was the first gun control law of any kind passed in 25 years. The law was named for James Brady, former President Ronald Reagan’s press secretary, who was shot and paralyzed during the 1981 assassination attempt on President Reagan. Brady, confined to a wheelchair, and his wife, Sarah, worked with Senator Mitchell and lobbied Congress on the issue of gun control for 7 years before the bill finally became law. Return to Top

Mike Mansfield

1994 Mike Mansfield Fellowship Program

Senator Mike Mansfield, D-Montana, who went on to become the U.S. Ambassador to Japan, believed in the importance of maintaining good relations with the country of Japan. The academic program that bears his name provides government fellowships for U.S. government officials to study Japanese language and culture in that country. Return to Top

Gerald Solomon

1995 Solomon Amendment in the National Defense Authorization Act

Representative Gerald Solomon, R-New York, concerned that military recruiters were not meeting their enlistment quotas, authored this provision which requires colleges to provide military recruiters access to their campuses. The Solomon Amendment ended any Pentagon contracts with any college or university that forbade campus recruiting by the military or banned ROTC programs. Since its original enactment, Congress has extended the ban to academic contracts issued by other Federal departments, in addition to the Department of Defense. Return to Top

Edward Kennedy

Nancy Kassebaum

1996 Kennedy-Kassebaum Health Insurance Portability Act

Senator Edward Kennedy, D-Massachusetts and Senator Nancy Kassebaum, R-Kansas, were concerned about the many Americans who had health insurance coverage but were in danger of losing it -- due to changing jobs, leaving a job to start their own business, or illness that forced them to leave their job. In today’s more complex and technological world, where people change jobs more frequently than in years past, and where health care costs are rising beyond many family’s budgets, having "portability," (the ability to carry health insurance with you from job to job) is a significant part of staying financially secure. Return to Top

William Roth

1997 "Roth IRAs," section 408-A of the Taxpayers Relief Act

Senator William Roth, R-Delaware, wanted to create tax incentives for retirement savings. He was the sponsor of the provision which created a new, tax-free Individual Retirement Account. Roth IRAs offer a choice for tax-free income in retirement, a benefit traditional IRA's do not provide. Senior citizens who anticipate having a lower income in retirement now have the opportunity to keep more of their investment earnings as a result. Return to Top

James Leach

Thomas Bliley

1999 Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act

Senator Phil Gramm, R-Texas; Representative James Leach, R-Iowa; and Representative Thomas Bliley, R-Virginia, sought to overhaul our nation's financial services institutions by removing legal barriers which prevented banks, securities firms and insurance companies from affiliating and offering a wider array of financial services. The Act, known as "GLBA," also established new consumer privacy safeguards and disclosure requirements. Return to Top