Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez has been a champion for the people of the 47th Congressional District since the moment she burst onto the political scene in the fall of 1996. She astonished the nation by defeating an entrenched Republican incumbent in one of the most conservative congressional districts in the nation. Loretta is proudly serving her eighth term in Congress, and is the first and only Hispanic woman ever to be elected to Congress from Orange County.
A recognized leader on military issues and national security issues, Rep. Sanchez is the third highest ranking Democrat and the most senior female member on the Armed Services Committee. She currently serves as the Ranking Member of the Strategic Forces Subcommittee, where her top priority is preparing our Armed Forces for a new generation of security challenges. On the Strategic Forces subcommittee, the Congresswoman oversees our nation's strategic weapons, ballistic missile defense, space programs, and Department of Energy national security programs. Rep. Sanchez is also a senior member of the Subcommittees on Emerging Threats and Capabilities and Oversight and Investigations.
Rep. Sanchez is the most senior female member of the House Homeland Security Committee, where she has served since the committee's institution and has emerged as an expert on intelligence and counterterrorism issues.
In Congress, Rep. Sanchez has been a leader in securing America's border with Mexico. A strong advocate for southwest border security, she frequently appears on MSNBC, CNN, C-SPAN, FOX News, and other national media outlets to discuss the importance of economic development and trade along the U.S.-Mexico border and ports of entry. She frequently meets with Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and other national security officials to provide guidance on critical issues, including combating human, weapons, and drug trafficking and ensuring interagency cooperation on national security issues.
As a member of the Subcommittee on Border and Maritime Security, Rep. Sanchez provides strict oversight on important security issues, including the Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) card program and the Visa Waiver Program. In overseeing the TWIC program, which screens and provides credentials for workers with access secure areas at ports, Rep. Sanchez has fought to ensure port workers can continue working during their application process. She also guided key maritime security provisions through Congress in the Security and Accountability for Every Port Act (SAFE PORT ACT) in 2006. She is also a member of the Subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence.
Rep. Sanchez is Co-Chair of the Congressional Caucus on Vietnam and a member of the Blue Dog Democrats, the New Democratic Coalition, and the Congressional Human Rights Caucus. She is also Co-Chair of the Congressional Caucus on Korea. She was appointed by Leader Pelosi to serve on the Joint Economic Committee (JEC), a bipartisan, bicameral committee that continually monitors matters relating to the US economy, including unemployment, foreclosures, and interest rates.
House Minority Whip Hoyer has named Rep. Sanchez to the Democratic National Security Working Group. She is a board member of the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation and the U.S. Air Force Board of Visitors. The Blue Dog Coalition appointed Rep. Sanchez to the Task Force on Oversight and Regulatory Review and she is also a member of the New Democratic Coalition's Task Forces on Innovation, Competitiveness and Tax Reform and Education. Leader Pelosi recently appointed Rep. Sanchez to serve on the Vietnam Education Board.
A product of public schools and Head Start, Sanchez is a graduate of Chapman University and American University's MBA program. Prior to serving in Congress, she was a financial manager at the Orange County Transportation Authority, an assistant vice president at Fieldman, Rollap and Associates, and an associate at Booz, Allen, and Hamilton.