Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez has been a champion for the people of Orange County 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 ninth 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 second ranked Democrat and the most senior female member on the Armed Services Committee. She currently serves as the Ranking Member of the Tactical Air and Land Subcommittee, where her top priority is preparing our Armed Forces for a new generation of security challenges, focusing on Army and Air Force aquisition programs and weapons systems as well as Navy and Marine corps aviation programs and National Guard issues. Rep. Sanchez also serves on the Strategic Forces subcommittee, where she served as ranking member in the 112th Congress, overseeing the nation's strategic weapons, ballistic missile defense, space programs, and Department of Energy national security programs.
As founder and Co-Chair of the Congressional Causus on Women in Military, Rep. Sanchez is a vocal advocate for the integration of women in military combat and leaderships roles as well as stamping out sexual assaults in the military. Most recently, her bill Track It To Prevent It, which tracks servicemen and women with a history of sexual harassment to prevent further bad behavior, was included in the FY 2014 Defense Authorization Act.
Rep. Sanchez is the second ranked Democrat and most senior female member of the House Homeland Security Committee, where she has served since the committee's inception. She frequently meets with Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson 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. ï»¿In 2013, Rep. Sanchez introduced the BEST (Border Enforcement, Security and Technology) Act, which strenghtens the nation's borders through holistic enforcement and the most up-to-date technologies, ensuring any additional taxpayer dollars be used responsibly. ï»¿She has also pushed for completion of a biometric exit program to target visa overstays, a key recommendation of the 9/11 commission that would track if and when a foreign visitor exits the country. In 2013, she introduced the bipartisan Biometric Exit Improvement Act mandating the completion of the program. She is also a member of the Subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence, where she has been a vocal advocate for NSA data collection reform.
Rep. Sanchez is also 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.
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.