Sam Dale Brownback, currently a Representative and a Senator from Kansas, was born in Garnett, Kans., September 12, 1956. He was raised on a farm near Parker, Kansas, graduated from Prairie View High School, Linn County, Kans.; graduated from Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kans., in 1979; and received law degree from University of Kansas, Lawrence, in 1982 (Topeka, 2007). Right from early childhood, Sam Brownback exhibited leadership characteristics having served as high school leader, state president of Future Farmers of America, student body president of Kansas State University and President of class at University of Kansas Law School. In his political career, he has served in many positions: Kansas Secretary of Agriculture 1986-1993; White House Fellow detailed to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative 1990-1991; elected as a Republican to the One Hundred Fourth Congress and began serving January 3, 1995; elected to the United States Senate in a special election on November 5, 1996; reelected in 1998 and in 2004 for the term ending January 3, 2011 (Sam and Black, 2007). He has adorned many roles in his life as administrator, broadcaster, teacher, attorney and author. Brownback is married to the former Mary Stauffer, heiress to a Topeka newspaper fortune and has five children, two among them adopted (Sam and Black, 2007). Though his conservative outlook matches that of conservative Protestant evangelicals, he converted to the Roman Catholic Church in 2002.
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In the U.S. Senate, Sam serves on the Appropriations, Judiciary, and Joint Economic Committees. He is the Ranking Member on the Joint Economic Committee, the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Subcommittee, as well as the subcommittee responsible for the Constitution (Brownback, 2007). He also serves in the Helsinki Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, co-chairs the Senate Cancer Coalition and the Human Rights Caucus, chairs the Senate Values Action Team, and is a founding member of the Senate Fiscal Watch Team (Brownback, 2007).
Brownback is an outspoken, socially conservative politician and stands among the ranks of senate conservatives such as Rick Santorum, Pat Roberts, and Tom Coburn on issues of social legislation. He favors capital punishment and teaching intelligent design alongside evolution. He opposes embryonic stem cell research, same-sex marriage, pornography and abortion. He has compared abortion to ‘The Holocaust’. He does not believe that there is an inherent right to privacy in the Constitution. However, he has expressed his disapproval of the legality of the NSA wiretapping program, supported by President Bush. Brownback has also taken an active role in the Darfur issue. He has visited refugee camps in Sudan in 2004 and when he returned, he wrote a resolution labeling the Darfur conflict as genocide and advocated a more progressive foreign policy with respect to Africa (Race42008.com, 2007). He supports the Genocide Intervention Network. After the September 11 terrorist attacks, he has worked on imposing stricter entry standards at the borders of the United States. With Congressman John Lewis, he helped to win placement of the African American Museum on the National Mall in Washington, DC. Brownback is also trying to introduce price transparency to the US health care industry, as well as a bill which would require the disclosure of Medicare payment rate information (Race42008.com, 2007). He is currently focused on defending and promoting traditional marriage, building market- and consumer-based solutions to health care reform, and meaningful tax reform including an optional flat tax. He has worked hard to ensure that we confirm judges who will interpret the law and not legislate from the bench, to create a BRAC-like commission to review and terminate failed or completed federal programs, to protect and renew our American culture, and to defend human life. He is actively engaged in re-opening the U.S. beef trade in Asia, incentivizing drug companies to find cures to neglected diseases throughout the world, and spreading democracy and human rights in Iran and North Korea.
List of Bills and Attendance
The following is the list of bills introduced by Senator Sam Brownback, according to the Library of the Congress (Thomas, 2007): S.CON.RES.23; S.RES.84; S.RES.175; S.J.RES.4; S.J.RES.12; S.356; S.415; S.568; S.1405; S.1534; S.1810; S.1935; S.2075; S.2358; S.2358. However, he has been ridiculed for his poor attendance in voting. According to CNN, Sam Brownback has been for more than 50 percent of the roll call votes this year. Brownback missed all of the votes in the first week of the new Congress (Morris and McGann, 2007).
- Topeka, Kans (1994). Agricultural Law. Lone Tree Publishing Company, 1994 (2d ed.);
- Brownback, Sam and Jim Nelson Black (2007). From Power to Purpose: A Remarkable Journey of Faith and Compassion. Thomas Nelson. Nashville: 2007.
- Thomas (2007). The Library of Congress.
- Morris, D and McGann, E. (2007). The AWOL Senators Who Are Running For President. FoxNews.
- Race 4 2008.com (2007). Web.
- Brownback, S. (2007). Official Website.