Carol Shea-Porter, the first woman ever elected to national office from New Hampshire, is currently serving her fourth term representing New Hampshire's First Congressional District. A lifelong advocate for others, Carol fights for working families because she believes everyone should have a shot at the American Dream. In Congress, she serves on the House Armed Services Committee and the House Committee on Education and the Workforce.
A former military spouse, Carol understands the challenges facing our military families and veterans. She is committed to ensuring our service men and women have the best training and equipment, and that they have access to education, quality health care, and good jobs when they return home. A member of the House Armed Services Committee, she has worked to provide New Hampshire veterans with increased in-state access to medical care and an expanded GI Bill of Rights, a law that provides benefits to veterans. She was also proud to pass legislation to hold reckless defense contractors accountable, to prohibit exposing our troops to toxins from burn pits in war zones, and to improve support for those with PTSD.
On the Education and Workforce Committee, Carol stands up for American workers’ rights and educational opportunity for all. She is a strong advocate for students and their families, teachers, and workers. Carol knows education is the key to prosperity, so she supports investing in early education, and has worked to expand access and affordability to higher education. She served on the Conference Committee for the reauthorization of Head Start, and was a strong supporter of the College Cost Reduction and Access Act, the Higher Education and Opportunity Act, and the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act. She was proud to receive the Shirley Chisholm Award, given by the New England Educational Opportunity Association, in recognition of her work to save the Upward Bound program.
Carol is committed to protecting the Affordable Care Act’s progress in driving the uninsured rate to the lowest on record and will fight against plans to kick 118,000 Granite Staters off their coverage and going back to the days when insurers could charge more or deny coverage because of pre-existing conditions like asthma or cancer. Instead of repealing the law, which would decrease treatment options for those fighting addiction, she is working to defend access and crack down on the prescription painkiller industry that helped create the opioid crisis.
Carol works to protect and strengthen essential programs like Medicare and Social Security, and led the successful effort to close the Medicare prescription drug donut hole. She opposes turning Medicare into a voucher program, and she will keep fighting any plan to privatize Social Security or to reduce retirement income and security.
Too many New Hampshire workers are being denied their fair share of the gains from the economic recovery. That’s why Carol supports living wages, equal pay, paid family leave; defends workers’ right to organize; and believes our tax code should support the middle class, instead of favoring the wealthiest 1% and the biggest corporations. She was an original cosponsor of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009, which became law, and was also an original cosponsor of the Paycheck Fairness Act. During the financial crisis, she opposed the Wall Street bailout and supported the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act to outlaw the risky and predatory practices that crashed our economy. She also voted for the CARD Act, to help protect young Americans from credit card company abuse, and believes that big banks and credit card companies should play by the same rules as Main Street.
Carol holds a B.A in Social Services and a Master’s of Public Administration degree from the University of New Hampshire. She and her husband met and married while he was serving in the Army. They have two children.