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Michael Bennet

Michael Bennet

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Michael Farrand Bennet (born November 28, 1964) is an American businessman, lawyer, and politician. He is currently the junior United States Senator
United States Senate
The United States Senate is the upper house of the bicameral legislature of the United States, and together with the United States House of Representatives comprises the United States Congress. The composition and powers of the Senate are established in Article One of the U.S. Constitution. Each...

 from Colorado
Colorado
Colorado is a U.S. state that encompasses much of the Rocky Mountains as well as the northeastern portion of the Colorado Plateau and the western edge of the Great Plains...

, and a member of the Democratic Party. He previously worked as managing director for the Anschutz Investment Company
The Anschutz Corporation
The Anschutz Corporation is a privately-held holding company headquartered in Denver, Colorado. It was started in 1958 by Fred Anschutz, an wildcatter, and the father of Philip Anschutz, who took over the company in 1962....

, chief of staff to Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper
John Hickenlooper
John Wright Hickenlooper is an American politician and current Governor of Colorado. A Democrat, he was previously the Mayor of Denver, Colorado from 2003 to 2011.-Early life, education and career:...

, and the superintendent of Denver Public Schools
Denver Public Schools
The Denver County School District No. 1, more commonly known as the Denver Public Schools , is the public school system in the City and County of Denver, Colorado, United States.-History:...

.

Born in New Delhi
New Delhi
New Delhi is the capital city of India. It serves as the centre of the Government of India and the Government of the National Capital Territory of Delhi. New Delhi is situated within the metropolis of Delhi. It is one of the nine districts of Delhi Union Territory. The total area of the city is...

, he is the son of Douglas J. Bennet
Douglas J. Bennet
Douglas Joseph “Doug” Bennet, Jr. is a former national political official and college president. He was the fifteenth president of Wesleyan University, in Middletown, Connecticut, from 1995 to 2007...

, a former State Department
United States Department of State
The United States Department of State , is the United States federal executive department responsible for international relations of the United States, equivalent to the foreign ministries of other countries...

 official and college president. In high school Bennet worked as a Senate page
United States Senate Page
A United States Senate Page is a non-partisan federal employee serving the United States Senate in Washington, DC. Despite the non-partisan affiliation, Pages are typically divided to serve the party that appointed them.-Selection:In order to become a US Senate Page, one must first be nominated...

 on Capitol Hill. After graduating from Wesleyan University
Wesleyan University
Wesleyan University is a private liberal arts college founded in 1831 and located in Middletown, Connecticut. According to the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, Wesleyan is the only Baccalaureate College in the nation that emphasizes undergraduate instruction in the arts and...

 he worked for Ohio Governor Richard Celeste. He went on to receive his law degree from Yale Law School
Yale Law School
Yale Law School, or YLS, is the law school of Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, United States. Established in 1824, it offers the J.D., LL.M., J.S.D. and M.S.L. degrees in law. It also hosts visiting scholars, visiting researchers and a number of legal research centers...

, where he was the Editor-in-Chief of the Yale Law Journal
Yale Law Journal
The Yale Law Journal is a student-run law review affiliated with the Yale Law School. Published continuously since 1891, it is the most widely known of the eight law reviews published by students at Yale Law School...

. He worked as a law clerk and later as Counsel to the U.S. Deputy Attorney General
United States Deputy Attorney General
United States Deputy Attorney General is the second-highest-ranking official in the United States Department of Justice. In the United States federal government, the Deputy Attorney General oversees the day-to-day operation of the Department of Justice, and may act as Attorney General during the...

 in the Clinton administration
Presidency of Bill Clinton
The United States Presidency of Bill Clinton, also known as the Clinton Administration, was the executive branch of the federal government of the United States from January 20, 1993 to January 20, 2001. Clinton was the first Democratic president since Franklin D. Roosevelt to win a second full term...

.

Bennet worked for six years with the Anschutz Investment Company in Denver. As Managing Director he led the reorganizations of four distressed companies, requiring the restructuring of over $3 billion in debt. As chief of staff
Chief of Staff
The title, chief of staff, identifies the leader of a complex organization, institution, or body of persons and it also may identify a Principal Staff Officer , who is the coordinator of the supporting staff or a primary aide to an important individual, such as a president.In general, a chief of...

 to Mayor Hickenlooper, he worked on balancing budgets and negotiating collective-bargaining
Collective bargaining
Collective bargaining is a process of negotiations between employers and the representatives of a unit of employees aimed at reaching agreements that regulate working conditions...

 agreements. He became superintendent
Superintendent (education)
In education in the United States, a superintendent is an individual who has executive oversight and administration rights, usually within an educational entity or organization....

 of the Denver public school system in July 2005, where he revised a merit pay
Merit pay
Merit pay is a term describing performance-related pay, most frequently in the context of educational reform. It provides bonuses for workers who perform their jobs effectively, according to measurable criteria...

 proposal with the support of local teachers. Acknowledging his work in Denver, Time
Time (magazine)
Time is an American news magazine. A European edition is published from London. Time Europe covers the Middle East, Africa and, since 2003, Latin America. An Asian edition is based in Hong Kong...

 magazine listed him among the nation's eleven leading educational activists in 2011.

As one of President Barack Obama
Barack Obama
Barack Hussein Obama II is the 44th and current President of the United States. He is the first African American to hold the office. Obama previously served as a United States Senator from Illinois, from January 2005 until he resigned following his victory in the 2008 presidential election.Born in...

's early advisers on education issues, Bennet was speculated in late 2008 as a frontrunner for Obama's United States Secretary of Education
United States Secretary of Education
The United States Secretary of Education is the head of the Department of Education. The Secretary is a member of the President's Cabinet, and 16th in line of United States presidential line of succession...

. He was instead appointed by Governor Bill Ritter to fill the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Ken Salazar
Ken Salazar
Kenneth Lee "Ken" Salazar is the current United States Secretary of the Interior, in the administration of President Barack Obama. A member of the Democratic Party, he previously served as a United States Senator from Colorado from 2005 to 2009. He and Mel Martinez were the first Hispanic U.S...

 when Salazar became Secretary of the Interior
United States Secretary of the Interior
The United States Secretary of the Interior is the head of the United States Department of the Interior.The US Department of the Interior should not be confused with the concept of Ministries of the Interior as used in other countries...

 in January 2009. Bennet was re-elected in the 2010 Senate election where he defeated Republican Ken Buck
Ken Buck
Kenneth R. "Ken" Buck is the District Attorney for Weld County, Colorado, and was the unsuccessful Republican challenger to Michael Bennet in the 2010 U.S. Senate race in Colorado.-Early life and education:...

. Now serving his first full term, he is the chairman of the Senate Agriculture Subcommittee on Conservation, Forestry and Natural Resources.

Early life, family, and education


He was born in New Delhi
New Delhi
New Delhi is the capital city of India. It serves as the centre of the Government of India and the Government of the National Capital Territory of Delhi. New Delhi is situated within the metropolis of Delhi. It is one of the nine districts of Delhi Union Territory. The total area of the city is...

 while his father, Douglas J. Bennet
Douglas J. Bennet
Douglas Joseph “Doug” Bennet, Jr. is a former national political official and college president. He was the fifteenth president of Wesleyan University, in Middletown, Connecticut, from 1995 to 2007...

, was serving as an aide to Chester Bowles
Chester Bowles
Chester Bliss Bowles was a liberal Democratic American diplomat and politician from Connecticut.-Biography:...

, then the U.S. ambassador
United States Ambassador to India
American Embassy New Delhi was established Nov 1, 1946, with George R. Merrell as Chargé d'Affaires ad interim.-Chiefs of Mission to India:-See also:*Embassy of India, Washington, D.C.*India – United States relations*Foreign relations of India...

 to India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

. The elder Bennet ran the United States Agency for International Development
United States Agency for International Development
The United States Agency for International Development is the United States federal government agency primarily responsible for administering civilian foreign aid. President John F. Kennedy created USAID in 1961 by executive order to implement development assistance programs in the areas...

 under President Jimmy Carter
Jimmy Carter
James Earl "Jimmy" Carter, Jr. is an American politician who served as the 39th President of the United States and was the recipient of the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize, the only U.S. President to have received the Prize after leaving office...

, served as President and CEO of National Public Radio (1983–1993), Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs
Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs
The Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs is the head of the Bureau of International Organization Affairs within the American Department of State that creates and executes policy in international organizations such as the United Nations...

 in the Clinton Administration (1993–1995), and President of Wesleyan University
Wesleyan University
Wesleyan University is a private liberal arts college founded in 1831 and located in Middletown, Connecticut. According to the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, Wesleyan is the only Baccalaureate College in the nation that emphasizes undergraduate instruction in the arts and...

 (1995–2007). His grandfather, Douglas Bennet, had been an economic adviser in Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin Delano Roosevelt , also known by his initials, FDR, was the 32nd President of the United States and a central figure in world events during the mid-20th century, leading the United States during a time of worldwide economic crisis and world war...

’s administration. His grandmother, Phoebe Bennet née Benedict, is a direct-line descendant of Edward Fuller
Edward Fuller (Mayflower)
Edward Fuller crossed the Atlantic on the Mayflower...

, who crossed the Atlantic Ocean
Atlantic Ocean
The Atlantic Ocean is the second-largest of the world's oceanic divisions. With a total area of about , it covers approximately 20% of the Earth's surface and about 26% of its water surface area...

 from England
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

 to Plymouth Colony
Plymouth Colony
Plymouth Colony was an English colonial venture in North America from 1620 to 1691. The first settlement of the Plymouth Colony was at New Plymouth, a location previously surveyed and named by Captain John Smith. The settlement, which served as the capital of the colony, is today the modern town...

 on the Mayflower
Mayflower
The Mayflower was the ship that transported the English Separatists, better known as the Pilgrims, from a site near the Mayflower Steps in Plymouth, England, to Plymouth, Massachusetts, , in 1620...

in 1620.

Bennet's mother, Susanne Bennet née Klejman, immigrated to the United States with her family in 1950. Her parents were Polish Jews and survived imprisonment in the Warsaw Ghetto
Warsaw Ghetto
The Warsaw Ghetto was the largest of all Jewish Ghettos in Nazi-occupied Europe during World War II. It was established in the Polish capital between October and November 15, 1940, in the territory of General Government of the German-occupied Poland, with over 400,000 Jews from the vicinity...

. Bennet's mother is a retired school librarian who teaches English as a second language for a Washington nonprofit, and is also an art historian
Art history
Art history has historically been understood as the academic study of objects of art in their historical development and stylistic contexts, i.e. genre, design, format, and style...

 specializing in Roman antiquities
Ancient Rome
Ancient Rome was a thriving civilization that grew on the Italian Peninsula as early as the 8th century BC. Located along the Mediterranean Sea and centered on the city of Rome, it expanded to one of the largest empires in the ancient world....

. She is fluent in English
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

, Polish
Polish language
Polish is a language of the Lechitic subgroup of West Slavic languages, used throughout Poland and by Polish minorities in other countries...

, Swedish
Swedish language
Swedish is a North Germanic language, spoken by approximately 10 million people, predominantly in Sweden and parts of Finland, especially along its coast and on the Åland islands. It is largely mutually intelligible with Norwegian and Danish...

 and Spanish
Spanish language
Spanish , also known as Castilian , is a Romance language in the Ibero-Romance group that evolved from several languages and dialects in central-northern Iberia around the 9th century and gradually spread with the expansion of the Kingdom of Castile into central and southern Iberia during the...

.

His brother, James Bennet
James Bennet
James Douglas Bennet is an American journalist. Since 2006, he has been the editor-in-chief of The Atlantic.-Background and family:...

, is editor of The Atlantic and a former correspondent of The New York Times
The New York Times
The New York Times is an American daily newspaper founded and continuously published in New York City since 1851. The New York Times has won 106 Pulitzer Prizes, the most of any news organization...

.

He grew up in Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

 as his father served as an aide to Vice President Hubert Humphrey
Hubert Humphrey
Hubert Horatio Humphrey, Jr. , served under President Lyndon B. Johnson as the 38th Vice President of the United States. Humphrey twice served as a United States Senator from Minnesota, and served as Democratic Majority Whip. He was a founder of the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party and...

, among others. Bennet was held back in second grade because of his struggle with dyslexia
Dyslexia
Dyslexia is a very broad term defining a learning disability that impairs a person's fluency or comprehension accuracy in being able to read, and which can manifest itself as a difficulty with phonological awareness, phonological decoding, orthographic coding, auditory short-term memory, or rapid...

. He was enrolled at St. Albans School
St. Albans School (Washington, D.C.)
St. Albans School is an independent college preparatory school for boys in grades 4–12, located in Washington, D.C. The school is named after Saint Alban, traditionally regarded as the first British martyr. Within the St...

, an all-boys preparatory school
University-preparatory school
A university-preparatory school or college-preparatory school is a secondary school, usually private, designed to prepare students for a college or university education...

, and served as a page
United States Senate Page
A United States Senate Page is a non-partisan federal employee serving the United States Senate in Washington, DC. Despite the non-partisan affiliation, Pages are typically divided to serve the party that appointed them.-Selection:In order to become a US Senate Page, one must first be nominated...

 on Capitol Hill. Bennet also served as a Coro Foundation fellow in New York city.

On October 26, 1997, he married Earthjustice Legal Defense Fund attorney Susan Daggett in Marianna, Arkansas
Marianna, Arkansas
Marianna is a city in and the county seat of Lee County, Arkansas, United States, along the L'Anguille River. The community was established by Col. Walter H. Otey in 1848 and was known as Walnut Ridge until 1852 when it became known as Marianna...

. They have three daughters and reside in Denver's Congress Park
Congress Park, Denver
Congress Park is a park and a neighborhood in the City and County of Denver, Colorado. In 2007, the neighborhood had 11,247 residents and 6,388 housing units.-Boundaries:...

 neighborhood.

Bennet earned his B.A. in history with honors from Wesleyan University
Wesleyan University
Wesleyan University is a private liberal arts college founded in 1831 and located in Middletown, Connecticut. According to the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, Wesleyan is the only Baccalaureate College in the nation that emphasizes undergraduate instruction in the arts and...

 in 1987, where he was a member of Beta Theta Pi
Beta Theta Pi
Beta Theta Pi , often just called Beta, is a social collegiate fraternity that was founded in 1839 at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, USA, where it is part of the Miami Triad which includes Phi Delta Theta and Sigma Chi. It has over 138 active chapters and colonies in the United States and Canada...

, and his law degree
Juris Doctor
Juris Doctor is a professional doctorate and first professional graduate degree in law.The degree was first awarded by Harvard University in the United States in the late 19th century and was created as a modern version of the old European doctor of law degree Juris Doctor (see etymology and...

 from Yale Law School
Yale Law School
Yale Law School, or YLS, is the law school of Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, United States. Established in 1824, it offers the J.D., LL.M., J.S.D. and M.S.L. degrees in law. It also hosts visiting scholars, visiting researchers and a number of legal research centers...

, where he was the Editor-in-Chief of the Yale Law Journal
Yale Law Journal
The Yale Law Journal is a student-run law review affiliated with the Yale Law School. Published continuously since 1891, it is the most widely known of the eight law reviews published by students at Yale Law School...

.

Though neither of his parents were religiously observant, Bennet has stated that he was "raised with two different heritages, one [that] was Jewish and one [that] was Christian
Christian
A Christian is a person who adheres to Christianity, an Abrahamic, monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as recorded in the Canonical gospels and the letters of the New Testament...

," and that he believes in God.

Career before U.S. Senate


From 1988 until 1990, when he left to attend Yale, he served as an aide to Ohio Governor Richard Celeste. After law school he served as a law clerk for the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals. He then served as Counsel to the Deputy Attorney General
United States Deputy Attorney General
United States Deputy Attorney General is the second-highest-ranking official in the United States Department of Justice. In the United States federal government, the Deputy Attorney General oversees the day-to-day operation of the Department of Justice, and may act as Attorney General during the...

 during Bill Clinton
Bill Clinton
William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton is an American politician who served as the 42nd President of the United States from 1993 to 2001. Inaugurated at age 46, he was the third-youngest president. He took office at the end of the Cold War, and was the first president of the baby boomer generation...

's administration
Presidency of Bill Clinton
The United States Presidency of Bill Clinton, also known as the Clinton Administration, was the executive branch of the federal government of the United States from January 20, 1993 to January 20, 2001. Clinton was the first Democratic president since Franklin D. Roosevelt to win a second full term...

. His father, Douglas J. Bennet
Douglas J. Bennet
Douglas Joseph “Doug” Bennet, Jr. is a former national political official and college president. He was the fifteenth president of Wesleyan University, in Middletown, Connecticut, from 1995 to 2007...

, worked in the Clinton White House as well, as Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs
Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs
The Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs is the head of the Bureau of International Organization Affairs within the American Department of State that creates and executes policy in international organizations such as the United Nations...

.

Bennet then entered the business world, working for six years in Denver as Managing Director for the Anschutz Investment Company
The Anschutz Corporation
The Anschutz Corporation is a privately-held holding company headquartered in Denver, Colorado. It was started in 1958 by Fred Anschutz, an wildcatter, and the father of Philip Anschutz, who took over the company in 1962....

 where he had direct responsibility for the investment of over $500 million. He led the reorganizations of four distressed companies, including Forcenergy (which later merged with Denver-based Forest Oil), Regal Cinemas
Regal Cinemas
Regal Cinemas is a UK-based cinema chain since the early days of the cinema. In 1928, Regal Cinemas became part of Associated British Cinemas but has retained the name 'Regal Cinemas'....

, United Artists
United Artists
United Artists Corporation is an American film studio. The original studio of that name was founded in 1919 by D. W. Griffith, Charles Chaplin, Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks....

 and Edwards Theaters, which together required the restructuring of over $3 billion in debt. Bennet also managed, on behalf of Anschutz, the consolidation of the three theater chains into Regal Entertainment Group
Regal Entertainment Group
Regal Entertainment Group also known as REG is a movie theater chain headquartered in Knoxville, Tennessee. Regal operates the largest and most geographically diverse theater circuit in the United States, consisting of 6,775 screens in 548 locations in 39 states and the District of Columbia as of...

, the largest motion picture exhibitor in the world.

Moving back into public service, Bennet served for two years as the Chief of Staff to Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper
John Hickenlooper
John Wright Hickenlooper is an American politician and current Governor of Colorado. A Democrat, he was previously the Mayor of Denver, Colorado from 2003 to 2011.-Early life, education and career:...

. Highlights of his accomplishments at the city include: closing an initial 10-percent budget gap in the first two months of office; balancing two consecutive budgets in Denver's worst recession in history while preserving city services; conducting five collective-bargaining negotiations; devising strategies to pass five ballot initiatives; and assembling a very diverse, widely acknowledged leadership team for the city.

Bennet was appointed superintendent
Superintendent (education)
In education in the United States, a superintendent is an individual who has executive oversight and administration rights, usually within an educational entity or organization....

 of Denver Public Schools
Denver Public Schools
The Denver County School District No. 1, more commonly known as the Denver Public Schools , is the public school system in the City and County of Denver, Colorado, United States.-History:...

 on June 27, 2005, taking office on the following July 1. During his tenure, he revised a merit pay proposal that earned the support of local teachers and he was initially opposed to closing the failing Manual High School
Manual High School (Denver)
Manual High School is located in the Whittier neighborhood on the east side of Denver, Colorado.-Demographics:*5.6% white*40.9% African American*58.1% Latino*0% Native American*0.3% Asian- Manual Today :...

, which was later reopened.

Bennet was among the many officials whose names were circulated for United States Secretary of Education
United States Secretary of Education
The United States Secretary of Education is the head of the Department of Education. The Secretary is a member of the President's Cabinet, and 16th in line of United States presidential line of succession...

 in the Obama Administration
Presidency of Barack Obama
The Presidency of Barack Obama began at noon EST on January 20, 2009 when he became the 44th President of the United States. Obama was a United States Senator from Illinois at the time of his victory over Arizona Senator John McCain in the 2008 presidential election...

, which was eventually filled by Arne Duncan
Arne Duncan
Arne Duncan is an American education administrator and currently United States Secretary of Education. Duncan previously served as CEO of the Chicago Public Schools.-Early years and personal:...

. Bennet and his wife were early supporters of Barack Obama
Barack Obama
Barack Hussein Obama II is the 44th and current President of the United States. He is the first African American to hold the office. Obama previously served as a United States Senator from Illinois, from January 2005 until he resigned following his victory in the 2008 presidential election.Born in...

's presidential bid during the 2008 Democratic primaries and he was among those who advised Barack Obama on education issues.

Appointment


On January 3, 2009, he was named by Colorado Governor
Governor of Colorado
The Governor of Colorado is the head of the executive branch of Colorado's government and the commander-in-chief of the state's military forces. The governor has a duty to enforce state laws, and the power to either approve or veto bills passed by the Colorado General Assembly, to convene the...

 Bill Ritter to fill the seat in the United States Senate
United States Senate
The United States Senate is the upper house of the bicameral legislature of the United States, and together with the United States House of Representatives comprises the United States Congress. The composition and powers of the Senate are established in Article One of the U.S. Constitution. Each...

 vacated by United States Secretary of the Interior
United States Secretary of the Interior
The United States Secretary of the Interior is the head of the United States Department of the Interior.The US Department of the Interior should not be confused with the concept of Ministries of the Interior as used in other countries...

 Ken Salazar
Ken Salazar
Kenneth Lee "Ken" Salazar is the current United States Secretary of the Interior, in the administration of President Barack Obama. A member of the Democratic Party, he previously served as a United States Senator from Colorado from 2005 to 2009. He and Mel Martinez were the first Hispanic U.S...

 on January 20. Upon taking office on January 21, 2009, he had stated that he would seek election at the end of his term in 2010.

Referencing Bennet's tenure as superintendent of Denver Public Schools, Time magazine listed Bennet among eleven leading educational activists for 2011. In a January 2011 article in Time entitled "Shaking Schools Up in an Already Tumultuous Year," the author of the article, Andrew J. Rotherham, said of Bennet: "If the federal No Child Left Behind Act
No Child Left Behind Act
The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 is a United States Act of Congress concerning the education of children in public schools.NCLB was originally proposed by the administration of George W. Bush immediately after he took office...

 is modified this year, or if anything else of significance happens in Washington on education policy, this Colorado Democrat will be at the center of it."

2010 election


Bennet ran for re-election as Senator from Colorado in the 2010 election. On September 16, 2009, former Colorado House Speaker
Speaker (politics)
The term speaker is a title often given to the presiding officer of a deliberative assembly, especially a legislative body. The speaker's official role is to moderate debate, make rulings on procedure, announce the results of votes, and the like. The speaker decides who may speak and has the...

 Andrew Romanoff
Andrew Romanoff
Harlan Andrew Romanoff is an American politician. A Democrat, he was a member of the Colorado House of Representatives from 2000 to 2008, serving as Speaker from 2005 to 2008...

 announced his campaign to challenge Bennet for the Democratic nomination.
Bennet received endorsements from President Barack Obama
Barack Obama
Barack Hussein Obama II is the 44th and current President of the United States. He is the first African American to hold the office. Obama previously served as a United States Senator from Illinois, from January 2005 until he resigned following his victory in the 2008 presidential election.Born in...

, U.S. Senator Mark Udall
Mark Udall
Mark Emery Udall is the senior United States Senator from Colorado and a member of the Democratic Party. From 1999 to 2009, Udall served in the United States House of Representatives, representing . He also served a term in the Colorado House of Representatives.Born in Tucson, Arizona, he is the...

, and U.S. Representatives Betsy Markey
Betsy Markey
Elizabeth Helen “Betsy” Markey is the former U.S. Representative for , serving from 2009 to 2011. She is a member of the Democratic Party...

, Jared Polis
Jared Polis
Jared Schutz Polis is an American entrepreneur, philanthropist, and U.S. Representative for , serving since 2009. He is a member of the Democratic Party...

, and John Salazar
John Salazar
John Tony Salazar is the former Congressman for , serving from 2005 until 2011. He is a member of the Democratic Party. Following his service in Congress, he was appointed as Commissioner of the Colorado Department of Agriculture in the Cabinet of Governor John Hickenlooper in 2011.-Early life,...

 of the Colorado congressional delegation.

On August 10, 2010, Bennet defeated Romanoff in the primary
Primary election
A primary election is an election in which party members or voters select candidates for a subsequent election. Primary elections are one means by which a political party nominates candidates for the next general election....

 and won his party's nomination, facing Republican candidate Ken Buck
Ken Buck
Kenneth R. "Ken" Buck is the District Attorney for Weld County, Colorado, and was the unsuccessful Republican challenger to Michael Bennet in the 2010 U.S. Senate race in Colorado.-Early life and education:...

. The campaign became one of the most expensive in the country, with the candidates spending a reported $15 million combined, and outside groups another $30 million. Bennet portrayed Buck as an extremist conservative opposed to abortion
Abortion
Abortion is defined as the termination of pregnancy by the removal or expulsion from the uterus of a fetus or embryo prior to viability. An abortion can occur spontaneously, in which case it is usually called a miscarriage, or it can be purposely induced...

 and direct election
Direct election
Direct election is a term describing a system of choosing political officeholders in which the voters directly cast ballots for the person, persons or political party that they desire to see elected. The method by which the winner or winners of a direct election are chosen depends upon the...

 of Senators, while Buck and the groups supporting him characterized Bennet as a big-spending liberal.

On November 3, the day after polls closed, Bennet was declared the winner, and Buck conceded. Bennet returned to Washington in January 2011 to start a full six-year term.

Committee assignments


Bennet sits on the following committees and subcommittees in the 112th United States Congress
112th United States Congress
The One Hundred Twelfth United States Congress is the current meeting of the legislative branch of the United States federal government, composed of the United States Senate and the United States House of Representatives. It convened in Washington, D.C. on January 3, 2011, and will end on January...

 (2011–2012).
  • Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry
    United States Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry
    The Committee of Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry is a committee of the United States Senate empowered with legislative oversight of all matters relating to the nation's agriculture industry, farming programs, forestry and logging, and legislation relating to nutrition and...

    • Commodities, Markets, Trade and Risk Management
    • Conservation, Forestry and Natural Resources (Chairman)
    • Nutrition, Specialty Crops, Food and Agricultural Research
  • Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs
    United States Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs
    The United States Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs has jurisdiction over matters related to: banks and banking, price controls, deposit insurance, export promotion and controls, federal monetary policy, financial aid to commerce and industry, issuance of redemption of notes,...

    • Housing, Transportation, and Community Development
      United States Senate Banking Subcommittee on Housing, Transportation, and Community Development
      The Senate Banking Subcommittee on Housing, Transportation, and Community Development is one of five subcommittees within the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs.-Jurisdiction:...

    • Securities, Insurance, and Investment
      United States Senate Banking Subcommittee on Securities, Insurance, and Investment
      The Senate Banking Subcommittee on Securities, Insurance, and Investment is one of five subcommittees within the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs.-Jurisdiction:...

    • Security and International Trade and Finance
      United States Senate Banking Subcommittee on Security and International Trade and Finance
      The Senate Banking Subcommittee on Security and International Trade and Finance is one of five subcommittees within the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs.-Jurisdiction:...

  • Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
    United States Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
    The United States Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions generally considers matters relating to health, education, labor, and pensions...

    • Children and Families
      United States Senate Health Subcommittee on Children and Families
      The Senate Health Subcommittee on Children and Families is one of the three subcommittees within the Senate Committee on Health-Jurisdiction:The Subcommittee's jurisdiction includes Head Start, the Family Medical Leave Act, child care and child support, and other issues involving children, youth,...

    • Employment and Workplace Safety
      United States Senate Health Subcommittee on Employment and Workplace Safety
      The Senate Health Subcommittee on Employment and Workplace Safety is one of the three subcommittees within the Senate Committee on Health-Jurisdiction:...

  • Special Committee on Aging
    United States Senate Special Committee on Aging
    The United States Senate Special Committee on Aging was initially established in 1961 as a temporary committee; it became a permanent Senate committee in 1977...



Source: United States Senate
United States Senate
The United States Senate is the upper house of the bicameral legislature of the United States, and together with the United States House of Representatives comprises the United States Congress. The composition and powers of the Senate are established in Article One of the U.S. Constitution. Each...


Healthcare reform


Bennet voted in support of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is a United States federal statute signed into law by President Barack Obama on March 23, 2010. The law is the principal health care reform legislation of the 111th United States Congress...

 signed by President Barack Obama
Barack Obama
Barack Hussein Obama II is the 44th and current President of the United States. He is the first African American to hold the office. Obama previously served as a United States Senator from Illinois, from January 2005 until he resigned following his victory in the 2008 presidential election.Born in...

 on March 23, 2010. In November 2009, when the bill was still working its way through Congress, Bennet stated, during a CNN
CNN
Cable News Network is a U.S. cable news channel founded in 1980 by Ted Turner. Upon its launch, CNN was the first channel to provide 24-hour television news coverage, and the first all-news television channel in the United States...

 interview, that he would support health care
Health care
Health care is the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease, illness, injury, and other physical and mental impairments in humans. Health care is delivered by practitioners in medicine, chiropractic, dentistry, nursing, pharmacy, allied health, and other care providers...

 reform even if it meant losing the election. In his speeches on the floor, Bennet emphasized reports by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office
Congressional Budget Office
The Congressional Budget Office is a federal agency within the legislative branch of the United States government that provides economic data to Congress....

 to argue that a vote for health care reform is fiscally responsible.

Immigration


Bennet has been a strong supporter of immigration reform
Immigration reform
Immigration reform is a term used in political discussion regarding changes to current immigration policy of a country. In its strict definition, "reform " means to change into an improved form or condition, by amending or removing faults or abuses....

. In September 2009, Bennet cosponsored the DREAM Act
DREAM Act
The DREAM Act is an American legislative proposal first introduced in the Senate on August 1, 2001 and most recently reintroduced there on May 11, 2011....

 (S. 729), which proposed amending the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996
Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996
The Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996, Division C of vastly changed the immigration laws of the United States.This act states that if an immigrant has been unlawfully present in the United States for 180 days but less than 365 days...

 by giving residency to aliens enrolled in higher education programs or serving in the military. Bennet has also stated that the country is in need of comprehensive immigration reform and that even bills like DREAM will not be adequate to solve US immigration problems.

Fiscal policy


In February 2009, Bennet voted for the $787 billion stimulus package
American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, abbreviated ARRA and commonly referred to as the Stimulus or The Recovery Act, is an economic stimulus package enacted by the 111th United States Congress in February 2009 and signed into law on February 17, 2009, by President Barack Obama.To...

. In August 2009, Bennet sponsored a bill which placed spending caps on the federal government. Bennet is also a cosponsor, and outspoken supporter of the Pay-As-You-Go (PAYGO
PAYGO
PAYGO is the practice in the United States of financing expenditures with funds that are currently available rather than borrowed.-Budgeting:The PAYGO compels new spending or tax changes not to add to the federal deficit. Not to be confused with pay-as-you-go financing, which is when a government...

, S.1600) Act, which would require Congressional proposals which requires spending to state in detail where the funds come from. Bennet has also been a strong supporter of financial regulatory reform, stating that he believes such reform is necessary to America’s future economic well-being, and that the proposed legislation recently unveiled by Senator Chris Dodd’s Banking Committee (of which Bennet is also a member) is a “strong start”.

Alternative energy


In December 2009, Bennet cosigned a letter to Obama and Senate majority leader Harry Reid
Harry Reid
Harry Mason Reid is the senior United States Senator from Nevada, serving since 1987. A member of the Democratic Party, he has been the Senate Majority Leader since January 2007, having previously served as Minority Leader and Minority and Majority Whip.Previously, Reid was a member of the U.S...

 urging them to consider supporting the Solar Manufacturing Jobs Creation Act (S.2755). The letter, signed by the bill’s sponsor and cosponsors, explained that this bill could create as many as 10,000 new jobs. The letter further stated concern that China and other countries are passing the US in production of alternative energy
Alternative energy
Alternative energy is an umbrella term that refers to any source of usable energy intended to replace fuel sources without the undesired consequences of the replaced fuels....

, and that this bill would provide an opportunity to reduce that trend.

External links