As the top-ranking Democrat on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee—as well as a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee—Claire is a leading voice in strengthening our military and protecting our homeland from threats at home and abroad.
In 2006, Claire became the first woman elected to the U.S. Senate from Missouri, winning the seat once held by Harry Truman. Making good on a campaign pledge, Claire waged a successful six-year effort to rein in wasteful spending on government contracts in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Claire's efforts led to the creation of a new Senate panel charged with financial and contracting oversight. As Chairman, Claire led nearly 40 hearings, and launched an even greater number of investigations at dozens of federal departments and agencies, resulting in more than 30 instances of misconduct referred to federal investigators.
Claire drew on her personal commitment to America's military veterans, helping to pass the 21st Century GI Bill, and establishing a veterans' "secret shopper" program to improve health care services for Missouri's veterans. Following reports of neglect, Claire successfully pushed for the removal of Army officials managing Walter Reed Army Medical Center - and shortly after, led the successful effort to reform management of Arlington National Cemetery after disclosures of mismarked gravesites. Later, she passed into law a comprehensive plan fixing the Pentagon’s troubled program to recover American personnel who are prisoners of war and missing in action (POW/MIA).
In 2012, her oversight panel was expanded and tasked with investigating misconduct at every federal agency. And in 2015, Claire was named the top-ranking Democrat on the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations – formerly the Truman Committee and the Senate’s leading oversight panel. As the subcommittee’s top Democrat, Claire worked across the aisle to win an historic congressional contempt charge and Supreme Court battle against Backpage in her fight against child sex-trafficking. In her second term, Claire has launched investigations into areas including financial management at the U.S. Energy Department, security clearance background checks, pervasive fraud and waste in an Army National Guard recruiting program, sexual violence on college and university campuses, deceiving billing practices in the cable and satellite industry, and massive failures at the Department of Veterans Affairs.
As the new Democratic leader of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, Claire’s number one priority will be to work with Republicans, Democrats and Independents to keep American families safe from internal threats. She will also continue to years-long effort to be a watchdog for the American people and ensure that government mismanagement and corruption are exposed and held accountable.