Hillary Clinton

Political Career:

  • January 2001-January 2009: served one full term plus three years as New York State’s US Senator before being appointed US Secretary of State
  • January 2009-February 2013: US Secretary of State under President Barack Obama

Current Positions on Campaign Issues
Voting Record
Comparison with Donald Trump


Born in 1947 as Hillary Rodham, Clinton first came to national prominence for most Americans as the spouse of two-term president, Bill Clinton. Hillary Clinton held her first elected office outside college as a US Senator from New York, although she was born in Chicago and raised in a nearby suburb.

A girl scout and active student in her public high school, around the age of 17 Clinton was already involved in politics through her local campaigning in the national election for Barry Goldwater. Upon graduating from high school she made her way to Massachusetts where she attended Wellesley College and would graduate in 1969 with a BA in political science with honors.

Clinton started out at Wellesley in the Young Republicans, but as the tumultuous events of the mid 1960s played out – the ongoing Vietnam War, assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Civil Rights Movement – her views began to be tempered. By 1967 she participated in a summer student program in Washington DC as part of her studies, and by 1968 she was working with Nelson Rockerfeller’s unsuccessful campaign to become the Republican nominee for president. This event also marked Clinton’s departure from the Republican Party.

Clinton began Yale Law School as a Democrat, and while there started working on the unsuccessful 1970 US Senate campaign of Joseph Duffney, her self-described first real job in politics. It was also around this time that she first met Bill Clinton who was also a student at Yale, and they began dating. While at Yale Clinton took a summer internship with a left-leaning law firm in Oakland, California and campaigned in Texas for George McGovern’s unsuccessful 1972 presidential bid before graduating with a JD in 1973.

She then moved on to work as a staff attorney for the Children’s Defense Fund and also provided legal research and advice regarding the procedures to impeach then-president Richard Nixon in 1974. After passing the exam to practice law in Arkansas but failing the one to practice in DC, she left somewhat promising political prospects in the nation’s capital and accepted a marriage proposal from Bill Clinton.

Living in Arkansas

At this point she moved to Fayetteville and began teaching at the University of Arkansas’ School of Law. Around this time she also worked as the Indiana Field Director for Jimmy Carter’s successful 1976 bid for the White House.

By 1977 the couple moved to Little Rock where Clinton worked with the Rose Law Firm, which specialized in intellectual property. Clinton would be involved with this firm until 1992. Throughout this time she was also involved with the discussion around the legal rights of children, founding the Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families. In the late 1970s she was also involved in several investment projects that would later on become scandals.

Up until the time she became the first lady she was involved with many organizations in different capacities:

  • 1978-1981 – served as President Carter’s appointment to the Legal Services Corporation, a non-profit organization whose goal is ensuring equal access to legal assistance
  • 1982-1988 – served on the board of directors for the New World Foundation
  • 1985-1992 – served on the board of TCBY
  • 1986-1992 – chair of the Children’s Defense Fund
  • 1986-1992 – served on the board of Wal Mart
  • 1987-1991 – chair of the American Bar Association’s Commission on Women in the Profession
  • 1988-1992 – board member of the Arkansas Children’s Hospital Legal Services
  • 1990-1992 – served on the board of Lafarge building materials company

First Lady

From January, 1993 to January, 2001 Clinton was the First Lady of the United States. She played an active role in this capacity, advising her spouse on dozens of political appointments. During this time she was involved in many issues, organizations, and crafting legislation:

  • Chair of the Task Force on National Health Care Reform
  • State Children’s Health Insurance Program
  • Office on Violence Against Women (US Department of Justice)
  • Adoption and Safe Families Act
  • Foster Care Independence Act
  • Save America’s Treasures

Leaving the White House for the Senate

As her husband’s presidency was nearing its end Clinton decided to run for a vacant US Senate seat in New York, buying a home there to fulfill residency requirements. Her campaign was successful and she began an eight-year Senate career in January, 2001. Her tenure as a US Senator can be defined by her participation in legislation, organizations, and senate committees such as:

  • Special Committee on Aging
  • Committee on Armed Services
  • Committee on the Budget
  • Committee on Environment and Public Works
  • Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions
  • Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe
  • Family Education Protection Act
  • Center for American Progress
  • Media Matters for America

Failed Bid to Become Democrat Nominee, US Secretary of State

While still serving as US Senator from New York, Clinton began a bid to become the Democrat Party’s nominee for president. Throughout 2007 she led in the polls, however by early 2008 then-Illinois Senator Barack Obama managed to present a formidable challenge. After a hard-fought nomination campaign, Clinton conceded to Obama in June.

Even before Obama was sworn in as president, Clinton had already accepted his proposal to serve as US Secretary of State. She cut her second term as New York Senator short and assumed her new cabinet role in January, 2009. In this capacity she was involved in:

  • Surge in US forces to Afghanistan
  • Reset policy with Russia
  • Sanctions against Iran
  • Arab Spring response, including bombing of Libya which led to the death of Qadafi
  • Raid against bin Laden in Pakistan
  • Opening of relations with Burma
  • Benghazi incident that left US ambassador Chris Stevens and three others dead

Since being replaced as US Secretary of State by John Kerry in February, 2013, Clinton has made headlines testifying about the Benghazi incident and her use of a private email server and account to conduct official State Department activities. She announced her second campaign for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination in April of 2015.

Current Positions on Campaign Issues     (back to top)

These are specific stances and proposals the candidate has made. Campaign topics are specifically defined when all candidates take a stance on an issue. Niche positions are noted in the “Other Stances” section.

Guns     (campaign issues | top)

  • Pledges to close the “Charleston Loophole” that allows a firearm sale to proceed if the background check is not completed within three days10
  • Pledges to subject sellers of firearms on the internet and at gun shows to the same requirement to conduct background checks as gun stores, if they sell a large volume of firearms10
  • Pledges to repeal the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act that gives the firearm industry immunity from prosecution for crimes committed with its firearms10
  • Pledges to make straw purchasing a federal crime10
  • Pledges to prohibit those suffering from severe mental illness from purchasing a firearm10
  • Supports a reinstatement of the assault weapons ban10

Immigration     (campaign issues | top)

  • Favors opening enrollment in the Affordable Care Act to those with an illegal immigration status11
  • Pledges to create a pathway to citizenship that keeps families together and allows workers to become legal13
  • Pledges to end family detention and close private immigration detention centers13
  • Pledges to defend Obama’s executive actions (DACA and DAPA) for those who would have been covered under the proposed DREAM Act13
  • Pledges to focus law enforcement efforts on illegal immigrants who pose a violent threat to society13

Abortion     (campaign issues | top)

  • Pledges to protect women’s access to safe and legal abortions11
  • Favors repealing the Hyde Amendment11
  • Pledges to defend Planned Parenthood from Republican attacks23

Economic Policies     (campaign issues | top)

  • Proposes a tax credit of up to $2,500 for each student a parent has in college8
  • Supports raising the federal minimum wage to $12 per hour8
  • Proposes to create a 15 percent tax credit for companies that share profits with their employees8
  • Supports ending the carried interest tax loophole8
  • Pledges a $275 billion federal infrastructure investment through 202114
  • Proposes the creation of a $25 billion infrastructure bank to fund related projects14
  • Opposes market economy status for China16
  • Pledges to end corporate inversions16
  • Pledges to double support for community development financial institutions and the State Small Business Credit Initiative18
  • Pledges to fight any Republican effort to weaken or repeal Dodd-Frank22
  • Pledges to subject hedge funds to the Volcker Rule22
  • Pledges to extend the statute of limitations for major financial frauds22
  • Proposes a tax tax credit for businesses that hire apprentices, $1,500 per year per apprentice24

Foreign Policy     (campaign issues | top)

  • Pledges to never allow Iran to acquire a nuclear weapon17
  • Pledges to continue to support the development of Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and Yemen17
  • Pledges to confine and deter Russian aggressions in Europe17
  • States that a challenge to Israel’s security is a challenge to America’s security17
  • Pledges to invest in free-market and free-people partnerships in Latin America, Africa, and Asia17

Education     (campaign issues | top)

  • Proposes spending $350 billion over the next 10 years to implement her education plans5
  • Pledges that no student will need to borrow to finance their in-state college education5
  • Proposes that Americans with student loan debt should be able to refinance their loans at current rates5
  • Pledges that anyone with student loan debt will be able to enroll in an income-based repayment program that is never more than 10 percent of their earnings5
  • Pledges to provide tuition-free community college9
  • Proposes a tax credit of up to $2,500 for each student a parent has in college8
  • Pledges that every 4-year-old will have access to high-quality preschool education by 20267
  • Proposes a child care system with scholarships as needed for student parents7

Healthcare and Retirement     (campaign issues | top)

  • Invest $2 billion each year in an effort to find a cure for Alzheimer’s disease1
  • Pledges to defend the Affordable Care Act11
  • Pledges to invest $500 million per year in a campaign to educate people on how to sign up for Medicare11
  • Pledges to provide additional tax credits to make the Affordable Care Act more affordable11
  • Favors opening enrollment in the Affordable Care Act to those with an illegal immigration status11
  • Supports a public option for the Affordable Care Act11
  • Pledges to cap monthly and annual out-of-pocket costs at $250 per month for patients with HIV/AIDS12
  • Pledges to guarantee 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave per year, not to be below two-thirds of the original wage, to be paid for by taxing wealthier Americans18
  • Pledges to fight any effort to privatize or weaken Medicare or Social Security19
  • Opposes any cost-of-living reductions in Social Security19
  • Opposes any efforts to raise the retirement age for Social Security19
  • Favors allowing Medicare the right to negotiate prices with pharmaceutical companies19
  • Opposes privatizing the Veterans Administration20
  • Pledges to implement a New Bradley Plan to create a veterans council that will improve veterans’ access to healthcare and end the backlog of cases20

Marriage and LGBT Rights     (campaign issues | top)

  • Pledges to ensure that every college campus provides adequate support to student survivors, regardless of their sexual orientation, of sexual assault3
  • Pledges to end LGBT conversion therapy for minors15
  • Pledges to extend full federal equality for LGBT Americans15

Energy and Climate Change     (campaign issues | top)

  • Pledges to reduce American oil consumption by one-third4
  • Favors a national goal of 500 million solar panels installed by 20214
  • Pledges to produce enough renewable energy to power every home in America by 20214
  • Pledges to bring greenhouse gas emissions to 30 percent below 2005 levels by 20264
  • Pledges to implement and defend the Clean Power Plan4
  • Pledges to end wasteful tax subsidies to oil and gas companies4
  • Pledges to cut methane emissions by 40-45 percent4
  • Pledges to spend $30 revitalizing coal communities4

Other Stances     (campaign issues | top)

  • Pledges to overturn the Supreme Court decision Citizens United2
  • Pledges to establish a small-donor matching campaign finance system for presidential and congressional elections2
  • Pledges to ensure that every college campus provides adequate support to student survivors of sexual assault3
  • Pledges to end private prisons6
  • Proposes reforming mandatory minimums and three-strikes laws to focus on violent crimes instead of non-violent drug offenses6
  • Proposes rescheduling marijuana to a Schedule II substance6
  • Supports restoration of voting rights to convicts who have served their sentence6
  • Proposes to expand Americorps from 75,000 to 250,000 members9
  • Pledges that by 2020 all American households will have access to affordable broadband internet14
  • Pledges to implement universal automatic voter registration for eligible 18-year-olds21
  • Pledges to allow early voting to begin at least 20 days before an election21

Voting Record     (back to top)

Hilary Clinton’s history in elected office:

  • January 2001-January 2009: served one full term plus three years as New York State’s US Senator before being appointed US Secretary of State
  • January 2009-February 2013: US Secretary of State under President Barack Obama

Key votes25:

  • Nay – Nomination of John Ashcroft for Attorney General (2/1/2001)
  • Co-Sponsor – Equal Protection of Voting Rights Act of 2001 (3/19/2001)
  • Co-Sponsor – Hate Crimes Bill (3/27/2001)
  • Co-Sponsor – Greater Access to Affordable Pharmaceuticals Act (5/1/2001)
  • Yea – Patients Bill of Rights (6/29/2001)
  • Yea – Military Force Authorization Resolution (9/14/2001)
  • Co-Sponsor – Federalize Aviation Security Bill (9/21/2001)
  • Yea – USA Patriot Act of 2001 (10/25/2001)
  • Yea – Equal Protection of Voting Rights Act of 2001 (4/11/2002)
  • Nay – Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) Act of 2001 (4/25/2002)
  • Co-Sponsor – Terrorism Insurance Bill (6/7/2002)
  • Yea – Use of Military Force Against Iraq Joint Resolution (10/11/2002)
  • Yea – Establishing the Department of Homeland Security (11/19/2002)
  • Nay – Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit Bill (6/27/2003)
  • Yea – US-Singapore Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act (7/31/2003)
  • Yea – US-Chile Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act (7/31/2003)
  • Yea – FCC Medial Ownership Bill (9/16/2003)
  • Yea – Emergency Appropriations for Iraq and Afghanistan Bill (10/17/2003)
  • Co-Sponsor – Victims’ Rights Bill (4/21/2004)
  • Yea – Internet Access Tax Bill (4/29/2004)
  • Co-Sponsor – Resolution Condemning Abuse of Iraqi Prisoners (5/10/2004)
  • Co-Sponsor – National Intelligence Reform Act of 2004 (9/23/2004)
  • Yea – Confirmation of Condoleezza Rice as Secretary of State (1/26/2005)
  • Nay – Confirmation of Alberto Gonzales as Attorney General (2/3/2005)
  • Co-Sponsor – Minimum Wage Amendment (3/3/2005)
  • Sponsor – Unintended Pregnancy Amendment (3/17/2005)
  • Co-Sponsor – EPA’s Clean Air Mercury Rule (6/29/2005)
  • Nay – CAFTA Implementation Bill (6/30/2005)
  • Nay – Firearms Manufacturers Protection Bill (7/29/2005)
  • Nay – Confirmation of John Roberts to the US Supreme Court (11/29/2005)
  • Co-Sponsor – Federal Pell Grant Increase Amendment (10/25/2005)
  • Co-Sponsor – Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program Amendment (10/25/2005)
  • Sponsor – Individuals with Disabilities Education Amendment (10/26/2005)
  • Yea – AIDS Drug Assistance Program Amendment (10/27/2005)
  • Co-Sponsor – Hurricane Health Care for Survivors Amendment (11/1/2005)
  • Yea – Medicaid Generic Drug Amendment (11/3/2005)
  • Nay – Patriot Act Reauthorization (12/16/2005)
  • Nay – Confirmation of Samuel Alito to the US Supreme Court (1/31/2006)
  • Yea – Immigration Reform Bill (5/25/2006)
  • Yea – US-Oman Free Trade Agreement (6/29/2006)
  • Sponsor – FEMA Amendment (7/11/2006)
  • Co-Sponsor – Transit Security Amendment (7/12/2006)
  • Co-Sponsor – Teen Pregnancy Education Amendment (7/25/2006)
  • Yea – Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act of 2006 (8/1/2006)
  • Nay – Cluster Munitions Amendment (9/6/2006)
  • Co-Sponsor – Oversight of CIA Interrogation and Detention Amendment (9/28/2006)
  • Yea – Nomination of Robert Gates as Secretary of Defense (12/6/2006)
  • Nay – Iraq Withdrawal Amendment (3/27/2007)
  • Yea – Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Bill of 2007 with Iraq Withdrawal Timeline (3/27/2007)
  • Co-Sponsor – Attorney General No Confidence Vote (5/24/2007)
  • Yea – Barring Immigrants with Certain Criminal Histories Amendment (6/6/2007)
  • Yea – Five Year Expiration for Guest Worker Program (6/6/2007)
  • Nay – Denying Legal Status for Criminals Convicted of Certain Crimes Amendment (6/6/2007)
  • Yea – Immigration Act of 2007 (6/7/2007)
  • No Vote – Offshore Drilling in Virginia (6/14/2007)
  • Yea – Clean Energy Achievement Criteria Amendment (6/14/2007)
  • Yea – Alternative Energy Subsidies Amendment (6/21/2007)
  • Yea – Union Organization Bill (6/26/2007)
  • Yea – Second Immigration Act of 2007 (6/28/2007)
  • Co-Sponsor – Iraq Troop Reduction Amendment (7/11/2007)
  • Yea – Border Fence and Customs Appropriations Amendment (7/26/2007)
  • Yea – Lobbying and Donation Regulations Concurrence Vote (8/2/2007)
  • Co-Sponsor – Habeas Corpus for Detainees of the United States Amendment (9/17/2007)
  • Yea – DREAM Act (10/24/2007)
  • No Vote – Nomination of Michael Mukasey as Attorney General (11/8/2007)
  • No Vote – FISA Amendments Act of 2007 (2/12/2008)
  • Yea – Equal Pay Bill (4/23/2008)
  • No Vote – Carbon Emissions Cap and Trade Plan Amendment (6/6/2008)
  • No Vote – Alternative Energy Tax Incentives (6/17/2008)
  • Co-Sponsor – Striking Telecom Immunity from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Bill Amendment (7/8/2008)
  • Yea – Medicare Bill (7/9/2008)
  • Nay – Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Amendments (7/9/2008)

Sources     (back to top)

1 https://www.hillaryclinton.com/issues/alzheimers-disease/ (4/26/2016)
2 https://www.hillaryclinton.com/issues/campaign-finance-reform/ (4/26/2016)
3 https://www.hillaryclinton.com/issues/campus-sexual-assault/ (4/26/2016)
4 https://www.hillaryclinton.com/issues/climate/ (4/26/2016)
5 https://www.hillaryclinton.com/issues/college/ (4/26/2016)
6 https://www.hillaryclinton.com/issues/criminal-justice-reform/ (4/26/2016)
7 https://www.hillaryclinton.com/issues/early-childhood-education/ (4/26/2016)
8 https://www.hillaryclinton.com/issues/plan-raise-american-incomes/ (4/26/2016)
9 https://www.hillaryclinton.com/briefing/factsheets/2015/08/10/college-compact-costs/ (4/26/2016)
10 https://www.hillaryclinton.com/issues/gun-violence-prevention/ (4/26/2016)
11 https://www.hillaryclinton.com/issues/health-care/ (4/26/2016)
12 https://www.hillaryclinton.com/issues/fighting-hiv-and-aids/ (4/26/2016)
13 https://www.hillaryclinton.com/issues/immigration-reform/ (4/26/2016)
14 https://www.hillaryclinton.com/issues/infrastructure/ (4/26/2016)
15 https://www.hillaryclinton.com/issues/lgbt-equality/ (4/26/2016)
16 http://www.ohio.com/editorial/hillary-clinton-agenda-for-jobs-and-even-trade-1.663894 (4/26/2016)
17 https://www.hillaryclinton.com/issues/national-security/ (4/26/2016)
18 https://www.hillaryclinton.com/issues/paid-leave/ (4/26/2016)
19 https://www.hillaryclinton.com/issues/social-security-and-medicare/ (4/26/2016)
20 https://www.hillaryclinton.com/issues/veterans/ (4/26/2016)
21 https://www.hillaryclinton.com/issues/voting-rights/ (4/26/2016)
22 https://www.hillaryclinton.com/issues/wall-street/ (4/26/2016)
23 https://www.hillaryclinton.com/issues/womens-rights-and-opportunity/ (4/26/2016)
24 https://www.hillaryclinton.com/issues/workforce-and-skills/ (4/26/2016)
25 http://votesmart.org/candidate/key-votes/55463/hillary-clinton (4/26/2016)