The 2016 election came with many surprises, but the election of Rep. Tammy Duckworth to the Senate surprised very few pundits. For now, Republicans have a majority of the seats in the House and the Senate. This means that it will most likely to push Republican policies through. This Tuesday, Illinois elected a new senator, Tammy Duckworth. Rep. Duckworth will replace Mark Kirk as senator. As of 2017, both Senate seats in Illinois are occupied by Democrats. While this election did come with many surprises, Duckworth winning the Senate seat did not come as a surprise to many.
Who is Tammy Duckworth?
Born in Bangkok, Thailand, Tammy Duckworth moved to Hawaii when she was a teenager. She received her Undergraduate degree from University of Hawaii. Rep. Duckworth then earned her Master’s degree from George Washington University. Then she enrolled in the Reserve Officer’s Training Corps where she was trained as a Blackhawk pilot and Northern Illinois University’s Ph.D. program at the same time. She had left the program to serve her country when she was deployed to Iraq.
Tragically, Duckworth’s helicopter was hit by a rocket, and she lost both of her legs and full function of her right arm. She did not let this slow her down. Subsequently, she received a purple heart and began advocating for better medical care for veterans. Become an advocate launched her into her political career. President Obama appointed Tammy Duckworth to serve in a Veteran Affairs position. Then she won a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives in 2012. Recently, she resumed pursuing her doctorate from Northern Illinois University.
Tammy Duckworth’s Senate victory
Rep. Tammy Duckworth plans to work in the Senate and “honor the sacrifice and quiet dignity of those Illinoisans facing challenges of their own.” She noted that the nation refused to give up on her when she needed it most because it is the American way to never give up on everyone. Mark Kirk congratulated Duckworth and even invited her out of a drink, hoping to show Americans that opponents can be friendly with each other. Duckworth won about sixty percent of the votes in Illinois.
Duckworth on the Issues
Refugees: She has called for accepting 100,000 Syrian refugees in the U.S. and keeping the refugees out will make the country less safe in the long run. Sen. Kirk called for a pause in allowing Syrian refugees into the country.
Iran nuclear deal: Duckworth supported the deal that the U.S. made with Iran, but admitted that it wasn’t perfect.
Immigration reform: Duckworth supports comprehensive reforms. She wants to secure borders, but allow undocumented immigrants to gain citizenship by passing a background check and paying a fine.
National Security: Duckworth does not support sending more troops into battle.
College affordability: Duckworth wants tuition free community college.
Gun control: Duckworth supports more measures to control guns.