Corrine Brown  -  (D) United States
Congresswoman Corrine Brown represents Florida's Fifth Congressional District. In the 114th Congress, she will serve as the Ranking Member of House Committee on Veterans' Affairs. She is also a senior member of the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee.
Throughout Congresswoman Brown's political career, both in the Florida legislature and in Washington, she has been recognized as a fighter on behalf of her constituents and colleagues alike. Her constituents agree that her campaign slogan, 'Corrine Delivers' is perhaps the most apt description of her style of public service, as she has brought hundreds of millions of federal dollars back to communities throughout her district and the state of Florida.
Congresswoman Brown has served on the House Veterans Affairs Committee since first coming to Congress over twenty years ago, and has been fighting for the benefits that veterans were promised. When she first came to Washington, to offset the limited space for veterans' burials in Florida and around the country, Brown introduced legislation to establish new National Cemeteries in South Florida and in Jacksonville. She also introduced legislation to expand and improve the National Veteran's Cemetery system. She championed legislation expanding the health and long-term care benefits that America's veterans' receive, improving veterans' education benefits, and expediting claims processing. Most recently, Brown secured a new Veterans' Outpatient Clinic for Jacksonville. This facility consolidated most of the veterans' services that had been scattered around the city into one facility. In addition, the Gainesville VA Medical Center was completed with an additional $51.5 million included at her request and the Orlando VA Medical Center nears completion. Under her watch, Congress passed the largest budget in the history of the VA and also passed assured funding for the VA, which ensures that veterans' healthcare is not subject to the political winds of Washington.
Most recently, the Congresswoman served as a conferee on the Veterans Access to Care Act, which provides new resources for the Department of Veterans Affairs, as well as new healthcare options for our veterans. During the conference, Corrine proved her leadership capability by working closely with Senate Chairman Bernie Sanders to ensure the VA has final authority over the care that veterans receive, whether at the VA or at non-VA providers.
One of Congresswoman Brown's proudest moments came when she was able to obtain recognition for the first African American Marines who trained at Montford Point by passing a bill granting a Congressional Gold Medal to the Montford Point Marines. Years before Jackie Robinson, and decades before Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King, Jr., these heroes joined the Marines to defend our great nation. Fighting racism both at home and in the armed forces, as well as enemies abroad, these men persevered and protected this nation when it mattered most.
As a result of Congresswoman Brown's commitment to bringing federal dollars back to Florida, communities throughout the Third District have been able to access resources previously unavailable to them. In the arena of Transportation and economic development specifically, the Congresswoman has been outright stellar in bringing federal resources back to her district and the state of Florida as a whole.
Time and again Congresswoman Brown has brought back millions of dollars for the state in federal transportation funding, giving a tremendous boost to the state's transportation and infrastructure system, and providing tens of thousands of well paying jobs to Floridians across the state. One of her first accomplishments during her tenure as a Member of Congress was winning funding for the much-needed Fuller Warren Bridge in Jacksonville, which funnels Interstate 95 traffic away from the city. Shortly afterwards, she also secured a $100 million federal courthouse for Jacksonville, at a time when courthouse funding was scarce.
Moreover, in 1992, when the Congresswoman was first elected, the state of Florida was receiving 77 cents for every dollar of the gas tax sent to Washington. Yet after working steadfastly over the years to change the formula and make sure Florida was not paying out more than it was receiving, Florida was guaranteed a 95 cent return in the latest Surface Reauthorization Bill, resulting in billions of dollars to dedicate to the state's transportation infrastructure!
And as a key House Conferee on the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA), and huge advocate for JaxPort and the city of Jacksonville, she worked to ensure that the dredging project at JAXPORT was authorized in WRDA. This was a huge win for the Northeast Florida community, since it will allow JaxPort to prepare for larger, modern ships, set to arrive in 2015, as well as a deeper draft. Today, the Port provides 65,000 area jobs and $19 Billion a year in economic activity. With a deeper draft, the Port has estimated that one shipping company alone would add 90,000 jobs to the region.
A graduate of Florida A&M University, Congresswoman Brown also has a Masters Degree (EdS) from the University of Florida. She is the proud mother of her daughter, Shantrel Brown, who is an attorney.