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Senator Tammy Ladda Duckworth is an American retired Army lieutenant colonel and a politician. She is serving as a junior U.S. Senator from Illinois under the Democrats since 2017. She was also a former member of the U.S. House of Reps, representing Illinois’s 8th District from 2013 to 2017.
Duckworth was born in Bangkok, Thailand, on March 12, 1968. She was born to an American dad and a Thai-Chinese mother. She relocated to Hawaii from Thailand with her family at 16.
Duckworth graduated from the University of Hawaii in 1989 with a B.A. in Political science. She got an M.A. in International Affairs from George Washington University in 1992.
While at George Washington University, Senator Tammy Duckworth joined the Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps. She became a commissioned officer in 1992 and became a helicopter pilot. She worked as a supervisor at the Rotary International in Evanston, Illinois. She was also the coordinator for the Center for Nursing Research.
Duckworth earned a Ph.D. in Political science at Northern Illinois University. But, she got deployed to Iraq in 2004. While in Iraq, she lost both her legs when a rocket grenade hit her helicopter. She was decorated with a Purple Heart while at Walter Reeds Army Medical Center. She retired as a lieutenant colonel in 2014.
Senator Tammy Duckworth Career
Senator Tammy Duckworth started her career in American politics with a defeat while running for a seat at the U.S. House of Reps in 2006. In the same year, she got appointed as the Illinois Department of Veteran Affairs director till 2009. She was also appointed as the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs assistant secretary from 2009 to 2011.
In 2011, Duckworth launched a campaign for the U.S. House of Representatives seat. She won the Democratic nomination and was elected in 2012. She was re-elected in 2014. In 2015, Duckworth announced her intentions to challenge senator Mark Kirk for a seat in the U.S. Senate. In 2016, Duckworth defeated Kirk by 54% to 40% and assumed office the following year. She is the first U.S. Senator from Thailand. She is also the first double amputee in the U.S. Senate
Senator Tammy Duckworth Accomplishments
Duckworth’s administration has focused on promoting quality of life and bolstering structural and economic development in Illinois. She has worked on several reforms to promote job development, protection, and promotion of human rights.
Duckworth is also a strong advocate of environmental development, with her administration boasting of many structural developments in the state. Her administration also focused on supporting army veterans and military families.
Senator Tammy Duckworth was part of senators that advocated funding for carbon capture, use, and storage. As a visionary, she argued that the investment would stimulate American job growth.
Duckworth is a pro-gun control congressional advocator. In a bid to improve statewide and national security, she has worked on promoting gun control. She cited violence as a significant influence for supporting gun control. She also supports background checks on firearm and gun purchases.
Duckworth has worked to promote access to affordable and quality healthcare in Illinois. She has shown her unwavering support for the Affordable Care Act
Senator Tammy Duckworth Criticisms
In 2016, Duckworth was charged with a potentially politically embarrassing lawsuit. The lawsuit, alleging workplace retaliation during her tenure as the head of the state Department for Veteran Affairs. Although evidence of wrongdoing was not found, the state settled the lawsuit for $26,000.
Also, in 2016, a Veteran Affairs whistleblower accused Duckworth of corruption. They also accused her of ignoring claims of veteran abuse. But, she dispelled the claims.
Senator Duckworth is also a vocal critic of former President Trump.