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Duckworth was elected as the junior senator from Illinois in 2016. She's an United States Army Reserve veteran who lost both legs (the right, below the hip, and the left, below the knee) flying helicopters in Iraq in 2004. Before she was elected to the Senate last year, she represented Illinois's 8th district in the House of Representatives for two terms. During her time in the House, she made headlines for her firm questioning of Braulio Castillo, who broke his foot at a military high school. Thirty years later, without ever seeing active combat, his business was still marked as a veteran-owned, service-disabled one, which gave him access to government contracts. Duckworth's own experience in the military made her a formidable opponent -- she left Castillo quite literally stammering for an answer. Since moving onto the Senate, she's introduced bills to rescind Trump's "travel ban" and extend protections for LGBTQ Americans.
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After President Donald Trump was elected in November 2016, Waters, a longtime member of Congress, has emerged as one of the strongest (and sassiest) voices against him. At 78 years old she lead an "Impeach 45" chant at an L.A. Pride march, and reminded march-goers to "stay woke." She's also doled out anti-Trump one-liners on Twitter, like "Jared Kushner is under scrutiny in the FBI's Trump-Russia investigation. In other news, water is wet." After her anti-Trump statements, the internet has dubbed her "Auntie Maxine." When Trump says something, expect Waters to have a response.
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In 2014, Stefaniak made history when she was elected as the youngest woman ever elected to Congress, at age 30. She worked in the second Bush administration after graduating from Harvard and then served as the communications director for the Foreign Policy Initiative and the policy director for Tim Pawlenty, the former governor of Minnesota. In 2015, she said that her readiness to accept a loss made her a stronger candidate when the odds were against her (after all, the average member of Congress is much older, and male.) "I thought we needed a new generation of leadership in Washington, and we needed more women representing our perspective," Stefanik said at Fortune's Most Powerful Women summit. "Every expert told me, 'You're not going to win,' [so] willingness to lose was important."
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Love is currently the only African-American female Republican serving in Congress. Representing Utah's 4th district, she is a member of the Congressional Black Caucus and House Financial Services Committee. Love was also one of the Congressional Republicans who, after the now-infamous tape of Donald Trump on the bus on Access Hollywood, said she would not vote for Donald Trump, as well as encouraging him to withdraw from the race.
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Hassan's 2016 Senate race was one of the country's most closely watched, with many thinking it could swing the Senate majority to the Democrats. While it didn't do that, it was one of the only gains the party made in the Senate (the other was Duckworth's Illinois seat). She was the state's governor at the time, and was running against Republican incumbent. She won her seat by just 1,017 votes, according to NPR. She's been an outspoken critic of Trump's healthcare plan, writing in an editorial for the Concord Monitor. "I will not stand by as President Trump and Washington Republicans seek to destabilize the health insurance market, increasing costs for hard-working families and undermining the health and financial well-being of far too many Granite Staters and Americans."
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Elected in 2006, Klobuchar represents the state of Minnesota. Both the The New York Times and the New Yorker have named her as the potential first female president, and she has even been rumored as a past potential Attorney General choice (the job eventually went to Loretta Lynch). In her ten years in the Senate, she's been a strong opponent of the medical device tax, and presently serves on 10 congressional committees. Her junior senator, Al Franken, recently stirred up murmurings that Klobuchar could be eyeing a 2020 bid, telling Julie Mason that she'd be "great" and "terrific" in the Oval Office on the Press Pool radio show on SiriusXM.
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CATHERINE CORTEZ MASTO
Cortez Masto is a new addition to the Senate, taking over for former Minority Leader Harry Reid after he retired last year. She's the first Latina in the Senate, and now serves in the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. Before her election to the Senate, she was Nevada's attorney general for eight years, where she investigated Bank of America, eventually settling for $750 million.
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Shaheen has been representing the state of New Hampshire in the Senate since 2009. Like N.H.'s junior senator, Hassan, she was governor of the state before being elected to the senate. She's the first woman to hold either of those titles, and the first to have been elected to both offices in any state. In the Senate, she introduced the Women on 20s bill, to get a woman to replace Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill (the initiative was successful — Harriet Tubman is getting the prime spot), voted in favor of furthering gun control, and slammed Betsy DeVos's education budget in the Senate, which cuts funds for public schools.
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The first-ever openly bisexual person elected to Congress, Sinema won her seat in the House of Representatives in 2012 and was sworn in in 2013. She was a vocal campaigner against voter referendums to ban same-sex marriage and civil unions in her home state of Arizona. In Congress, she also consistently votes across the aisle, only voting with the majority of her party — Democrats — 73 percent of the time, according to The New York Times.
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A longtime politician, but a relatively new member of Congress, Adams served in the North Carolina House of Representatives for 20 years, from 1994 to 2014. She was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2014. Adams is perhaps best known for her penchant for statement-making hats. She's the second woman of color to represent North Carolina in the House of Representatives, but that's not the only milestone her election brought: When she was sworn in after a special election in November 2014, she became the 100th woman ever elected to Congress.
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The representative from Hawaii was such a fan of Bernie Sanders that she resigned from her position as vice-chair of the Democratic National Committee to endorse and campaign for the independent senator. She was the first female member of Congress to endorse him, and gave his nominating speech at the Democratic National Convention. Before she started her political career, Gabbard was (and still is!) a member of the Hawaii Army National Guard. As part of her military service, she volunteered for a 12-month tour in Iraq.
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Before she was a politician, Jayapal fought for civil rights in her home state of Washington and across the country. At home, she was a part of the Mayoral Advisory Committee that negotiated Seattle's bump to a $15 minimum wage. And working with Hate Free Zone, an immigrant advocacy group, she worked to sue Immigration and Naturalization Services under the second Bush administration, protecting 4,000 Somalis from deportation. Elected to Congress in 2016, she's the first Asian-American, man or woman, to represent Washington in either the Senate or House of Representatives.
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SHELLEY MOORE CAPITO
Capito, a Republican, knows the meaning of hard work. She's sponsored 113 pieces of legislation (and counting!), a number higher than any other senators elected the same year as she was (2014). Before she was elected to the Senate, in which she represents the state of West Virginia, she spent 14 years in the House of Representatives, representing the state's 2nd district.
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Collins is one of a select few Republicans who never joined Team Trump during the 2016 campaign, and has continued to be one of the few to stand against him during his presidency. Along with Alaskan Senator Lisa Murkowski, she was one of two Republican senators who voted against the confirmation of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, which had Vice President Mike Pence casting a tie-breaking, history-making vote.
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Murkowski, the senior senator from Alaska, isn't afraid to cross party lines. This past March, she voted against a bill that would allow states to defund Planned Parenthood, and is a part of several pro-choice groups for Republicans. In 2013, she came out in favor of same-sex marriage. She also voted against Betsy DeVos in her confirmation hearing in February 2017. She's served in the senate since 2002.
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Harris made a name for herself as California's tough and firm attorney general, going after big banks like Chase, Citibank and Bank of America in the National Mortgage Settlement, which reduced homeowner debt by $12 billion in her state. Earlier this year, she took over for longtime California Senator Barbara Boxer after she retired following her last term. In the Senate, she voted against 18 of Trump's cabinet appointees, and she's earning praise from progressives for her questioning in Senate hearings, including those of Jeff Sessions and James Comey, according to Politico.
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After taking over for Hillary Clinton when she left her role in the Senate to serve as secretary of state under President Barack Obama, Gillibrand became the junior senator from New York. In her six-plus years in the Senate, she's spearheaded changes like the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell, which she introduced, and passing the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, which provides healthcare and funding for 9/11 survivors and responders.
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If you don't know Warren, you haven't been paying attentionto the news. The senator from Massachusetts won her seat in 2012, but in the five years since, has become one of the best-known names in the Senate. She's an outspoken critic of Trump and members of his administration, like her former senate colleague Jeff Sessions. During the debate on Sessions' nomination to the post of Attorney General, she attempted to read a letter from Coretta Scott King about Sessions on the Senate floor. She was stopped from doing so by senate Republicans, which spawned Senator Mitch McConnell's now-infamous line, "Nevertheless, she persisted." She also frequently sounds off on Trump on Twitter and is rumored as a potential 2020 presidential candidate.
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