Olympia Snowe is a member of BPC’s board of directors, a BPC senior fellow, and co-chair of BPC’s Commission on Political Reform. With her election in 1994, Snowe began an 18-year career in the Senate, serving until January 2, 2013.
She is a former chair of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, became the first Republican woman ever to secure a full-term seat on the Senate Finance Committee, and was also the first woman senator to chair the Senate Armed Services Committee Subcommittee on Seapower, which oversees the Navy and Marine Corps.
In 2005, Snowe was named the 54th most powerful woman in the world by Forbes magazine. In 2006, TIME magazine named her one of the top ten senators.
Before her election to the Senate, Snowe represented Maine’s 2nd Congressional District in the House of Representatives for 16 years.
She was the first woman in U.S. history to serve in both houses of a state legislature and both houses of Congress. When first elected to Congress in 1978, at the age of 31, Snowe was the youngest Republican woman, and the first Greek-American woman, ever elected to Congress. She has won more federal elections in Maine than any other person since World War II, and is the third-longest serving woman in the history of the Congress. While in the House, she co-chaired the Congressional Caucus on Women’s issues for ten years.
In May 2013, Weinstein Books published Snowe’s book, Fighting for Common Ground: How We Can Fix the Stalemate in Congress, that explains how Congress has become so polarized and what Americans can do to encourage their representatives to govern effectively once again.
This devastating decision rolling back a half-century of precedent on a woman’s constitutional right to make her own decision is a travesty of justice. It is inconceivable that, in 21st century America, we have arrived at this tragic and undeniable retrenchment of women’s rights.