Corrine Brown was elected to Congress from the Third District of Florida in 1992. She is a public servant who prides herself on delivering the goods and services of the federal government to her constituents. As a result of Brown's commitment to bringing the services of Washington back to Florida, communities throughout the Third District have been able to access resources previously unavailable to them. Brown was reelected to the U.S. House of Representatives for a ninth term in November 2008. And in the 111th Congress, the Congresswoman will remain as the Chair of the Transportation Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines and Hazardous Materials.
In this capacity, in the 111th Congress Brown will concentrate on ensuring that both the Amtrak Reauthorization and Rail Road Safety legislation enacted at the end of the 110th Congress are fully and appropriately implemented. The Subcommittee will concentrate on the oversight of pipeline and hazardous material programs and agencies, including reauthorizing the Hazardous Materials Transportation Safety program. The Subcommittee will also focus on reauthorizing the Surface Transportation Board, funding rail infrastructure improvements throughout the nation’s transportation system, and developing domestic High Speed Rail.
Brown, a native of Jacksonville, Florida, is known as a fighter by her constituents and colleagues. Her campaign slogan, Corrine Delivers, is one of the most apt descriptions of Brown's style of service. By focusing on issues that are key to economic development, Brown has helped bring jobs and opportunities to towns and cities throughout the Third District. One of her first accomplishments as a Member of Congress was winning funding for the much-needed Fuller Warren Bridge in Jacksonville. And in the upcoming session, the Congresswoman plans to advocate for a dramatic increase in transportation funding in the stimulus package for the nation, and the state of Florida. In fact, the most recent transportation committee stimulus proposal would allocate significant funding increases in various areas, and if distributed strictly through formula funding, Florida would receive approximately $1.5 billion. Specifically, the federal government would provide nearly $1 billion for Highways & Bridges in the state; hundreds of thousands of dollars for the state’s Transit Capital & Energy, as well as funding for Clean Water projects.
TRANSPORTATION & INFRASTRUCTURE COMMITTEE
Brown has been a member of the Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure since coming to Congress. Early in the 110th Congress, Brown was picked to Chair the Transportation Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines and Hazardous Materials. This subcommittee is very important to Florida and the Third District because of its jurisdiction over the passenger and freight rail industry, which plays a vital role in Florida's economy. She has been critical in the fight to get Florida its share of transportation money. For years, Florida has been a donor state to the Highway Trust Fund and the Airport Improvement Program. Brown was a leader in the fight to change transportation funding through an initiative called "SafeTea-21," which returns more transportation money to populous states like Florida and Texas. As a result, Florida now receives a 57% increase in transportation funding. Brown is also a member of the Subcommittee on Aviation and the Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation. She successfully lobbied to change the language in the Airport Improvement Program so that Florida's airports receive more funding from the FAA. In the 110th Congress, Brown obtained millions of dollars in transportation funding for the third district.
VETERANS' AFFAIRS COMMITTEE
During her tenure in Congress, Brown has been a Member of the Committee on Veterans' Affairs. She has championed the rights of veterans and called for better funding for veterans health care programs. In the 111th Congress, Brown will serve on the Health Subcommittee. As the former Ranking Member on Oversight and Investigation, Brown presided over twenty hearings on issues relating to veterans services, health care and the VA's readiness for the new millennium. She also called the first hearing since 1994 on issues concerning women veterans. Upon realizing the limited space for veterans’ burial in Florida, Brown introduced legislation in the 106th Congress that was later passed to establish a new national cemetery in south Florida and was instrumental in establishing a National Cemetery in Jacksonville. Brown 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. Brown has received the endorsement of the Veterans of Foreign Wars PAC, and a "Legislative Leadership Award" from the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans. She also worked to secure funding for the new Veterans’ Outpatient Clinic in Jacksonville. She was active in obtaining the largest increase in the Veterans Affairs budget in its history, in which she got an additional $51.5 million in funding for the Gainesville VA Medical Center, as well as funding for the new Orlando VA Medical Center, which has just begun construction.
Brown has also fought to protect environmental resources in her district and across the country. Because of her advocacy, Brown has received accolades by the National Parks and Conservation Association, the Sierra Club, the League of Conservation Voters and Florida Public Interest Research Group. One of the most important environmental successes for Brown was securing the American Heritage River designation for the St. Johns River, which spans the length of the Third District. This designation was awarded to 14 rivers across the country and it has been highly beneficial for the St. Johns River community. In addition to bringing together communities from Orlando to Jacksonville, the American Heritage River designation has helped these communities win federal resources to improve the river's quality. Brown also led the effort in Congress to have Lake Apopka included in the additional list of lakes added to the Clean Lakes Program. The Congresswoman has also been instrumental in the battle to keep oil drilling from Florida’s shores.
Since coming to Congress, Congresswoman Brown has repeatedly fought for the issues that are critical to working families. Whether it's fighting for improvements in public education or quality child care, Brown has always voted to protect working families. She joined the fight to add 100,000 new teachers to our schools and she was one of the leaders in fighting for an increase in the minimum wage, which the Democratic Congress passed last session. She also fought to pass the Family and Medical Leave Act and she joined President Clinton in supporting the effort to put 100,000 new police officers on the street back in 1994. In the 110th Congress, the Congresswoman was one of the key supporters to obtain passage of COPS reauthorization, which will allow for the hiring of up to 50,000 new police officers nationwide over the next six years, and an additional 3,187 police officers in Florida.
A native of Jacksonville, Florida, Congresswoman Brown served in the Florida House of Representatives for ten years before coming to Washington. Congresswoman Brown attended the Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University where she earned a Bachelor of Science Degree. She also received a Master's Degree and an Education Specialist Degree from the University of Florida. She received an Honorary Doctor of Law Degree from Edward Waters College. She has been a faculty member at Florida Community College of Jacksonville, the University of Florida, and Edward Waters College. Her daughter, Shantrel Brown, is a lawyer in Washington.