(1958 - )
Steve Israel represents the Second Congressional District
of New York, which includes the towns of Huntington, Babylon, Islip,
Oyster Bay and Smithtown. Representative Israel is best known for his
leadership on three diverse but vitally important issues in Congress:
national security, health and the environment, and U.S.-Israeli
relations. Since he was first sworn into the House in 2001, he has
been widely acknowledged as an independent, effective and emerging national
leader. Newsday dubbed Israel "rookie of the year"
in his first term, and later identified him as one of eight "national
rising stars." In his first term, Representative Israel passed
more new measures in the House than any other freshman Democrat, most
proudly a bill to accelerate research and treatment of ovarian cancer.
In his second term, Rep. Israel was quickly tapped for a leadership
position as Assistant Whip. He is one of only two New York Members of
Congress to serve on the vitally important House Armed Services Committee
(and the only New York Democrat on the committee). On the House Armed
Services Committee, Rep. Israel is leading efforts in Congress to create
defense budgets that reflect the new realities of global threat and
conflict. Rep. Israel traveled to Iraq in January 2004 to visit with
our troops stationed in Baghdad, Balad and Adwar. He also serves on
the House Financial Services Committee, where he is playing a leading
role to crackdown on the international financing of terrorism.
Rep. Israel founded and chairs the Democratic Study
Group on National Security, which leads Members of Congress in addressing
critical global security challenges and pursues effective, 21st century
responses. Rep. Israel has secured over $41 million for Long Island
defense companies to develop new technologies to protect Americans against
terrorism and to protect our troops abroad. Rep. Israel co-chairs the
bipartisan National Defense University (NDU) Congressional Working Group.
NDU hosts simulations for Members of Congress and government officials
that replicate national security threats and terrorist attacks and the
appropriate federal response. The working group advises NDU and serves
as a liaison to Capitol Hill.
In addition to leading Congress on national security
issues, Rep. Steve Israel is deeply involved in advocating for more
resources for women's health and environmental protection. Rep. Israel
co-chairs the bipartisan House Cancer Caucus, which seeks to organize
Members of Congress to support increased resources for research and
treatment for all forms of cancer. Rep. Israel sponsored and passed,
by a unanimous vote, the Save Our Women From Ovarian Cancer Act. This
legislation calls on the federal government to accelerate research and
require insurance of promising new technologies leading to the early
diagnosis of ovarian cancer. If proven valid, these new technologies
could diagnose ovarian cancer in its early stages, when survival rates
are 95 percent at stage one diagnosis, instead of the 20 percent at
stage four. Rep. Israel was presented with the National Humanitarian
Health Care Award for his leadership on cancer issues and service as
Co-Chair of the House Cancer Caucus. He also received a 100 percent
perfect score from the League of Conservation Voters.
Environmentally, Rep. Israel co-chairs the bipartisan
Long Island Sound Task Force, which organize Members of Congress from
Connecticut and New York to find common ground to protect the Sound.
In this regard, Israel has been leading the fight against the Bush administration's
budget cuts that would devastate federal resources for Long Island.
Rep. Steve Israel plays a unique role in strengthening relations between
the United States and its only democratic ally in the Middle East,:
the State of Israel. Rep. Israel is a member of the House Blue Dog Caucus,
a group of 38 fiscally conservative and centrist Democratic Members
of Congress from mostly southern and rural parts of the country. It
is important to note that many Blue Dog Members do not have significant
pro-Israel constituencies within the boundaries of their Congressional
districts. Rep. Israel formed the Blue Dog Task Force on Israel and
the Middle East, which helps Blue Dog Members without significant pro-Israel
constituencies understand the importance of strong partnerships between
the United States and the State of Israel. In August 2003, Rep. Israel
helped lead the largest congressional delegation ever to Israel. Rep.
Israel passed the Israel-Kirk Amendment to the State Department Authorization
bill, which requires the department to monitor anti-Semitic curricula
in textbooks and classrooms in the Middle East.
In his two terms in Congress, Representative Israel has secured more
that $83 million in federal appropriations to strengthen and expand
Long Island's economy, including: $41 million in defense contracts;
$14 million in road improvements; $2.5 million in health and education
grants; and $14.5 million in environmental protections. Steve Israel
lives in Huntington with his wife, Huntington Town Councilwoman Marlene
Budd. He has two daughters, ages 16 and 13, and a miniature schnauzer