Brown University News Bureau

The Brown University News Bureau

1995-1996 index

Distributed April 4, 1996
Contact: Linda Mahdesian

Sen. John Chafee to discuss health care and balanced budget April 10

Sen. John Chafee will give a speech at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 10, in Room 101 of the Salomon Center for Teaching at Brown University. His topics will include health care and the balanced budget.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- Sen. John Chafee (R-R.I.) will discuss health care and the balanced budget among other issues during a speech at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 10, in Room 101 of the Salomon Center for Teaching at Brown University.

Chafee's visit to Brown is jointly sponsored by the student-run Brown College Democrats and College Republicans and is free and open to the public.

Born in Providence, R.I., Chafee is a graduate of Yale University and Harvard Law School. When the United States entered World War II, he left Yale to enlist in the Marine Corps and then served in the original invasion forces at Guadalcanal. He was recalled to active duty in 1951, and commanded a rifle company in Korea.

He served six years in the Rhode Island House of Representatives, where he was elected Minority Leader. Running for Governor in 1962, Chafee was elected by 398 votes. He was then reelected in 1964 and 1966, both times by the largest margin in the state's history. In January 1969, he was appointed secretary of the Navy and served in that post for three and a half years.

Chafee's Senate career began in 1976. He was reelected to a fourth term in 1994, with 65 percent of the vote, and is the only Republican to be elected to the U.S. Senate from Rhode Island in nearly seven decades.

Chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee, Chafee was a leading voice in crafting the Clean Air Act of 1990, which strengthened pollution emissions standards. He is a long-time advocate for wetlands conservation and has been a recipient of every major environmental award.

As a senior member of the Finance Committee, Chafee has worked to expand health care coverage for women and children and has worked successfully to improve community services for persons with disabilities. He chairs the subcommittee on Health for Families and the Uninsured.

In 1990 Chafee spearheaded the Republican Health Care Task Force and became a prominent figure in the national health reform debate. He went on to lead the bipartisan effort to craft a comprehensive health care reform proposal in 1994.

Chafee has been an active proponent of free trade and was a strong supporter of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the recently ratified General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). He led the successful effort to repeal the federal luxury tax on boats and jewelry and thus revitalized two critical industries in Rhode Island.

Chafee has received awards and endorsements from such organizations as The National Federation of Independent Business, The American Nurses Association, The League of Conservation Voters, The Sierra Club, Handgun Control Inc., Planned Parenthood, Citizens Against Government Waste, and the National PTA. He has also served as chairman of the Republican Conference for six years.