Betty McCollum is a Democrat representing the families of Minnesota’s Fourth District in the United States House of Representatives. In 2000, Congresswoman McCollum made history as only the second Minnesota woman elected to serve in Congress since statehood in 1858. McCollum represents the residents of Minnesota's capital city, St. Paul, as well as all of Ramsey County and most of Washington County.
Throughout her career in public service, Congresswoman McCollum has been a champion for excellence in education, protecting the environment, expanding health care access, fiscal responsibility, and robust international engagement that prioritizes diplomacy, development, human rights, along with a strong national defense.
Investments in education, health care, and 21st century infrastructure are top policy priorities for Congresswoman McCollum. With more than 20 institutions of higher learning located in the Fourth District, keeping higher education affordable, accessible, and high quality is important. A strong proponent of public education, she supports keeping our schools accountable to parents and local officials. McCollum is a champion for universal health coverage for all Americans and a strong supporter of protecting and strengthening the Affordable Care Act.
In the 117th Congress, Congresswoman McCollum brings a common sense, Minnesota perspective to her work as a senior member of the House Appropriations Committee where she serves as Chair of the Defense Subcommittee, Vice Chair of the Interior-Environment Subcommittee, and as a member of the Agriculture and Rural Development Subcommittee. McCollum is also a member of the House Natural Resources Committee, where she joins her authorizing colleagues to tackle the urgent challenges of climate change, protecting public lands, and strengthening tribal sovereignty.
As Chair of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense, McCollum is responsible for writing an annual defense funding bill of nearly $700 billion. McCollum believes national security starts by ensuring that members of our U.S. Armed Forces are the most skilled and best trained and equipped fighting force in the world. Under Chair McCollum’s leadership, the committee is prioritizing smart investments, including sustaining modernization efforts and giving priority to military health care, ending military sexual assault, and supporting international military-to-military cooperation to prevent conflicts.
In the 116th Congress, McCollum chaired the Interior-Environment Appropriations Subcommittee. Despite Republican control of the White House and U.S. Senate, Chair McCollum was able to secure increased investments in the Environmental Protection Agency, the Interior Department, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the U.S. Forest Service, the National Endowments for the Arts and the Humanities, and the Smithsonian Institution. In the 117th Congress, McCollum will serve as Vice Chair of the subcommittee, prioritizing investments in Indian Country and protecting our clean air and water, our wilderness and public lands, and our nation’s natural treasures.
Prior to Congress, Congresswoman McCollum served in the Minnesota House of Representatives from 1993 to 2000, and was elected Assistant Leader three times by her Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party colleagues. From 1987 to 1992, she served her neighbors on the North St. Paul City Council.
In addition to elected office, Congresswoman McCollum's career has included teaching high school social science, as well as twenty-five years in retail sales and management. She is a graduate of the College of St. Catherine, and the mother of two adult children. Congresswoman McCollum is a Minnesota native who grew up in South St. Paul, raised her family in North St. Paul, and now lives in St. Paul.