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    As Chairman Ted Kennedy’s chief deputy for health care reform, Senator Dodd leads the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee to pass the Affordable Health Choices Act in the summer, which later becomes the Affordable Care Act. The bill ensures that all Americans have access to quality and affordable health care by lowering health care costs for families and small businesses, curbing some of the worst insurance industry practices, and closing the Medicare donut hole among many other things.

    Dodd introduces the Peace Corps Improvement and Expansion Act of 2009, which aims to double the size of a reformed, streamlined and more effective Peace Corps.

    Dodd at a hearing on the Peace Corps.To aid our service members and their families, Senator Dodd authors a provision to the Department of Defense Authorization bill expanding his landmark Family Medical Leave Act. Dodd’s provision provides up to 26 weeks of job-protected, unpaid leave for family, spouses, children, parents or next-of-kin of service members who suffer from combat-related injuries or illnesses. The bill with his provision is signed into law on October 28.

    Dodd fights for the passage of the Paycheck Fairness Act, a bill that would fix a loophole in the Equal Pay Act of 1963 by clarifying what constitutes acceptable reasons for differences in pay; putting gender-based discrimination sanctions on equal footing with other forms of wage discrimination by allowing women to sue for compensatory and punitive damages; and prohibiting employers from retaliating against employees who share salary information with their coworkers.

    Dodd at a meeting of the India Caucus.Senator Dodd becomes the co-chair of the Senate India Caucus along with Republican Senator John Cornyn. The Senate India Caucus is a bipartisan coalition that brings national attention to domestic and international issues that affect the economies and security of the U.S. and India.