Niki Tsongas is currently serving in her third term representing the Third Congressional District of Massachusetts as a member of the US House of Representatives. Prior to being elected, Tsongas raised a family, practiced law, and served as a Dean at Middlesex Community College, all in the Fifth District. She serves on the House Armed Services Committee where she has a long history working to ensure our servicemen and women have the equipment and protection they need. Tsongas is also a member of the Natural Resources Committee which formulates federal policy related to domestic energy production, National Parks, and the environment. Knowing that small businesses are the key to economic development and job growth Tsongas works in a variety of ways both at home and in Washington to support the many diverse small businesses located in the Fifth District. She has been the chief advocate for tax credits that encourage businesses to locate and expand their workforce in older industrialized cities. Niki has championed legislation that provides innovative businesses in Massachusetts with tools to hire more workers while increasing our global competitiveness. She has also introduced bipartisan legislation to provide immediate tax relief to small business owners who were forced to make withdrawals from their 401(k)s and IRAs to keep their businesses going during the small business credit crunch. Having grown up in a military family, Tsongas has made protecting our troops, both when they are serving in harm’s way and when returning home, one of her highest priorities. Tsongas co-chairs the Military Sexual Assault Prevention Caucus, along with Rep. Mike Turner (R-OH). Tsongas and Turner authored the Defense STRONG Act in order to expand the legal rights of service members who have been victims of sexual assault and to improve and strengthen prevention efforts within the Department of Defense. This bipartisan legislation, signed into law by President Obama earlier this year includes provisions that grant victims the right to a base transfer, the right to legal counsel, the right to confidentiality when seeking assistance from an advocate, and mandates greater training for sexual assault prevention at every level of the Armed Services. But Niki sees her most important duty as staying in close contact and remaining easily accessible to her constituents. Congresswoman Tsongas has three offices in Lowell, Lawrence and in Acton, as well as staff holding office hours in Haverhill to serve her constituents. She regularly holds Congress On Your Corner at supermarkets and other public venues across the 5th District to make it as easy as possible for residents to connect with her about any issue of concern to them or to get assistance with problems they may have when dealing with federal agencies. Elected in a Special Election in 2007, Niki is first woman to serve in Congress from Massachusetts in 25 years. She holds the same seat that was held three decades earlier by her late husband, former Congressman, U.S. Senator and presidential candidate Paul Tsongas.