Kirsten Gillibrand thinks she can defeat President Donald Trump in 2020. No, it's not too early to skim her résumé for indicators of her understanding of key business issues.

"I'm going to run for president because as a young mom I am going to fight for other people's kids as hard as I would fight for my own," Gillibrand, 52, said during an appearance on CBS's The Late Show With Stephen Colbert on Tuesday.

Gillibrand has vowed to enact universal paid family leave as president, and as the junior senator from New York established herself as an advocate for workers and small businesses. Here are some of the business-related issues she has fought for during her political career.

Employee ownership

In 2018, Gillibrand wrote and helped pass the Main Street Employee Ownership Act, which gave the U.S. Small Business Administration tools to help small businesses transitioning to a co-op or employee stock ownership plan. In these plans, companies take out loans to buy shares from their shareholders, and then divide the shares among employees.

Small-business loans

Also last year, Gillibrand introduced a bill to expand the Small Business Administration's Microloan Program. The bipartisan Microloan Modernization Act would provide loans and technical assistance to women and minority business owners struggling to receive loans from banks. The bill passed in the Senate in 2018 and is awaiting House approval.

Wage equality

Gillibrand helped pass the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009, which gives victims of pay discrimination more time to file a lawsuit.  

Gillibrand joins Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, marking the first time in U.S. history that two women senators will run for a party's presidential nomination at the same time. Raised in upstate New York, Gillibrand graduated from Dartmouth College and earned her law degree from the University of California, Los Angeles. She worked as an attorney for 10 years before entering politics.

Published on: Jan 16, 2019