Biography: Martin Heinrich
Elected in 2012, Martin Heinrich is a United States Senator for New Mexico. Heinrich serves on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources, Appropriations, Intelligence, and Joint Economic Committees.
With a background in engineering, Heinrich brings a unique perspective to the Senate, where he is focused on creating the jobs of the future and confronting the climate crisis. He is a strong advocate for working families, a staunch ally of Indian Country, and a champion for New Mexico’s public lands and growing clean energy economy.
Senator Heinrich is chairman of the Senate Appropriations Military Construction (MILCON), Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Subcommittee, which oversees funding for new military construction and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. The state is home to several military installations – Kirtland Air Force Base, Holloman Air Force Base, Cannon Air Force Base, Fort Bliss, and White Sands Missile Range – two major national laboratories – Los Alamos National Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratories – and the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant. Through his role on the committee, Heinrich has fought to ensure our military installations have all of the modern facilities they need to execute their national security missions, and to secure all the resources and funding the VA needs to keep America's promise to our service members and their families when they return home as veterans. Senator Heinrich also serves on the following Appropriations Subcommittees: Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies; Energy and Water Development; Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies; and Legislative Branch. New Mexico plays a pivotal role in our national security.
An avid sportsman and conservationist, Heinrich works to protect New Mexico’s public lands, watersheds, and wildlife for future generations. He worked with local communities to designate the Río Grande del Norte and Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monuments. Heinrich also led the effort to create the Ah-Shi-Sle-Pah and Columbine-Hondo Wilderness Areas, open up public access to the Sabinoso Wilderness, establish the Manhattan Project National Historical Park in Los Alamos, and transition the Valles Caldera National Preserve to National Park Service management. Heinrich serves as a member of the Migratory Bird Commission, where he helps approve grants to restore and conserve essential wildlife habitat. Heinrich is working to pass legislation to upgrade Bandelier and White Sands National Monuments into new national parks. He is also leading the effort to pass bipartisan sportsmen’s legislation to extend key conservation programs and improve public access to public lands for hunting, fishing, and other outdoor recreation.
With its abundance of solar and wind resources and energy research hubs, New Mexico can lead the way in combating the devastating effects of climate change and modernizing our nation’s electrical grid. In 2015, Heinrich helped negotiate the long-term extension of renewable energy tax credits that support New Mexico’s growing clean energy industries. Heinrich introduced legislation to prepare New Mexico’s workforce for good-paying clean energy jobs. He has also supported the development of renewable energy projects on public and tribal lands, the adoption of innovative energy storage and battery technologies, and improvement to the security of our nation’s energy infrastructure.
To build a brighter economic future, Heinrich believes in investments in communities and the next generation of New Mexicans. Heinrich supports major investments in early childhood education, public schools, and health care. He introduced the bipartisan Two Generation Economic Empowerment Act to help states like New Mexico coordinate programs across human services, workforce development, education, and health care agencies so they can work more effectively to put parents and children on the path to success. He has also long championed strengthening the education pipeline for science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) careers for all students including women and minorities.
Heinrich supports legislation to keep our promise to veterans, raise the federal minimum wage, close the gender wage gap, reduce the burden of student loan debt, ensure LGBTQ Americans have equal rights under federal law, and prevent violence against women. Representing a diverse border state, Heinrich is a leading voice for fixing our nation’s broken immigration system, meeting the security needs of border communities, and creating jobs by attracting more trade through New Mexico’s ports of entry. He has also introduced legislation to boost technology transfer and foster collaboration between New Mexico’s national laboratories, local businesses, and research institutions to help turn innovative technologies and materials developed in New Mexico into commercial businesses with great potential to grow and create jobs.
Heinrich is also a leader in protecting American constitutional liberties. As a member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, he was an original cosponsor of the USA FREEDOM Act, a law passed in 2015 that ended the National Security Agency’s bulk collection of Americans' phone and other records and ensured more accountability and transparency from the government surveillance agencies. Heinrich strongly supported the release of the Intelligence Committee's report on the CIA's detention and interrogation program during the Bush administration, and he continues to support reforms to prevent the future use of torture.
Heinrich is a member of the Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus, Senate Outdoor Industry Caucus, Senate Climate Action Task Force, Special Committee on the Climate Crisis, Senate Democratic Hispanic Task Force, National Service Congressional Caucus, Congressional Dietary Supplement Caucus, and the founder of the Congressional Directed Energy Caucus and the Senate Artificial Intelligence (AI) Caucus.
Prior to being elected to the U.S. Senate, Heinrich served two terms in the U.S. House of Representatives. In the House, Heinrich voted to cut taxes for the middle class, worked to make college more affordable, improved benefits for veterans, opposed cuts to Social Security and Medicare, and championed the DREAM Act as an original cosponsor. Heinrich authored the HEARTH Act to remove barriers to homeownership for American Indian families and led the effort in Congress to reauthorize the Indian Health Care Improvement Act. As a member of the House Armed Services Committee, Heinrich secured language in the National Defense Authorization Act of 2010 that prohibited the retirement of the 150th Fighter Wing from Kirtland Air Force Base, which helped preserve 1,000 jobs.
Before he was elected to Congress, Heinrich served four years as an Albuquerque City Councilor and was elected as City Council President. During his time on City Council, Heinrich championed successful efforts to raise the city minimum wage, address crime through community policing, support local small businesses, make Albuquerque a leader in energy and water conservation, and fought for campaign finance reform. He also served as New Mexico’s Natural Resources Trustee, working to conserve the state’s outdoor heritage.
After completing a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Missouri, Heinrich and his wife, Julie, moved to Albuquerque where he began his career as a contractor working on directed energy technology at Phillips Laboratories, which is now Air Force Research Laboratory at Kirtland Air Force Base. Heinrich later served in AmeriCorps for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and was the Executive Director of the Cottonwood Gulch Foundation. He also led the Coalition for New Mexico Wilderness and founded a small public affairs consulting firm.
Heinrich’s principled leadership is driven by his working-class upbringing, his wife, Julie, his two sons, and the people of New Mexico.