Senator Jim Talent, Vice Chairman of the WMD Center, is a Distinguished Fellow at the Washington, DC, based Heritage Foundation, where he specializes in military readiness issues. One of Senator Talent’s objectives at the Heritage Foundation is to raise awareness, within Congress and throughout the country, of the importance of assuring stable, robust funding of America’s military, in peace as well as war.
From May 2008 to February 2010, Senator Talent served as the Vice Chairman of the congressionally authorized Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation and Terrorism. In December 2008, the Commission released its report, World at Risk. Since then, former Senators Graham and Talent have worked to encourage the Obama Administration and the Congress to adopt the Commission’s recommendations.
In 2002, Missourians elected Jim Talent to the U.S. Senate where he served for four years, from 2002 to 2007. During his tenure in the Senate, he served on four key committees: The Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee; the Armed Services Committee; the Energy and Natural Resources Committee; and the Committee on Aging.
Senator Talent served Missouri in the U.S. House for eight years, from 1993 to 2001.
As a freshman congressman, he introduced the Real Welfare Reform Act of 1994, which subsequently became the basis for the historic bipartisan welfare reform bill, the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act of 1996. The legislation has resulted in 4.2 million people moving from dependency on the government, to jobs and self-sufficiency.
Senator Talent served for eight years on the House Armed Services Committee. In that capacity, he waged a long battle to protect America’s armed forces from cuts in size and resources. Also as a freshman member of Congress, Senator Talent formed a special congressional committee to address the decline in the readiness of America’s military.
In 1984 he was elected to the Missouri House of Representatives, and in 1988, he was unanimously chosen by his colleagues as the Minority Leader, the highest ranking Republican leadership position in the Missouri House. He served in that capacity until 1992 when he was elected to Congress to represent Missouri’s Second District.