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Daschle, Tom

Tom Daschle (Thomas Andrew Daschle) (dăsh´əl), 1947–, U.S. senator from South Dakota (1987–2005), b. Aberdeen, S.Dak. A Democrat, he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1978, where he served four terms; he was first elected to the Senate in 1986. A low-key centrist with a reputation as a skillful negotiator, Daschle was a supporter of farm subsidies and acted as the coordinator of the failed effort to pass President Bill Clinton's comprehensive health-care bill in 1994. He subsequently continued to advocate the regulation of managed care, a patients' bill of rights, and prescription drug benefits under Medicare. Daschle served as Senate minority leader (1995–2001, 2003–5) and majority leader (2001–3), but he failed to win reelection to the Senate in 2004. In 2009 President Barack Obama nominated him to be secretary of the Health and Human Services Dept., but he withdrew his name after it was revealed that he owed some $128,000 in back taxes on benefits he had failed to report.

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