Elections

10th Congressional District Democratic nominee: Brad Schneider

Democratic incumbent Brad Schneider is the Chicago Sun-Times’ endorsed candidate in the 10th Congressional District race.

On Sept. 17, Schneider appeared before the Sun-Times Editorial Board. Watch the video above to find out why he’s running for re-election to the 10th Congressional seat.


The Sun-Times also sent the candidates seeking the 10th Congressional District seat a list of questions to find out their views on a range of important issues facing their district and the country. Brad Schneider submitted the following responses:

As a member of the U.S. House, what are or would be your top cause or causes? 

Schneider: My top cause as a Member of Congress is to represent the values and priorities of my constituents. Over the course of 27 Congress on Your Corner town halls, 12 telephone town halls, and countless other individual meetings and casual conversations, I know the first issue Tenth District voters focus on is ensuring our economy is growing in a way that helps all Americans, not just those at the top. When our economic trajectory is positive, solving the myriad of challenges we face becomes more achievable, from providing quality affordable health care to all Americans and protecting Social Security and Medicare to finally passing comprehensive immigration reform and addressing global climate change.

I have also made fostering bipartisanship one of my top priorities because I believe the challenges our country faces require solutions from both parties. As the recent disastrous tax reform effort demonstrates, legislation drafted in a partisan vacuum is not crafted to last or to benefit all Americans. That is why I have joined groups like the Problem Solvers Caucus and Bipartisan Working Group to find common ground and put forward legislation to improve health care and address immigration reform.

On a personal level, reducing gun violence in our communities and across our nation is an extremely important issue for me. I was named after my great uncle who was killed by a gunman more than 75 years ago. My first term in office began in 2013, shortly after the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary. I met the parents of Newtown and worked with them and the House Gun Violence Prevention task force to draft commonsense legislation to close loopholes allowing individuals to avoid background checks. And I grieved with them in May 2013 when the NRA was able to block that legislation in the Senate—a mere five months after their children we murdered. Returning to Congress last year, my first floor speech was about reducing gun violence and I have continued to work to find solutions. There are policies supported by the vast majority of Americans that would save lives – including universal background checks, a ban on the sale of high capacity magazines and assault weapons, and making trafficking of weapons across state lines a federal crime – and I will continue to push my colleagues to find the political courage necessary to pass gun safety legislation.

Please list three highly specific needs of your district that you would make priorities. 

Schneider:  The Tenth District, like many communities across the country, is suffering from an epidemic of opioid addiction and misuse that is claiming far too many lives. In Congress, I joined the Bipartisan Heroin Task Force to work across the aisle toward solutions. I have been particularly focused on continuing medical education (CME) as one solution. I introduced the Opioid PACE Act which would create continuing education requirements for doctors who prescribe opioids so they can better identify and prevent abuse. This bill is gaining momentum – a version was included in the FY 18 House-passed NDAA and it recently was considered during a hearing with the House Energy & Commerce Committee.

At home, I have also been an active member of the Lake County Opioid Initiative, attending meetings when in the district and bringing States Attorney Mike Nerheim (R) as my guest to the State of the Union to highlight Lake County’s bipartisan work. I have also worked to spread awareness in the community by screening a documentary and hosting an expert panel discussion on the issue.

Second, the community of Zion continues to suffer the negative effects of housing nuclear waste, stranded by our national failure to build a permanent storage facility. This presents both an extreme environmental hazard, and a severe burden on the quality of life of the residents of Zion – deterring economic investment, depressing home values and driving up property taxes to fill the local revenue void. With Sen. Duckworth, I introduced legislation to compensate communities like Zion, and I am pleased an amendment I introduced passed the House of Representatives to require the Secretary of Energy to assemble a task force to work across all federal agencies to identify existing resources and funding opportunities that could assist communities with decommissioned plants where nuclear waste is being stored.

Third, we need to invest in repairing, rethinking and rebuilding our infrastructure. Anyone trying to transit Lake County during rush hour understands the local need to modernize our transit and transportation systems. But we also need to be working on smart electrical grids, storm water management, updating our aging schools, and much more.

brad schneider 10th district congress democrat 2018 general election maria de la guardia

On July 2, at the AFSCME Council in Chicago, U.S. Rep. Brad Schneider speaks on the repercussions of the Supreme Court decision in Janus v. AFSCME Council 31. I Maria de la Guardia/Sun-Times


Who is Brad Schneider?

He’s running for: U.S. Congress, 10th District

His political/civic background: U.S. House of Representatives, 2013-2015; 2017-2019

His occupation: Current Member of Congress, Former Management Consultant

Education:

  • BA, Northwestern University ’83
  • MBA, Kellogg School of Management ’88

Campaign website: schneiderforcongress.com

Twitter handle: @Schneider4IL10


Bipartisanship is virtually non-existent in the House. What would you do about that? 

Schneider: While hype-partisanship may dominate the headlines, there are Members of Congress working across the aisle to find common ground and move our country forward. This has always been a priority for me, which is why last year I helped form the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus, and also actively participate in the weekly meetings of the Bipartisan Working Group. Many legislative ideas come out of these conversations, which is why a recent congressional analysis found that 42 percent of the legislation I have co-sponsored originated with a member of the opposite party – ranking me third among House Democratic Freshman in bipartisanship. Similarly, more than 3/4 of the legislation I have introduced in 2018 has at least one co-sponsor of the opposite party. These are small steps, but I make the effort every day to work with all of my colleagues.

Last year, with my fellow members of the Problem Solvers Caucus, I helped develop a proposal to stabilize the health care insurance markets and provide relief to consumers. Released during the height of the polarizing effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act, we brought together 22 Democrats and 22 Republicans to endorse a proposal with practical solutions to improve our health care system. Our proposal incorporated ideas from both parties, including fully funding cost sharing reduction payments, creating a dedicated stability fund, modifying the employer mandate, repealing the medical device tax, and allowing states to innovate on the exchanges and create regional compacts. This proposal became the basis of the Alexander-Murray draft legislation in the Senate last fall, which had broad bipartisan support before President Trump blocked it.

I have also worked across the aisle with colleagues in the Illinois delegation to pass legislation to help communities. I partnered with Rep. Mike Bost (R-IL) to introduce a school safety bill establishing a grant to help schools install panic buttons, which can help save lives in a shooting or other emergency. Our provision was ultimately included in the FY18 funding bill and was signed into law by the President. The program is now up and running, and local schools are applying for grants.

I plan to continue to strengthen these productive relationships with members across the aisle.

Are you convinced that Russia meddled in the 2016 presidential election in support of the candidacy of Donald Trump? Please explain. 

Schneider: Yes. First, I believe the unanimous assessment of our intelligence community that the Russian government sought to interfere in the 2016 election to help the candidacy of Donald Trump. Second, I take Russian President Putin at his word that he wanted Mr. Trump to win.

Irrespective of whether or not Russia’s efforts had any impact on the 2016 election, we must constantly and vigilantly protect our elections from any foreign interference. Ensuring that every American has confidence in the integrity of their individual vote and the validity of the total vote count cuts to the very foundation of our democracy and must be a bipartisan cause. That is why I have worked so doggedly to make progress on this issue.

Most recently, after the recent Mueller indictment of Russian operatives revealed more about interference in our state, I led a letter that gained the support of all 18 members of the Illinois House delegation (Democrats and Republicans) requesting a briefing from the Department of Justice and Department of Homeland Security on ways to improve Illinois’ election security. This rare show of bipartisanship in our state is yielding results and we will have a briefing in September.

When I learned that the Global Engagement Center (GEC) within the Department of State (the office tasked with countering foreign disinformation and propaganda campaigns) had yet to spend any of the $120 million it had been allocated since late 2016 to counter Russian information warfare efforts, I partnered with Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) to introduce a bill clarifying responsibilities for the GEC, expanding its hiring authorities, and establishing stronger congressional oversight. This bill was incorporated into the FY19 National Defense Authorization Act and signed into law by the President.

I also partnered with Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) to introduce the House version of the DETER Act, which would impose automatic sanctions on Russia if they are found to interfere again. Ensuring there are clear consequences for election meddling would help prevent future bad behavior.
Additionally, I have pressed Attorney General Sessions, Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein, and FBI Director Wray during hearings about their department’s actions to improve election security.

Finally, at home, I have met with the County Clerks of Cook and Lake County to better understand the issue and the steps they are taking to protect the integrity of every vote.


SUN-TIMES 2018 ILLINOIS VOTING GUIDE


Do you support the investigation being conducted by special counsel Robert Mueller? Please explain. 

Schneider:  Absolutely, 100 percent. I support the investigation and have been impressed by the thoroughness and professionalism with which it has been undertaken, as evidenced by the lack of leaks.

It is imperative that the Mueller team be allowed to complete their work, and follow the facts to wherever they lead. I am waiting to make a final judgement until the investigation is finished. We need to understand what happened in the 2016 election so that we can take steps to protect our future elections from foreign interference.

If President Trump were to fire Mueller, directly or indirectly, what should Congress do? 

Schneider: I have serious concerns by the words from President Trump and some Republicans in Congress disparaging the investigation, which is why I have co-sponsored the Special Counsel Protection Act to prevent a politically-motivated firing of the Special Counsel.

If President Trump were to fire Mueller, Congress must take immediate action to ensure the Special Counsel investigation can continue to completion, with or without Mueller, and that its findings will be released publicly.

If Trump were to pardon his former campaign aide Paul Manafort, what should Congress do? 

Schneider: While President Trump has the Constitutional authority to pardon Manafort, doing so would be a gross overreach and abuse of the office he occupies. In this scenario, Congress must ensure the Mueller investigation continues unimpeded so we understand the extent of Russia’s interference in 2016 and the steps we must take to protect future elections.

Which three actions taken so far by the Trump administration do you most strongly support? 

Schneider: I support the Administration’s actions to address the opioid epidemic. I ultimately would like to see more funding directed toward these efforts, but I appreciate the Administration’s work to help communities dealing with the crisis.

Second, I supported the Administration’s efforts to put infrastructure on the national agenda. We desperately need infrastructure investment – both to repair what is crumbling and invest in new projects to remain globally competitive. The President’s plan was far from perfect and leaned too heavily on the private side of public-private partnerships. But it was a starting point, and I hope we can build on this idea in a bipartisan way to pass an infrastructure package that our communities need.

Finally, I appreciate President Trump’s support for the US-Israel relationship. While I do not agree with every decision he has made on this topic, I am pleased he remains committed to strengthening the bonds between our nations and maintaining Israel as a key US ally.

Which three actions taken by the Trump administration do you most strongly disagree with? 

Schneider: I disagree with so much of what and how President Trump is carrying out U.S. policy that it is challenging to select only three.

First, I strongly disagreed with and condemned President Trump’s decision to separate parents from children at our border. This abhorrent policy was an affront to our values, and we continue to deal with the consequences as some parents and children still wait to be reunified. The child separation policy goes hand in hand with other terrible immigration-related decisions undertaken by the Trump Administration, including ending DACA protections, limiting entry to refugees and asylum seekers, and instituting a travel ban. I was proud to help introduce legislation to reunite these families.

I strongly oppose the Trump Administration’s efforts to undermine the Affordable Care Act, including fighting protections on pre-existing conditions, creating uncertainty, cutting funding for health care navigators and most recently rolling out misleading and discriminatory “junk” plans. This is nothing more than politically-motivated sabotage that hurts efforts to improve health care for Americans going forward, and negatively impacts individuals’ and families’ access to care today. I have, and will continue to work to fix, rather than nix the ACA and seek new pathways to improve health care for all Americans.

Finally, I disagree with President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement, which deters the effort to address global climate change and makes the United States an international pariah on climate issues. This short-sighted decision is emblematic of two troubling themes running through many Trump Administration policies: a disregard for environmental stewardship and dangerous abandonment of America’s global leadership. I was honored to be joined by more than 180 of my colleagues in support or my resolution condemning the President’s decision. I remain hopeful that with growing support of governors, mayors, business and community leaders, the U.S. will eventually return to the Paris Agreement.

The Trump administration has taken action to roll back Obama-era policies aimed at curbing climate change and limiting environmental pollution. The administration has done so in the name of supporting business growth and making the United States more energy self-sufficient. Most notably, the administration has begun to dismantle Obama’s federal rules over American coal plants, weakened automobile fuel-economy standards and ended American participation in the Paris climate agreement. What is your take on all this? 

Schneider: I strongly oppose the Trump Administration’s actions to roll back Obama-era environmental protection and climate policies, including restrictions on emissions from power plants, automobile fuel-economy standards, and drilling in national parks.

Among the most egregious and short-sighted, was President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the international Paris Climate Agreement. This abdicates America’s international leadership on a critical issue for our planet’s future. After the announcement, I led 182 members of the House on legislation condemning the withdrawal and commending the cities, states, and localities who stepped forward to commit to meeting their emission reduction goals regardless of the
President’s decision.

For a local example, President Trump’s budget proposed eliminating the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, which funds crucial conservation efforts in Lake Michigan. I was proud to join other Great Lakes region members of both parties to protect this important program in the recently passed government funding bills.

To what extent is climate change a man-made phenomenon? How serious is the threat to our children’s future? What should be done? 

Schneider: I believe the overwhelming scientific consensus that climate-warming trends over the past century are extremely likely to have been impacted by human activity. In the long-term, climate change is among the most serious issues we face, and it poses a direct threat, not just to our children’s future, but to our world today.

First and foremost, I support reversing the damage caused by President Trump’s policies weakening environmental protections and decision to abandon the Paris Climate Agreement. I also support restoring the Obama-era Clean Power Plan and allowing the EPA to regulate carbon emissions as it does other pollutants.

More long-term, we must continue to support the transition to renewable sources of energy including solar, wind, and geothermal, and lower our greenhouse gas emissions.

What is the single most important action Congress can take to curb gun violence? 

Schneider:  The most important action Congress can take to curb gun violence is ending the gun lobby stranglehold over many members that prevents even the most modest gun safety solutions from reaching the floor for a vote.

I support universal background checks, an end to the sale of assault weapons, bans on bump stocks and high-capacity magazines, and making trafficking of guns across state lines a federal crime, among other commonsense ideas.

In the 115th Congress, I have focused on legislation to prevent individuals from evading our nation’s background check system. Most recently, I introduced with my colleagues a bill to block the online publication of blueprints to manufacture firearms with 3-D printers. I have also introduced legislation with colleagues that would close the “Ghost Gun” loophole that allows buyers to purchase unassembled firearms online without a background check, as well as a bill that would institute the same multiple firearm sale reporting requirements to long-guns as currently exist for handguns.

In addition, I have personally introduced legislation this Congress to reduce the number of stolen guns that end up on the street. The SECURE Firearm Storage Act would require federal firearm licensees, such as gun dealers, to securely lock up their inventory after hours. Many gun stores leave their firearms in cases that are susceptible to smash-and-grab robberies. This bill was inspired in part by a 2012 robbery in Des Plaines in which more than 140 guns were stolen.

Beyond this, we need to work on holistic solutions including better promoting economic opportunities and addressing mental health in our nation. As we continue to investigate the role of mental health in gun violence, I am supportive of efforts to remove firearms from the possession of those under mental distress. I co-sponsored the Gun Violence Restraining Order Act which would allow family members and the police to petition a judge to temporarily remove firearms from the possession of someone who is believed to pose a threat to themselves or others. I also believe that we should allow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to research the public health impact of gun violence.

It is incredibly frustrating that so many in Congress continue to bow in fear to the National Rifle Association. In fact, the only gun-related legislation passed by the House this term was to institute Concealed Carry Reciprocity – a bill that dangerously weakens our current gun laws. I will continue to try to build bridges across the aisle to make progress on this critical issue for the safety of our communities.

Is the media the “enemy of the people”? Please explain. 

Schneider: Not at all. Rather, in the words of Thomas Jefferson, “the only security of all is in a free press.” The media plays a critical role in our system of self-government on behalf of the people by questioning those in power, holding elected officials to account, and challenging conventional wisdoms.

President Trump’s frequent denunciations of the media as an “enemy of the people” and “fake news,” are wrong, irresponsible, and diminish the office he occupies.

Men and women in the press put their lives on the line daily to bring events of the world to light – both in dangerous war-torn regions and here at home, as we were sadly reminded following the newsroom shooting in Annapolis. I will continue to defend the work of the press and the First Amendment rights of all Americans.

As an editorial board, our core criticism of the tax overhaul legislation pushed through Congress last December is that it lowers taxes on corporations and the wealthiest Americans at a time of historic inequalities of wealth and income in the United States. We believe in free markets, but the ‘silent hand’ of the market does not seem to be rewarding merit fairly. What’s your position on last December’s rewrite of the tax code? Would you push for further changes, or for the law’s repeal? 

Schneider: I voted against the federal tax plan passed last year because it recklessly explodes our debt to reward those already at the top at the expense of many of my constituents. Nearly eighty-three percent of the tax benefit of the bill goes to just the top one-percent of earners, while many working families in my district will see little benefit or even tax increases through restriction of the State and Local Tax Deduction. Additionally, by repealing the individual mandate and further undermining the Affordable Care Act, the bill raised health care premiums on constituents.

According to the latest analysis by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO), this bill will add $1.9 trillion to our debt (the law costs the government $2.3 trillion in revenues, which is offset by only $461 billion in economic growth). The claims of the Trump Administration and House leadership that the bill will pay for itself are misleading at best. This debt will be a burden on our children’s generation, and I also fear the deficits created by this bill will cynically be used as justification for draconian cuts to Social Security, Medicare, and other vital safety net programs.

I view the overall tax reform effort as a missed opportunity for which we will be paying for years to come. Particularly while our economy is growing, we should be pursuing responsible reform and deficit reduction. Sadly, this tax reform package leaves us in a weaker position to respond when the next economic downturn inevitably arises.

The GOP leadership behind last year’s tax bill missed the mark by pursuing partisan policies with no real hearings, no input from experts and no engagement with the other side of the aisle. We should instead pursue responsible, bipartisan reform that is fair, spurs economic growth and reduces our deficits without irresponsible accounting gimmicks. In the interim, I will continue to push for a restoration of the SALT deduction to lift this burden from my constituents.

Speaking of income inequality, top executives of America’s biggest companies saw their average annual pay surge to $18.9 million in 2017, even as the pay of ordinary workers has remained flat for a decade. What, if anything, should be done to address the growing gap in wealth and income? 

Schneider: First, we should stop promoting unfair policies, such as the recent tax plan, that exacerbate income inequality by overwhelmingly benefiting those already in the top earning brackets.

Second, we should work to achieve real wage growth for working families. It has been more than 9 years since Congress last raised the federal minimum wage to $7.25, and that is too long. I am proud to co-sponsor the Raise the Wage Act, a bill that would gradually increase the federal minimum wage to $15.

Third, we must continue to promote quality, public education to unlock doors of opportunity. We must continue to invest in STEM education to specifically close the skills the gap and provide opportunities, including vocational and technical training, for people to succeed in the estimated 2 million manufacturing jobs expected to be unfilled by 2025. At the same time, we must reform our student loan system to prevent young people from graduating college and graduate school buried under mountains of debt that hamstrings their ability to save and build a solid financial future.

Would it be appropriate at this time for President Trump to invite Russian President Vladimir Putin to visit the White House? Why so, or why not? 

Schneider: While I support engagement and diplomacy, I do not view it as appropriate for Vladimir Putin to visit the White House at this time.

Russia attacked our democracy during the 2016 election, and deserves severe sanctions for this transgression. Sadly, President Trump has proven unwilling to hold Putin to account, and has consistently expressed his admiration for the Russian dictator.

In addition, Russia illegally occupies Crimea and parts of Eastern Ukraine, is credibly accused of poisoning people with nerve agents in the United Kingdom, and continues to prop up the criminal Assad regime in Syria.

Future meetings with Putin should have a tightly focused agenda on their election interference, illegal occupation of Crimea, and malign influence in the Syrian civil war.

How would you assess and grade the Trump administration’s efforts to recalibrate our nation’s relationships with Korea, NATO and Russia? 

Schneider: President Trump has fallen short on each of these efforts.

I applauded President Trump’s willingness to engage in diplomacy with North Korea as a step toward peace and denuclearization, and as an improvement over his previous antagonistic tweets. However, we must remain clear-eyed about North Korea’s long history of breaking previous commitments to denuclearize. I have serious concerns that President Trump granted legitimacy to the brutal Kim regime on the world stage and gave up concessions, including suspending joint exercises critical to military readiness with our long-standing ally South Korea, in return for what are already proving to be empty promises. Going forward, we should only offer concessions upon verifiable achievement of specific milestones toward denuclearization and reunification.

President Trump’s unwillingness to confront Vladimir Putin’s interference in our election or hold him responsible has given him a blank check to expand Russian influence in Ukraine and Syria.

At the same time, President Trump’s attacks on our NATO allies and questioning of the NATO alliance – the bedrock of trans-Atlantic peace – sends dangerous signals to Putin about the United States’ commitment to defend NATO members, including in the Baltics.

In late June, the Supreme Court upheld the Trump administration’s travel ban on visitors and immigrants from seven countries, five of which have Muslim majorities. What is your view on this ban? 

Schneider: During the campaign, then candidate Trump was clear he wanted to ban Muslims from entering the United States. I am disappointed the Supreme Court ruled to uphold a travel ban rooted in religious discrimination. I support continuing to improve our screening processes for those admitted into the United States, but arbitrarily banning entry from certain Muslim-majority countries and barring refugees fleeing terror is both ineffective and an insult to our national values.

What three major reforms should be made to United States immigration policy? 

Schneider: Our immigration system is broken and is holding back our country. Immigration reform is not just the right thing to do, it will also grow our economy and make our communities stronger.

We are a nation of immigrants, and I strongly oppose efforts by the current Administration to restrict legal immigration, limit our acceptance of refugees and asylum seekers, separate undocumented families, and build a wall across the border with Mexico.

I supported the bipartisan 2013 comprehensive immigration reform effort that included border security, reform to legal immigration processes, e-Verify, and permanent legal status and eventual pathway to citizenship to those here illegally, after they pay back fees and meet other requirements.

This Congress, I have worked to find a bipartisan solution for DREAMers in the wake of President Trump’s decision to end the DACA program. I am proud to be an original co-sponsor of the USA Act, a bipartisan compromise bill that would pair permanent legal status for DREAMers with smart investments in border security. I also signed the discharge petition that would force a vote over the objections of House Republican leadership on this proposal (as well as 3 others) and was disappointed to see this bipartisan effort stall just a few signatures short of the required number.

I oppose President Trump’s border wall because it is wasteful and unnecessary – there are both smarter and more effective ways to secure our border.

Do you support or oppose the family-based immigration policy sometimes called “chain migration”? Please explain. 

Schneider: In 1912, because of a relative who had earlier immigrated to the United States, my then 5-year old grandmother and her family were able to escape from Kiev and the progroms against Jews. I never knew my relative, William Chutkow. But I am forever grateful for his courage to move to America, and his generosity in sponsoring my grandmother’s family.

So on one level, I support family-based immigration because it is my own personal story. I also support family-based immigration because it is good policy. When current legal immigrants are joined by their family – parents, siblings, adult children, etc. – their families are strengthened, and our communities are enriched.

What would you do, as a member of Congress, to improve race relations in the United States? 

Schneider: I am proud that during my first term in Congress, minorities and women made up the majority of the Democratic Caucus for the first time in history, and I am proud that the diversity of our caucus continues to grow. By working together, listening to each other, and appreciating each others’ backgrounds, experiences and perspectives, we as elected leaders can set an example for the rest of the nation.

Sadly, since announcing his campaign, President Trump has frequently worked to inflame racial tensions for supposed political gain. This includes his degrading comments about Mexicans in his campaign announcement, equivocation in the wake of the Charlottesville protests, and long support for the “birther” conspiracy theory about President Obama. Americans deserve a President who will unite rather than divide.

I will continue to work to bring out the best in all of us. I will continue to visit all communities in my district and seek to represent all people, those who voted for me, those who voted against me, and even those who did not vote at all. I will look for opportunities to bring people together and speak out against any and all who try to drive us apart.

Last year, I had the honor to accompany my colleague Congressman John Lewis of Georgia on his annual pilgrimage to Selma, Alabama where he was attacked alongside other freedom marchers during the civil rights movement. We need to elevate the voices of justice and tolerance, not those spreading hate and derision.

From a policy perspective, I support comprehensive immigration reform, and investing in education to ensure all people, regardless of zip code, have access to opportunity and the American Dream.

What is the biggest difference between you and your opponent?

Schneider: I will let my opponent speak for himself.

What I think distinguishes me in this race is my record of representation and service on behalf of the residents of the 10th District, and the experience I bring to this job.

When I returned to Congress in January 2017, I had the experience of serving a previous term but also the knowledge that I might not get another term. That is why I immediately set out to build on my existing relationships and develop new ones on both sides of the aisle. One of my first actions was to help organize the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus.

I am proud to serve on three House committees: Small Business, Foreign Affairs and Judiciary. I am an active member of both the New Democrat and Blue Dog Coalitions, as well as the Problem Solvers Caucus. In total, I have introduce more than 30 pieces of legislation, including two bills that are now law, and have been rated the most active freshman Democrat by Quorum Analytics.

Equally important is my work at home, where I have continued to make constituent services a top priority. Through constant outreach and aggressive engagement with federal agencies, we have helped 10th District residents recover more than $1.3 million from Medicare, Social Security, the VA and other federal agencies. I have also sought to connect with constituents in new and creative ways, to literally meet them where they live. Since last January, I have held more than 27 in-person Congress on Your Corner town halls around the district. To stay in touch while I am in DC, I have hosted a dozen telephone town halls, reaching around 5,000 constituents per call. And I have even held four “Commuter Town Halls,” visiting with people on the Metra train and Pace bus routes throughout the district.

Through all my work, I have gained a keen understanding of the priorities of the residents of the Tenth District. My constituents understand I am an accessible representative who is willing to work across the aisle and stand up for our values.

I am also proud to support protecting a women’s right to choose, promoting marriage equality, and advancing needed gun safety solutions. My opponent’s social conservative views on these topics are diametrically opposed to mine and far out of sync with our district.

PolitiFact is an exclusive partnership between Chicago Sun-Times and BGA to fact-check politicians

Ahead of the historic 2018 elections, the Sun-Times is teaming up weekly with the Better Government Association, in print and online, to fact-check the truthfulness of the candidates. You can find all of the PolitiFact Illinois stories we’ve reported together here.


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