Schneider Wraps Up 115th Congress Working for Illinois Tenth District
In 2018, Congressman Brad Schneider (IL-10) focused on making a difference for his district through open community outreach, aggressive constituent service, and legislating with a focus on bipartisanship.
“Working for the people of the Tenth District is the highest honor of my life, and I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished during 2018,” said Schneider. “I urge Tenth District residents to continue reaching out, sharing their opinions, and attending our events. Each letter, call, and conversation helps guide me as I represent our communities. I’m looking forward to hitting the ground running in this new year and getting back to work on your behalf as part of the new House majority. Our first order of business must be ending President Trump’s irresponsible government shutdown so we can move as a nation to tackle the real challenges before us.”
In 2018, Schneider answered questions from constituents at 12 in-person town hall events (called “Congress On Your Corners”) as well as 5 telephone town halls to keep in touch while he was in Washington. Collectively, Schneider has reached more than 25,000 constituents through these public forums.
Schneider has also held unique events to reach more constituents. He participated in three “Commuter Town Halls,” riding Pace suburban bus and Metra train routes during commuter hours to meet and talk with constituents in an informal setting. Schneider also hosted two “Bike the Tenth” rides, inviting constituents to ride with him on a bike path route through the district, with periodic stops at coffee shops and libraries for impromptu town halls. His 2018 ride was profiled by the Washington newspaper Roll Call.
In addition, Congressman Schneider hosted or participated in:
- 42 “Brad At Your Business” visits to local employers, including a “Made in IL-10” Manufacturing Tour and Small Business Week Tour
- 2 Hiring Events with more than 100 local employers and 1,000 job candidates
- 2 Federal Grant Forums that served 393 constituents interested in learning more about federal grant opportunities.
- A Small Business Workshop on federal contracting opportunities
- A FAFSA workshop with the Department of Education for parents and students
- An annual Military Academy information session for parents and students considering applying for one of our nation’s 5 service academies
- A Veteran Resource Fair featuring participating from the Veterans Administration
- 2 Vietnam Veteran Commemoration Ceremonies
- A Health Care Fair
- A Consumer Protection Event to prevent scams
- An Opioid Documentary Screening and Discussion
- An Alzheimer’s Awareness Panel Discussion
- 2 STEM Scholars Visits with local high school students
- Tenth District Day in the Capitol hosting local elected officials in Washington to meet with federal agencies
Helping constituents with issues involving the federal government – from Social Security and Medicare to the Veterans Administration and immigration – is another priority. In 2018, Schneider helped more than 1,200 constituents, and recovered more than $1.1 million in federal dollars for individual Tenth District residents. In addition to the main district office in Lincolnshire, constituent service representatives hosted 165 scheduled Neighborhood Office Hours events to connect with residents directly in their communities.
This year, more than $43.1 million in federal grants were awarded to 69 organizations and individuals in the Tenth District. Rep. Schneider’s office works closely with local governments, non-profits, and other organizations to support their federal grant submissions. In 2018, he wrote 44 letters of support for local grant submissions.
In January, Quorum Magazine, after an analysis of Schneider’s record, named him the most active Democratic Freshman due to his legislative activity, and the third most bipartisan.
Sixty-four percent of the 31 bills he introduced in 2018 have bipartisan support from Members of the opposite party. Schneider is a member of the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus, which proposed solutions on health care, immigration, and congressional reform that could be supported by members of both parties, as well as the Bipartisan Working Group, which meets weekly.
Legislative highlights of 2018 include:
School Safety Proposal Signed into Law. A bipartisan school safety proposal introduced with Rep. Mike Bost (R-IL) was signed into law by President Donald Trump. The legislation established a grant program to help schools acquire panic buttons for classrooms, offering a more immediate method of notifying law enforcement and first responders in case of a medical emergency, active school shooter incident, or natural disaster. The Village of Mundelein was awarded more than $260,000 to improve school safety through the program.
Provision to Help Communities with Stranded Nuclear Waste Signed into Law. Legislative language first introduced by Rep. Brad Schneider (D-IL) to help communities with stranded nuclear waste was signed into law. The measure requires a report by the Department of Energy on existing public and private resources and funding available for municipalities where a nuclear power plant is decommissioned, in the process of decommissioning, or plans to shut down within 3 years. The measure was included in the conference report for H.R. 5895, the Energy and Water, Legislative Branch, and Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Act of 2019.
Legislation to Counter Foreign Propaganda Signed into Law. Legislation introduced with Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) that would strengthen U.S. efforts to counter foreign disinformation and propaganda campaigns was incorporated into the FY19 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) and signed into law by President Trump. Originally introduced as H.R. 5681, the Global Engagement Center Authorities Act of 2018 clarifies responsibilities for the Global Engagement Center (GEC) within the Department of State as the leader of federal government efforts to address the threat of foreign misinformation, expands GEC hiring authorities, and establishes stronger congressional oversight requirements.
- Amendment to provide more flexibility for successful innovators to turn federally-funded research into viable commercial products by increasing the amount of SBIR and Tech Transfer funding they can use towards commercialization. This amendment was included in the final conference report and signed into law by President Trump.
- Amendment requiring a report on Iran’s support for proxy forces in Syria and Lebanon, including Hizballah was included in the final conference report and signed into law by President Trump.
Led Entire Illinois House Delegation on Bipartisan Election Security Letter. Following Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s indictment of 12 Russian agents, which included reference to a state election breach suspected to be Illinois, Schneider led the entire Illinois House delegation on a bipartisan letter to Department of Justice and Department of Homeland Security requesting a briefing on federal efforts to partner with Illinois election officials to defend against foreign interference. In the letter, the members also make clear they accept the findings of the U.S. intelligence community regarding Russia’s interference. The Department of Homeland Security briefed the delegation in September. The Chicago Tribune called the letter. The Chicago Tribune called the letter “a rare showing of bipartisanship during an election year.”
Introduced Bicameral Bill to Require EPA to Revise Standards for Ethylene Oxide Emissions. Introduced legislation with Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) and other members of Illinois congressional delegation that would require the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to revise ethylene oxide (EtO) emissions standards for medical sterilization and chemical facilities, which have been the source of harmful emissions in Illinois. The bill also requires the EPA to notify the public no more than 30 days after it learns that the new standards have been violated. Medline Industries, Inc., and Vantage Specialty Chemicals, Inc., in Lake County, Illinois, have been cited for high carcinogenic EtO emissions. The EPA failed to promptly notify Illinois residents about potential dangers and has not updated its emissions standards for the chemical based on the best available science put forth in the most recent Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) assessment.
Introduced Legislation to Crackdown on Irritating Telephone Scam Calls. Currently, many telephone scammers use technology to modify what phone numbers appear on caller ID, often impersonating a local phone number to trick individuals into answering their calls. H.R. 6822, the Discourage Dishonest Dialing Act, would require the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to establish rules for alerting telephone subscribers when caller identification information cannot be confirmed. Making consumers aware when a “neighbor spoofing” call is inbound gives customers the power to ignore these intrusions and discourage their use by scam artists.