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Rep. Jan Schakowsky
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Jan Schakowsky was elected to represent Illinois’ 9th Congressional District on November 3, 1998, after serving for eight years in the Illinois State Assembly.

Schakowsky, who serves on the House Democratic Leadership team as Chief Deputy Whip, is a member of the Energy and Commerce Committee, where she will work to accomplish her top priority in Congress -- providing universal healthcare coverage for all Americans.

A citizen advocate, grassroots organizer, and elected public official, Schakowsky has fought throughout her career for economic and social justice and improved quality of life for all; for an end to violence against women; and for a national investment in healthcare, public education and housing needs.

In the House, Schakowsky has won major legislative victories to increase federal assistance for abused women and children and to protect the rights of battered immigrant women; to reform election laws guaranteeing that no registered voter is turned away at the poll; to expand housing opportunities for low-income people; and to assist small business owners and farmers.

A longtime consumer advocate, who in 1969 led the fight that put freshness dates on products sold in the supermarket, Schakowsky carries on that tradition in Congress with efforts to safeguard the rights of victims of identity theft and to protect consumers from predatory lenders. A champion for the nation’s seniors, Schakowsky is actively engaged in the campaign for seniors and persons with disabilities to access affordable prescription drugs. Schakowsky is also working to ensure that seniors receive quality home, hospice, and nursing care.

Schakowsky is an active member of the Congressional Human Rights Caucus and is a champion of expanding our nation’s hate crime laws. .

Prior to her election to Congress, Schakowsky represented the 18th District in the Illinois General Assembly for eight years. She served as a Democratic Floor Leader and as Secretary of the Conference of Women Legislators.

For twenty years prior to her election to the State House, Schakowsky fought for the public interest and rights of Illinois citizens. As Program Director of Illinois Public Action (1976-1985), the state’s largest public interest organization, she fought for energy reform and stronger protection from toxic chemicals. As Director of the Illinois State Council of Senior Citizens from 1985-1990, she organized across the state for lower cost prescription drugs and tax relief for seniors, financial protection for the spouses of nursing home residents and other benefits for the elderly. She has been deeply involved in the fight to protect women’s reproductive freedom.

Schakowsky resides in Evanston, Illinois with her husband Robert Creamer. She has three children, Ian, Mary, and stepdaughter Lauren Creamer, and four grandchildren, Isabel, Eve, Lucy, and William. She graduated from the University of Illinois in 1965 with a B.S. in Elementary Education.

Entries by Rep. Jan Schakowsky

Divided Government Doesn't Have to Mean Gridlock -- Pelosi and Reid Proved That From 2006-2008

(17) Comments | Posted November 14, 2014 | 9:51 AM

You don't have to go back to ancient history to find out that divided government doesn't have to mean government gridlock.

Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid proved that from 2006 to 2008. During those two years -- not long ago -- Democrats controlled both houses of Congress while...

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Rule Mandating Rear View Camera in Vehicles Will Save Lives

(20) Comments | Posted April 6, 2014 | 7:44 PM

Consumers won a landmark victory last week: Starting in 2018 all new vehicles will be required to enable drivers to see what is directly behind them when they back up. This major consumer win was hard fought, and for good reason. It will save two lives each week.


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The Affordable Care Act -- Women's History in the Making

(48) Comments | Posted March 23, 2014 | 2:45 PM

By Representative Jan Schakowsky and Professor Amy Fried

All month we have been commemorating Women's History Month. As March comes to a close there is no better way to recognize women's history than by celebrating the Affordable Care Act. That's because we are confident the law will go down in...

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When Women Succeed, the World Succeeds

(0) Comments | Posted March 8, 2014 | 11:26 AM

Today, women around the world are marking International Women's Day, a day to celebrate the social, political and economic achievements of women, while focusing attention on the many things we still need to do to achieve equality for women and girls.

Currently, women make up nearly 70 percent of the...

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It's the Inequality, Stupid

(31) Comments | Posted December 6, 2013 | 11:12 AM

Our country is at a crossroads. Next week, 29 members of Congress serving on the House-Senate budget conference committee are expected to put forward a budget proposal that could have major, long-lasting impacts on the lives of every American family.

Their first task is to avoid a repeat performance of...

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Why I Was Arrested

(130) Comments | Posted October 9, 2013 | 1:32 PM

Yesterday I was arrested for "blocking passage" of a little used street along with seven other members of Congress and 200 others who want House Republican leadership to stop delaying a vote on comprehensive immigration legislation. About 20,000 immigrants and their supporters were at the Capitol as part of an...

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What Mom Really Needs for Mother's Day

(1) Comments | Posted May 10, 2013 | 5:49 PM

Today we honor the women who have made an incredible impact on our lives, our mothers. This Mother's Day, I want to call attention to the role women are playing in long-term care. Women are the overwhelming majority of the workers providing long-term support to seniors and people with disabilities....

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Empowering Women Around the World

(2) Comments | Posted March 8, 2013 | 12:44 PM

Today we celebrate International Women's Day and this year's theme, "A promise is a promise: Time for action to end violence against women," is a reminder that too many women still live their lives in fear of violence, abuse, and discrimination.

Women across the world face many challenges --...

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The Truth About the Middle Class

(42) Comments | Posted January 30, 2013 | 5:46 PM

"The Myth of a Stagnant Middle Class" by Donald Boudreaux and Mark Perry argues that the stagnant middle class is a "myth." They are wrong. The truth is the middle class is not only stagnant but it is my fear that, without sustained and focused action, it is...

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Taking the Congressional Food Stamp Challenge [UPDATED]

(0) Comments | Posted November 2, 2011 | 8:00 PM

Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), other members of Congress, and national religious leaders are participating in a week-long national Fighting Poverty with Faith Food Stamp Challenge to raise awareness about the challenges for Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients and the realities of hunger in America. For a week Rep. Schakowsky...

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Taking the Congressional Food Stamp Challenge

(84) Comments | Posted November 1, 2011 | 1:20 PM

Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), other members of Congress, and national religious leaders are participating in a week-long national Fighting Poverty with Faith Food Stamp Challenge to raise awareness about the challenges for Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients and the realities of hunger in America. For a week Rep. Schakowsky...

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On 45th Anniversary, Medicare Under Siege

(228) Comments | Posted July 1, 2011 | 10:20 AM

Forty-five years ago today, Medicare began operation and senior citizens started to use their brand new Medicare cards to obtain medical care. As President Lyndon B. Johnson stated, older Americans began to receive guaranteed access to care "not as an act of charity, but as the insured right of a...

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Fairness in Taxation

(117) Comments | Posted March 17, 2011 | 2:04 PM

We have a growing crisis of income inequality in this country. We are at levels of income disparity that we have not seen since right before the Great Depression in 1928. Over the last 30 years, the failed GOP policies of Reaganomics and weakening regulation have led to a situation...

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Schakowsky Announces Winners of the 'So Be It' Awards

(64) Comments | Posted February 18, 2011 | 4:35 PM

WASHINGTON, DC (February 18, 2011) - Despite this being a Friday, the diligent staff in the office of Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) -- aided by the Congresswoman herself -- examined the gist of hundreds of amendments being offered by Republicans to their bill, H.R. 1, the Continuing Resolution to fund...

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A Frightening "Roadmap" for America in the Republican Rebuttal to the State of the Union

(1918) Comments | Posted January 24, 2011 | 10:48 AM

If part of you clings to that vision of an America where opportunity for all is possible or if you believe that it's time to take the somewhat tarnished American Dream out of cold storage, then be prepared to be deeply disappointed -- frightened even -- by Republican Representative Paul...

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Why I Voted Against the Bowles-Simpson Deficit Reduction Plan

(734) Comments | Posted December 3, 2010 | 1:56 PM

While I cannot support the Simpson-Bowles plan, I thank the co-chairmen for their dedication to our difficult task over the last eight months, and I agree with them that the work was constructive despite our inability to get fourteen votes.

I offered my own plan to achieve...

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What Have we Bought for $1 Trillion?

(2853) Comments | Posted May 28, 2010 | 6:37 PM

As of 10:06 on Sunday, May 30th, we will have spent $1 trillion in Iraq and Afghanistan.

A trillion dollars is a baffling amount of money. If you write it out, use twelve zeros. Even after serving in Congress for over a decade, I, like most Americans, still have...

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Let's Make the Welfare of the American People the Goal of the Fiscal Commission

(25) Comments | Posted April 28, 2010 | 1:21 PM

I presented the following remarks at the first meeting of President Obama's National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform:

We members of the Fiscal Commission are charged with a critical mission: "Identifying policies to improve the fiscal situation in the medium term and to achieve fiscal sustainability over the...

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Ending My "Abusive Relationship"

(460) Comments | Posted January 25, 2010 | 12:24 AM

I am happy to report that I have taken the first very important steps in ending the abusive relationship I am in. That's right. I am breaking up - with my "too big to fail" bank.

Bank of America, bye-bye. It started out innocently enough. When I first started banking...

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Protecting a Woman's Right to Choose

(503) Comments | Posted November 10, 2009 | 4:14 PM

The health care bill passed in the House of Representatives on Saturday night makes many improvements to benefit women. It bans gender rating for premiums, prevents breast cancer survivors and domestic abuse victims from being denied coverage, and expands access to preventive care like cancer screenings.

Unfortunately, as a...

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