Janice D. Schakowsky: 2022 candidate for 9th Congressional District


Party: Democrat

Office sought: 9th Congressional District

City: Evanston

Age: 77

Occupation: Member of Congress

Previous offices held: IL State Assembly


Q: What is your reaction to the results so far presented by the committee investigating the Jan. 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol and what should Congress do next as a result of them?

A: The results presented by the January 6th Committee have been compelling and at times tragic and terrifying. The American people must understand the unique role that President Trump played in stoking the violence that occurred that day.

Q: What is America's role in foreign affairs, particularly related to two separate crises: Russia's invasion of Ukraine and Israel's conflict with the Palestinians.

A: The United States should continue its pursuit of lasting peace in both regions and use all diplomatic tools available to it to achieve this goal. In all arenas, not just the Middle East and Ukraine, the U.S. should focus less on bloated defense spending and militarism and more on diplomacy, international justice and cooperation, conflict resolution, and accountability. The U.S. should also do more to support foreign institutions that are best equipped to respond to the pressing needs of the global community, and it should continue as a leader in international organizations like the United Nations and NATO.

Q: Mass shootings at schools and public gatherings are generally a uniquely American phenomenon. What should Congress do to address the problem?

A: There are many things that must be done to address the problem, some of which were contained in the Safer Communities Act, but more needs to be done, and that specifically involves the guns. We need the Assault Weapons Ban signed back into law, we need gun buyback/takeback programs, and we need to eliminate all background check loopholes (fire sale, gun show, etc).

Q: The Supreme Court has made it clear it considers abortion a states' rights issue and has suggested it may rule similarly on same-sex marriage and other social issues. What should the response be from Congress? How do you define whether such issues should be governed by federal authority or state authority?

A: The House has acted appropriately in passing the Women's Health Protection Act, and it's past time for the Senate to move that bill to the President's desk.

In general, balancing what issues ought to be left to states and what ought to be the responsibility of the Federal government is afundamental role of Congress, one that the Subcommitee I chair, the Consumer Protection and Commerce Subcommittee deals with often.

More specifically, however, no government at any level ought to involve itself with personal, private decisions like when to start a family, and in order to ensure this freedom is protected, Federal action is required.

Q: Are you concerned about the impact of all the recent federal spending on inflation, and what is the role of Congress in managing the economy? If you favor spending cuts, where specifically would you want to see spending reduced?

A: Inflation hurts Americans with lower incomes the most, and it's critical for government leaders at all levels to be mindful of impacts of spending decisions they make and how they might affect low- and middle income Americans.

However, the inflation we have experienced over the last 20+ months is hardly unique to the United States, but rather was a global phenomenon driven by the pandemic recovery, supply chain shocks, and corporate price gouging.

That said, the Pentagon budget is bloated and wasteful and unquestionably capable of driving some levels of inflation. I continue to vocally support a significant reduction in our defense top line.

Q: Are you confident that elections and voting access are free and fair in America? If not, why not and what should be done?

A: By and large, elections are free and fair in the United States, especially when considered in global terms.

However, our elections are being put at risk by right-wing politicians that control state governments. That's why it's critical for the US Senate to pass the John Lewis Freedom to Vote Act, which would ensure that all Americans right to vote is protected.

Q: Whether your party is in the majority or the minority, what is the key to being a successful congressman and what are the characteristics about you that would make you successful?

A: Successful legislating requires two things - listening to constituents, and listening to your colleagues. Great legislative ideas often come from constituents, and hearing from colleagues allows you to find areas of common ground to work together to solve problems. I have done this throughout my career, which I would attribute to much of the success I have enjoyed over my career.

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