Brad Schneider: Candidate Profile
10th Congressional District (Democrat)
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Note: Answers provided have not been edited for grammar, misspellings or typos. In some instances, candidate claims that could not be immediately verified have been omitted.
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Family: Julie, Adam and Daniel
Education: BA of Science in Industrial Engineering from Northwestern University (1983)
Masters of Business Administration in Finance and Strategy from Northwestern's Kellogg Graduate School of Management (1988)
Chartered Life Underwriter
Certified M&A Advisor
Civic involvement: Leadership Greater Chicago (1993 Fellow); Chicago Council on Global Affairs (President's Circle); JUF/Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago (various leadership positions, received Young Leadership Award in 2001); American Jewish Committee (past Director, Chicago region, former Executive Committee member); American Israel Public Affairs Committee (founding member New Leadership Network); Waukegan Library Foundation Board; Chicago Alliance of Latinos and Jews (past Chair); Business and Professional People for the Public Interest (past Director); Deerfield Youth Baseball coach; American Youth Soccer Organization coach.
2007 Fellow - Next Generation Project: U.S. Global Policy and the Future of International Institutions
Elected offices held: United States Representative for Illinois's 10th Congressional District, 113th Congress, 2013 to 2015.
How will you work to make Congress more productive and effective? What actions are needed to produce a healthy federal budget? Specifically, what changes do you advocate regarding how revenue is produced or what our spending priorities are? In particular, what effect does current policy have on your district and what changes, if any, are needed?
To get Congress working again, I'm dedicated to working with anyone who has an open mind, good ideas and a willingness to work together. I supported the first bipartisan budget passed by Congress in years and voted for the No Budget, No Pay Act, which would take away pay for members of Congress if they failed to pass a budget.
Most importantly, addressing our budget should reflect our values and priorities. That means we must reduce our budget in a way that doesn't put the greatest burden on the most vulnerableā€"our middle class, our students and our seniors.
We must do more to reduce spending, and I support making sensible cuts. For example, I believe we should eliminate unproductive and outdated tax subsidies and loopholes, such as subsidies to large oil and gas companies. We must also continue to invest in promoting innovation, modernizing our infrastructure and ensuring we continue to educate the most capable, most productive workforce in the world. Doing so will build confidence and grow our local economy.
I strongly oppose, and voted twice against, the reckless Ryan Budget because it simply flies in the face of our values. The irresponsible tax breaks and draconian cuts to vital programs do not represent the values and priorities we should be focusing on. Rather, the Ryan Budget hurts our middle class, students and seniors by gutting education funding, ending the Medicare guarantee and putting a greater burden on those least able to afford it.
What immigration policies do you support? Where, if at all, do you see room for compromise to produce an effective policy on immigration? How will these policies have an impact in your district?
Our current immigration system is broken and holding back our economic potential. Deficiencies in the legal immigration process coupled with imperfect border security have resulted in an unprecedented amount of illegal immigration. There are more than 11 million undocumented immigrants living within our borders, functioning in a shadow economy that disregards their personal integrity and disadvantages American workers.
It's essential that we enact comprehensive immigration reform. I strongly support the bipartisan immigration measure previously passed by the Senate, and when I served in Congress I was proud to have helped introduce the House version of the bill. I also strongly support the DREAM Act. I believe we must provide undocumented students who graduate from U.S. high schools the opportunity to further their education, develop their talents and skills, and pursue the American dream rather than work anyone from any background can work hard and succeed.
Passing comprehensive immigration reform, and making DACA and DAPA permanent will free people from living in the shadows of fear from deportation to be able to pursue higher education, buy homes, start businesses and expand our economy and strengthen the communities of the 10th district, and our nation.
What should be the top priorities in Congress related to the Affordable Care Act? If you want changes, what specifically do you recommend? If you want the act entirely eliminated, please address these questions: Is that politically feasible? If it proves infeasible, where do you see the potential for compromise? If it is eliminated, what would you replace it with, if anything?
Our top priority must be working to bring quality, affordable health care to all Americans, while constantly seeking economies and efficiencies to bring down the overall costs of the health care system. While not perfect, the Affordable Care Act represents an important step forward in providing health care to millions of Americans. OUR health care system is a long-term challenge requiring long-term solutions. Instead of more partisan attempts to repeal, defund and dismantle ACA, we must focus on working to improve what's working, fix what's not and rethink what's not fixable.
That's why I helped introduce legislation to eliminate the medical device tax that hinders medical innovation and voted to give businesses and individuals additional time to select the plan right for them. These are just some examples of important changes Congress should be working on. Unfortunately, Republicans repeatedly waste taxpayer time and money, and even shut down the government, in efforts to repeal ACA. We simply cannot afford this kind of dysfunction. I have consistently voted against repeal and will continue to focus on finding ways to improve the law.
What military or diplomatic roles should the United States play to promote peace and stability in the Mideast? Under what circumstances, should we have military forces actively operating?
Our goal in foreign policy must always be to keep America safe today, as well as work to craft a sustainable, forward-looking policy that can ensure our security and prosperity for years to come. To that end, we must urgently confront ISIS, Al-Qaeda, and Islamist extremists by working with our allies, leading the effort to create the strategy and marshaling the resources in the region to defeat these groups. We can and must work with those in the region who want to stand up and take on the myriad challenges and threats to their future, with training, weapons and tactical support. But the realization of stability, from Morocco to Afghanistan, must depend on those that call the region home.
It is also important to acknowledge that a nuclear Iran presents, long-term, the most dangerous clear and present threat to the entire region. That is why in Congress I helped introduce and pass tougher Iran sanctions legislation. Now we must vigorously enforce the JCPOA to ensure Iran never acquires a nuclear weapon.
We must also work with Israel, our most reliable, most important ally in the region, as well as with the Palestinians to create the context for a lasting, negotiated resolution to their conflict, based on two states for two people. That's why I introduced legislation to enhance Israel's qualitative military edge over those seeking to do her harm and helped pass legislation that enacts tougher sanctions on Hezbollah, a terrorist organization that threatens U.S. interests and allies like Israel.
Please list any elected office you have ever run for and what the result of that election was. Have you ever been appointed to fill an unexpired term?
I ran for and was elected to serve in the 113th Congress, representing Illinois' 10th Congressional District. I look forward to serving once again as a proud Democrat in Congress.
What other issues, if any, are important to you as a candidate for this office?
Senseless gun violence is happening daily across America, hurting our communities, schools, even our children in their own homes. We can't prevent every instance of violence, but inaction is unacceptable. We must work to enact safe, sensible gun policy to reduce gun violence, while preserving our constitutional right to bear arms.
My very first speech on the House Floor was on curbing gun violence. I was proud to sponsor legislation in Congress to expand background checks, restrict large capacity ammunition clips and close the gun show loophole. My work and votes in Congress earned me an F from the NRA.
Please name one current leader who most inspires you.
John Lewis, a civil rights hero, who for more than 50 years lived true to his values and worked tirelessly to make our nation better.
What is the biggest lesson you learned at home growing up?
I remember my grandmother saying that you have two ears and one mouth, use them in proportion.
If life gave you one do-over, what would you spend it on?
I would go back to summer camp and climb Pikes Peak with my cabin group. I never should have doubted my abilities.
What was your favorite subject in school and how did it help you in later life?
I most enjoyed classes where the answers to the questions were challenging and complex. Reflecting back, it was actually the teachers that made the difference.
If you could give your children only one piece of advice, what would it be?
I dropped off our sons at college with "3 rules":
Always do yourself proud;
Don't do stupid things;
Call home every Friday.