About the Candidate
Name: Raja Krishnamoorthi
DOB: July 19, 1973
Occupation: Attorney and entrepreneur
Political Experience: U.S Representative for the Illinois 8th District (January 2017 to Present)
Hi. I’m Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi. Thank you for the honor of representing the 8th Congressional District in Congress for the past three years.
I ran for office promising to work every day for middle-class families struggling with the cost of healthcare, retirement savings and paying for their children's education.
That's why I fought to protect Obamacare from all efforts to repeal it.
I also voted against President Trump's huge tax cut for big corporations and special interests.
That law also capped the deduction for state and property taxes, which hurt many families across our district. I recently voted to restore the full deduction, which passed the House.
I believe Social Security and Medicare are solemn promises to our senior citizens, and I oppose cutting those benefits or raising the retirement age.
I also co-authored the bipartisan law to increase federal support for skills-based education for the millions of Americans who do not attend a four-year college.
By providing the skills and training for good jobs with a future, we can help more Americans reach the middle class.
And this past Congress, I took up a NEW fight -- against the epidemic of teen vaping that is sweeping our nation.
Thanks to hearings I conducted, the biggest vaping company stopped marketing to young people and using flavors that appeal to children.
There is more we can do and I want to lead the fight.
During my time in Congress, I've worked hard to be open and accessible by holding many town hall meetings across the district. And I appreciate your continued calls, emails and letters that help me to represent your views.
I will also continue to pursue bipartisanship where possible.
Thank you again for the opportunity to serve you. I humbly ask for your vote to continue my work on your behalf in Congress. Thank you.
Why are you running?
I am running for re-election based on my record in Congress and my history of advocacy for the people and families of Illinois.
As someone who lives, works and is raising a family in the 8th District, I am running specifically to strengthen economic development, increase access to good-paying jobs, and lower healthcare costs for my neighbors and fellow Illinoisans. I have served as an Assistant Attorney General of Illinois in a special unit formed to root out political corruption. I was a member of the Illinois Housing Development Authority, working to expand the availability of affordable housing across our state. I served as the Deputy Treasurer of Illinois, helping, among other things, to make unclaimed property more accessible for thousands of Illinois residents. For the past three years, I have had the privilege to represent my neighbors in the U.S. Congress, working hard to expand opportunities for working families and to protect them from harmful products.
I have dedicated most of my professional life advocating for working families in Illinois, and we still have so much more to accomplish together.
What is your vision for this office?
While I have several responsibilities as your elected Representative in Congress, my job can be broken down into two main components:
1) On the one hand, it is imperative that I stand up to the Trump Administration and exercise Congressional Oversight to protect American families. As Chairman of the House Oversight Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy, this year I have helped shine a spotlight on some of the most pressing issues facing us as a nation, including predatory for-profit colleges, youth vaping, harmful consumer products, skyrocketing healthcare costs, and election security. This also means that when the President breaks the law, I must defend our constitution and speak out to protect our longstanding democratic institutions.
2) On the other hand, I know that my constituents expect me to walk and chew gum at the same time. In other words, the occupant of this office must work earnestly to implement legislative reforms that help more Americans get on the up-escalator of our economy, which includes often working in a bipartisan fashion to build consensus between Democrats and Republicans for the betterment of all Americans. For example, I successfully co-authored a rewrite of our nation’s career and technical education system last Congress, and am now working with Republicans and Democrats to increase transparency in the college application process to ensure more young Americans pursue educational pathways that prepare them for good-paying jobs. I brought together my colleagues on both sides of the aisle in forming the Congressional Solar Caucus, and secured robust funding for programs that lower the costs associated with implementing solar energy. I authored bipartisan legislation which was recently signed into law, the KREMLIN Act, with my Republican colleague on the House Intelligence Committee to limit Russian aggression toward our NATO allies and to limit Russian interference in democratic countries across the globe. And despite efforts by Big Tobacco, I brought together Republicans and Democrats to launch the first ever Caucus to End Youth Vaping, which put pressure on companies like JUUL to completely halt all domestic advertising which put our youth in harm’s way.
In conclusion, my vision for this office is one that balances the urgent need to hold the Trump Administration accountable while also working together with whoever will step up to protect American jobs, public health, and our economy.
What do you think is the most pressing issue facing your constituents and how do you plan on addressing it?
My constituents, like people and families across the U.S., have been deeply affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and its widespread effects on our economy. I have fielded many calls and inquiries from medical workers unable to find adequate personal protection equipment; small business owners who feared for their businesses and their employees; and parents and teachers concerned about whether and when their students can return to the classroom. Responding to each of the individuals who contacted my office for help has been my greatest priority over these past months of the pandemic.
At the same time, I have worked hard in Congress to do whatever is necessary to help our nation respond to this crisis and provide federal assistance to those who need it. I strongly supported and voted for all of the COVID-related relief bills that have passed the House, including the HEROES Act, which passed months before the Senate even resumed its efforts to try to provide additional support to Americans. As a former small businessman, I helped shape the Payment Protection Program (PPP) that has provided billions of dollars in loans to small businesses to help them pay their employees and stay in business. While there have been issues with that program, including not enough initial access for the smallest businesses, many of the problems have been corrected in subsequent legislation. Overall, the PPP has saved many small businesses across our nation and helped prop up our economy in very troubled times.
Finally, as chairman of the House Oversight Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy, I have led important investigations into COVID testing and the development of a vaccine. Our work forced the FDA to change its policy toward regulating antibody tests, leading to millions of faulty and fraudulent tests being taken off the market. We are also working diligently to ensure that the Trump Administration’s initiative to develop a vaccine called “Operation Warp Speed” meets established standards of safety and transparency. Not only will this help ensure that any eventual vaccine is safe and effective; it is necessary in persuading sufficient numbers of people to choose to be vaccinated.