Washington, DC – Congressman Aaron Schock (R-IL) introduced a measure aimed at benefiting more families in need of support from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Housing Choice Voucher Program (HCVP, or “Section 8”). Offered as an amendment (H.AMDT.827) to the agency’s annual appropriations bill (H.R.4745), the measure instructs the HUD Secretary, Shaun Donovan, to allocate voucher funds that more accurately match cost-of-living estimates.
The House approved the amendment by a vote of 210-209 before voting to pass the bill. Given the measure’s potential to help thousands of families nationwide, the amendment received bipartisan support, as did the bill.
“For every family that is given over 300 percent what they should be given, there are tens of thousands of families waiting in line patiently, desperately needing some assistance, and there is only so much money in the pot that Congress appropriates,” Rep. Schock said. “In a bipartisan way, this amendment ensures that the housing program helps as many families as possible, instead of allowing a few families to hit the lottery.”
Each year, HUD receives federal funding to oversee the housing voucher program. The agency then allocates the funds to local public housing agencies (PHA) that administer housing vouchers to families. The amount of each voucher depends on the family’s need and the estimated cost-of-living in the local housing market. The program specifically aims to help low-income families who are homeless, involuntarily displaced, or who are paying more than 50 percent of their income on rent. Given the excessive number of families on waiting lists, it’s as important as ever to ensure the PHAs are managing their voucher budgets so that as many families can receive the affordable housing they so desperately need.
Washington, DC – Congressman Aaron Schock (IL-18) announced today his concern for Peoria being listed in the investigation of medical facilities by the Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General.
"Between the internal review of the Inspector General and the oversight investigation currently underway in Congress, the American people will get the answers they deserve about misconduct at our nation's veteran care facilities,” Schock said. “I am concerned to note that facilities in Peoria remain under investigation, and I will work to ensure a full accounting in this matter. Public outrage over the mistreatment of these heroes is justified, and I am confident that a thorough review and appropriate action for the responsible parties will lead to reforms that strengthen our commitment to care for our veterans.”
Peoria’s listing came as part of an audit of VA facilities nationwide after the recent scandal surrounding prolonged patient wait times, alleged patient deaths, and systemic dysfunction throughout the VA system. The scandal led to the resignation of former Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs, Gen. Eric Shinseki. Having assumed the post on May 30, 2014, Acting Secretary Sloan Gibson has promised “cultural change” at the agency.
Washington, DC – Congressman Aaron Schock announced today a federal grant award of $38,592.00 to the Chatham Fire Protection District, in Chatham, Ill. The award was made available to the fire department by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Program.
“I am pleased the Chatham Fire Protection District will receive this critical funding. With more than 20 volunteer firefighters, 12 full-time firefighters, three Chief Officers, and other personnel, the funding will provide much-needed upgrades that will help these first-responders provide 17,500 residents with fire, rescue, and emergency medical services.” Rep. Schock said when he announced the award.
Since 2011, the AFG Program has provided approximately $5.6 billion in grants to fire departments and other first-responder organizations, with $288.8 million being awarded in 2013. The program is just one part of a large federal effort to support the organizations that focus on responding to fire and other hazards.
Earlier this month, Schock announced a $70,870.00 award for the Forman Fire Protection District near Manito, Ill.
For more information about the FEMA Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program, click here.
Washington, D.C. – The House Committee on Ways and Means approved today a bill introduced earlier this month by Congressman Aaron Schock to make permanent a provision of the U.S. tax code that allows taxpayer 70 ½ years and older to contribute annually up to $100,000 from their Individual Retirement Account (IRA) or Roth IRA to charitable organizations without suffering a tax penalty. The bill is supported by the Community Foundation of Central Illinois, the Galesburg Community Foundation, the Alliance of Illinois Community Foundations, the Boys & Girls Club of Bloomington-Normal, the United Way Worldwide and numerous other state and national non-profit organizations.
“The IRA charitable rollover is good for donors, good for our nation’s non-profit community, and good for U.S. taxpayers,” Rep. Schock said in a statement before the Committee. “When government has failed – or been slow to respond to basic human needs – our nation’s charities mobilize armies of mercy ready to step in and help. They are often the first to respond and the last to leave.”
In his statement, Schock noted how Illinois charities are critical first-responders during times of weather-related national disaster and other community needs:
“When devastating tornadoes blew through Oklahoma City, Washington, Ill., and elsewhere, charities were there at once to help rebuild whole neighborhoods and restore shattered lives. And when the financial collapse of 2008 left millions unemployed and entire communities completely destroyed, charities were there to help provide job training, home mortgage assistance, and help with the utilities.
“H.R. 4619 strengthens the U.S. tax code, empowers our people to give more generously, and provide our nation’s charities with the resources they need to continue the good work of helping others.”
Congress previously extended the IRA-rollover provision three times since its original enactment in 2006, though the current provision expired on Dec. 31, 2013. Schock’s bill, H.R. 4619, will end uncertainty that a temporary extension creates for charitable organizations that depend on donor support by making the provision permanent. Earlier this week, a group of more than 230 community, state, and national non-profit organizations wrote Members of the House Committee on Ways and Means in support of Rep. Schock’s bill.
To watch Rep. Schock’s entire statement at today’s meeting of the House Committee on Ways and Means, click here.
Washington, DC — Congressman Aaron Schock (IL-18) announced today a federal grant award totaling $411,250.00 for drainage improvements at the Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport (SPI) in Springfield, Ill. The Department of Transportation (DOT) awarded the grant as part of the Airport Improvement Program (AIP) of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
“I am thrilled that the Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport will receive this grant from the FAA’s Airport Improvement Program. Given the critical role that the airport plays in our region for commercial, military and cargo air service, it is imperative that we maintain and modernize the airfield and terminal to meet going demand.” Rep. Schock said. “Last year, Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport served more than 140,000 passengers. I welcome this federal investment in our region, and I will continue my efforts to secure Illinois’ share of grant dollars for projects like these.”
The Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport generated over $560 million in revenue in 2012, impacting nearly 4,800 jobs in the region. The airport provides daily commercial flights to Dallas/Fort Worth, Chicago, Orlando, and others. With an increasing passenger rate over the last few years, the Springfield Airport Authority has been working hard to secure investments for facility upgrades and infrastructure improvements to make the airport a safer, more efficient, and more convenient travel hub.
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Aaron Schock (IL-18) was joined today by the senior Republican and Democratic Members of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs and ten other lawmakers in offering a bipartisan resolution congratulating the people of India on the historic Indian general elections of 2014 and calling for stronger ties with the new government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“India has always been an important and strategic American ally. Prime Minister Modi’s commitment to maximum governance and minimum government promises to strengthen this relationship through more enduring diplomatic ties, mutually beneficial trade in goods and services, and cultural collaboration with the United States,” Rep. Schock said in a statement when announcing the resolution.
“In my visit with Prime Minister Modi last year, I saw firsthand the economic prospects that his vision for India could foster for the Illinois business community. The rise of Narendra Modi is a welcome development to freedom-loving people everywhere, and India’s historic election underscores the virtues of democracy, pro-growth economic policies, and robust international trade.”
Schock’s resolution enjoys broad bi-partisan support, including co-sponsorship by the senior Republican and Democratic Members of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. In addition to Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA) and Ranking Member Eliot Engel (D-NY), the resolution’s original co-sponsors include Chief Deputy Whip Peter Roskam (R-IL), House Republican Conference Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), Reps. Brad Sherman (D-CA), Pete Sessions (R-TX), Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), Patrick Murphy (D-FL), George Holding (R-NC), Joseph Crowley (D-NY), and Ami Bera (D-CA).
“Prime Minister Modi has the opportunity to lead the world's largest democracy and unleash its economic potential to benefit the people of India as well as the citizens of its partners across the globe. I look forward to the United States and the House of Representatives working hand in hand with India under Modi's leadership,” Rep. Sessions said.
“When I visited India in the Spring of 2013, I saw firsthand how then Chief Minister Modi transformed the province of Gujarat with a focus on higher education, jobs and the economy,” said Rep. Lummis. “I look forward to seeing Prime Minister Modi work for the whole of India as we continue to strengthen U.S. relations.”
“India is the world’s largest democracy and has successfully held the largest election in human history. I congratulate the people of India on this remarkable achievement. The U.S.-India relationship is based on the shared values of democracy, individual freedom, religious pluralism, and economic prosperity,” Rep. Sherman said. “As a senior Member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, I look forward to working with the administration of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the U.S. government to expand the relationship between our two nations.”
“I congratulate the people of India on their recent historic election and look forward to continuing to strengthen our strategic partnership,” said Rep. Holding. "Building on our current successes in areas of mutual cooperation like healthcare and defense, we should partner with India to act on the limitless opportunities I know exist between our two democracies to create an enduring bilateral relationship that will stand the test of time.”
The resolution, entitled “Recognizing the Importance of the Historic 2014 Indian Elections,” marks a shift in U.S. policy and signals growing congressional support, puts forth the official position of the House of Representatives on this matter of national and global importance.
To watch Rep. Schock’s recent video statement congratulating the new Prime Minister Narendra Modi, click here.
Peoria, IL – Rep. Aaron Schock (IL-18) is kicking off his Summer Reading Program by hosting some of the participants at the Peoria Riverfront Museum for the grand opening of The Science of Ripley’s “Believe it or Not!” exhibit.
“It’s critical for students to continue learning during their summer vacation,” Schock said. “Fortunately, in Central Illinois, we have a variety of educational opportunities. For the past nine years, I’ve hosted a Summer Reading Program that challenges students to continue reading over their break. It’s been a pleasure over the years to help thousands of students discover a passion for reading.
“The Peoria Riverfront Museum is another wonderful educational resource. Whether it’s the Planetarium, rotating exhibits, or the Illinois River Encounter, there’s something here for everyone. This summer I’m encouraging families to investigate some of the exciting opportunities that exist in the Peoria area to engage the imaginations of their children.”
Peoria is one of only three stops nationwide for the exclusive The Science of Ripley’s “Believe it or Not!” collection. Providing a fascinating explanation of the science behind strange phenomena, it includes touchable specimens, interactive experiments, and much more. This exciting exhibit will be available from May 24 through September 8, and those interested in attending can call the Peoria Riverfront Museum at (309) 686-7000 to learn more.
Since his election as a state representative in 2005, Rep. Schock’s Summer Reading Program has encouraged students across Central Illinois to continue reading during their break. Parents of students grades K through 8 interested in participating can contact Rep. Schock’s district office at 309.671.7027 or visit www.schock.house.gov/readingprogram for more information.
WHAT: Grand Opening of Ripley’s “Believe it Or Not!” Exhibit
WHERE: Peoria Riverfront Museum
107 NE Monroe
Peoria, IL 61602
HOST: The Honorable Aaron Schock
18th Congressional District of Illinois
WHEN: Saturday, May 24, 2014, 10:00 a.m.
Click below to view Rep. Schock’s video statement congratulating incoming Prime Minister Narendra Modi.http://youtu.be/R9m2-uBvc_M Read More
Washington, D.C. -- Congressman Aaron Schock (IL-18) has introduced legislation to create certainty for taxpayers and the charitable organizations that depend on tax-free distributions from individual retirement accounts (IRA) as a component of their annual fundraising efforts. Numerous national and Illinois-based non-profit organizations have already signaled early support for the measure, which is now under consideration by the House Committee on Ways and Means where Rep. Schock is a member.
“The American people and more than one million American non-profit organizations shouldn’t have to wait for Congress to finish comprehensive tax reform before they can make important decisions about charitable giving,” Schock said.
“Last year, total charitable giving in the United States passed $316 billion, with individual gifts comprising 72 percent of the total. As a nation, we must continue to incentivize charitable giving, without which the burden of meeting many community needs would overwhelm federal, state and local budgets. This bipartisan measure provides certainty for charities and increased opportunities for donors. I anticipate broad support and swift passage of this important tax provision.”
The bill, H.R. 4619, will make permanent a temporary tax provision that has offered American taxpayers ages 70 ½ and older to donate up to $100,000 from their IRAs and Roth IRAs without having to treat the withdrawals as taxable income. The provision was previously extended for 2012 and 2013 as part of the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012.
Rep. Earl Blumenauer (OR-03) is an original co-sponsor of the bill. Reps. Mike Kelly (PA-03), Todd Young (IN-09) and Pat Tiberi (OH-12) are also early co-sponsors.
“H.R. 4619 is a much-needed step that will enable donors to direct critical resources to philanthropic organizations engaged in strengthening communities and serving our neighbors in need. We thank Congressman Schock for leading the effort to pass this important legislation”
--Mark Roberts, CEO of the Community Foundation of Central Illinois
“The IRA Rollover is a critical component of tax policy that reflects America’s long-standing tradition of charitable giving. Yet uncertainty created by the need for Congress to continually renew this provision undermines its effectiveness in driving donations. We applaud Congressman Schock for introducing H.R. 4619 to make this important incentive permanent. In the U.S., private charities like United Way work to improve the lives of millions of children and families. Congressman Schock should be commended for fighting to enable the work of charities and helping to build our capacity to advance the common good and improve lives.”
--Brian A. Gallagher, President and CEO, United Way Worldwide
“We strongly support the legislation Congressman Schock has introduced to make the IRA charitable rollover permanent. This is a much-needed initial step to help donors get critical resources to support the work of philanthropic organizations. We also appreciate Congressman Schock’s continued efforts to build on this legislation by providing donors additional flexibility to donate their assets to a full range of organizations engaged in strengthening our communities and serving our neighbors in need.”
--Joshua Gibb, Executive Director, Galesburg Community Foundation
“We provide after-school and summer educational and fitness activities to over 400 at-risk Illinois youth every year. Individual giving is the most sustainable source of income for our organization and accounts for one-third of our budget. If the charitable IRA rollover is made permanent, we can more effectively serve and impact the lives of youth who need us most. We thank Congressman Schock for his efforts to create a more sustainable environment for social service organizations.”
--Grant Anderson, Executive Director, Boys & Girls Club of Bloomington-Normal
“With decreasing state and federal aid to communities, especially in rural Illinois, we feel compelled to take care of our own. Making the charitable IRA rollover permanent and removing impediments under current law will expand philanthropy’s capacity to help rural communities help themselves. H.R. 4619 is an important advance and will have a very real and positive impact. Congressman Schock is to be commended for his critical leadership in expanding the ways that philanthropy can serve.”
--Julianne Buck, President, Alliance of Illinois Community Foundations
CEO, Community Foundation of Grundy County
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Aaron Schock (IL-18) and Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) formally announced bipartisan legislation today that permanently extends the popular EB-5 visa program for immigrant investors and eliminates the current program’s outdated country caps. The bill, H.R. 4659, was introduced yesterday in the House of Representatives and was referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary for action.
“Right now, more than anything, the U.S. economy needs good-paying jobs and investment capital to build the companies that create them. The EB-5 regional center program accomplishes both goals by attracting qualified foreign investors and establishing measurable goals for job creation,” Rep. Schock said of the bill. “Repeatedly, EB-5 program extensions have received overwhelming bipartisan support. This much-needed legislation underscores the importance of an incremental approach to immigration reform as Congress seeks common ground to address our nation’s broken system.”
The EB-5 visa category was initially created as a pilot program under the Immigration Act of 1990. Current law allows for as many as 10,000 annual admissions and requires a minimum $1 million investment per visa. If the investment is made in a high unemployment or rural area, however, the investment threshold can be lowered to $500,000. The program has been extended twice in the last five years, with the House voting 412-3 in 2012 in the 112th Congress to extend the program until Sept. 30, 2015.
“When I hear from people in Hawai‘i, the most important issue they bring up, by far, is that we need to revitalize and strengthen our economy. By introducing the EB-5 Act, we can leverage funds and capital from overseas in our communities by encouraging foreign investors to create and support jobs in every sector of our economy, particularly in rural areas or those with high unemployment,” Rep. Gabbard noted in the bill’s announcement. “Between 2005-2013, for example, $6.5 billion was invested in projects around the country, supporting 131,000 American jobs. In Hawai‘i, our business owners and job-seekers have the potential to benefit greatly from our proximity to investors in the Asia-Pacific region who want to expand to the U.S. market. As a founding co-chair of the Congressional Future Caucus, I am proud to introduce this bipartisan legislation with my friend and colleague Congressman Aaron Schock. Together, we are working to identify practical, creative, and long-term solutions to the challenges we face in our communities and across the country.”
According to the most recent reports, the EB-5 visa program contributed $3.4 billion to U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) in 2012, supported 42,000 U.S. jobs and generated $712 million in federal, state and local tax revenues. Presently, there are more than 6,000 pending EB-5 investor applications that would support 60,000 U.S. jobs under the program, with many of them in high unemployment states. Presently, the State of Illinois has the 3rd highest unemployment in the nation at 8.4 percent.
Facts about the EB-5 visa program in the State of Illinois:
· 2,408 jobs presently supported
· $22 million in investment presently deployed
· $186,495,303 contributed to the GDP
· $25.7 million generated in federal tax revenue
· $12.3 million in state and local tax revenue
Reps. Schock and Gabbard are co-founders of the Congressional Future Caucus, a bipartisan working group of next generational lawmakers who seek to develop long-term policy solutions that meet the challenges of America’s future. By fostering a bipartisan community of Members of Congress who are dedicated to pragmatic leadership and issue-oriented results, the Future Caucus provides a platform to re-engage young people across the country with their government and our nation’s democratic institutions.
For more about the Congressional Future Caucus, click here.
328 Cannon HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Congressman Aaron Schock (R-IL), 32, and represents the 18th District of Illinois.
At the age of 23, Schock was simultaneously the youngest school board president in history and the youngest Illinois State Representative. He is the first Member of Congress to be born in the 1980’s.
Schock currently serves on the highly coveted House Ways and Means committee. For the current, 113th Congress, Schock serves on three Ways and Means subcommittees: Trade, Select Revenue Measures and Social Security. Schock also serves on the committee on House Administration and as the Chairman of the Franking Commission.
In addition he serves as a Deputy Republican Whip and as a member of the Conference Advisory Committee.
During his first term in office (2009-2010) his colleagues expressed their faith in his abilities by appointing him to the coveted Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. He was also the only Republican freshman selected to serve on the influential Highways and Transit Subcommittee which is charged with drafting the five-year highway bill due for reauthorization this year. Schock also received a seat on the Small Business Committee along with designation as the Ranking Member of the Contracting and Technology Subcommittee. House Republican Leadership also issued Schock a waiver to serve on a third committee and he was appointed to the Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Finally, Schock was chosen by Leadership to serve as a Deputy Republican Whip.
In the Illinois Legislature, Schock succeeded in passing 18 substantive bills he sponsored, several of which were hailed as “landmark reforms” when they were signed into law.
Schock also developed a reputation for outstanding constituent service, having helped thousands of constituents solve problems beyond their ability to cope.
Schock shared the 2007 award with then-Senator Barack Obama from the Illinois Committee for Honest Government for his “Outstanding Legislative and Constituent Service.”
Schock got off to a fast start in the Illinois House by being appointed to serve on five committees, including rare service on two separate appropriations committees. His committee assignments were: Elementary and Secondary Appropriations; Human Services Appropriations; Veteran’s Affairs; Financial Services; and Environment and Energy.
Upon graduation from college, Schock secured investors and started a small business in Peoria. He later served as Director of Development for Petersen Companies of Peoria. Schock purchased his first piece of real estate at age 18, and continues to manage his real estate investments today.
Before coming to Congress, Aaron Schock began his public service by serving in the Peoria School board when he was 19 years old.
At 22, his school board colleagues voted to make Schock vice president of the board and a year later they voted unanimously to make him board president of one of the largest school districts in Illinois.
Schock began working after school jobs in his early teens. By the time he was in high school he was working a substantial number of hours per week at a gravel pit and invested nearly all of it. With these earnings he was able to purchase his first piece of real estate at age 18 and bought and sold investment properties. He also bought his own home which he and his brother renovated on Melbourne Avenue in one of Peoria’s older neighborhoods.
Aaron Schock graduated from Richwoods High School and Rolling Acres Middle School in Peoria. He then graduated from Bradley University in Peoria with a B.S. in Finance (a four year degree) in only two years.