Congressman Schock issued the following statement after the Committee vote:
“The mounting evidence that Lois Lerner broke the law and misled federal investigators forced today’s vote. There is no question that Ms. Lerner violated the basic constitutional rights of American taxpayers in pursuit of a political agenda. Her extreme bias against conservative groups filing for non-profit status, her defiance of tax law, and clear intention to frustrate a federal investigation warrant the most aggressive response by the Justice Department. That Ms. Lerner committed all these acts while contemplating the possibility of a post-IRS job with the Obama political machine is all the more troubling. The use of the IRS agents to intimidate, penalize, or discriminate against any taxpayer for political purposes cannot be tolerated. “
The facts behind today’s Committee action include:
· Lerner directed subordinates to subject specific right-leaning groups to increased scrutiny, audits, and even proposed denial of exempt status.
· Lerner may have acted under pressure by numerous complaints and public statements from President Obama, top Democrats in the Senate and the Democrat’s campaign arm.
· Lerner rejected calls to review left-leaning groups, instead focusing her efforts solely on right-leaning groups.
· Lerner acted in defiance of IRS internal controls, which in some cases has been in place since the 1990s, in order to specifically target conservative groups and influence the independent appeals process.
· Lerner knowingly misled the Treasury Inspector General, falsely claiming the cause for additional scrutiny was an ‘uptick’ in the number of applications for non-profit status.
To read the Ways and Means letter to Attorney General Holder, click here.
Washington, D.C. – In public testimony today before the National Capital Planning Commission, Rep. Aaron Schock (IL-18) voiced opposition to the current design for the Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial, calling the controversial proposal “incoherent” and “confusing.” The present design includes, among other contentious elements: a series of large scale columns measuring 80’ tall and 10’ in diameter; three stainless steel tapestries as large as 447 feet long and 80 feet high; and a statue of President Eisenhower as a bare-footed boy. Schock has long opposed the present design, which was rejected today by a 7-3 majority of the Commission’s bipartisan members.
Contrasting the proposed Eisenhower Memorial – which was designed by California-based architect Frank Gehry – with the Lincoln Memorial, Schock noted that the Gehry design “does not lead us to any conclusion about the great man honored. Rather, it seems that the current design’s sole purpose is to lead us to a conclusion about the designer himself.”
“The Gehry proposal,” Schock continued, “is a four acre theme park without a coherent theme.”
In his remarks, Schock reminded Commissioners that the Eisenhower family opposes the current design, also unlike the Lincoln Memorial that was dedicated by President Lincoln’s sole-surviving son, Robert Todd Lincoln, in 1922.
“I would hope – that should any of us in this room rise to the esteemed place in history that President Eisenhower did – our families would be as committed to a fitting tribute for us as the Eisenhower family have been for him.”
Schock, whose district includes many of the counties formerly represented by President Lincoln during his single House term, testified at today’s hearing at the invitation of numerous constituents who have been concerned that the Eisenhower Memorial design did not convey the majesty or reflect the legacy of President Eisenhower.
Congressman Aaron Schock (IL-18)
April 3, 2014
Mr. Chairman, Commissioners, ladies and gentlemen.
Thank you for the opportunity to discuss some aspects of the proposed Eisenhower Memorial and whether it will complement our nation’s core and reflect the legacy of our great general and President.
The designer of the proposed memorial, Frank Gehry, has said that he likes the Lincoln Memorial, which includes an immense statue inside an inspiring building.
I hope that we all have had the experience of approaching that monument, viewing the colonnade around the memorial, the great staircase, the entrance columns that bring us into the memorial itself.
And then, to stand before the seated Lincoln and see the pains of war, the virtue, the wisdom apparent in his eyes.
It is a progression of sights and experiences that end in the statue – flanked by the words of the Great Emancipator himself. We are engaged by his place in history and called to reflect on our own.
The proposed Eisenhower Memorial does not lead us to any conclusion about the great man honored. Rather, it seems that the current designs sole purpose is to lead us to a conclusion about the designer himself.
The proposed sculptures are confusing: a young man looking down on the park; a General with a group of others in uniform, and a President looking at a globe.
One must wonder if this is a memorial park rather than a memorial. The chaos of the chain link fences and the columns and stacks of arbitrarily placed concrete blocks do not convey the majesty of President Eisenhower.In sum, the Gehry proposal is a four-acre theme park without a coherent theme.
I note, as you have, the opposition of the Eisenhower family to the Gehry design. I would hope – that should any of us in this room rise to the esteemed place in history that President Eisenhower did – our families would be as committed to a fitting tribute for us as the Eisenhower family has been for him.”
I support efforts to reject this design. I urge the Eisenhower Memorial Commission to hold a new competition – one open to all Americans, and not a select few modernists. A free and open competition will doubtlessly generate an appropriate Eisenhower memorial that will be a credit to the great man, and an attractive complement to our National Mall.
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Aaron Schock released the following statement on the hearing chaired today by Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) that hauled Peoria-based manufacturer Caterpillar before a Senate investigative panel. The hearing, which the Wall Street Journal called a “show trial,” began at 9:30 AM Eastern.
“I am unimpressed with Chairman Levin’s inquisition today, and with the partisan report he issued targeting a great American company like Caterpillar. Caterpillar’s effective tax rate of 29 percent far exceeds that paid by many other U.S. companies who escape the politicized investigations of Chairman Levin. And if compared to General Motors effective rate of zero, serious questions arise about the motive and methodology behind Chairman Levin’s one-sided investigation.
“The demonization of a great American company that is under constant IRS audit and remains in full compliance with U.S. tax law is beneath the dignity of the United States Congress, though I am thankful that Chairman Levin’s efforts do little to undermine American confidence in Caterpillar’s reputation or its more than 118,000 employees worldwide. The lasting reputation of Chairman Levin and his committee, on the other hand, may be another story.
“This is not the way to do tax reform or address the serious problems with our approach to corporate or individual taxation. Official U.S. policy should be to incentivize corporations to do more business here at home. While I share Chairman Levin’s disdain for the 70,000 page U.S. tax code, the Senator’s efforts would be better spent convincing his Democratic colleagues about the need to get serious about tax reform.”
Levin released a report yesterday entitled “Caterpillar’s Offshore Tax Strategy” that only had the backing of Senate Democrats. The panel’s top Republican, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), would not sign off on the report and raised concerns at today’s hearing about the degree to which the Committee had asked the right questions during the investigation.
“Today, the fact is that the United States of America has the highest corporate tax rate of any country in the world. There is no doubt that this is a factor in moving operations overseas and . . . parking those profits overseas rather than bring them back to be subjected to a 35 percent corporate tax rate.”Read More
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Aaron Schock (IL-18)released the following statement concerning the 2014 report from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Health Institute that ranked counties in the 18th Congressional District among the healthiest in the nation. Woodford County in Central Illinois was ranked the healthiest county in the state, followed closely by Schuyler, Pike, and Brown Counties.
“Illinoisans don’t need to look to Washington for solutions to our nation’s healthcare when our own people are leading the way in healthy living. We all know that the best prevention for many common ailments is a life commitment to personal wellness, physical fitness, and a balanced diet. Congratulations to the people of the 18th Congressional District who are taking responsibility for their own personal health and living longer, better lives because of it.
“The Center for Disease Control (CDC) reports that 80 percent of healthcare dollars are spent on preventable diseases. This means that real healthcare reform and reducing healthcare costs is best begun by changing personal behavior and lifestyle decisions - food choices and exercise. I'm proud that the 18th Congressional District is leading the state in making these responsible decisions. The people of these counties deserve the credit. No Washington mandate or federal program is responsible for this success.”
Key findings from the report include:
· Smoking rates among adults have dropped from 21 percent in 2005 to 18 percent in 2012.
· The rate of preventable hospital stays decreased about 20 percent from 2003 to 2011.
· Teen birth rates have decreased by almost 25 percent since 2007.
· Completion of at least some college by adults age 25-44 has increased slightly from 59 percent in 2005 to 64 percent in 2012.
· Physical inactivity rates among adults are declining.
To read the 2014 County Health Rankings & Roadmaps for Illinois, click here.
To read the 2014 Rankings Key Findings Report, click here.Read More
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Aaron Schock (IL-18) released the following statement upon the retirement announcement of House Committee on Ways & Means Chairman Dave Camp:
“Since the 1986 overhaul of the U.S. tax code, no man has worked harder to reform the nation’s complex 74,000 pages of tax laws than Chairman Camp. Similarly, it was under his strong leadership that Congress passed three free trade agreements with Colombia, Panama and South Korea. In a very real sense, there are as many as 250,000 U.S. workers with good-paying jobs because of Chairman Camp’s commitment to move trade bills through Congress. The people of Michigan are losing a strong voice in the House of Representatives, and the whole nation is losing a fine legislator.”
Washington, D.C. – On the day the United States Supreme Court hears oral arguments in two landmark cases that will determine the constitutionality of certain provisions of the Affordable Care Act, a bipartisan letter was sent to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) urging swift action on legislation needed to protect religious minorities not exempted from the individual mandate under existing law. The letter, sent by Reps. Aaron Schock (R-Ill.) and William Keating (D-Mass.) urges Reid to bring H.R. 1814 – the Equitable Access to Care and Health (EACH) Act to the Senate floor for a vote.
The bill – which enjoyed broad bipartisan support and 225 Republican and Democratic co-sponsors – passed the House by unanimous consent on March 11, 2014. Companion legislation in the Senate has attracted 15 Democratic co-sponsors, including the Democratic Whip, Senator Richard Durbin (D-Ill.)
“The EACH Act slightly expands the religious exemption of the Affordable Care Act to include individuals with ‘sincerely held religious beliefs’ among those eligible for an exemption from the individual mandate penalty . . . This simple corrective upholds our nation’s long commitment to religious liberty protections while minimizing occasions for fraud,” the joint letter states.
In the House, the bill’s primary co-sponsors included 41 percent of the Democratic Caucus, including members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, the Congressional Black Caucus, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, and the New Democrat Coalition.
Schock released the following statement in tandem with the joint letter:
“We are less than one week from the open enrollment deadline for Obamacare, after which point many religious minorities will be compelled by law to violate their conscience and purchase health insurance they do not intend to use, nor can they use and remain true to their faith. Republicans and Democrats are not likely to agree on the underlying law, but we can at the very least agree that our nation’s cherished tradition of religious liberty warrants this corrective measure to ensure that Obamacare’s mandates do not run afoul of the First Amendment.”
To read the full letter to Leader Reid, click here.
The U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed today a bill introduced by Congressman Aaron Schock (R-IL) to amend Obamacare and strengthens First Amendment religious liberty protections for millions of Americans with sincerely held beliefs that conflict with government mandates to purchase health insurance coverage. H.R. 1814, the Equitable Access to Care and Health (EACH) Act passed with a simple voice vote by the House.
“Congress today reinforced basic constitutional protections for sincere believers of all faiths. Among the many problems with Obamacare are the insufficient safeguards for people of faith. H.R. 1814 provides a strong provision that guarantees First Amendment religious liberties for all Americans while protecting U.S. taxpayers from potential fraud. Congress has long sought to uphold both these commitments, and has again today affirmed our founding principles,” Schock said in response to the bill’s passage.
“Congress is not likely to reach agreement today – or any day – on the underlying law. Obamacare is as controversial now as it was when it was enacted, and perhaps more so. But we do agree that Congress shall make NO law respecting the establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. On that, the American people can be assured there is strong bipartisan agreement.”
The EACH Act resolves a legislative deficiency in the Affordable Care Act that requires some Americans to pay a penalty for exercising their sincerely held religious beliefs. Under the 2010 health care law, many persons of faith were denied religious conscience exemptions that would otherwise safeguard their First Amendment freedoms against intrusive government.
Schock’s involvement in the Obamacare fix began after constituents reached out to him on the issue. Upon hearing their stories of how the health care law would force them either to violate their sincerely held religious beliefs or face penalties, he began reaching across the partisan aisle to propose needed legislation. In the end, 216 Members of Congress sponsored today’s bill, including 78 House Democrats.
Additionally, the EACH Act guards against potential Obamacare fraud by requiring persons who assert a religious exemption from the individual mandate to attest to their conscience claim through a sworn affidavit on their annual tax return.
The bill now advances to the Senate, where action must be taken before the March 31 deadline to purchase health care insurance if millions of Americans are to have relief from the law’s penalties for exercising their constitutionally-guaranteed religious liberties.
To read the bill, click here.
To read the full text of Congressman Schock’s floor speech in support of H.R. 1814, click here.Read More
Congressman Aaron Schock (R-IL) announced today that he has nominated the following students to a military academy for the class entering the fall of 2014.
Schock nominated these students for attendance at military service academies after a highly competitive application and interview process. Final determination on admission is made by the individual academy. Graduates receive a Bachelor of Science degree and most are a commissioned officer in the branch of the military they have chosen.
“Our service academies provide a top rate education and opportunities for students to grow and become leaders. It is an honor to nominate these fine young men and women from Central Illinois to attend in the fall of 2014, and I am sure they will be a credit to their class,” said Congressman Aaron Schock, who added “I congratulate these young patriotic Americans, and wish them the best for their future pursuits and in their service to our great nation.”
United States Merchant Marine Academy:
Easton – Dunlap High School
Father: Don Howe
Mother: Trella Howe
Dunlap – Peoria Notre Dame High School
Father: Jeffery Stedwill
Mother: Julian Stedwill
Morton – Morton High School
Father: James Dryden
Mother: Angela Dryden
United States Military Academy at West Point:
Springfield – Springfield East High School
Father: John Lake
Mother: Anna Lake
Basco – Warsaw High School
Father: Steve Lucie
Mother: Jennifer Lucie
Springfield – Sacred Heart-Griffin
Father: Dan Lanterman
Mother: Laura Cadagin
Morton – Morton High School
Father: Roy Paget
Mother: Kim Paget
Quincy – Quincy Notre Dame High School
Father: Bernie Vahlkamp
Mother: Mary Pat Vahlkamp
Peoria Heights – Culver Military Academy
Father: Anthony Zalduendo
Mother: Mari Ann
Auburn – Auburn High School
Father: Robert Arenz
Mother: Jill Arenz
Petersburg – PORTA High School
Father: Brian Creech
Mother: Stephanie Willis-Creech
United States Air Force Academy:
Chatham – New Berlin High School
Father: Jeff Eason
Mother: Julie Eason
Metamora – Peoria Notre Dame
Father: John Cummings
Mother: Anita Cummings
Normal – Normal West High School
Father: Thomas Gerike
Mother: Angela Gerike
Chenoa – Prairie Central High School
Father: Brett Johnson
Mother: Sara Johnson
Lincoln – Lincoln Community High School
Father: Chris Krusz
Mother: Marianne Krusz
Metamora – Metamora Township High School
Father: Francisco Rego
Mother: Jana Rego-Heins
Lexington – Lexington High School
Father: David Lingle
Mother: Regina Lingle
United States Naval Academy:
Williamsville – Williamsville High School
Father: Todd White
Mother: Lisa White
Step-Father: Mike Garrett
Eureka – Eureka High School
Father: John Schaidle
Mother: Barbara Schaidle
Springfield – Sacred Heart-Griffin
Father: John Luker
Mother: Kristin Luker
Lincoln – Lincoln Community High School
Father: Randy Miller
Mother: Peggy Miller
Chillicothe – Illinois Valley Central High School
Mother: Olivia Wertz-Gillen
Heyworth – Heyworth High School
Father: Frank Harrold
Step-Mother: Rebecca Bigger-Thomas
Peoria – Dunlap High School
Father: Sung Kim
Mother: Mee Kim
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.