Bloomington-Normal, IL – Congressman Aaron Schock (IL-18) hosted a panel Tuesday at Illinois State University to bring awareness to the issue of domestic and international human trafficking and discuss methods of prevention.
The event featured four panelists that included, among others, an officer at the Homeland Security Investigations office in Chicago, IL and a sex-trafficking survivor who now serves as CEO of Sun Gate Foundation, a survivor-led organization that empowers victims of sex-trafficking.
“One victim is too many victims,” said Congressman Schock, “and the scary thing is that there are more people enslaved in this world today than at any time throughout human history. Often times, we think of slavery as something that happened hundreds of years ago, and if it is happening today, we think it’s happening in other parts of the globe—certainly not in the United States. But the fact is that it is happening here.”
Victims of human trafficking can be any age, race, gender, or nationality and can be subjected to forced labor, domestic servitude, or sexual exploitation. The Department of Justice estimates that 300,000 children in the U.S. are at risk of becoming victims of human trafficking. Advocacy and awareness efforts are instrumental in eliminating the threat of human trafficking in the United States and abroad.
Washington, D.C. – The House of Representatives today approved the Permanent IRA Charitable Contribution Act of 2015 (H.R. 637), a measure that makes important temporary reforms a permanent part of the tax code. The bill passed with strong bipartisan support by a vote of 279-137. The provision was introduced as part of the larger Fighting Hunger Incentive Act (H.R. 644) and, if enacted into law, would enhance our nation’s longstanding tradition of charitable giving by making permanent a measure that allows tax-free distributions from individual retirement accounts (IRA). National and Illinois-based charities including the Red Cross, United Way, and the Boys and Girls Club have benefitted from the IRA rollover and supported permanency of the provision.
“IRA charitable rollover permanency isn’t about the donor, it’s about the recipient. So why don’t we give certainty to the recipient?” Schock said. “By making this provision permanent, and not waiting until the end of the year for another renewal, we’re making sure that millions of American charities have the necessary resources to close the gaps in our communities by fighting hunger, homelessness, and illiteracy.”
The Permanent IRA Charitable Contribution Act allows American taxpayers ages 70 ½ and older to donate up to $100,000 from their individual IRAs towards charitable organizations without negative tax consequences. The IRA charitable contribution incentive was initially enacted as part of the 2006 Pension Protection Act, and has since been extended four times. Most recently, H.R. 5771 continued the IRA charitable giving incentive for two weeks before lapse in January.
Washington, D.C. – Rep. Aaron Schock (IL-18) today joined the House majority in support of H.R. 596, legislation sponsored by Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-AL) to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) and healthcare-related provisions in the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010. The House voted 239-186 to repeal President Obama’s signature legislation.
“Obamacare continues to be a flawed program that created more than $1.8 trillion in new spending, imposed more than $1 trillion in new taxes on American working families, and caused millions of people to lose their coverage,” Schock said of his vote. “I believe a far simpler, more cost-efficient way to fix our broken healthcare system is to give individuals and families more control over their own healthcare choices, to foster the use of health savings accounts, and to promote more healthy lifestyles.”
Schock continued, “Prevention and wellness will not only lead to longer, healthier lives for all Americans, but it will reduce the overall cost of healthcare across the country. I will continue to work with my colleagues on the House Committee on Ways and Means to reform our healthcare system and protect the doctor-patient relationship. At the same time, I will work across the aisle to incentivize healthy lifestyles and personal wellness.”
In past legislative sessions, Rep. Schock was successful in advancing efforts to repeal the 1099 reporting requirement and the unsustainable Community Living Assistance Service and Supports (CLASS) Act, and in the 113thCongress, Rep. Schock cosponsored legislation designed to squash the 2.3% tax on the manufacturing of medical devices.
The vote comes at a critical time as, after the first effective year of PPACA mandates, Illinoisans and their families have suffered the increased costs associated with both individual and employer-sponsored healthcare coverage. Today, the average Illinois family will pay at least $200 more for health coverage under Obamacare this year than last, and as many as 66,000 jobs have been lost across various sectors of the Illinois economy since 2011.
On the third day of the new Republican-led Congress, Rep. Aaron Schock sponsored legislation to reinstitute the 40-hour workweek and safeguard a fulltime paycheck for millions of American working families. H.R. 30 – the Save American Workers Act of 2015 – passed the House today on a bipartisan vote of 252-172. Rep. Schock issued the following statement after the House vote:
“Obamacare has been a disaster for working families, forcing many small businesses to cut employees to less than 30 hours a week – and lose one-fourth of their paychecks – to avoid the expensive regulations that would drive them to bankruptcy. Young workers and those re-entering the workforce after months or years of unemployment are particularly vulnerable. In its first two years alone, Obamacare has cost the Illinois economy nearly 63,000 retail, food and beverage, and general merchandise jobs as employers struggled to comply with the law’s mandate,” Schock said.
“For Illinois workers earning a minimum wage $8.25 an hour, today’s action by the House of Representatives will mean an extra $330 every month in their paychecks. For many, that means the ability to pay for a car, or pay for a child’s daycare, or just put food on the table. Americans have always valued hard work, and America has always been a place where hard work pays off. The Save American Workers Act affirms what Americans have always known – a workweek is 40 hours. Today, Congress has acted to protect the people who have been most harmed by the President’s healthcare law and reaffirms our nation’s historic work ethic.”
Nearly 160 million Americans receive health insurance coverage from their employers. Before Obamacare, employers were free to tailor their benefit plans to meet the needs of their workers. Once Obamacare was enacted, however, employers with more than 50 full-time employees were required to offer government-mandated plans to their employees or face steep tax penalties. In many cases, this penalty could range from $2,000 to $3,000 per employee.
Obamacare mandated that a “full-time employee” is someone who is employed an average of 30 hours per week. As the administration has written new regulations to implement Obamacare’s mandates, the costly administrative complexities have forced many employers to shift more workers to part-time status. According to a 2013 study by the University of California, Berkeley, as many as 2.3 million workers – or roughly 2 percent of the American workforce – are ‘vulnerable’ to lost employment and reduced wages due to Obamacare’s mandate.
Additionally, Obamacare’s 30-hour rule has caused great harm to school districts, colleges and universities. As many as 225,000 workers in the education sector are at risk of seeing their hours cut, hitting bus drivers, teachers’ aides and cafeteria workers the most. Meanwhile, the rule creates a new burden for institutions of higher learning that seek to hire adjunct faculty to meet the demands of their student’s course requirements.
Congressman Aaron Schock (IL-18) was administered the oath of office today at 12:40 p.m. E.T. by House Speaker John Boehner. Beginning today, Schock assumes a new leadership role, having replaced Chairman Paul Ryan as the designated member of the House Ways and Means Committee on the House Budget Committee. In addition to his service on the Ways and Means and Budget Committees, Schock will continue his serve on the House Committee on Administration.
Rep. Schock also begins the 114th Congress as a Senior Deputy Republican Whip, a leadership post on the whip team, which is responsible for legislative strategy and assisting the House Speaker and Majority Leader in garnering support for legislation. Schock was elevated to that role in the 113th Congress.
“I am humbled that the people of the 18th Congressional District have allowed me to serve them for another term in the United States Congress,” Schock said after taking the oath of office. “There are many challenges facing our nation, and the American people deserve principled leadership that seeks long-term solutions. I have sworn to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, and I pledge to work diligently with Republicans and Democrats alike to ensure the strength and stability of our country, its economy, and the hard-working men and women who make this nation exceptional.”
Today, Rep. Schock has sponsored legislation to help create jobs for veterans, fund much-needed infrastructure improvements, expand trade opportunities for U.S. agricultural and energy producers, and protect the unborn. In the coming days, Schock plans to introduce legislation to bar the transfer of GITMO detainees, establish reasonable caps on federal public housing vouchers, and address funding priorities at the Department of Homeland Security.
Schock also reflected today on the historic diversity of the 114th Congress, which has a record numbers of female, African-American, Hispanic, and young lawmakers.
“When I came to Congress six years ago, I was one of 4 members under 40 years of age. Today, there are more than 40, including the youngest woman ever elected to Congress, my friend and colleague Rep. Elise Stefanik. With her help, and the help of the other young leaders on both sides of the aisle, we are closer than ever to addressing the leading drivers of our debt, our outdated tax code, and barriers to economic growth and strong families that will make America great. An historic Congress is poised to achieve historic results for the American people.”
Washington, D.C. – In the closing days of the 113th Congress, both the House and Senate have now passed a bill by Rep. Aaron Schock to facilitate the designation of New Philadelphia, Ill., as a National Park. The original legislation, H.R. 930, previously passed the House by a unanimous vote on Apr. 28. In final negations between House and Senate leaders, a number of federal lands bills were rolled into H.R. 3979, the FY2015 National Defense Authorization Act that establishes defense priorities and funding for the year ahead. President Obama is expected to sign the bill into law within days.
“The designation of the New Philadelphia site as a National Park will provide an important economic benefit to the entire region. As we prepare to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the end of the Civil War, historians, researchers, and tourists will come to New Philadelphia to learn more about the immense contribution of freed slaves to the nation and their immense sacrifice to rebuild a torn union,” Schock said of the bill’s passage.
“The New Philadelphia Association has worked tirelessly to raise the profile of the town and the legacy of its founder, Frank McWorter. I’m pleased to join them in celebrating this significant milestone.”
Philip Bradshaw, president of the New Philadelphia Association, expressed appreciation for the work Congressman Schock has done to assist preservation of the historic site:
"The special resources study is an opportunity to confirm the extraordinary historical significance of New Philadelphia as the first town in our country founded and legally registered by an African American. Under stewardship of the National Park Service, New Philadelphia will be preserved and protected to inspire present and future generations with themes important to all Americans: the struggle for freedom and opportunity and the love of family."
New Philadelphia was the first town founded and built by a freed slave before the Civil War. The town’s founder, Frank McWorter, was born a slave in South Carolina in 1777. He later married his wife, Lucy, herself a slave on a Kentucky plantation, in 1799. By hiring out his own time, McWorter was able to save enough money to buy his own freedom and that of his wife. Over time, he bought the freedom of 16 other family members.
In 1830, the family moved to Illinois, where Frank McWorter bought a farm in Pike County. In 1836, he plotted the town of New Philadelphia and founded it as the first fully racially integrated community before the Civil War. By 1850, U.S. Census data showed both African-American and European settlers living in the town.
To read more about New Philadelphia, click here.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Aaron Schock received the 2014 Lewis-Houghton Leadership Award at last evening’s Fall Gala, hosted by the Faith and Politics Institute. The award recognizes leaders who have “exhibited conscience, courage, and compassion in their roles as public servants.” Named for Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) and former Rep. Amo Houghton (R-NY), the two founders and co-chairmen of the Faith and Politics Institute, the award is given annually to two members of Congress – one Republican and one Democrat who have demonstrated leadership and promoted racial reconciliation. Last year, Rep. Schock led the official delegation to the funeral of Nelson Mandela. In June, Schock hosted Rep. Lewis in Peoria for a celebration at Bradley University to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 1964 Civil Rights Bill. Schock was presented the award by Rep. Robin Kelly (IL-02).
Pictured L-R: Reps Robin Kelly, Aaron Schock, John Lewis, Joe Crowley, and Elizabeth McCloskey, President and CEO of the Faith and Politics Institute.
“I am humbled to receive the Lewis-Houghton Award and join a long line of public servants who have been inspired by the examples of my friend, John Lewis, and former Rep. Amo Houghton. The Faith and Politics Institute reflects much of what is right about our nation – bringing people together from across the partisan, racial, and regional divides to promote a thriving democracy,” Schock said.
The award was also given this year to Rep. Joe Crowley (D-NY), who serves with Rep. Schock on the House Committee on Ways and Means.### Read More
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.