Peter Roskam

Peter Roskam

ILLINOIS' 6th DISTRICT

Roskam Announces New Hires

2014/08/22

Wounded Warrior to Lead District Veterans Services Local Graduate to Manage Tours, Constituent Services WASHINGTON, D.C.—Today, Congressman Peter Roskam (IL-06) issued the following statement on staff changes in his Illinois and Washington, D.C. offices, including hiring U.S. Army Sergeant Shane Scherer (Ret.) as Veterans Constituent Advocate and Hannah Schiller as Staff Assistant.  Sgt. Scherer joins the office as part of the Congressional Wounded Warriors Program, which helps injured veterans find employment with the House of Representatives. On hiring Sgt. (Ret.) Shane Scherer: “I am honored to welcome Sgt. Shane Scherer to my Illinois staff, where he will be responsible for helping our local veterans receive the care and attention they deserve. Shane answered the call to serve his country in uniform by joining the Army in 2007. Just 11 days before returning home from his first deployment in Afghanistan, he suffered life-threatening injuries during a sustained attack on his base. Shane spent a year in the hospital relearning how to walk, talk, and even swallow. His remarkable recovery is a testament to his strength, resilience, and unparalleled determination to help the country he nearly lost his life defending. I look forward to working with Shane to help better the lives of veterans here in Illinois, and am thrilled to have someone of his experience and caliber on the team.” Sgt. Scherer was born and raised in Morro Bay, CA, and completed his undergraduate studies at San Diego State University. He retired from the Army in 2010 as a decorated non-commissioned officer, having earned a Purple Heart, two Army Commendation Medals, the National Defense Service Medal, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal, and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.  After separating from the Army, he earned a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Grand Valley State University.  He and his wife, Jacqueline, have been married since 2010. On hiring Hannah Schiller: “Hannah starts her Congressional career with a couple of built-in advantages: she grew up in Hoffman Estates and has a deep familiarity with the people and communities of our suburban Chicago district; she also recently completed a Congressional internship with my office, where she excelled at providing customer service to visiting constituents, including arranging their tours and assisting them in meeting with me and my staff on legislative issues.  Her charm and compassion will be a great asset as she serves as the front line point of contact for local residents connecting with my Washington office.” Hannah grew up in Hoffman Estates, IL, and began her studies at Harper College in Palatine.  She went on to graduate with honors from Liberty University with a degree in Politics and Policy.  Her studies included exciting research into new ways to engage and empower women in politics.  ### Read More

ASK PETER: Affording Higher Education

2014/08/20

WASHINGTON, DC– Congressman Peter Roskam (IL-06) released the latest installment of Ask Peter today, a frequent video conversation with Sixth District residents about issues important to them. In this segment, Congressman Roskam answers an email from Jackie McGrath, a professor at the College of DuPage, who wants to know what the House is doing to help make higher education more affordable for families and students. Click here or below to watch. “This is the time of year when students are going back to college, and so the cost of college is on a lot of people’s minds. In fact, in the past four years the cost of higher education has jumped nearly 30 percent. That’s why this summer the House passed the Student and Family Tax Simplification Act, which does a couple of things. It consolidates the tax code—making it simpler—and it creates more flexibility. Frankly, it makes more transparency at higher education institutions so that college is easier to afford.” Ask Peter videos are available at roskam.house.gov, Facebook, Twitter, and via press release. The videos are sent to constituents via e-mail, Facebook, or Twitter, depending on how they contacted the Roskam office. ### Read More

Fighting human trafficking in the foster care system

2014/08/12

[[{"fid":"470","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","attributes":{"style":"text-align: -webkit-center;","class":"media-element file-full"}}]] Fighting human trafficking in the foster care system By Congressman Peter Roskam For too many children in the foster care system, their lives have been filled with instability, abuse, and neglect. Often these children are passed from home to home not knowing how long they will stay in one place or who they can trust. The psychological toll of such an environment makes it all too easy for human trafficking rings to target vulnerable foster care youth and force them into what can only be described as modern day slavery. That is why lawmakers, community leaders and law enforcement agencies are joining forces to prevent the estimated 104,000 children in foster care from becoming victims of physical and psychological abuse. Studies show the majority of trafficked children are either currently in foster care or had been in the child welfare system in the past. Of the children reported missing in 2010 that were also likely trafficking victims, 60 percent were in foster care or group homes when they ran away. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services estimates the majority of human trafficking victims experienced sexual abuse growing up – victims of sexual abuse are 28 times more likely to be coerced into trafficking than children who have not suffered such abuse. Even though a history of prior abuse places many children in foster care at far greater risk of becoming victims of human trafficking, the child welfare system must do more to identify and protect those at risk. Last month, I joined my colleagues in passing the bipartisan Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthening Families Act, which makes critical reforms to our foster care laws, working to identify those most vulnerable to predators and take concrete steps to protect these children from abuse. First, the bill increases the reporting requirements for foster parents and child welfare agencies, encouraging them to identify at-risk youth and develop new ways to ensure better information is provided to caseworkers assigned to these children. Our legislation also works to address current foster care policies that can make it difficult for children to participate in sports, sleep over at a friend’s house, obtain a driver’s license, or get a part-time job – all common rites of passage for kids making the transition into adulthood. Although well-intentioned, in some cases these strict rules can lead to a child becoming isolated and separated from family and friends, making them more vulnerable to victimization. The Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthening Families Act offers financial support and incentives for the adoption of foster children to families who otherwise couldn’t afford it. Providing these children more normalcy through social development activities and increasing their chance of adoption into a permanent family is key to not only protecting them from predators but setting up foster care children for long-term success. Through partnerships at the federal, state and local level, we can go after the criminals who commit this horrible crime, and protect the most vulnerable members of our society. These reforms are a huge step forward, and I will continue to press forward to stamp out the scourge of human trafficking in our communities. U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam, R-Wheaton, represents Illinois' 6th District http://www.mysuburbanlife.com/2014/08/04/roskam-fighting-human-trafficking-in-the-foster-care-system/a3lo5op/?page=1       Read More

Roskam Demands Answers on New Allegations of IRS Targeting of Conservative Religious Organizations

2014/08/12

WEST CHICAGO—Today, Congressman Peter Roskam (IL-06) sent a letter to Internal Revenue Service Commissioner John Koskinen, inquiring about recent reports of an agreement between the IRS Exempt Organizations Examinations Department and the Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF) to investigate 99 "high priority" churches.  In the letter, Roskam raises concerns about the IRS-FFRF agreement coming on the heels of the ongoing targeting scandal where IRS was found to have targeted organizations applying for tax-exempt status based on their personal political, social and religious beliefs.  This IRS-FFRF agreement to more closely monitor and investigate the free speech activities of a select number of churches could be the latest threat to First Amendment protections and religious liberties of the organizations.    The text of the letter is below.  A PDF of the letter can be found here. The Honorable John Koskinen Commissioner Internal Revenue Service 1111 Constitution Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20224 Dear Commissioner Koskinen, I write today to express my strongest concerns about an apparent agreement recently entered into between the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF). This agreement has raised serious questions that require immediate answers.  Specifically, I request a written response to the below questions no later than Monday, August 25, 2014: 1.       What criteria were used to identify the 99 churches referenced in the letter from Mary Epps, Acting Director, Exempt Organizations (EO) Examinations, to the Department of Justice dated June 27, 2014 that would be subject to “high priority examination?” 2.       List the city and state of each church identified for high priority examination. 3.       What, if any, communication took place between the IRS and FFRF relating to the selection of churches subject to examination? 4.       According to page two of the Plaintiff’s Memorandum in Support of the Motion to Dismiss, “The IRS has recently, in the context of this litigation, tried to assure FFRF that procedures are now in place for enforcement of the electioneering restrictions of § 501(c)(3), including a procedure to initiate investigations/examinations of churches for possible violations.” a.       How were these new procedures promulgated? b.      Were they subject to any public comment period? c.       If they were subject to a public comment period, what were the nature and quantity of the comments? d.      If they were not subject to a public comment period, how were organizations subject to examination under the new procedures notified about them? e.      If such organizations have not yet been notified, how and when does the IRS intend to do so? f.        If the IRS does not intend to notify such organizations, what specific authority does the IRS rely on to keep the details of this program secret? g.       Please describe the provisions that are in place in these new procedures to protect the religious freedom of groups subject to examination. h.      Were these procedures in place at the time that the alleged violations by the 99 churches identified for high priority examination occurred? i.         Who from the IRS will be involved in implementing the new procedures? j.        What, if any, training have they received in order to perform this task? Ongoing Congressional investigations have exposed extraordinary, potentially criminal overreach at the IRS dating back to early 2010 with respect to enforcement activities seeking to curtail individual expression and association in contravention of the protections enshrined in the Bill of Rights. The EO Examinations Division was the focal point of this overreach, targeting groups applying for tax-exempt status based on their personal political, social, and religious beliefs. The correspondence uncovered over the course of the Congressional investigations between the EO Examinations Division and applicants for tax-exempt status was exceptionally onerous and intrusive, going so far as to ask one group to detail specifically the content of their prayers. Subsequent Congressional rebuke has been strong and bipartisan. Any IRS effort to change the standards or process of examination and enforcement in a way that may impede the religious liberties of private citizens and nonprofit organizations should therefore be afforded the highest level of transparency and accountability. These new IRS actions raise serious questions about the appropriateness of the agency’s enforcement conduct. On behalf of my constituents and the American people, I request detailed answers to the above listed questions no later than August 25, 2014.   ### Read More

Roskam-Carney Bipartisan PRIME Act Included in Ways and Means Medicare Fraud Package

2014/08/12

WEST CHICAGO—Today, Congressman Peter Roskam (R-IL) and Congressman John Carney (D-DE) lauded the inclusion of H.R. 2305, their bipartisan Preventing and Reducing Improper Medicare and Medicaid Expenditures (PRIME) Act of 2013 in the Ways and Means Medicare fraud discussion draft entitled The Protecting Integrity in Medicare Act of 2014 (PIMA). “I am pleased to see our bipartisan, common-sense PRIME Act included in the Ways and Means Medicare fraud discussion draft,” said Congressman Roskam.  “Medicare fraud is an urgent problem – we cannot continue to allow programs that so many of our seniors rely upon to be fleeced because of carelessness or criminals gaming the system.  By combining 21st century technology, information sharing and good-government solutions, the PRIME Act and the forthcoming Ways and Means Medicare fraud bill will help stop fraudsters in their tracks and make Medicare and Medicaid more financially stable for the long term.” “The PRIME Act will strengthen Medicare and protect seniors by ensuring that resources go to those who need it, not criminals looking to take advantage of the system,” said Congressman Carney.  “It’s not easy to find areas where Democrats and Republicans agree, but fighting waste, fraud, and abuse while saving billions of taxpayer dollars just makes sense.  I’m encouraged that the Ways and Means Committee included the bill in their efforts, and hopeful that this helps protect Medicare as a resource for seniors.” Highlights of the PRIME Act in the Ways and Means Medicare Fraud Package include: Phasing out the antiquated “Pay-and-Chase” system that pays out even suspicious Medicare claims. By better incentivizing Medicare Administrative Contractors (MACs), who are the first line of defense against fraudulent claims we can save , taxpayers billions of dollars Demanding HHS enhance the Medicare-Medicaid, or Medi-Medi program in order to ensure federally-run Medicare and state-run Medicaid share information on fraudsters, so if a provider or beneficiary is found to be abusing one system, they are also barred from the other.  Links contract payments to accuracy goals for Medicare contractors and defines penalties for not meeting those goals, ensuring processors have skin in the game and actively work to verify claims before sending taxpayer dollars out the door Building on the Senior Medicare Patrol program by requiring Medicare officials to improve outreach so more of our nation's seniors are aware of the fight against waste and fraud, and also expands the program to include Medicaid beneficiaries   The Ways and Means Committee encourages stakeholder feedback on the discussion draft. Email nyu@mail.house.gov by September 1, 2014. ### Read More

Reps. Roskam, Nadler Introduce Resolution Condemning Growing Anti-Semitism Abroad

2014/07/31

WASHINGTON, DC– Today, Congressman Peter Roskam (R-IL) and Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) introduced a Congressional resolution condemning the growing anti-Semitism abroad. “With clear evidence of increasing incidents and expressions of anti-Semitism throughout the world, it is important that we speak out against this hatred. The United States must continue to play an essential role in shining a spotlight on the ugly resurgence of anti-Semitism, as well as all forms of religious discrimination,” said Congressman Roskam. “We must unequivocally condemn all forms of anti-Semitism and reject attempts to justify anti-Semitic hatred or violent attacks as an acceptable expression of frustration with political events in the Middle East or anywhere else,” said Congressman Nadler. “Already in 2014 alone, in Jewish communities across the world, we have seen increased incidents of murder at Jewish sites, violent attacks and death threats against Jews, as well as gun violence, arson, graffiti, and other property desecration at Jewish places of worship. We must condemn these acts in the strongest possible terms and do all that we can to prevent the spread of anti-Semitism.” “I commend Representatives Nadler and Roskam and their colleagues in the House for amplifying a call we hope the world will hear: that Jews should be able to live securely and with dignity, regardless of what happens in the Middle East. Parliamentarians around the world should follow their important lead and demonstrate the will to ensure anti-Semitism has no place in their country and that Jews have the right to live free of harassment and the fear of violence solely because they are Jewish,” said Abraham H. Foxman, National Director of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). ### Read More

Roskam Urges Obama Administration to End Partnership with Chief Hamas Sponsor Qatar

2014/07/31

WASHINGTON, DC– Today, Congressman Peter Roskam (IL-06) urged the Obama administration to hold Qatar accountable for its continued support of the terrorist organization Hamas. In a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry and Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, Congressman Roskam expressed concern with the Administration’s partnership with Qatar despite their ongoing financial and political backing of Hamas. “It’s an indisputable fact that Qatar has become the chief sponsor of Hamas—an internationally recognized terrorist organization committed to the destruction of Israel. With Qatar’s financial backing, Hamas continues to indiscriminately launch thousands of rockets at our ally Israel.  The Obama administration  must explain its working partnership with a country that so brazenly funds terrorism right before our eyes, even going so far as turning to Qatar to help broker a ceasefire between Hamas and Israel. The United States must stop fooling itself: Qatar’s actions disqualify it as a suitable ally and global partner in our quest to restore relative peace and stability in the Middle East.” Last year, Congressman Roskam led a bipartisan letter to Qatari Ambassador Mahamed Bin Abdulla Al-Rumaihi expressing concerns over Qatar’s apparent expanding economic and diplomatic ties with Hamas. Click here to read the full letter. Read More

Roskam Votes to Restore VA Accountability and Provide Veterans Emergency Access to Care

2014/07/30

WASHINGTON, DC– Today, Congressman Peter Roskam (IL-06) released the following statement after House passage of H.R. 3230, the Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act of 2014:   “Ever since the Department of Veterans Affairs scandal broke in late April, the reports of systemic abuse and mismanagement have only gotten worse. Today, the House acted on bipartisan legislation to begin the process of reforming the VA and restoring accountability throughout the entire system. This measure will make it easier for VA leaders to fire employees for misconduct and ensure veterans are able to receive emergency access to private sector care if they experience long wait times at a VA hospital, or if they live more than 40 miles from a VA facility. We must continue to work together to ensure that the brave men and women who serve in our armed forces receive the best care and support available, and I look forward to President Obama signing this important bill into law as soon as possible.”   ### Read More

Reinvigorating The Antibiotics Pipeline

2014/07/30

[[{"fid":"464","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":"Forbes"},"type":"media","attributes":{"title":"Forbes","style":"height: 150px; width: 300px;","class":"media-element file-full"}}]] Reinvigorating the Antibiotics Pipeline By Rep. Peter Roskam Later this month, the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology–commonly known as PCAST–will issue a highly anticipated report on antibiotic resistance, bringing much-needed attention to a growing public health threat that is fast becoming a global crisis. Each year, the Centers for Disease Control estimates more than 2 million Americans are diagnosed with an infection resistant to virtually all available treatments and 23,000 die as a result. These drug-resistant bacteria, or superbugs, used to be rare even in hospital settings, but the last ten years have seen hard to treat infections like MRSA spreading into communities and other extremely serious infections like CRE developing resistance to all possible treatments. In April, the World Health Organization issued its first global report on antibiotic resistance and found increasingly resistant infections present in every corner of the globe. And for their most recent threat report last fall, the CDC listed superbugs as the number one public health threat facing the United States today. What do these dire warnings mean in the real world? The rapid increase in antibiotic resistance coupled with the lack of drug treatments currently available or in development has us hurtling into a post-antibiotic era where a simple infection can once again prove deadly and major surgeries we take for granted today become too high-risk because of the threat of untreatable bacterial infections. Twenty years ago, almost 20 pharmaceutical companies had large, active antibiotic research and development programs; today only three large and a handful of smaller companies continue in these efforts to find new and effective treatments. One study suggests only a handful of new drugs are in development to treat multi-drug resistant infections–not nearly enough to keep pace with this rapidly evolving threat. Recently, I joined with fellow Chicago-area Congressman Danny Davis to introduce the bipartisan DISARM Act, which will spur drug development by updating how our healthcare system views antibiotics. Currently, the federal healthcare program Medicare reimburses hospitals for the use of only one class of antibiotics: the inexpensive, everyday drugs like amoxicillin, penicillin, and azithromycin that cost as little as ten dollars for a course of treatment. However, highly advanced, powerful antibiotics can cost millions to develop and hundreds of dollars to prescribe in the hospital. The financial loss to hospitals–being paid only a fraction of the cost of the drug–means doctors are less likely to use the high-powered antibiotic, and without market demand, companies are reluctant to invest in developing antibiotics that may never reach a patient in need. The short-term, or episodic nature of antibiotics is also partly to blame. While a medication for obesity or high blood pressure may be taken every day for life, antibiotics are meant to be used for only a few days or weeks at a time, with reduces demand. Infectious disease specialists, hospitals and researchers all point to the broken antibiotics market as the central impediment to new drug investment. DISARM breaks this cycle by adding a new classification for the high-powered antibiotics that treat superbugs. By modernizing how Medicare views these select drugs and reimbursing their use at cost, we can ensure a functioning market for their use and help to reinvigorate the pipeline of new drugs in development. Dr. Emily Landon, the Medical Director of Infection Control and Antimicrobial Stewardship at the University of Chicago described the DISARM Act as the striking the right balance: “Instead of providing an incentive to hospitals to using new and unnecessarily broad drugs, it removes the disincentive from creating them; it removes the obstacles for drug development to happen so that we have these drugs available when we need them, but it doesn’t encourage hospitals and doctors to use them when they aren’t necessarily needed.” The DISARM Act specifically works to address all four critical recommendations from the CDC’s fall threat report, requiring a multiagency effort to recommend ways the government can streamline processes and cut bureaucratic red tape to better fight antibiotic resistance. It directs hospitals to report drug-resistant bacterial infections and their treatment to the CDC through the National Healthcare Safety Network, the nation’s most widely used healthcare-associated infection tracking system to better monitor and treat superbugs throughout the United States. The rapid growth of drug-resistant bacteria threatens millions of Americans and could push modern medicine back in time. Combating the threat requires urgent action to modernize our healthcare system and spur the development of critical drugs to fight deadly bacteria. We need to get researchers and scientists back in the business of developing advanced antibiotics, which takes a very long time to produce results. If we don’t start tackling this challenge soon, it will be too late. Congressman Peter Roskam represents the Sixth District of Illinois and serves on the Ways and Means Committee. Read More

Roskam Speaks in Solidarity with Persecuted Christians in the Middle East

2014/07/25

WASHINGTON, DC—Today, Congressman Peter Roskam (IL-06) spoke on the House floor in solidarity with the thousands of Christians being persecuted throughout the Middle East. “Radical Islamists have a phrase: ‘First the Saturday people, then the Sunday people.’ Those who call for Israel’s destruction are the same radicals who are persecuting Christians throughout the Middle East.” “Reported cases of Christians killed for their faith doubled worldwide [in 2013] from the previous year. Others have been kidnapped, forcibly converted, or exiled, while churches and holy sites have been destroyed.” “Iraq’s Christian community has dropped from 1.5 million people in 2003 to only 200,000 today. And in Mosul—home to one of the world’s oldest Christian communities—ISIS militants have overrun the city and they’re using this Arabic symbol, painting it on homes to identify Nazarenes, or Christians. They’re told to convert to Islam, pay a religious tax, or be executed. And now, almost no Christians remain in Mosul—a city with a 2,000-year relationship with the Christian faith. And the situation is dire in Syria and elsewhere.” “Middle East Christians need our prayers, our support, and our voices, and I’m proud to stand with those who follow the Nazarene.” Read More

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Contact Information

227 Cannon HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone 202-225-4561
Fax 202-225-1166
roskam.house.gov

Committee Assignments

Ways and Means

Peter Roskam is the U.S. Representative for the Sixth District of Illinois. Upon his election, the Chicago Sun-Times and Roll Call newspapers called Roskam a "rising star."

Roskam's priorities in Washington include providing tax relief for hard working families and businesses, reining in federal spending, expanding healthcare access and affordability, and promoting energy independence. The Daily Herald described him as an "avowed fiscal conservative who could lay claim to the anti-tax mantel."

As the people of the Sixth District are heavily impacted by the financial services sector, Roskam sought and received an appointment to the exclusive House Financial Services Committee and sits on the subcommittees for Capital Markets, Insurance, and Government-Sponsored Enterprises; Domestic and International Monetary Policy, Trade and Technology; and Oversight and Investigations. House Republican Leader John Boehner said about Roskam, “as a former Member of the Illinois State House, he has shown an unyielding commitment to the people of Illinois and will continue to do so while serving as a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives and the Financial Services Committee.” Financial Services Committee Ranking Member Spencer Bachus called Roskam “a top-notch legislator who will perform his new duties with integrity, thoughtfulness, and energy.”

In 1993 Roskam was elected to the Illinois House of Representatives where he served six years. In 2000, he was appointed to the Illinois Senate and served in the leadership as the Republican Whip and Floor Leader. He has received numerous awards from businesses, health care and pro-family organizations. He has also earned the praise of environmental and law enforcement groups for his leadership. In 2005, Americans for Tax Reform named him “Hero of the Taxpayer.”

He earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Illinois and his law degree from IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. He took a hiatus from his legal studies to teach high school history and government in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Following law school, Peter pursued his interest in public policy and moved to our nation's capitol, where he worked for then freshman Congressman Tom DeLay and his predecessor from the Sixth District, Congressman Henry Hyde.

Back in Illinois, Peter served as Executive Director of Educational Assistance Ltd., a nonprofit scholarship program for disadvantaged youngsters. This organization received President Reagan's Volunteer Action Award for outstanding service to the community.

Peter's roots in the district go back to Hill Avenue in Glen Ellyn where he lived as a toddler. Growing up, Peter started a house cleaning service, served as Student Senate President at Glenbard West High School and was a varsity gymnast. At one point, he bicycled across America - from San Diego to Virginia Beach.

During his years on Capitol Hill, Peter met his wife Elizabeth. Congressman and Mrs. Roskam now live in Wheaton where they are raising their four children.

Serving With

Rodney L. Davis

ILLINOIS' 13th DISTRICT

Randy Hultgren

ILLINOIS' 14th DISTRICT

John Shimkus

ILLINOIS' 15th DISTRICT

Adam Kinzinger

ILLINOIS' 16th DISTRICT

Aaron Schock

ILLINOIS' 18th DISTRICT

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