Charles "Chuck" Schumer
(1950 - )
Charles "Chuck" Schumer is a Jewish American politican who is currently the senior senator from New York State.
Schumer (born November 23, 1950) was born in Brooklyn to a Jewish family of Russian, Polish and Austrian descent. Schumer graduated from Harvard University and earned his law degree from Harvard Law
School in 1974. He was elected to the New York State Assembly at age 23, one
of the youngest members since Theodore Roosevelt, and was first elected to the House of Representatives at age 29. In 1998,
Schumer upset Al D'Amato to become New York's junior Senator.
Schumer is currently serving, or has served, as a member on the Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban
Affairs, the Judiciary Committee and the Rules Committee. Before his
election to the Senate, Schumer represented the Ninth Congressional
District in Brooklyn and Queens for nine terms.
Since his election to the Senate,
Schumer has made improving New York's economy his top priority. He has been
particularly successful in bringing affordable air service to Upstate New
York, helping deliver new airline JetBlue to
Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse and working
with low-cost carrier Southwest Airlines to expand service to Albany.
Schumer also established an
Economic Development Initiative (EDI), a comprehensive effort to attract
new businesses and financial resources to Upstate New York. As part
of EDI, Schumer has held business roundtables throughout the state,
organized meetings between economic development officials and the site
selectors who help businesses decide where to locate offices and factories,
and sent a brochure promoting Upstate's merits to CEO's in New York City.
Improving access to quality
education is another of Schumer's long-term priorities. He is leading
the charge to make college tuition tax deductible for most American
families and has developed a "Marshall Plan for Teachers," which
would provide a series of incentives to attract the best and brightest to
Schumer is also working to ensure
that all Americans have quality health care and access to affordable
prescription drugs. He is currently fighting to restore hospital cuts
inflicted by the 1997 Balanced Budget Act, provide seniors with a
prescription drug benefit under Medicare, and knock down the barriers that
delay low-cost generic medications from coming to the marketplace.
A member of the Banking committee
in the House and the Senate, Schumer worked for a decade to pass the 1999
Financial Services Modernization legislation, which modernizes regulations
governing the US banking, securities and insurance industries. He
played a key role in drafting language to ensure that financial companies
serve traditionally underserved areas and has exposed unequal lending
practices of banks and predatory lending practices of subprime lenders in
Throughout his 20 years in
Congress, Schumer has been a pioneer in the fight against crime. His work
in this area led Attorney General Janet Reno, the nation's top law
enforcer, to state, "I have never met a public official more dedicated
to fighting crime than Mr. Schumer."
Schumer sponsored and helped pass
the Omnibus Crime Bill of 1994, which put 100,000 new cops on the street,
enforced "three strikes and you're out" sentencing, and created
after school programs for troubled teens. As of August 2000, the
Crime Bill's COPS program had put 11,461 new officers on New York's
Schumer has also worked to keep
guns out of the hands of criminals and children. He authored the 1993
Brady Bill, which instituted mandatory background checks for handgun
purchases, and the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban. In the Senate, Schumer won the
first federal funding for Albany, Buffalo, Syracuse and Rochester to
implement Project Exile, a program that enforces strict sentencing
guidelines for illegal gun possession.
To protect a woman's right to
choose, Schumer wrote the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act, which
makes blockading family planning clinics a federal crime. He also
authored the Violence Against Women Act, the first federal legislation
protecting women from domestic abuse, and has been a leader in the fight
against hate crimes and terrorism.
Senator Schumer lives in Brooklyn
with his wife, Iris Weinshall, and their daughters, Jessica and Alison.
Sources: U.S. Senate; Wikipedia