United States Senator Charles E. Schumer is in his first term representing New York State. He currently serves 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.
For the past two decades, Chuck Schumer has been a leader on national issues and a champion for New York State. For his efforts, the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle called Schumer "an accomplished, far-sighted legislator," while The New York Times wrote that Schumer "is a more serious lawmaker with more rooted values, sounder policy positions and a deeper commitment to the common good."
Armed with an impressive resume of accomplishments and an 18-year House record, Chuck Schumer was elected to the Senate in 1998.
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 teaching.
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 minority communities.
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 streets.
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.
Schumer has also had a powerful effect on a wideranging number of issues, including:
• Consumers : The "Schumer Box," enacted in 1988, requires that credit card companies clearly inform consumers of their terms.
• Immigration: Schumer forged an agreement in 1986 that resulted in an overhaul of the immigration system.
• AIDS: Schumer authored the Housing Opportunities for People with AIDS Law.
• Israel : Schumer is a staunch advocate for our Middle East ally and has been a leader in bringing restitution to Holocaust survivors and their families.
A product of the Brooklyn public schools, Schumer, 49, is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School. He was elected to the New York State Assembly at age 23, one of the youngest members since Theodore Roosevelt, and to Congress at 29. Schumer upset Al D'Amato to become New York's junior Senator in 1998.
Senator Schumer lives in Brooklyn with his wife, Iris Weinshall, and their daughters, Jessica and Alison.
Source: Senator Charles Schumer. U.S. Senate.