|This article's factual accuracy is disputed. (January 2014)|
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Illinois's 18th district
January 3, 2009
|Preceded by||Ray LaHood|
|Member of the Illinois House of Representatives
from the 92nd district
January 12, 2005 – January 3, 2009
|Preceded by||Ricca Slone|
|Succeeded by||Joan Krupa|
|President of the Peoria, Illinois, School Board|
|Member of the Peoria, Illinois, School Board|
|Born||Aaron Jon Schock
May 28, 1981 
Morris, Minnesota, United States
|Residence||Peoria, Illinois, United States|
|Alma mater||Illinois Central College
Bradley University, Bachelor of Science (Finance; 2002)
|Occupation||Real estate investor|
Aaron Jon Schock (born May 28, 1981) is the United States Representative for Illinois's 18th congressional district, serving since 2009. He is a member of the Republican Party. The district is based in Peoria and includes part of Springfield. At the age of 32, Schock is both the second youngest currently serving U.S. representative, after Patrick Murphy of Florida, and the first member of the U.S. Congress born in the 1980s. Previously, Schock served two terms in the Illinois House of Representatives, and was its youngest member.
- 1 Early life, education and career
- 2 Early political career
- 3 Illinois legislature
- 4 U.S. House of Representatives
- 5 Political positions
- 6 Political campaigns
- 7 Electoral history
- 8 Media appearances
- 9 See also
- 10 References
- 11 External links
Early life, education and career
Schock was born in Morris, Minnesota, the youngest of the four children of Janice Marie, a homemaker, and Richard Schock, a family practice physician and former school board member. During Aaron's early years, the family lived on a rural farm site where the children were given the responsibility of tending a three acre patch of strawberries and selling the fruit to develop their work ethic. At age five, Schock had a full-time job answering the phone and taking orders for berries. The Schocks moved to Peoria when Aaron was in fourth grade, where he attended Peoria's Kellar Primary school, Rolling Acres Middle School, and Richwoods High School. He showed an early interest in student government, and was elected to the executive board of the Illinois Association of Junior High Student Councils in 1995.
By his junior year of high school, he had completed nearly all of his graduation requirements, and had few course options available because the school district had recently discontinued most of the advanced placement and other advanced courses due to budget cuts. School district policy did not allow him to graduate early, and the board members refused his requests to change the policy. He began attending classes at Illinois Central College in East Peoria, earning dual credits toward high school and college graduation. He graduated from Richwoods High in 2000, and received his Bachelor of Science degree from Bradley University in 2002, with a major in finance, after just two years at Bradley.
Schock began working during the fifth grade, doing database management as an independent contractor for a bookstore chain. He later bought event tickets for a licensed ticket broker, using six phone lines and thirteen credit cards, and investing his earnings in the stock market. When he was in the eighth grade, he began doing the accounting work for a gravel pit, a job he kept throughout his high school years. Schock started his own Individual Retirement Account at age 14. At age 18, he purchased 110 acres of farmland he hoped to mine for gravel. He later sold the land to the Greater Peoria Sanitary District. During college, he invested in real estate and ran Garage Tek, a garage organizing business. Schock sold his Garage Tek franchise in 2004 before running for state representative. During his second term as state representative, Schock worked as director of development and construction for Petersen Companies of Peoria, the real estate development arm of a senior citizen health care provider.
Early political career
Schock decided to run for the local school board a few months after graduating from high school because he felt the board needed a more diverse and youthful perspective. After being denied a place on the ballot because he did not have the required number of valid signatures on his petition to run for office, he organized a successful write-in campaign, using more than 200 volunteers to help him visit more than 13,000 households and leave door hangers giving instructions on how to write his name on the ballots. He defeated the incumbent 60% to 40%, garnering more than 6,400 write-in votes, and becoming, at age 19, the youngest person serving on a school board in Illinois. After two years, his fellow board members elected him vice president of the board, and one year later, they unanimously elected him school board president, making him, at 23, the youngest school board president in Illinois history.
At age 23, Schock became the youngest member of the Illinois House of Representatives after narrowly defeating four-term Democratic representative Ricca Slone. During his four years in the state legislature, Schock served on two appropriations committees that were "typically reserved for more senior lawmakers", as well as the Financial Institutions, Environment & Energy and Veteran's Affairs committees.
He was the chief sponsor of 38 bills, of which 13 became law. The bills dealt with education, child protection, prescription drug savings, veterans' assistance, road construction, and high-tech identity theft. Another bill, co-sponsored with Democrat Dave Koehler, expanded the taxation area for the Peoria Airport.
Though the district he represented in the state legislature included a large number of voters who were union members or who were on food stamps, Schock said, "I could vote against things like the raising minimum wage … and go back and explain to them why it didn’t make sense to raise the cost of labor...and they understood it.
During his time in the state legislature, Schock was involved with Youth for a Cause, Peoria Mayor's Vision 2020, the Peoria Chamber of Commerce, Heart of Illinois Kids Count, St. Jude Telethon V.I.P., and medical mission trips to Mexico and Jamaica.
U.S. House of Representatives
- Committee on Ways and Means
- Committee on House Administration
During his first term, Schock requested and was given three committee assignments. In addition, he was appointed by Minority Whip Eric Cantor to be a deputy minority whip. He served as Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Contracting and Technology of the Small Business Committee. Soon after being sworn in to serve his first term, he joined the Republican Study Committee, "a home for deficit hawks", according to the Los Angeles Times. As of April 2012, he is no longer a member of the Republican Study Committee. Schock is a current member of the Republican Main Street Partnership, a group of moderate Republicans who advocate reducing the deficit, cutting taxes, and focusing on education and environmental issues.
At the beginning of his second term in 2011, Schock was appointed to the Ways and Means Committee. On the committee he serves on the Subcommittee on Trade, Subcommittee on Social Security and Subcommittee on Oversight. The Subcommittee on Trade has oversight over reciprocal trade agreements including multilateral and bilateral trade negotiations and implementation of agreements involving tariff and non-tariff trade barriers. Schock also serves on the Committee on House Administration, which is charged with the oversight of federal elections and the day-to-day operations of the House of Representatives.
Two weeks after taking office, Schock passed an amendment to the Troubled Asset Relief Program Accountability Act. The amendment's purpose was to create a searchable website so Americans could see where bailout funds were being spent. The act's sponsor, Barney Frank, said "this is a very thoughtful amendment and it will greatly enhance things."
In February 2009, President Barack Obama invited Schock to fly with him on Air Force One for a visit to a Caterpillar plant in East Peoria, Illinois. During the visit, President Obama appealed to Schock to support the $787 billion stimulus bill which was up for a vote the next day in Congress. President Obama said Schock is "a very talented young man. I’ve got great confidence in him to do the right thing for the people of Peoria." Schock ultimately voted against the stimulus package, saying, "it was not really a stimulus bill with the majority of the money going towards stimulating the economy.” Schock also said, "I like the President. He’s a very good guy...I want him to be successful. I want to vote for a stimulus bill. I appreciated his hospitality in bringing me along on the trip...But at the end of the day my responsibility is to the people who gave me this job – my constituents."
During his first year in Congress, Schock passed more legislation than any other Republican freshman and secured $40.7 million in funding for Illinois in 2010.
Schock and Rep. William R. Keating jointly introduced the Equitable Access to Care and Health Act (H.R. 1814; 113th Congress) on April 29, 2013. The bill would amend the Internal Revenue Code, with respect to minimum essential health care coverage requirements added by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, to allow an additional religious exemption from such requirements for individuals whose sincerely held religious beliefs would cause them to object to medical health care provided under such coverage. Individuals could file an affidavit to get this exemption, but would lose the exemption if they went on to later use healthcare. Schock and Keating wrote a letter in support of their bill saying, "we believe the EACH Act balances a respect for religious diversity against the need to prevent fraud and abuse."
In December 2013, Schock was selected by Speaker Boehner, to lead the congressional delegation to the Funeral of Nelson Mandela. Schock was the only Republican representative in the delegation and only other seated Republican to Senator Ted Cruz.
Schock is considered to be more conservative than his two moderate predecessors, Congressmen Bob Michel and Ray LaHood. The Chicago Tribune, in their endorsements for the 2008 general election, described Schock's political positions to be fiscally conservative and somewhat moderate on social issues. Nevertheless, he has said he would have supported the financial bailout plan, or the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008, that passed Congress in October 2008 and he did not support the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" in 2010. Schock is a former member of the Republican Study Committee and a current member of the Republican Main Street Partnership. Schock has said "our strategy with young people needs to be economic issues," and that social issues are "not what compelled me to run for office."
In their 2010 endorsement of Schock, the Journal Star wrote, "We've not always seen eye to eye with Schock, but he has been far more influential than your average freshman. He's a hard worker, a rising star in the Republican Party...We have long valued independence in our congressmen; Aaron Schock is a conservative, but he also has a mind of his own, and he is endorsed."
There has been speculation about Schock's ambitions for higher political office, including a Roll Call article noting that Schock's new district in central Illinois was drawn so safe during redistricting that it has led to suggestions that Democrats are trying to keep him happy in the House and away from any statewide bid. An Illinois Republican is quoted as saying, "I think he would be the top candidate on the Republican side if Dick Durbin retired or if he wanted to run for governor...His ability to fundraise and be popular with conservatives without coming across as an ideologue would suit him well if he chooses to run." In November 2012, it was reported that Schock had met with officials at the Republican Governors Association to explore the possibility of running for governor of Illinois in 2014. However, in April 2013, Schock announced that he would not be running for governor, and would instead be seeking election to a fourth term in Congress.
Schock voted against the $787 billion stimulus plan in February 2009. He also voted against the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in 2010. He has advocated for tort reform and interstate health insurance competition as ways to reduce health care costs.
Schock has introduced legislation that would create the Federal Program Sunset Commission (H.R. 606). His proposed legislation would create a bipartisan commission made up of former members of Congress and outside experts to abolish federal programs that are found to be unnecessary or under-performing.
During the debate on the short-term Continuing Resolution that passed the House on February 19, 2011, Schock was successful in banning further funding for the creation of stimulus signs that highlight stimulus-related projects around the country. In July 2010, Schock’s bill was selected as a winning proposal in a public outreach effort designed by House Republicans to highlight proposals aimed at reducing government spending.
In 2011, Schock and Democrat John C. Carney, Jr. co-sponsored a bill that would use U.S. oil exploration to help fund a five-year federal highway construction project. The bill has not been voted on as of April 2012.
Schock has signed the Americans for Tax Reform Taxpayer Protection Pledge, promising not to vote for any new taxes. Schock was a supporter of free-trade agreements with Colombia, Panama, and South Korea, which passed the House in fall 2011.
In September 2011, Schock and Democrat Leonard Boswell introduced the Help Veterans Own Franchises Act, which would allow tax credits for the establishment of franchises owned by veterans. As of April 2012, the bill is in committee.
Energy & environment
In April 2010, Biofuels Digest named Congressman Aaron Schock as #8 in the top ten groups of individuals that "make it happen for renewables, bioenergy in DC." Schock, who says energy is the issue that people most want to talk about, supports eliminating federal taxes on the production of renewable energy.
In March 2011, Schock signed on as an original co-sponsor to a proposal by Republican Congressman Devin Nunes of California called "A Roadmap for America's Energy future," (H.R. 909) which is a comprehensive plan focusing on policies that promote the production of a broad range of domestic energy supplies including traditional resources as well as renewable and alternative energy sources.
Schock has been an opponent of using federal funds for the transfer of detainees from the Guantanamo Bay detention camp to elsewhere in the U.S. In January 2011, Schock introduced legislation with Senator Mark Kirk to deny federal funds for the transfer of detainees to the United States. Similarly, he has fought to require military tribunals, as opposed to civilian courts, for detainee trials.
In August 2009, the Law Library of Congress issued a controversial and disputed legal-opinion report, Honduras: Constitutional Law Issues, that had been commissioned by Schock. It featured a legal analysis of the 2009 Honduran constitutional crisis with a specific examination of the legality of Honduran President Manuel Zelaya's June 28, 2009, removal from office and expatriation. After the report was issued, Schock argued that the Obama Administration should change its policy towards Honduras by resuming suspended aid and recognizing the upcoming Honduran November 29, 2009, elections, based on the contents of the report.
On December 15, 2009, during a discussion on Hardball with Chris Matthews, Schock stated "I don‘t believe we should—we should limit water-boarding or, quite frankly, any other alternative torture technique if it means saving Americans‘ lives" in a "ticking time bomb" scenario or other critical situation. He added that he didn't believe such techniques "should be standard practice."
Schock voted against amending federal hate crimes laws to include crimes where the victims were targeted on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, gender and disability. He voted against the repeal of the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" in December 2010.
Schock also voted against the Employment Discrimination Law Amendment H.R. 11 and H.R. 12, which were eventually passed on January 9, 2009.
Schock voted for House Amendment 1416, which Prohibits Use of Funds in Contravention of the Defense of Marriage Act, adopted 247 to 166 in the House July 19, 2012.
Schock voted against the DREAM Act. However, TheHill.com reported that Schock was "slammed" for calling illegal immigrants "undocumented citizens" and for showing support for a legalization program at a town hall event.
Schock, along with Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), introduced a bill in 2013 known as the Higher Education and Skills Obtainment Act. The bill would narrow the eligibility for people to use certain tax credits related to higher education. To do so, the legislation would take away eligibility for those tax credits from people who aren't students or who "did not attend an eligible institution," according to Ripon Advance.
Schock voted for the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012.
At the age of 23, Schock ran for a seat in the Illinois House of Representatives defeating four-term incumbent Democrat Ricca Slone, by just 235 votes out of 40,000 ballots cast, and becoming the youngest member of the Illinois General Assembly in state history. Five months after taking the office, he resigned from the school board to focus on his job as a state legislator. He received more than 40 percent of the African American vote when he ran for reelection in 2006, despite his opposition to race-based affirmative action, garnering 58 percent of the total vote to defeat Democrat Bill Spears.
Schock was elected to succeed retiring incumbent Republican congressman Ray LaHood in the 2008 election, defeating Democratic candidate Colleen Callahan and Green Party candidate Sheldon Schafer. A spokesman for the Illinois Republican Party noted the state's Republicans' ability to "hold their own" despite Illinois's Democratic Barack Obama riding to victory on the same ballot and the state Republican Party's receiving no financial support from the national party. Schock's 18th distinct, with LaHood as incumbent, was one of two Illinois Congressional seats without an incumbent running; the other open seat was won by a Democrat, but Republicans also kept all their incumbent seats. The 18th district has been Republican since 1939.
In his speech announcing his candidacy for Congress, Schock said, "If China continues to be irresponsible about nuclear proliferation in Iran, we should tell them that ... we will sell Pershing nuclear missiles to Taiwan for their defense. Nonproliferation will either be enforced universally or not at all — it is their choice. The Chinese will come around, I have no doubt." His campaign manager described the policy as "well thought out" and Schock first defended the remarks, but Schock later said it was "more in jest" and that he had made a mistake.
Schock drew mixed reaction in late July 2008 when he brought President George W. Bush to Peoria to raise money for the congressional campaign. The city of Peoria provided 38 police officers, 30 city trucks for temporary security barriers, and a number of firefighters, spending $38,252 to facilitate the visit, even though it was a private, paid-admission fundraiser. When requests to compensate the city increased, Schock called it "obviously a political move" and compared the issue to Barack Obama's endorsement of another state senator on the courthouse steps a few years before, for which the city did not request compensation. A city councilman cited an ordinance against political activity by the city, but the mayor of Peoria, Jim Ardis, called the requests "political rhetoric" and said the ordinance did not apply, and that the city did not have a policy addressing a situation where a sitting president visits town. Schock later said he would reimburse the city voluntarily, referring to payment for presidential protection as "unprecedented," and saying he believed his campaign was the first in the state and possibly the nation to repay a city for protective services provided to a president.
In the 2008 general election, Shock was endorsed by 116 mayors across the district and the Illinois Farm Bureau. Schock's hometown newspaper, the Journal Star, endorsed Schock "on the basis of his potential."
Schock won the November 4 general election with 59% of the vote. Upon taking his seat in Congress, at the age of 27, he became the youngest member of Congress, supplanting 33-year-old Patrick T. McHenry of North Carolina, and the first member of the United States Congress born in the 1980s. On taking office, he also became only the fifth person to serve the district since 1933.
In the same election, Democrat Jehan A. Gordon won Schock's 92nd Representative District seat in the Illinois House of Representatives. However, on Schock's advice, the Republican Party appointed Joan Krupa to fill out the 9 remaining days on Schock's state legislative term before Gordon took office.
Schock was challenged by Democrat D.K. Hirner, the Executive Director of the Illinois Environmental Regulatory Group, and Green nominee Sheldon Schafer. The Journal Star again endorsed Schock, writing, "Schock is a more self-assured, well-rounded candidate than he was two years ago." The endorsement noted that Schock had "voted with President Barack Obama more than a third of the time, breaking with GOP leaders on multiple issues, from his support for renewable energy to taming predatory lenders to FDA regulation of tobacco."
Schock ran for re-election in 2012. He was initially slated to face challenger Darrel Miller in the Republican primary, but Miller was removed from the ballot in February 2012 due to problems with his petition signatures. In the general election, Schock faced Democrat Steve Waterworth. In April 2012, watchdog groups filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission, claiming that Schock violated federal campaign rules when he solicited a $25,000 donation from House Majority Leader Eric Cantor for use in a Republican primary. Schock's campaign stated that it believed the FEC would dismiss the complaint after review. In December 2012, the House Committee on Ethics confirmed that the same matter had been referred to it by the Office of Congressional Ethics. In February 2013, the Office of Congressional Ethics' report was publicly released, which stated, "there is substantial reason to believe that Rep. Schock violated federal law, House rules and standards of conduct." At the time of the release, Schock's communications director released a statement saying: "The release by the Ethics Committee of this report from the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) is just one more step in the long process of adjudicating ethics complaints that can be submitted by anyone for any reason...We remain firmly convinced that Congressman Schock will be exonerated when the Ethics Committee examines the complaint and in due course resolves this matter."
Schock was endorsed by the editorial board of The State Journal-Register, who wrote that Schock "has grown in his two terms in the House, building expertise on budget, trade, transportation and agriculture issues and reaching across the aisle at times to build a solid record." Schock was also endorsed by the Journal Star and the Chicago Tribune.
Schock defeated Steve Waterworth to win reelection on November 6, 2012, carrying 74 percent of the vote.
|General Election - 11/2/2010 Illinois's 18th Congressional District|
|Republican||Aaron Schock (incumbent)||152,868||69.12%|
|Democratic||Deirdre "DK" Hirner||57,046||25.79%|
|General Election - 11/4/2008 Illinois's 18th Congressional District|
|General Primary - 2/5/2008 Illinois's 18th Congressional District |
|Republican||John D. Morris||9,160||11.72%|
|General Election - 11/7/2006 -Illinois General Assembly - 92nd District|
|Republican||Aaron Schock (incumbent)||14,703||58.87%|
|General Election - 11/2/2004 -Illinois General Assembly - 92nd District |
|Democratic||Ricca Slone (incumbent)||19,484||49.7%|
|Republican gain from Democratic|
Schock received an unusual amount of media coverage during his first term in Congress, much of it focusing on his physique and youthful appearance. He was selected "hottest freshman" congressman in a February 2009 reader poll on The Huffington Post. Schock has been frequently targeted by TMZ.com reporters since his arrival in Washington. Schock told CNN's Reliable Sources that such soft media coverage could increase voters' interest in politics. "People who watch TMZ or different mediums don't expect to see their congressman on such a show," he said. "To see their hometown congressman on a show like this kind of raises their interest and gets them a little excited." In 2009, Schock appeared on The Colbert Report, during which the host, Stephen Colbert – making fun of the TMZ reports – "grilled" Schock about his "six-pack abs". Schock went on to appear on the cover of the June 2011 issue of Men's Health. In 2012, Schock told Roll Call that "I'm a big believer if you want to change people's minds or get someone to vote for you, either a voter or a colleague, you've got to first get their attention. If people don't know who you are, they're not going to listen to your message. And not everybody pays attention to politicians by watching Fox News and CNN."
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Aaron Schock.|
- Congressman Aaron Schock official U.S. House website
- Aaron Schock for Congress
- Biography at the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
- Profile at Project Vote Smart
- Financial information (federal office) at the Federal Election Commission
- Legislation sponsored at The Library of Congress
- Young Gun, Edward McClelland, Chicago Magazine, March 2009
- The Ripped Representative, Stephen Perrine, Men's Health, May 6, 2011
|United States House of Representatives|
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Illinois's 18th congressional district
|United States order of precedence (ceremonial)|
|United States Representatives by seniority
|Youngest member of the United States House of Representatives
January 3, 2009–January 3, 2013