|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives|
from Illinois's 8th district
|Assumed office |
January 3, 2017
|Preceded by||Tammy Duckworth|
|Born||July 19, 1973|
New Delhi, India
|Education||Princeton University (BS)|
Harvard University (JD)
Subramanian Raja Krishnamoorthi (/ / born July 19, 1973) is an American businessman and politician serving as the U.S. Representative for Illinois's 8th congressional district since 2017. He was elected to succeed Tammy Duckworth, who gave up the seat to run for the U.S. Senate. Krishnamoorthi is a member of the Democratic Party and serves on the House Oversight Committee and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. He is also chairman of the Oversight Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy, and serves as an Assistant Whip.
Early life and education
In 1973, Krishnamoorthi was born into a Tamil-speaking family in New Delhi, India. His family moved to Buffalo, New York when he was three months old so that his father could attend graduate school. Though some early economic hardships necessitated living in public housing and using food assistance for a time, in 1980, the Krishnamoorthis moved to Peoria, Illinois where his father became a professor at Bradley University and they enjoyed a middle-class upbringing. Krishnamoorthi attended public schools in Peoria and was a valedictorian of his graduating class at Richwoods High School.
Krishnamoorthi attended Princeton University, where he earned a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering summa cum laude. He then received a Juris Doctor with honors from Harvard Law School. During law school, Krishnamoorthi was managing editor of the Harvard Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Law Review, and published a law review article on the implementation of Local School Councils in Chicago public elementary schools.
After graduating from Harvard, Krishnamoorthi served as a law clerk for Joan B. Gottschall and worked on Barack Obama's 2000 election campaign for the United States House of Representatives. He also served as an issues director for Obama's 2004 campaign for the United States Senate, and aided in the development of Obama's 2004 Democratic National Convention keynote address.
After being appointed to the Board of the Illinois Housing Development Authority, Krishnamoorthi practiced law and then served as a special assistant attorney general, helping start the state's anti-corruption unit under Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan. He served as deputy state treasurer for Illinois Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias from 2007 to 2009 and then as Vice-Chairman of the Illinois Innovation Council. He was the president of high-tech small businesses in the Chicago area until he resigned before entering Congress to eliminate any conflicts of interest.
In 2010, Krishnamoorthi ran for the Democratic Party nomination for Illinois Comptroller. He lost the primary election to David E. Miller by less than 1% of the vote. In 2012 he ran for the Democratic nomination for the U.S. House of Representatives seat in Illinois's 8th congressional district, and lost to Tammy Duckworth.
When Duckworth ran for the U.S. Senate in 2016, Krishnamoorthi again declared his candidacy for the U.S. House of Representatives. He won the March 2016 primary election with 57% of the vote, to Michael Noland's 29% and Deb Bullwinkel's 13%. Krishnamoorthi defeated Republican Pete DiCianni in the November general election, capturing 58.1% of the vote after a campaign in which he vowed to fight for middle-class families in Congress.
U.S. House of Representatives
Krishnamoorthi was sworn into office on January 3, 2017, stating, "I will continue to focus on the middle class and our commitment to ensure that hard work is rewarded."
While Krishnamoorthi attended President Donald Trump's January 2017 inauguration, he said he did so in part "because I want President Trump to look at the crowd and Congress and see on day one that he will be strongly opposed if he continues to pursue policies that hurt working families." The day before the inauguration, Krishnamoorthi was included in a list featured in The Guardian of "up-and-coming leaders of the Trump resistance in Washington."
The day after the inauguration, Krishnamoorthi told a crowd of more than 250,000 at the Chicago Women's March, "Today's march was about people from every walk of life coming together to declare their support for the rights of women and all Americans. Women's rights are human rights. A loud chorus of voices including mine will speak up for the rights of women and all Americans to make a better life in this country."
Later that week, Krishnamoorthi delivered a speech on the House floor in opposition to a Trump administration decision to block an Obama administration policy that would have reduced mortgage costs for lower and middle-income families by hundreds of dollars per year. He closed his remarks by referencing Trump's campaign slogan, saying, "the Trump administration's order to make mortgages more expensive will not strengthen our economy. It will not create jobs. And it will not make America great again. But it will make life harder for working families."
In 2019, Krishnamoorthi became the first Hindu-American to preside over the U.S. House as speaker pro tempore.
Education, job training and workforce development
In June 2017, the House unanimously passed the Thompson-Krishnamoorthi Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act, which would overhaul the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act and provide more flexibility to states. In November 2017, Krishnamoorthi and GT Thompson co-led a letter to the Senate education committee with 235 fellow members of the House urging them to take up the legislation. The Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act passed the Senate and was signed into law by President Trump in July 2018.
Krishnamoorthi is also a co-author of the College Transparency Act, which would enable the federal government to gather and publish data on university performance, including enrollment, course completion rates, and employment after graduation, thereby empowering students and their families to make more informed decisions about where and whether to enroll in post-secondary education. The majority of House members support the bill but it has yet to receive a vote.
Defense of state and local tax (SALT) deduction
During the tax reform debate in Congress, Krishnamoorthi spoke out numerous times against the proposed elimination of the state and local tax (SALT) deduction and its impact on working families in Illinois. In October 2017, he sent two letters about the proposed deduction, one to Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner alongside fellow Illinois members Foster and Luis Gutierrez and one to the Chair and Ranking Member of the Ways and Means Committee, urging them to preserve the deduction.
Environmental issues and green technology
The first piece of legislation Krishnamoorthi introduced as a member of Congress was H. Res. 85, a resolution expressing the commitment of the House of Representatives to continue to support U.S. pledges made in the Paris Climate Agreement. In introducing the resolution, Krishnamoorthi cited rising global temperatures and the need for the U.S. to address both the threats posed to the country and the economic potential of green technology.
During a January 2017 floor debate in the House of Representatives, Krishnamoorthi argued against repealing the Affordable Care Act. Citing his experience running small businesses, Krishnamoorthi said, "repealing without replacing the Affordable Care Act would devastate our economy and harm millions of middle-class families. Within the 8th district of Illinois, we could lose upwards of over $550 million from our economy and over 4,000 jobs. I know firsthand how important health coverage is to workers and to business. Without the protections of the Affordable Care Act, we will see fewer entrepreneurs take the risk of starting a business and fewer workers take the risk of working for a start-up."
In September 2017, Krishnamoorthi co-led a letter to the Department of Health and Human Services with Oversight and Government Reform Committee Ranking Member Elijah Cummings requesting documents and information related to the decision to schedule outages of HealthCare.gov during the 2017 open enrollment period.
In July 2017, Krishnamoorthi introduced the Presidential Pardon Transparency Act, which would require that all presidential pardons be disclosed to the public within three days of being granted. The legislation followed reports that Trump was consulting senior aides and the White House counsel about his ability to pardon associates, family members, and himself. The bill did not receive a vote and was reintroduced in 2019.
Trump administration security clearance issues
In October 2017, Krishnamoorthi questioned the director of the National Background Investigations Bureau about the number of mistakes made in Senior Presidential Advisor Jared Kushner's security clearance during a hearing by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. In response to repeated questioning about whether he could recall "if there has ever been an applicant having to submit four addenda detailing over 100 errors and omissions being able to maintain their security clearance once those errors have been identified," Director Phalen said that he had never seen that level of mistakes.
Immigration and Trump administration's travel ban
On January 28, 2017, Trump's executive order placing restrictions on people entering the U.S. from seven Muslim-majority countries caused 18 travelers arriving at O'Hare International Airport to be detained and questioned by federal officers, including a family of legal permanent residents and their 18-month-old baby, who held U.S. citizenship. Krishnamoorthi arrived at O'Hare within hours to speak to immigration officials but was told they were unavailable. While joining a protest at the airport Krishnamoorthi said of the detentions, "They applied legally, they've been vetted and they've been here, in many cases, for decades, and they were detained by their own country at the airport. So many of our businesses rely on green card holders. How are we supposed to attract these people if they think they'll be detained at the airport if they go abroad for a wedding, or just to show their baby to relatives?"
On November 16, Krishnamoorthi co-led a letter to the Department of Homeland Security, alongside Democratic Caucus Chairman Joe Crowley, Luis Gutierrez of Illinois, Adriano Espaillat of New York, and 60 Democratic cosigners, about the postal services delays that caused hundreds of DACA renewal applications to arrive after the October 5 deadline. The Department later reversed its position and announced that it would allow those affected to resend their applications.
Krishnamoorthi authored the KREMLIN Act, which passed the House with bipartisan support in March 2019. The bill would require the Director of National Intelligence to provide intelligence assessments to Congress about the posture and intentions of the Russian Federation and its leaders toward NATO and NATO members.
Krishnamoorthi also authored the Seeding Enterprises in the Microelectronics Industry (SEMI) Act and the Geospatial Partnership for Security (GPS) Act. The SEMI Act would allocate $15 million for research and development of new microelectronics and computing technologies through the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA). The GPS Act would provide additional funding to the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) for the purposes of improving access and cooperation between the NGA and commercial geospatial intelligence data and services.
The first impeachment of President Donald Trump
As a member of both the House Oversight Committee and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, Krishnamoorthi was closely involved in Trump's impeachment. The Oversight and Intelligence Committees were both tasked with investigating the accusations against Trump, and as a member of the Intelligence Committee, Krishnamoorthi also took part in televised public hearings, questioning various witnesses brought before the Committee.
Storming of the U.S. Capitol and the second impeachment of Donald Trump
After Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, Krishnamoorthi advocated Trump's removal through either impeachment or the 25th amendment. In the ensuing second impeachment of Trump, he voted to impeach after saying on the House floor, "My parents brought me as an infant to America because they knew it's the land of democracy. It's the beacon of hope for all the world; we called it the American dream. When Donald Trump told rioters to go to the capitol and 'fight like hell,' he incited an attack on the capitol and the ideals comprising the American dream. I'm voting for impeachment because I know we're still the country my parents believed in, and I will fight like hell for it."
Vaping and e-cigarettes
Time magazine called Krishnamoorthi the vaping industry’s biggest enemy in D.C. In July 2019, as chairman of the House Oversight Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy, he held hearings investigating the industry’s marketing practices, especially those allegedly aimed at children. In the wake of this investigation, the FDA issued a warning letter to e-cigarette manufacturer Juul Labs, which then halted all domestic marketing and advertising. Krishnamoorthi has also authored or co-sponsored several pieces of legislation aimed at curbing e-cigarette use, including the Protecting American Lungs and Reversing the Youth Tobacco Epidemic Act of 2020, which passed the House in February 2020. He also successfully advocated increased funding for youth e-cigarette prevention programs in the combined omnibus spending bill and Covid-19 relief package that was signed into law on December 27, 2020.
Accountability in federal contracting
In his capacity as a member of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Krishnamoorthi has raised concerns over the Whitefish Energy contract with the Puerto Rican government to rebuild the island's electrical grid and the no-audit clauses in its contract. In October, Krishnamoorthi wrote to the Chair and Ranking Member of the Oversight and Government Reform urging them to convene hearings on the contract and the full scope of anti-auditing language in all government contracts.
During the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020, Krishnamoorthi co-sponsored the $2.2 trillion CARES Act, the first stimulus package, signed into law in March. He also voted for the HEROES Act, House Democrats' initial attempt at a second stimulus bill, which passed the House in May but never came up for a vote in the Senate. Additionally, Krishnamoorthi authored or co-sponsored several other pieces of legislation to address the pandemic's health and economic impact, including the Coronavirus Health Care Worker Wellness Act and the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act, which was signed into law in June. After passing the second stimulus package in December 2020, Krishnamoorthi also voted in favor of increasing the direct stimulus payments from $600 to $2000.
As chair of the House Oversight Subcommittee on Consumer and Economic Policy, Krishnamoorthi led several investigations into the federal response to the pandemic, including the federal ventilator shortage and the Trump administration’s misuse of CDC funds for partisan political messaging, funds that were originally intended for a public awareness campaign. After public outcry, the Department of Health and Human Services canceled the campaign using celebrities who had been vetted, in part, based on their political leanings. Krishnamoorthi also led an investigation into the FDA’s failure to properly regulate serological antibody tests during the pandemic's early phase. In the spring and early summer, the FDA allowed manufacturers to "self-validate" serological test kits, and a House Oversight Subcommittee on Consumer and Economic Policy investigation Krishnamoorthi led found that the FDA "was not reviewing antibody test kits that went on the market ... and had failed even to ask for information that would have allowed FDA to conduct a cursory review of the tests’ effectiveness." After this investigation, the FDA changed its policy, requiring manufacturers of serological antibody tests to seek Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) within 10 days.
In October 2020, Krishnamoorthi co-signed a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo condemning Azerbaijan’s offensive operations against the Armenian-populated enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh. He also co-sponsored H. Res. 1165, which condemned Azerbaijan's military operations in Nagorno-Karabakh, and denounced Turkish interference in the conflict. As a part of the House-passed FY2021 Appropriations bill, Krishnamoorthi co-authored an amendment to add millions of dollars in funding for de-mining in the Nagorno Karabakh region.
Other congressional investigations and oversight activities
In November 2020, Krishnamoorthi led investigations into the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)'s failure to establish side-impact test standards for children’s car seats and boosters, effectively allowing manufacturers to create their own standards. Some manufacturers were found to be selling booster seats that had been shown to be unsafe in the companies' own safety tests. Krishnamoorthi successfully advocated for a provision in the FY2021 omnibus spending bill, which was signed into law on December 27, 2020, requiring the NHTSA to issue federal regulations for side-impact crash tests for booster seats.
In September 2020, Krishnamoorthi opened an investigation into the sale and lease of government vehicles with active safety recalls by the General Services Administration (GSA), publicly calling on the GSA to cease the sale and lease of such vehicles. This followed the passage of a House appropriations bill that included an amendment Krishnamoorthi and Representative Jan Schakowsky introduced prohibiting the GSA from selling recalled cars at auction.
In November 2020, Krishnamoorthi called for the investigation of Senator David Perdue’s stock trades involving a defense contractor while he was on the Senate Armed Services Committee. In May 2020, Krishnamoorthi had called for members of Congress to be banned from trading individual stocks in response to allegations of insider trading against Senator Richard Burr and others.
During an Oversight Committee hearing into the Sackler family and Purdue Pharma's role in the opioid epidemic, Krishnamoorthi sharply criticized members of the Sackler family as well as Purdue Pharma executives, calling on Purdue Pharma president Craig Landau to take responsibility for the company’s involvement in the opioid crisis and forgo the $3.5 million bonus he was then seeking from Purdue Pharma, while the company was struggling to pay out damages to victims of the opioid OxyContin.
- Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence
- Subcommittee on Intelligence Modernization and Readiness (INMAR)
- Subcommittee on Strategic Technologies and Advanced Research (STAR)
- Committee on Oversight and Government Reform
- New Democrat Coalition
- Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus
- Congressional Solar Caucus (Co-Founder)
- Congressional Caucus to End the Youth Vaping Epidemic (Co-Founder)
- Middle Class Jobs Caucus (Co-Founder)
- Manufacturing Caucus
- Congressional Cooperative Business Caucus
- Municipal Bond Caucus
- Tech Accountability Caucus
- Congressional Travel and Tourism Caucus
- Congressional Fire Services Caucus
- Congressional Career and Technical Education Caucus
- Congressional Arts Caucus
- Community College Caucus
- Congressional Citizen Legislature Caucus
- General Aviation Caucus
- Quiet Skies Caucus
- Candy Caucus
- Small Brewers Caucus
- Dietary Supplement Caucus
- LGBT Equality Caucus
- Black Maternal Health Caucus
- Task Force to Combat Heroin Epidemic
- Diabetes Caucus
- Rare Disease Caucus
- Childhood Cancer Caucus
- Lyme Disease Caucus
- Autism Caucus
- Congressional Animal Protection Caucus
- Sri Lanka Caucus
|Democratic||David E. Miller||393,405||46.71|
|Democratic||S. Raja Krishnamoorthi||384,796||45.68|
|Democratic||Clinton A. "Clint" Krislov||64,086||7.61|
|Democratic||Deborah M. Bullwinkel||11,005||13.95|
|Republican||Peter "Pete" DiCianni||103,617||41.68|
|Write-in votes||Andrew Straw||5||0.00|
|Democratic||Raja Krishnamoorthi (incumbent)||130,054||65.97|
|Republican||Jitendra "JD" Diganvker||67,073||34.03|
|Democratic||Raja Krishnamoorthi (incumbent)||186,251||73.16|
|Libertarian||Preston Gabriel Nelson||68,327||26.84|
In January 2017, Krishnamoorthi, a lifelong Chicago Cubs fan, and his elder son attended the Cubs' official White House commemoration of their World Series victory.
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- "Creation". Congressional Solar Caucus. Retrieved January 30, 2019.
- "Congressional Caucus to End the Youth Vaping Epidemic Sends Bipartisan and Bicameral Letter Urging President Trump to Finalize E-Cigarette Flavor Guidance". Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi. December 2, 2019. Retrieved December 17, 2020.
- "Committees and Caucuses". Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi. November 7, 2014. Retrieved December 17, 2020.
- "Election Results 2010 GENERAL PRIMARY". Illinois State Board of Elections. Retrieved October 24, 2019.
- "Election Results 2012 GENERAL PRIMARY". Illinois State Board of Elections. Retrieved October 24, 2019.
- "Election Results 2016 GENERAL PRIMARY". Illinois State Board of Elections. Retrieved October 24, 2019.
- "Election Results 2016 GENERAL ELECTION". Illinois State Board of Elections. Retrieved October 24, 2019.
- "Election Results 2018 GENERAL ELECTION". Illinois State Board of Elections. Retrieved October 22, 2019.
- "Election Results 2020 GENERAL ELECTION". Illinois State Board of Elections. Retrieved January 15, 2021.
- Gutowski, Christy (October 28, 2016). "Suburban politicians seeking promotion vie to succeed Duckworth in Congress". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved November 7, 2016.
- "Raja Krishnamoorthi: Candidate Profile". Daily Herald. January 1, 2016. Retrieved November 7, 2016.
- "About - Raja For Congress". Raja For Congress. Retrieved July 23, 2017.
- "Indian American Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi Visits White House for Chicago Cubs Celebration". India West. Retrieved January 30, 2017.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Raja Krishnamoorthi.|
- Biography at the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
- Profile at Vote Smart
- Financial information (federal office) at the Federal Election Commission
- Legislation sponsored at the Library of Congress
- Appearances on C-SPAN
|U.S. House of Representatives|
| Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Illinois's 8th congressional district
|U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)|
| United States Representatives by seniority
|115th||Senate: R. Durbin • T. Duckworth||House: L. Gutiérrez • B. Rush • D. Davis • J. Shimkus • J. Schakowsky • D. Lipinski • P. Roskam • M. Quigley • B. Foster • R. Hultgren • A. Kinzinger • C. Bustos • R. Davis • R. Kelly • M. Bost • D. LaHood • B. Schneider • R. Krishnamoorthi|
|116th||Senate: R. Durbin • T. Duckworth||House: B. Rush • D. Davis • J. Shimkus • J. Schakowsky • D. Lipinski • M. Quigley • B. Foster • A. Kinzinger • C. Bustos • R. Davis • R. Kelly • M. Bost • D. LaHood • B. Schneider • R. Krishnamoorthi • S. Casten • J. García • L. Underwood|
|117th||Senate: R. Durbin • T. Duckworth||House: B. Rush • D. Davis • J. Schakowsky • M. Quigley • B. Foster • A. Kinzinger • C. Bustos • R. Davis • R. Kelly • M. Bost • D. LaHood • B. Schneider • R. Krishnamoorthi • S. Casten • J. García • L. Underwood • M. Miller • M. Newman|