Raja Krishnamoorthi

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Raja Krishnamoorthi
Raja Krishnamoorthi official photo.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Illinois's 8th district
Assumed office
January 3, 2017
Preceded byTammy Duckworth
Personal details
Born (1973-07-19) July 19, 1973 (age 46)
New Delhi, India
Political partyDemocratic
EducationPrinceton University (BS)
Harvard University (JD)
WebsiteHouse website

Subramanian Raja Krishnamoorthi[1] (/ˈrɑːə ˌkrɪʃnəˈmʊərθi/ born July 19, 1973) is an American businessman and politician who is the U.S. Representative for Illinois's 8th congressional district. He was first elected in 2016 to succeed Tammy Duckworth, who gave up the seat to successfully run for the U.S. Senate. He is a member of the Democratic Party.

Early life[edit]

In 1973, Krishnamoorthi was born into a Tamil-speaking family in New Delhi, India.[2][3] His family moved to Buffalo, New York when he was three months old so that his father could attend graduate school.[4] They lived in public housing and used food stamps.[5] In 1980, the Krishnamoorthis moved to Peoria, Illinois.[4] His father became a professor at Bradley University.[5]

Krishnamoorthi attended Princeton University, where he earned a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering. He then received a Juris Doctor from Harvard Law School.[5]

Early career[edit]

Krishnamoorthi and Barack Obama in July 2002

After graduating from Harvard, Krishnamoorthi served as a law clerk for Joan B. Gottschall[6] and worked as a staffer 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,[5] and aided in the development of Obama's 2004 Democratic National Convention keynote address.[4]

Krishnamoorthi served as a partner at the law firm Kirkland & Ellis and as a special assistant attorney general under Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan.[5] He served as deputy state treasurer for Illinois Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias from 2007 to 2009.[4][5][citation needed] He was the president of Sivananthan Laboratories and Episolar Inc., which develops and sells technology for military and civilian customers, until resigning all his business positions before entering Congress to eliminate any conflicts of interest.[4][5][7]

Electoral career[edit]

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.[8][9] 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, 66%–34%.[5]

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%.[8] 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.[10][11][12]

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]

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."[13]

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."[14] 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."[15]

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."[16]

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.[17][18] Krishnamoorthi closed his remarks by referencing Trump's campaign slogan,[19] 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."[20]

Job training and workforce development[edit]

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.[21] 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.[22]

Defense of state and local tax (SALT) deduction[edit]

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[23] and one to the Chair and Ranking Member of the Ways and Means Committee, urging them to preserve the deduction.[24]

Environmental issues and green technology[edit]

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.[25]

Health care[edit]

During a January 2017 floor debate in the House of Representatives, Krishnamoorthi argued against repealing the Affordable Care Act.[26] 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."[26]

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.[27]

Presidential pardons[edit]

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.[28]

Trump administration security clearance issues[edit]

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.[29]

Immigration and Trump administration's travel ban[edit]

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,[30] including a family of legal permanent residents and their 18-month-old baby,[31] who held U.S. citizenship.[32] Krishnamoorthi arrived at O'Hare within hours to speak to immigration officials but was told they were unavailable.[33] 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?"[34]

In a WGN Radio interview the next morning, Krishnamoorthi denounced Trump's immigration initiative, calling it the "worst executive order you could draw up to unify the country."[35]

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.[36]

Accountability in federal contracting[edit]

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.[37]

Foreign Policy[edit]

Krishnamoorthi sided with Trump on tariffs when he criticized Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for attacking Trump during the 2018 G7 Summit.[38]

Committee assignments[edit]


Caucus memberships[edit]

Personal life[edit]

Krishnamoorthi's wife, Priya, is a doctor. They live in Schaumburg, Illinois,[44] with their two sons, Vijay and Vikram, and daughter, Sonia.[45][46]

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.[47]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Schneider returns to House; Krishnamoorthi takes Duckworth's seat".
  2. ^ Sharma, Sheenu (November 9, 2016). "Raja Krishnamoorthi becomes first Indian-American to enter US Congress". India Today.
  3. ^ "Raja Krishnamoorthi heading to U.S. Congress". The Hindu. November 9, 2016.
  4. ^ a b c d e Bhattacharyya, Anirudh (August 29, 2016). "Raja Krishnamoorthi: First-ever Hindu of Indian origin may make it to the US House of Representatives". firstpost.com. Retrieved November 7, 2016.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h Gonzales, Nathan L. (March 31, 2016). "Faces of the 115th Congress: Raja Krishnamoorthi". Roll Call. Retrieved November 7, 2016.
  6. ^ Schoenburg, Bernard (August 2, 2009). "Bernard Schoenburg: Schock, Shimkus: Obama born in U.S." The State-Journal Register. Retrieved November 7, 2016.
  7. ^ "Daily Herald". Suburbs' new congressmen ready to face steep climb on the 'Hill'. January 28, 2017. Retrieved January 30, 2017.
  8. ^ a b "Raja Krishnamoorthi Registers Big Win in Congressional Primary". Chicago Tribune. March 17, 2016. Archived from the original on November 8, 2016. Retrieved November 7, 2016.
  9. ^ Mack, Kristen (February 3, 2010). "Democratic comptroller race settled". Chicago Tribune. Chicago: Tribune Co. Archived from the original on February 6, 2010. Retrieved November 7, 2016.
  10. ^ "New Member: Democrat Raja Krishnamoorthi Elected in Illinois' 8th District". Roll Call. November 9, 2016. Retrieved January 30, 2017.
  11. ^ "Illinois U.S. House 8th District Results: Raja Krishnamoorthi Wins". Retrieved January 30, 2017.
  12. ^ "Krishnamoorthi Vows to Fight for Middle Class in Congress". NBC Chicago. Retrieved January 30, 2017.
  13. ^ "Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi takes oath and commits to middle class". Asian American Press. January 5, 2017. Retrieved January 30, 2017.
  14. ^ "6 Illinois Democrats Skipping Out On Swearing-In". Chicago Tonight | WTTW. Retrieved January 30, 2017.
  15. ^ Gambino, Lauren (January 19, 2017). "The up-and-coming leaders of the Trump resistance in Washington". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved January 30, 2017.
  16. ^ News, Indian-American Community (January 22, 2017). "Hundreds of Thousands Join Women's March on Washington to Protest President Trump's Agenda". Indian-American Community News. Retrieved January 30, 2017.
  17. ^ Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi (January 24, 2017), Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi Speaks Out Against Trump Plan To Make Mortgages More Expensive, retrieved January 30, 2017
  18. ^ "Trump Reverses Obama's Mortgage Fee Cuts on First Day". Bloomberg.com. January 20, 2017. Retrieved January 30, 2017.
  19. ^ "How Trump came up with his slogan 'Make America Great Again'". Business Insider. Retrieved January 30, 2017.
  20. ^ "Raja Speaks Out Against Trump's Plan To Make Mortgages More Expensive For Working Families". Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi. January 24, 2017. Retrieved January 30, 2017.
  21. ^ Andrew Ujifusa. "House Passes Bill to Overhaul Career-Tech Education by Giving More Power to States". Education Week - Politics K-12. Retrieved January 2, 2018.
  22. ^ "Congressman Krishnamoorthi Leads 237 Members of Congress in Letter Urging Senate Education Committee to Take Up the Thompson-Krishnamoorthi Act". Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi. November 20, 2017. Retrieved January 2, 2018.
  23. ^ "Reps. Krishnamoorthi, Gutiérrez, and Foster Urge Governor Rauner To Join Them In Opposing Proposal To Eliminate Key Tax Deduction For Working Families". Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi. October 4, 2017. Retrieved January 2, 2018.
  24. ^ "Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi Urges Chairman Brady And Ranking Member Neal of the Ways and Means Committee To Preserve Key Tax Deduction For Working Families". Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi. October 4, 2017. Retrieved January 2, 2018.
  25. ^ "Raja Calls on Trump Administration to Maintain Commitment to Paris Agreement to Battle the Consequences of Climate Change and Embrace the Potential of Green Technology". Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi. February 2, 2017. Retrieved January 2, 2018.
  26. ^ a b "Krishnamoorthi Opposes Repeal Of Obamacare During House Debate - News India Times". www.newsindiatimes.com. Retrieved January 30, 2017.
  27. ^ "Cummings and Krishnamoorthi Request Info. on Trump Administration's Decision to Schedule Major Outages of HealthCare.gov During Open Enrollment". Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi. September 29, 2017. Retrieved January 2, 2018.
  28. ^ Greenwood, Max (July 26, 2017). "Dem rep to introduce measure requiring White House to disclose pardons". TheHill. Retrieved January 2, 2018.
  29. ^ CNN, Kara Scannell,. "Background check chief has 'never seen' mistakes like Kushner forms". CNN. Retrieved January 2, 2018.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link)
  30. ^ "As hundreds protest, attorneys seek info on how many are detained". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved January 30, 2017.
  31. ^ "Refugees, Visa and Green Card Holders Detained, Turned Away at O'Hare". Chicago Tonight | WTTW. Retrieved January 30, 2017.
  32. ^ "Travelers Detained Due To Trump Travel Ban Released, Attorneys Say". Retrieved January 30, 2017.
  33. ^ Sobol, Rosemary Regina. "Illinois Democrats express 'disbelief' at Trump immigration order". chicagotribune.com. Retrieved January 30, 2017.
  34. ^ "Daily Herald". Protests for immigrants begin anew at O'Hare. January 29, 2017. Retrieved January 30, 2017.
  35. ^ "Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi: "Worst Executive Order You Could Draw Up To Unify The Country"". WGN Radio - 720 AM. January 29, 2017. Retrieved January 30, 2017.
  36. ^ "House Democrats Demand Department of Homeland Security Reverse Rejections of DACA Applications After USPS Error - House Democratic Caucus | Dems.gov". House Democratic Caucus | Dems.gov. November 15, 2017. Retrieved January 2, 2018.
  37. ^ "Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi Urges Oversight Committee Leadership To Investigate Federal Contracts Preventing Government Review In Wake Of Whitefish Energy Scandal". Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi. October 27, 2017. Retrieved January 2, 2018.
  38. ^ http://thehill.com/homenews/house/391569-dem-rep-trudeau-sabotaging-trade-negotiations-by-feuding-with-trump
  39. ^ "Committees and Legislation". Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi. November 7, 2014. Retrieved January 30, 2017.
  40. ^ "Cummings Announces Subcommittee Ranking Members for 115th Congress". Committee on Oversight and Government Reform - Democrats. January 24, 2017. Retrieved January 30, 2017.
  41. ^ "Members". New Democrat Coalition. Retrieved February 6, 2018.
  42. ^ "Members". Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus. Retrieved May 17, 2018.
  43. ^ "Creation". Congressional Solar Caucus. Retrieved January 30, 2019.
  44. ^ Gutowski, Christy (October 28, 2016). "Suburban politicians seeking promotion vie to succeed Duckworth in Congress". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved November 7, 2016.
  45. ^ "Raja Krishnamoorthi: Candidate Profile". Daily Herald. January 1, 2016. Retrieved November 7, 2016.
  46. ^ "About - Raja For Congress". Raja For Congress. Retrieved July 23, 2017.
  47. ^ Reporter, India-West Staff. "Indian American Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi Visits White House for Chicago Cubs Celebration". India West. Retrieved January 30, 2017.

External links[edit]

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Tammy Duckworth
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Illinois's 8th congressional district

U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Ro Khanna
United States Representatives by seniority
Succeeded by
David Kustoff