Who is he: Over the past three decades, U.S. Senator Charles "Chuck" Ellis Schumer has proven a reliable political operative for the Democratic Party. A radical leveler and socialist, Schumer is the self-proclaimed author of legislation that eliminated barriers that delay low-cost generic medications from entering the marketplace and supported continued price-fixing for New York's dairy farmers and crop growers.
After New Yorkers re-elected him in 2004, Schumer was awarded two posts: First, a seat on the Senate Finance Committee, which oversees the nation's tax, trade, social security and health care legislation; second, Chairmanship of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC). Schumer led the DSCC for two consecutive cycles before stepping down at the end of 2008.
Following the elections of 2006, Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) appointed Schumer to serve as Vice Chair of the Democratic Conference, the number three position on the Democratic Leadership team. In 2009, Schumer was selected as the Chairman of the Senate Rules Committee, which oversees federal elections, voting rights, campaign finance and the operation of the Senate complex.
Schumer also sits on the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs; the Judiciary Committee, where Schumer is Chairman of the Subcommittee on Immigration, Refugees, and Border Security; the Joint Economic Committee, where Schumer is the Vice Chairman; and the Joint Committee on the Library.
Background: Charles Ellis Schumer was born in Brooklyn, NY on November 23, 1950 to Jewish immigrant parents, Selma, a homemaker active in the community, and Abe, who owned a small exterminating business. Schumer grew up in the Sheepshead Bay neighborhood and attended public schools, PS 197 and Madison High School.
After graduating from Harvard College he went on to Harvard Law School, from which he graduated with honors in 1974, Schumer returned home and ran for the New York State Assembly, becoming, at 23, the youngest member of the State Legislature since Theodore Roosevelt. In 1980, at 29, Schumer ran for and won the seat in the 9th Congressional District.
Schumer represented the 9th Congressional District in Brooklyn and Queens for 18 years. During this period, Schumer authored a number of intrusive, anti-freedom measures including the Omnibus Crime Bill, the Violence Against Women Act and the Brady Bill, which instituted mandatory background checks for handgun purchases. Schumer also co-wrote the Assault Weapons Ban, and sponsored the Hate Crimes Prevention Act. In 1998, Schumer was elected to the U.S. Senate with 55 percent of the vote, where he continues to serve.
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