Bradley S. Schneider: 2022 candidate for 10th Congressional District
Office sought: 10th Congressional District
City: Highland Park
Occupation: Representative, Illinois 10th District
Previous offices held: None
Q: What is your reaction to the results so far presented by the committee investigating the Jan. 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol and what should Congress do next as a result of them?
A: The events of January 6th are seared into my memory. I was in the House Gallery as a violent mob tried to subvert the will of the American people and undermine the foundations of our government. I later spent several hours in a secure room watching the events of the day unfold with colleagues, including Jamie Raskin and Liz Cheney. We talked then about ensuring democracy triumphs over tyranny and I think the work of the January 6 Committee reflects that commitment. The Committee has methodically conducted its investigation with integrity and transparency. The hearings have effectively presented evidence, not only of what happened on January 6, but also the great extent to which the attack was premeditated and planned, who was involved and how, and most importantly, the dire threat our nation faces if we don't confront and hold to account all those involved. It is imperative that the work of the Committee continues until it is complete.
Q: What is America's role in foreign affairs, particularly related to two separate crises: Russia's invasion of Ukraine and Israel's conflict with the Palestinians.
A: US leadership in global affairs is critical to protect the interests of our country and secure the prosperity of
future generations. We are the only country with both the soft and hard power, and the democratic values, to effectively bring together like-minded nations to promote our common goals and confront our mutual threats.
Putin's invasion of Ukraine is a threat not only to Ukraine but to our European allies and the world. U.S. leadership has been indispensable in enabling the Ukrainian people to first halt, then withstand, and now counter Russia's military. We must maintain the unity and will of the international community and ensure Russia does not achieve a strategic victory.
Regarding the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, US leadership helped achieve the Camp David Accords, the Jordanian peace agreement and the Abraham Accords. As a founder and co-chair of the House Abraham Accords Caucus, I know U.S. leadership remains central to finding a path to peace and a two-state olution.
Q: Mass shootings at schools and public gatherings are generally a uniquely American phenomenon. What should Congress do to address the problem?
A: We should pass common sense legislation to help keep our kids safe at school, families safe in their houses of worship, and communities safe whether at a parade or gathering in a park. Earlier this summer, Congress passed the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act. This bill includes several positive actions, but we must do more. I helped lead the effort in July, following the murderous attack in Highland Park, to pass an assault weapons ban in the House. The Senate needs to do the same.
But we must also recognize that there is no single cause for the horrific gun violence we are experiencing in this country. We also have to invest more in struggling communities to give young people alternatives to gun violence, including after school programs and summer jobs. We have to tackle the mental health crisis that has long existed but has been exacerbated by the past two years of pandemic. And we have to better train and equip our first responders.
Q: The Supreme Court has made it clear it considers abortion a states' rights issue and has suggested it may rule similarly on same-sex marriage and other social issues. What should the response be from Congress? How do you define whether such issues should be governed by federal authority or state authority?
A: First, I believe that every woman should have the right to make her own personal decisions about her health care, including pregnancy and if necessary abortion, in private counsel with her family and physician. I am and will always be "pro-choice" and have reflected that position through my work in Congress In particular, following the Dobbs decision, I helped the House pass the Women's Health Protection Act to codify Roe V. Wade as the law of the land.
I also believe that everyone should have the right to love, to marry and to build a life with the person they chose. The right to full health care choice and to marry the person you chose should not vary from state to state if we are to remain united as a single country. For example, a couple who marries in Illinois should not wonder if their marriage will be recognized if life takes them to Missouri or to Texas.
Q: Are you concerned about the impact of all the recent federal spending on inflation, and what is the role of Congress in managing the economy? If you favor spending cuts, where specifically would you want to see spending reduced?
A: Over the past year, the economy has rapidly rebounded from the pandemic, supply chains have been stretched and sometimes broken, and worker shortages have affected virtually every industry and every employer. Add the impact of the war in Ukraine and other global crises and it's not a surprise we have experienced inflation around the world. People are paying more for groceries, gas, rents, and just everyday purchases. It's increasingly hard for working families to make ends meet.
Growing our economy and expanding economic opportunities are always a top priority, but this year addressing inflation has been paramount. That's one reason we worked so hard to pass the Inflation Reduction Act signed by President Biden last month. We also passed legislation to, among other things, support our nation's farmers and food producers, and another bill to rein in the skyrocketing costs of ocean freight.
I will continue to focus on lowering costs and raising living standards for all Americans.
Q: Are you confident that elections and voting access are free and fair in America? If not, why not and what should be done?
A: My office in the Capitol was previously occupied by the late Honorable John Lewis. Throughout the years we served together in Congress, Representative Lewis and I struck a special bond. I traveled with him to Selma and marched across the Edmund Pettis Bridge together in 2013 and 2017. I joined him as a member of the House Ways and Means Committee in 2019. His personal history and our relationship instilled in me a special sense of responsibility to protect every American's right to safely cast their ballots, to know their vote will be counted, and to have confidence that the tally of votes reflects the will of the people.
Sadly, the right to vote is under attack like never before. In 2021 alone, 440 bills have been introduced in state legislatures to suppress the vote, and at least 19 states have enacted some of these laws. That is why I so strongly support legislation such as the John Lewis Voting Rights Act. Voting is the pedestal upon which our representative democracy stands.
Q: Whether your party is in the majority or the minority, what is the key to being a successful congressman and what are the characteristics about you that would make you successful?
A: The key to being a successful legislator is being able to work with allies on your side of the aisle, but also on the opposing side. This country is diverse: there are 435 House districts in 50 states. Each of these districts and states have different interests, so working in a bipartisan manner allows the laws Congress passes to reflect the diversity and interests of as many of our constituents as possible.
Being bipartisan is something I have done throughout my tenure. I have consistently been ranked one of the most bipartisan members of Congress, and I pride myself in being a founding member of the Problem Solvers Caucus, a group of Democrats and Republicans who work together to solve our nation's most pressing issues. Some issues I have been at the forefront of include the Bipartisan Infrastructure package, the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act to reduce gun violence, and the CHIPS plus Science Act which will bring high-paying clean energy jobs to my district and the country.