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Democratic Congressman Brad Schneider Defines the Limits of Bipartisanship

Bipartisan Problem-Solver Democratic Congressman Brad Schneider—“I Will Not Work With Republicans Who Can’t State That Biden Is President and the 2020 Election Was Fair” March 21, 2021



Our nation still reels from the 1/06/2021 anti-democratic coup attempt in which hundreds of far right-Trump fanatics and white supremacists stormed the Capitol Building after Trump incited them to go there. He wanted them to strongly contest the counting of the Electoral College votes on that day that would give Joe Biden his 11/2020 presidential victory over Trump, because Demagogue Donald falsely claimed that the election had been stolen from him. Five people died in this attack, including a policeman, and many were injured (See ballotpedia.org). According to the FBI, which is investigating this insurrection and asking for the public’s help in locating the Capitol assailants, at least 300 people have been charged in this assault. The Department of Justice (DOJ) says that total could easily pass 400 (cnn.com, Carrega, Perez, & Polantz, 3/15/21). Prosecutors have filed conspiracy charges against family members of those who went to the Capitol and against members of far-right extremist groups like the Oath Keepers and the Proud Boys (cnn.com, Cohen & Perez, 3/12/21). Over 30 of the 300 people charged so far in the Capitol attack were current and former servicemembers, a disproportionate representation of a group trained in military tactics that were used to break into the Capitol (See Cohen & Starr, cnn.com3/11/12, floridatoday.com, Sassoon, 3/15/21).


Democratic and GOP House and Senate members as well as GOP VP Pence had to flee or hide for hours in the Capitol to escape being captured and killed by this mob. Despite this hideous Capitol attack by Trump’s vigilantes, the counting of the Electoral College votes resumed later that day and went through the night and early morning. Biden was rightly declared the 2020 presidential winner. However, in this post-Capitol attack vote in which Republicans were also targeted, 121 GOP House members still voted to challenge Biden’s win in Arizona and 138 GOP House members voted to challenge Biden’s Pennsylvania victory. (Six GOP Senators voted against Biden’s AZ victory and 7 against his PA win {ballotpedia.org, 1/6-7/2021}). As a result of this 1/06/2021 Capitol attack and the vote by many House GOPers, House Democrats remain deeply affected. Many “Team Blue” Congressmembers are shaken up by the fact that far too many House GOPers do not share a fundamental belief in democracy and elections (nbcnews.com, Caldell, L. A., 3/14/21). Freshman Cong. Jake Auchincloss (D-MA) knows his constituents want him to work with Republicans. However, Auchincloss “draws the line,” at working with GOPers who voted not to certify the Electoral College results in order to overturn the election results. He uses Google to determine which “Team Red” Congressmembers voted against Biden’s win. While Auchincloss stated he “does not like political litmus tests,” he said, “I kind of throw cold water on the whole thing (working with such GOPers),” because “insurrection against the United States government qualifies,” as a deal breaker for bipartisan cooperation (See nbcnews.com, Caldwell).


Cong. Auchincloss is not alone. Cong. Sean Casten (D-IL) objected to a routine House task of naming a post office because it was proposed by Rep. Trent Kelly (R-MS). Cong. Kelly is accused by Dems of supporting the 1/06/2021 violent protest and voted to overturn the Electoral College vote in AZ and PA (nbcnews.com, Caldwell, 3/14/21). IA Dem. Cong. Cindy Axne wants to work across the aisle. However, she refused to work with Rep. Jason Smith (R-MO) over small business issues and kidney insurance because Smith opposed Biden’s election. Axne, instead, worked with Cong. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA). Beutler voted to impeach Trump for the Capitol assault. Cong. Ann McLane Kuster (D-NH) stated she would only work with Republicans who “recognize the lawful election of Joe Biden.” McLane Kuster looks at GOP social media feeds to determine how Republicans feel about the legitimacy of Biden’s election. She is “pained” when she sees GOPers she worked with over eight years now in the Biden election denial camp (nbcbews.com, Caldwell). Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) has released a 2,000 page “social media review” of GOP House members’ comments about Biden’s election in the lead-up to the 1/06/2021 attempted Capitol coup. Democratic House members could use her research when determining which “Team Red” House members support the legitimacy of Bidens’ election (nbcnews.com, Caldwell).


Cong. Brad Schneider (D-IL), a member of the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus, a group known for reaching across the political aisle, has a basic requirement before he can work with a GOPer. He stated, “At a fundamental level, I need an affirmative statement that Joe Biden is the legitimate president of the United States and the 2020 election was an honest and fair election (nbcnews.com, Caldwell).” Rep. Schneider told Cong. Jody Hice (R-GA) that he could not work with him on dealing with toxic carcinogens in the Chicago and Atlanta areas. Hice continued to claim that the 2020 election was affected by fraud. Hice falsely told the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) that Trump only lost GA “because of the horrible GA Sec. of State, (Republican) Brad Raffensperger.” Schneider noted, “It’s hard to envision going into an administration with a partner who doesn’t acknowledge the legitimacy of that administration or is showing a commitment to the truth.” Rep. Schneider told Cong. Paul Gosar (R-AZ), one of the wackiest and most vocal supporters of the stolen election nonsense, that he can no longer sponsor a bill that both of them have worked on together since 2017. That legislation provides protections to parents who have lost a child. According to Cong. Schneider, “If I want to try to move this bill forward, I’ve got to have the credibility on both sides. And (Gosar) makes it a little bit more difficult (Caldwell, nbcnews.com, 3/14/21).” Here’s Cong. Schneider.


Democratic Congressman Brad Schneider (59) is currently serving his 4th term in the U.S. House and represents Illinois’ 10th Congressional District (CD), the North Shore district. The present IL 10th lies in that state’s northeast corner. It mostly comprises Chicago’s northern suburbs. The IL 10th starts in Evanston and goes north through Wilmette, Winnetka, and Glencoe. It hugs Lake Michigan. The 10th leaves Cook County and crosses into the eastern Lake County suburbs of Highland Park and Lake Forest. Three-quarters of the IL 10th lies in Lake County. Other cities in the 10th include Wheeling and parts of Mount Prospect, as well as Northbrook and Deerfield, and Libertyville. The 10th is a very affluent area, the home of many of Chicago’s old money elite. Corporate headquarters in the 10th include Baxter Healthcare, Abbott Laboratories, Allstate Insurance, and Caterpillar Tractor. Exceptions to the general wealth of the 10th are Waukegan, the small town of Zion, and the nearby area around the Great Lakes Naval Training Center. That base, the Navy’s only boot camp, is situated in the 10th as well. The 10th has many suburban well-educated white- collar workers and a large Jewish community (Cohen & Cook 2020 Political Almanac, Barone 12 &14 Political Almanacs, CQ 12 Almanac).


The IL 10th is 58.1% white, 6.6% black, 22.7% Latino, and 10.3% Asian. It has a D+10 Cook Partisan Voting Index, PVI. The 10th has a fiscally conservative/socially liberal tilt. In non-presidential years, this area has been competitive. Although Hillary and Biden handily won the 10th in 2016 and 2020, in recent times, GOP Congressmembers have often represented this CD. Trump’s behavior has contributed to the loss of GOP favorability in this business elite district. In 2018, Democrats won control of the Lake County board for the first time in history. However, the IL 10th is no “slam dunk” Democratic area (See Cohen & Cook 2020).



Brad Schneider was born and raised in Denver, CO. He is the son of Democratic activist parents and in 1968, he joined them to canvass for Hubert Humphrey’s presidential campaign. Schneider received a 1983 B.S. degree in industrial engineering from IL’s Northwestern University and a 1988 M.B.A. degree from that university’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management. He spent a year in Israel on a kibbutz and then returned to Chicago to take a consulting job with the accounting giant PriceWaterhouseCoopers. From 1997-2003, Schneider worked as the managing principal of a life insurance firm. In 2003, he became a director of a strategic service group. In 2008, he started his own consulting company, Cadence Consulting Group (Cohen & Cook 2020, bioguide.congress.gov, chicagomag.com, Felsenthal, C., 9/24/12). Schneider worked for the Jewish United Fund and served as director of the Business and Professional People for the Business Interest, a local social-justice organization (Cohen & Cook 2020).


In 2012, Schneider defeated then first-term GOP Congressman Bob Dold by a 1.2% margin in the year that former Illinoisan Barack Obama was running for Presidential re-election. In midterm 2014, without Obama heading the ticket and with lackluster Democratic turnout, Dold defeated freshman Cong. Schneider by a 2.6% margin. In 2016, when Hillary carried IL against Trump, Schneider defeated Dold in a third rematch, despite being outspent by GOP groups. This time, Schneider won with a relatively “comfortable” 4.8% margin. In anti-Trump year 2018, Schneider, no longer running against Dold, clobbered his opponent by a 31.18% margin. In 2020, Schneider easily dispatched another GOPer by 26 percentage points (Cohen & Cook 2020, IL “Election Results 2018 GENERAL ELECTION,” 117th Cong. At Your Fingertips, Early Guide).


Schneider campaigns as a moderate/progressive Democrat. He repeatedly describes himself as “pragmatic and a moderate (Felsenthal, 9/24/12, Schneider Interview, chicagotonight.wttw.com, 3/06/12).” In the House, Cong. Schneider is a member of the New Democrat Coalition and the Blue Dog Coaltion, both moderate “Team Blue” groups (newdemocraticcoalition, house.gov, bluedogcaucus.house.gov). As previously mentioned, Scneider prides himself on being a member of the Problem Solvers Caucus. This group contains 56 members, equally divided between Dems and GOPers. Democrats in it include recently elected Carolyn Bourdeaux (D-GA), Lou Correa (D-CA), and Jared Golden (D-ME). GOPers in this caucus include John Katko (R-NY), Tom Rice (R-SC), and Mark Amodei (R-NV). This caucus tried to work on health care reform and COVID-19 relief issues (nytimes.com, 8/04/17, chicagotribune.com). Schneider has been called the 34th and 35th wealthiest member of Congress (mediacq.com, 2013, 2014). In 2018, the conservative Chamber of Commerce gave him a 73% rating, a high one for a Democrat (See uschamber.com). However, Cong. Schneider also has a 100% score from Planned Parenthood and a 94% rating from the League of Conservation Voters (plannedparenthoodaction.org, scorecard.lcv.org). Cong. Schneider supports EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) carbon emission standards for power plants. He supports repealing the top 1% Trump/GOP tax bill and co-sponsored a bill to raise the minimum wage to $10.00 an hour (dailyherald.com, 2/23/12, ivn.us/3/04/14, Wicklander). He supports Obamacare and opposes its repeal (suntimes.com, 8/20/14). During Trump’s time in office, Cong. Schneider voted with Donald 23.1% of the time, but just 6.7% in the 116th Congress, and 0% in the current 117th Congress (projectsfivethirtyeight.com). He fits his business but socially liberal-leaning district quite well.


We should not at all be surprised that Cong. Schneider won’t put up with the GOP supporters of conspiracy theories and Biden election denial. On 1/12/2021, he tested positive for COVID-19 after he had sheltered in place for hours with non-mask wearing GOP members during the 1/06/2021 Capitol attack (nbcchicago.com, 1/12/21). Being Jewish, Schneider is clearly horrified by many of the anti-Semitic white supremacists who stormed the Capitol. Some of these sickos, remember, wore shirts denying and praising the Holocaust. Some of the GOP legislators Cong. Schneider will not deal with ignore or dabble in anti-Semitic QAnon conspiracy theories, wacky views held by many of the Capitol assailants.


Moderate/progressive Schneider is part of the Democrats’ “big tent.” Kudos for his taking this strong stand against non-reality-based GOP Congressmembers! We must support him in his 2022 re-election bid as part of our effort to keep the House.