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November 8, 2016 — Illinois General Election
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United States

U.S. House of RepresentativesCandidate for District 8

Photo of Raja Krishnamoorthi

Raja Krishnamoorthi

Democratic
Small businessman
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Protecting Social Security and Medicare
  • Pursuing Working Famlies Agenda (raising minimum wage, guaranteed maternity leave and sick leave, and equal pay for equal work for women)
  • Enacting common-sense gun laws

Experience

Experience

Profession:Small businessman
Co-founder, of InSPIRE, a non-profit organization (not availa–not availa)
Chair of Audit Commitee, Member of Board of Illinous Housing Department Authority — Appointed position (not availa–not availa)
Special Assistant Attorney General, Public Integrity Unit for State of Illinois — Appointed position (not availa–not availa)
Deputy Treasurer of Illinois, State of Illinois — Appointed position (not availa–not availa)
Vice Chair-Illinois Innovation Council, Buisnesses in Illinois — Appointed position (not availa–not availa)
President, Sivananthan Labs and Episolar Inc. (not availa–current)
Issues Diector, Barack Obama 2004 U.S. Senate Campaign — Appointed position (2004–2004)

Education

Princeton University B.S.E. , Mechanical Engineering (not availa)
Harvard University J.D. (not availa)

Biography

Raja Krishnamoorthi, 42, grew up in Illinois. Starting from humble roots in Peoria, Illinois, Raja attended public schools there. He later won scholarships and took out loans to attend college and law school. After clerking for a federal judge in Chicago, Raja served as an issues director for Barack Obama's sucessful 2004 campaign for U.S. Senate. Later, Raja was appointed by Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan to serve as a Special Assistant Attorney General in her newly formed Public Integrity Unit to root out corruption. Raja has served as a member of the Illinois Housing Development Authority, where he chaired the Audit Commitee. He also served for two years as Illinois Depurty Treasurer.

Currently, a small businessman, Raja, serves as president of Sivananthan Labs and Episolar, Inc., small buisnesses in the Chicago suburbs that develope and sell products in the national security and renewable energey industries. He is a co-founder of InSPIRE, a non-profit organization that provides training in solar technology to inner-city students and veterans. Raja formerly was Vice-Chariman of the Illinois Innocation Council, whose mission is to promore innovatine technologies that support economic growth and job creation.

Raja and his family place a high priority on the value of education. His father isa professor of engineering at Bradley University in Peoria. Raja earned his bachelor's degree summa cum laude in mechanical engineering from Princeton University and graduated with honors from Harvard Law School. His brother is a doctor who treated veterans at the VA and now provides care to inner-city children and faimilies in Chicago.

Raja is married to Priva, a doctor who practicies at local hospitals. They live in Schaumburg with theri sons Vijay, 10, and Vikram, 6, who attend public schools in District 54.

Who supports this candidate?

Questions & Answers

Questions from Chicago Sun-Times (18)

What is your biggest difference with your opponent(s)?
Answer from Raja Krishnamoorthi:

I believe campaigns should be about ideas, and that candidates owe the voters specific plans on how to achieve their goals in public office.  The focus of my campaign for Congress is to strengthen and expand the middle-class, and I have offered specific ideas including: a Working Families Agenda to improve job opportunities and wages; initiatives to make sure that women can fully participate in the workforce through, among other things, more accessible childcare and equal pay for equal work; and a College Affordability Plan to help working families save and pay for college.  I’ve also taken specific positions on critical issues from protecting Social Security and Medicare to a women’s right to choose to initiatives to curb gun violence.  All of these plans and positions are available and accessible on my website.  As of the date of this questionnaire, my opponent has offered no such plans or specifics.  That may be good politics, but it is a disservice to the voters of the district and to our democratic process.

Congress has declined to formally authorize America’s undeclared war against ISIS. Should Congress take a vote to authorize the use of military force against ISIS?
Answer from Raja Krishnamoorthi:

I believe that Congress is ducking its constitutional responsibility to vote on our nation’s military engagement abroad.  It may be good politics to avoid taking a stand, but it undermines our system of checks and balances.  I favor such a vote, as does the Obama Administration.  Regardless of the outcome of the November elections, the leaders of the new House and Senate should quickly schedule such a vote.

More generally, what should Congress do to reduce the threat of ISIS abroad and at home? 
Answer from Raja Krishnamoorthi:

I believe the U.S. can and must contribute to military operations aimed at destroying ISIS and other terrorist organizations.  But as we have learned through our involvement in two recent wars in the Middle East, U.S. soldiers should not be leading those operations.  Rather, we should support the efforts of those who live in the region through training, logistical help and coordinated air strikes. The return to a combat role for U.S. troops would only aid ISIS in characterizing this as a religious war and help in its recruitment efforts.  We should instead focus our efforts on building and supporting a military force comprising residents of the region.

 

Ultimately, the best way to end the fighting – and the stream of millions of refugees from the region – is to pursue diplomatic solutions, such as a negotiated end to the civil war in Syria.  I am under no illusion that this will be quick or easy.  But a political solution, involving our allies and other countries in the region, is the only way to end the killing and start the reconstruction of that nation.  We should continue to pursue such negotiations -- and include all those with influence in the region, such as Iran and Russia.  The only beneficiaries of the continued fighting in Syria and throughout the Middle East are extremist, terrorist organizations like ISIS who fill the political vacuum and provide an outlet for those driven by religious hatred and despair.

Donald Trump has called for a temporary ban on Muslim immigration. Do you support such action? What restrictions, if any, do you support on the admission of Muslims into the United States? 
Answer from Raja Krishnamoorthi:

The challenge to our nation and its leaders is to respond to the threat of international terrorism without sacrificing the rights and liberties that are the bedrock of our democracy.  We need to strike the right balance.  Banning visits to our country by members of a particular religious group or suggesting the return of World War II-style internment camps is precisely the wrong way to go.

 

Here at home, we must redouble our efforts to identify and stop those individuals who have been radicalized and intend to commit terroristic acts.  That starts with keeping weapons out of their hands through expanded background checks that work in real time and banning the private purchase of military-style assault weapons.  We must also ban the purchase or possession of guns by those individuals on the no-fly list.  And we must work with members of the Muslim-American community to identify those attracted to radical groups that promote violence and terrorism.  Such efforts will be greatly hindered by undertaking such discriminatory practices as banning all Muslims from entering the U.S. or by putting all U.S. Muslims on some kind of watch-list.

The United States’ nuclear deal with Iran turned one year old on July 14, 2016. Should the deal be maintained as it is, revised or scrapped completely? What is right or wrong with the Iran deal? And should the next president feel bound by it?
Answer from Raja Krishnamoorthi:

I supported implementation of President Obama’s nuclear treaty with Iran. Recent reports on the one-year anniversary of that treaty suggest that Iran has taken steps toward compliance and that, as a result, the length of time it would now take for Iran to produce a nuclear weapon has been increased.  According to news reports, Iran has pared down its uranium and heavy-water stockpiles and poured cement in the core of the Arak reactor.  Iran has also allowed for significant inspections by the IAEA, as per the agreement.  While this is good news, it will be the charge of the next Congress to ensure that Iran continues to comply with the treaty.

 

Unfortunately, during this same time, new sanctions were necessitated by Iran’s violation of separate rules governing ballistic missiles.  We must continue working to ensure that Iran complies with all of its international treaties – and reinstitute measured sanctions when it does not.  I am also very concerned with renewed human rights abuses in the country, as this indicates that the nuclear agreement did not bring about the intended wider moderation of the Iranian regime, as some of the nuclear deal’s sponsors had suggested it would.  Thus, we must continue to monitor these abuses and speak out for those seeking greater political freedom within the country.

 

Our relations with Iran will be a continuing challenge for the next President and Congress.  The best thing the U.S. can do in this situation is to continue to provide both a carrot and a stick – the carrot of better relations and fuller integration into the international community when Iran complies with its treaty obligations, and the stick of tighter sanctions and international isolation when Iran violates its treaty obligations.  We must vigilantly enforce the nuclear treaty’s provisions going forward.

Should the United States build a physical wall along our nation’s entire border with Mexico? Should a “path to citizenship” be created for the millions of people already living here without proper documentation? Would you support legislation to prevent the deportations of so-called “Dreamers” — youth who came to the U.S. illegally as small children with their parents?
Answer from Raja Krishnamoorthi:

The current debate over our nation’s immigration policy is very personal to me.  My parents came to the U.S. as legal immigrants from India to pursue a better life for themselves and their children.  Their early years in this country were difficult as they struggled to gain a foothold.  But through hard work and perseverance, they were able to succeed.  My brother and I benefited from all that America has to offer, including an excellent public education that enabled us to succeed professionally.  I am running for Congress to help ensure that the American Dream realized by my parents and family remains within reach of families across the 8th Congressional District of Illinois.

 

Donald Trump’s proposal to build a wall – and get Mexico to pay for it – is a political fantasy.  It sends a terrible message to the world and to our neighbor and ally to the south.  It will not accomplish the goal of reducing illegal immigration, which has actually diminished greatly during the Obama Administration – and which is more a function of visitors to the U.S. overstaying their visas than crossing our borders illegally.

 

I support comprehensive immigration reform that combines better border controls and enhanced enforcement of visa limits with a pathway to citizenship for the millions of undocumented workers currently living and working in the U.S. who have not committed crimes and are otherwise law-abiding residents.  Those individuals must pay all fines and taxes, learn English and go to the back of the line to receive their citizenship – behind those like my parents who followed the rules.  This was the essence of the Gang of Eight proposal, which passed the Senate on a bipartisan basis.  Unfortunately, that legislation was never allowed to receive consideration in the House.

 

The idea of forcibly deporting millions of people who have lived in this country for years is impractical and un-American.  It is far better to create a pathway to citizenship that will bring them out of the shadows and convert them into law-abiding, taxpaying Americans.

 

I also strongly support Senator Durbin’s DREAM Act, which would grant a pathway to citizenship to the children and young people born to undocumented workers who have staked meaningful roots in the U.S.  For many of these individuals, the U.S. is the only country they’ve ever known.  We need to provide them with the opportunity to go to school, start a career and contribute to our nation’s future – especially since their immigration status is not of their own making.

Federal judges in July ruled against voter identification laws in Wisconsin and Texas, concluding that they disproportionately impact minority voters and violate the U.S. Voting Rights Act. Should voters be required to show a photo ID when voting? And should the federal government have a say in this, or is it strictly a matter for the individual states to decide? 
Answer from Raja Krishnamoorthi:

The U.S. Supreme Court made a grave mistake in striking down core provisions of the Voting Rights Act.  Almost immediately after that ruling, many states undertook efforts to restrict voting rights in the guise of fighting vote fraud.  But the incidence of such fraud in this country is almost non-existent.  The true goal of these new laws and restrictions – all of which were enacted by Republican legislatures – is to make voting more difficult for minorities and poor people who tend to vote Democratic.  Fortunately, the federal courts have struck down many of these laws, including the requirement to show a photo ID when voting. 

 

I believe Congress should work to reinstate and strengthen laws providing voter protection – particularly in those states and localities that have shown a predilection for discouraging certain groups of people from voting in the past.  Generally, I favor measures that make it easier for people to register and vote in our elections, such as automatic registration of drivers’ license applicants recently vetoed by Governor Rauner.  Our democracy should strive to encourage every eligible citizen to exercise their franchise rather than seeking to put more obstacles in their way.   

Should all or certain federal public lands, including national parks, wildlife refuges and forests, be given to states to control? Do you support the opening of public lands and the outer continental shelf to exploration for oil and other fossil fuels, even if those resources are not immediately developed? 
Answer from Raja Krishnamoorthi:

Our public lands are a legacy for all generation of Americans – now and into the future.  Setting aside those lands for permanent protection is one of America’s greatest accomplishments and has become a model for the world.  One of the President Obama’s unsung achievements is his expansion of such public lands and national monuments, including the Pullman site in Chicago.  Public lands and monuments shouldn’t be limited to rural areas, alone.

 

It would be extremely shortsighted to turn our public lands over to states for private development or other purposes.  Once they are gone, they are gone forever.  I certainly do not favor the exploitation of these lands for their fossil fuels.  We ought to be incentivizing the development of alternative, sustainable fuels such as wind and solar rather than encouraging a continued reliance on fossil fuels – particularly those found on public land.  Moreover, once the supply of oil and other fossil fuels is exhausted, these properties lose their economic value, whereas the recreational and tourism potential of our public lands can provide economic benefits for decades to come.    

 

What changes, if any, to the U.S. tax code do you support and why?
Answer from Raja Krishnamoorthi:

Our current tax code contributes to the growing income inequality in our country by largely favoring the very wealthy over working families and the poor.  To raise sufficient revenue for the federal government and bring more fairness to the tax code, we need to plug the rampant loopholes that currently exist. For starters, we should end loopholes that only the wealthiest can exploit, thus reducing their effective tax rate, while others see their rates effectively rise. One example is the carried interest loophole that unfairly benefits many billionaire hedge-fund managers.

 

The corporate tax code deserves intense scrutiny. Currently, it is full of loopholes that only benefit certain large, powerful companies that lobbied for their creation, while putting small businesses like mine on an unfair playing field relative to their larger competitors. In addition, many corporations continue to shelter profits overseas. We need to eliminate such loopholes to put all companies on a level playing field, and find a way in which corporate profits can be repatriated, while not creating another government giveaway to special interests.

 

I would work to end these special interest handouts and use the proceeds to invest in creating a stronger economy and more productive workforce, which is the surest way to guarantee a growing tax base as well. That’s why the Working Families Agenda I have proposed includes ending the carried interest loophole and using the resulting revenue to extend affordable loans to entrepreneurs to start small businesses and create local jobs.

 

I would also end the oil depletion allowance (a subsidy for oil companies) to fund an infrastructure bank to back projects here in the 8th District including the Elgin-O’Hare Expressway extension and Metra Star line.  This could improve our lagging infrastructure and spur local economic growth.

 

Finally, we need to grow the economy by helping working families reach and stay in the middle class. This includes closing the gender gap by ensuring equal work for equal pay for women, and helping working families afford a college education for their children by creating a tax credit to offset tuition payments and expanding Pell Grants for low income families. 

What are the most important actions Congress can take to ensure the solvency of Social Security?
Answer from Raja Krishnamoorthi:

We should raise the current cap of $118,500 for income subject to the Social Security payroll tax because doing so will bring additional money into the Trust Fund while addressing the growing income inequality between the wealthiest Americans and the struggling middle class.  We should not privatize the system, which would subject millions of Americans to unscrupulous brokers or to the vagaries of the stock market, when a majority of senior citizens rely solely on their Social Security benefits for their retirement income.

The Republican Party platform defines marriage as between a man and a woman. What is your view? The Obama Administration has issued guidelines to schools, saying they must allow transgender students to use the bathroom that matches their gender identity. What is your view? And do you believe parents of LGBT children should be allowed to force their children into conversion therapy?
Answer from Raja Krishnamoorthi:

As a member of an ethnic minority whose parents struggled to make it in this country after their legal immigration, I am enormously grateful for the opportunity that this nation provides.  As a Member of Congress, I would strive to uphold the values of diversity and tolerance that have made our country an economic powerhouse and a beacon for the world.  That includes protecting the rights of the LGBTQ community.  I am proud to have received the endorsement of the Human Rights Campaign for my lifelong record of standing up against discrimination in all its forms.  I believe the U.S. Supreme Court ruled correctly in prohibiting states from banning the right to marry for gay couples, and I believe institutions should accommodate individuals to be able to use the bathroom of the gender with which they identify. There is no basis in science or psychology for so-called “conversion therapy,” which often does more harm than good.  I agree with major medical associations that support a ban on such practices.

What is the single most important action Congress can take to reduce U.S. gun violence?
Answer from Raja Krishnamoorthi:

The epidemic of gun violence is a threat to the public health of our nation. The 2nd Amendment is not absolute and is subject to reasonable restrictions, as the U.S. Supreme Court recognized in upholding Highland Park’s ban on assault weapons.  Rather than a single action, I believe Congress should adopt a comprehensive package of commonsense bills to rein in the scourge of gun violence in our nation.  My agenda for common-sense gun laws includes: (i) expanding unified, federal background checks to all gun sales (thus closing the gun-show loophole); (ii) building a better information system on those who should be blocked from weapons purchases, including convicted criminals, suspected terrorists (including on the no-fly list), those subject to orders of protection, and those with mental health issues; (iii) reinstating the ban on semi-automatic weapons with no civilian or hunting purposes; and (iv) ending the congressional ban on research into gun safety and gun violence.    

The “Denying Firearms and Explosives to Dangerous Terrorists Act” would give the Department of Justice authority to keep suspected terrorists on the federal “no fly” list from buying firearms. The bill was voted down in Congress late last year but pushed again in June after the Orlando massacre of 49 people. Do you support or oppose this bill, and why?
Answer from Raja Krishnamoorthi:

I support this bill. According to the Government Accountability Office, 2,000 people on the FBI’s terrorist watch list have purchased firearms over the past 11 years.  Allowing these individuals to purchase deadly weapons is incredibly reckless.  Obviously, there is no measure that can prevent all terrorist violence, but the legislation above would be a good start.

It makes no sense to allow those found to be a threat to our nation to have access to firearms, including military-style assault weapons.  Opponents in Congress cite the need for due process.  But law-abiding residents of our country have the right to be free from the threat of terrorism and mass-shootings of the kind we have witnessed so frequently.  Rights must be balanced with responsibility, which includes reasonable restrictions on gun purchases by those who’ve been judged by our security agencies as having ties to terrorist organizations or who pose a serious threat.

 

Should Obamacare be repealed, left intact, or changed — and if so, how? 
Answer from Raja Krishnamoorthi:

Clearly, Congress must continue to monitor the successes and failures of Obamacare and work to improve it.  What we simply cannot allow is a return to the situation that existed before Obamacare, in which millions of people and families lacked coverage and were literally one illness away from losing everything that they had.

 

While any new program will have problems in its early phases, Obamacare has been successful in expanding coverage while avoiding the loss of jobs or skyrocketing costs that its critics predicted.  Millions of Americans who previously lacked coverage are now benefiting from that program, including those with pre-existing conditions and children and young people under the age of 26.  

 

The major portion of those left uncovered resides in states whose governors and legislatures have refused to extend Medicaid coverage to those without insurance, even though the federal government picks up almost all of the additional costs.  I am encouraged that some of those states are willing to use those federal funds instead to subsidize private health insurance for the uninsured, and I’m pleased that the Obama Administration has approved such plans.

 

Some people I’ve met during this campaign are experiencing sharply higher prices for their insurance premiums under the ACA.   One way to address this issue is to encourage more young people, who are generally healthier than the wider population, to join the health insurance exchanges so that the costs of health insurance are spread across a larger pool of people.  Thus, we must look at ways to entice these younger folks to join the exchanges.  Perhaps the rules should require them to opt-out of such coverage instead of opting-in.

 

In addition, the federal government must continue to ensure that competition exists in the health insurance industry.  In this regard, I’m pleased that the U.S. Justice Department’s Antitrust Division has opposed recent insurance company mergers that, if completed, would further consolidate the already small number of health insurance companies in the industry.  Left unchecked, such consolidation would significantly reduce competition and could result in far fewer choices for consumers.  We must make sure that the insurance companies that are benefiting from the influx of new customers under the ACA will continue to compete fairly for their business. Fair and aggressive competition is the best way to keep the cost of coverage down.

A plan to replace Obamacare, presented by House Speaker Paul Ryan in June, would gradually increase the eligibility age for Medicare, which is now 65. Starting in 2020, the Medicare age would rise along with the eligibility age for full Social Security benefits, eventually reaching 67. Do you support this change in the eligibility age for Medicare? 
Answer from Raja Krishnamoorthi:

Medicare and Medicaid are successful federal programs that have lifted millions of U.S. citizens out of poverty. Those who support these programs, as I do, are accountable for ensuring their future solvency. As a Member of Congress, I will work to protect and strengthen these programs and fight plans to cut or privatize those benefits, which would put millions at risk.

 

Rather than raising the eligibility age for Medicare, I would work in Congress to repeal the ban on the federal government’s ability to negotiate drug prices with pharmaceutical companies as the Veterans Administration has done for years with great success.  A study cited in the Wall Street Journal in 2015 reported that the Medicare program could save approximately $16 billion annually if it were able to negotiate drug prices similar to those obtained by the VA.  This would go a long way toward ensuring the future solvency of the program, since the rising cost of drugs is among its greatest threats.

 

We also must continue to crack down on fraud in government health care programs including Medicare and Medicaid, which has been estimated to cost taxpayers from $75 billion to $250 billion a year. The Affordable Care Act provided an additional $350 million to expand the Medicare Fraud Strike Force to nine cities from only two in 2007, and to develop advanced data and accounting systems to uncover fraud.  The law also toughened sentencing for Medicare fraud.  The New York Times has reported that, to date, some 2,000 of 2,900 defendants charged with felony heath care fraud in strike force cases have been convicted.  Courts have ordered defendants to repay the government more than $5.5 billion.

 

As a Member of Congress, I would push to further expand the operations of the Medicare Fraud Strike Force across the nation, incorporating significant penalties and restitution to the taxpayers whenever possible.

The GOP platform opposes the use of public funds for Planned Parenthood and other groups that “perform or advocate” abortion. It also opposes funding health care that includes abortion coverage. In contrast, the Democratic Party’s platform called for continued funding of Planned Parenthood and repeal of the Hyde Amendment, which bars the direct use of federal funds to pay for abortion. Where do you stand?  
Answer from Raja Krishnamoorthi:

I am a strong supporter of a woman’s right to choose and will oppose efforts in Congress to repeal or restrict those rights.  The right-wing attack on Planned Parenthood, under the guise of ensuring patient safety, has jeopardized the source of healthcare for millions of poor women across the nation.  I support continued funding for Planned Parenthood and other purveyors of healthcare and reproductive care to women as well as repealing laws like the Hyde Amendment that restrict poor women from fully exercising their right to make their own healthcare decisions. 

President Obama has proposed making two years of community college free nationally. Do you support or oppose this proposal? If you support it, how would you have the nation pay for it? 
Answer from Raja Krishnamoorthi:

Our national network of community colleges has become a critical part of educating and training Americans for the good-paying jobs of today and tomorrow.  It provides these services not only to young people, but also to millions of working-age Americans who have lost or are changing jobs.  Many times, local community colleges are able to work with local businesses and industries to provide them with workers who can fill an immediate need.  A national program to make community college accessible to more Americans is an investment in our economic growth and future competitiveness as a nation. 

 In this campaign, I have offered a four-point college affordability initiative that will help families save and pay for a college education as well as assisting college graduates in paying off their student loans through contributions from their employers.  My plan could be used to pay for community college as well as four-year college, and it is fully paid for through cuts in exotic military weapons that waste billions of tax dollars and by reorienting tax breaks to working families who really need them instead of large corporations and hedge-fund billionaires who don’t.  (See answer below).

College costs have risen at twice the rate of inflation for about 30 years. What is driving this increase and what should be done about it?
Answer from Raja Krishnamoorthi:

Many families in the 8th Congressional District are struggling with the cost of paying for college. Yet, they recognize that post-secondary education or training is increasingly essential for success in today’s knowledge-driven economy. Much of the increased cost of higher education is due to state reductions in aid to public colleges and universities, but costs have also risen at colleges faster than the rate of inflation because of non-academic and administrative costs.  Colleges and universities must do their part by reining in costs – particularly for non-teaching administrators, whose salaries have skyrocketed. 

 

Congress can take a number of steps to make a college education more affordable for middle-class families while ensuring that college graduates aren’t buried under a pile of debt. My four-point plan includes: a new Opportunity Tax Credit that allows families with up to $200,000 in annual income to claim a total of $15,000 in tax credits per student; increasing the maximum Pell Grant by about 75 percent -- paid for by cutting unnecessary military programs such as littoral combat ships and the Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft; creating a 401(k)-style plan whereby employers match employee payments on student debt, with contributions exempted from income and payroll taxes; and stream-lining the Free Application for Student Aid (FAFSA) form through the use of prior-year data already available to the IRS, which would eliminate many questions on the application and allow students to more easily access financial aid.

Who gave money to this candidate?

Contributions

Total money raised: $3,571,813

Top contributors that gave money to support the candidate, by organization:

1
Employees of Kirkland & Ellis
$79,900
2
Exelon and employees
$21,100
3
Employees of UCA Group
$18,900
4
Employees of Vinakom
$16,200
5
Employees of University of Chicago
$15,850

More information about contributions

By State:

Illinois 50.29%
District of Columbia 9.29%
California 8.34%
Texas 5.02%
Other 27.06%
50.29%9.29%8.34%27.06%

By Size:

Large contributions (93.95%)
Small contributions (6.05%)
93.95%

By Type:

From organizations (15.36%)
From individuals (84.64%)
15.36%84.64%
Source: MapLight analysis of data from the Federal Election Commission.

Political Beliefs

Position Papers

Strengthening the Middle Class

Summary

In Congress, Raja would pursue a Working Families agenda to strengthen the middle class.

For generations, the strength of American democracy has rested on a strong middle-class, but growing income inequality threatens that bedrock of our democracy.  We must act to strengthen our middle-class and give more Americans the opportunity to achieve and retain that status.  In this campaign, I have proposed a “Working Families Agenda” that includes policies such as raising the federal minimum wage, guaranteeing access to paid maternity and sick leave, providing overtime protections to those earning less than $50,000, and mandating equal pay for equal work for the millions of women in our national workforce.

 

 

 

Enacting Sane Gun Laws

Summary

Raja would pass common sense gun laws to reduce gun violence.

The epidemic of gun violence is a threat to the public health of our nation.  We need Members of Congress who are willing to stand up to special interests and put the safety of our families and communities first.  My agenda for common-sense gun laws includes: (i) expanding background checks to all gun sales (thus closing the gun-show and terrorist watch list loopholes); (ii) building a better information system on those who should be blocked from weapons purchases including convicted criminals, suspected terrorists, those subject to orders of protection, and those with mental health issues; (iii) reinstating the ban on semi-automatic weapons with no civilian or hunting purposes; and (iv) ending the ban on research into gun safety and gun violence.

Protecting Social Security and Medicare

Summary

Raja believes in preserving Social Security and Medicare for current and future generations.

Social Security and Medicare are not just successful federal programs that have lifted millions of U.S. citizens out of poverty. They are also a sacred promise to our senior citizens who paid into these programs for decades and deserve the dignity of financial security in their golden years.  As a Member of Congress, I will work to protect and strengthen these programs and fight plans to cut or privatize those benefits, which would put millions at risk.  A first step in extending the solvency of Social Security would be to raise the current income cap of $118,500 for payroll taxes paid into the Trust Fund. Similarly, allowing the federal government to negotiate drug prices with pharmaceutical companies would save billions of dollars in Medicare costs.  The Veterans Administration has used that leverage to negotiate lower drug prices for our nation’s veterans, and there’s no justifiable reason for Congress to prevent the Medicare program from doing the same.

Videos (2)

— March 1, 2016 Raja for Congress

Meet Raja Krishnamoorthi, the Democratic Candidate running for Congress, in the 8th District of Illinois

— October 3, 2016 Chicago Sun-Times

Raja Krishnamoorthi on on why he wants to be the congressman from the 8th district.

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