U.S. Representative Bill Lipinski is a lifelong resident of Chicago. He is a devoted husband to the former Rose Marie Lapinski, a graduate of the Georgetown University Law School. They have been happily married since 1962. Lipinski is the proud father of two children, Laura and Daniel. Laura is a partner for the law firm of Schwartz, Cooper, Greenberger & Krause in Chicago, Illinois and is married to Jim Broeking. Daniel earned his doctorate in Political Science from Duke University and is a Professor of Political Science at the University of Tennessee. In addition, Lipinski is the grandfather of Brian and Conor Broeking, the energetic sons of Laura and her husband Jim.
Bill Lipinski was sworn in as a Member of the 98th Congress in January of 1983. He is now serving his 11th consecutive term as a Member of Congress, serving the Third Congressional District of Illinois. Prior to his congressional service, Bill Lipinski climbed through the ranks in the Chicago Park District for over 17 years. He began as a weekend Recreation Leader and rose to be area administrator, for which he managed personnel and programs at 34 local parks.
In January of 1975, Mayor Richard J. Daley selected Bill Lipinski as the Democratic Ward Committeeman of the 23rd Ward, a position he still serves today. In March of 1975, Lipinski was elected to the Chicago City Council as the 23rd Ward Alderman. Seven years later, Lipinski was slated for Congress against an aging incumbent and won the 1982 primary with 61 percent of the vote. Lipinski went on to win the general election and began his career as a Congressman serving the Fifth Congressional District of Illinois.
In 1992, redistricting forced Lipinski into a primary match-up against his fellow Democratic Representative Marty Russo. Lipinski won the primary and later took 64 percent of the vote in the general election, continuing his career as Congressman of the Third Congressional District of Illinois. Lipinski then went on to successfully win the 1994 general election with 54 percent of the vote, the 1996 general election with 65 percent, the 1998 general election with 72 percent, and the 2000 and 2002 general elections with over 75 percent of the vote.
In the 102nd Congress, Lipinski gained his first chairmanship of the House Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations of the House Committee on Merchant Marine and Fisheries. In the 103rd Congress, Lipinski took over the chairmanship of the House Subcommittee on the Merchant Marine of the House Committee on Merchant Marine and Fisheries. Lipinski's tenure on the Committee on Merchant Marine and Fisheries ended with the commencement of the 104th Congress, when the new Republican Majority transferred the committee's jurisdiction.
Since the beginning of his career in Washington, Lipinski has been a member of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, formerly the House Committee on Public Works and Transportation. He is the senior member of the Illinois Delegation on this committee. In the 104th Congress, Lipinski was the Ranking Democratic Member on the House Subcommittee on Railroads of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. As a result of the reshuffling of committee assignments when his fellow colleague resigned, Lipinski then became the Ranking Democratic Member of the House Subcommittee on Aviation, while still retaining a seat on the Subcommittee on Railroads. He served in that position until the 108th Congress, when Lipinski became the Ranking Member of the powerful Highways, Transit, and Pipeline Subcommittee, which is slated to write a bill that will be the successor to the $218 billion TEA-21 highway and transit spending measure (see below.) Lipinski still retains his seats on the Railroad and Aviation Subcommittees.
Lipinski is able to effectively use his position on the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure to address issues important to Chicago and the constituents of the Third District. Lipinski has been actively involved in securing millions of dollars in federal funding for improvements at both Midway (located in Lipinski's district) and O'Hare airports. In 1990, Lipinski passed a Passenger Facility Charge (PFC) to enable both Midway and O'Hare to finance important airport infrastructure projects.
In the 1980s, Lipinski made it his top priority to lobby for the establishment of the Southwest Rapid Transit Line (the Orange Line) for the only part of the city that was without public transit service. In 1986, he secured a federal contract for $496 million to begin work on the CTA's Orange Line.
In the 105th Congress, Lipinski was instrumental in the passage of H.R. 2400, the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA 21), which authorized $218 billion in funding for our nation's highway, highway safety, mass transit, and surface transportation programs. Under the bill, the State of Illinois will receive an average of $885 million per year for highway funding and approximately $150 million per year for mass transit programs. TEA 21 also included $46 million for high-priority projects in the Third Congressional District, including $3.7 million for a Central Avenue bypass.
In the 106th Congress, Congressman Bill Lipinski continued his efforts to bring federal funds to the Third Congressional District in order to meet the infrastructure needs of our area. For example, Lipinski secured $832 million in 2000 for federal transit funds over the next five to seven years for CTA and Metra projects. In particular, the funds will help pay for the reconstruction of the CTA's Douglas Branch/Blue Line and the expansion of the Ravenswood/Brown Line. The funds will also help pay for three important Metra projects - the extension and upgrade of the Southwest Corridor, the Central Kane Corridor, and the North Central Corridor.
As the Ranking Democratic Member on the House Subcommittee on Aviation, he was instrumental in passing legislation that increased the passenger facility charge, which provides millions of dollars to the Chicago airport system for use in upgrading facilities, like the Midway terminal, and for soundproofing of schools and homes around the airports. Congressman Lipinski was also responsible for eliminating the unnecessary slot rule at O'Hare Airport, which for the past 30 years has acted as an artificial barrier on operations. In the 107th Congress, Lipinski was the author of legislation to allow Mayor Daley of Chicago to expand O’Hare International Airport without future interference from the Illinois Governor. Although the legislation passed the House in July of 2002, it got stalled in the Senate.
Although he is a party loyalist, Lipinski is not afraid to break from the Democratic Party when his views, and the view of his neighbors, diverge from the Party's position. In general, Lipinski's views are conservative on social issues. On foreign and cultural issues, Lipinski is quite conservative and patriotic. Most importantly, Lipinski defends family values and stresses the advance of democracy around the world.
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