Bill Foster represents Illinois’ 11th Congressional District, which is comprised of parts of Will, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, and Cook Counties and stretches from Chicago’s western suburbs to two of Illinois’ largest cities – Aurora and Joliet.
From March 2008 until January 2011, Bill Foster represented Illinois’ 14th Congressional District. He gained a reputation as a thoughtful, progressive, and moderate member of Congress who always focused on the long-term best interests of his country and the people he represented.
THE 2008 SPECIAL ELECTION
- Bill began his political career in 2007 by challenging former Speaker of the House J. Dennis Hastert in one of the most famously Republican districts in the nation — a district that Hastert had gerrymandered to provide himself a safe seat in Congress.
- Hastert’s resignation halfway though his term triggered a special election that drew national interest when it became clear that scientist, businessman, and Democrat Bill Foster had a realistic shot at winning this seat. The race became a proxy for the upcoming 2008 presidential election, as Illinois Sen. Barack Obama endorsed Foster in a campaign video advertisement and presumptive Republican nominee John McCain came in to campaign for the Republican candidate Jim Oberweis. In a groundbreaking Saturday special election, volunteers poured in from all over northern Illinois.
- In what was described as “A Politcal Earthquake” Foster won the election by six points 53%-47%, becoming the first Democrat to represent the district in over 60 years.
THE 110th CONGRESS 2008-2009
THE 111th CONGRESS 2009-2011
- This session began by responding forcefully to the economic collapse of 2008. Immediate passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) triggered a V-shaped recovery in all economic indicators and began the long, slow process of repairing our economy.
- Wall Street Reform: as a member of the Financial Services committee, Bill was successful in getting 10/10 of his amendments included in the House-passed version of the financial reform bill — and 6.5 of these survived the compromise with the Senate.
- Bill joined as historic steps forward were taken in health care, human rights, and veterans benefits.
- As a businessman who understands the value of sound financial planning, Bill became a strong advocate of fiscal reform. He used his technical knowledge to attack government waste: for example, cognizant of the enormous cost and military vulnerability of manned fighter planes (with program costs now estimated above $1.4 trillion) Bill got an amendment passed to force an investigation of a rapid transition to unmanned drone aircraft. Modern drones cost 10x less than manned aircraft and have superior air combat characteristics.
THE 113th CONGRESS 2013-2015
- Bill returned to the House Financial Services Committee, where he continued to fight efforts by the Republican majority to eviscerate the Wall Street reform legislation.
- Bill served as the co-chair of the Fiscal Responsibility working group of the New Democrats – a centrist, pro-business group of over 70 members of Congress.
- Bill became a strong voice for Comprehensive Immigration Reform and immigrants’ rights, introducing legislation and amendments to eliminate the wasteful and inhumane Detention Bed Mandate.
- Bill became a thoughtful leader on issues of Financial Market Structures and High-Frequency trading, where his background in business, financial services and high-speed electronics makes him uniquely qualified in this complex area.
THE 114th CONGRESS 2015-2017
THE 115th CONGRESS 2017-2019
- The 115th Congress opened with a successful effort to block Republicans’ efforts to repeal theHouse Ethics Reform legislation that Bill had cast the deciding vote in favor of on his very first day in Congress.
- Bill was reappointed to the House Committee on Science and Space Technology, which began by holding its first hearing on “Making the EPA Great Again”.
- Bill returned to the House Financial Services Committee. where he serves on theSubcommittee on Capital Markets, Securities, and Investment and the Subcommittee on Terrorism and Illicit Finance.
- Bill continued as the Democratic Co-Chair of the House Research & Development Caucus.
- Bill continued as the Co-Chair and Founder of the Inventions Caucus.
- Bill continued his engagement with Congressional oversight of the implementation of the Iranian Nuclear Deal and other Nuclear Non-Proliferation issues, where his background as the last physicist in Congress gives him a unique perspective to evaluate technical aspects of compliance with the agreement.
- Bill became a founding Co-Chair of the Future of Work Task Force of the New Democrat Coalition, which will investigate the impact the Computer Automation and Artificial Intelligence will have on tomorrow’s workforce and economy.