Difference between revisions of "Bill Foster"
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Revision as of 09:22, 22 October 2013
|U.S. House, Illinois, District 11|
|January 3, 2015|
|Years in position||2|
|Predecessor||Adam Kinzinger (R)|
|Elections and appointments|
|Last election||November 6, 2012|
|First elected||November 6, 2012|
|Next general||November 4, 2014|
|U.S. House, Illinois, District 14|
|Bachelor's||University of Wisconsin|
|Date of birth||Oct. 7, 1955|
|Place of birth||Madison, Wisconsin|
- 1 Career
- 2 Committee assignments
- 3 Issues
- 3.1 Legislative actions
- 3.1.1 113th Congress
- 3.1.2 National security
- 3.1.3 Economy
- 3.1.4 Immigration
- 3.1.5 Healthcare
- 3.1.6 Social issues
- 3.1.7 Previous congressional sessions
- 3.2 Campaign themes
- 3.1 Legislative actions
- 4 Elections
- 5 Polls
- 6 Campaign donors
- 7 Analysis
- 8 Personal
- 9 Recent news
- 10 External links
- 11 References
Foster was a Democratic member of the U.S. House representing the 14th district of Illinois, but was unseated in the 2010 election. He is one of nine individuals elected to U.S. House in 2012 who have prior congressional experience, and one of five House Democrats ousted in 2010 who came back to unseat freshman Republican members two years later.
Based on analysis of multiple outside rankings, Foster is an average Democratic member of Congress, meaning he will vote with the Democratic Party on the majority of bills.
Below is an abbreviated outline of Foster's academic, professional and political career
- 2013-Present: Representative, U.S. House, Illinois, District 11
- 2008-2010: Representative U.S. House, Illinois, District 14
- 1990-2006: Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab), High-energy physicist and particle accelerator designer
- 1975-2007: Co-founded Electronic Theatre Controls, Inc
Foster serves on the following committees:
- Committee on Financial Services
- Subcommittee on Capital Markets and Government Sponsored Enterprises
- Subcommittee on Monetary Policy and Trade
113th Congress113th Congress enacted into law 224 out of the 3215 introduced bills (7 percent). Comparatively, the 112th Congress had 4.2 percent of introduced bills enacted into law in the second session. For more information pertaining to Foster's voting record in the 113th Congress, please see the below sections.
Department of Homeland Security Appropriations
Foster voted against HR 2217 - the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act of 2014. The bill passed the House on June 6, 2013, with a vote of 245 - 182 and was largely along party lines.
Keystone Pipeline Amendment
Foster voted against House Amendment 69, which would have amended HR 3 to "require that the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, in consultation with the Department of Homeland Security, conduct a study of the vulnerabilities of the Keystone XL pipeline to a terrorist attack and certify that necessary protections have been put in place." The amendment failed on May 22, 2013, with a vote of 176 - 239 and was largely along party lines.
Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act
Foster voted in favor of HR 624 - the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act. The bill passed the House on April 18, 2013, with a vote of 288 - 127. The bill would allow federal intelligence agencies to share cybersecurity intelligence and information with private entities and utilities. The bill was largely supported by Republicans but divided the Democratic Party.
National Defense Authorization Act
Foster voted in support of HR 1960 - the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014. The bill passed the House on June 14, 2013, with a vote of 315 - 108. Both parties were somewhat divided on the vote.
Foster said in a statement on October 1, 2013, that “Until Congress ends this irresponsible shutdown, I will donate my pay to charity.”
Closing of congressional gym
Foster and Patrick Murphy (D-FL) want the congressional gym closed until the shutdown impasse is over, and circulated a letter that would ask House Speaker John Boehner to deem the House spa non-essential for the duration of the shutdown.
“Members of Congress should not enjoy access to their exclusive gym and spa while Capitol police go without pay, children are being turned away from Head Start and veterans are left wondering if their benefits will come in the mail on November 1st,” said Foster in a statement.
“Despite Speaker Boehner’s refusal to reopen the government by bringing a clean CR to the House floor, he believes members of Congress should still receive congressional perks,” the two Democrats wrote to colleagues on October 9, 2013. “He has deemed the congressional spa used by Members of the House of Representatives to be ‘essential’ during the shutdown...Not only are members still able to access the taxpayer-funded gym, sauna and steam room while tens of thousands of federal employees remain furloughed, janitorial staff are still required to clean the gym and restock it with towels and other ‘essential items,’” Murphy and Foster said in the letter.
The two members have to introduce the Shutdown Prioritization Act, or the SPA Act, that would prohibit the Architect of the Capitol from keeping the congressional gym open.
Eva Malecki, a communications officer for the Architect of the Capitol, said: “When Members join the gym they are given key fobs that permit them to access the facility. The decision not to lock Members out was made because they keep personal items there, but Members have been made aware that the facility will be unstaffed until the government reopens, as its employees are paid with appropriated funds, which are unavailable during the shutdown.”
Morton Memos Enforcement Prohibition
Foster voted against House Amendment 136 - Prohibits the Enforcement of the Immigration Executive Order. The amendment was adopted by the House on June 6, 2013, with a vote of 224 - 201. The purpose of the amendment as stated on the official text is to "prohibit the use of funds to finalize, implement, administer, or enforce the Morton Memos." These memos would have granted administrative amnesty to certain illegal aliens residing in the United States. The vote largely followed party lines.
Health Care Reform Rules
Foster voted against House Amendment 450 - Requires Congressional Approval for Any Rules Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The amendment was adopted by the House on August 2, 2013, with a vote of 227-185. The amendment requires all changes to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act be approved by Congress before taking effect. The vote was largely along party lines.
Keep the IRS Off Your Health Care Act
Foster voted against HR 2009 - Keep the IRS Off Your Health Care Act of 2013. The bill passed through the House on August 2, 2013, with a vote of 232-185. The bill would prevent the IRS and Treasury Secretary from enforcing the powers provided to them in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The vote largely followed party lines.
Foster voted against House Amendment 413 - Prohibits the National Security Agency from Collecting Records Under the Patriot Act. The amendment failed on July 4, 2013, by a vote of 205-217. The amendment would have prohibited the collection of records by the National Security Agency under the Patriot Act. Both parties were split on the vote.
Previous congressional sessions
In addition, Rep. Foster voted for the stimulus bill. 57% of U.S. voters believe that the stimulus has either hurt the economy (36%) or had no impact (21%). 38% believe the stimulus helped the economy. 
Finally, Foster voted in favor of the health care reform bill. 57% of likely voters at least somewhat favor repeal of the health care reform bill, including 46% who strongly favor repeal. 35% of likely voters oppose repeal. 51% of likely voters believe the health care reform bill will be bad for the country, while 36% believe it will be beneficial.
- Moving the Economy Forward
- Creating Jobs
- Reviving American Manufacturing
- Reforming Wall Street
- Fiscal Responsibility
- Energy that is Safe, Secure, and Affordable
- Health Care
- Science and Technology
Foster defeated Republican candidate Judy Biggert for the open seat. Foster ran in the 2012 election for the U.S. House, representing Illinois' 11th District. Foster ran on the Democratic ticket.  The signature filing deadline was December 27, 2011, with the primary taking place on March 20, 2012.
Foster defeated candidates James Hickey and Juan Thomas in the Democratic primary on March 20, 2012. Judy Biggert ran unopposed in the Republican primary. Foster defeated Biggert in the general election on November 6, 2012.
|U.S. House, Illinois District 11 General Election, 2012|
|Republican||Judy Biggert Incumbent||41.4%||105,348|
|Source: Illinois Board of Elections "2012 General Election Official Vote Totals"|
|U.S. House, Illinois District 11 Democratic Primary, 2012|
In a debate held against Judy Biggert on Saturday October 13 2012, candidates went back and forth on careers, voting histories and choices made in office. While both sides made accusations that the other did not support the district in certain ways or made bad choices, both agreed on certain areas which need continued help. Budget concerns and Medicare were the main topics of debate between the two candidates.
|District 11 Representative Election|
|Poll||Judy Biggert||Bill Foster||Undecided||Sample Size|
|"District 11 Poll"||43%||42%||15%||401|
|Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to|
Comprehensive donor information for Foster is available dating back to 2008. Based on available campaign finance records, Foster raised a total of $12,182,689 during that time period. This information was last updated on April 5, 2013.
|Bill Foster's Campaign Contribution History|
|2012||U.S. House (Illinois, District 11)||$3,460,892|
|2010||U.S. House (Illinois, District 14)||$3,804,082|
|2008||U.S. House (Illinois, District 14)||$4,917,715|
|Grand Total Raised||$12,182,689|
Candidates for Congress are required to file up to seven main reports with the Federal Election Commission during the 2014 elections season. Below are Foster's reports.
|Bill Foster (2014) Campaign Finance Reports|
|Report||Date Filed||Beginning Balance||Total Contributions|
for Reporting Period
|Expenditures||Cash on Hand|
Foster won election to the U.S. House in 2012. During that election cycle, Foster's campaign committee raised a total of $3,460,892 and spent $3,532,806. This is more than the average $1.5 million spent by House winners in 2012.
Cost per vote
Foster spent $23.72 per vote received in 2012.
|U.S. House of Representatives, Illinois' 11th Congressional District, 2012 - Bill Foster Campaign Contributions|
|Total Raised by Election Runner-up||$2,909,766|
|Total Spent by Election Runner-up||$3,235,189|
|Top contributors to Bill Foster's campaign committee|
|University of Chicago||$55,431|
|Kirkland & ellis||$39,000|
|Democratic Congressional Campaign Cmte||$35,992|
|Top 5 industries that contributed to campaign committee|
|Civil Servants/Public Officials||$112,417|
As of July 10, 2012 Foster raised $475,000 in the second quarter, and had $1.3 million in cash-on-hand.
On October 15, 2012, quarterly reports were submitted by campaigns to the Federal Election Commission. The political blog Daily Kos did an analysis of the fundraising figures and found Democratic challenger Bill Foster outraised Republican incumbent Judy Biggert in the third quarter. Foster raised $642,000 to Biggert's $624,000.
Ideology and leadership
The website OpenCongress tracks the voting records of each member to determine with whom he or she votes most and least often. The results include a member from each party.
Foster most often votes with:
Foster least often votes with:
National Journal vote ratings
- See also: National Journal vote ratings
Each year National Journal publishes an analysis of how liberally or conservatively each member of Congress voted in the previous year. Information on 2012 vote rating is unavailable.
Lifetime missed votes
According to the website GovTrack, Foster missed 17 of 2,319 roll call votes from Mar 2008 to Mar 2013. This amounts to 0.7%, which is better than the median of 2.2% among current congressional representatives as of March 2013.
Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by OpenSecrets.org, Foster's net worth as of 2011 was estimated between $6,766,022 and $29,016,000. That averages to $17,891,011, which is higher than the average net worth of Democratic representatives in 2011 of $5,107,874. His average net worth decreased by 1.68% from 2010.
Voting with party
Bill Foster voted with the Democratic Party 89.1% of the time, which ranked 174th among the 201 House Democratic members as of June 2013.
This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term Bill + Foster + Illinois + House
- All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.
- Social media:
- Political profiles:
- Financial (federal level):
- Interest group ratings:
- Issue positions:
- Public statements:
- Voting record:
- Works by or about:
- Media appearances:
- Media coverage:
- 2012 candidate questionnaire at the Chicago Sun-Times
- 2012 candidate questionnaire at the Chicago Tribune
- 2012 candidate questionnaire at the Daily Herald
- 2012 candidate questionnaire at the Northwest Herald
- 2012 candidate questionnaire at WTTW Chicago Tonight
- 2012 candidate questionnaire and video at ABC 7 Chicago
- The New York Times, "Election brings seasoned politicians to congress," December 8, 2012
- The Washington Post, "Political comeback kids to take seats again in the House," November 18, 2012
- National Journal, "Illinois, 11th House District," November 6, 2012
- CQ.com, "House Committee Rosters for the 113th Congress"
- Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity, First Session of the 112th Congress," accessed September 5, 2013
- Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity, Second Session of the 113th Congress," accessed March 4, 2014
- Project Votesmart, "Bill Foster Key Votes," accessed October 11, 2013
- The Library of Congress, "H.R.624 Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (Referred in Senate - RFS)," accessed August 27, 2013
- Washington Post, "Which lawmakers will refuse their pay during the shutdown?," accessed October 3, 2013
- Politico, "Democrats demand House gym’s closing," accessed October 9, 2013
- Gallup "Among Recent Bills, Financial Reform a Lone Plus for Congress," September 13, 2010
- US House Clerk "Roll Call 690" December 10, 2008
- Gallup "Among Recent Bills, Financial Reform a Lone Plus for Congress," September 13, 2010
- US House Clerk "Roll Call 46," January 28, 2009
- Rasmussen "38% Say Stimulus Plan Helped Economy, 36% Say It Hurt," August 24, 2010
- US House Clerk "Roll Call 314," June 9, 2009
- Rasmussen "54% Oppose “Cash for Clunkers” Plan To Spur Purchase of Greener Cars," June 23, 2009
- US House Clerk "Roll Call 165," March 21, 2010
- Rasmussen "61% Favor Repeal of Health Care Law," September 20, 2010
- Bill Foster for Congress "Issues" Accessed December 30, 2011
- Politico "2012 Election Map, Illinois"
- Chicago Sun-Times "Illinois Congress 2012: Bill Foster running in new 11th district UPDATE GOP react" Accessed December 5, 2011
- ABC News 7 "Election Results Primary 2012" Accessed March 20, 2012
- Chicago Tribune, "Suburban congressional candidates square off in debate," October 13, 2012
- U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2010," accessed March 28, 2013
- U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 4, 2008," accessed March 28, 2013
- Open Secrets "Bill Foster" Accessed April 5, 2013
- Federal Election Commission "Bill Foster 2014 Summary reports," Accessed July 24, 2013
- Federal Election Commission "April Quarterly" Accessed July 24, 2013
- Federal Election Commission "July Quarterly" Accessed July 24, 2013
- Open Secrets "Bill Foster 2012 Election Cycle," Accessed February 22, 2013
- Open Secrets, "Election 2012: The Big Picture Shows Record Cost of Winning a Seat in Congress," June 19, 2013
- Chicago Business "Money pouring into area congressional races" Accessed July 13, 2012
- Daily Kos "Third quarter House fundraising: who's got the cash?" October 18, 2012
- Gov Track "Bill Foster" Accessed June 17, 2013
- OpenCongress, "Rep. Bill Foster," Accessed August 1, 2013
- GovTrack, "Bill Foster," Accessed April 1, 2013
- http://www.opensecrets.org/pfds/CIDsummary.php?CID=N00029139&year=2011 OpenSecrets.org, "Foster (D-Ill), 2011"]
- OpenCongress, "Voting With Party," accessed July 2014
- Bill Foster for Congress "About" Accessed December 30, 2011
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