REPRESENTATIVE SCHAKOWSKY CONTINUES STRONG TRADITION OF JEWISH ADVOCACY IN CONGRESS

March 12, 1999
Press Release

March 12, 1999

REPRESENTATIVE SCHAKOWSKY CONTINUES STRONG TRADITION OF JEWISH ADVOCACY IN CONGRESS

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Since her swearing-in on January 6, 1999 as a new member of Congress, U.S. Representative Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) has become an active participant on issues of importance to the Jewish Community.

"Throughout my career, I was guided by the noble Jewish tradition of tikkun olam, repairing the world. I am proud to continue this tradition here in Congress on behalf of the people of the 9th district," Schakowsky said.

Representative Schakowsky has cosponsored the Holocaust Survivors' Tax Fairness Act of 1999. The legislation will exempt Holocaust victims who may receive reimbursement for war reparations from federal income tax. She also cosponsored the Justice for Holocaust Survivors Act. The act will allow Holocaust survivors who are currently citizens, but who were not U.S. citizens at the time of the Holocaust and who have been denied reparations by the German government, to sue the German government in United States federal courts to claim restitutions.

Schakowsky, a member of the Banking Committee, said, "In memory of the millions who perished and those Holocaust survivors who have suffered unspeakable horrors, I urge my colleagues to join in our efforts and immediately pass these bills. Congress can wait no longer to act."

Schakowsky has also signed letters with other members of Congress to express concern over the rise of anti-Semitism in Russia and called on Vice President Al Gore to raise this issue with Russian Prime Minister Yevgeny M. Primakov during their upcoming meeting.

Furthermore, Schakowsky joined a bipartisan group of House members to introduce the Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 1999. The legislation will make it easier for federal law enforcement officials to investigate and prosecute cases of racial and religious violence, and will permit federal prosecution of violence motivated by bias against a victim's sexual orientation, gender, or disability.

"This legislation will send a powerful message that the safety of all people is a priority and anyone who threatens that safety will face the consequences. Hate crimes, if left unchecked, not only victimize our citizens, but can tear at the fabric of our society," Rep. Schakowsky said.