Chuck Schumer

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Chuck Schumer currently serves as the Sr. Senator for New York

Charles Ellis "Chuck" Schumer, a Democrat, has represented the state of New York in the Senate since 1999 (map).

Record and controversies

General information about important bills and votes for can be found in Congresspedia's articles on legislation. You can add information you find on how Chuck Schumer voted by clicking the "[edit]" link to the right and typing it in. Remember to cite your sources!

H.R. 3590 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (health care reform)

On December 9, 2009, Senator Schumer was one of ten Democratic Senators to reach what Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid called a “broad agreement”[1]on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The discussion focused on abandoning or greatly narrowing the public health insurance option. In exchange, people 55-64 would be able to buy in to Medicare and Medicaid eligibility would be expanded to people within 150 percent of the federal poverty line. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s office released a statement on the compromise:

"I asked Senators Schumer and Pryor to work with some of the most moderate and most progressive members of our diverse caucus, and tonight they have come to a consensus. 
It is a consensus that includes a public option and will help ensure the American people win in two ways: one, insurance companies will face more competition, and two, the American people will have more choices. I know not all 10 Senators in the room agree on every single detail of this, nor will all 60 members of my caucus. But I know we all appreciate the hard work that these progressives and moderates have done to move this historic debate forward. I want to thank Senators Schumer, Pryor, Brown, Carper, Feingold, Harkin, Landrieu, Lincoln, Nelson and Rockefeller for working together for the greater good and never losing sight of our shared goal: making it possible for every American to afford to live a healthy life. As is long-standing practice, we do not disclose details of any proposal before the Congressional Budget Office has a chance to evaluate it. We will wait for that to happen, but in the meantime, tonight we are confident." [2]

Iraq War

Schumer voted for the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq in Oct. 2002.

For more information see the chart of U.S. Senate votes on the Iraq War.

Views on Iraq hiring

In September 2006, Schumer joined Sen. Dick Durbin and other Senate Democrats in calling for a probe into hiring practices for the reconstruction of Iraq. The group alleged rampant Republican cronyism was leading to reconstruction workers too inexperienced to do their jobs properly. [3]

Environmental record

For more information on environmental legislation, see the Energy and Environment Policy Portal

Former Staffers

A small controversy erupted in September 2005, when two staff employees of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) illegally obtained a copy of the credit report of the Lieutenant Governor of Maryland, Michael Steele, a Republican senatorial candidate, posing as him and using his social security number. Upon learning this, the committee's executive director notified the U.S. attorney's office, and suspended the involved staffers. The staffers resigned shortly after their suspension and are currently under investigation by the FBI. Schumer has not been implicated in the incident, and a spokesperson for the DSCC has said, "Chuck's only involvement was to report this matter to the authorities immediately after first learning about it." [4]

A March 8, 2006 letter indicated that federal prosecutors would bring charges against Lauren Weiner, the researcher who illegally obtained Steele's credit report.[5] Weiner was charged "with accessing a computer without authorization and thereby obtaining information contained in a file from a consumer reporting agency on a consumer."[6] On March 24, 2006 Weiner reached a plea agreement with federal prosecutors that would allow the misdemeanor charge to be waived after she completes 150 hours of community service.[7]

Calls for A.G. Gonzales to step down

In March 2007, Sen. Schumer called for the resignation of Attorney General Gonzales. Among his reasons that he cited were lack a respect for the "the rule of law and the Constitution", specifically, the Bush administration U.S. attorney firings controversy, and the recent scandals surrounding "FBI's illegal snooping into people's private lives".[8]

Gun control

Anti-Gun Trafficking Penalties Enhancement Act of 2007

The Anti-Gun Trafficking Penalties Enhancement Act of 2007 (S.77) is a gun control measure introduced in the Senate by Sen. Schumer (D-N.Y.) on January 4, 2007. The bill was referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Main article: Anti-Gun Trafficking Penalties Enhancement Act of 2007

Approval of Attorney General nominee Michael Mukasey

After the retirement of the unpopular Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, the White House scrambled to find a "confirmable" nominee. After Democrats in the Senate, including Schumer and Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) disapproved of former Solicitor General Ted Olson as a possibility, the White House appeared to be preparing to nominate former federal judge Michael Mukasey, who had been nominated to the bench by Ronald Reagan.[1]

A Republican official commented, "the White House seems like they don't want a confirmation fight. They think this guy is bulletproof from the left."[2]

Senator Schumer appeared to approve of the choice, telling the White House that Mukasey was acceptable, and that he was "a lot better than some of the other names mentioned."[3]

Push for bill to lift caps on GSEs

On October 11, 2007, Schumer took a second attempt to introduce legislation to temporarily lift the portfolio caps on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. He said that the repeatedly rejected measure would allow the mortgage giants to help borrowers trapped in mortgages they can’t afford. This bill would lift the caps for only six months with 85 percent of the increase required to fund refinancing of sub-prime borrowers. “The interest rates on 2 million home loans are due to increase radically, but the president won’t adjust his radical ideology,” Schumer said in a statement. “That doesn’t have to be the last word now that Democrats in Congress are coming together to take steps the administration won’t.” [4]



Schumer was born November 23, 1950 to a Jewish family in Brooklyn, where he still lives today. He attended public schools in Brooklyn, scoring a 1600 on the SAT, and graduating as the valedictorian from James Madison High School in 1967.

He continued his education at Harvard College, where he became interested in politics and campaigned for Eugene McCarthy in 1968. After graduating he went to Harvard Law School and graduated in 1974.

Schumer passed the New York State Bar Exam in early 1975, but never practiced law. Instead he would enter elective politics.

Soon after graduating from Harvard Law, he ran for and was elected to the New York State Assembly, becoming at age 23 the youngest member of the New York legislature since Theodore Roosevelt. He served three terms. [9] In the decades since, he has never lost an election, and has never held any job outside of elected office.

Schumer's propensity for publicity is the subject of a running joke amongst many commentators, leading Bob Dole to quip that "the most dangerous place in Washington is between Charles Schumer and a television camera." Schumer frequently schedules media appearances on Sundays, a slow day for news, in the hope of getting television coverage. [10] [11] [12]

Senate Career

In 1980, 16th District Congresswoman Elizabeth Holtzman won the Democratic nomination for the Senate seat of Republican Jacob Javits. Schumer ran for Holtzman's vacated seat and won.

He was reelected eight times from the Brooklyn and Queens-based district, which changed numbers three times in his tenure (it was numbered the 16th from 1981-1983, the 10th from 1983-1993 and the 9th from 1993).

In 1998, he won the Democratic Senate primary against Mark Green and Geraldine Ferraro. He then defeated three-term incumbent Republican Al D'Amato, who had defeated Holtzman in 1980. In 2004, Schumer handily won re-election against Republican Assemblyman Howard Mills of Middletown and Conservative Marilyn O'Grady. Schumer outpolled Mills, the second-place finisher, by 2.8 million votes and won reelection with 71% of the vote, the most lopsided margin ever for a statewide election in New York. Schumer won every county in the state except one, Hamilton County in the Adirondacks, the least populated and most Republican county in the state.

He and his wife, Iris Weinshall, have two daughters. Weinshall is the New York City Commissioner of Transportation.[13]

Positions and Views

While serving in the House of Representatives, Schumer coauthored the federal assault weapons ban in 1994 with California Senator Dianne Feinstein, which expired in 2004. The National Rifle Association and other gun groups (see gun politics) have criticized him for allegedly not knowing much about guns, pointing to various errors regarding the subject. Supporters of gun control legislation, however, give him much of the credit for passage of both the assault weapons law and the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act Federal Firearms License Reform Act of 1993[14] despite intense lobbying from opponents. The assault weapons law expired in September, 2004 despite attempts by Senator Schumer to extend it.

In addition to gun restriction, Schumer has focused on banking and consumer issues, counter-terrorism, and debate over confirmation of federal judges[15][16], as well as economic development in New York.

On foreign policy, Schumer was and remains a supporter of the Iraq War Resolution, although he has since become a critic of President Bush's strategy in the Iraq War suggesting that a commission of ex-generals be appointed to review it. [17]

In May 2006, after the Canadian National Post published a false story alleging that the Iranian government had passed a law requiring Iranian Jews, Christians and Zoroastrians to wear badges identifying themselves, Schumer issued a news release calling the Iranian regime “lunatic” and “pernicious”. [18]


Between 2005 and 2008, Schumer was the chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC). Part of the Democratic Senate Leadership, the DSCC chairman has primary responsibility for raising funds and recruiting candidates for the Democrats in the Senate elections. When he took this post, he announced that he would not run for Governor of New York in 2006, as many had speculated he would.[19]

Schumer brought his prolific fundraising talents to the DSCC and produced record numbers for Democrats. Before he came to head the DSCC the committee was in debt. He quickly erased the debt and at the beginning of 2006 had $22 million in the bank compared with $9 million for the National Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee.[20]

The 2006 Senate elections were highly successful for Democrats, as they regained a majority in the body. Schumer was rewarded for his fundraising and recruitment successes by being named to a newly created leadership position within the Democratic caucus. As vice-chairman of the caucus, he became the No. 3 Democrat in the body. As a condition of this appointment, Schumer agreed to stay on as chairman of the DSCC through the 2008 elections. [21]

Schumer's success at the helm of the DSCC continued in 2008, when the Democrats picked up an additional 7 seats. Up for re-election in New York in 2010, Schumer resigned his position as DSCC chairman on November 25, 2008. At the time of his resignation, and additional two Senate seats remained undecided:

  • A recount was underway in the Minnesota race between Sen. Norm Coleman (R) and Democratic nominee Al Franken.
  • A runoff was mandatory in Georgia when none of the candidates received a majority (50.1 percent) of votes. Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R) and challenger Jim Martin (D) will be on the Dec. 2 ballot.

Schumer will retain his position as vice-chair of the Democratic Caucus in the Senate, a role that was created for him in 2006. His successor at the DSCC will be New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez.[5]

Dubai Ports World Deal

In February of 2006 newspapers reported that Dubai Ports World, a global ports company owned by the United Arab Emirates (UAE), was poised to take over the operations of at least 6 major U.S. ports after their purchase of the British-based Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Co.[22] The UAE is known to have been a point of departure for both the September 11th terrorists and the nuclear weapons technologies illegally sold by Pakistan's atomic inventor Abdul Qadeer Khan. The UAE was also one of only three countries that had recognized the Taliban government in Afghanistan from their seizure of power in the 1990s up to their overthrow in the wake of the 9/11|September 11th terror attacks. Schumer led the public outcry against the UAE taking control of U.S. port operations. He initially stated, "America's busiest ports are vital to our economy and to the international economy, and that is why they remain top terrorist targets. Just as we would not outsource military operations or law enforcement duties, we should be very careful before we outsource such sensitive homeland security duties."[23]

Schumer was eventually joined by members of both parties, including conservative stalwarts Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) and Rep. Peter King (R-NY), in opposition to the DP World deal, which was being touted and aggressively pushed by the Bush Administration.[24] On February 22, 2006 Schumer and King collaberated in an op-ed in USA Today titled "Where's Common Sense?"[25] They wrote, "In a post-9/11 world, common sense would dictate that the proposed Dubai Ports World deal would trigger intense scrutiny on the part of our government. Yet common sense clearly did not prevail."[26]

A small controversy erupted over the DP World deal when Schumer attempted to attach an amendment to proposed lobbying and ethics reform legislation that would have blocked any country that recognized the Taliban government from operating business within the United States.[27] The reform bills were quickly pulled from the floor and temporarily shelved until Schumer removed his amendments. On March 9th DP World withdrew their stakes in the U.S. ports ending the controversy.

Money in politics

This section contains links to – and feeds from – money in politics databases. <crpcontribdata>cid=N00001093&cycle=2006</crpcontribdata>

Links to more campaign contribution information for Chuck Schumer
from the Center for Responsive Politics' site.
Fundraising profile: 2006 election cycle Career totals
Top contributors by organization/corporation: 2006 election cycle Career totals
Top contributors by industry: 2006 election cycle Career totals

Committees and Affiliations


Committee assignments in the 109th Congress (2005-2006)

Coalitions and Caucuses

  • Chair, Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee
  • United States House Democratic At-Large Whip

Boards and other Affiliations

More Background Data

Wikipedia also has an article on Chuck Schumer. This article may use content from the Wikipedia article under the terms of the GFDL.


DC Office:
313 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510-3201
Web Email

District Office- Albany:
Leo O'Brien Building, Room 420
Albany, NY 12207
Phone: 518-431-4070
Fax: 518-431-4076

District Office- Binghamton:
15 Henry Street, Room B6
Binghamton, NY 13901
Phone: 607-772-6792
Fax: 607-772-8124

District Office- Buffalo:
111 West Huron Street, Room 620
Buffalo, NY 14202
Phone: 716-846-4111
Fax: 716-846-4113

District Office- Hudson Valley:
Post Office Box A
Red Hook, NY 12571
Phone: 914-285-9741
Fax: 845-758-1043

District Office- Long Island:
145 Pine Lawn Road, Room 300
Melville, NY 11747
Phone: 631-753-0978
Fax: 631-753-0997

District Office- New York City:
757 Third Avenue, Suite 17-02
New York, NY 10017
Phone: 212-486-4430
TTYD Number: 212-486-7803
Fax: 212-486-7693

District Office- Rochester:
100 State Street, Room 3040
Rochester, NY 14614
Phone: 585-263-5866
Fax: 585-263-3173

District Office- Syracuse:
100 South Clinton Street, Room 841
Syracuse, NY 13261-7318
Phone: 315-423-5471
Fax: 315-423-5185

Articles and Resources

Related SourceWatch articles


  1. Mike Allen, "Bush plans to pick Mukasey for A.G.," The Politico, September 17, 2007.
  2. Mike Allen, "Bush plans to pick Mukasey for A.G.," The Politico, September 17, 2007.
  3. Mike Allen, "Bush plans to pick Mukasey for A.G.," The Politico, September 17, 2007.
  4. Jessica Holzer, "Schumer retools bill to lift caps on GSEs," The Hill, October 11, 2007.
  5. Jonathan Allen, "Schumer To Step Down from DSCC; Menendez To Take Over," CQ Politics, November 25, 2008
  6. Leadership, Museum of Jewish Heritage, accessed May 25, 2009.
  7. People, Chess-in-the-Schools, accessed December 9, 2010.

Local blogs and discussion sites

External resources

Articles about Chuck Schumer

Steele Credit Report Theft

Articles by Chuck Schumer

Corresponding article on Wikipedia and Cause Caller. (If Cause Caller link does not work, pick from its list of senators and representatives.)

Current Office: U.S. Senate
111th Congress
Leadership Position:
Committees Chaired:
Ranking Member On:

110th Congress
Leadership Position:
Vice Chair of the Conference
Committees Chaired:
Joint Economic Committee, Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs/Subcommittee on Housing, Transportation, and Community Development
Ranking Member On:

Committees: Joint Economic Committee, Joint Committee on the Library of Congress, Senate Committee on Banking Housing and Urban Affairs, Senate Committee on Banking Housing and Urban Affairs/Subcommittee on Financial Institutions, Senate Committee on Banking Housing and Urban Affairs/Subcommittee on Housing Transportation and Community Development, Senate Committee on Banking Housing and Urban Affairs/Subcommittee on Securities Insurance and Investment, Senate Committee on Finance, Senate Committee on Finance/Subcommittee on Social Security Pensions and Family Policy, Senate Committee on Finance/Subcommittee on Taxation IRS Oversight and Long-Term Growth, Senate Committee on Finance/Subcommittee on International Trade and Global Competitiveness, Senate Committee on the Judiciary, Senate Committee on the Judiciary/Subcommittee on Administrative Oversight and the Courts, Senate Committee on the Judiciary/Subcommittee on Antitrust Competition Policy and Consumer Rights, Senate Committee on the Judiciary/Subcommittee on Crime and Drugs, Senate Committee on the Judiciary/Subcommittee on Immigration Border Security and Citizenship, Senate Committee on the Judiciary/Subcommittee on Technology Terrorism and Homeland Security, Senate Committee on Rules and Administration
Congressional Career
First Elected to Current Office:
November 3, 1998
First Took Current Office:
January 3, 1999
Next Election:
November 2, 2010
Term Ends:
Freshman Member?
Previous Political Work?
U.S. House of Representatives, New York State Assembly
Other Party Membership:
District Offices:
1. Leo O'Brien Building, Room 420 Albany, NY 12207
Phone: 518-431-4070 / Fax: 518-431-4076
2. 15 Henry Street, Room B6 Binghamton, NY 13901
Phone: 607-772-6792 / Fax: 607-772-8124
3. 111 West Huron Street, Room 620 Buffalo, NY 14202
Phone: 716-846-4111 / Fax: 716-846-4113
4. Post Office Box A Red Hook, NY 12571
Phone: 914-285-9741 / Fax: 845-758-1043
5. 145 Pine Lawn Road, Room 300 Melville, NY 11747
Phone: 631-753-0978 / Fax: 631-753-0997
6. 757 Third Avenue, Suite 17-02 New York, NY 10017
Phone: 585-263-5866 / Fax: 585-263-3173
7. 100 South Clinton Street, Room 841 Syracuse, NY 13261-7318
Phone: 315-423-5471 / Fax: 315-423-5185

Campaign Contact:

Webform Email: / Email:

Campaign Offices:

Phone: / Fax:

Zip Code Affiliations:

Date of Birth: November 23, 1950