In the race for Illinois' 6th Congressional District House seat, Democratic newcomer Amanda Howland looks to knock off Republican incumbent Peter Roskam. The 6th Congressional district includes portions of Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake and McHenry counties. The largest concentration of voters are in Wheaton, Downers Grove, Palatine, Naperville and Glen Ellyn.
Roskam has served in the U.S. House of Representatives since 2007, winning four consecutive re-election bids. The congressman, who currently serves as chairman of the Ways & Means Oversight Subcommittee, has led the investigation into IRS political targeting and passed legislation to reform the agency. Last year, he wrote and passed the “Taxpayer Bill of Rights.”
The Republican staunchly opposed the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and has used his chairmanship to fight terrorism through the tax code, keeping money out of Iran’s hands. Roskam has also fought against Medicare fraud during his time in Congress, pushing the program to adopt private sector innovations and new technology to prevent improper payments.
The congressman’s top priorities include protecting the homeland maintaining national security, fixing the tax code to encourage growth and innovation and demanding oversight from all levels of government. Roskam is also dedicated to repealing the Affordable Care Act and replacing it with a patient-centered alternative aimed at lowering costs and increasing options.
“During a time of deep partisanship and rancorous rhetoric, it’s easy to get discouraged,” Roskam said in a statement. “That’s why I’m especially proud of my record of delivering results for the west and northwest suburbs by working across the aisle to find effective solutions to major issues. From IRS reform to increased funding for Alzheimer’s and childhood cancer research, there’s a lot we can accomplish if we work together.”
Roskam is backing Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump's presidential candidacy. Following the "Trump tapes" imbroglio, Roskam went from publicly backing the billionaire to claiming he was undecided before once again pledging his support to the real estate magnate.
His opponent, Howland, is an attorney and College of Lake County trustee. Her current law practice is devoted to mediation and protecting the rights of people in both civil rights cases and employment law. She previously served as a a teacher of behavior disordered children before working as a grade school principal in Bartlett.
The political newcomer has vowed to stand up for “hard-working middle class families Washington has ignored for too long.”
In terms of policy, Howland wants to ensure that tax and spending policies reflect the priorities and values of middle-class families. She looks to protect social security and Medicare, make college more affordable, reform student loans and safeguard a woman’s right to her own healthcare decisions.
Howland also aims to reform the Affordable Care Act to adapt Obamacare to a changing market, providing access to quality health care to all Americans. She also wants to reform campaign finance laws to get big money from corporation and special interests out of politics.
“For too long Peter Roskam has catered to special interests and pursued an extreme agenda — from changing the law to protect Super PACs, to shutting down Planned Parenthood, to working to elect Donald Trump,” Howland said in a statement. “I will pursue results, not extreme ideas. On the College of Lake County Board, I found common ground to reform ethics and protect taxpayers.”
“In Congress, I will bring that same independence and work ethic to finding real solutions that help middle class families,” she added.