Indian American Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi rolls up sleeves for November face-off with Republican Mark Rice

Himani  Sanagaram–

Indian American Incumbent Raja Krishnamoorthi from the Democratic Party is running for re-election to the U.S. House to represent Illinois’ 8th Congressional District. He will contest Mark Rice (Republican Party) and Jorge Briseno (Independent) in the November 5 election this year.

Recently, Krishnamoorthi was voted among the 50 Most Powerful Chicagoans by the Windy City’s influential Chicago Magazine. Raja was placed 24th rank, and was described by the magazine as the “most powerful” South Asian in the Greater Chicago Area.

“It is an honor to be named among so many influential civic and social leaders in the Greater Chicago Area. I don’t know what to make of being ranked as Chicago’s “most powerful” individual of South Asian descent. This is testament to the vibrant AAPI and South Asian community who have lifted me up and supported me for years,” Congressman Krishnamoorthi said.

Krishnamoorthi said he has worked towards a bipartisan solution on Immigration, employment and other issues like the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program to protect young people or “Dreamers” to stay in America and get the opportunity to work and study in America while also renewing and applying for citizenship.

“As a Member of the House Intelligence and Oversight Committees, I am proud to have served on the panels tasked with conducting proper oversight over the Administration, whether it is Republican or Democratic-led. These are critical assignments which position me well to block potential extreme Trump Administration policies, whether they be related to immigration, public health, or social welfare,” he said.

Born in India, Krishnamoorthi migrated to the United States as a child and received a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering and public policy from Princeton University in 1995 and a law degree from Harvard University in 2000. He was a partner at Kirkland & Ellis, a law firm from 2000 to 2007 and president of Sivanathan Laboratories, an R&D company from 2010 to 2017.

He also served as policy director on former president Barack Obama’s U.S. Senate campaign in 2004 and as deputy state treasurer from 2007 to 2009.

“But right now, I am laser focused on the 2024 election cycle, where I am facing an extreme MAGA Republican opponent in my re-election to represent Illinois’ 8th Congressional District. I am also doing everything I can to help House Democrats take back control of the U.S. House, and to assist President Biden to defeat former President Trump in November,” he said.

Krishnamoorthi might replace Dick Durbin in the Senate, when Durbin’s fifth term expires in 2027, given that the former has raised enough money for a Senate run.

Raja Krishnamoorthi may replace Dick Durbin in the US Senate in 2027

“My plans right now are to support Senator Dick Durbin, who is one of the most iconic public servants and leaders in Illinois’ history. With respect to campaign finances, I am doing everything I can to ensure I have the resources to win my re-election decisively in November 2024, and have also raised and contributed over $5 million to other Democratic candidates up and down the ballot this cycle, in Illinois and elsewhere.

His major agenda is raising employment that he has been working on from way back in 2012 when he ran for the US House representing Illinois’ 8th District.

“One of my biggest priorities in Congress is reforming and funding our skills-based education system so that more Americans are prepared for the in-demand jobs of the 21st century. I passed one of the few bipartisan bills during the Trump Administration, the Strengthening Career and technical Education (CTE) for the 21st Century Act, which was a critical step in this effort,” he informed.

Krishnamoorthi has done significant work in the tricky issue of H-1B visa caps as well.

“I am also the leading Democrat in Congress on legislation to repeal the per-country caps on H-1B visas, as well as numerous other needed reforms to our high-skilled immigration system. So, we need to upskill our domestic workforce, while at the same time recruiting top talent around the globe,” he added.

He was also instrumental in writing the new TikTok law.

Raja Krishnamoorthi in action in the US House of Representatives

“As the Ranking Member of the Select Committee on the Strategic Competition between the U.S. and the Chinese Communist Party, I am the proud author of legislation which recently passed the US House overwhelmingly with 352 votes. Specifically, this bill forces Bytedance, a company which is totally beholden to the Chinese Communist Party, to divest TikTok so that our foreign adversary does not have control over the algorithms and the data of nearly 170 million Americans,” he said.

Krishnamoorthi faces a lot of challenges, though.

“Bytedance is a multi-billion-dollar company that is directly tied to the Chinese Communist Party. They spent $9 million just last year on federal lobbying expenses, which is an exorbitant amount. Our system is set up in a way in which it is very challenging to defeat multi-billion-dollar corporate interests; but rest assured, I will never stop fighting for what is right to protect the health and security of our children,” he averred.

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