Daniel William "Dan" Lipinski (born July 15, 1966) is the U.S. Representative for Illinois's 3rd congressional district, serving since 2005. He is a member of the Democratic Party.
The district includes much of the southwest side of Chicago, along with such suburbs as Homer Glen, La Grange, Lemont, Lockport, Oak Lawn, Orland Park, Palos Park, Romeoville, Tinley Park, Western Springs, and Willow Springs.
Lipinski is a member of the Blue Dog Coalition and is known as one of the more conservative congressional Democrats.
Early life, education and career
Lipinski was born in Chicago, and is the son of Rose Marie (née Lapinski) and former U.S. Congressman Bill Lipinski. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Northwestern University in mechanical engineering (earned in 1988), a Master of Arts degree from Stanford University (1989) in engineering-economic systems, and a Ph.D. in political science from Duke University (1998). During the summer of 1992, he interned at the United States Department of Labor. He served in that same capacity for U.S. Congressman George E. Sangmeister from 1993 to 1995. From 1995 to 1996, Lipinski was a legislative staff member for U.S. Congressman Jerry Costello. He then served on Cook County State's Attorney Richard A. Devine's campaign during the 1996 election season, and later on Devine's transition staff. After a short stint on then-U.S. Congressman Rod Blagojevich's staff, Lipinski served as a communication staff aide to then-House Minority Leader Richard Gephardt.
From 2000 to 2001, Lipinski taught at the University of Notre Dame. In 2001, he joined the faculty of the University of Tennessee, where he remained until his election to Congress in 2004.
U.S. House of Representatives
Lipinski serves on two House Committees: Transportation & Infrastructure and Science, Space, & Technology.
Lipinski is the most senior member from Illinois on the Transportation & Infrastructure Committee, serving on the Subcommittee on Aviation and the Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials. In 2005 he secured $100 million in federal funding to initiate the CREATE rail modernization program, a public-private partnership designed to ease road and rail congestion in northeastern Illinois. In 2012, Lipinski helped pass the first federal highway and transit bill in seven years and the first Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization in nine years. He represents a district that includes federal highways, state tollways, Chicago's Midway Airport and Romeoville’s Lewis University Airport, the Chicago Sanitary & Ship Canal, four commuter rail lines, Amtrak, and six of the country's seven Class I freight railroads. Working with local leaders, he has worked to improve Metra’s SouthWest Service and Heritage Corridor lines.
On the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, Lipinski is the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Research and sits on the Subcommittee on Energy. Lipinski’s district includes Argonne National Laboratory, the first national laboratory in the United States and the largest facility of its kind in the Midwest. He has long supported investing in innovation and scientific research at universities, national labs, and other entities.
- Committee on Science, Space & Technology
- Subcommittee on Research & Technology(Ranking Member)
- Subcommittee on Energy
- Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure
- Subcommittee on Aviation
- Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines, & Hazardous Materials
- Subcommittee on Highways and Transit
- Co-Chair, Congressional Pro-Life Caucus
- International Conservation Caucus
- Co-Chair, Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Education Caucus
- Co-Chair, Caucus on Central and Eastern Europe
- Member, Congressional Wildlife Refuge Caucus
- Member, House Manufacturing Caucus
- Member, Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Caucus
- Member, Commission on Intergovernmental Cooperation, Illinois General Assembly
- Member, National Parks Caucus
- Co-Chair, Poland Caucus
- Member, Renewable Energy Caucus
- Member, Congressional Cement Caucus
Like his father, Lipinski is a moderate-to-conservative Democrat by Chicago-area standards; his district has historically been the most conservative of the eight that divide Chicago (especially on social issues). Lipinski did not endorse President Barack Obama for reelection in 2012
As a former teacher, Lipinski has pushed for improvements in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education throughout his career. As chairman of the Research Subcommittee, Lipinski helped write the legislation reauthorizing the National Science Foundation (NSF) as well as the America COMPETES Act. In 2007, Lipinski was a member of the House-Senate Conference Committee that completed work on the COMPETES Act, a response to a National Academies report warning that America must take action if it wants to maintain its place as the world’s scientific and technological leader.
Among Lipinski’s other priorities are boosting domestic manufacturing and strengthening Buy American laws.
Lipinski is pro-life and serves as co-chair of the bipartisan Congressional Pro-Life Caucus. He is a co-sponsor of the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act. In June 2013, Lipinski was one of only six Democrats in Congress who voted for a nationwide 20-week abortion ban.
On April 29, 2009, Lipinski voted for the Hate Crimes Expansion bill, which expands the definition of hate crime and strengthens enforcement of hate-crime laws. In December 2010 he voted in favor of repealing Don't Ask, Don't Tell. Lipinski opposes recognition of same-sex marriage. Lipinski is the sole Democratic cosponsor of HR2802, the First Amendment Defense Act.
Lipinski introduced the American Manufacturing Competitiveness Act on June 12, 2012. The bill would require the government to implement policies that support manufacturing products that qualify for the "Made in U.S.A” label, such as the establishment of a Manufacturing Strategy Board within the Commerce Department that includes federal officials, two state governors from different parties, and nine private-sector leaders and stakeholders from the manufacturing industry. The U.S. House of Representatives passed the bill on September 12, 2012, by a bipartisan 339-77 vote.
Lipinski has proposed what he calls a "Five-Point Jobs Plan". According to Lipinski, the plan would "strengthen manufacturing, modernize our infrastructure, educate the workforce, force other countries to trade fairly and invest in innovation."
On September 17, 2009, Lipinski voted yes on the Student Aid Program Modifications bill. It passed the House, 253-171.
Lipinski was the only Illinois Democrat in Congress to oppose the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which passed the House on March 21, 2010. He said that he broke ranks with his party for a number of reasons, including the bill's provisions related to abortion. Lipinski had previously voted for a version of the bill that contained more stringent restrictions on abortion funding.
In October 2013, Lipinski was the primary sponsor of HR3425, which would delay any penalties under the PPACA until four months after the program's website is fully functional.
Lipinski has voted against giving undocumented immigrants in-state tuition, educational benefits, welfare and health care services, and has opposed the visa lottery. He also has voted against increases in permanent and temporary foreign work visas such as the H1-B.
Lipinski supports strong counter-terrorism and domestic surveillance laws. He voted for the Patriot Act re-authorization of 2006, the Protect America Act of 2007, the FISA Amendment act of 2008, the Patriot Act Extension of 2011, and the FISA Extension of 2012. He voted against the Amash Amendment to the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act. Lipinski is one of only two Democratic lawmakers to have supported counter-terrorism and domestic surveillance laws to that extent.
After the 2014 Hong Kong class boycott campaign and Umbrella Movement broke out, Lipinski joined Senator Sherrod Brown and Representative Chris Smith's effort to introduce the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act, which would update the United States–Hong Kong Policy Act of 1992. He expressed support for Hong Kong's autonomy and the pro-democracy protests, saying, "...conducting free and fair elections by universal suffrage is a guarantee that China itself made to Hong Kong. Any effort to end these demonstrations with aggressive force or disrupt the unique government structure that exists between China and Hong Kong will have a serious impact on China's relationship with the many nations of this world that stand for democracy and freedom."
In 2004, Lipinski's father ran for re-nomination in the Democratic primary. After easily winning the nomination, the elder Lipinski announced his retirement. As the Democratic committeeman for Chicago's 23rd Ward—which is virtually coextensive with the Chicago portion of the 3rd—he was able to persuade the state Democratic Party to select his son to replace him on the ballot. The move was somewhat controversial; not only had the younger Lipinski not lived regularly in Illinois since 1989 and never run for elected office before, but it allowed him to sidestep the Democratic primary—the real contest in this heavily Democratic district. As expected, Lipinski defeated his Republican challenger, Ryan Chlada, in the 2004 general election.
Lipinski was able to garner 55% of the vote in the 2006 primary against two Democratic opponents, and in the general election he defeated the Republican nominee, Raymond Wardingley, with 77% of the vote. Lipinski defeated three opponents in the 2008 Democratic primary and beat Republican Michael Hawkins in the general election with 73% of the vote. In the 2010 general election Lipinski faced Republican Michael Bendas, and once again won with over 70% of the vote.
Before serving in Congress, Lipinski taught American Government at a number of colleges, including the University of Notre Dame. He also gained experience on Capitol Hill working for the House Administration Committee, the Democratic Policy Committee, and House members, including Minority Leader Richard Gephardt. Lipinski has also worked for the U.S. Department of Labor and the Illinois General Assembly's Commission on Intergovernmental Cooperation.
Lipinski earned a bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering from Northwestern University, a master's degree in Engineering-Economic Systems from Stanford University, and a Ph.D. in Political Science from Duke University. He is one of only a dozen trained engineers in the 113th Congress.
Lipinski and his wife, Judy, reside in Western Springs, Illinois. In their free time, they are avid runners, participating in numerous races each year, from two-mile sprints to half-marathons.