Dan, Before Congress
Dan’s interest in community service and policy activism began at an early age. When he was 12 years old, he got together with some friends to create a petition to collect signatures asking the Japanese government to change their laws to prevent Japanese fishermen from killing dolphins while catching tuna. At that time there was no such thing as “dolphin safe” tuna. They gathered signatures at Brookfield Zoo, in front of Jewel, and other busy locations, and then sent them to the Japanese Embassy in Washington. Dan knows he was only one very tiny player in bringing about change, but when you buy a can of tuna in the store today it usually says “dolphin safe.”
Dan graduated from St. Symphorosa Elementary School on the Southwest Side of Chicago. He played Clear Ridge Little League baseball for 8 years and served as an altar boy at St. Symphorosa. Dan graduated with honors from St. Ignatius College Prep, continuing his interest in government and community service by getting elected to the Student Council, tutoring with the Community Tutoring Alliance, and lettering on the Student Congress team.
In 1988, Dan graduated Magna Cum Laude from Northwestern University in Evanston, with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering. In his junior year he was inducted into Tau Beta Pi, the national engineering honor society. In addition to other activities, he served as president of the International Policy Forum and three times participated in Dance Marathon, raising money for various charities. Following Northwestern, Dan went on to earn a Master of Science Degree in Engineering-Economic Systems from Stanford University. Next, he was recruited to work for six months in Zurich, Switzerland, as a Systems Analyst for Swissair. Upon returning, Dan worked in Washington, DC for the House of Representatives Administration Committee and then for the Illinois General Assembly Office of Intergovernmental Relations.
Having gained these experiences working overseas and in government, Dan attended graduate school at Duke University and in 1998 was awarded his Doctoral Degree in Political Science. While working on his dissertation, Dan took time off to serve as Director of Communications Research for Dick Devine’s first successful run for Cook County State’s Attorney in 1996. After graduating from Duke, the American Political Science Association awarded Dan a Congressional Fellowship, during which time he worked on issues for House Democratic Leader Richard Gephardt on the Democratic Policy Committee. Following this fellowship, Dan taught Political Science as an Assistant Professor at the University of Notre Dame and the University of Tennessee.
Dan was first elected to the House of Representatives on November 4, 2004, and was sworn in to begin his first term in the 109th Congress on January 4, 2005. He has subsequently been reelected every two years and is currently in his eighth term.
Dan, In Congress
“There are two kinds of Congressmen, workhorses and show horses,
and Lipinski has certainly been a workhorse.”
This description of Dan’s work in Congress explains what sets Dan apart from others in Washington and why he has been able to accomplish so much for his constituents and America’s middle class during his time in office. Dan is an engineer, and engineering is problem solving. And problem solving is what he does.
Now in his eighth term, Dan has authored almost 20 laws including initiatives that boost American manufacturing jobs, protect the environment and fight climate change, empower victims of sexual assault, spur American technological innovation, honor veterans, and safeguard consumers. He has done this by bringing people together to develop solutions, including through his membership on the bipartisan House Problem Solvers Caucus. Dan has brought home over $375 million in federal money to improve local transportation including funding for roads, bridges, public transportation, bike/ped, and airports. These projects improved local quality of life by creating jobs and helping ease congestion. He has also been able to get Metra service added to the Heritage Corridor and Southwest Service Lines, as well as getting additional CTA bus service for constituents.
As Chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee’s Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials, Congressman Lipinski has worked tirelessly to improve America’s transportation system and led efforts to increase funding for roads, mass transit, bike/ped, and airports. He has helped to maintain the vitality and safety of Midway Airport, which is located in his district, by securing more than $30 million for safety enhancements at the airport. Dan has also been the leading advocate for the CREATE rail modernization program, a public-private partnership to reduce rail and road congestion throughout the Chicago region. To fight for better funding for public transit, Dan founded the Congressional Public Transit Caucus. In addition to his role as Chairman, he serves on two other Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittees: Aviation; and Highways and Transit.
Dan also serves on the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, where he sits on two subcommittees: Research and Technology, and Energy. For ten years, he served as the top Democrat (either Chairman or Ranking Member) on the Research and Technology Subcommittee. He has focused his work on improving the economic competitiveness of America by increasing support for top-notch scientific research, facilitating technology transfer from the lab to market in order to create jobs locally and nationally, improving science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education, and promoting the development of green jobs in America.
American Manufacturing Competitiveness Act, H.R. 2447.
Required the federal government to produce a national strategic plan to boost American manufacturing every four years beginning in Spring 2018.
Customs Training Enhancement Act, H.R. 2015.
Established a process for American businesses to work with U.S. Customs inspectors to help identify and prevent the entry of fraudulent, counterfeit, or illegal/transshipped/mislabeled imports that are killing American jobs and cheating taxpayers out of required customs fees.
Small Aircraft Revitalization Act, H.R. 1848.
Grew American aviation manufacturing jobs by streamlining requirements for the approval of safety advancements for small airplanes.
Waterways Are Vital for the Economy, Energy, Efficiency, and Environment (WAVE4) Act, H.R. 1149.
Put Americans to work repairing infrastructure on inland/intracoastal waterways making American businesses more efficient. Bill revised funding procedures, required a 20-year plan for the development and completion of projects, and increased the waterway user fees to pay for such projects.
Steel and Aluminum Energy Conservation and Technology Competitiveness Act Reauthorization, H.R. 1126.
Provided research funding to make American steel and other metal manufacturing processes more efficient and sustainable, facilitating job growth.
Buy American Policies.
Included amendments in long term transportation bill, FAST Act, HR 22 (§3009), and the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation, S 612 (§1137), to improve the Buy American program and track federal government purchases of foreign goods, so we can better assure taxpayer dollars support American manufacturing.
Improving Local Transportation
Commuter Benefit Parity Act of 2015, H.R. 990.
Restored and made permanent the transit commuter tax benefit to help people pay fares on public transportation and to ease road congestion and lower pollution during rush hour.
Railroad Safety Technology Grants.
Offered successful amendment (§105) to Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008, HR 2095, to ensure up to $50 million in grant funding per year to support adoption of Positive Train Control technology.
Metropolitan Planning Rule, HR 1346/S. 496.
Secured passage of legislation to eliminate a poorly conceived federal rule that would have undermined Chicago’s metropolitan planning efforts, required coordination with officials from adjacent states to sign-off on local plans, and would have cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Brought home over $375 million in federal money to improve local transportation including funding for roads, bridges, public transportation, sidewalks/path, and airports. Projects improved local quality of life by creating jobs and helping ease congestion. Notably included in this funding was $100 million for the CREATE program, a public-private partnership to reduce congestion on rail and roads by modernizing rail crossings, which was included in SAFETEA-LU as a Project of Regional and National Significance.
Expanded Commuter Rail Service.
Worked with Metra and freight railroads to add an additional train to the Heritage Corridor Route and weekend service to the Southwest Service Line.
Honoring Veterans and First Responders
Tarawa MIA Recovery, H.R. 2647.
Promoted the recovery and return home of US Marines and other personnel killed in the WWII battle of Tarawa. Offered as a floor amendment to National Defense Authorization Act of FY 2010.
National POW/MIA Recognition Day, H.Res. 1630.
Highlighted the day of recognition for US servicemen who were detained as Prisoners of War or declared Missing in Action.
Captain Herbert Johnson Memorial Post Office Building, H.R. 3085.
Honored a Chicago firefighter killed in the line of duty by renaming the Mt. Greenwood Post Office.
Protecting the Environment
H-Prize, H.R. 632.
Advanced clean energy by establishing over $50 million in cash prizes for the “H-Prize” program to spur innovation in hydrogen energy technologies and advance the use of hydrogen as a pollution-free transportation fuel that can replace gasoline.
BRIGHT Energy Savings Act, H.R. 1705.
Saved money and cut pollution by requiring federal buildings to be equipped with energy saving light fixtures and bulbs.
Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2014, H.R. 3080.
Prevented the Army Corps of Engineers from using the Lucas Berg Nature Preserve in Worth for the dumping of dredged materials from the Cal-Sag Channel.
Zero Emission Buses.
Successfully offered amendment (§3019) to the FAST Act, HR 22, to allow broader deployment of zero emission buses through the Federal Transit Administration, reducing air pollution from transit buses.
Recycled Material Asphalt.
Successfully offered an amendment (§1428) to MAP-21, HR 4348, directing the Federal Highway Administration to establish and implement a program to expand the use of recycled materials in roadway asphalt, reducing the amount of roofing shingles and other material that is sent to landfills.
SANE Deployment Act, H.R. 1986.
H-Prize, H.R. 632.
Protected victims of sexual assault in the military by requiring the deployment of Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANE) with all deployed military units to assure the availability of trained personnel to support victims and conduct investigations.
Cybersecurity Enhancement Act, H.R. 756.
Enhanced personal, business, and government security by improving public-private collaboration on cybersecurity, promoting federal R&D on cybersecurity, and improving education, fellowship, and workforce development programs for cyber professionals.
Developing Standards for Electronic Shipping Papers Act of 2015, H.R. 505.
Protected local communities by funding the development of standards and best practices for informing first responders about the content of rail cars in case of an accident; bill led to the creation of the AskRail app that provides electronic information about rail car contents to first responders.
Rail Tank Car Top Fittings, FAST Act, HR 22.
Amendment (§7306) required tank cars carrying oil and other flammable liquids to be equipped with top fittings protection to decrease risk of rupture during derailments.
Funding for Fire Fighters and First Responders.
Helped bring home nearly $13 million in grant funding for local fire departments and EMT services, enabling them to obtain new and better fire engines and other apparatus, improve their equipment, and hire new fire fighters and other first responders.
I-Corps Authorization, S. 3084.
Spurred innovation and job creation by authorizing the Innovation Corps (I-Corps) program that teaches research scientists how to turn their discoveries into entrepreneurial, job-producing businesses; program has been successful in the creation of new businesses and jobs.
SBIR/STTR Proof of Concept, H.R. 1540.
Established a “proof of concept” pilot program at the National Institutes of Health (under the Small Business Innovation Research program) which has helped small businesses better pursue the commercialization of innovations that improve healthcare.
Future TRIP Act, H.R. 2886 (included in FAST Act, H.R. 22).
Helped maintain American leadership in safe driverless car technology by establishing a regional transportation center for research and development of these vehicles and also authorizing a study to help the U.S. Department of Transportation develop policies for the safe deployment of this new technology.
NSF Innovation Prizes, H.R. 5094.
Facilitated an alternative method of spurring American innovation by directing the National Science Foundation to establish cash prize competitions to solve important scientific challenges such as clean energy production and more efficient transportation.
Comfortable and Safe Flight Act, H.R. 4203.
Required the federal government to produce a national strategic plan to boost American manufacturing every four years beginning in Spring 2018.Protected passengers by requiring airlines to refund baggage fees in the case of lost or delayed arrival of baggage; incorporated into FAA Extension, Safety, and Security Act of 2016, H.R.636.
FCC Rules on Ringless Voice Mail.
Led congressional letter to the FCC opposing regulatory changes to consumer protections that would have permitted ringless voice mail, allowing automated callers to send messages directly to a cell phone voice mail without first alerting the user. Request to eliminate consumer protections was withdrawn.