House links: Chaka Fattah (D-PA-2)i
Campaign links: Chaka Fattah (D-PA-2)i
Chaka Fattah Congressional Candidate Pennsylvania District 2
Congressman Chaka Fattah is Senior Member of the House Appropriations Committee. This committee is responsible for setting spending priorities of over $1 trillion in annual discretionary funds. Congressman Fattah is Ranking Member on the Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science and related agencies (CJS). The Subcommittee on CJS oversees close to $70 billion in discretionary spending. Fattah also sits on the Energy and Water Development Subcommittee. Fattah is Co-Chair of the Congressional Urban Caucus a bipartisan group of 57 Members representing America’s metropolitan centers. These Members work collaboratively with other stakeholders to address the unique challenges facing America’s urban communities.
The American Opportunity Tax Credit Act – Chief sponsor of the $14 billion legislation to provide a $2,500 tax credit for tuition and other expenses for college students or their parents. To date 4.5 million students and their families have received a tax refund from the AOTC with an average value of $800. During the 111th Congress, the AOTC was extended for two years. The success of the program and the number of students already helped has led the Administration to call on Congress to make the AOTC permanent. Click here to find out if you are eligible for the AOTC.
Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) – Congressman Fattah is the architect of this early college awareness program. Over the past 10 years, more than $3 billion in federal funds have been used to serve some 12 million students in 49 states, Puerto Rico, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories. GEAR UP serves as an international model to aid underserved students in their preparation and pursuit of a college education. Click here for a complete listing of GEAR UP programs.
The Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grants (EECBG) Program – leading legislative advocate for the $3.2 billion program – with $39 million allocated to Philadelphia and its region. These block grants will assist over 1,041 local communities in the development of programs to implement various energy efficiency and conservation projects.
Emergency Homeowners’ Relief Fund – applies over $3 billion in TARP funds to the threatened mortgages of millions of unemployed homeowners so they can remain in their homes. HEMA traces its roots to a similar Pennsylvania program Fattah created while a Pennsylvania State Legislator that has provided over $236 million to tens of thousands in need. The measure was enacted in the 111th Congress as part of the Wall Street Reform Act.
Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act – a leader of the legislative strategy that ultimately led to the bill’s signing into law. Health care reform now ensures affordable coverage will extend to more than 32 million more Americans; provide security and stability to those who have health insurance; and shift power from insurance companies to consumers. Additionally, Congressman Fattah was an early supporter of the Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization. The program currently provides health insurance for more than 7 million American children. This legislation protects coverage for those same children while expanding it to include an additional 4 million who would otherwise be uninsured.
American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 – an early sponsor of the $787 billion stimulus package to create jobs, strengthen the economy, bring down the unemployment rate and restore American job security, Congressman Fattah saw close to $20 billion in federal stimulus funds directed to Pennsylvania including a significant amount to Philadelphians and local Philadelphia projects. Click here for a complete listing of ARRA funds to Philadelphia.
Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act – an early proponent and strong advocate for the greatest expansion of college access since the creation of the federal student loan and Pell Grant programs. This law invests $36 billion over 10 years to increase the maximum annual Pell Grant to $5,975 by 2017, provide $2.5 billion for Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Minority-Serving Institutions and $2 billion for community colleges. The bill also provides for loan forgiveness after 10 consecutive years in government or nonprofit work or after 20 years of payments, and it strengthens Income Based Repayment to reduce graduate debt loads and expand career options. Additionally, the bill invests $750 million to promote support for students with college application, college retention and financial literacy programs in the College Access and Completion Grant Program, an initiative similar to GEAR UP.
College Opportunity Resources for Education (CORE) – creator of this city-wide initiative providing almost $27 million in scholarships to over 14,500 students to help put college within reach of every Philadelphia high school student and build a more highly-educated workforce to attract desirable employers to the city. You can find a copy of the CORE Scholars’ Annual Report here.
Graduate Opportunity Initiative Conference – the mission of the conference, now in its 24th year, is to significantly increase the enrollment of under-represented graduate students studying Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM). Congressman Fattah, the founder of the annual three day informational and scholarship conference designed it to encourage minority students’ interest in STEM graduate and professional schools. For many years the conference attendees were either Pennsylvania residents or students attending Pennsylvania Institutions of higher learning. As Congressman Fattah has ascended to the national stage and has become a recognized leader on educational issues, the conference has expanded with students attending from all over the United States. More than 12,000 students have been served and over $100 million in public/private partnership dollars have been invested in this effort.
Housing – as a State Senator, Fattah led the ground breaking effort to implode and replace decaying high-rises and provided a blueprint to improve living conditions for more than 3,400 Philadelphia families — moving them from crime ridden public housing towers, to single family homes. Building on the Philadelphia model, Congressman Fattah led the way in providing tens of billions in federal dollars to cities nationwide under the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s HOPE VI program. The program revitalizes neighborhoods by razing high-rises, rehabilitating abandoned homes and building new dwellings. Fattah led the way to secure a $5 million technical assistance grant to help local housing authorities implement their HOPE VI projects.
Crime Prevention – Congressman Fattah is the creator of the ‘Goods for Guns’ program created to keep guns off of Philadelphia streets. Over 5,000 firearms have been recovered since its inception. In exchange for relinquishing weapons, residents receive a $100 food voucher. A leading proponent of crime prevention and enforcement, Fattah secured $5 million in federal funds for video surveillance equipment. With the advocacy of Congressman Fattah, the Youth Violence Reduction Partnership program in Philadelphia has received over $1 million in federal dollars to reduce the incidence of youth homicide. Fattah also fought for increased funding for the Community Oriented Policing Services program (COPS) which provides assistance to law enforcement agencies for activities including hiring and training law enforcement officers, and neighborhood policing programs. Fattah has partnered with Mayors Against Illegal Guns, leading a campaign on the House Appropriations Committee to ensure law enforcement officials have the information they need to stop the flow of illegal guns.
Commuter Options – facilitated a $1.4 million federal grant for the reverse commuting program of the Philadelphia Unemployment Project which provides daily transportation for city workers to suburban jobs. As of February 2010 the Philadelphia Unemployment Project’s Commuter Options Program has 26 van and car pools transporting 106 Philadelphia workers to their jobs each day.
The Benefit Bank – TBB, for which Fattah has won appropriations as chief Congressional advocate, assists low and moderate income citizens learn about, apply for and “bank” the government benefits to which they are entitled. It is currently available in nine states with four more in development. Since its inception, TBB helped approximately 85,860 households file their tax returns generating $128.1million in tax refunds and credits and assisted some 44,656 households receive more than $235 million in benefits.
Safe Blood for Africa – With funds that Congressman Fattah helped direct, the Safe Blood for Africa Foundation has trained thousands of African blood technicians, who test an average of 2.5 million units of blood and save hundreds of thousands of lives annually. Representative Fattah has also been a staunch supporter of the Multi-Country Training Program, which has delivered training to blood service professionals and other health care workers. The training forum provides a rare opportunity for healthcare professionals from several countries to receive training and develop action plans relevant to each country or province’s needs. This format also fosters communication and collaboration, while promoting international best practices and an integrated approach to health systems strengthening.
The Debt Free America Act – proposes to eliminate the national debt, reduce the national deficit and reform the current tax system. The measure calls for a dedicated penny fee on every dollar transacted in the United States – with the exception of stock transactions – to eliminate America’s national debt. Taxpayers would receive a 1 percent tax credit for gross income up to $250,000 to offset the impact of the fee on middle class, working and modest-income households. The legislation also goes after the root causes of the debt by providing statutory authority for the Bipartisan Task Force for Responsible Fiscal Action to review and limit federal spending. In addition, once the national debt is paid down, the transaction fee opens the door to broad-based tax reform with the goal of replacing the individual federal income tax.
Clean Energy Act of 2010 – creates a framework to facilitate the revival of nuclear power and the expansion of clean energy throughout the United States. Additionally, the bill will create green jobs and invigorate the economy. Over the course of 20 years, the Clean Energy Act will spend $20 billion to fund a series of loan guarantees; nuclear workforce training programs; and the development of alternative power technologies through a number of clean energy initiatives.
The ESEA Fiscal Fairness Act – amends the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, which is up for reauthorization this year, and a takes giant step toward achieving the promise of Brown v. Board of Education, which ended legal segregation in schools but has left unfulfilled the promise of equal opportunity in all our schools. The measure requires school districts to equalize the real dollars spent among all schools within its jurisdiction – with the imperative to raise the resources allotted to schools in the poorest neighborhoods to meet those in well-off schools – before receiving federal aid.
Philadelphia School Lunch Pilot – Congressman Fattah successfully led the Philadelphia Congressional Delegation in negotiations with the United States Department of Agriculture to postpone the termination of Philadelphia’s successful school lunch pilot program. He is currently leading similar efforts with the USDA to implement the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act.
Student Bill of Rights – the measure calls for States to provide adequate access to high-impact educational resources – highly effective teachers, early childhood education, college prep curricula and equitable instructional resources and to offer a remediation plan to address any disparities. Just as we ask all students and teachers to meet high standards, we must ensure schools and districts have access to the tools they need to meet than challenge.
Communities Committed to College – Congressman Fattah wants to ensure that students will have the financial resources needed to pursue their dream of a college education by dramatically increasing the assets available to community-based scholarship trusts. The legislation provides a 50% tax credit to donors who contribute to qualifying scholarship trusts which are recognized and registered with the Secretary of the Treasury. The legislation will encourage communities all across the nation to provide a pathway and an incentive for pumping local capital directly toward the education of local students.
The State Child Well-Being Research Act – critical to addressing the myriad needs of children is identifying and then understanding those specific needs. The legislation, which has bipartisan support in both the House and Senate, establishes a national survey of specific child well-being indicators, including education, social and emotional development, physical and mental health and safety, and family status. Data from this survey will distinguish which state and federal programs are working and identify those that require considerable adjustments.
Chaka Fattah is serving in his 9th term in the U. S. House of Representatives. Before his election to United States Congress in 1994, Fattah served six years as a Representative in the State House followed by six years as a State Senator.
In May of 1986, Congressman Fattah earned a Master’s degree in Governmental Administration from the University of Pennsylvania, Fels Center of Government.
Fattah is the recipient of numerous honors and awards including 10 honorary doctorates and the University of Pennsylvania’s Fel’s Center of Government Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award. Time Magazine named Fattah one of the 50 most promising leaders in the country.
In 1984 Fattah attended Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government where he received a certificate in the Program for Senior Executives in State and Local Government.
The Congressman is married to Renee’ Chenault-Fattah and they have four children. Mrs. Fattah is a lawyer and TV News Anchor. Congressman Fattah and his family are long-time members of the Mt. Carmel Baptist Church in Philadelphia, PA. An avid golfer, Congressman Fattah is also a bike enthusiast.
Biography of Chaka Fattah from Fattah for Congress
Chaka Fattah is Senior Member of the House Appropriations Committee. This committee is responsible for setting spending priorities of over $1 trillion in annual discretionary funds. Congressman Fattah is Ranking Member on the Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science and related agencies (CJS). The Subcommittee on CJS oversees close to $70 billion in discretionary spending. Fattah also sits on the Energy and Water Development Subcommittee. Fattah is Co-Chair of the Congressional Urban Caucus, a bipartisan group of 57 Members representing America’s metropolitan centers. These Members work collaboratively with other stakeholders to address the unique challenges facing America’s urban communities.
Fattah – a longtime leader on urban and educational policy – created GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs), which has contributed nearly $2 billion toward the educational advancement of low-income students. Now the largest pre-college awareness program in our nation’s history, GEAR UP has prepared millions of students from America’s inner-cities not only to enter college, but to succeed once there.
Fattah also created the Fattah Conference on Higher Education, which over two decades has made over $33 million in scholarships available to put minority students into graduate school.
He created CORE Philly, the nation’s first scholarship program designed to provide college scholarships to every high school graduate from a given city. Once named by Time Magazine as one of America’s 50 most promising leaders, Fattah has lived up to that promise – leading the fight to provide quality housing to low income families, leading the fight to educate low income students across America, joining the fight to deliver discounted oil to impoverished families, and leading the fight to put the best American leaders in place.