Judy Biggert (R-Ill.)

U.S. Representative (since January 1999)

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Why She Matters

Biggert, the congresswoman from Illinois' 13th district, is a moderate Republican who was first elected in 1998 with the help of typically left-leaning groups like the Human Rights Campaign and Planned Parenthood.

Biggert primarily focuses on education and labor, regularly working on largely non-controversial legislation in these areas, like a bill barring employers and health insurers from discrimination against people who have costly diseases revealed through genetic testing and another expanding funding for education for the homeless.

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Judy Biggert (R-Ill.)

U.S. Representative (since January 1999)

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Jamie Dimon, chief executive officer of JP Morgan Chase & Co., offers his views on the bank's trading loss of at least $2 billion. Dimon, testifying before the House Financial Services Committee in Washington, told lawmakers that JPMorgan's decision to change how it measures trading worsened rather than triggered the loss. Representatives Judy Biggert, an Illinois Republican, and Democrats Barney Frank of Massachusetts and Brad Sherman and Maxine Waters of California also speak. (Excerpts. Source: Bloomberg)

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At a Glance

  • Career History: Member, Illinois House of Representatives, (1992-1998); Hinsdale Board of Education (1982-1985); Practicing attorney (1975-1998)
  • Birthday: August, 15, 1937
  • Hometown: Chicago, Ill.
  • Alma Mater: Northwestern University, J.D. 1963; Stanford University, B.A. 1959
  • Spouse: Rody
  • Religion: Episcopalian
  • Committees: Education and Labor ; Science and Technology ; Financial Services (Chair, Subcommittee on Insurance, Housing and Community Opportunity)
  • DC Office: 2113 Rayburn HOB, Washington, DC 20515-1313, Phone: 202-225-3515
  • District Office: 6262 S. Route 83, Suite 305, Willowbrook, IL 60527, Phone: 630-655-2052
  • Website

Path to Power

An Illinois native, Judy Biggert was born in Chicago, Ill., on August 15, 1937, and attended New Trier High School in Winnetka, Ill. She earned a bachelor's degree in international relations at Stanford University in 1959 and a law degree from Northwestern University in 1963.

Biggert began her law career by clerking for a federal appellate court judge. A self-described "former carpool mom and assistant soccer coach," she later practiced estate and real-estate law from home while raising her four children.

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The Issues

Biggert has described herself as a mainstream Republican and a centrist. Wary of ultra-conservatives, she has a moderate voting record, particularly on social issues. She supports embryonic stem-cell research and abortions rights, with the exception of late term abortions. She has also voted consistently in favor of homosexual rights, seeking expanded hate-crime protections and an end to "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."

In the House, Biggert has concentrated on education, labor and technology issues. She sponsored a bill that would allow employees to earn compensatory time rather than overtime, a move she said would help working mothers. The bill was strongly opposed by labor unions, and GOP leaders cancelled a roll call when it became obvious the bill would fail.

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The Network

Biggert has served on the House ethics committee, which she was assigned to by former House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.).

Biggert's main network is a group of centrist House Republicans known as the Tuesday Group, chaired in the 112th Congress by Reps. Charlie Dent (R-Pa.) and Jo Ann Emerson (R-Mo.).

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