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  Hastert, J. Dennis
<-  2006-01-01  
NameJ. Dennis Hastert
Yorkville, Illinois , United States
Website [Link]
Born January 02, 1942 (80 years)
ContributorBarack O-blame-a
Last ModifedPennsylvania Historian
May 12, 2022 07:56pm
Tags Caucasian - Married - Convicted - Imprisoned - Christian - Methodist - Protestant - Disputed -
InfoDennis Hastert rose to his position as Speaker of the House from the cornfields of Illinois. Born in Aurora, he grew up in Oswego and earned degrees from Wheaton College and Northern Illinois University. After 16 years of teaching and coaching at Yorkville High School, he served in the Illinois House of Representatives for six years before being elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1986. In 1999, Hastert's colleagues honored him by electing him Speaker of the House, the third highest elected official in the U.S. government.

Speaker Hastert, who turned 61 on January 2, 2003, is now serving his third term as Speaker and his ninth term as the Republican Congressman for Illinois' 14th Congressional District. Hastert's home district comprises a suburban landscape of high tech firms, small and large industrial complexes and expansive farm land west of Chicago, which includes the boyhood home of President Ronald Reagan. The 14th Congressional District re-elected Hastert in 2002 with 74% of the overall vote.

As Speaker, Hastert is responsible for the day-to-day functions of the U.S. House. When he succeeded Newt Gingrich on January 6, 1999, he broke with tradition by delivering his acceptance speech from the House floor and by allowing Minority Leader Dick Gephardt to briefly preside over the day's proceedings. These two actions served as fitting symbols for the content of the new Speaker's remarks, when he emphasized the need for both parties to come together in the House to get their work done:
Solutions to problems cannot be found in a pool of bitterness. They can be found in an environment in which we trust one another's word; where we generate heat and passion, but where we recognize that each member is equally important to our overall mission of improving the life of the American people.

The four-part common-sense agenda Hastert outlined that day for the 106th Congress - lowering taxes, improving education, strengthening Social Security and Medicare, and bolstering national defense. Under his leadership, the 106th Congress balanced the budget for the fourth year in a row; paid down an historic amount of public debt ($625 billion); locked away 100% of Social Security and Medicare dollars to be spent solely on Social Security and Medicare - not other government programs; sent more education dollars and decision-making to local classrooms; stepped-up and enhanced medical research; and worked to revitalize low-income neighborhoods in urban and rural areas. -- proved to be such a success that in November 2000, the American voters elected another Republican majority to the House.

Throughout his legislative career, Speaker Hastert has drawn from his experience as a former wrestling coach by emphasizing teambuilding and setting clear-cut, achievable goals. The Speaker has since remained committed to the goals he laid out during his first term as Speaker and his accomplishments during the 107th Congress prove this.

The 107th Congress was successful in enacting landmark education reform, far-reaching election reform, and completing work on the most significant tax relief in a generation. Furthermore, in response to the tragic attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, the Congress passed historic legislation by creating a Department of Homeland Security - the most significant restructuring of the federal government in the last 50 years. With this new department, and with the passage of anti-terrorism legislation designed to mitigate the threat of terrorist activities, the President has the tools he needs to help ensure that the safety and security of our homeland will not be compromised again.

On January 7, 2003, Hastert rose again to the challenge of continuing his role as Speaker of House. During his opening speech of the 108th Congress, he laid out a common-sense plan that would make this nation a safer and more secure place for all Americans. He vowed to the men and women in our armed services that they would receive continued congressional support in their fight against terrorists and the terrorist states that harbor them. Hastert also promised to work with members on both sides of the aisle to pass an economic growth package that would create jobs, grow our economy and ensure more financial security for Americans. Furthermore, Hastert emphasized his commitment in promoting more foreign trade, passing a prescription drug package to make drugs more affordable for our nation's seniors, and furthermore improving America's schools so that all children have the opportunity to get a good education.

Prior to his election as Speaker in 1999, Hastert served as Chief Deputy Majority Whip, a leadership position he had held since the election of the 104th Congress in 1994. In that capacity, Hastert was responsible for advancing common sense legislation to the House floor by working with members, developing an achievable policy strategy, lining up support and counting Republican and Democrat votes to ensure passage. His reputation is one of reaching across the aisle to develop bipartisan legislation.

He also served as Chairman of the House Government Reform and Oversight Subcommittee on National Security, International Affairs and Criminal Justice. Chairman Hastert had broad oversight for the Departments of State, Defense and Justice, as well as the nation's War on Drugs and the 2000 Census As a member of the House Commerce Committee, Hastert had jurisdiction over energy policy, interstate and foreign commerce, broadcast and telecommunications policy, food, health and drug issues.

Additionally, Hastert has been the House Republican point person on health care reform. He has chaired the Speaker's Steering Committee on Health and the Resource Group on Health, and he helped author the health care reform bill, which was signed into law by President Clinton in 1996 to expand coverage to the uninsured. In the 105th Congress, Hastert again was tapped by the House Leadership to chair the House Working Group on Health Care Quality, which ultimately authored the Patient Protection Act. That legislation, which passed the House on July 24, 1998, expanded Americans' choices and access to affordable, high-quality health care.

During his years in Congress, Hastert championed legislation to balance the federal budget, cut taxes and government waste and clean up the environment. For instance, he led the nationwide fight with U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) to repeal the unfair Social Security Earnings Limit that kept millions of senior citizens from working - a project finally accomplished during his Speakership in the 106th Congress. He also has passed legislation to reduce big government regulations in areas such as trucking and telecommunications in order to increase competition and consumer choice. In addition, Hastert has fought to preserve safe groundwater standards by successfully working for the removal and proper disposal of 21 million cubic feet of low-level thorium waste in West Chicago, Illinois, and by blocking a proposed garbage dump that would threaten the Fox Valley's groundwater supply.

Congressman Hastert has continued to build on his record of accomplishment for all his constituents. During the most recent Congress, he successfully supported a full-funding agreement with the U.S. Department of Transportation that will expand Metra train service in the 14th District. He secured dozens of federal grants for district communities and organizations that will assist with everything from bolstering police services to protecting district farmland. Hastert also successfully sponsored legislation in 2002 to designate the Ronald Reagan Boyhood Home in Dixon a National Historic Site. Signed by President George Bush on Reagan's 91st birthday, the legislation ensures that the property will be maintained as a living legacy to our 40th President.

Hastert enjoys strong editorial support from the newspapers in his district and has received the "Outstanding Legislator" award by numerous groups. He is particularly proud to have been named repeatedly a Friend of Agriculture, Guardian of Senior Rights, and to have won in each of his years in Congress the Golden Bulldog Award for fighting against waste in government.

Prior to Congress, during the 1980s, Hastert served three terms in the Illinois General Assembly, where he spearheaded legislation on child abuse prevention, property tax reform, educational excellence and economic development. While there, he also led an effort that resulted in the adoption of a new public utilities act, reforming the law to benefit Illinoisans.

Hastert spent the first 16 years of his career as a government and history teacher at Yorkville High School, and it also was there that he met his wife, Jean, a fellow teacher. In addition to teaching, he coached football and wrestling and led the Yorkville High School Foxes to victory at the 1976 Illinois State Wrestling Championship; later that year, he was named Illinois Coach of the Year. Hastert, a former high school and college wrestler himself, was inducted as an Outstanding American into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in Stillwater, Oklahoma in 2000. In 2001, the United States Olympic Committee named him Honorary Vice President of the American Olympic movement.

Born on January 2, 1942, Hastert is a 1964 graduate of Wheaton (IL) College where he earned a bachelor's degree in economics. He attended graduate school at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, where he earned a master's degree in the philosophy of education in 1967. Hastert lives in Yorkville, Illinois, along the Fox River with his wife Jean. They have two grown sons, Ethan and Joshua who lives and works in Washington, DC. Whenever he can find free time, Hastert enjoys attending wrestling meets, going fishing, restoring vintage automobiles, carving and painting duck decoys.


Title Purchase Contributor

Start Date End Date Type Title Contributor

Date Category Headline Article Contributor
Apr 27, 2016 03:00pm Legal Ruling Dennis Hastert Is Sentenced to 15 Months, and Apologizes for Sex Abuse  Article RP 
Nov 02, 2015 05:25pm General Hastert portrait vanishes from House  Article RP 
Oct 15, 2015 10:00am Scandal Dennis Hastert reaches plea deal, to admit wrongdoing  Article RP 
May 28, 2015 05:00pm Investigation Former U.S. House Speaker Hastert indicted on federal charges  Article IndyGeorgia 
Nov 16, 2007 08:00am News [IL-14] Questions surrounding the timing of Hastert’s resignation spark confusion  Article ArmyDem 
Nov 15, 2007 08:00am Blog Entry IL-14: Hastert to Announce Resignation Thursday  Article ArmyDem 

Importance? 10.00000 Average

Son Ethan A. Hastert 1978-

  11/07/2006 IL - District 14 Won 59.79% (+19.58%)
  03/21/2006 IL District 14 - R Primary Won 100.00% (+100.00%)
  01/04/2005 US House Speaker Won 52.07% (+6.22%)
  11/02/2004 IL - District 14 Won 68.63% (+37.26%)
  03/16/2004 IL - District 14 - R Primary Won 100.00% (+100.00%)
  01/07/2003 US House Speaker Won 52.53% (+6.22%)
  11/05/2002 IL District 14 Won 74.14% (+48.27%)
  01/03/2001 US House Speaker Won 51.51% (+3.71%)
  11/07/2000 IL District 14 Won 73.99% (+47.97%)
  01/06/1999 US House Speaker Won 51.52% (+3.51%)
  12/01/1998 US House Majority Leader Lost 0.00% (-57.21%)
  11/03/1998 IL District 14 Won 69.76% (+39.52%)
  11/05/1996 IL District 14 Won 64.39% (+28.79%)
  03/19/1996 IL District 14 -R Primary Won 100.00% (+100.00%)
  11/08/1994 IL District 14 Won 76.48% (+52.96%)
  03/15/1994 IL District 14-R Primary Won 79.99% (+59.98%)
  11/03/1992 IL District 14 Won 67.33% (+34.68%)
  11/06/1990 IL District 14 Won 66.90% (+33.81%)
  11/08/1988 IL District 14 Won 73.71% (+47.42%)
  11/04/1986 IL District 14 Won 52.37% (+4.74%)
  04/01/1986 IL District 14-R Caucus Won 100.00% (+100.00%)
  11/06/1984 IL State House 082 Won 100.00% (+100.00%)
  11/02/1982 IL State House 082 Won 67.84% (+35.69%)
  11/04/1980 IL State House 039 Won 29.06% (-5.80%)
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