Rush’s goals: Cut violence and protect Obamacare

Rep. Rush’s official portrait, courtesy of congressional office


Rep. Bobby Rush (D-1st), who represents most of Hyde Park–Kenwood, said in a written statement that his goals for the next session of Congress are measures to combat violence in his district, which covers much of the South Side and some South Suburbs, and to protect former President Barack Obama’s health care law

He called violence, a lack of jobs and access to education interconnected issues: “A lack of educational opportunities leads to a lack of jobs, which is a key factor in the rise in violence.

“That being said,” he continued, “I will continue to work to stem the violence that exists today while we work on preventing future violence.  That means pushing for common sense gun legislation.” A “firm believer in gun control,” Rush said Congress’ biggest priority should be to close the “gun show loophole” in federal policy and to “require background checks on all private sales of firearms and banning assault rifles.”

Calling access to health care a right and not a privilege, Rush promised to fight to protect people with preexisting conditions. He said “Obamacare” needs improvement but “depriving 24 million Americans of affordable healthcare is not the solution,” noting the health care law’s expansion of health insurance, increase in the number of people working in primary care and public health, promotion of preventive services and strengthening of quality controls.

After serving on the Chicago City Council, Rush was first elected to the House of Representatives in 1992 and won reelection last month with around 73 percent of the vote. An Army veteran, former Black Panther and ordained minister, he lives in Bronzeville.

Rush declined numerous requests for an interview with the Herald about his priorities over his next term.