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Daniel Lipinski

Daniel Lipinski American politician

American politician
The basics
Quick Facts
Intro American politician
A.K.A. Dan Lipinski
Countries United States of America
Occupations Politician Educator Professor
Gender male
Birth 15 July 1966 (Chicago)
Politics Democratic Party
Father: Bill Lipinski
Education Northwestern University, Stanford University, Duke University, Robert R. McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science
The details

Daniel William Lipinski (born July 15, 1966) is an American politician and political scientist who has served as the U.S. Representative for Illinois's 3rd congressional district since 2005. His father, Bill Lipinski, held the seat from 1983 to 2005. The district encompasses parts of southwestern Chicago as well as much of its southwestern suburbs.

Lipinski worked for a number of politicians, including Representative George E. Sangmeister, Richard A. Devine, Rod Blagojevich and Dick Gephardt. He has a PhD in political science from Duke University. He taught at the University of Notre Dame from 2000 to 2001 and at the University of Tennessee from 2001 to 2004. In 2004 Lipinski's father won the Democratic primary for Illinois's 3rd congressional district, where he was the incumbent, and shortly afterward retired. Upon his retirement, the state Democratic Party chose the younger Lipinski to replace his father on the ballot. Lipinski defeated his Republican challenger in this heavily Democratic district in the general election.

Lipinski has a reputation as one of the most conservative Democrats in the House. Lipinski did not endorse President Barack Obama for reelection in 2012, opposes legalized abortion and stem cell research, was the only House Democrat from Illinois to vote against the Affordable Care Act, supported reauthorizing the Patriot Act in 2006, and supported the Defense of Marriage and First Amendment Defense Acts. Democrats have frequently excoriated Lipinski for his conservative record, with many endorsing his primary opponent in 2018. Nevertheless, Lipinski has been reelected six times.

Early life, education, and career

Lipinski was born in Chicago, and is the son of Rose Marie (née Lapinski) and former U.S. Congressman Bill Lipinski. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Northwestern University in mechanical engineering (earned in 1988), a Master of Science degree from Stanford University (1989) in engineering-economic systems, and a Ph.D. in political science from Duke University (1998).

In the summer of 1992 Lipinski interned at the United States Department of Labor. He interned for U.S. Congressman George E. Sangmeister from 1993 to 1995. From 1995 to 1996 Lipinski was a legislative staff member for U.S. Congressman Jerry Costello. He then served on Cook County State's Attorney Richard A. Devine's campaign during the 1996 election season, and later on Devine's transition staff. After a short stint on then-U.S. Congressman Rod Blagojevich's staff, Lipinski served as a communication staff aide to then-House Minority Leader Richard Gephardt.

From 2000 to 2001 Lipinski taught at the University of Notre Dame. In 2001 he joined the faculty of the University of Tennessee, where he remained until his election to Congress in 2004.

U.S. House of Representatives

In 2004 Lipinski's father ran for re-nomination in the Democratic primary. After easily winning the nomination, the elder Lipinski announced his retirement. As the Democratic committeeman for Chicago's 23rd Ward—which is virtually coextensive with the Chicago portion of the 3rd—he was able to persuade the state Democratic Party to select his son to replace him on the ballot. The move was somewhat controversial; not only had the younger Lipinski not lived regularly in Illinois since 1989 or run for elected office before, but it allowed him to sidestep the Democratic primary—the real contest in this heavily Democratic district. As expected, Lipinski defeated his Republican challenger, Ryan Chlada, in the general election.

In the 2006 Democratic primary Lipinski won 55% of the vote against two opponents, and in the general election he defeated the Republican nominee, Raymond Wardingley, with 77% of the vote. Lipinski defeated three opponents in the 2008 Democratic primary and beat Republican Michael Hawkins in the general election with 73% of the vote. In the 2010 general election Lipinski defeated Republican Michael Bendas with over 70% of the vote.

Lipinski faced Marie Newman in the 2018 Democratic primary and defeated her with 51.2% of the vote to Newman's 48.8%.

Committee assignments

Lipinski serves on two House Committees: Transportation & Infrastructure and Science, Space, & Technology. He is the most senior member from Illinois on the Transportation & Infrastructure Committee, serving on the Subcommittee on Aviation and the Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials, which he chairs. On the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, Lipinski was previously the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Research and sits on the Subcommittee on Energy. His district includes Argonne National Laboratory.

Caucus memberships

Political positions

Lipinski is one of the most conservative Democrats in Congress; his district has been described as largely liberal. Lipinski has repeatedly argued that the Democratic Party is moving too far to the left, which he believes helped Donald Trump become president.

Abortion and stem cell research

Lipinski is anti-abortion and serves as co-chair of the bipartisan Congressional Pro-Life Caucus. He is a co-sponsor of the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act. In June 2013 Lipinski was one of only six Democrats in Congress who voted for a nationwide 20-week abortion ban.

In 2007 Lipinski voted against legislation to increase funding for embryonic stem cell research.

In the 2020 Democratic primary for Lipinski's seat, abortion rights groups such as Naral, Planned Parenthood and Emily’s List are supporting Lipinski's primary opponent.

Barack Obama

Lipinski did not endorse President Barack Obama for reelection in 2012.


Lipinski introduced the American Manufacturing Competitiveness Act on June 12, 2012. The bill would require the government to implement policies that support manufacturing products that qualify for the "Made in U.S.A." label, such as the establishment of a Manufacturing Strategy Board within the Commerce Department that includes federal officials, two state governors from different parties, and nine private-sector leaders and stakeholders from the manufacturing industry. The U.S. House of Representatives passed the bill on September 12, 2012, by a 339–77 vote.

Lipinski has proposed what he calls a "Five-Point Jobs Plan". According to Lipinski, the plan would "strengthen manufacturing, modernize our infrastructure, educate the workforce, force other countries to trade fairly and invest in innovation."

Foreign policy and national security

After the 2014 Hong Kong class boycott campaign and Umbrella Movement broke out, Lipinski joined Senator Sherrod Brown's and Representative Chris Smith's effort to introduce the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act, which would update the United States–Hong Kong Policy Act of 1992. He expressed support for Hong Kong's autonomy and the pro-democracy protests, saying, "conducting free and fair elections by universal suffrage is a guarantee that China itself made to Hong Kong. Any effort to end these demonstrations with aggressive force or disrupt the unique government structure that exists between China and Hong Kong will have a serious impact on China's relationship with the many nations of this world that stand for democracy and freedom."

Lipinski supports strong counter-terrorism and domestic surveillance laws. He voted for the Patriot Act re-authorization of 2006, the Protect America Act of 2007, the FISA Amendment act of 2008, the Patriot Act Extension of 2011, and the FISA Extension of 2012. He voted against the Amash Amendment to the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act. Lipinski is one of only two Democratic lawmakers to have supported counter-terrorism and domestic surveillance laws to that extent.


Lipinski was the only Illinois Democrat in Congress to oppose the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), which passed the House on March 21, 2010. He said that he broke ranks with his party for a number of reasons, including the bill's provisions related to abortion. Lipinski had previously voted for a version of the bill that contained more stringent restrictions on abortion funding. In 2017 he said he was trying to prevent Republicans from repealing Obamacare.

In October 2013 Lipinski was the primary sponsor of HR3425, which would have delayed any penalties under the PPACA until four months after the program's website was fully functional.


In 2018, while facing a strong primary challenge, Lipinski expressed support for creating a pathway to citizenship for DREAMers (undocumented immigrants who were brought into the United States as minors). Previously he voted against the DREAM Act, which would have created a pathway to citizenship for those individuals.

LGBT rights

Lipinski opposed recognition of same-sex marriage until the Supreme Court legalized it nationwide in Obergefell v. Hodges. In 2011, he supported the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which denied federal benefits to gay couples. The portion of DOMA that prohibited gay marriage was ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in 2013; by 2015, Lipinski had not publicly changed his support for DOMA. Lipinski supported the First Amendment Defense Act, which would prohibit the federal government from requiring that some businesses not discriminate against same-sex couples. In 2009 Lipinski voted for the Hate Crimes Expansion bill, which expands the definition of hate crime and strengthens enforcement of hate-crime laws. In 2010 he voted in favor of repealing Don't Ask, Don't Tell.

Lipinski now says he personally opposes same-sex marriage but supports the status quo "because it has been declared the law of the land." In 2016 he supported the Republican version of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which sought to allow businesses not to follow some gay rights mandates.

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