Chuck’s spent his entire career fighting for working New Yorkers. Now as the Democratic Majority Leader in the U.S. Senate, he’s ushering in a new era of bold change to rebuild after the COVID-19 pandemic, stop the climate crisis, and save our democracy.
Brooklyn born and bred
The oldest of three children, Chuck was born in the Sheepshead Bay neighborhood of Brooklyn, NY to his parents, Abe and Selma Schumer. His father, Abe, who grew up in Utica and served as a radar operator in planes flying over the Himalayas in World War II, took over his father’s exterminating business after the war. Shaped at an early age by his father’s experiences as a small businessman, Chuck has never forgotten the difficulties faced by middle-class New Yorkers who work hard to create a better life for their families.
Chuck attended public school in Brooklyn at P.S. 197 and Madison High School. He was a hard working basketball player and a good student who became valedictorian. In 1967, he attended Harvard, becoming the first in his family to attend college. At first, he studied chemistry, but soon became active in the College Democrats, working on Eugene McCarthy’s 1968 Presidential campaign. After graduation, Chuck attended Harvard Law School where he further developed his commitment to a career in public service.
Chuck still lives in Brooklyn with his wife, Iris Weinshall, near their two daughters, Jessica and Alison, and his first grandson, Noah.
Delivering for New York
Chuck is known as one of America’s hardest working and most accessible elected officials. New Yorkers from all walks of life interact with him at town hall meetings, parades, festivals, community events and graduations. And even during the COVID-19 pandemic, Chuck still completed his annual tradition of visiting all of New York’s 62 counties and joined countless community Zooms and virtual events.
Chuck’s career in public service began in 1974, when was elected to the New York State Assembly as a representative of the forty-fifth Assembly District. In 1980, at age 29, Chuck was elected to represent the 9th Congressional District in the United States House of Representatives. During his 18 years in the House, representing parts of Brooklyn and Queens, he wrote and helped pass some of the most important pieces of legislation of this era, like the Violence Against Women Act, the Brady Bill, which instituted mandatory background checks for handgun purchases, and the Assault Weapons Ban.
In 1998, he was elected to represent New York in the United States Senate. Throughout his time in the Senate, Chuck’s prioritized strengthening New York’s economy and helping working families get ahead. He’s fought to expand access to health care, strengthen the criminal background check system for gun sales, make college more affordable and reform our immigration system. After the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, he worked tirelessly to help New York recover and rebuild, including delivering $20 billion in Federal aid to spark New York City’s revival. And after Superstorm Sandy devastated the east coast, Chuck secured more than $50 million in emergency relief funding to help New York rebuild – the largest single amount of funding ever granted to any state.
In 2016, Chuck was elected by Senate Democrats as Senate Minority Leader. Throughout a turbulent four years, Chuck led the opposition in the Senate against the Trump administration. He led the Democratic resistance to some of Trump’s most despicable actions as President, like the attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, and fought back against Trump’s Muslim ban.
Democratic Majority Leader
On January 20th, 2021, following the historic election of Georgia Senators Jon Ossoff and Rev. Raphael Warnock, Chuck Schumer became the Majority Leader of the U.S. Senate. He is the first New Yorker and first Jewish person to serve as Senate Majority Leader.
Coming into office amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, Chuck is focused on getting the American people the relief they need. In less than two months as Majority Leader, Chuck passed the American Rescue Plan, the most impactful bill ever passed to support working families. The ARP delivers $1,400 stimulus checks to nearly every American, provides critical funding to speed up vaccinations, reopen schools and support small businesses, and cuts the child poverty rate in half. It provides nearly $2 trillion in aid to the American people, and $0 to corporations and the special interests.
As we recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and four years of failed leadership, Chuck knows we need bold, transformative change to move our country forward. As Senate Majority Leader, he is leading the fight to solve the climate crisis, cancel student debt, legalize marijuana, address the inequities in our criminal justice system, and protect voting rights from an onslaught of Republican attacks.